Monday, December 31, 2012

Wither The Courant?

Pssst, come here, wanna buy a newspaper? Feeling patriotic?

Both the Hartford Courant and the Register Citizen papers -- The Middletown Press, New Haven Register, Torrington Register Citizen -- are up for sale.

The Tribune Company, which owns the Hartford Courant, has after four contentious years emerged from bankruptcy, a legal proceeding that allows the owner(s) of a company to stiff its investors and creditors. The company, already suffering from a flight of advertisers, was purchased several years ago by real estate tycoon Sam Zell, who promptly loaded it with more debt and sunk the enterprise permanently – pretty much what President Barack Obama is doing to USA Inc.

The bankruptcy flushed out the Tribunes toxic assets. The old owners now have passed the torch to the new owners, a bunch of Hollywood tycoons who have decided to sell off the deadwood, mostly newspapers, and refashion the company into a sort of Disneyland for adults.

No one knows at this point what will happen to the Hartford Courant. Since all the newspapers in the Tribune chain are to be sold, one conservative in Connecticut left unmolested by the state’s uber-progressive media has suggested that the paper should be bought by a group of one percenters who may be able to make a go of it.

Calls have been made to Linda McMahon. Or at least we may assume call have been made. Try to imagine Mrs. McMahon as a latter day William Randolph Hearst, daddy of the Hearst newspaper empire and papa, along with Joseph Pulitzer, of yellow journalism. The very idea would send shivers of indignation along the spines of most present day ink stained wretches working the liberal treadmill within Connecticut’s left of center media conglomerate.

Hearst himself was not above meddling directly in politics: He was a U.S. Rep. from 1903-1907 and narrowly failed in his bid to become Mayor of New York City (1905-1909) and Governor of New York (1906). A registered Democrat, he created the Independence Party while running for governor; and during his mayoralty bid, he ran on yet another third party he created, the Municipal Ownership League. His defeat was attributed to the political strength of Tammany Hall, the dominant and thoroughly corrupt Democratic organization in New York City. Undeterred, Hearst ran for president on the Democratic ticket in 1904, losing the nomination to a conservative upright judge. Having secured the backing of Tammany Hall, he ran for the U.S. Senate nomination in New York in 1922. Al Smith put the kibosh on Hearst, a bid of political skullduggery the newspaper tycoon never forgot. Hearst supported Franklin Roosevelt through factotums in 1932, mostly as a vendetta against Smith – and a political god was born.

In the golden years of American journalism, newspapers were neither non-partisan nor dispassionate.

Big Media conglomerates are now shedding newspapers, which probably can be bought for a song by a group of one percenters who might want to use them to provide a little political balance within Connecticut’s most exclusive club, its left of center communications monopoly.

The Register Citizen group – which has under new management been courageous enough to print a variety of political opinion – will be on the auction block as the New Year opens, and the Courant likely will be sold by its post-bankruptcy owners sometime soon.


dmoelling said...

Why not have a mogul buy the paper? They would lose less than the cost of funding a campaign for office and actually might make money. Besides a mogul run paper (left or right) is more interesting than a bland regurgitatior of AP feed that has been captured by it's lefty editors/reporters.

peter brush said...

Big Media conglomerates are now shedding newspapers, which probably can be bought for a song
Doubt that Linda McMahon would be allowed to buy the Courant. Al Jazeera might have suitable values.

Pauld said...

Does anyone outside of the greater Hartford area even read the Courant anymore? I live in mid-Ffld county, and except for the Sandy Hook tragedy, I can't remember the last time they had a reporter in our part of the state.