Monday, June 27, 2011

Moving on up

My friends at the venerable Amherst Bulletin--affectionately referred to by insiders as "the Bully" (although probably less so now that the term's negative aspect is in vogue)--have a new home closer to town center, so as my British friends would say: "bully for them."

Old location. University Drive

Not so sure it is going to increase interaction with the general public, as these days folks do not like to walk up a flight of stairs to get anywhere, but the rent is probably a tad cheaper than their previous location on University Drive and reduced overhead adds to the bottom line--especially helpful when advertising revenues tank due to increased competition via the Internet.

New location. East Pleasant St. 2nd floor

I do like the fresh new look of the website, which mirrors the Daily Hampshire Gazette--so much so that I actually thought it was the Gazette. And it would be nice if the Gazette or Bulletin resurrected the online forum for reader interaction that ten years ago was far more active than Masslive's moribund Amherst Forum.

Twenty years ago upper management kept the Gazette and Bulletin completely separate, so that reporters for one paper considered those working at the sister publication competition and would work hard to scoop one another even though they all worked for the same owner. Nothing like a little competition to fire up motivation.

The actual competition, 100+ year old weekly Amherst Record, ceased publication in 1984 leaving the Amherst Bulletin as the sole paper devoted to Amherst.

The Bully and Gazette pretty much merged into one seamless entity, where the Gazette would break a story in the beginning of the week and the weekly Bulletin would flesh out all the fine details by distribution on Friday.

Of course the problem now for the newspaper industry as a whole is that readers want their news almost before it happens, rather than waiting until the end of the week. And even daily publications have trouble printing a story before readers have already heard about it on Facebook, Twitter, or those pesky blogs.

In a one mortician town, who buries the undertaker? Let's hope the Bulletin never has to cover its own funeral.

1 comment:

Jared Stenquist said...

I ran my company (CampusLIVE) out of both sides of that building for a year. That unit is 700sq. feet. Rent is indeed cheap at $700 per side. The price could have dropped further since it has been vacant for a year.