Phoenixes popping up all over

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

Back in 2019, four guys wrote in the The Denver Post about the possibility of the USA Today/Gannett chain being acquired by the Post-owning MediaNews Group, which is owned by the hedge fund Alden Global Capital. You won’t believe how bad it is, they wrote.

Four guys on the byline of one story might suggest a bit of the problem.

Their complaint that day was the decision to move The Post out of downtown Denver, where it had been for over 100 years, to a windowless printing facility in an adjoining county.

Alden Global Capital took over in 2010 and already had reduced the newsroom  to 100. News staff had been 300 in its heyday. Reporters and editors hated the new office, but thought it might stop the bleed of journalists. About two months after the move, Alden ordered the layoff of another 30 reporters/editors, said Larry Ryckman, then a senior news editor, in the story.

It was then that Ryckman came to believe that the firings would only end when the newspaper closed for good: “We were under attack by our own owners.”

Ryckman and others resigned from The Denver Post and used crowdsource funding to start an independent, journalist-owned publication, The Colorado Sun.

Another phoenix set to rise from the ashes.

We checked on January 19, 2023, to see how it’s doing.

Well, it’s still there and seems to be thriving. Ryckman is still the editor. Godspeed, y’all. Hopefully, all these “journalist/owners” have spouses employed outside the newspaper industry.

Anyhow, check it out here.

The Denver Post is still standing, albeit with a paywall for content and a less robust website than The Sun. Lee Ann Colacioppo, editor of The Post since May 2016, remains at the helm. Its website is here.

Quick quotes from the Garrison Keillor blog

Knoxville-born James Agee: In the article that became Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Agee wrote: “A human being whose life is nurtured in an advantage which has accrued from the disadvantage of other human beings, and who prefers that this should remain as it is, is a human being by definition only, having much more in common with the bedbug, the tapeworm, the cancer and the scavengers of the deep sea.”

In 1936, Agee and photographer Walker Evans spent two months living with sharecroppers in Alabama on assignment for Fortune. The magazine decided not to publish the resulting article, so Agee turned it into a book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941). It sold just 600 copies, but is now considered a classic.

Paul Rudnick: “Writing is 90 percent procrastination: Reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.”

Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts, wished someone would recognize his artistic talent, but his cartoons weren’t even accepted by the high school yearbook. He got a job after military service and fell in love with a red-haired woman who worked in accounting. They dated for a bit and he asked her to marry him. She turned him down and almost immediately married someone else.

Peanuts was eventually syndicated in more than 2,500 newspapers worldwide, and there were more than 300 million Peanuts books sold, as well as 40 TV specials, four movies, and a Broadway play.

Charles Schulz said: “My whole life has been one of rejection. Women. Dogs. Comic strips.” And he wrote: “Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.”

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *