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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

       Friday, July 16 2004 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

What's up with that?

Being a bit whimsical by ringing some local changes on Jerry Seinfeld's favorite catch phrase.

What's up with...the Tribune-Democrat? Both its longtime publisher, Pamela Mayer—a Johnstown native who had bridged the transition of the T-D's more-than-a-century of local ownership and management to out-of-state ownership—and sometimes controversial editor David Levine have left the paper in recent weeks. Chris Voccio, who had worked as general manager at the region's only daily for six months before he replaced Mayer as publisher strongly implies that Levine's position was terminated.

"I felt it was time for a change, and I wish David well in his future endeavors," Voccio wrote in a piece headed "New Publisher Speaks." Levine had apparently been controversial in Johnstown and environs, many considering him too "big city" in style and pursuit of local stories. At least that's the jist of a major feature about Levine written by former Nanty Glo Journal bureau chief and Johnstown native Dennis Roddy in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette a year or so ago. (Roddy is a staff writer and columnist with the Post-Gazette and though he and I are members of a very small club [former editors-in-chief of the Journal] he's probably more liberal than I am conservative.)

Community News Holdings Inc., CNHI Publications, the Birmingham, Ala., company that now owns the Tribune-Democrat, has grown from 95 publications (everything from shoppers to dailies) in 2001 to more than 200 in 2003. An online profile of the company which calls CNHI a "McPaper chain," says CNHI's "strategy is to seek out newspapers in smaller markets with growth potential. A premium has been placed in purchasing newspapers in geographic proximity, for operational efficiency and in order to provide additional services to readers." Other Pennsylvania holdings include: Indiana, The Bulletin Board Direct; Kane Republican; Meadville Tribune; New Castle News; Punxsutawney Spirit; Ridgway Record; The Herald (location not listed); St. Mary's Daily Press, and the Titusville Herald.

I follow theTribune-Democrat only via the online version, which is limited to only about six regional stories per day. There I haven't noticed any significant difference in the paper's look and feel since the changing of the guard. Have those of you who read the print copies seen noticeable changes? If so, do they strike you as for the better or the worse? I would especially watch the editorials to see if there's a new slant. If the old guard left the paper over "creative differences," the new management may be more conservative, but that's just a guess and perhaps a hope.

Do any list members see other CNHI publications and, if so, what are your impressions? (In general, I don't expect any chain of 200 newspapers to be consistently either conservative or liberal. If the slant at the Tribune-Democrat changes noticeably, it will probably have more to do with Chris Voccio's ideology than CNHI's. He also said in his self-introduction piece: "Observant readers may notice a shift in thinking on the editorial page, what many refer to as the soul of the newspaper, and that is common when there's a change in the publisher's office.")

CNHI is advertising for an editor in Johnstown. Maybe I should apply.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

First grade proverbs...
endings to well known proverbs that a teacher gave to her six-year-olds

Better to be safe than...to punch a 5th grader.
Never underestimate the power of...termites.
You can lead a horse to water but...how?
Don't bite the hand that...looks dirty.

Sent by Trudy Myers 

Thought for today

We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light.

Earl Nightingale 

Top daily news stories linked from our sister webpage
Xnmp, news that signifies
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