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Lt. Governor John Garamendi’s visit dominates both newspaper’s headlines, especially when another bomb scare grips HSU officials forcing the Lt. Gov to evacuate the scene. The TS, perhaps after splurging yesterday with all its court coverage, took a break for the most part , instead focusing on a good localized story on the bailout.

The ER, aside from regurgitating the same news as the TS for the most part, beat the TS on education reporting, something they have easily done as no one seems to be focusing on that beat anymore at the TS unless a big event happens. Maybe they’re too busy at the courthouse to care about the schools.

Number of By-Line Stories

ER: 8 —- TS: 6

Number of Briefs

ER: 5 —- TS: 6

Courts and Crime

Times-Standard reporters author nothing but court and crime stories, blasting the ER on that kind of coverage. At the same time, the ER scoops them on the Code Enforcement Unit task force report and fills its paper with a few community feel-good stories.

Number of By-Line Stories

ER: 6  —- TS: 5

Number of Briefs

ER: 2  —- TS:5

Courts and Crime

In a recent interview on ContentNextMedia, Media News Group CEO Dean Singleton, whose company owns the Time-Standard, recently talked about the state of newspaper revenue and the AP network.

On the topic of revenue, Singeton blamed an almost 60 percent drop in sales for auto and real estate ads, especially in California, as a problem.

On the topic of online advertising, he said his company is 100 percent on board, even though those types of ads gain 3o cents to the $1 compared to print ads.

On AP, which Singleton is a board member, he said he editors should stop blaming AP for all its woes. To Singleton, AP is the greatest invention next to sliced bread.

“I don’t believe a newspaper operation can function without AP. There are some who have given their notices and others who say they’re going to try to go it alone. Let somebody try to do without AP and let’s see how the readership does. The AP is the best buy that I know. It’s 5 percent of my newsroom budget, 35 percent of my newsroom content. And they just cut my rates more than 10 percent. Sounds like a deal to me.”

No wonder the Times-Standard leaks of AP and syndicated content. Perhaps, when the time to cut comes, Singeton will choose layoffs to slashing the money given to AP.

Recently, newspapers across the county have threatened, or given notice, to stop their AP subscription due to rate increases.

Perhaps what’s most ironic in this newspaper war is the ER is indirectly funding the TS by paying for AP service, which helps line Singeton’s pockets.

Of all the issues to break on the Times-Standard Web site today, they attacked the ER for its inaccurate report about a Fortuna teacher who didn’t turn herself in last night as reported, but instead, turned herself in this morning.

I’ve seen both newspapers butcher facts, make inaccurate statements in court stories and overall fuck up, but never have I seen the TS so subtely, yet strongly, give the birdie to the ER.

The Mirror put it very well to say this had nothing to do with inaccurate info so much as personal animosity. I noticed the TS throw their reporter energy toward the courts after Wilkinson came on board and started reporting the hell out of it.

In what seemed to be a desperate and face-saving move, the TS sends wordsmith-Thadeus Greenson, Environmental Jockey John Driscoll, newbie Sean Garmire and at times Donna Tam and Jesse Faulkner to the courts, filling the newspaper with crime, crime crime and less community news.

Perhaps this is a re-emergence of years past, when both newspapers threw punches at one another on a regular basis. Certainly, the ER has shaped up recently in terms of its reporting after getting bitch-slapped by the TS for the the past year or so. Perhaps that looming threat, and new leadership, provoked TS leadership to begin calling out the ER on its otherwise trivial errors. Time will tell how heated the future will get.

Number of By-Line Stories

ER: 4 —- TS: 6

Number of Briefs

ER: 6 —- TS: 7

Number of Breaking News

ER: 2 —- TS: 4

Courts and Crime

(TS) Fortuna High School teacher facing felony charge

(ER) Fortuna teacher expected to turn self in today

(TS BN) Report that Peterson in jail unfounded

(TS BN) Peterson surrenders, out on bail

(ER BN) Fortuna teacher not in custody, expected to turn self in today

(TS BN) Angelel: I alone am responsible for my wife’s death

(TS BN) Convicted sex offender caught exposing himself at high school

(ER BN) Sex offender who exposed self arrested at Mack High

(TS) Former Indian buffet proprietor takes stand

(ER) Rio Dell man to serve 18 years for child molestation after guilty plea

(TS BRIEF) Car chase to Oregon ends in arrest

(ER BRIEF) McKinleyville man arrested in Oregon after high-speed chase through Crescent City

(TS BRIEF) Illegal immigrant arrested at marijuana garden on Six Rivers

(TS BRIEF) HSU student’s death officially accidental

(ER BRIEF) HSU student’s death ruled to be accidental


(TS) Parks’ creek project wraps up

(ER BRIEF) Fuel-efficient transportation alternative unveiled

City Government

(TS) Garbage rates go up in Ferndale

(ER) EPD tour reveals the ups and downs of enforcement

(TS BRIEF) Planning Commission meeting

(TS BRIEF) Housing advisory canceled

State Government

(TS BRIEF) Governor signs Berg’s end-of-life information bill


(ER) Second District supervisor candidates air campaigns live

(TS BRIEF) Election Roundup

(ER BRIEF) County GOP to host debate party


(TS) Suddenlink customers lose service due to road construction


(ER BRIEF) Lt. Governor to visit Humboldt State University


(ER BRIEF) Chamber to host business networking event

(TS) Stand Down set to help vets stand up

With fresh leadership at both the T-S and ER, it feels like the appropriate time to point out some annoyances with both newspapers. I predict that both editors, who are young females that started as reporters for both newspapers, will shake up the foundations in a positive way. Both, I feel, are willing to experiment, to break away, perhaps, from the more traditional way of doing journalism. Whatever their plans are, here are a few suggestions:

To the ER:

1. Stop being such tight wads about making comments on the Web site. Aside from applying a dinosour model to a new, young idea, you’re alienating the online community. Get over it and allow free commenting.

2. Change that eyesore of a front page. Most of the time I can’t even tell if the large bolded headline and random photograph for a completely different story are separated.

3. Scrap your editorial editor. That guy spits Regannite hatred that’s both outdated, pompous and propaganda-like. You would do better for yourselves if you got even a more enlightened, up-to-date conservative if that’s what you really want.

To the T-S:

1. Stop relying on the wire for most of your news. You pack that rag with so much syndicated shit from both your corporate community of newspapers and Associated Press that you give local a bad name. Sure, you do good pieces on the local level, but DO MORE! Less wire, more original reporting – the ER has you beat there.

2. Stop beating stories to bloody death. When something big happens, you disect it so much you probably do a story about the dirt that covered a dead person’s body if it had to do with a murder. Sure it’s perspective but come on, write a book if you want to cover every conceivable angle. You’re a general interest newspaper. There’s more news out there in the county.

3. Maybe you should hint to the higher ups that another reporter or two would be a better asset to the newspaper, and the war in general, than spending the money on a lawsuit you could possibility lose. If you win, well, you can buy as many reporters as you want, but probably won’t though.

For you readers out there, feel free to drop your suggestions to both newspapers on this post.

Both newspapers in the war now have editors to lead them to victory.

Former city editor Kimberly Wear, who has been since the death of Rich Somerville Interim Managing Editor for the newspaper, put down her roots for a more permanent role as the head honcho.

The T-S has not announced a replacement for Wear as of yet, but the move is sure to keep the content quality of the newspaper equal or better to where it is now.

Both newspapers have young, female managing editors now to lead their troops, as opposed to the two old, male editors of previous. ER’s Diane Batley took the post several weeks ago after a nationwide search.

It will be interesting to see how both leaders direct their respective news crews in the days to come, as it seems that both have done their share of scooping and good reporting lately.

What we as readers can anticipate are fresh ideas, diverse reporting and an attempt by both newspapers to prove themselves after this time of transition.

MediaNews Group announced Aug. 8 that it sold off the Bridgeport-based Connecticut Post, along with seven other non-daily newspapers to the Hearst Corporation, a large newspaper corporation. Hearst also assumed managment of three other daily newspapers aquired from MediaNews Group back in March.

MediaNews Group cited tough economic times as its reason for selling off the newspapers.

“This transaction allows MediaNews to manage its balance sheet during a challenging economic environment and transfer ownership of the Connecticut Post to a company we admire,” said MediaNews Group President Joseph (Jody) Lodovic IV.

According to a Aug. 8 memo from MNG, the purpose of the sale was to repay 25 percent of the company’s bank debt and to instill confidence in future bank transactions.

The other newspapers acquired by Hearst include the Darien News-Review, Greenwich Citizen, Fairfield Citizen-News, New Canaan News-Review, New Milford Spectrum, Norwalk Citizen-News, and Westport News.

The Hearst Corporation’s large media assets include the San Francisco Chronicle and Cosmopolitan magazine.

Following a victory in the California Appellate courts by MediaNews Group about the issue of legal notices in The Eureka Reporter, the newspaper giant filed papers in the Humboldt County Superior Court suing it for conducting unfair business practices.

The complaint alleges that The Eureka Reporter purposefully undercut its advertising rates “illegally” in an effort to put the Eureka Times-Standard out of business. MediaNews Group claims that it has lost about $3 million in advertising revenue and $40 million in the value of the Times-Standard and Tri-City Weekly.

TS: T-S files unfair business practices lawsuit against The Eureka Reporter

ER: Times-Standard files lawsuit against The Eureka Reporter alleging unfair business practices