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Monday, September 14, 2015

Why the Gazette kept the Daily Mail

In 2004, the Chilton family, owners of the Charleston Gazette, borrowed $57 million to purchase the rival Charleston Daily Mail (aka Charley West, a cartoon figure in red, white and blue) from Dean Singleton and his Media News Group. At the request of Betty Chilton, his good friend, Singleton had made a straw purchase of the Daily Mail a few years earlier from Thomson Newspapers, a Canadian firm that was selling off its more than 100 newspapers.
In February 2005, the Chiltons informed the staff of the Daily Mail that it would close the newspaper on March 31, 2005. However, the Department of Justice intervened. Thus began a lengthy court battle that resulted in the Chilton family agreeing in 2010 not to close the Daily Mail unto July 19, 2015.

A funny thing happened on the way to July 19, 2015. The Gazette didn't close the Daily Mail. Instead it folded the papers into one -- keeping the Daily Mail editorial page.

That was a shock. The rabidly socialist Gazette family, which is the epitome of limousine liberalism, kept the Daily Mail editorial page -- a page its owners cannot stand to read -- after paying $57 million to get rid of it.

I mean, I can see keeping certain staff members. Over the years, many Daily Mail writers and editors were liberal. But the editorial page?

Over the weekend, it dawned on me why. The election. Since 2000, when the state went Republican in the presidential race, to 2014, when it elected its first Republican Legislature in 82 years, West Virginia has become conservative. The New Deal and Great Society policies advocated by the Gazette have reduced West Virginia to a state of great beauty and great poverty. The middle class migrated to Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and other Help Wanted states.

Hard to sell a newspaper -- a relic of the 19th and 20th centuries -- to people who cannot stand your editorial page.

And so Charley West lives.

Thanks to voters.

Vox populi.

I am glad I was fired before this happened because I would have stayed and continued to work, which was very bad for my health. The last 10 years I worked at Charley West were a terrible burden. I did not realize it at the time. An early retirement -- forced or not -- is a blessing.

But that does not mean I am not quietly amused. The scowling cries of ignorance and racism hurled at readers by the Gazette's editorials are a rabid dog baying at the moon. I may not have gotten a gold watch, but I got piece of mind instead.

One more thing, never work for a liberal. They are mean. I would rather work for a skinflint conservative.

Come to think of it, never work for anyone.


  1. Editorials that anger or irritate your readers is bad for business, and why I gave up on my local rag.

    1. Ditto. I live in a town that once was a two-paper town but is now a one-paper town in a one-party state where the newspaper without exception takes the left-leaning party line. There's no way the paper could ever be partial to the right, but at least they could try to be independent once in a long while. I don't know what the economics of the newspaper business is like in my area, it probably isn't too promising, but I'm not about to part with my money to subscribe to a one-sided daily propaganda sheet.

    2. I know mine was a 2-paper town until 1960. Thing is, the previous editor was sane. He probably was a Democrat, but he didn't push it the way his successor does. (GOP all bone-in-nose troglodytes!)

  2. May you get the rest of the pieces of your mind back and then have true peace of mind.

    You were the best thing about that rag.

  3. It is encouraging that newspapers are getting less relevant. In general the media have become organs of leftist propaganda, so I'm glad fewer people are paying attention. Advertisers are fleeing as well, so big papers are going broke.
    Apparently, however, in a smaller market the local paper is still a moneymaker even if it shrinks to 1 1/2 pages of news, a page of comics, etc., and a sports section. Afer all, it still gets the lucrative legal ads, and payroll can be cut to the bone if content is almost wholly taken from wire services. So the newspaper survives, like a store with a sales clerk who insults or mistreats the customers yet still is the only store in town.

  4. Back when they were separate papers, Gazettes were still in the rack whereas all the Daily Mails were sold out.That was here in Kanawha City.
    I enjoy the Ep/Op pages being side by side. Even money bets the Libtard side is all gloom and doom while the Daily Mail page has cartoons that are actually funny and Eds. that are usually upbeat and comfortable.