Entertainment News

Is PNJ more about marketing solutions than news?

February 25, 2010

The Gannett Blog is the one who is asking this question. In its 2009 annual report, Gannett, the owner of Pensacola’s daily newspaper, described itself as “a leading international news and information company.” In its latest reports to Form 10-K, Gannett describes itself as “an international media and marketing solutions company.”

Over the past year, we seen the daily close down its printing operations and force its reporters to take quarterly, one-week furloughs. The paper is about to lease or sale its Romana office complex and it’s rumored that it will move to the Bank of America building.

It’s biggest expansions have been advertorial monthly magazines – Bella, Home & Garden, etc. and its entertainment website, gopensacola.com.

However, it works. Local businesses continue to place their ad dollars with them. Maybe we should switch to “marketing solutions,” too. Nah, I’m too old school and have to look at my fat-ass in the mirror every morning.

If you want to support Gannett, here is the link of their ad department. If you want more investigative reporting and local coverage of politics, arts and entertainment, contact Jennifer at our office. Every ad dollar stays here.

We are about the news, not marketing solutions…that is the hill we’re willing to die on.

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  • Jason Clark February 25, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    My daughter will be a year old next month. Being a new parent, I think about the normal, important parent stuff like; what will the quality of the education system be for her, what will the natural environment look like, will she have the flying cars and personal jet-packs that my generation was supposed to be enjoying by now? But given the overwhelming speed with which technologies develop, I also imagine telling her “back in my day” stories about stuff she’ll never really get to see. For example, I could tell her about how we used to get the news every morning, written on a material made out of dead trees, and wouldn’t actually get the thing until hours or even days after the event actually happened. Imagine her amazement at the idea of waiting 24 hours or more to get information on some important occurrence.
    I recently went to hear Ken Paulson, the editor-in-chief of USA Today, speak at UWF. He gave an interesting lecture on the value of the press and how newspapers serve an important purpose. He then took a few jabs at online news organizations by essentially lumping legitimate online only publications in with your average-Joe blogger, basically implying that online only outfits were less capable of delivering the “real” news. I remember thinking that I would love to see this guy explain to a 7 or 8 year old kid how getting their news on bunch of paper and a day late is considered providing a valuable service. I hate to say it, but the ink and paper model of “news” reporting can’t last. If you check Google News at 3:30 on a Tuesday afternoon and read through a few of the top stories, you’ve already read 75% of Wednesday’s paper…usually verbatim.

  • Clarry Ellis February 25, 2010 at 11:06 am

    The old daily (not to mention twice daily) paper model is broken:

    The internet and database marketing have obsoleted the classifieds and newspaper advertising.

    The 24/7 electronic media news cycle means we no longer get our national and global news from the paper/wire services.

    Going forward the value print news publications can bring are in-depth local investigative reporting and analysis of local and regional issues. These are the exact areas that the PNJ’s corporate ownership is cutting back on in a short sighted effort to maintain margins.

    Rick, your publication is much better suited to not only survive but to thrive going forward. I would love someday to see you move to publishing twice a week but I’ll take what I can get for now. After all, I learn more from one issue of In Weekly than from seven of the PNJ.

  • Jake February 25, 2010 at 7:33 am

    Well said , Rick, and keep up the good work – the PNJ can only loosely be described as a ‘news’paper as it is currently configured, and the editorial slant and obvious bias is a reflection of the ‘ownership’ by the DownTown Crowd…sadly that ownership came cheaply as the PNJ whored itself out.

    People no longer trust the PNJ, and they are right when they do not.

  • Nigel Allen February 25, 2010 at 7:12 am


    As a former employee of the PNJ I have to agree with your assessment in every way. During the time I was there the prime directive for every new publishing endeavor was to make certain that it would deliver a minimum profit margin of 32%. Quality content? Forget about it! With the decline that comes from inferior editorial, they have resorted to delivering their newspaper to weekend only subscribers like me 7-days a week to boost “readership”.

    There are some extremely talented writers and publishing people who work there and I am saddened to see what a sorry state of affairs exists for those who remain.

  • Chip Henderson February 25, 2010 at 6:58 am

    Rick, your paper is editorally superior in every way. It’s a fun read too! PNJ’s only advantage is their delivery distribution.

    PNJ’s niche publications are taken from smaller, independent ideas (Mullet Wrapper, Pensacola Magazine and Medical Society’ Physician Directory). Their editorial is inferior and decreases revenue for those “original” publications. Advertisers choose the PNJ publications based on their touted distribution and claims of passalong readership. Does the PNJ really have 140,000 readers?