ADVANCE CRISIS: The insanely obsessive guide to the Birmingham News/al.com implosion


November 2012

Nov. 1: What drives traffic at al.com? Blackface!

Nov. 9: Wary journalists at the Plain Dealer begin a campaign to rally Cleveland readers to save the paper, though Advance has made no announcements. The next month, 58 layoffs were announced. Four months after that, the newspaper dropped to three times a week for delivery but continued daily printing.

Nov. 11: A Birmingham News reporter files the same election story 13 times, changing only town and candidate names.

Nov. 13: Pulitzer-winning reporter Sara Ganim jumps to CNN ahead of Harrisburg’s Patriot-News layoffs.

Three cities, one paper, no hope?

Nov. 19: A New Orleans editor warns Cleveland of impending doom.

Also, in AnnArbor.com’s profile of a magician, the commenters uncover his criminal past.

Huntsville Times Nov. 21, 2012

The Huntsville Times’ Nov. 21 front page is missing a headline.

Nov. 26: Competitors line up to take on Harrisburg, Pa., paper.

December 2012

Dec. 4: Huntsville puts its building up for sale and signs a 10-year lease on a downtown space, planning to move in the spring after renovations.

Dec. 5: Cleveland Scene says the Plain Dealer can’t be saved. And the science reporter behind the Save the Plain Dealer campaign once worked at the Birmingham News.

Dec. 10: Mobile misspells “Mobile” in headline in Mobile paper.

Dec. 26: Cleveland’s editorial board asked the organizers behind the Save the Plain Dealer campaign to write a column. It never ran in the paper, instead ending up on Facebook.

Birmingham News readers poll participation

Participation in the Birmingham News online readers
poll, Birmingham’s Best, dropped 66 percent
from 2011 to 2012.

January 2013

Birmingham News - Jan. 2, 2013

Jan. 2: The Birmingham News offers a clip-and-save guide to “What to do if you’re caught in a mass shooting” (shown above). [larger version]

Jan. 5: NOLA Media Group reports higher numbers for site traffic and newspaper circulation, but omits all circulation figures.

Newsmagazine “60 Minutes” covers New Orleans’
reaction to changes at the Times-Picayune in this
Jan. 6 report.

Jan. 16: Layoffs come to New Jersey’s Star-Ledger (34) and South Jersey Times (11).

Also, Harrisburg, Pa., newspaper competitor gains in circulation numbers.

Jan. 18: Good: Times-Picayune wins award for its “Louisiana Incarcerated” investigative series. Bad: Half the team was laid off months ago.

Jan. 20: Syracuse Media Group starts off announcement with “Goodbye, copy editors.”

Jan. 22: The Birmingham News operated from a historic building since 1907, till it demolished it for a new construction in 2006. Less than 7 years later, it’s selling that building to lease office space elsewhere.

Also, Mobile is selling its building, built in 2002, to lease offices elsewhere.

Continued on page 5 …

9 responses to “ADVANCE CRISIS: The insanely obsessive guide to the Birmingham News/al.com implosion

  1. Richard Kirby

    Excellent piece, Wade. It’s been a shame to watch what was once a proud daily newspaper transform into little more than a click counter.

  2. Ironically, one of the story links you shared has a typo in its second graf:

    The city was the test for a business model similar to one used at other Advance-owned papers in New Orleans, Harrisburg, Syracuse and other cities in Alabama and Michican.

    http://www.wkyc.com/news/politics_government/article/283320/130/Part-2-Whats-life-like-with-no-daily-paper

  3. Pingback: Do everything wrong and backwards | Birmingham Blogging Academy

  4. new-jersey based, wayne? everyone knows advance is based in nyc.

  5. Pingback: Blood on the Newsroom Floor: Now with Greece | eats shoots 'n leaves

  6. Pingback: Questions on the 1-year anniversary of the Alabama Media Group | Media of Birmingham

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