Press-Register editor on ‘Exciting changes’ headline: ‘Perhaps I got carried away’

The Press-Register of Mobile, Ala., is one of the Advance newspapers that will stop daily publication and incur staff reductions.

“Exciting changes ahead,” proclaims the paper in Mobile. (Front page appears courtesy of the Newseum.

I wasn’t the only one a little surprised to see how the paper played the news on its front page this morning:



Reached by telephone, Press-Register Editor Mike Marshall said he helped write the headline, which he characterized as an attempt to recast the story: “Perhaps I got carried away, but basically the storyline all day long had been that the papers were cutting back to three publications, and lost was the story that we’re building a digital future.”

I asked Marshall if he’d characterize reader reaction so far as “excited.” He told me,

I would say that the reaction so far has been pretty good. Better than I would have expected. These changes won’t occur until sometime in the fall, so we plan to do commmunity outreach to help folks who aren’t wired get wired so they can participate in our 24/7 news cycle.

The rollout of these changes, he said, wasn’t supposed to have occurred for a couple of months. Wednesday night, David Carr published a New York Times article reporting similar changes at the Advance-owned Times-Picayune, which reportedly surprised staffers there.

RelatedHow Times-Picayune, Alabama newspaper changes played on their front pagesCritics ask if Times-Picayune, other Advance papers are ready for their new digital focus

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffdillon Jeff Dillon

    I remember a Gannett exec pushing the no-jumps policy assuring us that “Readers don’t want longer stories. They want more in-depth stories.”

  • Anonymous

    If it wasn’t so pathetic, it’d be laughable. Dishonest.corporate propaganda is disgusting on all levels.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-Lockwood/638543469 Frank Lockwood

    I hope this guy won’t be the one writing the pink slips when the Press-Register downsizes. I can see it now:

    Exciting News — You’re Unemployed!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-Lockwood/638543469 Frank Lockwood

    I hope this guy won’t be the one writing the pink slips when the Press-Register downsizes. I can see it now:

    Exciting News — You’re Unemployed!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frank-Lockwood/638543469 Frank Lockwood

    I hope this guy won’t be the one writing the pink slips when the Press-Register downsizes. I can see it now:

    Exciting News — You’re Unemployed!

  • Anonymous

    sounds like another example of a newspaper supposedly “doing more with less.”

    i for one would like to know exactly how much $$$$ these “exciting changes” will supposedly save the individual advance papers. oh, and it is probably worth remembering, these decisions are being made by the very same sort of executives who blindly jumped on the internet and started GIVING AWAY a product that they were STILL TRYING TO SELL! if newspapers continue to insist on trying to make themselves irrelevant, they will doubtless succeed. they are having quite good success at it already.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FI7IQJ3TWER2RW6UN6MWMQ6NYA David

    I just LOVE how the hypocritical newspaper industry always tries to put a positive spin on screwing over its readers. You’re not going to be publishing a daily newspaper anymore and this is good news for readers??? Really!? Why is it that the publishers and editors at these places can’t take one freaking minute to take a step back and say, “Wait a minute. Would we spin a positive story if Brand X Store was downsizing its staff and hours by 50 percent???”