Tuesday, July 06, 2010

News-Press Meltdown: Four Years and Counting

Inveterate newspaper readers around town should know what today marks the anniversary of. Four years ago, the top editors of the Santa Barbara News-Press resigned en masse.

Since that fateful day Rob Lowe's dream home has become a reality. Travis Armstrong, the paper's tart-tongued former editorial writer, has fled to the desert from the sea and owner Wendy McCaw has, in all likelihood, spent more money on lawyers and pleading paper than she has on reporters and newsprint.

The story of what in many respects is a journalistic tragedy has caught the attention of the national media including a feature article in Vanity Fair magazine that appeared in the fall of 2006.

Four years ago the paper had a daily circulation of 41,000. It is now down to 27,189.

Since then, each year on this date, I've noted the milestone, starting with the one year mark, then two years followed by three years and now today.

I would have bet the house, the farm and the Volvo that there would have been some type of final resolution by now of the numerous Labor Relations Act prosecutions that have been brought against the paper's owner Wendy McCaw. It's a good thing I didn't make that bet because if I had, I would just be another one of those homeless, car less guys on State Street asking passers by for spare change.

Never miss another one of my blog posts, subscribe to Craig Smith's Blog by Email

Perhaps there is some type of resolution on the horizon with respect to those labor law violations. Late last month, the U.S. Senate confirmed two of President Obama's nominees to the NLRB bringing that body to full-strength. Now, the NLRB will have the ability to resolve the backlog of cases that are pending before it which includes several of the News-Press decisions.

Hopefully, I'm not overly optimistic in this regard. Anyone want to bet that it won't be another four years before we finally get some closure on the News-Press mess?

© 2010 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com