Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Goleta Valley Loses Its Voice

Over at his sagacious website Craig Smith ponders the McCaw regime and its sphere of influence beyond the News-Press. After all, Wendy has gone media outlet shopping, as it were, and has purchased the Goleta Valley Voice, Blue Edge, El Mexicano and has all but in name (shh--don't tell the FCC, since they'll never realize it's called News-Press Radio 1290) acquired KZSB-AM. Unfortunately, Craig runs through reasons he can't examine whether Wendy Wrath has done in any of these properties.

Which means we should at least look at the Goleta Valley Voice. It used to be a solid, quirky paper, working hard to be something a bit more community focused than the News-Press, even in the N-P's good days. You know, more school news, local sports, person on the street interviews. It used to be bigger, but paper shrinkage seems to be a typical McCaw affliction.

But there's two more damning issues I haven't heard anyone else talk about. First, while Wendy and Arthur are listed as co-publishers (papers, to them, are like Lays Potato Chips--bet that can't ruin just one!), many names have dropped from the masthead. Managing editor Margo Kline, gone. editorial director Gerald Carpenter, gone (so gone, in fact, I heard he was on his way to Washington state). Staff writer Jeff Jones, gone. Go look at the archives and you'll see how many past articles were written by folks no longer with the paper. I wonder if they, too, were part of the pro-development conspiracy and share the secret handshake with Mayor Marty Blum.

Second, the paper doesn't really have an office anymore. It used to be right on Hollister Avenue in Old Town Goleta, and was proud of that fact. Now, its address on the masthead is 725 S. Kellogg, which just happens to be the address of the News-Press Press Facility. Sure, it probably gets physically printed there, but that's where it's written, too? Curious, I say.

In the meantime, rumor has it that in the News-Press offfices the attempt to chill the unionizers with the firings of Andrea Huebner and Kevin Colby hasn't worked. Supposedly those planning to vote no on the union have moved to maybes while the maybes have moved to yesses. September 27 will be one interesting day. The sad part is, just because the newsroom gets unionized doesn't mean Wendy will get human. The staff will still have to negotiate with her, and as someone who has sat across from the UC at contract negotiations, let me tell you they can be painful proceedings when the people you're at the table with don't understand what you do and don't really care to know.

That's why it would be great if all of us went to these events:

3-4 p.m. Sunday, September 24
De la Guerra Plaza
Prominent speakers have been invited. More details to come.

4-6 p.m. at Ruby’s Café, De la Guerra Plaza
Hors d’oeuvres and music
Suggested Donation: $20.00
Proceeds will be donated to the Journalist Loan Fund to help current and former News-Press employees who have been forced out, fired or suspended without pay.


Anonymous Angie said...

As far as the past employees of the Goleta Valley Voice...We all feel that the last day of the paper was April 27th 2006..When the doors were locked...We all hugged and tearfully said our goodbyes and although we were pryed off like barnacles,pushed around, lied to, delegated out,and some not told until the last day, where we were going... we all knew it was an end to an era of a fantastic small goleta paper! we Will rise up from the ashes again someday and the real "Voice" will be heard again someday....

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So where in Washingtom did Gerald Carpenter go?

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gerald moved to Sequim, WA, and is still writing the occasional arts article for Noozhawk

6:22 PM  

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