The Weekly Tally 08.27.20

FREE SPEECH

The digital revolution has transformed how news is delivered and how it is read, but it has been slower to transform into revenue for print media. In fact, the print-to-digital transition has largely had the effect of decimating newspapers’ finances, but there are signs that for some outlets that is starting to change. Last year, advertising analysts at eMarketer reported that for the first time, U.S. advertisers spent more on digital advertising than on print. On Aug. 5, the New York Times Company reported that for the first time ever, quarterly revenue from digital ($185.5 million) exceeded revenue from print ($175.4 million). The time period – which was jam-packed with major news, including the Covid-19 pandemic surging, the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, and an approaching presidential election – also saw the biggest growth ever in the Times’ digital subscriptions. The paper has 6.5 million subscribers, and 5.7 million of them are digital-only. Also on the digital front, the Times acquired the hit podcast Serial for $25 million.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“I had three generations of family stuff.” - Michael Wecker, whose Cachagua home burned down in the Carmel Fire, taking stock of what was destroyed, including his great-grandmother’s piano.

GOOD WEEK / GREAT WEEK

GOOD

July saw a number of commemorations for Joe Gunter, the Salinas mayor who died unexpectedly on June 29 after a short and ultimately merciless battle with cancer. There was a walk-through memorial where the public paid its respects, followed by private funeral services in the parking lot of Madonna del Sasso Catholic Church, followed by a large public memorial with a military flyover at Rabobank Stadium. Now a final and significant nod to Gunter’s legacy is in the works – naming the new Salinas Police services building in his honor. Gunter, a former homicide detective, spent 30 years as a member of that department. The Salinas City Council, on a motion from Councilmember Scott Davis, floated the idea; the city will accept public comment for 30 days (the comment period has not yet opened) before taking a vote on the renaming of the new facility on East Alisal Street to The Joe Gunter Police Services Headquarters.

GREAT:

It took seven-plus months more than the average person’s naturalization process (10 months), but a blind and deaf man who’s lived in Monterey County for 25-plus years is finally becoming a U.S. citizen. Jesus Alvarez Espinoza was attending free naturalization classes at Castroville Branch Library, when volunteers found his case to be more complex than most. Richard Shield, a library volunteer, took up his case but found every time they sent his application in it was sent back, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asking for more information. Espinoza’s wife, who was helping him with the process, is also illiterate; Shield recommended they turn to U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta, who has a team of caseworkers dedicated to citizenship and was able to offer direct help. Espinoza’s application landed directly to USCIS. He is slated to become a naturalized citizen of the United States, with a swearing-in ceremony scheduled for September.

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