RonO (rono_60103) wrote,
RonO
rono_60103

One of my hometown newspapers may be gone

Just now, I was checking out the headlines that are part the drupal setup I've been playing with on my home site (http://www.ron-oakes.us), and noticed the following headline: Breaking at 9:15am -- Scripps To Sell or Close ABQ Tribune - Longtime afternoon daily will shut down if qualified buyer isn't found.

So, it looks likely that yet another newspaper may be closing, and my hometown may soon join the ranks of cities with just one print daily.

Honestly, I'm not overly surprised. Since moving to Chicago in 1989, I've continued to read both papers when I visit my parents -- who started getting the Tribune when I was in middle or high school because it had better schools coverage. Over the last few years, I've noticed that the Tribune has gotten thinner, both in that it has fewer pages each day, and in the depth of its coverage. Reading in the Journal article that circulation has dropped dramatically wasn't too much of a shock either. I cannot, however, guess which came first: the loss of readership or the loss of content.

When I was in high school and college, I found the Tribune often the more readable paper. The Journal always had more news and more national and international news, but the Tribune had good local coverage. It also had the better comics page.

Just speculating, my guess would be that the only likely buyer might be the Albuquerque Journal itself, who would either roll the two papers into one and just issue a light afternoon edition, or would keep the best of the Tribune staff and syndicated stuff and use it in the morning Journal.

Thinking about this reminded me of something else I read recently about Albuquerque that surprised me. A few weeks ago, I was looking at a "dead malls" list, and found Albuquerque's Winrock Center listed as a dead mall.

I found this surprising, since the last time I'd visited that area, both Winrock and its nearby but slightly larger neighbor Coronado Center, were going strong. For much of my lifetime, Albuquerque had two malls just a few blocks apart, and a couple of nearly dead mini-malls elsewhere. A third mall opened in the last ten or so years on the West Side (practically next door to my high school which was out in the middle of nowhere when I graduated in 1984).

Economically, I think both Winrock and Coronado functioned more as a single mall than as two separate malls. There were very few stores that overlapped, and it wasn't uncommon during shopping trips to hit up both malls.

Again speculating, based in part on what I read on the dead malls site or wikipedia, I suspect that what killed Winrock was the same thing that is killing many of the smaller malls around here. For some reason, people are no longer interested in shopping at malls unless they are a "destination" mall. They would rather shop at strip centers -- or overgrown strip centers like "Geneva Commons" in Geneva Illinois.

More than anything I'm somewhat saddened that one of the fastest growing cities in the nation is loosing things that were not that many years ago -- at least from the perspective of someone probably officially moving into "middle age" -- vital parts of the city.

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