Shut it down | WisCommunity

Shut it down


This is simply wishful thinking, but the announcement that Lee Enterprises, which publishes a bunch of newspapers including the Wisconsin State Journal, Racine Journal Times and LaCrosse Tribune, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy got me started.

Maybe The Capital Times, which is financially solvent but not publishing a daily paper any more, could buy the State Journal -- and shut it down. 

Full disclosure:  I was the president of the State Journal Editorial Assn.  during a long and nasty 1977-79 unfair labor practices strike against Madison Newspapers, Inc.  (That's me sleeping at left in photo.)  I ran for the Lee Enterprises board during the strike, and as I recall, I got something like 400 votes while the company-picked slate got 4-million.  If I had won, I'm sure they wouldn't be in bankruptcy.

The strike turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me because it forced me into a career change.  But a lot of the 200-plus people who were on that picket line suffered greatly and some never recovered. 

We were never able to stop the papers from publishing, to get enough people to boycott, or to make our strike newspaper, Madison Press Connection, financially viable.  We counted on community support that never materialized to the extent we had hoped and dreamed it might.

We lost the strike.  There have been no unions -- printers, press operators, newsroom, mailers, circulation managers -- in the plant since then. 

I know they are just reorganizing and aren't really going to go broke (at least not this year), but hope springs eternal.  And some memories never die.

UPDATE: I have been informed that the Madison and Tucson papers are excluded from the bankruptcy filing.  I know what I think; don't confuse me with the facts.


December 13, 2011 - 6:29pm