What's this blog really about?

You may notice a variety of topics here - from business, to charity promotion, even to local news, but the primary reason this blog was created was to alert readers to the hostile atmosphere and sexual harassment at The Danville Register & Bee. The readers and creator of this blog want a FULL FRONT PAGE apology in the Danville Register & Bee, plus the disciplining of those individuals involved. Until then, we'll continue to post regular updates. To tolerate THIS kind of behavior by a major media network is intolerable. And this isn't just ONE instance. Media General has been sued nationwide for racism and sexism, yet they CONTINUE to keep the offenders employed. Why? And why am I doing this? TRUTH compels me.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dear Danvillle Readers

Historically newspapers have always been the watchdog, the poor man's advocate. People who couldn't afford attorneys or who were afraid of the police or the court system could go to the local paper to ask for help if there were problems. Journalism was a proud profession and reporters knew and cared about their community.

You don't have that here. No, not since Media General purchased The Danville Register & Bee.

Go to Google and type in the words Media General and blog. You'll see that there are many, many blogs out there who share a dim view of Media General and not for the same reasons I do. The industry itself is displeased with their performance.

From Sticks of Fire:

"For all of Media General’s talk about convergence, and how it makes the Tampa Tribune, WFLA NewsChannel8, and TBO a leader in news gathering and dissemination, I am less than impressed.

The News Center opened in March 2000. Back in 2004, a USF study says that convergence has “hardly happened” for Media General. Here in 2007, I think they are no closer to serving “more people better” than in 1999.

Did you read Media General’s idea of convergence? (emphasis added by Sticks of Fire)

Convergence at Media General combines multimedia resources – print, television, the Internet and, though partnerships, radio – to serve more people better. Convergence delivers stronger local journalism by sharing news gathering and reporting resources. By becoming the preferred local provider of news and information, and increasing audience share, convergence drives revenue growth. With the Internet, every Media General market is a convergence market. In six markets, Media General has implemented convergence across three media platforms.

Tampa, Fla., is our most advanced convergence market, the home of The Tampa Tribune, WFLA-TV, TBO.com and beginning in 2005, CENTRO Grupo De ComunicaciĆ³n. Sharing tips, leads, information and background knowledge has become routine at our Tampa News Center, the world’s first facility built for multimedia production.

C’mon. They are not serving people better. They are directing people to the other platforms, and they are not even doing that well."

Yeah! and there's more at the Sticks of Fire web-site. Click through to read it all! And how about Bacon's Rebellion? They write:

"...Why go after Media General? Under-performing stock, and a slew of assets that could possibly, and profitably, be spun-off:

Like the Times, Media General is family controlled and has faced pressure from discontented outside shareholders in recent years. It owns a chain of smaller newspapers in the Southeast, including the Tampa Tribune and Richmond Times-Dispatch, as well as 23 TV stations. The company has been hit hard by lower ad revenue in both its print and TV operations."

There's a lengthy post on Bacon's Rebellion about Media General.
Click here to read it all. Readers chime in to agree with the post. One reader posts:

"It makes sense that Media General is in play although the Bryant family owns so many "B" shares that they will still control the board no matter what the hedge fund does.

Why? Simple. In the past several years MEG's stock has plummeted from about $70 a share to $15 a share, although it's up to $19 or so last time I checked. It is true that plenty of media companies have trouble but I don't believe they have seen so much market cap disappear at once as MEG's has.

MEG's problem is that it is based on cost-cutting, not growth. The leadership has no ideas. They pushed "Convergence" and "Clustering" about 10 years ago, but they haven't worked. These involved trying to trade content across print/tv/Web but instead of creating new and valuable content, they were just dicing up stale content again and again. Clustering involved buying up dinky papers in the Southern exburbia. Neither strategy has worked, as the stock price shows.

Morton, let's not forget, is from the textile industry, which is not exactly known for successful growth strategies. He complained last week that the hedge fund didn't appreciate "a research-driven understanding of our local markets" or the "heightened focus on customers" or the "continually growing number of new products and new sources of revenue, or the "successful "Web-First" approach to local news reporting that is generating increased page views and visitors" and the "new partnerships, diversification and regulatory gains that have strengthened and validated our convergence strategy."

What a pile of nonesense. Take their Web pages. They are horrible! Just about any regional media firm is far ahead. MEG is where The Virginian-Pilot was 10 years ago and that might insult the Pilot!

Look at the Times-Dispatch. There is a massive rush for the exits as experienced reporters flee from the hare-brained news policies of Thomas A. Silvestri and his new management crew. Just look at Sunday's front-page. Obama's win in S. Carolina was huge. Yet, the TD editors gave 75 percent of the front page to the mock convention held at Washington & Lee in which they nominated Hillary. Huh? Let's have Frazier Millner, their marketing expert, explain that one. Also don't know if you've noticed but there's one heck of a lot less content in the TD than ever. The "2-Minute TD" is more like the "30-second TD."

MEG has been in a tailspin for several years now. Nevertheless, Marshall Morton tried to get his corporate officers a bonus a couple of years ago, until Mario Gabelli, another rogue investor, put a stop to it.

Best thing that can happen is if the Gabelli's and hedge fund folk get rid of the current management. Let's wish them well. Maybe they can put a stop to the arrogance and the incompetence."

In January of 2008, We Saw That, another blog - wrote:

"many people around cenla, ourselves included, thought that it was just kalb's management that was arrogant and incompetent in their outright refusal to report news and instead choosing to ply us with fluff. however, its somewhat bittersweet to learn that the whole of media general's management is made up of buffoons. lets hope that harbinger does succeed in their takeover, they cant be any worse than what is there now."

* * *

Okay Danville. Are you getting the picture? It's not just The Danville Register and Bee that's being run by idots, clowns and "buffoons." Media General itself is comprised of clowns, idots and buffoons. It's NOT just me who recognizes how screwed up this organization is. Most of the country and the industry itself sees what losers they are!!

No comments: