Slow, Painful, Sad Decline of Press of Atlantic City

Changing of the guard.

Slowly gutting the newspaper that served Atlantic City and South Jersey for decades. The once beloved, Press of Atlantic City, just ousted another veteran writer.

Another very popular reporter was just let go. Sports guy, Dave Weinberg. This follows past exit of 1st lady of crime, Linda Cohen. Both are virtually impossible to replace.

Popularity of web news & digital advertising played major role in Press of AC woes and need for draconian downsizing. But Press of AC also made some other big mistakes.

Press of AC, over the years, became over-the-top partisan. An SJW activist in print. Polarized half the potential readership. Forgot to adequately cover local issues. Lack of sustainable website and digital business model.

Most critical mistake from Press of AC: too much focus on partisan national politics in a local newspaper. Weak local coverage.,

Keeping local politicians honest. Community watchdog and trusted news source. With drop in newspaper circulation and radio listener-ship, watch for hyper-local publishers like to fill that info void.

Social Media Commentary:

Scott Stetzer was a staff photojournalist at The Press of Atlantic City for 23 years. According to Scott’s recent social media post, he was a member of the paper’s Pleasantville staff of over 60 reporters and seven photographers.

We hit the streets every day and night, producing a news product that was professional, unique, balanced and insightful.

Scott Stetzer

Stetzer continues in his post: I’ve stood by to watch the business and craft I love decline over the years to the point I barely recognize it. Gone are the investigative reporting. The Feature Stories. The Photo Essays. The in depth daily journalism that was the hallmark of The Press.

Firing Dave Weinberg is unbelievable. Dave started just after I did and I had the pleasure and honor to have worked hundreds of stories and events with him. He, like so many others that have been “let go”, represent everything that was noble about journalism. Accurate, factual, honest and creative writing and reporting.

I’m sorry The Press has been so fractured that it cannot even put out a product worth paying for. I understand the economics of how we have arrived at this point. I understand the drastic actions associated with these issues. I just wish they were different or even salvageable. I’m not looking forward to hearing the news that The Press is going out of business. I fear that’s next……

More feedback…

John C Baker – Agree with your expert viewpoint. Can’t believe it about Dave Weinberg, I’m outraged. He’s the most excellent journalist on their staff. No doubt in my mind it will go out of business.

Ginny O’Brien Lyon – Wow! He was one of the few standouts left at The Press. What a way to diminish the product’s value. Cost cutting into a death spiral. I travel to and speak at newspaper conferences and see local papers outside here that are still vibrant and sustaining. It’s all in the value your product offers the consumers.

Tom Forkin – They fired Dave? WTF! He was their sports department and the only reason I read the press!

Joe Weinert – I cannot figure how the paper has survived the past few years, as it has frighteningly few display ads – and classified advertising dried up years ago. The newsroom is a collection of young ‘uns who can’t find their way from Pleasanvtville to the ocean without a GPS.

Steve Cronin – Dave was an institution at The Press and is one of the best sports writers in the state. Firing him is also sending a message to the community about how the newspaper views its place in the fabric of the community and the value it places on its own product. I no longer care a whit if The Press remains in operation, since that business is not the one I worked at. It has the same name, but it’s a completely different place.

Eileen Tedesco Bennett –  Oh no….. what an incredibly stupid move. Dave Weinberg was one of the strongest “pluses” left at the deflated paper. I wish I could say I was truly shocked…… but not anymore.

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