Sunday, March 23, 2008

Question Of The Week, 3/23/08

Good morning. The Question Of The Week has returned and will be posted every Sunday morning. This weeks question comes from an article I read in my local paper. It tells about the paper downsizing, more jobs lost.


Newspaper announces restructuring, job cuts
by St. Joseph News-Press
Saturday, March 22, 2008


News-Press & Gazette Co. has begun implementing a strategic plan to improve its newspaper division’s financial performance and position the company for future growth, president and publisher David Bradley announced Friday.

The changes will affect most departments of the company’s flagship newspaper, the St. Joseph News-Press, as well as the community newspapers it publishes in Kansas and Missouri.

Several positions will be eliminated in St. Joseph, Mr. Bradley said. Among those, he said, is the position previously held by opinion page editor and columnist Mark Sheehan. Mr. Sheehan’s last day with the newspaper was Friday.

“We respect everything Mark has contributed to the News-Press, but we have made the decision that the work of the opinion editor can be shared among several other staff members in the newsroom,” Mr. Bradley said.

He added that a severance package would be offered to employees who lose their positions because of the restructuring.

Dennis Ellsworth, News-Press executive editor, will add the title of editorial page editor and direct the editorial board.

The changes across the company’s newspapers, when fully implemented over the next several weeks, are expected to reduce operating costs substantially while ensuring that core business functions are supported and continue uninterrupted, Mr. Bradley said.

“Our situation mirrors what is going on throughout the newspaper industry,” Mr. Bradley said.

“The slowing economy has severely impacted advertising revenues, particularly in such large categories as automotive, real estate and telecommunications. At the same time, our fixed costs, especially for newsprint and fuel, are climbing quickly. Our customers are feeling the pinch, too.

“We really are faced with no other responsible alternative to cutting our operating costs as prudently as we can and working to restrain cost increases passed on to our readers and advertisers,” he said.

The changes announced Friday included a large-scale reorganization of the company’s suburban newspaper group in the Kansas City neighborhoods of Johnson County, Kan.

Other Kansas newspapers owned and operated by the company include the Atchison Globe, the Hiawatha World, the Miami County Republic in Paola, the Louisburg Herald and the Osawatomie Graphic. Other Missouri newspapers in the group include the Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal, the Kearney Courier, the Smithville Herald, the Liberty Tribune, the Raytown Tribune and the Sun News papers based in Gladstone.


Lets look at part of what David Bradley had to say again, “Our situation mirrors what is going on throughout the newspaper industry,”. This weeks Question Of The Week is. Could Mr. Bradley be saying that his paper is losing money because so many people are now turning to the Internet and all of it's blog sites for their news and information?

I'll post my answer in the Comment Section Monday night.

Thanks go to,
The St. Joe. News-Press

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that Mark Sheehan was too much of a "loose cannon" for the News-Press to handle. Now with Dennis Ellsworth, Executive Editor, assuming the duties of Opinion Page Editor he can ensure that the
News-Press only prints the views of the owners and offend no one.

All of the opinions to which readers will have access are to be
prescreened by Dennis Ellsworth. No doubt, he will assign Ken Newton, Alonzo Weston, and Steve Booher, others, to write a few opinions.

Please recommend and remind the writers, prior to submitting their opinions, that "Dennis" will edit opinions for compliance. The most severe edit will be "elimination" from staff.

If this is all about money, maybe the NEWS-PRESS should get rid of the privatel jet the they keep housed at Rosecrans. Mr. Bradley could then invest the eliminated pilot's salary to restore Mark Sheehan's position.

Problem solved.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S., When David Bradley, Jr. was fooling around with another woman she sometimes accompanied him on this jet. This woman filed a lawsuit several years ago about his encounters with her.

Check the courthouse for the records. the records verify the trips on the jet.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News-Press found the prefect "pretext" to be rid of the the opinion page editor who spoke truth to power and was great at informing his readers.
Conveniently, the news-press is non-union and the Bradley's can use any pretense for firing anyone.

11:55 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

I don't know anything about the St. Joseph News-Press.

But I do know that newspaper circulations are down in general. After all, many newpapers are available online for free.

I also think that more and more people are turning to the web because the mainstream media will not tell certain stories.

10:05 AM  
Blogger American Interests.blog said...

"Could Mr. Bradley be saying that his paper is losing money because so many people are now turning to the Internet and all of it's blog sites for their news and information?'

He might be, but even if he is not, fact is people are turning to the net/blogs for news. Many aspects of the print media are losing there way and its there own undoing for lining up behind editorial guidelines pushing an agenda. The news reading populace is increasingly getting sophisticated and critical. Unless print media grows accordingly readership (and therefore advertising revenues) will fall; replaced by cable, talk, internet and blogs.

7:16 PM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

First I'd like to thank everyone for stopping by to answer this weeks question."Could Mr. Bradley be saying that his paper is losing money because so many people are now turning to the Internet and all of it's blog sites for their news and information?" I going to have to say yes the News-Press is losing money because so many people are now turning to the Internet and all of it's blog sites for their news and information. The News-Press has web sites some are for paid subscribers. I think the others are free, maybe I get those because I subscribe to the print version.

Don't count the comments by Anonymous out. He/she was right about Sheehan being a bit of a "loose cannon" and I remember the affair and lawsuits that he/she mentioned. Anonymous might be happy to hear that News-Press president and publisher David Bradley might have shot himself in the foot so to speak. Some people have told me that they will not be subscribing to/reading the News-Press now that Mark Sheehan is gone.

God Bless America, God Save Te Republic.

11:36 PM  
Blogger alicejo said...

How sad it is to hear that once again the St. Joe News Press has "released" a very talented and true journalist. Mark Sheehan is a good man. One of the last of someone practicing good old-fashioned journalism. Didn't always agree, but that's what makes a good paper intersting. Every paper the Bradley family has "touched" has been ruined. Had the life "sucked" out of them. Now, they've run out of their "scrap" papers and are forced to start eating away at their flagship paper. What a shame. The beginning of the end!I've lived in the St. Joseph/Rushville areas all my life and I've got to say what a dissappointment this family has brought to these areas. They are NOT a trusted name anymore.
I would suggest to Mr. David Bradley that it may be time to take a good look at yourself as well as your "upper" management. Instead of getting rid of all of your hard working Indians- take a look at your chiefs. Why has your cirrculation fallen to its' lowest? Why is it that the "News Press" holds no influence or accountability as it once did? Give it up Mr. Bradley or at least let your brother try to do some"damage control"over all your mistakes.You and "Your Team" have failed.You've absolutely destroyed a good little paper in Atchison- no one even bothers to pick up a copy of that anymore and now you're in line to do the same to our "News Press". Poor, Poor business judgements. Who ever is giving you advice is giving you the WRONG advice.
I wish Mark Sheehan all the best. It is definitely the "News Press" loss.

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An article posted later in the news press noted that Mark Sheehan will run for office.

In that article Sheehan mentions that he can relate to the common man as "he went to work at 7 a.m. and found out at 4 p.m. he no longer had a job."

The News Press said they gave him a compensation package? I am sure it was an generous as his firing notification.

Does anyone know the real reason, who did Sheehan offend?

10:54 PM  
Blogger alicejo said...

Anonymous,
He probably offended someone in Bradley's pocket!
The Bradley's are loosing credibility, circulation and I'm sure alot of their "trust" money on a daily basis! They lost respect a long time ago.
What's happening with all of their newspapers in the Kansas City area? I heard they fired people down that way as well?
With Mark Sheehan gone, they now are down to their "puppets" writing for them.

5:32 AM  
Anonymous Tera Gold said...

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2:18 AM  
Blogger Katherine Thayer said...

Internet is easy to use for browsing than reading newspaper

10:41 PM  

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