Monday, March 21, 2016

The Future Of The Daily Pilot



THE FUTURE OF LOCAL PRINT MEDIA
Among the many issues Tom Johnson - former publisher of the Daily Pilot and host of the "Sunday Brunch with Tom Johnson and Lynn Selich" program on radio station KOCI FM - discussed with me on Sunday was the future of the print media and, specifically, the future of the Daily Pilot in light of the turmoil swirling around the attempt by the Daily Pilot's parent, Tribune Publishing, to acquire Freedom Communications - parent of the Orange County Register and the Riverside Press Enterprise - out of bankruptcy.
WE NEED THE DAILY PILOT
During our conversation I told Johnson that I felt the Daily Pilot - our newspaper of record for more than a century - needs to find a way to survive.  Although no longer "daily", it provides an irreplaceable unbiased small-town feel in the delivery of local news - the stuff we really care about.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Then, very late Sunday night, Kevin Roderick - who publishes the LA Observed blog - published an outstanding summary of the events of last week regarding the Tribune/Freedom Communications debacle, HERE.  His piece provides several views of the issue and is a must-read for those interested in this situation.
A PAY WALL?
Also, Johnson mentioned the rumor that the Daily Pilot will soon have a pay wall.  I've heard that rumor and had it verified by those who should know and it appears to be true.  In my opinion, that would be catastrophic for that newspaper!  The Register tried it and failed miserably.  I fear a pay wall for non-subscribers - we subscribers would be exempt from it from what I hear - would do significant damage to the Pilot page views, those magic numbers that attract advertisers.
NOBODY DOES IT BETTER - YET
I, personally, WANT the Daily Pilot to survive and thrive.  Although others have tried, so far nobody has found a way to provide local coverage better.
A "COMPETING BLOG"?
In a segue, Johnson asked about the impact of what he called a "competing blog" in town - which he described as having been generated to offset this blog.  It turns out he was really talking about the Costa Mesa Public Square Facebook page - not a blog, and far from it.  We briefly discussed that page - how it evolved from Bruce Krochman's original idea nearly two years ago for an open, carefully moderated site for the discussion of important issues - into a closed society where only those blessed may even view the content being discussed.  We discussed the fact that the operators of the blog not only toss folks who offer opposing viewpoints, but seek them out on other sites and expel them from the CMPS for comments made elsewhere.
HYPED BY OFFICIALS
We also discussed how elected and appointed city officials use the site as their own little venue for spreading their philosophy among the true believers who inhabit the site, and how they openly tout it from the dais of their respective meeting venues as "the place" to discuss issues - even though it's NOT an open site.  The hypocrisy is palpable!
NOT COMPETITION, JUST PROPAGANDA
The CMPS is not "competition" for this blog and can't even be considered as such until it's open to EVERYONE, just as we are here.  Yes, to post a comment here you must register, but nobody is banned or blocked.  And, in fact, since I cross-post every blog entry on my Facebook page, anybody can post comments there, too.  When those officials tell the populace that the CMPS is The Place To Go, they forget to mention that it's only open for true believers, or those willing to sit quietly in the corner and not make waves.
THANKS FOR THE OPPORTUNITY
Anyhow, thanks again to Tom Johnson for the opportunity to chat with him on these and other issues.  If I can figure a way to embed the recording of the program I'll do so.  Unfortunately, it appears that no podcast link is available.  I'll try to figure it out...

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

I began delivering the Daily Pilot in September of 1966, where my route covered the Balboa Peninsula from 44th street to Market Basket at 32nd, between the ocean and Newport Blvd., including Newport Island and Balboa Coves where my family lived at the time. I had a pile of celebrities and movers and shakers of the day. On the corner of 36th and Marcus happened to live the publisher of the Daily Pilot. I can tell you I never missed hitting the mark on his place. We had a route book with 12 tear off tabs at the bottom that the customer got when they paid the .50 cents for our monthly collections I considered it an honor to have the premier route for the Pilot. Lots of tips. Lido Island was the top as far as celebrities, but the route was an isolated one, that my older brother had. We used to tell our buddies the second we saw an employment ad and give them the info ahead of everyone else. The best job in Newport Beach was as a waiter at The Stuffed Shirt, and we had the jump on everybody. Those days, the first guy through the door to shake hands usually got the job. I was ahead on the news as well. The Huntley-Brinkley Report was my second source of information.
In 1983 I was involved in the installation of the new satellite dishes that went into the parking lot. I had no clue at the time how important those dishes were to the future.
It is unfortunate that the Pilot is slipping away. It seems obvious that Tribune wants to kill the Pilot once and for all. Sad to see it happening.

I think you should have a weekly radio program Geoff, you have the voice and articulation that made you very believable.

3/21/2016 05:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

Pot Stirrer:

I was impressed by the apparent ease with which you packed the airwaves with solid info and reasoned opinions.

You could have another career as a talk-show host! (In addition to keeping the Cauldron bubbling, of course.)

3/21/2016 06:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Xyn Bohemia said...

geoff, thank you so much for doing this interview. the daily pilot "pay wall" has been in effect for a few days now. i haven't been able to read one new article. sure doesn't make me want to subscribe. i already pay about $150 a month for my internet. another charge to access online info is not "for me" right now. i will probably forget about it eventually :( hopefully they will be able to come up with a solution. i have enjoyed being able to read it in the past.

also, thank you for the discussion re: cmps. i read some of the most disturbing posts/comments made in the past couple of days there. the contempt for individual residents is completely disgusting. i read comments like "she is a cancer", and that those who attend cc meetings are "like monkeys throwing feces". these are just a couple of remarks i can remember. of course the whole crew there jumped into the attack which quickly became very ugly. and of course our local leaders (?) chimed in with full force. now many of the square members are going on other OPEN sites and portraying themselves as being so "pro costa mesa" and goading others into online arguments, demanding responses, and basically intentionally causing havoc. which is their right of course! :) but, it's such obvious politically motivated behavior in the guise of "loving costa mesa" which really shows their true colors. so sad for residents who may disagree with anything they say.

did i mention i really really don't like hypocrites? :)

i suggest everyone looking for more open real conversations to join the "costa mesa" facebook page. it is open to everyone and the moderating is light. this gives the comments and posts the ability to reflect what residents really feel.

just like i did here ;) :) :D

3/21/2016 07:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...


Here you go Xyn..April 18, 2014...We were in an online discussion where Jim Fitzpatrick was bagging on you for something related to your home and the new buildings going up by your house, and I was writing about you putting big hedges up maybe to block views etc .and wrote that the Chairman of the planning commission had used your real name in the Daily Pilot, rather than your Bohemia name, and low and behold he fired off one of numerous email getting on my case...This is copied from my archive email...I took a lot of heat from the CMPS crowd before my wife and I just dropped out, because we did not want to be associated with the faux pas of the jerks, specifically Fitzy and Pinocchio Mercurio...

Jim Fitzpatrick
4/18/14
to me
Outed by Chairman?
Xyn is level headed?
Did you see what she says about Dickson?
She was the only one who complained about the project on Placentia
I spent hours talking and emailing
As a result I walked Federal and talked to those most potentially impacted
They were is support
All that and xxxxxxx still bad mouths us and for that you think she is level headed?

I xxxed out your real name here since it is none of my business to tell the world who you are like Fitzy did. What an ass he is...


3/21/2016 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Xyn Bohemia said...

this went on for quite awhile with me. so i started using my name on facebook and daily pilot (xyn bohemia is a name i used for years and all my friends knew me by that. i had to delete that page and explain it to my freinds) just to shut him/them up though i had real concerns about my homes location being made public on a facebook page. nothing to do with any of them. then he and another person continued to allude to where i live. the really odd thing is that there ARE people posting on the square who are using false names. but i guess it's ok for them. especially if they are politically connected. very sad indeed.
thanks for the support ken :)

3/21/2016 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

I Love my Daily Pilot! I even forgave them for the online version being buggy and hard to navigate. However I encountered the pay wall a couple days ago. That might be it for me, especially since their online experience is funky. The other day I picked up a physical Daily Pilot in City Hall to read while waiting for items on the Council Agenda. Once again I enjoyed the whole print experience, how I was exposed to all kinds of articles, information and opinions I would not have seen if I'd read online and just clicked on the things I was most interested in. I was charmed anew by the print experience. I'd subscribe again in a blink if they would just find a way to make the ink less dirty - and bring June Casagrande back. .

3/22/2016 12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

Pinocchio had a change of heart and stopped making his nose grow - and got turned into a real person! He became very sweet and honest. It could happen...

For now I just see more cmpsies getting harsher and harder hearted, even the ones I thought were nice getting sucked into the swamp of meanness. Not everyone is sweetie pie all the time on other sides of the issues, of course. One doesn't have to be perfectly nice all the time to still have some respect for others and have a good discussion/debate. There was just something about it that was feeling yucky and I had to withdraw from cmps even as an observer because I started to feel slimed just watching, it really was a downer.

3/22/2016 12:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

One of the few times I agree with Ken. Sorry for the problems with those people, Xyn. I find it beneficial to stay away from Fitzpatrick. He's not brought anything good to the table and has given the council some unneeded black eyes. He can't even go to the Fish Fry without getting into a fist fight with a disabled man. He's a cretin. Love the "Pinocchio Mercurio". She's another one like Fitz. No good. Now Fitzpatrick and Monahan are in the process of bringing marijuana dispensaries into Costa Mesa. They have very much formed a cartel of their own using Gary as the liason, Fitz as the frontman. Oh yeah, that's just what Costa Mesa needs - more drugs. This city is going downhill fast.

Let's hope we can get rid of them in November and get some people in office that will build reserves, rebuild the nearly destroyed police and fire departments, and stabilize the precarious state the city is in presently.

3/22/2016 08:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

What is the world coming to that anyone would agree with me? I work at being disliked and I blew it. I remember 2 years ago when Truxton hated to agree with me, but did...once. My heart is filled with joy now...
Prior to my investigation of the DG Trail one entire weekend when I sent poor Geoff so many email and photos that I tired him out. A new face going after the boys... That was before I knew to leave him alone on weekends :) I relentlessly went after Mickey Monahan, King Righeimer, Prince Mensinger, and Block Captain McCarthy, which made everybody happy. Then I sent Zint, Munoz, Hatch and Righeimer an email including a photo of kite string to block off the vernal pools, minutes after calling Munoz on the phone and chewed his ass out for doing such a lousy job. Righeimer sends me an email to call him...I do and am invited to coffee, Coffee. So I go to Starbucks for coffee, Coffee, and Mensinger shows up with him. Long talk and I do a tack like I was in my Lido 14 and join the country club..Everybody all of a sudden hates me that is not in the clubhouse because I am a traitor, sellout, and give me shit everywhere. Private email from a cop and others telling me I am a dead man and it was just endless. Oh well, I can take it. I move 120 miles away so my wife won't get shot in the middle of the night, or an eighball of blow appearing in my vehicle during a traffic stop or my house burned down by some asshole racist dumbass.
Now I have enough evidence to put somebody in jail for awhile and am back on the move,working at disrupting the next election, throwing sand in the boys eyes and getting my pencil sharpener out to help trim Pinocchio Mercurio's nose, all in hopes that a fool will take me on and point the way to salvation again, only this time a job won't do it, it will take pleading guilty, or not guilty at the time of arraignment. Let me see, where in the hell did I leave those fuses....

3/22/2016 03:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

I forgot this little ditty...The paywall has one fault that all Tribune websites have, although it takes a little doing to get around. I quit using Apple products in 1983 so this is PC or Power Users only.My wife had a couple of iMacs and if I remember, I could work Safari around as well. First off, you must disable all cookies. you may need them for your banking and things you buy online etc, but cookies mean nothing otherwise and you just get tracked. There is zero difference in a website with cookies disabled with the exception of pre loading your private info basically. My cookies are always disabled completely on the PC I use too surf the blogs and news etc..Next you make sure that you check the do not track box, or simply check the do not send anything box in Internet Options or in Chrome or Opera settings. You make sure to go into the Advanced tab in Internet Options or settings and check the "delete temporary internet files and history when you close your browser. You never do anything except click on the X to close the Tribune pop up window that shows up after a certain number of viewings. If you do anything other than close the box, you lose.You must manually clear all data and cache when the Tribune limit is reached and the subscribe or log in screen appears and then re open the Tribune page (LA Times/Daily Pilot/TCN) and you are good to go again for some time. Hours actually. I am sure this workaround will end up like the Wall Street Journal eventually, which has no workaround other than money. Might read confusing, but once you give it a whirl, it works every time. No more writing for awhile..I am sick of reading my own stuff..

3/22/2016 04:32:00 PM  

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