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

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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