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.
If new sunscreen rules that won't go into effect for another year merit the lead position on Page 1 of The Record today, what would Editor Francis Scandale do if they found a cure for cancer, put out a special section?
Teacher John Bischoff, who died Friday, drew quite a turnout at a Wood-Ridge Funeral Home, judging from the big A-1 photo today. Did the assignment desk ever profile him when he was alive?
The rest of the front page is all about small potatoes -- an out-of-state minor league baseball team and a no-bill on charges against a Clifton councilwoman.
And is anyone still talking about Governor Christie's personal use of a state helicopter?
Today's boring paper is just a smokescreen for the inability of Scandale and his sub-editors to come up with compelling news day after day -- local or otherwise.
Waving the flag
Check out the front of Local. For the second day in a row, head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes devotes part of L-1 to Flag Day. When is she going to celebrate Local News Day?
Road Warrior John Cichowski writes his umpteenth column about MVC waiting times, which are nothing compared to how long readers have been waiting for him to write about commuting problems (L-1).
Too little, too late
Hackensack reporter Monsy Alvarado didn't have anything in the paper today after producing two stories for Tuesday's section (L-3).
One caught up with a contentious Board of Education meeting from the previous Tuesday. That's a week-old report.
The second story failed to report the reason Nicole Melillo, a Hackensack High School student killed in a crash, lost control of her car two days earlier. I couldn't even find her age in the story.