It’s not all doom and gloom in the newspaper business

A startup newspaper in Greenwood, S.C., is seeking reporters, according to an advertisement posted on Craig’s List on Nov. 26.

It’s interesting that while major papers like the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Charlotte Observer and Greenville News are cutting positions, many smaller publications are thriving. Reasons citedfor small-paper success include: the communities are too small for Craigslist to have infiltrated; their populations are less transient and less Internet-addicted; and the real-estate bust (and real-estate ad bust) has been mostly a metro-area phenomenon, according to

Small papers are a precious national resource, reported the American Journalism Review.

“They render up on a daily basis the events that matter most to their readers: births, retirements and deaths, school plays and football plays, sewer excavations and pothole repairs, drunk driving arrests and, these days, even the addresses of the sex offenders among us.”

A recommendation for the new Greenwood publication: shine some light on the massive conspiracy between geographers and mapmakers that has wreaked havoc on the reference industry for decades. According to the ad, the startup publication will cover the “four surrounding counties (Abbeville, Laurens, Richland and Greenwood).” But pick up an atlas or encyclopedia, or go on the web, and you’re led to believe that Richland County doesn’t touch the other three districts.


Big Three Automakers may unload venerable brands

At first glance, calls for the Big Three Automakers to cull underperforming brands and models seems a no-brainer.  General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler sell a total of 112 different car and truck models through 15 brands in the United States.

The problem is, which ones? Likely candidates include Saab and Hummer. Earlier this week, Ford announced it was considering selling Volvo.

But expect grief if tradition-rich names like Pontiac go away. Successful branding ensures repeat buyers, and should a favorite such as Lincoln or Dodge disappear completely, there’s no guarantee consumers won’t jump ship completely and take their business to a competitor.