Holy crap, it’s a real newspaper!

IMAG0095_PerfectlyClear_0001-w1200-h1200During my tenure at FoxCT I got to work closely with the reporters, managers and staff at the Hartford Courant. It was sad to see them feel they were on a sinking ship. In aggregate, these were the smartest people I’d ever worked with.

It’s not specifically the Courant that’s going down, but newspapers and print media in general. Times have been tough. Profit margins in print have vanished and turned to losses.

When I came to New Haven we subscribed to the New Haven Register and Journal-Courier. Two daily papers in little New Haven. Those days are gone.

With all respect to my friends on Sargent Drive, the Register is a pale shadow of what it was. What a shame. It suffered under horrible mismanagement long before print soured.

I came to California with low expectations for print journalism. We subscribed to the Orange County Register at Helaine’s insistence. She wanted local news.

Holy crap, it’s a real newspaper! If it’s possible to judge by a week’s worth of reading, it’s a pretty good newspaper.

A fat paper has arrived at our back door every day. Multiple sections. Big sections. Real local advertising–which is valuable information.

There is lots of local content from staff reporters and columnists. There is plenty of national news too, including syndicated stories from the New York Times, Bloomberg and AP.

The editorial page makes no qualms about its conservative, libertarian bent. We will disagree.

My cousins tell me the OC Register hit bottom before its current rebound. The reporting staff has been boosted. Its local footprint expanded. You have to pay to read, as its website has been cordoned off behind a paywall.

The economic climate is different here. SoCal is rebounding from the recession faster than Connecticut. There are no Orange County TV stations to compete against, even though the county has over three million residents. The Register is the only game in town.

No one knows if the OC Register’s current incarnation will save it or if its just digging a deeper hole. Spending to put out a better product is a concept seldom seen. Only time will tell.

I’d like to see their investment pay off. We all benefit if print gets healthy again.

10 Responses to “Holy crap, it’s a real newspaper!”

  1. DorisC says:

    I guess readership is also a dying breed. I subscribe to the paper (Hartford Courant) and look forward to it each morning. I also get my news from the internet, but there is nothing like reading the paper……

  2. Melanie says:

    I’m glad to hear there’s a solid paper there- I feel like a dinosaur, but I read the NY Times (in print) every day – much as I love the wide range of stuff available on the internet, it will never replace a newspaper for me. And when you’re trying to learn a new place, it’s uniquely important.

  3. bill ferrante says:

    Hey,GEOFF! Well the NEW HAVEN REGISTER was sold a few months back. Their SARGENT DRIVE HQ, a thing of the past. They now use the HARTFORD COURANT printers,to put out the REGISTER. They are opening a new,downtown newsroom,state of the art. The paper has been much improved,but,still almost paper thin,not much supportive advertising. Who know how much longer,they will stay afloat??
    Anyway,glad you made it into your new digs,felt any tremors,yet? Lived in SAN FRANCISCO, in the 70′s,for 3 months,tremors scared the hell out of me!!!! Take care,GEOFF,talk with you,again. :)

  4. J. Ainsworth says:

    I still get the Register out of loyalty. I worked in the editorial department for 10-plus years. I am seriously considering canceling because there is nothing in it most days. The New York Times is delivered to the bottom of my driveway as well and I will continue as a subscriber. It is worth the subscription cost.

  5. Allen says:

    How are the comics?

  6. Neil S says:

    I too, enjoy reading a “real” newspaper. There is nothing like to feel of holding the paper in your hands, feeling it “crinkle” as one adjusts the pages, and love getting newsprint “ink” on my fingertips!

  7. Ruth says:

    The NH Register just keeps getting sadder and sadder. Their recent format changes make it even less inviting. I continue to subscribe primarily for the columns, obits and comics….sad to say.

  8. Donna says:

    We pay over 400.00 a year for the NH Register. I agree with J. Ainsworth because there isn’t anything worthwhile to read in it anymore. I can read it in 5 minutes and then go on the internet to read the real news. We’re going to let our subscription expire.

    I love reading about your new life Geoff. Wish I could move out there too. I’m not liking the humidity here this summer.

  9. 793tango says:

    Back in the ’80s when I was on college I delivered the Courant for my pocket money. That was back when the Sunday papers weighed a ton and had 4 or 5 sections. Those days are gone. Today’s Courant is a shadow of its old self. And they don’t let kids deliver it any more. Only adults.
    I like to read the Bristol Press every now and then although their huge HQ building has been closed for a long time and they basically have a storefront operation now.
    I’m sure print media will survive in some form in many places but the heyday of the daily newspaper is over for the most part.

  10. Beth says:

    Unfortunately all the print media here in Connecticut now care about is the bottom line. They’ve cut staff so much there’s no way they can put out a quality product. All they care about it revenue. And they wonder why they’re losing circulation.

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