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redsmetz
12-25-2007, 09:22 PM
As many of you know, this is the final week for the Cincinnati Post, a paper which has been publishing for over 125 years. The December 31st issue will be its last. For several years, I received both the Enquirer and the Post, but had to finally give up the Post as it just wasn't convenient to read the afternoon paper. It was always frustrating though when I'd want to find one to read at lunch because the boxes were never filled until afternoon.

Here's a blog Lonnie Wheeler linked to from a columnist at the Columbus Dispatch viz the paper's demise.

My mom's uncle was the city hall reporter for the old Time Star and later the merged Post & Time Star. And I actually met my wife because her sister moved to Cincinnati when her husband took a job at the Post. He moved on some years ago, going first to the Akron Beacon Journal (twice), then the Dallas Morning News and now with the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The jobs are growing scarcer and scarcer.

I'm sorry to see it go and wished they could have somehow tried taking on the Enquirer in the morning - an impossibility I know, but I still hoped it would have. I would have switched and only missed Jim Borgmann.



Death of Post will be like the death of an old friend

Lonnie Wheeler was the first newspaper guy I saw at Paul Brown Stadium yesterday. The Cincinnati Post columnist was heading toward the press gate and I caught up with him and gave him one of those perfunctory "How you doin'?" hellos without thinking.

"OK, I guess," he said.

I realized then how poorly I had phrased the question. The Post is one week from the end. It's not a good time for Lonnie, a real newspaper pro, or any of the Post employees, and they've had nothing at all to do with the newspaper's demise. Over the years, I've known lots of talented Post reporters, columnists, photographers and editors, and the paper's circulation always kept falling. This was in part because afternoon newspapers are no longer fashionable and in part because newspapers in general are no longer fashionable. If you've been in the business as long as I have, just the thought of it makes you want to cry.

The death of a newspaper, even one that I don't subscribe to or read every day, always seems like the death of a friend. As long as I've known the Post, it has always been the underdog, the second paper in town to the morning Enquirer. It was always like those commercials that Avis used to battle Hertz. It was No. 2 and it tried harder, as underlings tend to do, and it beat the big guys consistently. It has churned out plenty of talented people, and some of those talented people, like Lonnie, are still there. They have known this was coming for a couple of years now, but they decided to stick it out to the end. From talking to him, I got the impression that in recent days, the newsroom has become an increasingly somber place.

"Weird" was the way he described it. "It's hard to get your work done," he said. "It's like 'something doesn't feel right."

As a guy who believes deeply in the value of newspapers to the communities they serve, this never feels right. When the Reds go to spring training, no one from the Post will be there. When the Reds open the season, the Post seats in the Great American Ball Park press box, which are directly to the left of the Dispatch seats, will be occupied by someone else. Earl Lawson was a daily resident of the Reds' press box for more than 30 years for the Post, and now the paper won't have a seat at the table? Weird? Yeah, for us, too.

As it turned out, a Post reporter was also one of the last people I saw in the Bengals' press box before leaving yesterday. Trent Rosecrans, who covered the Reds for the Post last season, walked up in front of the row where Dayton Daily News' Tom Archdeacon and I were working a few hours after the game and started talking about the Post in a sad, wistful way.

Like Wheeler, he talked about how "weird" it all seemed. He likened it your high school graduation, where you know the end is coming and you may not see a lot of friends and acquaintences again. He talked and talked, like he didn't want to leave. Even though I wasn't finished and was anxious to go, I stayed until he seemed to be done, until he had gotten it all out, his concern for friends who had zero job prospects, his concern for those who were lifelong Cincinnatians and probably wouldn't leave, even though it probably meant leaving the business they love.

I shook his hand, wished him well, packed up my stuff and left. Somewhere on my sad walk between the press box and my car, my sentiment changed. I felt sorry, not for my Post friends, but for the city of Cincinnati.

Next week, it will have lost something important. I wonder how many people know it.

Cyclone792
12-25-2007, 09:45 PM
I've always felt that the Post has always had more talented writers than the Enquirer, especially sports writers and Reds beat writers. They always seemed to have more information and more interesting Reds stories than the Enquirer (or Reds.com for that matter), and the Post stories were always written better too.

I have a feeling that there will be a large void in interesting stuff surrounding the Reds (and other things in Cincinnati) starting next week, and it will really become prevalent for the Reds once spring training starts.

Caveat Emperor
12-25-2007, 10:08 PM
It must be cool to live in a city like New York, where there are multiple newspapers that cover stories and you can have a preference for newspaper buying. It reflects poorly on the city that it couldn't support a second paper and that, by all indications, it is barely supporting one.

The internet and television shifted the focus away from reporting and onto "breaking news" -- where there is no investigation, no questioning, just pointing a camera and showing people the fire as it burns. Sad in a way, but amazing in another.

My friend brought up an interesting point last week, though: what happens to all the Cincinnati Post paperboxes downtown? I think it'd be neat to own one.

KronoRed
12-25-2007, 10:45 PM
My friend brought up an interesting point last week, though: what happens to all the Cincinnati Post paperboxes downtown? I think it'd be neat to own one.

Sounds like a fun early morning with bolt cutters is in someones future :D

Trouble is, what do you use it for? novelty kitchen item? how do you get the change out without busting it open?

BearcatShane
12-25-2007, 11:08 PM
I'm gonna miss Trent.

westofyou
12-26-2007, 01:01 AM
I've always felt that the Post has always had more talented writers than the Enquirer, especially sports writers and Reds beat writers. They always seemed to have more information and more interesting Reds stories than the Enquirer (or Reds.com for that matter), and the Post stories were always written better too.




Afternoon sports editions have a longer time to pound out personal pieces and research more, morning papers are concerned with the scores and the facts, the post has always in my experience blown the Enquirer away when it came to baseball writing and writers.

Caseyfan21
12-26-2007, 01:30 AM
I'm gonna miss Trent.

Amen. When Marc left for Tampa Bay I worried that we wouldn't get as good of blog coverage that he always provided. But Trent has done an awesome job providing both information and entertainment. I really hope he can land on his feet covering another MLB team. I think it would be cool if he could somehow get a job at the DDN and start phasing in to replace Hal McCoy as retirement can't be too far off the horizon for him (as much as I have loved reading his articles growing up).

redsmetz
12-26-2007, 05:43 AM
It must be cool to live in a city like New York, where there are multiple newspapers that cover stories and you can have a preference for newspaper buying. It reflects poorly on the city that it couldn't support a second paper and that, by all indications, it is barely supporting one.

The internet and television shifted the focus away from reporting and onto "breaking news" -- where there is no investigation, no questioning, just pointing a camera and showing people the fire as it burns. Sad in a way, but amazing in another.

My friend brought up an interesting point last week, though: what happens to all the Cincinnati Post paperboxes downtown? I think it'd be neat to own one.

It's not really a reflection on Cincinnati itself but rather, as you also note, the industry. St. Louis has been without a second paper for quite a while (when the Globe Democrat folded, an ironic name for perhaps one of the most conservative newspapers you'd ever want to see). It's a rare city that has two newspapers these days.

Heath
12-26-2007, 10:27 AM
Cryptically, Trent's been dropping some hints in his comments section about future employment, notably saying "Who says I won't be having a baseball blog?"

I applaud the Katzowitzs, Wheelers, Rosecrans, et. al for their dedication to the bitter end.