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February 04, 2008

Mass Publishing To Local Buzz: F*ck You

UPDATE II:: The headline of this post, and the content, was an attempt at humor, and in no way alludes to any knowledge about the decision that I was privy to. The headline in particular was a subtle attempt at humor, and one you might have missed if you didn't watch the video, (or even it you had for that matter, as it was all around an attempt at humor that fell short) as it was in reference to the video below, where Sam Zell says "f*ck you" to the reporter. The headline was an attempt to carry the joke to it's literal end, playing along that the video really did show Greg and his publisher at a conference discussing the demise of the Local Buzz.

I received an email from Greg who noted that he was "concerned that people will take your post the wrong way." I can't argue with that. It is a valid concern, and I want to make clear that I have no knowledge, nor was ever led to believe, that there was any bad blood, angry conferences, or the yelling of f*ck you to anyone at Local Buzz.

On the contrary, as far as I know, it was a well run and respected publication by everyone in the organization.::

Local Buzz, the little alt monthly that could, has been shuttered as a print mag. Hopes are held high for life online. This months issue on the streets now is it's last paper issue.

The video here to the left appears to offer an inside look into what happened at the offices of Mass Publishing last week. Though I can not confirm it at this time, it appears to be video of Local Buzz editor Greg Saulmon, (off camera) noting his concerns to the publisher of Local Buzz, just days before the publisher shuttered the print mag for good. The video appears to show Greg making an impassioned plea to continue working on the magazine and stories within it, that help create a more informed public. Watch the video until the end to catch the "f*ck you" tossed at Greg by his publisher.

I started writing for the Local Buzz two months ago, and enjoyed it immensely. It allowed me yet one more option to discuss issues that were important to me, and which I thought might have value to the community. It was a great experience writing there, and Greg Saulmon, the executive editor, did a fantastic job with it under his tutelage, taking it from a monthly that was, in the four issues before he arrived, clearly only a vehicle for advertising --to a monthly that covered important community issues, that were well researched and balanced. Stories such as those on migrant farm workers in Hadley, homelessness and Housing First, and most recently, the final cover story on the state of independent movie houses in the Valley, (including the interviews and research posted online prior to publication) are fine examples of well researched journalism relevant to the local community and at large.

I am disappointed to see the magazine close. I looked forward to every new issue, and had learned to expect that I could find some great stories. As well, I had so much more to write about, and vainly, I wanted those words in print. Well, it was great fun while it lasted, and Greg is hands down the best editor I have ever worked with, though admittedly also the only editor I have ever worked with. Thanks Greg, for bringing me into the fold, however briefly. I appreciated the opportunity very much.

UPDATE I:: That is not the publisher of the Local Buzz at the podium, and not the executive editor, Greg Saulmon asking the questions. I have learned that the video is one of Sam Zell, new chairman and and chief executive of the Tribune Company at a Jan. 31 meeting of Orlando Sentinel staff, where Sentinel photographer Sara Fajardo was asking questions of him.::

UPDATE III:: Tommy Devine has a great post up with his take on the decision to stop publishing Local Buzz on paper, (it will live online) and has a lot of smart things say about print news vs online. You can read that here

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