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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    The Fountainhead

    By JGillman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:34:12 AM EST
    Tags: Michigan, Yellow Journalism, The Fountainhead, Publishing, News, Editorials, Fishwrap, Investors, Conservatism, Accountability, Lawsuits (all tags)

    As one of those who think that traditional newspapers still have a place in small towns, from a forum and accountability perspective I have made the offer to salvage one particular fish wrapping.

    The Traverse City Record Eagle is one of those papers that persist in perpetuating the belief that the news is slanted, and editorial bias is more important than actual news.  The editorial page is even worse with frequent attacks and letter limitations that would make the casual observer think this is a leftist community; a non truth if ever there was one.

    One of the results seen in a community that is still conservative, and mostly traditional, is that the profitability of such enterprise can be lessened to a degree which puts it continuing viability in peril.  The Record Eagle has become a leftist blog, as partisan and unreasonable as any out there.  It is poised to attack opinions as soon as they are uttered, as long as those opinions don't jibe with their ideological perspective.

    I am, as always concerned about collateral damage to a community that has such firepower, loose, and uncontrollable.  Not from a censorship perspective, but one that recognizes the bullying done, and how it will in the end do a disservice to the community, and the owners who expect profitability from their acquisition.

    On January 19th, I offered my services to Community Newspaper Holdings Inc., (CNHI) which owns this paper.

    Continued below

    CNHI is located in Alabama, and likely has no real connection to the community other than its acquisition of the Record Eagle from a 'fire-sale' perspective.  That particular rush to cash out came at the end of a lawsuit against the paper, which cost it about $500,000 to defend.

    The lack of local perspective unfortunately leaves the newest owners at a disadvantage from an operating perspective.  They have no idea what is going on up here.  The Editors remain the same, and the content is produced in the same way that invited the lawsuit mentioned above. The paper could face other expensive litigation at ANY TIME.

    Trust me on this.

    Someone once said it best to serve a critique along with a solution.  So in the spirit of helping these investors fix a problem they may not realize exists, a suggestion was made.

    Hire Gillman as publisher:"

    This is in reference to the Traverse City Record Eagle, one of your more recent acquisitions.

    I would like to make a request.  I would like to be the publisher of this newspaper in my hometown.  I would like to fix it so that it more closely represents the community which it serves.  I would like for it to return to real journalism, and most important to you and your board; profitability.

    While I am loathe (even as an active conservative) the broad brush painting of traditional media as liberally biased, it is clear from the editorial styling here, that the Traverse City Record Eagle is very much so.  To the point where an emotional hatred for a few local leaders would inspire direct editorials attacking them.

    In fact as one of those leaders, I have seen no fewer than three editorials attacking my integrity, and impugning my character.   Routinely, the editorials refer to our governing bodies as composed of "sheep", "fools", and other hyperbole.  In one editorial, I have been directly labeled as a racist, because I do not believe that homosexuality is normal; even with a non activist attitude about it.

    Officials are expected to be held accountable to the job elected.  I fully expect criticism to be leveled on areas of disagreement; an exercise normal for an editorial page. However, efforts at destroying others opinions of a man more than three weeks after he has left office (their latest attack) is beyond reasonable.

    And given I have a fairly thick hide, it would be almost funny and laughable if it did not happen so often.

    This circulation area served by the Record eagle has a fairly diverse community of ideas.  But its primary values are traditional and conservative.  The mission of the Record Eagle seems to be an attempt to dissuade conservative leadership, and encourage much of the moral decline that is destroying our nation.  This is not limited to the editorial page alone, however that is where the slant is not just obvious, but part of certain editors' critical mission.

    I have an agenda as well.

    A strong newspaper has a place in any community.  I would like our local paper to reflect the values of the people here.  If it is not the Record Eagle, then the Record Eagle must be replaced.

    This last year, something happened that has never happened before in the history of this paper. There was a service interruption for a day which affected delivery, and no one received their paper that day.  It isn't hard to see a weak financial condition when one understands that service disruption occurred because of a simple missing replacement part; missing because of 'austerity' within the organization.

    Add to this, the fact that publishers pass through the Record Eagle like penniless men in a whore house, and the even more convincing reality that you have not hired one to replace the last for several months?  It indicates a condition of financial frailty.  I am concerned, as I believe a vibrant community newspaper is a valuable asset.  I am concerned as well for the employees of the R-E, many of which have seen their paycheck decline year after year, or face layoffs due to poor management.

    As a local business owner, there are quite a few I know who will not patronize the advertising options afforded by the Record Eagle.  There are even more who have sworn off the paper for its incompatible bias.

    Your circulation is a half of what it should be.  Your revenues are not nearly reaching potential.

    This can be fixed. Easily.

    I would be willing to make the necessary suggestions if you reply to this letter or call directly.

    And yes, firing two of the editors would be a start.

    Jason Gillman

    It wouldn't take long.

    It would only take about a month to regain the trust of the community, increase readership, and rebuild profitability. And frankly, it would reduce the exposure that an unchecked yellow editorial board can bring to the paper's owner.

    An owner which might consider erecting a statue of a fish partially undressed in newsprint on the paper's property somewhere.

    < Michigan US Reps Kick The Can .. Again | A 2 For 13 Record . . . And He Wants To Keep His Job >

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    Ya know Jason (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by grannynanny on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:33:46 PM EST
    as big as Traverse City has become the last 30 years I am surprised that you think it leans conservative.  With all the starving artists and downstate transplants and our favorite hypocrite Michael Moore in your midst - I tend to think of Traverse City as the San Francisco of Michigan.  When I was up last year we toured the old State home and all I saw roaming the area was local Occupy wanna-be's.  Perhaps I have the wrong perception as an outsider.

    That said - quick thinking on your feet for sending the excellent suggestion to the new owners of the TCRC.  However, I hope you are not holding your breath for an answer.

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