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Selling a newspaper; ocean cruises


“Some of you are probably wondering how we’re doing down here at the newspaper, as we have gone from a relaxed family-type operation to being part of a globally powerful corporate entity, all in the swoosh of a printing run: Good morning employees and readers, the Tulsa World has been sold.”
That’s how a columnist for the Tulsa daily started off explaining the sale to readers and advertisers.
“The new owner of the Tulsa World likes newspapers around this size because of a sense of community that can be developed between the readers and the writers and editors and ad people and production and delivery personnel,” he added. “Newspapers can cover a city this size better than anybody else based on sheer numbers alone. Mix in some talent, and you can still be a happy family.”
If you have to get bought, it does not get any better than having a newspaper purchased by Warren Buffett, who loves everything about what’s good in the newspaper business. Buffett elaborated in a USA Today story that turned out to be his state of the newspaper business address.
It was his observations on publishing good newspapers, not doom and gloom.
I survived the sale of a good family-owned newspaper. The new owners offered a better benefit package to employees, after telling assembled workers there would be few changes.
One department head after another was terminated in the first week.
Much to my surprise, I lasted a number of years and finally resigned after an ethics dispute with the publisher the new owners installed.
Like Buffett, I appreciate the sense of community that can be developed between the readers and the writers and editors, advertising people, production and delivery personnel. If you don’t like something I write I am open to comment and criticism.
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For a number of years my spouse has mentioned that several co-workers and acquaintances have taken an Alaskan cruise and praised the experience.
I did not offer much encouragement when she brought up the subject of a vacation in Hawaii. Some husbands are like that. When you have worked in Hawaii, the words “overpriced and overcrowded” come to mind.
Same situation when it comes to Alaska. Nice place to visit. Lots of nice people. Worked there, done that.
Juneau, Alaska’s capital, is a bit remote. It is accessible only by air, water and dogsled.
I only found one disadvantage to working several brief tours for the Juneau newspaper when it was owned by my then-employer — aggressive mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds.
I have not heard a word from her lips about an ocean cruise since the Costa Concordia hit a large rock in early 2012 off the coast of Italy. When I raised the subject one evening, she changed the subject. Some wives are like that.
I recently received an advertisement by mail from Carnival, owner of the snakebit Triumph that drifted without power in the Caribbean almost a week. If I was working in Carnival’s PR department, that ad campaign would been scrapped.
The Triumph’s more than 3,100 passengers received $500, a free flight home, a full refund for the trip and for most expenses incurred on board, as well as credit for another cruise.
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Larry Fugate is a veteran journalist and former editor of The Pine Bluff Commercial. He can be reached by email at fugatel@sbcglobal.net or at (870) 329-7010.