In January, when Tom Wiley was named publisher of the Hartford Courant, part of Tronc’s newspaper holdings, he made the following admission:
When he introduces himself as a news executive, the response is often, “Oh, that’s tough,” Wiley said. “My answer to them is, ‘It’s been brutal.'”
Wiley lasted two months. His successor, Andrew Julien, was announced in March as part of a decision by Tronc to combine at its various newspapers the role of editor and publisher. At the time, Julien presciently noted the truncation of online content:
“We’ve gone way beyond a world where information was conveyed largely in the form of the written story. It’s conveyed in video, it’s conveyed in a list, it’s conveyed in a tweet, it’s conveyed in a short Facebook post.”
The same could be said about how the name Tronc, chosen not long after Julien ascended to the editor-publisher position, would be endlessly mocked. When the Courant was launched in 1764(!) as a weekly, its name was derived by way of France and original Dutch word “krant.” So here we are, 252 years later, with a newspaper that once used the slogan “Older Than the Nation” mired in the sad Tronc saga.
In another sign of the times, Courant coverage of the progressing and failed Gannett deal belongs to other sources like AP, Chicago Tribune columnist Robert Channick and Bloomberg. The big papers in the Tronc portfolio get all the attention, but this year’s media consolidations–achieved and attempted–seem even more bittersweet when viewed through the prism of America’s oldest continuously published newspaper.
Image via: @MisterJayEm