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Dean Singleton up close and personal

Friday, June 17, 2011

imageMediaNews chairman and CEO William Dean Singleton gets a splashy and highly personalized Q&A in one of his papers—the Denver Post—this morning, the peg being his giving up the CEO job this summer. Singleton, 59, has multiple sclerosis and uses a four-wheel scooter to get around. Otherwise, he says his health is OK, quipping, “if there is any bad news, I may live to be 100 like this.”

Add Singleton: He doesn’t use Facebook or Twitter, but has strong opinions about the shift to electronic publishing:

It became clear a long time ago that there would be a gravitation of both readers and advertisers to new media. It happened gradually, and then it happened rapidly, in a hurry. And I don't think newspapers did a very good job of adapting to it. I think newspapers just grabbed their newspaper and put it up on the Web, and thought everything would be OK. And suddenly the business fell off a cliff in 2006, worse in 2007 and 2008. 2009 was dismal.

Noted: Although he talks about investing more online, you wouldn’t know it from looking at the cookie-cutter web pages of his Bay Area News Group papers, which aggregate much of the same content and, online at least, are largely indistinguishable from one other.

Image: NYT

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