Bold New Leaders?
Who would have thought that AJR (Rem Rieder, Full Court Press, and John Morton, The Newspaper Business, February/March) would one day wax nostalgic for Tony Ridder? All these newspaper chain CEOs, mesmerized by size and the myth of the national footprint, have destroyed shareholder value by buying high and selling low, and have destroyed journalistic (and brand) value by dumbing down their products to make them less and less useful to their most engaged, educated readers and the leaders of their communities. Minneapolis is just the poster child.
It's possible--possible--that these financially motivated new owners like Avista will figure out what the traditional newspaper guys couldn't--how to run a growing, profitable business that cares more about serving the local community and less about who has the biggest chain.