Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sign of consolidation? Brooklyn Paper begins to publish work by Courier-Life staffers

Another hint of the creeping consolidation of the once-rival weekly newspapers has emerged.

On the Brooklyn Paper's web site yesterday, an article was attributed to Thomas Tracy/Community Newspaper Group. Tracy works for the Courier-Life chain, and a longer version of that article appears in this week's Courier-Life.

(Tracy also contributed to the Brooklyn Paper a police blogger report, both online and in this week's paper, without the CNG designation.)

Checking with Gersh

I sent Brooklyn Paper editor Gersh Kuntzman a link to the first article and asked if there was a new policy about the two papers sharing staff or content.

His response didn't mention a policy: "Tom Tracy is one of the best community reporters in Brooklyn. His sources are wide and his knowledge is deep, so we are privileged to be able to run his stories, where appropriate, in our newspaper."

I have no reason to question Tracy's sources or knowledge, but Kuntzman's explanation was a bit overboard for an article about the theft of "the multi-colored snowboard bench that’s been greeting shoppers outside the 4 Play Brooklyn clothing boutique on Seventh Avenue for eight years."

It seems like the two publications were sharing a neighborhood story.

If and when they get to sharing more substantive coverage, then things will get more interesting.

5 comments:

  1. "If and when" ?

    You are being gracious.

    My bet is they will merge under the same masthead/website within 6 months and that there will not be a print edition of one of them within a year.

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  2. I noticed this with an article about an FBI facility in Red Hook - showed up in the paper edition of the Courier, and then a few days later online in BP.

    Considering how awful the Courier's web presence is, this at least has the benefit of getting content online faster. The Courier does seem to fill a niche with its physical product - at least up north, most of the papers that are available are picked up and read. But their policy (if it is really a policy) of waiting a week before (maybe) putting articles online sure takes a lot of traffic away.

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  3. Here's that FBI/Red Hook article; thx for pointing it out:
    http://brooklynpaper.com/stories/32/17/32_17_gb_hook_service.html

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  4. Adam from the Brooklyn Paper Says:

    That’s only because the couriers’ reporters out number the Brooklyn paper reporters by a lot! There is only so much Mike and Ben can cover in a given week so I’m sure you’ll see more of “their” reporters getting published in our paper just for the shear fact that we don’t yet have the adequate man power to cover Brooklyn the way Gersh would like too. And let’s get real there is only so much that happens in Park Slope & Brooklyn Heights that many stories will have duel coverage but delivered with different angles of perspective. I mean nobody went nuts when Murdock bought the Wall Street Journal and owned the post; they both cover national news so most stories have had duel coverage but what separates them was the perspective that they delivered the articles.
    And I can tell you first had the courier and the BP will not be merging- its too separate of a readership that there is no way one paper can deliver too, and absorb all those eyeballs; in Brooklyn at least. People her are too dynamic for that and wouldn’t accept it and the ppl upstairs are well aware of that. They see the Brooklyn Papers as the “new york times” of local papers and the courier like the “daily news” (or perhaps The Post) of local papers and their demographics prove that. BP's readers are of a higher education income and social stature, while the courier is the complete opposite. Another play (or skew) in those numbers is the areas both papers cover; Bk only distributes in “north Brooklyn” (highest income brownstone neighborhoods) while courier covers all of Brooklyn so their numbers get diluted.

    Anyhow I just don’t see what the fuss is about!

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  5. Adam and others also commented on B'stoner:
    http://www.brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/2009/04/brooklyn_paper.php

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