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Thursday, October 29, 2009

'Cause You Can't Keep Unemployed St. Louis Journos Down, We Present the New Globe-Democrat

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 5:13 PM

This used to be a two daily town. In the morning came the conservative-leaning St. Louis Globe-Democrat. In the afternoon, the liberal-leaning St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Then came a joint-operating agreement, in which the two papers agreed to share some costs and expenses. But even that wasn't enough to save the Globe-Democrat. It last put out a paper in 1986 -- October 29, 1986, to be specific.

Now 23 years later (to the date), comes the announcement that the G-D will return as a web-only publication with some old familiar faces -- including the paper's former baseball reporter Rob Rains.

If this sounds at all familiar, see our coverage of last year's launch of the St. Louis Platform Beacon -- an online news site created and staffed with former Post-Dispatch reporters.

The new, new Globe-Democrat will debut December 8 and is being headed by KPLR's (Channel 11) former IT director, Dan Rositano, 39, who was laid off following that station's newsroom merger this year with KTVI (Fox 2).

"The Globe-Democrat is an awesome brand," Rositano tells Daily RFT. "We looked at this as a great opportunity to involve a lot of the talented news people in this region who've been downsized. That's one thing we really take pride in. The ability to create jobs."  

Rositano declined to discuss financial details of the website, but expects it to make money.  Other details of the website are still being hammered out, including whether it will take an political bent. Rositano dismisses suggestions that the local media may be too saturated.

Already though, it seems Rositano's publication may have trouble getting out the gate. As the St. Louis Business Journal pointed out today, a guy named Steve DeBellis has been publishing a free paper called Globe-Democrat in St. Louis since the 1990s.

DeBellis' paper republishes historical events, and he says he's not going to give up the name willingly.

"I'm not going to let him take what I have been publishing 15 years," DeBellis said.

Rositano counters that he's discussed the name issue with trademark attorneys and they've assured him he's in the clear.

"We've taken all the necessary steps," he says.

Sounds like we could have the beginnings of an ol' fashioned newspaper war on our hands. Someone alert the ghosts of Joe Pulitizer and William Randolph Hearst. They'd be so proud.


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