Thursday, February 14, 2013

WKYC's Tom Beres Barred From Reporting on Advance's Michigan 'Newsroom'

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM

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The sage of The Plain Dealer's slow wilt is still garnering a handful of comments here and there. But the paper's ownership isn't talking. In fact, they're making damn sure that no advance information gets out about the strategy.

WKYC's Tom Beres trekked out to Ann Arbor, where Advance Digital's first great step into The Great Beyond took hold, to flesh out the second part of his "What's Life Like With No Daily Paper?" series. In one sense, the bit reiterated how creepy Steve Newhouse and the rest of the company is. Otherwise, it's more of the same: Cleveland's daily newspaper is owned by absentee landlords who have no problem withholding information or - on the ground in cities like ours - resources for news gathering.

When Beres arrived at the mlive.com office, he was met with two awkward security guards who had been hired specifically to bar the news reporter from the building. A follow-up call to Newhouse himself didn't make things any easier:

BERES: You could just pick up a phone and say, "Talk to this fellow from Cleveland and tell him how it's working."

NEWHOUSE: Well, I'm not gonna do that.

BERES: It's just making it exceedingly difficult for me to try to do a fair and balanced report.

NEWHOUSE: I'm not going to tell them what to do. Maybe there's an issue - I don't know where - maybe it's with you.

Touchy much, Steve? The Newhouse magnate also refused to talk with Scene late last year, saying, "I have nothing more to say on the subject."

The Plain Dealer's outgoing publisher, Terry Egger, told Beres that there's still no word on the changes coming to Cleveland.

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