Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Big media battle on a small island

Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror has another adversary

A generation ago the Ottaway Newspaper Company, owners of our daily the Cape Cod Times, bought the 183 year-old Nantucket weekly Inquirer & Mirror, known as The Inky by locals. The previous owners daughter, Marianne Stanton, is the publisher.

Around that same time another group launched a competing weekly named the Nantucket Beacon which quickly became THE island newspaper to read on the island.

The competition became so fierce that Ottaway bought The Beacon to protect its investment, but did they close down the wrong newspaper?

Beacon redux: The arrival of Nantucket Independent

Fast forward a dozen years and witness the arrival of another, brash upstart, the Nantucket Independent, which is repeating history on that storied island.

The Independent's Editor & Publisher is Don Costanzo, who had previously worked at the Beacon for several years and briefly at the Inky as well. He describes his publication as "Nantucket's ONLY locally owned weekly newspaper."

Within a year and a half, this latest competitor is about where the Beacon was when Ottaway bought it.

Maybe history will repeat itself, but if Ottaway buys yet another weekly on Nantucket, perhaps they'll close down the right one this time. See their respective web sites, Independent and Inquirer & Mirror.


At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Foggy Island Bound said...

The Independent is a much better local newspaper, more lively, and reflects the island of today far better than the stodgy Inky Mirror.

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The Nantucket Beacon kicked the living hell out of the Inquirer Mirror 52 times each year. It was the first time Islanders had seen a REAL newspaper and not just a house organ for the town. The arrogance of the Inquirer Mirror also drew a strong line between them and the gung ho Beacon staff. The Beacon was named the top newspaper in New England two years in a row in the early 1990's and was the runner up the next two years.

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