Norfolk’s Newspapers past and present – Norfolk Perspectives with Bob Batcher

Norfolk’s Newspapers past and present – Norfolk Perspectives with Bob Batcher


>>>THIS TIME ON “NORFOLK
PERSPECTIVES,” WE’RE GOING TO HAVE AN INDEPTH CONVERSATION
WITH THE PUBLISHERS OF TWO OF OUR PRINT PUBLICATIONS, MAUREEN
JONES AND BRENDA ANDREWS. IT’S A GREAT CONVERSATION, SO
JOIN US RIGHT HERE ON “NORFOLK PERSPECTIVES.” CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY
CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC www.captionassociates.com
>>WELCOME TO “NORFOLK PERSPECTIVES.” I’M BOB BATCHER. YES, I DID MENTION THE
PUBLICATIONS BECAUSE I WOULD BE HOPING YOU WOULD STAY TUNED TO
FIND OUT WHO THEY ARE, BUT MAURICE JONES IS WITH THE
VIRGINIAN-PILOT. HOW IS IT GOING?>>WELL, THANK YOU.
>>AND BRENDA ANDREWS WITH THE NEW JOURNAL AND GUIDE.>>YES, A NEW JOURNAL AND GUIDE.>>I WAS GOING TO SAY, WE’RE
GOING TO BE TALKING IN THE SECT SEGMENT ABOUT THE NEW JOURNAL
AND GUIDE BEING 100 AND –>>112.>>THEN I’M GOING TO ASK YOU,
HOW LONG DO YOU STAY NEW?>>WE’VE BEEN NEW FOR THE PAST
TEN YEARS AND BEFORE THAT, WE WERE JUST THE JOURNAL AND GUIDE,
SO WE’VE BEEN MU IN A NEW CENTURY.>>NOW, THE OTHER GUY SITTING
NEXT TO YOU DID THE SAME THING, RIGHT? THE PAPER HASN’T ALWAYS BEEN THE
VIRGINIAN-PILOT.>>NO. ALTHOUGH YOU CAN TRACE THE
ORIGINS BACK TO 1865.>>WOW.>>YEAH.>>AND YOU’VE ASKED ME BEFORE WE
WENT ON AIR NOT TO — EITHER ONE OF YOU, YOU GUYS ARE NEW
EMPLOYEES COMPARED TO THE TIME, RIGHT?>>YES.>>THAT’S RIGHT.>>WE GET THAT ESTABLISHED FROM
THE GET-GO.>>I WASN’T THERE IN 1865.>>AND I WASN’T THERE 112 YEARS
AGO.>>OKAY, WE’RE SET THERE. NOW, WHICH MEANS YOU WEREN’T
THERE, EITHER, IN THE OLD TYPESET DAYS, RIGHT?>>THAT’S RIGHT.>>BUT YET, ISN’T — ARE THINGS
THE SAME AS THEY WERE BACK IN THE TYPESET DAYS? OKAY, AS A READER, I SIT THERE
AND GO TO THE HAMPTON ROADS SECOND FIRST, OR IN YOURS, I GO
RIGHT TO THE FRONT PAGE AND SEE WHERE MY AD MIGHT BE. BUT I HAVE THIS LOGIC THAT I
FOLLOW. WHAT KIND OF LOGIC DO YOU ALL
USE IN PUTTING THAT PAPER TOGETHER THOUGH? AND SIT THE SAME AS IT WAS IN
THE TYPESET IN.>>WELL, THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION. SINCE WE WEREN’T AROUND WHEN IT
WAS TYPESET –>>WELL, YOU READ ABOUT IT.>>WE CAN’T SPEAK ACCURATELY TO
THAT, BUT I THINK CERTAINLY THAT WHEN WE DO THE PRINT EDITION OF
THE PAPER, WE’RE STILL FOLLOWING CERTAIN STANDARDS, FOLLOWING
CERTAIN SECTIONS, FOLLOWING THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN DONE
FOREVER. WE’RE DOING HEADLINES, DOING
STORIES, MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT WHERE INFORMATION SHOULD GO,
WHETHER IT SHOULD GO ON THE FRONT PAGE, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
PAPER, NOT AT ALL IN THE PAPER, IN THE BACK OF THE PAPER.>>OKAY.>>I THINK THAT’S RIGHT. NOW, FOR US, THERE ARE SOME
ETERNAL THINGS, RIGHT? WHICH BACK THEN, JUST AS NOW, WE
WERE TRYING TO GIVE PEOPLE PARTICULARLY THE LOCAL NEWS,
RIGHT? WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE
CONCENTRATED ON WHAT’S GOING ON HERE LOCALLY AND TO BE ROLE
FOCUSED ON — REAL FOCUSED ON THAT. THAT’S STILL OUR FOCUS TODAY. OUR FOCUS NOW IS WE TRY TO PUT
TOGETHER A COMPREHENSIVE PACKAGE FOR FOLKS, BUT AT THE END OF THE
DAY, OUR FRANCHISE IS WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY.>>SO ON THE FRONT PAGE, YOU SEE
SOME NATIONAL NEWS, BUT IF THERE’S A DRIVING STORY, BIG
STORY LOCALLY –>>YES.>>DO YOU TRY TO PAY ATTENTION
TO WHO’S READING THE PAPER AND WHAT THEY MIGHT BE INTERESTED
IN?>>WE DO.>>YES. YOU HAVE TO. YOU KNOW, YOU HAVE TO BE AWARE
OF WHO’S READING THE PAPER AND RESPONDING TO WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE
IS INTERESTED IN READING. I MEAN, WE CAN’T MAKE DECISIONS
ABOUT WHAT NEWS IS UNLESS WE KNOW WHAT PAPER CONSIDER NEWS
AND — PEOPLE CONSIDER NEWS AND HOW THEY WANT TO RECEIVE IT.>>OKAY, LET ME ASK THE BIG ONE
NOW. IS NEWSPAPER PUBLISHING,
JOURNALISM, SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, OR IS IT A
BUSINESS?>>I’M GOING TO LET YOU GO
FIRST.>>WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS AGAIN?>>OKAY. SOCIAL OBLIGATION, A BUSINESS,
OR THE PURE SENSE OF JOURNALISM?>>ALL OF THE ABOVE. IT’S ALL OF THE ABOVE.>>AND THAT’S THE BALANCE?>>THE CATHOLIC NUNS HAVE A
SAYING NO MARGIN, NO MISSION. RIGHT? YOU HAVE TO HAVE AN EXCELLENT
BUSINESS IF YOU’RE GOING TO DO THE JOURNALISM, SO YOU HAVE TO
FIND A WAY TO BOTH PRODUCE EXCELLENT JOURNALISM AND AN
EXCELLENT BUSINESS. OTHERWISE YOU WON’T HAVE A
SUSTAINABLE, VIABLE ENTERPRISE, SO YOU HAVE TO DO ALL OF THE
ABOVE.>>I AGREE. AND AT THE YOURGE AND GUIDE —
JOURNAL AND GUIDE, I THINK OUR PURPOSE AND OUR MISSION IS A
LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN A DAILY NEWSPAPER, SO WHILE WE ARE
DEFINITELY A BUSINESS, IN BUSINESS TO MAKE BUSINESS AND
MAKE MONEY, OUR PRIMARY FOCUS, THOUGH, IS MORE IN THE SOCIAL
ADVOCACY AREA OF JOURNALISM. AND THAT PUTS US IN A LITTLE BIT
OF A DIFFERENT CATEGORY THAN A DAILY NEWSPAPER. BUT ALL OF THE ABOVE.>>AND YET, THERE HAVE BEEN
TIMES WHERE YOU’VE ACTUALLY REFERENCED A QUOTE FROM THE
PILOT, SO YOU RECOGNIZE TOO, AND THAT WAY YOU CAN TAKE A STORY —
>>OH, YES.>>– A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT
ANGLE.>>THAT’S PERSPECTIVE AND THAT’S
WHY WE EXIST. THAT’S BUY THE JOURNAL AND GUIDE
EXISTS, TO OFFER A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON PERHAPS THE SAME
ISSUE THAT MAY BE ADDRESSED IN THE MAINSTREAM DAILY NEWSPAPER.>>AND BY THE WAY, WE OFFER A
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE THAN THE “NEW YORK TIMES” OFTEN ON THE
VERY SAME STORY, SO WHEN WE COVER HEALTHCARE, WE TRY — AND
HEALTHCARE REFORM, WE TRY TO COME AT IT THROUGH THE LENS OF
HAMPTON ROADS.>>OKAY.>>SAME SUBJECT, SAME THEME, BUT
WE GOT TO BE RELEVANT TO OUR READERS AND VIEWERS, AND SO,
YEAH, WE FILTER IT THROUGH THE LOCAL PERSPECTIVE.>>WELL, KEEP THE READER
COMFORTABLE WITH WHAT THEY’RE READING AND I WANT TO TALK TO
YOU LATER ON IN THE SHOW ABOUT THAT BECAUSE YOU MENTIONED
MARGINS.>>OH, YEAH.>>YOU CHANGED YOUR MARGINS, THE
SAME THING HERE. I TELL YOU WHAT, WHEN WE COME
BACK, BRENDA, I WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT THE JOURNAL AND GUIDE
AND YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM AND MAURICE, YOU’RE GOING TO BE
BACK IN THE THIRD SEGMENT.>>DEAL.>>STAY TUNED. WE HAVE A WHOLE LOT MORE WITH
TWO GREAT PUBLISHERS.>>>COME ON, MOM! COME ON!>>JUST STAND STILL NOW.>>COME ON!>>GO, GO, GO!>>WHOO!>>YEAH!>>BOYS, HANG ON. BOYS!>>YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT
TO BE A PERFECT PARENT. THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF CHILDREN
IN FOSTER CARE WHO WILL TAKE YOU JUST AS YOU ARE.>>>WELCOME BACK TO “NORFOLK
PERSPECTIVES.” LIKE I SAID, WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
BRENDA THIS SECT AND MAURICE JONES WILL BE BACK. BRENDA, LET ME ASK YOU, YOU GOT
THE DAILY PAPER AND YOU MENTIONED IN THE FIRST SEGMENT
THAT YOU GOT THAT SPECIAL MISSION. HOW DO YOU SEE THAT?>>ACTUALLY, I SEE IT AS THE
MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE PAPER. WE ARE A COMMUNITY PAPER, AND SO
OUR PRIMARY FOCUS, OUR PRIMARY MISSION IS TO BE A VOICE FOR THE
COMMUNITY AND IN THE HISTORIC CONTEXT OF THE BLACK PRESS WHO
SEE A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE CAN SEE THEMSELVES AS THEY LIKE TO SEE
THEMSELVES, AS PEOPLE WHO DO THINGS THAT EVERYBODY DOES,
PEOPLE WHO GO TO CHURCH, PEOPLE WHO HAVE CHILDREN, PEOPLE WHO
GET MARRIED, PEOPLE WHO HAVE SOCIAL EVENTS, BUT BEYOND THAT,
ALSO PEOPLE WHO HAVE SPECIAL CONCERNS AND SPECIAL ISSUES THAT
HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED FROM — ONLY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF WHO
WE ARE AS AFRICAN AMERICAN PEOPLE.>>WELL, LIKE I MENTIONED,
SOMETIMES I’VE SEEN ARTICLES THAT WERE IN THE PILOT AND THEN
I READ YOUR PAPER EVERY WEEK, AND YET YOU DO HAVE A DIFFERENT
PERSPECTIVE.>>YES.>>BUT AM I YOUR AUDIENCE?>>YES, YOU’RE MY AUDIENCE IF
YOU WANT TO HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT PEOPLE OF
A DIFFERENT CULTURE AND A DIFFERENT BACKGROUND ARE
THINKING AND DOING. YOU KNOW, WE THINK OF BLACK
HISTORY MONTH, FOR EXAMPLE, WE’RE JUST GETTING OUT OF IT, AS
A TIME WHERE WE CELEBRATE BLACK ACHIEVEMENTS AND BLACK
CONTRIBUTIONS, BUT THAT’S NOT ONLY FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN
PEOPLE. IT’S REALLY FOR ALL AMERICANS TO
UNDERSTAND BETTER WHO WE ARE, HOW WE THINK, WHY WE THINK,
BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT WHEN WE BECOME MORE ATTUNED TO EACH
OTHER, TO EACH OTHER’S CULTURE, TO EACH OTHER’S WAY OF THINKING,
AND TO WHO WE ARE AS PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF THE SKIN, THEN WE
BEGIN TO SEE WE’RE REALLY NOT SO DIFFERENT. WE HAVE THE SAME CONCERNS, WE
HAVE THE SAME NEEDS, AND ONCE WE UNDERSTAND THAT, WE HAVE SOME
COMMONALITIES, THEN WE CAN, I THINK, LIVE IN A MUCH MORE
COHESIVE ENVIRONMENT IN SOCIETY.>>NOW, I’VE GOT TO SAY, TOO,
ONE THING I ENJOY ABOUT READING YOUR PAPER IS YOU HAVE SOME
COLUMNISTS AND REPORTERS I KNOW.>>OKAY.>>BECAUSE THEY’RE IN THE
COMMUNITY AND HAVE BEEN IN THE COMMUNITY FOR A LONG TIME. IS THAT KIND OF HOW YOU KEEP
YOUR READERS INTERESTED, THAT RELATIONSHIP?>>YES, HOW WE OVER THE YEARS
HAVE AND NOT ONLY THE JOURNAL AND GUIDE, BUT ALL COMMUNITY AND
ETHNIC NEWSPAPERS KEEP THEIR AUDIENCE IS BECAUSE WE TALK
ABOUT PEOPLE, WE PUT PEOPLE IN THERE, WE USE NAMES, WE USE
PICTURES. YOU KNOW, THE OLD GRIP AND GRIN
WAY OF SHOOTING A PICTURE IS –>>RIGHT, WITH A CERTIFICATE
USUALLY.>>YEAH, WITH THE CERTIFICATES
AND THIS WEEK COMING OUT, WE HAVE ABOUT FIVE STORIES ON
PEOPLE WHO GOT AWARDS DURING BLACK HISTORY MONTH, INCLUDING
MAURICE FROM TCC, AND SO IT’S THAT KIND OF COMMUNITY
ACHIEVEMENT THAT THE BLACK PRESS HISTORICALLY HAS BEEN KNOWN FOR
BECAUSE WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY WHERE OFTENTIMES IT’S BEEN A
DIFFERENT STORY IN SOME OF THE OTHER PUBLICATIONS.>>RIGHT, RIGHT. WELL, I MEAN, WHAT DO YOU FIND
ABOUT — WHAT’S THE MOST FUN YOU HAVE AS A PUBLISHER?>>I THINK THE MOST FUN I HAVE
IS SEEING THE PAPER COME ALIVE FROM NOTHINGNESS INTO THURSDAY
MORNING WHEN I PICK UP THE PAPER AND THERE’S A FRONT PAGE AND A
PAGE 2 AND DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE PAPER THAT HAVE BEEN
CREATED. YOU KNOW, COMMUNICATIONS IS A
FORM OF CREATIVITY, AND SO WHEN WE’RE COMMUNICATING AND THINGS
LOOK WELL, THE COLOR COMES OUT WELL AND THOSE ARE THINGS THAT,
FOR ME, ARE FUN IF WE CAN GO WITH FUN.>>WELL, I WAS GOING TO SAY, I
MADE THAT COMMENT TO SOMEBODY THE OTHER DAY ABOUT YOU’RE STILL
HAVING FUN. HE SAID I DON’T HAVE FUN AT
WORK. OKAY. WELL, WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART?>>THE HARDEST PART IS THOSE
WEEKS WHEN THERE IS NOT SUFFICIENT ADVERTISING TO
SUPPORT PUTTING OUT A NEWSPAPER, BUT CONTINUING TO DO IT BECAUSE
OF THE COMMITMENT AND THE LEGACY AND THE HISTORY THAT THIS
NEWSPAPER OFFERS, NOT ONLY HAMPTON ROADS, BUT ACTUALLY THE
NATION. WE ARE THE THIRD OLDEST AFRICAN
AMERICAN PRESS IN THE COUNTRY, AND MY PERSONAL VIEW OF AFRICAN
AMERICAN ISSUES IS THAT A PAPER OR ANY INSTITUTION, AND THE
NEWSPAPER IS AN INSTITUTION, THAT WAS STARTED IN AN ERA, IN A
TIME WHEN PEOPLE HAD HARDLY ANYTHING AS FAR AS MATERIALS
SUPPLY, AND THEN WE COME TO THE 21st CENTURY WHERE WE HAVE SO
MUCH, WE CANNOT ALLOW THAT LEGACY AND THAT HISTORY AND THE
YEARS OF SACRIFICE THAT HAVE BEEN MADE TO JUST GO DOWN.>>SO YOU HAVE THE SAME BALANCE
AS THE PILOT DOES.>>ABSOLUTELY.>>IN ADVERTISING, KEEPING IT
AFLOAT IS A –>>ABSOLUTELY, KEEPING IT AFLOAT
AS A BUSINESS BECAUSE IT IS A BUSINESS. I DON’T GET SPECIAL RELIEF. I DON’T GET A CHECK FROM THE
GOVERNMENT. I HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT MY
LIGHTS ARE ON AND EVERYTHING I DO IS DONE AS A PROFESSIONAL
FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS.>>NOW, I WANT TO TELL YOU ONE
MORE SAME, YOU HAVE NOT BEEN THE PUBLISHER FOR 112 YEARS.>>RIGHT.>>HAVING ESTABLISHED THAT, WHAT
WAS YOUR BACKGROUND? WHAT DROVE YOU TO —
>>I WAS IN THE U.S. ARMY FOR A SHORT TIME IN THE PUBLIC
AFFAIRS, PUBLIC RELATIONS FIELD. AND WHEN I LEFT, I WAS AT THE
PENTAGON FOR TWO YEARS AND IN GERMANY FOR TWO YEARS AND WHEN I
LEFT THERE, I CAME HERE TO VISIT. I STILL HAVE FAMILY HERE, AND
MET THE THEN PUBLISHER AND OWNER OF THE PAPER WHO WAS LOOKING FOR
SOMEONE TO ASSIST HIM, SINCE HIS DAUGHTER WAS GETTING MARRIED AND
LEAVING, AND I JUST KIND OF SAID, OKAY, I’LL DO THIS FOR A
COUPLE OF YEARS. THAT WAS 1982.>>WOW. SO NOW, BUT THE PEOPLE PRIOR TO
YOU, IT WAS A FAMILY-RUN OPERATION, RIGHT?>>WELL, IT WAS THE YOUNG FAMILY
OWNED THE PAPER AND RAN IT FOR ABOUT 60 YEARS. AND THEN IT WAS SOLD BY THE LAST
OF THE YOUNG FAMILY AND FROM THAT POINT, IT WAS SOLD THREE
MORE TIMES AND I’M THE FOURTH OWNER SINCE THE YOUNG FAMILY,
AND THE FIRST WOMAN.>>WOW. SO THERE’S A HERITAGE TO FOLLOW.>>ABSOLUTELY.>>BUT THERE’S A FUTURE — WHEN
YOU COME BACK ON, WE’RE GOING TO COME BACK AND I WANT TO TALK IN
THE SEGMENT AFTER BREAK, BECAUSE MAURICE’S WAS A FAMILY-RUN
OPERATION TOO, LITTLE FAMILY.>>LITTLE FAMILY.>>I WANT TO TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU
SEE AS THE FUTURE WHEN WE COME BACK. THANKS A LOT, WHEN WE COME BACK
WITH MAURICE JONES. \M\M
\M\M>>>WELCOME BACK TO “NORFOLK
PERSPECTIVES.” YES, BREN DAS COMING BACK IN THE
NEXT SEGMENT, BUT I’M HERE WITH MAURICE. HOW ARE YOU DOING?>>YOU TRADED DOWN.>>NO, YOU GOT ME ON THAT. OKAY, LET’S TALK TURKEY. THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT IS A LITTLE
BIGGER THAN THE JOURNAL AND GUIDE, BUT YOU GOT SOME OF THE
SAME ISSUES, DON’T YOU?>>OH, YEAH. I THINK THERE ARE COMMON
CHALLENGES THAT MEDIA COMPANIES HAVE AROUND THE COUNTRY NOW, AND
THE BIGGEST OF WHICH IS WE’RE ALL BATTLING THE RECESSION. RIGHT? AND IN THE RECESSION, WE’RE ALL
BATTLING AN ADVERTISING PIE, IF YOU WILL, THAT HAS GOTTEN
SMALLER, AT LEAST WITH RESPECT TO THE PRINT PIECE. IT’S GOTTEN SMALLER. WE’RE ALSO ALL BATTLING THE FACT
THAT COMPETITION IN THE MEDIA BUSINESS HAS JUST MULTIPLIED.>>AND NOT JUST PRINT TO PRINT.>>OH, NO, WHEN I SAY
COMPETITION, YOU HAVE TO INCLUDE PRINT, DIGITAL, BROADCAST,
NATIONAL PLAYERS, COMPETITION IS MUCH MORE INTENSE NOW THAN IT
USED TO BE. AND WE’RE BATTLING THAT, JUST
LIKE THE NEW JOURNAL AND GUIDE IS BATTLING IT.>>BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T BATTLE
IT –>>IF YOU DON’T BATTLE IT, YOU
WON’T BE AROUND IN ANY FORM.>>WELL, AND THAT’S SIGNIFICANT
HERE, TOO, BECAUSE I THINK IN READING THE PAPER OVER THE LAST
SEVENAL YEARS, SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU’VE HAD IN YOUR
JOURNEY AS PUBLISHER, I MEAN, LET’S TALK TURKEY, YOU HAD IT
FOR SALE.>>OH, YES, THAT’S TRUE.>>THERE WASN’T SOMEBODY WHO WAS
JUMPING IN HERE SAYING I THINK I’LL KEEP THE PAPER ALIVE.>>WELL, ACTUALLY, I WOULDN’T
CHARACTERIZE IT THAT WAY.>>OKAY.>>YOU GOT TO REMEMBER, THE
PILOT IS PART OF LANDMARK. LANDMARK HAS MUCH BIGGER
BUSINESSES THAN THE PILOT.>>WHOA, OKAY.>>SO THE PILOT ISN’T — ISN’T
THE ONE PIECE OF THE BUSINESS THAT NECESSARILY DROVE THE
DECISION TO SELL.>>RIGHT, OKAY. LET’S USE THAT AS A WAY OF GOING
BACKWARDS.>>OKAY.>>BY THE WAY, A WHILE AGO YOU
DID THAT ONE SEGMENT WITH ALL THE OLD ARTICLES AND ADS AND
WHATEVER, IT WAS GREAT.>>THE TIDEWATER —
>>YES, I LOVED THAT. IT TELLS ME THAT THE PAPER HAS
BEEN AROUND FOR A LONG, LONG TIME.>>YES, THE PAPER.>>NOT MAURICE JONES.>>THAT’S RIGHT, NOT ME.>>IT GOES BACK BATTEN?>>IT GOES BACK TO COLONEL
SLOVER WHO WAS –>>HIS NAME ON THE NEW LIBRARY
DOWNTOWN.>>THAT’S EXACTLY RIGHT. HE WAS FRANK BATTEN SR.’S UNCLE
AND HE RAISED FRANK BATTEN SR. HE REALLY IS THE ORIGIN, IT IS
WITH HIM THAT THE COMPANY STARTED.>>DID HE HAVE THE MORNING PAPER
OR THE AFTERNOON PAPER?>>HE HAD BOTH, HE HAD SEVERAL. WHAT HAPPENED WAS HE BOUGHT
SEVERAL NEWSPAPERS WITHIN HAMPTON ROADS, ULTIMATELY PUT
THEM TOGETHER THROUGH A NUMBER OF ACQUISITIONS. THE PILOT GREW OUT OF THAT, BUT
THE FIRST PRODUCT THAT HE PURCHASED, I THINK, MAY HAVE
BEEN A PAPER IN PORTSMOUTH, SO DON’T QUOTE ME ON THAT. THERE’S A HISTORY THAT HAS BEEN
WRITTEN THAT CHRONICLES ALL OF THIS.>>WOULD YOU SAY THAT FRANK
BATTEN SR. WAS A JOURNALIST OR A
BUSINESSMAN?>>FRANK BATTEN SR. WAS BOTH. YOU KNOW, HE LOVED JOURNALISM.>>OKAY.>>AND I WAS BLESSED, I ARRIVED
HERE IN 2006 WHEN FRANK SR. WAS
STILL ALIVE AND I HAD — HE WAS MY MENTOR IN THE COMPANY. SO I HAD THE BIG BLESSING OF
BEING ABLE TO VISIT HIM IN HIS HOME AND THEN WHEN HE WAS
STAYING IN THE SENIOR LIVING FACILITY, AND WHENEVER I VISITED
HIM, WHENEVER I VISITED HIM, THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT WAS CLOSE BY.>>WOW.>>SO HE LOVED THE PILOT. HE LOVED THE JOURNALISM, BUT HE
ALSO LOVED BUSINESS. REMEMBER, HE LAUNCHED THE
WEATHER CHANNEL AND WHEN HE LAUNCHED IT, 24-HOUR WEATHER,
RIGHT? PEOPLE THOUGHT —
>>WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?>>WELL, PEOPLE THOUGHT AT THE
TIME HE LAUNCHED IT, WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS IDEA IS THIS? WELL, GUESS WHO GOT THE LAST
LAUGH OF THAT ONE? SO HE WAS BOTH. HE WAS AN EXCEPTIONAL BUSINESS
PERSON AND HE WAS ALSO SOMEONE WHO LOVED AND HAD A PASSION FOR
JOURNALISM AS A VOCATION, AS A PUBLIC SERVICE, AND AS A
BUSINESS.>>WELL, LET ME — AND HE AND
HIS FAMILY HAVE BEEN AWESOME –>>HE AND HIS FAMILY, YES, I
MEAN, IT’S HARD — I DON’T HAVE THE VOCABULARY TO REALLY COME UP
WITH ALL THE ACCOLADES THAT HIS FAMILY DESERVES FOR ALL THEY
HAVE DONE FOR THE AREA AND CONTINUE TO DO.>>WELL, LET’S GO BACK, LET’S
TALK ABOUT THE ACCOLADES THAT I’VE HEARD ABOUT MAURICE JONES.>>WE SHOULDN’T.
>>THEY’RE NOT WRITTEN DOWN HERE, I’VE BEEN TOLD THESE, BUT
LET’S ROLL BACK TO MAURICE JONES FROM 2005 THEN?>>YES.>>WHERE WERE YOU SITTING AT A
DESK AND WERE YOU THINKING OF A NEWSPAPER?>>I WAS NOT. PRIOR TO THIS JOB, I WAS IN
STATE GOVERNMENT, SO I WORKED FOR SENATOR MARK WARNER WHO WAS
THEN GOVERNOR MARK WARNER. I WAS HIS DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF
AND I WAS A COMMISSIONER OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL
SERVICES. PRIOR TO THAT, I WORKED IN A
FOUNDATION IN THE WASHINGTON, D.C., AREA THAT FOCUSED ON
PROVIDING GRANTS AND OTHER ASSISTANCE TO NON-PROFITS
SERVING CHILDREN AT RISK OF NOT SUCCEEDING IN SCHOOL. PRIOR TO THAT, I WAS A PUBLIC
SERVANT IN THE U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT. PRIOR TO THAT, I PRACTICED LAW.>>WOW, WHOA.>>I PRACTICED LAW IN RICHMOND
FOR THREE YEARS.>>SOME WOULD SAY ONCE A LAWYER,
ALWAYS A LAWYER.>>I’M A REFORMING LAWYER.>>THERE YOU GO. SO THAT WHOLE PUBLIC ARENA,
YOU’RE USED TO. BUT YOU’VE GOT EDITORS THAT
EDIT.>>OH, YES, YOU WOULDN’T WANT ME
EDITING.>>IS MOST OF YOUR TIME SPENT ON
THE BUSINESS PUBLISHING SIDE OF THE PAPER THEN?>>I SPEND MOST OF MY TIME, I
LOOK AT MY JOB AS COACH, RIGHT? I AM TRYING TO BE A RESOURCE TO
MY TEAM, AND MY TEAM INCLUDES CERTAINLY THE JOURNALISTS, BUT
ALSO INCLUDES THE FOLKS WHO ARE DISTRIBUTING THE PAPER, FOLKS
WHO ARE GETTING ADS IN THE PAPER, PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING
ONLINE. WE HAVE NICHE BUSINESS LIKE
INSIDE BUSINESS AND FLAGSHIP. MY JOB IS TO TRY TO MAKE SURE
I’VE GOT THE BEST PEOPLE IN THE RIGHT PLACES, NUMBER ONE, THAT
I’M DOING ALL I CAN TO ENABLE THEM TO BE THE BEST THEY CAN BE,
THAT I’M SPENDING A LOT OF TIME HEARING FROM READERS AND FROM
ADVERTISERS HOW WE’RE SERVING THEM. AND THAT I’M SPENDING A FAIR
AMOUNT OF TIME TRYING TO GIVE PEOPLE A SENSE OF WHAT WE’RE
STRIVING TO DO ON THE BUSINESS SIDE AND THE JOURNALISM SIDE. BOTH THE PUBLIC AND INTERNALLY.>>I’VE HEARD FROM BOTH YOU AND
BRENDA AND I WANT TO HAVE BRENDA BACK ON AND WE CAN TALK ABOUT
THAT WHOLE CONCEPT OF SERVING THE READER AND HOW YOU CONTINUE
TO DO IT INTO THE FUTURE.>>OKAY.>>SO WHEN WE COME BACK, BRENDA
IS COMING BACK ON THE SOFA. STAY TUNED FOR MORE.>>>THE PAIN WILL NOT CONTROL
US. IT WILL NEVER BREAK US. DEFINE US, OR KEEP US STILL. BECAUSE ARTHRITIS CAN’T BEAT US
IF WE BEAT IT FIRST. IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ARTHRITIS,
YOU NEED A WEAPON. WHAT’S YOURS? VISIT THE ARTHRITIS FOUNDATION
AT FIGHT ARTHRITIS PAIN.ORG.>>WELCOME BACK TO “NORFOLK
PERSPECTIVES.” THIS HAS BEEN A FANTASTIC
CONVERSATION WITH TWO PUBLISHERS IN TOWN, MAURICE JONES AND
BRENDA ANDREWS, AND IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE EARLY PART OF
THE SHOW, REWIND AND WATCH OR CATCH IT NEXT TIME IT’S ON. OKAY, THAT’S BACKWARDS, BUT
LET’S TALK FORWARDS.>>OKAY.>>WE’VE TALKED ABOUT SERVICING
THE READER AND THE BUSINESS SIDE. I MEAN, YOU GOT TO MEET THE
NEEDS, BUT WHAT DOES THE READER LOOK LIKE TODAY VERSUS WHEN YOU
FIR TOOK OVER, DO YOU — FIRST TOOK OVER, DO YOU THINK?>>I DON’T THINK THERE’S REALLY
A WHOLE LOT OF DIFFERENCE. WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT WHAT
THE READER OF THE PAST OR THE PRESENT, I THINK THEY WANT TO BE
ENTERTAINED. THEY WANT TO BE INFORMED, AND
THEY WANT TO BE GIVEN INFORMATION THAT THEY CAN TRUST
IN AND BELIEVE IN AND THAT’S WHAT HAS KEPT US GOING FOR 112
YEARS, TO DEVELOP THAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COMMUNITY
THAT IF YOU SEE IT IN THE GUIDE, IT’S BEEN RESEARCHED TO THE
POINT THAT IT’S TRUE. AND SO WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WHAT
WE PUT IN IS TRUE, AS DOES EVERY PUBLICATION. THAT’S WHO WE ARE. SOMETIMES WE MAY FALL A LITTLE
SHORT, BUT BECAUSE WE’RE HUMAN, BUT I THINK THAT READERS ARE
STILL LOOKING TO BE, TO BE ENTERTAINED. SOMETIMES THEY’RE NOT QUITE SURE
WHAT THEY WANT, YOU KNOW. BUT IT’S LIKE —
>>IMPORTANT THAT WE UNDERSTAND THAT.>>YEAH, YOU KNOW, IT’S LIKE WHY
DOESN’T JOHNNY READ. IT’S NOT THAT JOHNNY CAN’T READ,
IT IS JOHNNY DOESN’T WANT TO READ. SO, YOU KNOW, YOU JUST DO THE
BEST YOU CAN.>>I THINK FOR US, WHAT IS
PROBABLY DIFFERENT NOW VERSUS 20 YEARS AGO, I WOULDN’T SAY SINCE
2006 IT’S PROBABLY ABOUT THE SAME, BUT WE HAVE 40 AND UNDER
READERS READING US ONLINE.>>YES.>>WE HAVE 40 AND OVER READERS
READING US MORE IN PRINT, SO I THINK WHAT YOU’RE SEEING IS THE
AUDIENCE CHOOSING WHICH PLATFORM THEY WANT TO VIEW THE DATA ON.
AND I’M AGNOSTIC ABOUT THAT. I REALLY DON’T CARE WHICH, I
JUST WANT YOU TO READ US.>>RIGHT.>>AND IF YOU PREFER TO READ US
IN PRINT, THEN WE’RE GOING TO TRY TO PROVIDE THE BEST PRINT
PRODUCT THAT WE CAN PROVIDE. IF YOU PREFER TO READ US ONLINE,
THEN WE’RE GOING TO TRY TO PROVIDE THE BEST ONLINE PRODUCT,
BUT THAT’S — I THINK YOU SEE THAT HAPPENING AND ALL OVER THE
BUSINESS, YOU’RE SEEING THE DIGITAL PIECE, YOU’RE SEEING NOW
THE MOBILE PIECE. SO THE iPAD NOW IS A SIGNIFICANT
FACTOR FOR US AND WE ARE NOW TRYING TO GET ON ALL OF THESE
e-TABLETS AS WELL.>>AND I THINK YOU’RE GOING TO
SEE MORE OF THAT. THAT’S THE TREND WITH THE
YOUNGER MARKET BEING MUCH MORE MOBILE.>>I THINK THAT’S RIGHT.>>THAN THE — AND SEE, WE HAVE
AN OLDER MARKET IN THE BLACK PRESS. PEOPLE WHO REMEMBER AND ARE
FAMILIAR WITH THE DAY, BACK IN THE DAY KIND OF THING, SO OUR
CHALLENGE IS TO REACH THAT YOUNGER MARKET AND LET THEM KNOW
THAT THERE IS STILL A PLACE FOR THEM, TOO, IN THE BLACK PRESS. SO THAT’S OUR BIG CHALLENGE.>>WELL, I PROMISED MAURICE I’D
ASK HIM THIS QUESTION, I’VE GOT TO ASK THIS QUESTION. I PROBABLY SHOULDN’T BECAUSE YOU
CLUMPED ME IN THE 40-PLUS, SO THANK YOU FOR THAT. THERE’S A COMFORT LEVEL, I TRUST
WHEN I READ THE PAPER, WHAT HAPPENED TO MY GREEN SHEET? I MEAN, YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO
MAKE CHANGES, RIGHT?>>YES. THE GREEN SHEET, I SHOULD SAY
FOR ALL OF YOUR AUDIENCE, WENT AWAY BEFORE I GOT HERE. HOWEVER, YOU KNOW, THE GREEN
SHEET WAS A PRODUCT OF BOTH DECLINING DEMAND, RIGHT? AND THE FACT THAT THERE IS AND
NOW THERE ARE SEVERAL SUBSTITUTES THAT ARE JUST AS
POWERFUL. NAMELY, YOU CAN CLICK ON THE
GUIDE –>>ON THE REMOTE CONTROL.>>YES.
>>AND I THINK THAT’S REALLY — THAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE
FOR THE FUTURE IS KEEPING UP WITH THE TECHNOLOGY THAT IS
AVAILABLE?>>YOU KNOW, I’LL LET BRENDA SAY
THAT.>>I THINK, YES, I THINK THAT IS
A BIG CHALLENGE AND THAT’S BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE WE’RE
GOING. I MEAN, TECHNOLOGY, EVERY WEEK
PRACTICALLY, SEEMS THERE’S SOMETHING NEW, SOME NEW
i-SOMETHING, SO I WOULD SAY THAT’S A BIG CHALLENGE.>>AND I WOULD SAY THAT IT IS
ALSO A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY.>>OH, HEAVENS, YES.>>RIGHT? SO IT’S A CHALLENGE, BUT FOR US,
IT’S ALSO A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY. YOU KNOW, THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE,
THERE ARE SEVERAL CHALLENGES, BUT THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE THAT
WE ARE BATTLING IS STILL THE BUSINESS MODEL. IT’S HOW WE FIND A MORE BALANCED
WAY OF KEEPING THE PRODUCT OR PRODUCTS ALIVE AND WELL AND
HEALTHY. WHAT HAS HAPPENED IS, NEWSPAPERS
FOR THE LONGEST TIME RELIED, REALLY, ON THREE AREAS FOR
MONEY: RECRUITMENT ADVERTISING, AUTOMOBILE ADVERTISING, AND REAL
ESTATE ADVERTISING. GUESS WHAT TOOK A REALLY HARD
HIT IN THE RECESSION? ALL THREE OF THOSE.>>THAT’S RIGHT.>>WELL, SO THE CHALLENGE IS NOT
LOSING ANY OF THAT STUFF, WE WANT TO KEEP ALL OF THAT, BUT WE
HAVE TO FIND MORE WAYS TO MAKE MONEY SO THAT THE BUSINESS SIDE
HAS MORE BALANCE TO IT, AND THAT’S THE JOURNEY WE’VE BEEN ON
FOR QUITE SOME TIME.>>YOU BROUGHT ME RIGHT BACK TO
WHERE WE STARTED, IS IT JOURNALISM OR IS IT BUSINESS? IT’S A BALANCE. GUESS WHAT, THEY TELL ME WE’RE
OUT OF TIME, BUT AS WITH Y’ALL, THIS USED TO ONLY BE AVAILABLE
ON COX CABLE 48 AND IT’S NOW AVAILABLE ON NORFOLK.GOV,
YOUTUBE NORFOLK TV AND HOPEFULLY YOU GUYS WILL PUT IT ON YOUR WEB
PAGES TOO.>>YES.>>SO THE CHANNEL IS ALL OVER
THE PLACE. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US AND
TALKING ABOUT HOW PEOPLE CAN GET INFORMATION AND WHAT JOURNALISM
REALLY MEANS TODAY RIGHT HERE IN HAMPTON ROADS AND NORFOLK. THANKS A LOT AND THANKS FOR
JOINING US.>>THANKS. CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY
CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC www.captionassociates.com

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