Monday, November 12, 2012

Something's Missing...

This week marks a new era in local news.  As announced earlier by editor John Canalis, beginning today, Monday, November 12, 2012, The Daily Pilot - our newspaper of record for more than a century - has taken another significant step backward as it wrestles with the requirements of producing the best local news while trying to remain fiscally sound and support its parent company's attempts to emerge from bankruptcy.

This week The Daily Pilot, which has not been "daily" for some time when it dropped Mondays, becomes even less so as they transition to producing a print product only 5 days per week - Wednesday through Sunday - dropping Tuesdays beginning tomorrow.

Coincident with this change, we will also no longer see some familiar bylines.  Weekly columns produced by Greer Wylder, Amy Senk, Chuck Cassity, Crissy Brooks and Mona Shadia have all been dropped.  Shadia moved on to the Orange County Register

Both Jack Wu and Jeffrey Harlan will be published every other week instead of weekly.  Steve Smith's column will be published on Fridays and Jim Carnett's column will be found on Wednesdays.

Patrice Apodaca and Bruce Cook will remain as weekly columnists. 

These changes come on the heels of the departure of ace reporters Joseph Serna and Mike Reicher.  Serna moved on to the parent newspaper, The Los Angeles Times, and Reicher now covers our area for The Register.

Personally, I'm saddened that these changes have been made, but it seems to be representative of changes throughout the print media nationally.  All of them seem to be looking for the right blend of print and electronic media to provide the news promptly and still be able to make money on it.  The exception is the Orange County Register, whose new owner Aaron Kushner, is doing the exact opposite.  He's throttling back the electronic side and is pouring tons of money into revitalizing the print product.  Recently he's advertised for dozens of media types - writers, reporters, editors, etc. - as witnessed by the departure of Shadia and Reicher from The Daily Pilot.

In a related move, veteran newsman Roger Bloom - editor of the Newport Beach Independent and a mainstay at the Feet To The Fire Forums - will also soon join the Register to help establish more local newspapers similar to The Current that it distributes in our area each Friday.  The Indy is part of Firebrand Media in Laguna Beach and is still wrestling with their business model.  Right now they publish daily online and one day per week in print.

I'm sorry that The Daily Pilot will diminish it's presence in our communities.  I hope they will continue to ramp up their electronic product and provide us with timely, accurate local news.  If "real" news outlets continue to shrink and, in some instances, disappear, it may leave the production of "news" to local blogs like this one and others.  That would be a real tragedy.

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Anonymous Back to the Future said...

October 1, 2014, Costa Mesa, California-

At last night's Feet to the Fire Forum, journalists Geoff West, Martin Millard, and Barbara Venezia, the only ones left in SoCal, asked the candidates plenty of pointed questions.

When asked by Millard how he would solve the problem of low whites-only birthrates, new ocgop protege Vladimir Putin offered to personally go out and father thousands of children along with Millard. However, genetic testing soon found that Millard is part of an older line of evolution not yet homo sapien..

The forum was interrupted by members of a new activist group, "Parents Without Golf Carts," but they soon drove off to Lions Park.

11/12/2012 06:37:00 AM  
Anonymous honeyman said...

How are Jack Wu's "contributions" being cut in half a bad thing?

11/12/2012 08:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

Best comment all year, maybe even all-time, Back to the Future. +1

11/12/2012 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous two cents worth said...

Rags like the Daily Plot have become slanted blogs. So who cares?

BTW...Back to the Future....Well Played! +1

11/12/2012 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous 27742 stQual said...

They're swirling the bowl, all right. John Canalis made a mess of it because they never lost the liberalism that came over from the mothership in LA.

They'll be completely gone in another year.

11/12/2012 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

I, for one, don't want to see the Daily Pilot shrink into insignificance. It provides a very valuable service to our communities. It is a starting point for most young journalists, which means that most will eventually move on to greener pastures - and bigger paychecks. Combine that constant with the turmoil that has swirled around the LA Times/Tribune Companies ever since Sam Zell bought the outfit and it's been difficult to manage. So, just keep on reading it and commenting on the articles...

11/12/2012 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous #1 delivery boy said...

really sorry to hear, as a former delivery carrier for the Globe Herald and then the Pilot, very sad. by the way Pot Stirrer, nice to read that you and Jack Wu are such good friends, according to his article.

11/12/2012 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Vomit Vic said...

Maybe Mr.Wu could "contribute" only once a month, that way it'll give my stomach enough time to right it self. Every time I see some lame article written by this OCGOP hack I have the sudden urge to vomit.

11/12/2012 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Marquis said...

The Pilot has been on a slow but sure decline for many years. Its demise is all but certain. That's unfortunate to be sure, but it's really their own fault. They could be relevant and useful if they wanted to, but they seem committed to just running it into the ground.

All newspapers are endangered species, but the Pilot hasn't even made an effort to be relevant for a very long time. As we all know, they have not done any actual reporting in many years. The "columns" are almost all by unpaid contributors. Wu doesn't get paid for his tripe, nor do Mona Shadia or any of the other contributors. I know this because I was an unpaid columnist myself several years ago.

With virtually no reportage and nothing but free content, it's obvious that nobody at the Pilot/Tribune cares whether or not the Pilot dies.

With a coverage area population in CM and NB that exceeds the size of, say, Des Moines, and plenty of news if they wanted to actually report it, the opportunity to be a useful and relevant resource is certainly available. The Pilot's and Tribune's management however just seem content to let the winding down continue to zero. I hate to lose any newspaper, but as far as I'm concerned, the Pilot ceased being relevant long ago and they might as well just put it out of its misery sooner rather than later.

11/12/2012 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Actually, Marquis, you are incorrect. Mona Shadia was a paid employee - a reporter who also wrote her column. Wu gets paid, as does Harlan. Many of those I listed also got paid.

Folks get confused about the difference between a "commentary" and a "column". I contribute commentaries - and don't get paid for them. The Pilot has offered me a column a dozen times over the past decade and each time I declined - respectfully. I don't write on someone else's schedule nor about what they dictate.

I CERTAINLY don't want to see the Pilot decline. We need a good free press to keep folks informed.

11/12/2012 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Marquis said...

I guess I got hosed! For about a year, I wrote a weekly column on their schedule, about subjects they suggested, and did not get paid. My contribution to the preservation of newspapers, I guess...

11/12/2012 02:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Hamlet said...

I hope they don't cut Phil Lesh.

11/13/2012 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Elias said...

I guess if you don't call the Costa Mesa series, the story on the PI tailing Righeimer, or the Newport stories on Mike Henn's conflict of interest in Lido Village development a conflict of interest...

11/13/2012 09:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Aldo said...

Elias, I don't consider those stories. They are just rehashed or reworked versions of stories other reporters in other outlets already broke. The Registe usually reports on local matters far before the Pilot, even on major breaking news. It's sad.

11/14/2012 11:55:00 AM  

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