News & Observer: A One-Way Road to Perdition

    Road To Perdition
    Agent Pierce
    July23/ 2017

    The News & Observer on its Road to Perdition

    Merriam-Webster defines “Perdition” as “destruction… obsolete … eternal damnation”.

    AP logo

    The News & Observer (and its equally evil McClatchy sibling – The Charlotte Observer) is on a one-way Road to Destruction… Obsolescence… Eternal Damnation.

    The recent “clever marketing ploy” of throwing its most popular columnist – Barry “Sportin’ Life” Saunders – under the “save a few bucks” bus was a notable speed bump along that road.Barry Saunders

    Those of us in the ever-growing “haven’t read it in years” category won’t miss Barry Saunders’ race-baiting essays built around Fred Sanford quotes. However, the predictable reactions in “South Raleigh” and “East Derm” were decidedly unfavorable to the failing newspaper.

    When my old sparring partner – Good Neighbor BELO – is pissed, you know his rank & file neighbors ain’t happy. BELO is pissed.

    Years of The N&O effusively pandering to that particular ethno-cultural constituency just went down the drain… glub… glub… glub.

    Not all that critical however since that overtly pandered-to constituency never repaid The News & Observer in either subscribers or advertisers.

    Like rubberneckers tapping their brakes to check-out roadkill, what might curious on-lookers expect to see in the weeks and months to come from the ailing McClatchy media operations.?

    The one certainty is the ever-increasing very red ink gushing from both operations’ bottom lines. No penny-pinching or hand wringing is going to stop that.

    Here’s some likely “mile-markers” on their Road to Perdition.  Look for some / all of these to come to pass in the months to come in some order.


    •  All middle management employees to be “unhired”. A “lucky”(?) % of whom will be rehired at significantly lower salaries with a clear understanding that said “rehiring” is subject to immediate termination.

    Translation: Come back under even more unpleasant working conditions for significantly lower pay with no job security whatsoever…

    Or… join all your former N&O co-workers now working split shifts at Denny’s or the graveyard shift loading trucks at UPS… if you’re lucky.

    • Combining of all departments – News, Sports, Editorial, Business – between the failing Raleigh operation and the failing Charlotte operation. And that silly Derm edition, but who cares about that?
    • Going to one Publisher over both News & Observer and Charlotte Observer.
    • Going to one Executive Editor / Editorial Editor rather than two separate positions.
    • News for both will become 90% syndicated feeds from a central McClatchy aggregate grabbing anything it can find on social media. The more provocative the better for “click bait”.
    • Political News will be whatever any Liberal Democrat whack-job wants to submit.  Unless RobRielleWHO wants to work for peanuts.  He might…
    • Local news will depend upon un-paid “contributors” who “always wanted to be a reporter”. …. “Carolina CC pool to close on Thursday….” 
    • Sports for both papers will be a couple of eager beaver interns surfing board monkey fan sites for salacious rumors and wild-ass rants from deranged nitwits.  Not unlike The N&O’s current “political news” coverage.
    • Eliminating by at least half ALL executive management personnel.

    After years of throwing “the worker bees” under the bus… it’s now time to slice ‘n dice the “suits”.  Well past time in the opinion of most former N&O worker bees.

    • Eventually cutback print editions from “a daily” to 6… to 4… to 3. Before they News & Observerget to “just 4” the orchestra on this Titanic will already be playing “Nearer My God To Thee”.

    The current desperation beg / garage-sale of access to their “digital edition” was as pitiful as expecteded. Regardless, the size of The News & Observer data base of “eyes” will continue to be greatly exaggerated to prospective digital advertisers.

    With ever-dwindling advertiser interests, anyone willing to pay anything can get whatever they want in terms of size, frequency and obnoxiousness.

    • NOTE: If the current proposed NCGA legislation – re: posting of legal notices – passes into law, it will kink the one revenue hose supplying their only source of significant income – legal notices.

    With the NCGA under Republican control and with The News & Observer’s long history of publicly defaming and despising any/all Republicans, what are the odds Repub lawmakers will be charitable to their bitterest arch enemy? Bwahahaha…

    Lose legal notices and both failing McClatchy operations – Charlotte and Raleigh – will go into immediate financial CODE BLUE.


    IF that happens it really could be Ol’ Jim Jenkins snuffing out the candle.


    Print this commentary. Stick it in a drawer. Pull it out in 6 – 12 months. See if AgentPierce nailed it…

    MORE AgentPierce – LINK

    MORE BobLeeSays – LINK


    Agent Pierce
    • NCSU77 Reply
      2 years ago

      “On the new N&O menu: Less spinach, more reader-focused coverage” – this is the title of Drescher’s latest version of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Basically they are sinking to the depths of being just another “click bait”, irrelevant, hack website at an even quicker pace. He says they got rid of Barry because he didn’t get enough clicks. Really?

      Good news – since I got my wife to drop the home delivery and go digital, she’s forgetting to even read it. I too am slowly breaking that N&O habit. WRAL has been gone for some time.

      • BobLee Reply
        2 years ago

        It took us three days to “break the habit” twelve years ago. Never looked back. I get PLENTY of e-copies of Damn Dan Kane’s latest TGU updates. 🙂
        Interesting comment about Barry’s popularity or lack of.
        Based on recent N&O Tweets… they are about one tweet away from TRUMP IS A SPACE ALIEN … TRUMP CONSPIRES WITH ELVIS …

    • Skip Crayton Reply
      2 years ago

      Love to make a comment, but their are People watching.

      • Agent Pierce Reply
        2 years ago

        Thats why God made “made-up names”.

    • keith brown Reply
      2 years ago

      North Carolina’s Public Notice laws are antiquated laws without vendor or marketplace competitive models. North Carolina public notice law currently forces state and local taxpayers to spend millions of dollars annually on hardcopy newspaper legal notices that are non-searchable, hard to read, wasteful and reach fewer and fewer people each year. Many of the public notice laws were established when printed papers were the only public media available. The public notice requirements in state law which always identify “publish in paid newspaper” have no basis other than to help the bottom line of newspapers in the State of North Carolina. The cost to taxpayers is determined by a monopolistic outdated business model and mainly from a single source provider. Many places no longer have daily newspapers.

      Millions of dollars of government and taxpayer moneys are paid at all levels of government each year on public notices. Technology allows multiple avenues in obtaining and distributing information through various media outlets such as wireless, internet, radio, television and newspapers. North Carolina State Law should reflect these improved methods of communication by identifying alternative publication methods that are cost effective and technologically advanced. All public notices should only be published in outlets for which there is no charge to the consumer to obtain them unlike the newspapers which charge you to buy a paid paper to see the notice. The monopolistic approach of choosing only newspapers as the exclusive repository of public notices is bad government. Government officials need to start thinking about 2017 public notice laws instead of 1940 public notice laws. These laws were made well before the computer came into existence.

      Here is a little question and answer from Howard Owens a digital media pioneer:

      Q. How will citizens benefit from online legal notices?

      A. Online publication opens up a wealth of opportunities for legal notice enhancements, from maps, links to related data, searching, greater and wider distribution (think Google), and continuous archives.

      Q. But not everybody has access to a computer or the Internet. Won’t this deny those people an opportunity to view legal notices?

      A. The flip answer is, not everybody reads a newspaper. The truth is, neither paper nor online have a monopoly on readership. Just as anybody can borrow a neighbor’s paper or go to the library to read a paper, everybody has a friend or relative with online access and the library offers free online access. For people with a real interest in online notice publication, such publication is equally accessible both online and in print. The online advantage, if any in this regard, is that the notice is still easily available days later if you happen to throw out your newspaper before seeing an important notice.

      It is time to overhaul the N.C. Press Association Monopoly Protection Act because all it does is keep the State of North Carolina in 1940 standards when we need to understand it is 2017 time for the cities and counties who want to provide this information to the people do so without having to waste plenty of taxpayers money.

      • Agent Pierce Reply
        2 years ago

        Updating the legal “public” notice process to the digital world certainly makes sense to me.
        The effect in doing so will have a dramatic effect on EVERY printed newspaper in the state especially small town papers that are not as “partisan” as the large metro papers.

    • NCSU68Grad Reply
      2 years ago

      Reminds me a friend of my son. He was a “NCSSM” graduate….truly a brilliant person. Went into Journalism. He got a degree from NYU or something like that. Bummed around NYC. Was a “crawler” writer for CNN. Even my liberal son told tales of what the producer wanted on the crawler to get “attention”….regardless of whether is be truth, fiction, or down right hysterical. He ended up going BACK to school and is teaching English or something at a local NYC high school as his J degree was not supporting him.
      The J Degree is really a dying breed. Zuckerberg can replace editors and writers and such with AI and also “trolling” from their archives. Pity that we can not have a “Smell” detector installed.
      BL, what did Neighbor BELO have to allow…other than his disdain for the purveyor of Liberal Lies? Perhaps I missed the specifics. Has he recovered from the “Heist” when the bad boys tried to rob the Funeral Home and confiscate some of his GS’s “sales” $$’s. I believe that his GS had a thriving business in most any type of recreational chemical that one would want. Billy Joel would have dubbed the GS as “Captain Jack”.

      • Agent Pierce Reply
        2 years ago

        I got this 2nd hand but apparently Good Neighbor BELO went ballistic when he heard how Barry was summarily dismissed. And let it be known he (BELO) was NOT pleased AT ALL. That, alas, was not enough to reverse the decision.

    • More proof Reply
      2 years ago

      You might have wondered why a newspaper ever paid someone to be its rock-and-roll reporter. Apparently, the pending failure of the entire enterprise prompted someone within the organization ask the same question.

      Said rock’n’roller David Menconi griped on Facebook the other day that “the bottom line is that I need to start getting more clicks.”

      • Agent Pierce Reply
        2 years ago

        I doubt young Mr. Menconi was being “paid” very much at all. But I woulda figured even then he would have “been gone” some time ago. If the N&O “suits” were willing to blow off “the AfAm community” I doubt they much care about the local “rock ‘n roll crowd”.

    • Myowngrandpaw Reply
      2 years ago

      04/11/2014 62.1 64.2 61.207 62.1 39,394

      07/21/2017 8.67 8.7 8.16 8.52 108,586

      Thant about says it all. Liberalism is selling pretty cheap!
      Wonder how many shares Barry has? had?

    • Doug Reply
      2 years ago

      So, now that journalism is a dying “profession”, why should we continue to fund a UNC – Chapel Hill journalism school? Hopefully the cutbacks will begin there as kids see the quickly dwindling prospects of finding a paying job.

      Are there any small local papers left that are not owned by the major city dailies? I think the public notice thing would swing on them more so than on the larger papers as some of them may actually present decent coverage and have some respect of some members of the GA…but I could be wrong.

      • Agent Pierce Reply
        2 years ago

        You are exactly right. There are some fine “small town papers” doing a great civic service. They will be devastated by the proposed legislation… “collateral damage” …. 😳
        No idea what J-Schools are doing these days. Certainly no “job market” for newspapers, magazines, etc. I’m sure the arrogant pointy-heads at UNC are still “above it all”.

    • Thomas.K Reply
      2 years ago

      Dude, this was awesome even before I got to “Carolina CC pool to close on Thursday…” My yelp scared our cat.
      The Carolina Country Club faux-aristocrats are the only constituency they have left – The Limo Liberals.
      Salt their fields… salt their fields…

      • Agent Pierce Reply
        2 years ago

        I must admit THAT was my favorite line too. As subtle as a straight razor across a carotid…

    • Charles.T.82 Reply
      2 years ago

      If those arrogant pricks at the UNC J-School read this, their pointy heads will explode.
      I don’t need to wait six months. YOU NAILED IT Mr. Pierce.

      • Agent Pierce Reply
        2 years ago

        I have often measured success by the number of exploded heads of the UNC J-School ilk. We can only hope this gets to them.

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