Sunday, May 31, 2009

Home again, home again jiggety jig, the end of a FJ era

Made it home from Buffalo in almost record time. Thanks to our Nexus passes at the border we do not have to wait in long lines at the customs stations there.

Settled in, got ready to catch up on the Detroit Red Wings game last night in my Sunday Flint Journal and, voila!, no game coverage at all. And with no Monday paper, no coverage of either Saturday's game or tonight's game until Thursday. (Go to and see how poorly displayed - read not displayed - game coverage is there). Go to and and see the difference between online game coverage.

Update: Here's the deal. If you have set your to the Flint Journal page as a favorite you won't see any of the Red Wings coverage. But if you go to the overall site - - You'll see some coverage. It only took me 20 minutes to figure this out. Why wouldn't you put a link at the top of the Flint Journal page for Red Wings coverage for folks who are going directly to your site. This is why the MLive format may just be the worst newspaper website design in the country.

Also whoever designed Page (Sports) B6 may have put together the ugliest newspaper page I have seen in a long time. No photos, no graphics and a major league bumping headline at the top of the page. Get a clue.

The new Executive Editor who wrote a glowing column about "A new era for your paper" didn't bother to mention new deadlines that didn't allow a Stanley Cup Finals game that ended before 11 p.m. on Saturday to be in Sunday's paper. Looked for a link to his column on and couldn't find one.

What are the new deadlines anyway? I could find no breaking news (maybe the GM bankruptcy story qualifies, but it stands alone) in Sunday's paper, lots of features, including a Page 2 story out of Duluth, Minnesota about a voyage to discover if lake temperatures in Lake Superior are changing.

The new executive editor suggests going to to keep up-to-date. Apparently, the new executive editor hasn't been to to realize how impossible it is to find anything there. I like reading my old column, now Bryn's column "Off Beat." Try and find that anywhere on Oh, I'm sure it's there, but finding the most recent one is difficult, too difficult to waste much time doing it.

Look through the list of columnists and check out how old some of those columns on the home Flint Journal page are. One of the columns featured is still talking about how there is still time to research candidates for the early May city elections.

So while it may be a new era in the Flint Journal, I think I'm going to miss the old era, a lot. The old era actually had news and sports. And I mean it.


Anonymous said...

They started late at the PDC last night too.. You would have thought that was to get Red Wings coverage in eh?

Jan Scholl said...

I was eating brunch at Gramma's and flipped to my favorite section (sports of course) and told hubby I think we got the wrong paper. Nothing identified that section as belonging to the Journal.In fact, not one piece of paper led me to believe it was the Flint Journal except the front page. If I found even one of the sections laying about, I would have had no idea whose paper it was. I am a newspaper junkie,even having hubby bring home dailies from Asia altho I could not read them. This may have been our last Journal purchase as we were down to Sunday only for the print of it. I rarely use the Journal site, either as its so cumbersome. I have my Reader send me items based on my frequent searches such as GM, Pistons, running, Crim, etc. I still get two dailies every day so I am not without my fix, but I want my 2 bucks back after this mess today.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Lets go Sharks! They will be back to kill off the dead wings. You will see.

Anonymous said...

This new paper is a disgrace. It is essentially the " Journal" and we all know how bad mlive sucks. I noticed several bylines from writers in Bay City and Saginaw, too. I don't want pieces of the BC and Saginaw papers in the Flint Journal because, frankly, I don't give a damn about local news in BC or Saginaw (no offense to those who live there).

I was planning on just letting my subscription run out but now I think I might call them and tell them to stop delivering that damn thing to my house.

Anonymous said...

People, people, people. Get with the program!

Whoever heard of getting a printed paper SEVEN DAYS A WEEK??? Whoever heard of seeing an actual story in a Sunday paper from a Stanley Cup Finals hockey game involving the hugely-popular local team that ended before 11:00 the night before?

Let me guess . . . you probably want stories about local crime, too. And the courts. And you've probably got a problem with rah rah, feel-good stories about little Amber's dandelion collection or old George's horseshoe-pitching hobby on 1A.

Ya know what. Deal with it. And when we don't publish an actual newspaper, stop your whining and go to MLive. Sure, it's garbage. Sure, it's clunky. Sure, you can't find anything there. But that's the way it is. We're not doing this for you. We're doing it for us.

And we mean it.

Anonymous said...

The new executive editor kept talking about "your paper" in TFJ on Sunday.

But he lives in Bay City, no?

And his right-hander lives in Lansing, no?

And they are changing it without my input, no?

And my paper looks nothing like it did before, no?

And they haven't listened to my input about their new product, mlive, as a long-time employee or a loyal subscriber, no?

Who's paper is it, again?

And I love his line:

"And for every traditional reader who tells us that the Internet does not appeal them, we're meeting another such as Mary Louise Charters, a 65-year-old lifelong newspaper reader in Essexville.

"My kids got me on the computer a couple years ago," said Charters, adding that she's adept at using it to read obituaries online. "It will seem funny not to have my friend everyday on the porch, but I'll get used to it."

That's the customer you want: The one who is "adept" at using what you give them, not making what you give them easy to use. (Not to mention the subtle slam — this 65-year-old gets the Internet and mLive, why don't the rest of you?)

Brilliant. Old school. Monopolistic. But brilliant.

And ... hint, hint ... my neighbors do not live in Essexville, John.

YOURS do, though.

Anonymous said...

I was angry when I got home and didn't see my paper on the porch today.

Then I laughed.

I canceled my subscription last week.

Stupid me.

Anonymous said...

I only want to hear about Essexville if there is a tornado warning and it extends up there.

I had lunch with an old Journal friend today and he thought it was sad that on the day GM goes into bankruptcy the Flint Journal is not there to print stories about it.

I feel the FJ wouldn't have done much with it anyways, and we would have been stuck with a Bay City perspective on it all anyways. No loss.

Kevin McKague said...

I cancelled my subscription to the Journal the week they printed letters in the opinion page stating that Barack Obama was a secret Muslim who, once elected, would kill all of the Coca-Cola drinkers.

The same week, they printed another letter in which a man complained about his sister-in-law who got an abortion. He didn't mention the woman's name, but I don't imagine it would be too difficult to figure out who she was if you knew the letter writer at all. Isn't there some sort of law, or standard forbidding newspapers from publishing someone's private medical matters?

The opinion page started looking more like the crazy conspiracy theory club meeting. Their columnist, John Tomlinson, was caught more than once copying significant portions of other writers' work. (Compare paragraph 5 of his column here to para. 6 in this one written the week before by Bradley Gitz in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette). When he wasn't plagiarizing, he was comparing Democrats to Nazis.

Local coverage, which is the only part of the paper I wouldn't be able to get on-line, shrunk down to next to nothing.

Without a decent, thoughtful opinion page and local coverage, I no longer had any use for the paper.

Anonymous said...

In the completely misguided department, the reporters who are left have been told to start Facebook accounts because that will be a new and snarky way to connect with readers.

Uh, news flash, but I don't go on Facebook to see what local reporters are thinking or writing about. I go on there to see what my friends are up to, or to look at funny photos from the recent FJ party, or to trade jokes with people. Or what my friends' children are doing.

Again, Booth - hopelessly chained to the pitiful MLive - is making last-ditch efforts to market itself was web-savvy and ahead of the curve.

It's like Pat Boone trying to sing Ozzy Osbourne songs.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised to see John Tomlinson isn't going to be in the paper anymore. He had to work pretty cheap eh?

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thought that the new schedule beginning June 4 meant they would publish seven days a week through June 3, not only through May 31? As recently as this morning, John Hiner's online story said they were "moving to a Thursday, Friday and Sunday print cycle starting June 4." To me, that means a daily through June 3.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly, what's left at the top is a bunch of "all sizzle, no steak" leaders who've never actually been in the trenches long enough to know how things function there.

The new design is a mess? Of course it is, because none of the managers - particularly the new EE and his sidekick - never laid out a page in their lives. They've been deathly afraid of someday possibly having to do it. I mean, hyperventilating afraid.

They'd be the first to "claim" a good design when they actually had nothing to do with it. That's how it works at the top of this new, dysfunctional organization: Take credit for everything, point fingers for everything else.

bill forward said...

John Hiner lives in Williams Township, near Auburn. No on who remains at the Bay City Times lives in Bay City.

Anonymous said...

"It's like Pat Boone trying to sing Ozzy Osbourne songs."

LMAO, 19:01. I am not worthy. Way too clear a picture there.

I was gonna suggest that watching these clowns try to "do Internet" was like watching Steve Martin try to dance in The Jerk, but your offering is way better.

Anonymous said...

John Tomlinson was the oddest hire Tony Deering ever made. He took legit hits for the echo chamber of Michael Moore admirers in his local columnists, so he hires a quack hypno-therapist to be his "conservative voice" a way to look fair, but not threaten his overpaid pampered nonentities on staff. I'm pretty rightish, but I never read one of his columns all the way through.

Anonymous said...

Wow I would really like to find information about the GM Bankruptcy in the Flint Journal, dead tree version. Possibly find out what local suppliers are saying due to this news.

Wait, I can't, I have to wait until Thursday!!! I have to take the laptop to the bathroom with me. Where do I put the mouse? Can I bill the FJ if my laptop falls in the commode?

Anonymous said...

OK! I'm logging on to Facebook and Twitter to get my news fix today! You know there's gonna be FUN stuff on there and not anything depressing like icky crime news. I just want to have fun, fun, fun.

And I mean it!