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 200-plus jobs.
How clean is the kitchen that turned out the meal you are being served?
They were yanked unceremoniously from the Better Living section, followed weeks later by a letter to readers from the food editor. Now, restaurant health inspections have reappeared in print, though I couldn't find them at northjersey.com under Food & Dining.
Still, today's list in The Record of Woodland Park is positively skeletal. I counted 52 towns (out of the 90 or so in the circulation area), but most report "no activity."
There is no explanation or note in the Better Living tabloid for the list's reappearance. But readers are urged to contact their health departments for more information.
Hospitals fight over profits
The nasty fight among three big, profit-making hospitals over the reopening of Pascack Valley Hospital in Westwood is back on the front page today.
The lead story -- on conservative and liberal opposition to extending Bush tax breaks to the wealthy -- conveniently omits any mention of Governor Christie's tax break for New Jersey millionaires, despite the state's unprecedented fiscal crisis.
Christie's refusal to extend the Corzine tax on the wealthy is a topic The Record's Editorial Page and news columns have avoided like a plague in recent months, probably under orders from Publisher Stephen A. Borg and his puppet, Editor Francis Scandale.
The third A-1 story today carries a rare byline from Staff Writer Jean Rimbach, who doesn't explain why the paper has never reported before that some police recruits pay their own way through training academies.
Rimbach is one of the pets of Deirdre Sykes, head assignment editor. She is among several local reporters whose low productivity is overlooked by editors and managers.
On the front of Local, Staff Writer Michael Gartland reports on continued hiring by the Democratic majority on the Bergen County Freeholder Board.
The story doesn't say whether Kathleen Donovan -- a Republican who takes over as county executive in January -- will have the power to rescind the appointments of such lightweights as the mayors of Dumont and Little Ferry.
I'm not sure why Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung considers a dining room that resembles a moonlit Italian square to be a "fantasyland." In Italy, restaurant owners give as much care to interior decoration as to buying, preparing and serving fresh food.
She complains about the service at Bella Notte on a busy night, crab cakes and two of the four desserts she sampled, and gives the Little Falls restaurant only two stars (Good) -- equivalent to her rating of Bahama Breeze in Wayne, a faux-Caribbean chain restaurant.