A common New Year resolution for many is to slim down. The Arizona Republic is taking that to the next level. It’s not simply depriving itself of extra calories. It’s becoming an emaciated homeless vagrant.
The 10-story building and parking garage the Republic once called home has sold for a reported $38 million. The plan is for the company to lease back space from ViaWest, the Phoenix-based real estate company that purchased the newspaper’s properties.
Subscriptions have continued to plummet and Gannett shares have followed suit. Still, the departing execs take good care of themselves, as tweeted by longtime insider, Jim Romenesko. The latest closing price for Gannett as of December 31, 2018 was a skeletal 8.53.
The handwriting was on the wall as far back as June 2011, when Gannett — the parent company of the Arizona Republic — laid off 700 employees in its newspaper division, as it announced, “we need to take further steps to align our costs with the current revenue trends.” Layoffs and buyouts continued as the newspaper decreased in size and content, replacing seasoned reporters and editors with ASU Cronkite J students.
Aside from promoting leftist candidates, an open border, taking potshots at elected Republicans and insulting its remaining readers while spewing venom at President Trump — the Hillary Clinton and Kyrsten Sinema endorsing newspaper could be counted on to give slavish praise to Senators McCain and Flake. The Republic dedicated incessant coverage to the seemingly endless funeral for one and the face-saving “retirement” of the other, after he garnered only 18% approval ratings in his home state.
Newspapers were once regarded as bastions of integrity, printing op-eds, presenting different points of view. That practice has long been cold-storaged at the local newspaper. The homeless Arizona Republic is dead. It just doesn’t know enough to lie down.