August 2013
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Journal Star cuts more content

Peoria’s newspaper of record, the Journal Star, continues its death spiral as it announces today that it is cutting still more content from the paper. Executive Editor Dennis Anderson writes in a “Note to Readers” in Monday’s edition:

The format of the Monday Journal Star is changing starting today.

The newspaper will have two sections on Mondays. The A section continues to house national and world news. Added to the expanded A section is Local & State, which appears on Page 3. The A section also contains the TV page, obituaries, police and courts news, matters of record, the Leisure & Advice page and weather, located on the back page of this section, and other features. The Comics page also is in A section today.

Sports is at the front of the B section today. Also inside the B section are classifieds.

The Opinion page will no longer be published on Mondays. It returns on Tuesday.

The editor apparently didn’t feel any need to explain the reason for this reduction in content to his readers who are not, of course, getting any commensurate cut in their subscription rate. But then, the Journal Star stopped caring about its readers a long time ago. The removal of the Forum section today (part of the Opinion page) illustrates the paper’s complete disregard for its bread and butter.

Given the staffing cuts (and attrition) and the resulting, inexorable reduction in content, it won’t be long until the Journal Star is nothing more than an ad circular.

10 comments to Journal Star cuts more content

  • Conrad Stinnett

    I get the occasional call asking me to subscribe to PJS. I always tell the caller that I believe the quality of the publication has declined under Gatehouse. When Gatehouse goes and the quality goes up, then I may subscribe, but not until. This news shows PJS is still going in the wrong direction.

  • AnneC

    I just got an email from the editor, Dennis Anderson. It included what you printed here, but also included this:

    “Why are we doing this? Monday is a day that industry-wide is traditionally lighter on advertising. In fact, some newspapers in major markets have stopped publishing on certain days all together.
    We are committed to publishing a print edition seven days a week. But we need to balance the space for news with the advertising. Two of our largest costs — and most vital resources — are employees and newsprint.”

    I have been a subscriber for nearly 25 years…ever since we moved to the area. I’m paid up through the end of the month. I will not be renewing.

  • The Mouse

    I hate to see it. The PJS was once a good newspaper. Hardly anything left.

  • Joe

    The Washington Post was just purchased by the CEO of Amazon. The Boston Globe was just purchased by the owner of the Red Sox (a guy from Quincy actually.) These guys aren’t dumb. There is a business model that works for these businesses, even if they do migrate to an all digital platform.

    The PJS biggest failure has been reducing local content. I can read the regurgitated AP stories over and over on 1,000,000 different websites throughout the day. I can’t find the investigative journalism in the Greater Peoria area on those sites. They could get rid of every single AP feed story and be fine. Focus on local things. Local news.

  • mazr

    Joe, I too would love to read a paper chock full of local stories. But that takes boots on the ground and this owner is not exactly keen on increasing payroll.

  • Frequent Reader

    They did a good job exposing Merle Widmer. How much more local can you get?

  • Emil

    Maybe spotlight the abuse of power by the Mayor, Police Chief, and Sheriff?

  • Greg


  • Speaking of trying to slip cost savings measures by without comment were we the only people who noticed how the ink in today’s paper rubbed off on our hands and clothes like it used to? Back to the old days at PJS and their filthy ink, huh? Btw another dropped feature that I always enjoyed was the Car Talk column carrier every Friday.

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