Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Can David McCumber Save the Local Rag?

In the revolving door of local newspaper management by the Hearst media chain, the Local Rag, aka Yellowwich Time, so known for the color of the journalism it has historically published, will have a new editor as of April 27. And for a change, it appears that he may be a winner.

David McCumber comes to Greenwich from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the venerable Left Coast newspaper that recently ceased to issue a printed version and became an online-only viritual newspaper. Although moving to the Local Rag sounds like a fairly substantial demotion to your scribe, he is nonetheless impressed with Mr. McCumber's resume, which includes being a published poet and author. "I'm not so much focused on dollars and cents but [sic] on good journalism," he is quoted as saying recently. Well, his grammar may be a bit weak, but the sentiment is laudable.

But can he save the Local Rag, with its motley staff of retreads and also-rans? Will he be able to get his underlings to start checking their facts and getting their stories straight, as it were? Your scribe wishes him well, but it's a little bit like trying to cleanse the Augean stables. There's an awful lot of horse manure still cluttering up the place.

Or, on the other hand, is Mr. McCumber here to preside over the transition of Yellowwich Time, too, into a virtual newspaper? Maybe he has been given a certain period of time in which to try to pull up its socks, after which he may be put in charge of cutting it off at the knees. Time will tell.


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