November 14, 2008

QC Times swallowing Dispatch/Argus??

**UPDATE**

Move along folks, nothing to see here. A managing editor of the Dispatch/Argus swiftly responded to this post (see comment below) with the assurance that the D/A carriers beginning to also deliver the QC Times is just, "doing what makes sense in tough economic times."

From this it's assumed that no merger is in the offing.

(The editor also brought up the valid question of why it would be assumed that the QC Times was taking over the D/A rather than visa-versa. That question did cross my mind, but I felt that the larger corporation usually buys the smaller. But his point is of course a valid one.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A It's come to my attention that word has been going around about a "big meeting" recently held between management of the Dispatch/Argus and the Quad City Times and it's sparked concern that they may be merging.

These concerns were heightened when Dispatch/Argus district managers recently announced that their carriers would begin delivering the Quad City Times paper in addition to the Dispatch/Argus beginning December 8th.

Is this simply a consolidation of carriers for cost savings, or does it portend something larger?

Anyone know what's going on or what may be in the works?

It can't be a good thing to have one company controlling all the print media outlets in the area.

11 Comments:

At 11/14/2008 11:14 AM, Blogger Roger said...

Just two companies doing what makes sense in tough economic times. And since The Dispatch and Argus are delivering the Times, why would it be assumed that the QCT is swallowing us and not visa versa ... Fact: neither is happening.

Nothing sinister here. I can't speak for Lee Newspapers, but I think because we have higher circ. numbers and more routes in Illinois, we can do it more economically than they can. This has happened in Chicago (Trib delivering SunTimes) and many other markets without any hint of a takeover.

Roger Ruthhart
Managing Editor
The Dispatch/The Rock Island Argus

 
At 11/14/2008 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Idiot. Most markets only have one print media company.

 
At 11/14/2008 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having once worked for the former Morning Democrat and also the Moline Dispatch, it saddens me to see this trend continuing.
Its all about profits. The Democrat editor used to yell out his frustrations that all he had was 25 percent of space for news. The rest was taken up with advertisements.
I guess bloggers are causing a decrease in readership. The editors continue to skip what is happening in the minority communities. In Moline's West End there were only 13 subscribers from 1st St. to 12th St below 4th Avenue. Immigrants learn English but they don't buy newspapers because they don't see themselves. I could go on but 'nuf said.

 
At 11/14/2008 7:23 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Roger,
Thanks for that. That should hopefully put to rest any speculation or worry by employees and carriers.

Of course, nothing sinister was implied, and I did allow that it may simply be a cost cutting measure.

 
At 11/14/2008 9:26 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 3:01

What's up your ass? A 125 yr old Saguaro cactus?

A couple of points to begin with that make your snarly comment so stupid and illogical.

First, did I say that most markets have several newspapers? Hint: No.

Second, even if they did (which I disupute) how does that somehow make it better? If most markets have only one outlet, does that mean that's better for those communities? You're making an argument that's idiotic, not me.

I merely hint that I don't think it's best to have only one outlet controlling the print media in our area, and you respond by calling me an idiot because....

I don't know? Help me out. You say I'm an idiot and then toss out a fact that I didn't argue against.

Are you kind of, I don't know, a jerk?

I'm left to assume that you feel that because I think media consolodation is bad for citizens and hurts the disemination of broader and more diverse viewpoints, that I'm an "idiot" because most markets have only one outlet?

How does that even make sense? How are those things even connected?

It's as if I said, "It sure would be a shame if so-and-so's marriage ended in divorce", and you, in your infinite wisdom, shoot back, "IDIOT. Most marriages end in divorce."

Brilliant. Just brilliant logic there Sparky.

Talk about an idiotic statement.

But beyond that, let's examine your claim. Before you sling around such terms, don't you think you should be certain of your facts?

How do you assume "most" markets have only one outlet? Aren't you being an arrogant ass by assuming you're correct and that anyone who doesn't know this dubious fact is therefore an "idiot"?

I can think of a dozens of markets with many outlets. Of course, I'm not including markets smaller than the greater QC area.

Here's a list of markets just within Illinois that have two or more newspapers:

Arlington Heights
Chicago
Danville
Decatur
Des Plaines
Elk Grove Village
Evanston
Glenview
Macomb
Mt. Prospect
Naperville
Niles
Oak Park
Park Ridge
and
Tinley Park

This of course is only a listing by city. For instance, the Dispatch is considered as a Moline paper, while the Argus is listed as from Rock Island.

If you looked at all the papers in a geographical area, I'm sure the list of "markets" with multiple outlets would probably double.

And that's just within Illinois.

Since you think EVERYONE knows that there are all sorts of markets the size of the greater Quad Cities or larger that have only one outlet... in fact, "most" of them in your rash assumption, it should be a cinch for you, in your vast knowledge of the subject, to name a dozen or so.

You're obviously comfortable being a self-appointed blow-hard on this subject. So go ahead and prove your point.

Show us how "most" outlets the size of the greater Quad Cities or larger have only one outlet.

We'll wait.

And the sad fact is, even if you could prove this, it still wouldn't have ANYTHING to do with whether an area having only one outlet is better than having two or more.

Next time you feel like being a jack-ass, write it down and then re-read it while thinking if it makes any sense or if you're just going with the first thing your mind burps out.

Idiot.

 
At 11/15/2008 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a carrier for the Dispatch. I can tell you the main reason the newspapers are stuggling is due to the fact of the Internet and 24/7 cable news. On every block only about 1/2 to 1/4 of the homes subscribe to the newspaper, where as 10 yeasrs ago it was nearly every house on the block. Because of this, routes now days are all motor routes because it is no longer feasible to deliver door to door on foot. Due to gas prices there is a high turn over of carriers. I imagine in the next 10 years door to door delivery will become to expensive to continue, and perhaps readers will have to purchase from the newstands or subscribe for mail delivery.

Most of my subscribers are elderly as they tend to not have the Internet or computers and readership is declining through attrition. The remaining bulk of my subscribers are the wealthy who can afford the subscription fees. Most poor, working class, and middle class tend to not subscribe and get their news online or at work, or aren't particular interested in being informed.

I believe the newspaper industry could potentially increase readership if they were to adopt some major changes in the design of their newspapers. Also, I think they should cut or eliminate subscription fees and instead charge more for advertising to make up for it. Advertisers would pay more if they knew almost everyone was reading the newspapers. If they were lost cost or free, readership would sky rocket.

 
At 11/16/2008 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's no wonder so many people left your sad little blog for mine.

Those of us familiar with the "newspaper game" adhere to a high standard of conduct, a code of ethics if you will. We surely don't repeat rank scuttle butt as if it was or is fact.

 
At 11/17/2008 11:12 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

The following response is for the clod Anon 9:11's benefit. Others can safely ignore it.

Anon 9:11

Right off the bat, you really should understand that I do have standards and ethics.

You, on the other hand, don't.

Your entire comment is composed of outright and obvious lies for starters, and that kind of makes me lose completely any sort of respect I'd normally have for your opinion or the jerk who'd have them.

I could make a damn good argument that I have higher standards than local newspapers, who, for instance, allow people to libel ordinary people by name in their comments even when they have complete control over what they choose to publish. I never have, and never would stoop to that level.

Is that the "standards" and "ethics" you blather about? You know where you can put your standards and ethics.

But more importantly, before I continue, I have to say upfront that I hope you're not mentally challenged. It seems so, and if so, I'm sorry to go after you.

But I gotta show at least you, (most everyone else could tell already) just how ridiculous you sound.

1. Show me where I repeated ANYTHING as fact in this post (OR ANYWHERE IN THIS BLOG SINCE IT STARTED for that matter) that wasn't indeed a fact? You accuse me of doing just that, asshat. So show me where I'm guilty of what you clearly accuse me of. If you can't, you should take it back.

OH yeah, I forgot. YOU blow hot air about your supposed ethics and standards that are so much higher than mine. Bullshit! You'll lie through your teeth and would never have the character to take anything back or appologize even when you know what you stated is blatantly false. Some "ethics". More like a garden variety asshole than anything else.

Show me these "standards" and "ethics" and either show me where your accusation is true, or take them back and appologize.

Otherwise, you're just another douch nozzle with a keyboard.

It was clear to everyone with an IQ larger than their hat size that the post asked a speculative question because I WROTE IT THAT WAY. I simply asked if there was anything to it in hopes of getting a response that would clear it up, which I did.

Since you're familiar with the "newspaper game", are you also familiar with the punctuation mark called the "question mark"??

Did you notice it in the title of the post? (Hell, I even put TWO of them in the title, and you freaking missed them both??)

Did you notice it appearing when I asked if there was anything to the concerns of OTHERS that this move might indicate some possible merger? Apparently not.

The question mark indicates that the preceeding sentence was asking a question, as opposed to stating a fact. This might come in handy for you in the future. I'm glad I could help.

I asked those questions, I got an answer and that settled it. End of story. I even added an update on top to clearly show people the explanation. Are you even literate? How did you get in the "newspaper game" at all?

Again, if you're familiar with the "newspaper game" as you say, which you're clearly not, you'd know that if you can't make a point without resorting to a straw man argument, in other words, MAKING SHIT UP, then you don't have an argument at all. At that point, most people just shut the hell up. But your "standards" failed you.

2. What's "sad" about this blog? Maybe you need more prozac?

3. Are you too damn ashamed of this fictional blog of yours that everyone supposedly "left here for" to even name it? That's pretty pathetic. But what can you do when you're making the entire thing up? Again, great ethics and standards there pal.

Your comment reveals that: A. You don't have a blog and never could. B. You don't have a clue about blogs. Period.

People don't have some imposed quota for how many blogs they're allowed to view. People don't "leave" one blog to "go" to another. They don't have to stop subscribing to one blog and start subscribing to another blog.
Blogs aren't phone companies that you can only have one of at a time.

They can read 500 blogs in a day or they can read none at all. Doesn't matter. When one blog does well, it doesn't mean that others do worse. It's not a zero sum game.

I've had to explain this about a dozen times over the years, and still idiots without the foggiest notion of what blogs are or how they work continue to try to take a swipe at this blog by saying some other blog is doing better and taking away my business.

IT DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT, idiots!

First, this isn't a "business". I don't get paid by the number of visitors I get. Are you THAT ignorant? You'd clearly know that much if you had a blog instead of having to lie about having one.

Any muttonhead knows this. You don't. (Guess that makes you a "special" muttonhead.)

I already know hundreds of people read this blog every day. And they have for longer than any other blog around here by far. Every week or two if I think of it, I can check and see how many people are visiting. I'm not worried. My numbers have been slowly but steadily increasing since I began, and any blogger, especially around here, would be very very pleased with them.

I know how I'm doing, so why the hell should I care how many visits anyone else gets?

I really don't, other than to wish the best to blogs and bloggers who are decent and who I'd like to see succeed.

You're obviously too intent on bashing me for whatever strange personal reason you suffer from, and unable to dream up any stupid attack that begins to make sense, (wow, some big newspaper guy YOU are!) So you instead make a complete fool of yourself by making statements that you pulled out of the vacuum between your ears and demonstrating your utter ignorance about everything to do with blogs while claiming to have one yourself. Pretty sad.

4. This blog got over 1600 visits on election day alone, when I had essentially no new material up at all. On what delusional evidence are you basing your stupid little crack about who reads what blogs?

If you were doing that well with your fictional blog, would you bother to try to tear me down? Of course not. You wouldn't care.

You're jealous, small, and pathetic, having to resort to making up stuff to take a swipe at me. (As if ANY of this matters.)

You know how to reach me by e-mail. Why don't you grow a pair and get in touch and we'll discuss this matter. Get an anonymous email account. Oh, that's right. That would be "ethical" and that's not your style.

In the years I've produced this blog, I've not once tried to tear down anyone elses. Why? Why should I? I wish 'em all success, until they try to go after me, which for inexplicable reasons, some think they need to do. That's fine. I can take it.

The botom line? I don't know how much traffic other blogs get, and I COULDN'T POSSIBLY FREAKING CARE LESS!!!!!!!

The fact of the matter is that I really don't even know what they're doing or writing about as I very rarely even read any, much less waste a second of my time thinking about how many people read them. I can't possibly think of a worse waste of time and energy.

I'm not bothered by any other blog and how well or badly they're doing, and don't have any need to try to "beat" anyone else, because frankly, you don't "beat" another blog, and there's no way of judging other than traffic numbers (NOT the amount of comments) how a blog's doing anyway.

The entire notion is ridiculous for the reasons I've explained at lenght here.

I'm plenty happy with the amount of readers I get, I know I've had more traffic than any others could dream about, and for years now.

I've had my work featured on national blogs, been nominated for national awards, and been invited to be an online guest election commentator on France's equivalent of CNN, so I'm happy. Why would I care how anyone else is doing other than to wish them well?

Even if I hadn't had that success, I'm WAY WAY WAAAAAAY past the point of wasting time trying to "beat" any other blog. The whole concept is stupid to begin with.

That's why jack-offs like yourself bug the piss out of me. You're stupid, you don't know what you're talking about, and frankly, I'm utterly baffled at what compells you to feel the need to take shots at me. I really don't get it, unless of course it's that you're jealous somehow and really resent my success and longevity. In that case, suck it. Then get over it and get over yourself.

It's funny that I've helped dozens of other people with setting up their own blogs and given everyone that has asked all the help I could and tried to help solve any snags or problems they might be encountering.

Hell, I even gave an editor at the Dispatch/Argus all KINDS of information and answered dozens of questions when they were deciding whether to start their own blog system in response to the success I wsa having.

And now all I get are hundreds of little ankle-biting gnats like you trying to take shots at my work. Bite me.

If it seems like I'm pissed, it's because I am. Where do assholes like you come from and what's your freaking problem with this blog? It's not what you say, because what you say is a bunch of crap that doesn't make sense. There's no valid criticism anywhere in it.

5. It's not my purpose, but if I'm pissing off chowderheads like yourself, I know I'm doing something right. It feels good.

And obviously, your sorry ass reads this blog quite a bit.

So thanks for the traffic.

Now go get bent.

 
At 11/18/2008 5:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dope,
I think these trash talkers should wait unti they get 370,000 visitors before they can take shots at you.

Screw 'em.

 
At 11/18/2008 9:12 AM, Blogger Craig said...

It was only a matter of time before a staunch conservative paper dies in such a liberal area. Their attacks on Lane Evans forced my family to switch to the Times.

Also, don't forget that this is the paper that had a headline reading "Hookers can Sue Pimps." What a joke.

 
At 11/18/2008 11:43 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Craig,

Just to be clear the D/A is far from dead. They are only having their carriers deliver the QC Times as a cost cutting measure.

 

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