Monthly Archive for November, 2005

“A Recipe for Newspaper Survival”

Slashdot, one of my favorite websites, has a rare editorial today, “A Recipe for Newspaper Survival in the Internet Age.” The author, Robin Miller, is one of the early contributors to Slashdot, the website that both helped to invent and popularized the collaborative, forum-based blog. Miller lays out a series of recommendations for how local newspapers can capitalize on the internet, using it as a tool for success, rather than allow themselves to be defeated by it.

I’ve never bought into this internet vs. the media thing, but it is a fact that newspaper circulation is declining while news-gathering on-line is increasing — I haven’t been shy about recommending that local press adopt new technologies. I don’t know jack about the newspaper business, but I know the internet business, and much of Miller’s advice should be heeded by local media outlets, print and otherwise.

Mets Sign Wagner

Thirty-four year old Billy Wagner owns a pair of farms just outside of town, on which he raises a few dozen alpacas. Wagner’s had to pick up a second job, though: pitcher. The Mets signed him yesterday in a four-year, $43M deal, the Asbury Park Press reports. The Virginia native was with the Phillies, but the hotshot pitcher became interesting to a number of teams recently, with the Mets winning the bidding war. I don’t have any love for the Mets, but if the enemy of my enemy is my friend, they’re cool by me.

Former Progress Editor Dies

Bob Pratt, the editor of the Daily Progress in the 60s, died last week at the age of 79. He started as a reporter in the 50s before heading up the paper from 1960-67, when he moved down to Florida to work at the Miami News. His life took an interesting twist in 1975, when he was assigned to write a story about a UFO sighting in Wisconsin. After investigating what he assumed would be another nutcase, he thought there was something to it. He spent the rest of his life interviewing witnesses to sightings, writing UFO Danger Zone and assembling a vast website on the topic. Bryan McKenzie has the story in today’s Daily Progress.

ILS Fails at CHO

WINA reports that the instrument landing system at the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport is broken, so landing isn’t happening. Presumably, visual approaches can happen, but with the nasty, foggy weather we’re having, that probably means no landings. The FAA-owned system is under repair. There’s no ETA on the fix but, until then, the airport is closed for landings.

11/30 Update: Bryan McKenzie has the story in today’s Daily Progress.

Albemarle First Sale Falls Through

A year ago, with Albemarle First’s stock price on the decline and the local bank hurting from losing millions in a 2003 check-kiting scam, their largest shareholder declared that it was time for them to sell out to a bigger bank. Washington D.C. financial holding company Millennium Bankshares obliged, buying Albemarle First last June. Or so it seemed.

Today comes the news that Millennium Bankshares shareholders voted down the acquisition, ending the transaction. Millennium’s shares climbed 6% on the news; Albemarle First’s dropped 23%.

Presumably, Albemarle First shareholders are as eager as ever to see the bank bought out. It will be curious to see if they can round up any new suitors.

11:47pm Update: A reader points out that The Hook saw this coming two months ago.



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