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March 11, 2009

Brutally weird: Brooklyn Paper sold to Murdoch; now an independent online Brooklyn publication is needed

Atlantic Yards Report

Given the pressures on the news industry, it's not surprising that Brooklyn Paper publisher Ed Weintrob might have put his weekly newspaper chain on the block, and it's not shocking that Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which already controls the Courier-Life chain, might have decided to make the purchase as the New York Observer reported yesterday.

What is surprising--brutally weird, actually--is that Brooklyn Paper editor Gersh Kuntzman, a New York Post alumnus would tell the Observer, "They don’t want the product to change. And they love the product. And the product is fantastic."

Well, um, why wouldn't the News Corporation seek, as they say in the biz, efficiencies and synergies in Brooklyn news coverage and ad sales, given that both papers publish editions for neighborhoods like Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, and Fort Greene? (There are areas with less overlap.) DDDB calls it Monopolyn.

For how long will two reporters compete to cover the same story for two competing newspapers owned by the same giant corporation? Brooklyn Optimist blogger Morgan Pehme already reports that consolidation has begun, with some staffers and the Greenpoint Courier getting the ax.

The Courier-Life chain recently moved from Sheepshead Bay to rent space in Forest City Ratner's MetroTech. Will the Brooklyn Paper, now headquartered in DUMBO, be consolidated into the same space? If so, it might make it tougher to report critically on Brooklyn's most powerful developer.

Norman Oder speculates about how Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner may benefit from The Brooklyn Paper joining the establishment fold.

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Posted by lumi at March 11, 2009 3:23 AM