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« IFYI | Main | Shell game »

Feb 08, 2013


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EveryBlock quality has varied depending on market, but I have friends in suburban Chicago who were disappointed and outraged by the decision to close their region's edition down. Apparently it was doing very good work and meeting many news/info needs for them and their friends and neighbors. You hate to see any outlet like that go.

Joe Killian

I think if Buffett is willing to sink some money into getting papers like ours back up to scratch in staff power and technology and help us to make the cultural transition to having a real digital metabolism he could end up with a lot of incredibly effective hyper-local newsrooms that he got for a song.

Then, when the industry actually goes digital and we give up trying to make it 1996 again...that'll be huge.

Ed Cone

I was talking to a former colleague of mine about the death spiral of a publishing company, something he and I experienced together. You have a team, do some good work, and then the first cuts come, and then the next round, and the next, and through it all you're amazed at the resilience and the professionalism of the people who remain, and at the quality of the work they're still doing, and you realize that culture and standards have long half-lives...but they aren't infinite, and if the cuts keep coming eventually quality becomes an afterthought, and then a memory.

From what I can see from the outside, the N&R was well down that spiral, and it seemed to me that the Landmark heirs and their local publisher had no real interest in stopping it.

I'm grateful to Mr. Buffay for stepping in.

Ed Cone

To clarify, quality becomes an afterthought not because people stop caring, but because it's just not possible to achieve on a regular basis past a certain point in the spiral.

But I have seen people stop caring, too.


The News & Record is going nowhere unless and until they can establish credibility which is one thing that does not rely on ownership, new equipment or enough staff so I don't know how that is magically going to manifest itself now.

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