Monday, Dec. 19, was big news day for the newspaper world, and particularly for employees of the Press Democrat, the North Bay Business Journal and the Argus-Courier. Their parent company, the New York Times, it seems, is breaking furniture for firewood by selling its regional publishing properties, including the PD, to Halifax Media Holdings, in Daytona Beach, Fla.
This is a great opportunity for employees at the PD, et al. Take a look at the list of properties and where they're located. See a pattern? The only property outside of the Southeast U.S. is in Sonoma County. It stands out like a Wal-Mart insert in the Wall Street Journal.
Buy it from the new owners before the ink is dry on their deal. Their best play is a strong regional one in the Southeast. If you don't step up and buy it now, you can bet the PD will be owned by the Bay Area News Group within a year.
Sonoma County deserves a locally owned daily newspaper again. Who better to own it than the folks who run it and read it day to day? Lord knows that given the sorry state of the news media and ad sales, passion and a strong desire for job security motivates better than anything else.
Look, your parent sold you out to a company run by a guy who wants writers to sell ads, operates in a state packed with criminals on the lam and too many tanning beds per capita to still be called the Sunshine State, in a city known for Girls Gone Wild video shoots and hairy bikers. Could they care about you any less?
Show 'em some entrepreneurial kick-ass. Buy the PD and keep it local.
Halifax Media bought the Daytona Beach News-Journal two years ago for $20 million, $871 per thousand circulation (365 days total circulation). Let's make them an offer. There are plenty of people who live here who would kick in. Let's set up a page on Kickstarter and IndieGoGo and get the public engaged as owners too. Come on, you can do it!
Terry Garrett is the operations manager for Go Local.We welcome your contribution. To have your topical essay of 350 words considered for publication, write firstname.lastname@example.org.