Magazine article Editor & Publisher

People Get Whacked, but This Is Personal

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

People Get Whacked, but This Is Personal

Article excerpt

In nearly 10 years at Editor & Publisher, I have covered cutbacks, buyouts, and layoffs at dozens of papers, big and small, good and bad, corporate and family-owned. But none hit quite like the turmoil at The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. That's because "The Ledger," as we say in the Garden State, is more than just another newspaper cutback casualty to me. It was, and remains, my hometown paper.

As I grew up in Summit, the Ledger was on our kitchen table from an early age. At 12, I was helping my brother deliver it (for 10 cents a day then, 25 on Sunday), while the sports section was the only way I really kept up with my Yankees and Giants. The "Kleinesty" of Moss Klein, who covered the Bronx Bombers, and Dave Klein, who wrote about Big Blue football, were mainstays. Dave Klein, now running a Giants Web site, and Star-Ledger Columnist Jerry Izenberg remain two of only four sportswriters to have covered all 42 Super Bowls.

But sports aside, the Ledger was, and is, the quintessential Jersey daily. Bigger than any others in the state, it also gave readers local and state news with a respect for "Joisey," not some stereotypical caricature of big hair, malls, and toxic waste. Yes, it dug up the dirt on such ailments and corruption, but it also held up the likes of Soprano, Springsteen, and Sinatra with pride. Never the kind of daily with Pulitzer-winning columnists and massive foreign bureaus, the Ledger served up a steaming plate of news from all areas of New Jersey, with an eye toward local needs and statewide coverage.

My first letter to the editor, written in ninth grade, appeared on its pages. While in high school, covering local sports for my school paper, I phoned in football, basketball and lacrosse results to the Ledger, for which I recall I was paid $3 or $4 per game. …

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