Thursday, December 22, 2016

Cartoonists are having a field day with Trump transition

President-elect Donald J. Trump's nomination of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State raises potential conflicts in Russia and other countries where the oil giant does business. This cartoon, "Scrabble Connection," is from R.J. Matson. Go to to see this and many other political cartoons.
"Nyet" is from cartoonist Dave Grunland.
"Trump's Cabinet Picks" is from cartoonist Daryl Cagle.
"Rex and Vlad" is from cartoonist Taylor Jones.


Now that the nasty battle with Governor Christie over public notices has subsided, The Record returns to peddling front pages filled with soft news.

Meanwhile, the transition of President-elect Donald J. Trump continues to set a record for potential conflicts of interest, but readers have to search the paper for them (7A). 

Bergen County readers looking over the Local front today find that three out of four stories are from Passaic and Hudson counties (1L).

USS Ling

Stephen A. Borg, former publisher of The Record, is denying any moral responsibility for saving the USS Ling from an ignominious end.

An editorial and a news story allow Borg to bow out of any role in saving the World War II submarine, which is literally stuck in the mud of the Hackensack River (8A today and 1A on Wednesday).

Borg -- whose grandfather negotiated the 1974 deal to lease land to the New Jersey Naval Museum for $1 a year -- ended the arrangement this year, apparently in anticipation of selling The Record and other North Jersey Media Group newspapers to Gannett. 

The Borg family reportedly received $40 million for NJMG, but retained the publishing company's retirement and pension funds, as well as nearly 20 acres along River Street in Hackensack, where the Ling is tied up.

Abandons Hackensack

The younger Borg has formed a new company, Fourth Edition, and calls himself a developer. 

The land, which is believed to be worth more than $20 million, is in a flood zone.

Nevertheless, the city of Hackensack has approved it for apartments and possibly a hotel as part of a sweeping downtown rehabilitation plan.

After he took over from his father, former NJMG Chairman Malcolm A. Borg, Stephen Borg worked quickly to cut The Record's ties to Hackensack and the USS Ling.

Borgs always first

Still, the younger Borg made sure to line his own pockets with a $3.65 million NJMG mortgage for a Tenafly McMansion, and drew a salary of about $350,000 a year.

He moved printing of The Record and Herald News to Rockaway Township nearly a decade ago.

In 2008 -- several months after he received the $3.65 million mortgage -- he put into the motion the biggest newsroom downsizing in the paper's history.

And in 2009, in a royal F.U. to Hackensack, he closed NJMG's headquarters, moving the newsroom to Woodland Park.  

The Record had prospered in Hackensack for more than 110 years.

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