Friday, June 10, 2005

The coming Cape Cod media shake-up

New media giant heading our way?

A dozen years ago there were twenty-plus weeklies on the Cape while today there are only eleven; see here.

And the rumor mills are churning to suggest a massive media shake-up is pending with off-Cape EnterpriseMediaNews reportedly calling around to Cape publishers asking if their weeklies are for sale.

But they're not too far off-Cape at that. This media company owns longtime weeklies inthe two almost-cape towns of Wareham and Plymouth, and the group's head once ran a whole bunch of cape newspapers.

The Enterprise group (SouthOfBoston) includes two daily newspapers, The Patriot Ledger in Quincy and The Enterprise in Brockton, plus the weeklies Old Colony Memorial in Plymouth, Reporter publications in Carver, Halifax, Kingston and Pembroke, The Wareham Courier, The Sentinel covering Marion, Rochester and Mattapoisett, and new weeklies they bought this year in the Lakeville and Freetown area.

Kirk Davis, a formidable media competitor

The head honcho at SouthOfBoston is former Community Newspaper Company Publisher Kirk Davis, who personally owns Landmark Newspapers which includes a group of weeklies northwest of Boston.

Mr. Davis is a formidible media competitor, one of the best in New England, with a track record to prove it. He's more likely to start a new publication from scratch than buy one, something most newspaper publishers shy away from.

Herald Media's local Community Newspaper Company is well aware of the threat. They launched a new free circulation weekly the Plymouth Bulletin in "America's Hometown" a month ago as a sort of "shot across the bow" of Kirk's #1 weekly, the Old Colony Memorial.

An example of his dynamic methods, Davis lured Dave Johnson back to Cape Cod from his job as G.M. of an Ottaway daily in Stockton, Calif. Dave is very well known and admired here from his years as "Membership Director" (that means circulation) at the Cape Cod Times.

A media change for the good of Cape Cod newspapers

If all this did transpire, it bodes good for The Cape since these are local newspaper people who historically have shown they know how to succeed and please readers in communities like ours. This is decidedly NOT true with CNC's present owner, Pat Purcell, Publisher of the Boston Herald who seems to only want his profitable cape weeklies to support his money-losing Beantown daily.

Kirk's departure from CNC a few years back was apparently not to his liking, and as someone once said, "revenge is a dish best served cold."


At 2:57 PM, Anonymous H.L.M. said...

I remember Kirk well, and the bush leaguers on your sand spit had better watch out !

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