I felt bad about sniping that the Trib had swallowed up the Budgeteer in my last column when I heard that the Trib itself had just been swallowed up the McClatchy Company (owners of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune). And then I felt bad all over again when the McClatchy folks said that they were going to sell it off too.
Media empires are no respectors of local tradition. Although they have an interest in it from a commercial point of view (as long as maintaining it will keep their properties profitible). John Myers, the President of the DNT’s Newspaper Guild, said something about the DNT earning a 20% profit on MPR’s story about the sale. I have my doubts about that figure. It sounds more like the earnings figures thrown around by a union as it heads into salary negotiations. Most businesses are lucky to make a 3 percent profit. I doubt that Knight Ridder would have wanted to sell off anything that made that kind of money.
Now the Trib has suffered the same fate as several local radio stations which were swallowed up by the infamous Clear Channel and KDLH television. I can’t help but wonder if and when Bob Boone will sell his Reader Weekly to some humongous tabloid conglomerate. I know he’s carped about them before.
If he did my column could be replaced by some generic nationally syndicated column. If that happened I’m sure the Duluth NewsTribune would get a good laugh out of my embarassment. My only hope is to keep working for coupons.