December 5, 2008

State officials 'guardedly optimistic' that papers can be saved

The commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, Joan McDonald, said Friday she is "guardedly optimistic" that buyers will emerge for The Bristol Press and New Britain Herald.
She said there are "serious negotiations" underway now for the papers, though she declined to go into detail.
Lawmakers said there is at least one potential buyer working with the Greater Bristol Chamber of Commerce and another possible purchaser eyeing the New Britain paper.
"Things are very positive right now," said state Rep. Tim O'Brien, a New Britain Democrat.
Ten state lawmakers, including three state senators, met for an hour with McDonald in a conference room in the Legislative Office Building.
Afterward, many of them spoke to a number of reporters who gathered to find out what, if anything, the state could do to help save the papers.
McDonald said her department can offer an array of services to any potential buyers -- the same ones that any business can tap into -- that include tax breaks, low-interest loans and job retraining money.
"We're not here to ask for a bailout," said state Rep. Frank Nicastro, a Bristol Democrat. "We're here to try to save our newspapers."
At the meeting with McDonald, were Sens. Tom Colapietro of Bristol, Donald DeFronzo of New Britain and  Paul Doyle of Wethersfield, and Reps. Betty Boukus of Plainville, John Geragosian of New Britain, Sandy Nafis of Newington, Frank Nicastro of Bristol, Tim O’Brien of New Britain, Peter Tercyak of New Britain, Rep.-elect Chris Wright of Bristol and Gary Friedle, chairman of the New Britain Downtown District. All of the lawmakers in attendance are Democrats.
More to come later as we pour over our notes. You can probably see something on the television news and from other newspapers later.
The picture, which shows McDonald and state Rep. Betty Boukus of Plainville, was taken by Christine Stuart at CT News Junkie, whose own story is here.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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B. Franklin said...

Are there any examples where the government has funded or subsidized a newspaper (in the United States)?

Tom Keats said...

What, no picture of Ward or Nicastro??

Chris Healy said...

As much as I hope these papers will continue, it is a joke to see anyone from the government clamoring to "save" these papers. Who are they kidding? No one. Let them sink or swim, something will emerge and it will be independent of government intervention.

Chris Healy said...

This press conference was a joke.

Anonymous said...

I wish Betty Boukus would stop taking up valuable space. I love the look on her face - as if she is a player - NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pessimist hater said...

Healy, try to stop being Mealy-mouthed - offer something constructive or else self-destruct.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

I think it's fair to say that "You're on Your Own" economics has failed us.

But an employee owned paper is an interesting idea.

MrEdd said...

Did they save the local ice house and livery stable too?

Anonymous said...

7:18am - is Mr. Edd upset because his stable was dismantled?

Ghost of Mr. Ed said...

Nah. He's just mad because the stable got bought out by elmer's glue.

Anonymous said...

To 6:06 Healy (if that is really you) Go back to your drunkin driving class.Then go sink in your own alcohol.