Regarding Noozhawk’s July 23 article, “Santa Barbara News-Press Declares Bankruptcy, Staff Told All Jobs ‘Eliminated’,” and subsequent reporting, unfortunately former readers and reporters got the newspaper’s demise all wrong.
Yes, Wendy McCaw bought the paper and proceeded to destroy it, but she had help.
A misguided illusion that Santa Barbara and environs is a lucrative market, for one. The story here is that daily or weekly newspapers need local advertising to survive, and the trend has been that newspaper advertising has dwindled to the point that hard copy print newspapers are a thing of the past.
Even the vulnerable New York Times and Los Angeles Times survive because of the switch to digital editions. Newsprint and printing plants don’t add up anymore.
The young American public has determined that they would rather get their news by social media on their phones than hard copy print media.
Then there’s the Santa Barbara retail market. Never that big or dominant, the retail market on which print relies for its income has literally disappeared on the South Coast.
State Street and downtown retail, where Macy’s and Nordstrom dominated, is no longer. Big box retailers don’t advertise in newspapers. Supermarket giants don’t advertise in newspapers, and small ones like Santa Cruz Market, don’t make up the difference.
And what about the audience of Santa Barbara liberal snobs who resented when The New York Times bought the News-Press. The Times actually invested in our local paper by upgrading the reporting and investing in a new printing plant and upgrading the mechanics of the production aspect of the newspaper.
The Times also brought in a new publisher, Steve Ainsley, probably the most innovative person bar none since Thomas Storke. Ainsley went on to become publisher of the Boston Globe, not one to shirk responsible journalism.
The Times’ intrusion into the California newspaper industry was relatively short lived and, consequently, McCaw came around at the right time to buy the New-Press outright.
But rather then being celebrated, it turned out to be a short romance as she became the dictator in chief due to her total lack of experience with a liberal newspaper in a very liberal town.
But the truth is that what killed the News-Press was a dwindling retail market and strong alternatives in the print market.
The Santa Barbara independent siphoned the arts and, eventually, the lucrative real estate advertising. Locals like the Montecito Journal and the Carpinteria Coastal View News cut off the local advertising.
By that time, the shadow of the News-Press was so thin that nobody wanted to buy into this market.
So the truth is that now Santa Barbara and its environ is the only market in California that doesn’t have a daily newspaper — nor will it ever have a daily newspaper again.
No investigative reporters, no opinion page and nobody to poke into the bureaucratic mess we call government.
Despite the areas wealth and prominence there is no daily newspaper.
Let that sink in because, without a doubt, that is a tragedy this community can ill afford to deal with.
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I could not agree more with Bill Macfadyen’s comments about the Santa Barbara News-Press’ demise — and his reasons for not usually commenting on it.
But now that the daily News-Press is no longer around, I would challenge him to step up and use Noozhawk as more of a voice for the community on more issues, like what he did with the Stearns Wharf murder and the COVID-19 shutdowns.
Santa Barbara doesn’t have much in the way of leadership, but we’re fortunate to have Macfadyen and Noozhawk.
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I nearly spit out my coffee when I read Bill Macfadyen’s Aug. 4 column, “Santa Barbara News-Press Leads Off, Probably for the Last Time,” and his mockery of the City Council patting themselves on the back for creating another homeless hangout in downtown.
And public art?! Is that a fancy word for graffiti?
I always look forward to his column. Keep up the good work!
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Mark Patton’s July 30 homage to the memory of Craig Gilbert — “Remembering the Unfulfilled Destiny of Local Legend Craig Gilbert” — is a beautifully moving work of art.
The writing is crisp and touching, with perfectly placed teasers to keep it moving. Patton uses Gilbert’s teammates’ and coaches’ words with care and economy to sketch a portrait of Gilbert as a remarkably gifted athlete and a kind and intelligent free spirit.
The accompanying photos are perfect visual additions to the narrative, which aptly portrays a young gifted man who excelled beyond his peers, but through no fault of his own got caught in an attempted scam by the University of New Mexico, only to return to his hometown, our beautiful town, to live out his days.
I have enjoyed many, many articles and stories of our local athletes by Mark Patton, but this may be the most beautiful piece of sports writing I’ve ever read.
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Regarding Loretta Redd’s July 28 letter to the editor, my wife and I do a fair amount of flying out of the Santa Barbara Airport. We always park in the overflow long-term lot on Hollister Avenue.
The great thing here is the shuttle back to the airport. It is always running every 15 minutes day or night, seven days a week, and it is free.
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As a local resident for more than 50 years, I am still saddened by the Santa Barbara Airport’s remodel a number of years ago.
While waiting for a passenger to arrive, I took a stroll through the entire airport, including the “old” section. What a waste of space.
The old airport had a wonderful restaurant in the tower where you could watch the planes come and go. It was not only fun to have a cup of coffee waiting for a passenger to arrive but also to take kids to watch the air traffic. Locals frequented this place, as did travelers.
There is nothing going on in that section, except some historical photos. What about putting a restaurant in that space? The only coffee/restaurant space currently available is in the upper section of the new building where only ticketed travelers can go.
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Interim Santa Barbara City College President Kindred Murillo’s Aug. 3 letter, “SBCC Interim President Kindred Murillo Offers Farewell Words,” was pathetic. Notice there was no mention of instructing or educating SBCC students.
What reasonable professional revises to staff after-the-fact their scolding, grossly inappropriate, highly emotional public statement that I and others heard live at the SBCC Board of Trustees meeting?
What Murillo is really talking about is be nice, nice; be kind to others; and other crapola. Forget the intent and purpose of SBCC.
She’s ignorant of SBCC’s history and was a weak leader, resulting in her avoiding critical issues to sustain SBCC for the benefit of ALL district residents as paid for by our property tax dollars.
Worse, we paid her more than $300,000 and additional thousands of dollars more for relocation and travel after she didn’t move, and then paid her an extra month to transition/ train a former SBCC employee returning as the new “permanent for now” SBCC superintendent/president.
Place your bet now on how long the new president will last: one to three years?
I’ve been actively involved at SBCC since 1980, and I’m both sad and mad at having invested so much.
Learn SBCC’s history before our formerly wonderful community asset — essential to instructing local students — is destroyed by whiners, complainers and “Be Kind” militants.
Denice Spangler Adams
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In Back to the Future, “Doc” Brown said, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” Well, we don’t have flying cars … yet. Elon Musk???
Can someone stand up and take ownership of our road deterioration problem and get some trucks and crews out making repairs, PLEASE?! Pot holes are everywhere and can be fixed with a truck, some filler and compaction tools, and some tar to fill cracks.
Just drive down Cathedral Oaks Road. Enough said.
Caltrans, city councils, congressman, senator, stand up and make a difference for the families who live here.
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My memory is much better, though, and trips north I remember convenient rest stops as I traveled Highway 101 to San José and back and forth between Fresno and Atascadero.
Where are our tax dollars going to repair roads and keep rest stops open? The General Fund where the morons boasted of surpluses, then during COVID-19, lost to fraud untold billions of dollars of our money. We need to fire the lot of them in the next election.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has his eyes on another pile of tax dollars to spend with well-connected grifters and campaign donors. We need to fire him and pray that he never gets Washington.
Enough IS enough.
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