On July 6, 2016, Gannett, the nation's biggest newspaper chain, paid the Borgs $40 million for North Jersey Media Group (The Record of Woodland Park, Herald News, NorthJersey.com, (201) magazine and 50 weeklies). Stephen A. Borg, publisher for a decade, oversaw the biggest downsizing ever. Local news declined, errors mounted and most employees were denied raises. Gannett replaced Editor Deirdre Sykes, revised The Record's website and redesigned the print edition, cutting another 350-plus jobs.
Turkish coffee is ready to drink when it comes to the table.
By VICTOR E. SASSON EDITOR
Was today's upbeat editorial on the "Year of Christie" written by Editorial Page Editor Alfred P. Doblin -- The Record's chief apologist for Governor Christie?
The Woodland Park daily is so eager to praise Christie no one noticed the huge typo on the size of the state budget. It's $29.4 billion, not the $29.4 million that appears on Page A-22.How sloppy can you get?
Doblin is the only Editorial Page editor I've ever heard of whose editorials represent the paper's official position on important issues, but who then turns around and writes opinion columns, most of which seem to be in awe of the governor.
It's laughable how many references this popinjay makes to Hollywood movies in his columns and editorials.
Today, he was so eager to avoid any mention of how Christie balanced the state budget on the backs of the middle and working classes -- from poor schoolchildren to women to mass transit users -- he apparently deliberately low-balled the size of the budget, using "millions" instead of "billions" in the we-love-the-Republican-bully editorial.
Let's see if this major error is corrected. Production Editor Liz Houlton usually doesn't bother correcting all the screw-ups by her news copy editors and page proofers. She thinks readers are too stupid to notice all the mistakes in the paper.
On the last day of 2010, The Record's front page mainly focuses on events outside North Jersey -- in another slap-in-the face to readers in Bergen, Passaic and Morris counties.
The lead stories today and Thursday reveal how well the Christie administration has managed the news media. Just on Wednesday, a non-profit group that pushed the Republican governor's legislative agenda released its donor list, showing how companies and others who do business with the state circumvented the pay-to-play ban.
Editor Francis Scandale ran a huge picture of Times Square getting ready for New Year's Eve, even though the poor cleanup from the blizzard that ended Monday remains evident in Hackensack and many other towns in North Jersey.
No local news
Was the biggest event in North Jersey on Thursday a non-fatal accident on Route 80 east -- shown in a huge photo on L-1 today? And is that a new style -- with the photo over line flush right and the bare-bones caption flush left?
If all head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes can come up with to fill L-1 is that accident and the approval of variances in Lyndhurst, she's not doing her job. But she made sure to get a story on the police chief retiring in her small town on L-3 today, even though there is no Hackensack, Englewood or Teaneck news or anything else from a lot of other towns.
You'll have to pick up the weekly Hackensack Chronicle for a report on the $1.5 million the city has spent on legal fees in connection with lawsuits against indicted Police Chief Ken Zisa and salaries for officers who were suspended after Zisa charged them administratively.
Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung devotes far more text today to "the story" of Cheng Du 23 in Wayne, the owner and the chef than she does to the dishes she sampled -- now severely limited by penny pinching Features Director Barbara Jaeger.
Ung doesn't recommend this three-star restaurant (Excellent), if you're "looking for a more formal atmosphere." Would that be a restaurant where you have to wear formal wear? Hasn't she ever heard of a multi-course Chinese banquet? Isn't that formal?
Next to her review in the Better Living centerfold today is a mini-review of Bahama Breeze, a faux-Caribbean restaurant in Wayne that she rated two stars (Good).
The review, published Sept. 3, 2009, reports she was served "mushy" pasta, raw or undercooked scallops three times, as the staff apologized profusely; "scorched" shrimp and sweet potatoes she enjoyed more than the desserts she sampled. But by giving the restaurant two stars, she has cheapened her ratings for all restaurants that follow.
Jeff Page, the free lancer who writes the renamed Eating Out for Under $50 feature, doesn't even mention if the bread served at Hummus Elite, an Israeli restaurant in Englewood, is any good. He calls it a "kosher Mediterranean" restaurant.
In his review, he cautions readers not to stir the Turkish coffee. Mr. Page, that coffee is brewed with sugar, so no stirring is necessary.
You'll need strong coffee to get through today's paper. Don't expect anything to change in the new year. Lazy editors and absentee owners add up to bad journalism 365 days a year.