Rags Play Rock-Paper-Scissors for Ownership

In a crazy, wife-swapping-like deal, the Detroit Free Press is now owned by Gannett, which used to own the Free Press. The News is now owned by NewsMedia Corp. Knight-Ridder, who owned the Freep has left the building altogether.

The News will become a morning paper, just like the Freep is. Saturdays will no longer be co-produced, and the Freep will have Sundays all to themselves.

The quiz on this will start in 10 minutes.

This is quite astounding, and I’m a bit shocked that the Feds aren’t going to come in to stop the deal (but then, I know little about trade and anti-trust law). I do wonder, though, about how this will affect political coverage in the city.

The News has always been much, much more conservative than the Freep. Hell, the Free Press has been practically a socialist rag in comparison, especially during the Reagan years. So, the question is: will the News stay to the right with this change? And, now that the former owners of the News now own the Free Press, will that paper swing to the right?

In a city where President Bush actually increased his vote percentage in 2004 — and still lost 92% – 8% — I find it hard to believe that this town, the cornerstone of a solidly blue state, might be dominated by two conservative papers. (Of course, with this administration, I wouldn’t be surprised if Jeff Gannon/Guckert was the new Editor-In-Chief… but that’s a discussion for another day.) Maybe, at very least, we can put the old, haggard ‘liberal media bias’ canard out to pasture.

3 Comments so far

  1. MGal (unregistered) on August 4th, 2005 @ 6:40 am

    It is musical ownership. I usually only read the Detroit News – either way the articles are awful, but I like more of Detroit New’s columnists.. Plus there is no Albom in that paper


  2. baliad (unregistered) on August 4th, 2005 @ 6:54 am

    i agree with Mgal… i prefer the News and i prefer no Albom…


  3. Jeremy (unregistered) on August 4th, 2005 @ 7:50 am

    I read the Freep – if for no other reason than the fact I have quite a few friends who work there.

    I don’t read Albom – he’s overated, and now I can’t even turn on WWJ without hearing him.



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