Last summer, when Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos bought The
Washington Post and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry snapped up The
Boston Globe, a couple of key figures in Alaska journalism took notice.
Alice Rogoff, majority owner and publisher of Alaska
Dispatch, and Tony Hopfinger, executive editor and co-founder of the local
news website, had been looking for ways to expand their reach. An idea was
born: Maybe they could collaborate with, or even take over, the state's largest
newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News.
So they made the pilgrimage to Sacramento, home base of
McClatchy, one of the nation's largest newspaper companies and owner of the
Anchorage daily. When the
dust settled last week, the six-year-old start-up
had gobbled up the Pulitzer-winning, 68-year-old legacy news outlet for $34
million. Alaska Dispatch takes over the paper, which has a
circulation of 58,000 on weekdays and 72,000 on Sunday, on May 3.
It's a vivid sign of the new order of things in journalism. Yet
it raises a big question: Why would people running a hip, happening digital
operation want on take on the challenge of running an old-school newspaper,
with all the printing and delivery costs that go with it and print advertising
plummeting pretty much everywhere?
for the original story in USA Today.