Howard Owens is a digital media pioneer. He started publishing local news online in 1995 when very few local news outlets had web sites. The header image on the site depicts the film camera he used early in his career and the press pass from his year on the staff of the Carlsbad Journal. For more on Howard's professional background, read his LinkedIn profile.
HowardOwens.com is the personal web site of Howard Owens and covers his range of interests -- political localism and libertarianism, music and personal interests, as well as his professional interests.
Howard is currently publisher of The Batavian and lives in Batavia, N.Y.
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Daily Archives: July 13, 2006
There was a time if top-level management of a newspaper mistreated staff, acted capriciously, or unethically, or otherwise made employment at said paper professionally or personally unbearable, there might be a bit of a local stink when a group of reporters and/or editors quit, and maybe a story in E&P, but the issue would die quickly and many potential replacement hires would never even know about the dust up.
Today, you have the Internet, where the story lives on in blogs for days afterwards. These blogs are archived and indexed by search engines.
The Santa Barbara News-Press has posted four job openings on JournalismJobs.com — Here’s a sample.
I can’t imagine taking a job at the NP under the current ownership. And I have to wonder who would:
- Someone who doesn’t follow media news.
- Someone who has such limited job prospects, he doesn’t care
- Someone not using a search engine to research a potential employer
A reporter or editor who is that dense isn’t likely to make a significant contribution to quality journalism.
The NP will a long time recovering from this, if ever, and probably only if Wendy McCaw sells the paper.
Romenesko linked to HowardOwens.com today.
The link generated about 600 visits. Via LAObserved, I learn that Romenesko gets about 80,000 visitors per day. That means, less than 1 percent of Romenesko’s traffic was diverted this way.
Here’s the entire E&P article about the king of media bloggers.
An article in the Daily Nexus, the college paper, reveals that the atmosphere in the newsroom is stressful and edgy, somebody placed an R.I.P. wreath on the door of the building, and a community rally is planned to protest what is happening at the paper.
Also, there is an unpublished News-Press article about what happened, which contains this bit of new information:
… Todd said that, for him, the final straw happened last week when Armstrong told a reporter to slant a news article to a certain angle. The article was about a Carpenteria city councilwoman who was resigning after 16 years. He said Armstrong told the writer to focus on two issues his editorials had previously attacked the councilwoman for.
I’m watching Warren Buffett on Charlie Rose.
In 1973, Buffett started buying shares of the Washington Post Co. The stock started getting very cheap because the Nixon administration was challenging its television licenses. The stock went from $38 to $16 a share in a very short time. “When it got to around 20, we bought a few blocks and got about 10 percent of the company.” At $20, the company was worth about $100 million. They owned the Post, Newsweek and four big network stations, and had no debt. If you had taken those separate parts, you could have sold them for about $500 million, according to Buffet.
Good buy by Buffett, right? It gets better.
Rose: “How come 95 people didn’t see it?”
Buffett: “We were buying from big institutional investors, and they were bailing out of it, and if you asked any one of them what the pieces were worth, they would have said something close to what I would say. But they thought the stock was going to go down. So what?
“I’m looking at the stock, and I’m looking at the Graham family.”
Here’s the kicker: That $10 million investment in 1973 is worth $1.5 billion today.
Think about that: Newspaper circulation declines started in the 1920s, but really accelerated in the 1970s. For my entire life, I’ve heard about how the newspaper business is dying. That hasn’t stopped Warren Buffett from making a mint off a company that at its core is a newspaper company.
Buffett: “They have not struck oil. They have not invented a cure for cancer. They have
just taken those properties and kept doing reasonably intelligent things, and
sometimes very intelligent things, with the money generated by it. … They’ve been good stewards of the money, but there are no miracles involved.”
Buffett now owns 18 percent of the Post.