Monday, April 1, 2013

Middletown Press Purchases the Eye


As announced in this morning’s Middletown Press, the Middletown Eye is now owned by the Press’s parent corporation, the Journal Register.

Negotiations for the hyperlocal news blog have been ongoing for the past year, according to a former columnist at the Press, Sherm Beinhorn:  “The addition of the Eye to the Press gives us something that we haven’t had in several years, as a number of their reporters go to public meetings and write about them.  The fact that the Eye writers are familiar with the history of the town, and even know some of the players – that just brings another layer to the story.  We were already using the Eye reports as background information in our publication, and this just brings it to the next level.”

The purchase of the Eye is seen as a positive step for the bottom line at the for-profit Journal Register publication.  Beinhorn said “When we learned that their reporters are volunteers, that really clinched the deal for us.  Our Press reporters have historically been paid, but we think this is the future of journalism.”

The sale price was not announced, but one unnamed source stated that the purchase did not even involve a transfer of funds, but resulted from someone at the Press picking up the tab at Eli’s for a table of Eye reporters.

The sale of the Eye came as a surprise to some of the writers.  “I didn’t even know that it was for sale,” said Karen Schwartz, who covers a range of issues for the blog, including the Conservation Commission and the menu at CafĂ© 56.  “Sometimes they leave my name off the emails – I would have voted against this if asked.”

Writer Stephen DeVoto countered this charge:  “The Eye is operated by an anarcho-syndicalist commune.  We take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.”  He added, “This was not her week,” but he declined to name who had made the decision to sell the Eye. 

More information about the transfer is available here.

22 comments:

Arthur Fonzarelli said...

Now we see the violence inherent in the system!

William Wilson said...

I was sorry to hear this. I read the Eye every day and consider it one of the better sources for local news.

Casual Observer said...

Boo!

Mr.Fixit said...

Ya had me going on this one. Nice bit, "Eye"!

Ed McKeon said...

I was afraid this would happen when I was away.

Is it true that they hired Arthur Fonzarelli as a columnist, or am I jumping the shark

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Sherm Beinhorn was the spokesman for this deal. Sherm died many years ago. It must be his post-Easter appearance.

Tree Fanatic said...

Personally, I suspect it was the Colonel -- it's been worrying me ever since he started his not-so-subtle product placements.

Anonymous said...

April Fools Day ... no doubt!

Catherine said...

I would be interested in buying a Colonel product: please point me to the website. Regarding the sale of the Eye, I cannot wait to find out how much the Eye is worth, and how proceeds are distributed. It does remind me of the method I devised (in my mind) for how I would distribute money to friends and loved ones, were I ever to win the mega-lottery: I had planned to give $1000 per letter anyone had written me, as I had saved nearly every single letter and card throughout adulthood (until a couple years ago (future Eye article on why I cleaned house forthcoming)). Now my lottery fantasies are all planning, development, and renovation-focused. Had the Eye been sold, the reporters who cover the tedium surely deserve money for their great contribution to our civic life. I will include them in my future potential lottery distribution.

Thanks Jen, for stopping my heart this morning!

Hello, it's me. S-W-A-R-T-Z. said...

Like in Sweeden. Or swimming. I thought we were friends.

Armchair Town Planner said...

Catherine! I had the recent powerball neatly divided into Riverfront and Washington Street purchases, though I did give some serious thought to tunneling Route 9. Or maybe re-activating the passenger rail from Hartford to Old Saybrook...with a lovely new train station on DeKoven Drive....

Professor Pinch said...

This trend is seen across the industry as online blogs switch to print. Just this morning, Wesleying announced that they would be ending the internet version of their publication. It will now only be available in person at the Usdan campus center.

Anonymous said...

Too bad this isn't true. At least then opposing views would be posted!

Bill Wilson said...

Using my name without permission even on April 1st is silly. Especially since I do read it daily and think it is a better source of news than the Middletown Press. But I do believe that another blog does an excellent job of reporting Middletown news and that is the Middletown Insider.
Both blogs have there place in Middletown where the Courant and Press leave us waiting more coverage.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha Ha! Very Funny! Happy April Fool's Day!

Anonymous said...

I knew this was a joke when I saw the headline. The Journal Register company is in bankruptcy & is in the process of being sold. Plus, Sherman Beinhorn died about 10 years ago & retired in 1992 from The Press. Then, worked for The Courant from 1997 until he died. Still, A Very humorous April Fool's joke.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad April Fool's day can't be everyday. Humor is great. It keeps people from being too serious & bitter.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
william pinch said...

Someone posted a comment above claiming to be "Professor Pinch". It's possible that the individual who posted the message is the literature scholar and cultural historian Adela Pinch of the University of Michigan, or Trevor Pinch the eminent sociologist of science (and musician) from Cornell, or perhaps the macroeconomist "man of mystery" and occasional blogger from Charlotte, NC--
http://goodmenproject.com/author/professor-pinch/

It may even have been William W. Pinch the mineralogist from Rochester, after whom a major Canadian award in rocks has been named, though I don't think he refers to himself as "professor".

But I don't think it was any of those folks.

Another possibility is that it was penned by the fictional Professor Pinch from "The Kingdom under the Sea"--
http://www.kingdomunderthesea.com/cast/Evil/pinch.php--who somehow escaped the virtual net around his fluid universe and is now wandering the byways of the internet, posting messages and causing identity havoc.

The possibilities are endless. Or almost endless: we can hereby eliminate one possibility, namely, that the message written at 1:34 p.m. on 1 April 2013 was penned and posted by me, William R. Pinch (a.k.a. Vijay Pinch) of Middletown, CT (and a member of the History Department, Wesleyan University, currently on sabbatical/leave).

I have my suspicions about who would do such a dastardly deed and have dispatched my undersea namesake to commence investigations. If you see a curmudgeonly crustacean heading your way, be afraid--be very afraid.

I share William Wilson's pain.

Anonymous said...

Happy April Fools' Day!

Bob Dutcher said...

That William Pinch dude looks like some kind of an Indian yogi or something! Great hair. May start a new fashion trend in Middletown--or even Mumbay.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, the Middletown Insider doesn't do any 'reporting'. It prints press releases and editorials. Does the middletown insider actually send correspondents to cover town events? Also, the Insider has a credibility problem. Who is responsible for the Insider and its editorial positions.

I can't help but wonder if it is the same people that made up "Julian Schmidt" during the last mayoral election.

The Insider could be a great addition to news and opinions about Middletown. However, not when it is cloaked in a veil of anonymity.

Why not come out of the closet and take responsiblity for your positions...