Actually folks we are going back in time first to set things up as we examine the economic changes wrought by the late May news leak the T-P would be scaling out of the dead tree biz so let’s start with this American Journalism review article from November 1994 “A New Era at Newhouse“: (H/T Mark Schleifstein via Anita Lee via twitter)
Donald Newhouse leaves Manhattan for his office in Newark before dawn. Most mornings, he is at his desk at the Star-Ledger building by 5:30 – the best time to reach him, his secretary says. She is right. He answers his own phone.
His father, the late S.I. Newhouse, built a media empire during the first two-thirds of this century, beginning with a part-ownership of a nondescript daily in Bayonne, New Jersey. Sons Donald and Si command one of the world’s largest family fortunes, recently estimated at $8 billion between them by Forbes magazine. They control what an editor who once worked for them terms “the largest journalistic concern in the English language.” The properties are familiar names to anyone who takes reading seriously: Random House. Conde Nast. Vanity Fair. The New Yorker.
Donald Newhouse, 65, has ultimate authority for newspapers in 22 cities across America. But on a midsummer day as the sun is just bleaching the sky, he has no desire to talk about the dramatic improvement of several of those papers. Nor does he wish to arrange a later interview.
If the Newhouse papers are doing better journalism, he tells me, “it’s coincidental. If there’s improvement in the papers, it’s as a result of improvements being made locally. Our publishers have autonomy.”
Indeed it was a coincidence IMHO folks as former Newhouse employees indicated to me early on in the T-P chop shop debacle the results of the decentralized management structure was very uneven quality across the company. But the mid 1990s evidently witnessed some sort renaissance at the publishing empire S.I. Sr built as I continue: Continue reading “Oh SI can you see? Slabbed examines the New Orleans media landscape after the T-P cutbacks.”