- Now how, pray tell, would this subject find itself discussed on a Pittsburgh Steelers blog?
But the roots of any good story always lie in the back story, and that brings us to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Steelers minority owner Thomas Tull.
These are hard times for newspapers, as readers and, more importantly, advertisers gravitate to the internet.
- And there is a cruel irony to this process.
- Yet for all of that, newspapers continue to cut costs, cut staffs yet still struggle to break even, let alone make a profit.
Conversely, King contends, family owned papers have fared better.
- But the Washington Post, while publicly traded, remained family controlled.
This was true in spite of the fact that the Washington Post is an internationally recognized brand name, serving well-heeled, well educated market with a website that is one of the top news destinations.
- Nonetheless, the Graham family felt it had no choice.
While the Steel Curtain Rising has no inside information on the Post-Gazette’s balance sheet, there is no way the paper can remain immune from the pressures of faced by the entire industry.
To be sure, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette faring better than others. Last year the paper reported a circulation increase. That’s right, the newspaper saw its circulation increase. Certainly the paper benefits for the large concentration of elderly in Western Pennsylvania, readers who prefer newsprint to iPads.
- But that benefit comes with a Catch-22.
It is more than plasuable that the Block family, which owns the Post-Gazette, could face the same decision forced upon the Grahams.
- But who to sell to?
Thomas Tull might not be a house hold name, but if you’ve seen any of the Batman Dark Knight movies, then you can thank him.
Would Tull be interested? Who knows? Jeff Bezos reportedly had no overt interest in entering the newspaper business until two days ago.
Since buying into the Steelers, Tull has done his part to help promote the city.
Someday he could be called on to shore up one of its leading media institutions.