All in the family

“Albuquerque Journal, mister? Fresh from Santa Fe!”

I almost missed this in the hubbub over “Nasty” Kamala joining “Sleepy” Joe atop the Communist … pardon, Democratic Party ticket.

The Albuquerque Journal and The New Mexican have announced an agreement to print their publications in Santa Fe.

Both papers are family-owned, which is an honest-to-God miracle in the modern era. And their newsrooms will remain separate and independent.

The idea, of course, is to enhance efficiency. Just ask ’em:

Robin Martin, president of The New Mexican, and William P. Lang, president of the Journal, collaborated and determined the two production facilities, just 50 miles apart, could operate more efficiently as a single operation.

They obviously didn’t collaborate with a copy editor on that paragraph. But still, the point limps across.

And you don’t have to be a president to know what the word “efficiency” means: layoffs! As in up to 70 positions in Albuquerque.

So, come mid-October, when and if the snow flies, Duke City subscribers may be draining their second cup of joe — or even on lunch break — before the blat hits the driveway. But hey, that’s efficiency for you.

Extry, extry, readallaboudit!

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15 Responses to “All in the family”

  1. Shawn Says:

    Three newspapers in my area were recently combined. I really like the combination because my community leans slightly to the right and the two other communities lean slightly to the left. It’s a nice balance and the news expands a bit more into recreation in the area. The Letters to Ed sure are a lot more interesting to read. As for efficiency, I’m sure that has improved although I’m not sure about job losses. All of the papers were already printed at one location already.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Consolidation is the name of the game. What few daily papers remain are mostly part of some giant combine — Gannett-GateHouse, Alden Global Capital, Tribune Publishing, etc. There are smaller regional chains, too. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times are outliers.

      Combos of some sort are not unusual. The Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Citizen were part of a joint operating agreement (JOA) when I worked for the Star in 1980. They shared a building, composition/printing facilities, and administrative/advertising staff, even a computer system that supposedly was firewalled so one newsroom couldn’t see what the other was up to (in actuality, it was possible to sneak a peek). Only the newsrooms were separate entities. Everything else was shared.

      I don’t know if any JOAs survive, but it’s not weird to see one paper with a new(ish) press acting as sort of a job printer for a number of other papers with dilapidated equipment. The Denver Post prints the Colorado Springs Gazette, for example. And The Mountain Mail in Salida and The Pueblo Chieftain have done similar printing chores for years.

      Without the need for a huge printing operation a newspaper can dramatically downsize its physical plant. When it handed off printing to The Denver Post the Gazette moved from its giant ugly-ass white elephant of a building east of downtown to a bank building in the heart of Bibleburg. The Corvallis Gazette-Times in Oregon appears to operate out of some strip-mall shithole now.

      And The Daily News? It doesn’t even have a newsroom anymore. Even worser: They’re not alone.

      • khal spencer Says:

        The Honolulu Advertiser and Star-Bulletin operated under a JOA for a while, the Hawaii Newspaper Agency. Eventually they merged into one paper, the Star-Advertiser.

        https://www.staradvertiser.com/about/

      • Shawn Says:

        I was incorrect. The three area newspapers here in the Oregon Gorge that were combined are now printed by Eagle Web in Salem. I discovered that when the paper had an article about the sale of the big printing press out of the Hood River, OR location. There went a few jobs out of the area.

    • Dale Says:

      I never thought I’d say this, but I wish DARPA had never created the internet. The internet that I am using to respond. What has it done?

      It has decimated brick and mortar stores. Helped by Sams Club, Costco, etal. It has enabled wing nuts to promote the craziest theories for years.
      We can shut it down, and we should shut it down near the election.

      Why not try?

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        And it had such potential, too. There are still aspects I like — streaming video, being my own “publisher,” stuff like that.

        But social media, propaganda bubbles, and the Rise of the World-Wide Panopticon I could do without.

  2. khal spencer Says:

    But…but…The People’s Republic newspaper sacrificing working class stiffs on the alter of profits? I always wondered about Robin Martin.

    Yep. Both papers are family owned. Kinda like the Columbos and Genoveses deciding that that don’t need two garbage carting companies in NYC. Bada bing, bada boom….

    I wonder where Sammy Gravano is living these days.

  3. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Your post titles get better and better. “Mt. Flushmore and All In The Family” are classic examples. I watch a YouTube channel called”Cruising The Cut” about living and cruising the canal system on a narrow boat in the UK. I think you guys were in the same headline/title writing class in journo school.

    By the way, the new “Endeavor” season on PBS streaming (Masterpiece Mystery) is worth a look.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thank you, sir. There’s nothing like a dozen years on seven different copy desks to give a fella a little practice at writing heds. It helps to have an odd turn of mind, too.

      Presenting a newspaper story is like reducing a sauce. You have the actual news, which a reporter simmers down to a few hundred words. Editors continue the reduction, and finally the headline writer gets it down to just a handful of tantalizing, delicious words.

      Or that’s how we like to think of it anyway. Some days it’s more like pitching greaseburgers through a drive-up window while wearing a paper hat.

  4. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Your last sentence above is a beaut! Instant picture in my pea brain of you pitching the perfect slider through a small, sliding window.

    “Crick Thinking”

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