Minutes from April 5, 2016 Open Board Meeting-Cassie MacDuff, Columnist, The Press Enterprise

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Open Board of Directors Meeting

 San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408



Present: Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Ann Bryan, Ken Coate, Jacob Coin, Carrie Gilbreth, Louis Goodwin, Dick Hart, Matthew Isaac, Erik Johnson, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Sue McKee, John Mirau, John Prentice, Brian Reider, Jan Remm, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Steve von Rajcs and Ray Wolfe.

Guests: Adam Eventov and Gloria Harrison.

Announcements: 1) Pam Langford will now serve as the Legislative Committee Chair. 2) Last week the Brookings Institute interviewed numerous stakeholders for the Visioning of Riverside & San Bernardino Counties steering committee.  Both Inland Action and the Monday Morning Group were represented.  3)  The West End ad hoc committee will hold a meeting on Wednesday at 9a.m.  Kristine Scott, Chair. 4) The date for the Sacramento advocacy trip is Tuesday May 17, 2016 with the option of Monday, May 16th afternoon meetings.  Reservation forms were distributed to those present.  The form will be e-mailed to the membership.

M/S/P: Minutes from March 22, 2016

Carrie Gilbreth introduced Cassie MacDuff, Columnist, The Press Enterprise.

Cassie MacDuff gave a history of the recent ownership transition of the Freedom Communications newspapers, the acquisition attempt by Tribune Publishing and the successful bid by Digital First Media (DFM). Freedom Communications which published The Press Enterprise (PE) and the Orange County Register filed bankruptcy in November. Ms. MacDuff indicated that during the period that the Orange County Register had lost $1.9 million The Press Enterprise made $272,000.

DFM publishes 69 daily papers 11 of which are in California and include the other major Inland Empire papers like the Redlands Daily Facts and The San Bernardino Sun. The CEO, Executive Editor, and publisher of DFM recently met with the PE staff and all current employees were issued job applications for DFM.  The DFM management indicated that the future will include cost-cutting measures in the business operations and that they will seek more digital opportunities.  They assured the PE employees that both the PE and The Sun will retain their local identities and mastheads.  The papers will, however, do more sharing of content and thus reduce the duplicity of reporters on a story.

Ms. MacDuff expressed that the negative stories of San Bernardino in the LA Times are difficult to combat. It is very hard to read when an “outsider” to our area reports on extremely negative situations.  It can feel off putting and like our area is being attacked unjustly but the reports were not inaccurate of the offensive and ugly situations they found.  The LA Times likely has a reporter assigned to the IE and may be available to contact in order to fill in blanks and nuances.

News equates to something extraordinary or something that needs to be fixed. Reporters highlight a problem in order to have someone resolve it.  They want to know what is going on and appreciate contact from business for a local perspective.  If you have a strong connection to a story reporters are interested.

A contact sheet containing contact information, tips and guidelines to placing a story or press release in the PE was distributed.

A Q & A period followed.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 a.m.