Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Grow, Growth, and Cohen

News Flash: Dan Cohen protests the buyout of Doug Grow from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Recall that Grow was directly responsible for getting Cohen fired from a job where he had just landed on his feet. Cohen apologized to the former lieutenant governor whose shoplifting arrest he exposed. Maybe it's time for Grow to grow up and apologize.

To the braintrust at the Strib:

Previously, I've dwelled at length on the erosion of conservative readership for the Strib. Now, let's take a look at what is going to happen to your liberal base. As more of your experienced news staffers take the buyout, you are going to lose a lot more than you could possibly gain from, for example, a laptop full of advertsing data.

A Dane Smith is irreplaceable. He is lterally a walking encylopedia of Minnesota political history. But not only is he gone from the Daily Blab, he is reemerging in another format -- I believe it is Joel Kramer's organization -- and thus will be lending his expertise to a competitor for the very audience you have so assiduously cultivated lo these many years as the great, in depth source of all things Minnesota . But that stuff -- the essence, the minutia, the judgment -- ain't in your clip files. It's in Dane Smith's head.

Doug Grow. Jeremy Iggers. Jim Boyd. I may not agree with them-- or even like them very much-- but they have proven appeal to your customer base, and invariably they will draw some of that base away from you as they connect with competing organizations. What do I mean by competing organizations? The Citizens' League. The League of Women Floaters. MPR, Greenpeace. There are a zillion of those damn liberal beats, and that's where these people are going to wind up, converting a lifetime accumulation of local political, business, personal knowledge, sources and contacts into newsletters, blogs, websites, media formats and the like that will bring their Strib readers along with them.

Who needs you?

The people that will produce your new Bloomington friendly version are nowhere near possessing the same knowledge, experience or talent as the people you are losing. And frankly, as you are about to find out, the people in Bloomington, don't really give a damn what you have to say about them. It is a truism of the newspaper business that your most valuable assets go down the elevator every night when the paper is put to bed. Now they are going to be going down someone else's elevator, and they aren't going to forget who kicked them out the door.

Goodbye, consevative readers.

Goodbye, liberal readers.


Dan Cohen

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Blogger Derek said...

Dan Cohen is your Svengali

May 31, 2007 8:38 PM  

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