Thursday, December 2, 2010

Shake-up at the Spokesman, other news outlets

Posted By on Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 1:33 PM

Change is coming to the Spokesman-Review, which outlined their plans yesterday in a press release (as well as in article in the paper).

Among the changes:

  • The cost of a monthly subscription is going up $1.25.
  • The Sunday North Idaho section, Handle Extra, will be scrapped in January. (Columns that have appeared in that section will be printed in the main paper.)
  • Also in January, TV Week magazine will be available only to subscribers who specifically request it.
  • On Feb. 3, the North, South and West Plains Voice sections will be combined into one.

Distribution director Dan Johnson, who will assume the newspaper’s top sales and marketing post in January, says he’s hopeful the paper can avoid furloughs and layoffs — which have become common at the Spokesman in recent years.For now, the paper will remain a daily — publishing seven days a week — but in their announcement, the Spokesman pointed out, somewhat ominously, that other papers have cut back on the number of days they print.

Front-Page Ads

In the December issue of the outdoor-focused pub, Out There Monthly, you’ll see an advertisement prominently placed in the upper right corner of the front page. It’s increasingly common to see ads on the front pages of our newspapers — the Spokesman-Review’s been doing it since September 2007 — but it was the first time we noticed it at Out There. (The Inlander hasn’t put ads on its front page, but we also haven’t ruled it out in the future.)

Out There, it turns out, has been doing it for a while, says publisher (and city councilman) Jon Snyder.“We’ve been doing that for over two years now,” he says via email. “We did it because advertisers wanted it and because we felt it was an unobtrusive way to make our readers more aware of local business events.”

Interestingly, the ad is for Sun People Dry Goods, a new downtown general store stocking green, organic and socially responsible products. Interestingly, the company is owned by Out There’s former managing editor, Juliet Sinisterra. And interestingly, Out There printed an article about the store in the current issue, with Sun People’s ad on the front page.

While some publications have put their content and journalism up for sale to advertisers, Snyder says that’s not the case here. The ad and story aren’t related, and he says he’s not concerned that readers might make that connection.“Our publication is event-driven just like yours is,” he tells Bloglander. “Our main goal is to make sure folks can pick up the magazine and find cool things to do in a given month — whether it is a sustainable store opening or an ultra-marathon.

“We generally don't cover things that have already happened. Because of that there will always be some overlap between our calendar and features coverage and our advertising on any given month — no different than The Inlander.”

KREM’s Abbey Gibb Leaving

KREM 2 weekend anchor Abbey Gibb is headed to a Portland sister station, KGW, where she’ll return full-time to reporting. Her last day at KREM, Gibb tells Bloglander, is Dec. 24.Gibb joined KREM in April 2008 as a general assignment reporter.


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About The Author

Jacob H. Fries

Jacob H. Fries is the editor of the Inlander. In that position, he oversees editorial coverage of the paper and occasionally contributes his own writing. Before joining the paper, he wrote for numerous publications, including the Tampa Bay Times, the Boston Globe and the New York Times. He grew up in Spokane Valley...