The Journal-Register/Digital First chief dings Advance for poor communications and letting top talent go, but things too much of the criticism of the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s moves are just change aversion:
Imagine [owners'] surprise when community leaders — politicians, musicians, restaurant owners — demand the owners sell their business to them (for a song surely, it’s a dying business after all) because they want to stick with the old dying business. Imagine their surprise when their industry colleagues and critics lambaste them for changing when change is what is needed.
As for me, the owners are doing what they think right. Could they do it better? I think they could do it a lot better but they are attempting to dramatically change their business. And it is a change largely directed at a future that focuses on the new line of business and less on the old. Importantly, they remain committed to their core business and mission with what resources they have.
So I support them because their industry is my industry and it will not survive without dramatic, difficult and bloody change. And like them I am willing to do what it takes to make our businesses survive.
Worth noting: In Paton’s role running MediaNews, Paton already runs a newspaper that publishes less than daily.
— Joshua Benton