Wednesday, November 21

Starbuckian news

Last week, there was some good discussion here about conglomeration within the alternative newspaper industry. Concerns like cookie-cutter design and style are the most immediate criticisms, but if you think conglomeration amongst alts is bad, check out what the Tribune empire (also known as Northern Colorado Communications, Greeley Publishing or, the true parent company, Swift Publications) pulled off last weekend.

I snapped these photos outside of Beaver's Market, our corner-store grocer at the intersection of the Old Town North, Lee Martinez, City Park and Capitol Hill neighborhoods, the northwest chamber of the heart of Fort Collins:

Front page of the Sunday edition of the Northern Colorado Tribune, the newest and most widely distributed of the NCC papers. Headline: "Traffic Jam." Author: Rebecca Boyle. Price: fifty cents.

Front page of the Friday or Saturday edition of Fort Collins Now, a twice-weekly, part community rag/part faux-alt (since merging with NCC's true faux-alt embarrassment, NextNC). Headline: "Growing at the Speed of Light." Author: Rebecca Boyle. Price: free

At Beaver's, the two outdoor distribution boxes sit next to each other. Even if you wanted to read this story, would you really pay for it?

The same photo and article also appeared in the Greeley Tribune (under yet another headline) last weekend (and may very well have had some play in Windsor Now and/or La Tribuna, both of which are also held by Northern Colorado Communications).

So, please explain to me again how Fort Collins Now is an "independent" newspaper? And while you're at it, do tell how this kind of homogeneous coverage is better serving Northern Colorado communities?

The Starbuckian model of newspapering has arrived.

1 comment:

James said...

And did you see the FC Now headline last weekish? "The Masters Fies" (sic), if I'm not incorrect.