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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Is Twin Cities Media Losing Competitive Voices?

Category: Media
Posted: 05/06/15 11:58

by Dave Mindeman

An interesting media note. The Star Tribune has bought City Pages. At first blush, this is a headscratcher. Strib isn't exactly buying a direct competitor but City Pages is not a media giant either. But there are some interesting notes to make on this.

First of all, Glen Taylor (who owns the T-Wolves and Lynx) is the owner of the Star Tribune. Taylor is a former conservative Republican representative and a heavy Republican donor. It is hard to know his overall direction in regards to the Star Tribune...it has made some editorial right turns, but not in a hard core way. Jury is still out on that.

The announcement from City Pages seems to be indicating that they will have complete autonomy from the Strib. That the Star Tribune will have ownership in name only and not mess with what they have for content. How far they can take that is now in question because the Star Tribune is often a target of City Pages and they do tend to lean heavily left politically.

So, let's assume all of that is true. What this gives City Pages is deeper pockets and more resources. Maybe they will be able to expand their coverage and delve deeper into their edgier stories. Or maybe if they get too cute on a particular issue, Taylor will step in and stomp on it. Only time will tell.

I will be curious as to whether or not they will rein in Cory Zurowski, who has done exceptional work in putting Cong. John Kline's dirty work on full display. Taylor and Kline are friends and donor buddies, so it will be interesting to watch how far they let Zurowski go in his critique of Kline.

On the one hand, you wonder if they will rein him in....on the other hand, will the stronger financial structure of City Pages allow him more resources to go even deeper.

It is somewhat troubling that there is getting to be less and less competition in the print media in the Twin Cities. The Star Tribune has moved to the right and the Pioneer Press is, again, on the selling block.

Where does this all lead? I have no idea.
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Hey, Kate & Willie, Get Married Already Will Ya?

Category: Media
Posted: 04/23/11 12:09

by Dave Mindeman

At the risk of offending all of you Royal watchers out there, I have to say that if I hear one more piece of Royal hype about the "wedding", I'll barf in the nearest facility.

In the midst of wars and economic collapses, maybe a distraction of some sort is good for the masses. But really, does a Royal wedding have to be the thing?

All of these biographies about Kate border on the absurd. She didn't cure cancer or find a substitute for petroleum energy. No, she just happens to be a bride to be.

I like that term "commoner". It has a way of being both condescending and uplifting at the same time. But this Kate person hasn't done much to earn a title of any kind. She is betrothed to a Prince. And this Prince is not exactly an earth mover either.

We fought a Revolutionary War to cut the umbilical cord that tied us to Royal lineages. And yet, in England, the lineage still has some unique fascination. And for reasons unknown to me, it seems to have a hold on Americans as well.

This Royalty has no say in governmental authority. It really is nothing more than a huge drain on the public purse. Take that you American conservatives. You could be dealing with that!

William and Kate....Charles and Camilla....Queen Elizabeth. These are people that you would not know a thing about, except they have been granted titles....for being born? or for marrying someone who was born?

It is a mysterious and nonsensical media circus.

And we are captivated....except for me.
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The Potential Irony of the Supreme Court Decision

Category: Media
Posted: 01/22/10 12:22

by Dave Mindeman

There is a certain compelling irony that could develop as a result of the Supreme Court ruling yesterday. With the flood gates of corporate cash about to be unleashed, dollars, that have been on the sidelines in corporate coffers, could suddenly get pushed into the economy.

What industry has been hurting for years? Media. Who benefits from the influx of advertising dollars? Media.

We could be talking billions of dollars.

But here is the real irony. Suppose the influx of money is as big as is being assumed. Media outlets suddenly become more profitable, which results in more media coverage, more jobs at newspapers, radio, TV, & Cable -- from national outlets to the local weeklies. Those dollars begin to fillter through the economy and unemployment begins to drop. Stock markets rise..... optimism grows....anger subsides.

Obama gets credit for the economic upturn and the mid-terms are a rousing success for the Democrats.

How ironic would that be?
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