January 5, 2016 Last Updated 10:41 am

Frontman in Las Vegas Review-Journal acquisition no longer involved with the paper

Morning Brief: The Oregonian will cutback on editorial and opinion pieces on days it has eliminated home delivery, going with WaPo syndicated columnists over those from the NYT

The manager of News + Media Capital Group, Michael Schroeder, has been relieved for his duties as manager of the only newspaper the company owns. Those duties? No one really knows, as he has never been at the newspaper except to announce that it had been sold.

Schroeder had been acting as beard for Sheldon Adelson, the true owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, LVRJ-1-5-16-300aand now that the new owner has been identified Schroeder’s role is no longer necessary.

Schroeder has recently acquired a small newspaper in Rhode Island – whether the money for this purchase came from Adelson, or from fees paid by Adelson is also a mystery.

We won’t know all the facts because those who own these papers are not very concerned with providing them, a rather strange thing for a newspaper owner, but a growing trend as media properties are bought and sold strictly for the business and political advantages owning them provides.

As for the Review-Journal, the paper won’t need a manager to do Adelson’s bidding, as current publisher Jason Taylor, brought in by New Media Investment Group this summer, has been acting as agent for the new owner, as well as New Media, which continues to manage the paper. In December, when reporters were writing about the mysterious acquisition, Taylor order that several paragraphs be deleted from the story on ownership, removing a quote by Schroeder: “They want you to focus on your jobs … don’t worry about who they are,” Schroeder said.

That episode may be at the core of why Adelson acquired the paper: not necessarily to dictate the daily news coverage of the paper, but to be able to stifle news whenever it becomes necessary.

Meanwhile, in Oregon, The Oregonian is making some cutbacks to its editorial and opinion pages, cancelling its New York Times news service, and with it columnists such as Paul Krugman and David Brooks, but retaining the Washington Post syndication service, which includes George Will and Charles Krauthammer.

Also gone will be the paper’s editorials on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, the same days the paper has eliminated home delivery. As circulation on those days has gone from just over 226K three years ago to just under 60K, there are very few readers who would read them anyways – a consequence of eliminating the print newspaper (other than newsstand) without having any digital publishing strategy to fill the void.

The Oregonian is published by Advance, the same company that has used the same strategy of cutting back on home delivery in New Orleans, Cleveland, and at other properties.

Ford announced yesterday that Toyota will be using its SmartDeviceLink in-car system, rather than Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto.

“The true benefit of a common smartphone app communications interface is that it creates an industry standard – enabling great experiences for customers while allowing different companies the freedom to differentiate their individual brands,” said Don Butler, Ford executive director, Connected Vehicle and Services. “Ford is making the software available as open-source, because customers throughout the industry benefit if everybody speaks one language.”

The move may be recognition that the mobile operating system market is about even divided between iOS and Android and that choosing one over the other might alienate some consumers. Or, it might be interpreted as a reaction to rumors that Apple may enter the car market (and Google is already there, in a way, with its driverless initiative).

The Ford system does allow for the use of smartphone apps, so mobile device owners are not locked out, just not resented with a native solution tied to the OS of their device.

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