Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, April 28, 2006

Cole Steps Down

News-Press publisher Joe Cole announced his retirement today and will be leaving the newspaper on Wednesday. Arthur "Nipper" von Wiesenberger and Wendy McCaw will be co-publishers while a search for a replacement is made...I'd like to know more about what happened here but have very little information.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Yoko is now the new co-publisher of the News Press. Wonderful. Like him or not Joe Cole was a heavyweight and a link to the community. Expect striking editorials on the Foix Gras debate raging throughout the continent and the rising cost of Champagne. Big Silly and Little Silly. Too bad.

4/28/2006 6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lemee get this straight...Wendy chooses her boyfriend, the guy who dishes out drivel about local restaurants, to share the top post at the city's newspaper with her? Puh-lease!

4/28/2006 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Political stuff aside, the overall quality of the paper got better under Cole.

4/28/2006 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


after reading 829....he or she must not have lived in SB too long prior to 2001.

Good reporters are one thing.

4/28/2006 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

The QUALITY of the news content got better under the work of News Editor Jerry Roberts. Cole was more responsible for their business management, income, expenses, etc.

Still very strange timing for the retirement-resignation of Cole to be announced the day after a major conflict revealed with the newspaper having total veto power over which elected officials get to be on the public affairs shows on the radio station. Cole is described by News-Press as a lawyer expert in news media, such as this very issue.

4/28/2006 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And that's why Das is the only choice for the publisher of the News-Press. His ideas bring joy to every corner of the universe. Das invented adverbs.

4/28/2006 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Including political stuff the paper got better under Cole. Local political coverage improved dramatically and whether you like or loath Travis, an activist Editorial board is good for the community. Yeah, I know, Travis ain't your cup of tea. But there are plenty of oxen to be gored in this town( Sorry for the animal cruelty reference Wendy) and it all comes around eventually. Besides what would all the Bloga Barbaran's do without Travis?

4/28/2006 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop the attacks on Das. Maybe with a new approach his message won't be muffled like it was by the past reactionaries at the news press. I wonder what davies will do now that his "team" is gone. The News Press might as well be an extension of the republican party.Any change is a good change.

4/28/2006 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1153--priceless and so captures the absurdity of the current campaign for 2nd district; it would be laughable if it weren't so potentially devastating.....if and when the young Mr. D does find his true calling--and constituency-- i hope the wreckage left in his wake isn't too expansive.

4/28/2006 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With Cole leaving "Wednesday," I bet he resigned weeks or months ago, but the NP didn't make it public until today. Even two weeks notice would move it back before the latest Marty/Travis tango.

Doesn't the "publisher" publish...meaning the buck for everything stops with Cole, including responsibility for the paper's overall quality, and Roberts is responsible to Cole and the reporters are responsible to Roberts? Every time the New York Times screws up, publisher Arthur Sulzberger is the one standing up to take the rap.

To Cole's point, what's it worth to spend extra time with your kids before they leave home -- here ages 17, 15 and 7?

Priceless? Like Das?

(Wasn't Valerio also against the Easter eggs for the kids?)

Let's take the guy at his word -- after all, how many of us have been here for 30 years and serve on six non-profit foundations?

But let's also save some copies from this week -- to compare NOW with what happens with the paper in the future...

4/28/2006 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You may be new in town. The local section used to be part 2 of the paper. Local issues were where you find the obits today. Local sports coverage went through the roof and Cole fought for a larger staff of reporters rather than wire service buys. Jerry Roberts is really doing a great job but if you think the Cole part of the equation didn't help with the news side you must have your head in a steelhead stream.

Chino De Gillespie

4/28/2006 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, Not that accuracy counts for much on this blog, but you might take another run at trying to spell all of the last names right. Perhaps you should issue a correction.

4/29/2006 7:05 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I'm happy to correct typos -- if you have an accuracy problem, please be more direct and point them out as they show up. Back it up and I'll be happy to correct.

"i" before "e" except after "c" and after "W" in Wiesenberger....

4/29/2006 10:01 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

The News-Press is managed with a business and editorial side, and a separate news content side (including sports etc.), per the Church-and-State metaphor often declared by the news editor. The traditional model, best represented by New York Times and others, is that the "Publisher" is in charge of everything like a symbolic monarch, but not necessarily so throughout the whole industry lately and here.

If Cole had so much control over the news content, would their own reporter have written an analytical criticism of their Editorial Page Editor, showing the pettiness and hypocricy of Travis Armstrong?

The news in News-Press looks better mainly as a result of the actual news editor with some authority, Jerry Roberts, and his empowerment of the news reporters to let them report. That is what the news staff say, calling him "a real pro" shortly after Roberts started there, in deliberate contrast with the friend-of-Wendy who attempted to be a news editor prior to Roberts arrival. The same news staff there also bemoan how their salary and benefits are shrinking, along with pressure to increase their workload by also contributing content (live voice reporting and research) to the News-Press-managed-and-controlled radio station. That pressure comes from the business side of the newspaper, with little control by Roberts, but full control by Cole.

Yes, the departure of Cole likely has been months in the works, but like the other posting here indicated, it all is very smelly announcing that the day after a serious accusation emerges about how the radio station and the newspaper are the same. Ampersand obviously is taking full advantage of the lax control by the Bush Administration to ignore multi-media monopolies.

News-Press years ago, and before Roberts arrived, separated the "local" section B from the "important news" section A because the distinction between local and important became arbitrary. At least they got that right.

Someone also can whine here about all those news-rack sales boxes (usually white painted and good for taggers) that have appeared all over the South Coast, and under the business leadership of Joe Cole. Freedom of the Press is fantastic, but does that also include the right to install numerous commercial sales devices on the public sidewalks and in the public parkways wherever a private business wants to install them, and with no compensation to the city for encroaching upon the public land?

4/29/2006 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Numerous commercial sales devices"? Oh, I thought they were newspaper racks. You know, freedom of the press, access to information, etc. FDS you are a crack-up. First, a scrooge about the Easter Egg Hunt and now news racks. You must be a lot of fun to hang with.

4/30/2006 12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "charges" about the ownersahip of the paper and radio station drove Cole from the NP? You must be dreaming. If you think any baloney coming from Marty had anything to do with intimidating Joe Cole roll a fat one for me. It appears you are smoking the killer chronic.

4/30/2006 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FDS, having a awful hair day, said:

"If Cole had so much control over the news content, would their own reporter have written an analytical criticism of their Editorial Page Editor, showing the pettiness and hypocricy of Travis Armstrong?"

Isn't that the point: since Cole appears to support the integrity of the paper -- FDS' "Church and State" -- he didn't block the story.

FDS MUST be smoking the killer chronic--who was the "friend-of-Wendy who attempted to be a news editor prior to Roberts arrival"? All I can remember are Parsons, Bolton and Chavarria. Anyone else?Weren't they all fired or something? Which one was Wendy's friend?

Come on, FDS, have you really heard reporters on the radio being overworked with "live voice reporting?"

I think instead you are just sniffing too many paint fumes from taggers as they decorate your "numerous commercial sales devices."

4/30/2006 9:55 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Let's cut out the drug-related comments folks -- I won't except them anymore as they are unnecessary...your opinions should be able to stand on their own.

5/01/2006 6:40 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

How many "news racks" or commercial sales devices or boxes, are enough?

"Racks" actually are the permanently installed series or long cluster or row of sales boxes, such as along the Anacapa St. Post Office, that also have a permit from the City to take up space on the public street.

Does "freedom of the press" include a right to install a palette for tagging at as many places as desired on the public streets? How much is enough? How about on the sidewalk in front of YOUR home?

Just like Dick Cheney was in charge of the committee to select a Veep candidate in 2000, Joe Cole was in charge of the committee to find a News-Press publisher in 2001.

5/01/2006 9:34 AM  

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