Tuesday, February 18, 2020

RIP Commerce Journal

I heard that CNHI pulled the plug on the Commerce Journal a while back. Ridiculous. Solid, eight-page weekly which could easily have had, I'm going to guess, 20 percent more advertising. It may have been the case that a lot retailers targeted East Texas State's A and M Commerce's student and faculty population with ads in the campus newspaper, but still.

That said, Commerce Mayor Wymon Williams said that, for these and similar reasons, he doesn't really blame CNHI. He said that about 80 percent of university staff lives outside of Commerce and that, of course, city population drops dramatically in the summer. He also indicated he wished the U could have done more to promote the paper to said staff, in part to try to get them to move to Commerce.

Williams adds that the Journal was down to about 400 paid subscriptions. So, a certain amount of U-shaming is probably warranted.

That said, in addition, the Bama bean counters never could figure out "synergies" between it and the Greenville paper, from what I saw. (They've had that problem for years at bigger places, like not getting more work-together between Mineral Wells and Weatherford. Surprisingly, the Index is still a five-day daily, but probably one as thin as other such CNHI products. Scratch that; up at the top of the listing, the Texas Press Association says that, but lower, has them listed as semiweekly. That said, most the information in the top box is out of date; having known Mel Rhodes as publisher 20 years ago, I was surprised to see him still listed, and he shouldn't be.)

Also weirdly, while CNHI has pulled the plug on the paper, it continues to maintain the website, while at the same time not posting any Commerce-specific online news to it, even though it's printing Commerce News inside the Greenville Herald. So, why not put that on the Journal's website, if you're keeping the website alive.

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