The Tribune continues to shrink

December 7, 2009

imagesReaders of the San Luis Obispo County Tribune will notice an increasingly thinner newspaper on Mondays and Tuesdays. Executive Editor Sandra Duerr announced more format changes for the paper in a special Announcement to Readers.

Starting with today’s edition, the Local section will be merged into the A section and Classified advertising will be folded into the Sports section on Mondays and Tuesdays. The remainder of the week will follow the traditional Tribune format, though Duerr announced that the Business section would be trimmed.

“In today’s newspaper, you’ll find a significant change,” Duerr wrote. “One that we take reluctantly, but that’s nonetheless necessary as we continue to cope with the economic downturn affecting every industry.”

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I like Trib bashing as much as the next guy, but I think their problems run deeper than simply their journalistic transgressions. I think they are a player in an obsolete medium, and I think their problems are exacerbated by the weak economy. I base this theory on the fact that papers are folding all over.

I like Trib bashing as much as the next guy, but I am going to miss them when they are gone.

I’ve been a Trib subscriber for a long time, and I like the Trib. I’ll keep my subscription as long as they stay in business. Yes, I’ve noticed the paper getting smaller and smaller… and yes, I kind of laughed on Monday when I went out in the rain to get the paper and it was about as small as I had ever seen it!

But I actually like what they did on Monday with combining it in to only two sections. Personally, I wish it were all together in one section! I like the feel of having one thicker section in my hands rather than having to look through multiple tiny little sections.

Online advertising is killing the newspaper business. The terrible economy hasn’t helped, but it’s the Internet that is killing the Trib. Too bad. I hope they figure out a way to make it work.

Local radio stations somehow figured out how to stay in business in spite of the fact that there’s very little money to be made in radio advertising anymore. I hope the Trib is able to adapt, too. Anybody that wants a career in print journalism had better not have any fantasies of ever making much money!

I enjoy bashing the trib to. It will be a joy when they shut they’re doors. The news is always late by a day or two. Spelling and grammer is sad to say the least. And the sports section is a joke. Who wants to read blogs on a local paper?




The Tribune is shrinking because it shrinks from its responsibility to expose dishonest and corruption until long after the barn door has been left open. As an example, look how long it took them to expose the Edge-Wilcox story. Cal Coast reported it and then long after all heck broke loose here comes the Tribune with its sword out.

I wonder if they will report the Atascadero High School Cheerleader story and how the kids got ripped off ? Probably not … don’t want to ruffle any feathers now.

Thats why I cancelled my subscription long ago and if they want me as a return customer, start reporting the NEWS!!!

Exactly, and the New Times ran a priceless bit of criticism of the Tribune’s “hooray for everything” article on the Chinatown project in a letter a couple of weeks ago:

What’s sad and funny is that Sandra Duerr and the rest of the wax museum who edit the Trib seem oblivious to the general understanding of how terrible their paper is, except when they’re censoring critical comments on their website or ignoring letters to the editor.

A large portion of the Trib’s woes can be traced directly to a plunge in real estate ad sales, a problem former publisher Chip Visci confessed to in print right before he quit to become a flack for Cal Poly (which can only be seen as a variation of the same job description). It turns out that SLO County is a fairly corrupt, cronyistic place and our Daily Disappointment (to borrow Dan Blackburn’s phrase) is as compromised as anyone else.

Exactly how a PR arm for developers, realtors, Cal Poly, County govt, commercial fishermen, etc., etc., can be classified as “liberal” is beyond me.

But CalCoastNews is a case study in why SLO county doesn’t have better local media. The market here is too small to make it worth any real investment of funds or talent, and after all there isn’t much news to cover here day-to-day.

well, ‘pardner’ … about these here parts, the Tribune may not seem to have a lefty bend because so many yahoos here think of Fidel Castro as a ‘moderate’… but — here’s a hint — try to find an American Flag anywhere there.

In any event, whether newspapers or drugs, people buy what they want… if they don’t like it , they don’t buy it and there aren’t enough on the left to keep them in business. Besides, they are technically working on an outdated business model…

If it weren’t for the comics and the sports page they’d have no readership at all.

Roger Freberg

“Duerr announced that the Business section would be trimmed”

What business section? Does she mean the verbatim press releases and turd polish for realtors and developers?

That our north county friends see them as “liberal,” at least in coverage of property, development and other business issues, is hilarious. If the Trib were “liberal,” maybe some north county nabobs would have been warned away from putting their entire life savings into hard money lending scams. The red/blue divide in this county must be central to the Trib’s dilemma: they have to keep local advertisers and wingnuts happy while trying to produce an actual newspaper — plainly impossible. (The New Times, for all their faults, has the sense not to bother trying to please Atascadero.)

The long-overdue end of the Tribune will hopefully create an opening for a local daily newspaper to be published. There’s never been one in my twenty-one years here.

The Tribune must survive. I don’t know what I’d do without my daily Jordan Hasay updates!

If they weren’t so biased they might have a balanced readership.

This reminds me of those Airport movies in the 70’s. The plane (in this case the Tribune) has been majorly damaged and everybody is running around like idiots, waiting for George Kennedy to come and save their sorry a**s but this isn’t the 70’s anymore (even thought the economy feels like it) and George isn’t going to save the Trib.

I have read the Trib for thirty years. I have watched it get smaller and smaller, in good times and bad. Always the same whining. Use to blame the paper prices, now ink? What the hell? Ink is expensive? Why is it Bic pens have been almost given away anymore at Staples?

Face it Trib. You are in a death sprial. You are DYING!! Don’t bother calling 911, it is toooo late. People (myself include) will only watch someone die for so long before we jump ship also.

Turn to the Obits, Tribune and start writing your own. It is coming. I will bet that with this latest and the age of the internet, it is time to say, stick a fork in you. YOU’RE DONE!!!!

The Tribune has got to be kidding, they call this a newspaper. I walked out this morning, in the rain, to get the paper and upon picking it up I got my first laugh of the day. I had to take a second look at the plastic bag, it was still dark, to see if there was actually anything in the bag. Much to my surprise there were a couple pieces of paper within the bag. This is like going to McDonald’s and ordering a 1/4 pounder and then when you get home and open the bag you have an 1/8 pounder.

Serious considerations will have to be made when my next renewal for subscription comes in the mail. I think I might just send half the amount requested since that is what is lying in my driveway every morning-half of a newspaper.

I can’t believe anybody reads that liberal rag! I’m sure craig list is wiping out their classified section.