Words Columbus Media Insider with the M looking like broken glass

If the Columbus Dispatch could be trusted to report accurately and fairly about itself, readers would be more likely to trust its coverage of other matters and the paper's circulation and readership might stop hemorrhaging.

Alas, the newspaper and website could not bring itself to write the following lead a few weeks ago when it announced the closing of its Columbus print site and loss of 188 jobs:

“In bad news for the local economy, the Dispatch, that is controlled by the Japanese hedge fund SoftBank, announced the closing of a major local manufacturing facility, its west side print site, and the layoff of 188 employees.”

“This represents an estimated loss of $9,000,000 of annual wage and benefit payments to local residents and a significant loss of municipal and state income tax collection as well as potential property tax losses if the plant remains idle or is reborn with tax abatements.”

“JobsOhio, Gov. Mike DeWine, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, Franklin County Commissioners, the chamber of commerce and other individuals and organizations that promote economic development remained silent out of fear of offending Dispatch editors and being targeted for negative coverage.”

Be again advised the three quoted paragraphs above are fictitious, yet there is considerable truth therein.

Dispatch editor and acting general manager Alan Miller buried the lead, as we say in journalism, by attempting to gloss over the economic damage to Columbus and central Ohio with promises of continued local reporting in a public relations release masquerading as his Sunday column titled "Local reporting remains strong as printing moves."

Did I mention that the Dispatch soon will be printed in Indianapolis?

Did I mention that the Dispatch's parent Gannett, Inc., is expected to announce more layoffs of journalists this month?

Can't wait to see Miller drive by in his latest “excuse-mobile.”

Did I mention that Columbus could use a crusading editor rather than a flack?

John Kasich's Campaign for OSU Prez Hits Speed Bump

Poor John Kasich. He is both gone and forgotten by Ohioans, reduced to increasingly infrequent innocuous pontifications on CNN.

Johnny Nobody's chance for rehabilitation in the Buckeye State rests with the unlikely proposition that he will be named the next president of his alma mater, Ohio State University.

Along with being unable to stop Donald Trump from getting the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Kasich's gubernatorial record is coming undone with the news that his administration botched the Medicaid program big time.

Wouldn't it be grand if his successor, Gov. Mike DeWine, decided to release all the records of Kasich's presidential campaign's travel and security expenses, heretofore kept secret and apparently exceeding $2 million in taxpayer dollars?

Imagine the taxpayer and tuition-payer dollars that Kasich could throw around on his political whims under the cover of darkness as OSU's major domo with a multi-billion dollar budget and the immense political and economic power of Ohio's flagship university.

Universities such as OSU used to hire presidents to be academic leaders, but that was before universities were turned into marketing organizations more concerned with enrollment and football attendance than preparing students for productive and meaningful lives and careers.

Hence, presidents today are glad-handers and fund-raisers, the kind of skills that Kasich possesses.

I hope the next OSU chief executive dispenses with departing OSU President Michael Drake's standard speech opening of “O-H” with the crowd expected to shout “I-O” in return. The leader of a great academic institution should not act so pedestrian.


  • Billionaire Les Wexner is poorer these days. His flagship L Brands' stock has fallen 70 percent in two years. Should he become a Republican again?
  • Urban Meyer's influence at Ohio State University has not waned since his “retirement” as head football coach a year ago Look no further than the case of son-in-law Corey Dennis, who was introduced in December as a new assistant coach at Colorado State University. Urban's successor Ryan Day soon decided to offer a Dennis a promotion to quarterbacks' coach and the move was canceled.
  • Ex-NFL star Peyton Manning and singer Brad Paisley must be charging Nationwide a lot to do those tacky television commercials because the insurer needed a "bail out" in the amount of $65 million from the City of Columbus for arena expenses.
  • Too often public officials and candidates for public office are wishy-washy in the support of journalism. It was good to see Troy Doucet, Democratic candidate for the 16th District Ohio Senate seat (western Franklin County), at a seminar supporting freedom of the press sponsored by Ohio University.
  • Speaking of Ohio University, it is sad to see professors there having to protest the threatened decimation of the academic program in favor of bigger marketing outlays and more administrative hires.

(Please send your comments and suggestions for future columns to John K. Hartman, ColumbusMediaInsider@gmail.com)

(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2020, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved)

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