It was a week when massive political news was followed by, among other things, all sorts of journalistic recriminations, with many arguing just how much the press abetted, or reduced, the pathology of the election just past. So in that spirit of circularity—journalists talking about journalists talking about journalists—let’s begin with a (business) article about the media.
When rich outsiders attempt to buy media entities, spectacle often ensues. Think of it as the place where the hubris and vanity of some entrepreneurs encounters the lacerating cynicism of actual journalists (some of whom proudly view part of their roles as impeding the revenue generation of the companies they work for). What used to be known as the Tribune Company, owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, now memorably renamed “Tronc” to much derision, provides the fodder for a romp in BloombergBusinessWeek entitled “Tronc If You Want To Save Journalism.” In the role of deluded self-anointed media savior is one Michael Ferro, with his company moniker and ambitions described this way: “His corporate renaming ignited extended spasms of #tronc mockery on social media. Sample tweet: ‘WHAT YOU GONNA DO WITH ALL THAT JONC ALL THAT JONC INSIDE YOUR TRONC.’ And yet, until recently, Ferro was on the verge of laughing all the way to the bonc, as it were.” I’ll be fronc: You’ll enjoy reading it.