Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, July 30, 2007

Where's the News-Press during Fiesta?

A faithful reader just wrote to me about the fact that for the first time in recent memory -- probably forever, the News-Press is not producing the Fiesta insert. Word on the street is that they didn't have enough advertising reps to do the job. Or, was that.....advertisers?

Another wrote to me earlier this week about the News-Press being dropped at their office doorstep for eight months for someone that hasn't worked there since. Is this how the subscription numbers stay up? How long can they afford people not paying their subscriptions? Just before newspaper sweeps -- it might have made sense. What do they do now, however?

Then there was this strange Craigslist posting which should be rated for adults only about Nipper running around town on his bicycle....strange.

If I was the owner of the News-Press -- I would make sure that my company did everything we could to sponsor Fiesta as it is a time-honored tradition that dates back to probably Charles Storke. It would be a great way of saying we are as strong as ever, no? If you want to be treated as a business making business-like decisions, you should make them with the community in mind as well. The News-Press not sponsoring Fiesta is a major blow their image-- and I have a feeling they figure no one will notice while their just about sole columnist says something like "Pip! Pip! for Now!".

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Anonymous Disillusioned Subscriber said...

I learned after a few months of invoices that I has to actually call the News-Press and tell them to stop sending me their's the only way.

7/30/2007 11:39 PM  
Anonymous Disillusioned Subscriber said...

Ummm..that would be had.

7/30/2007 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you really think they care about their image?

7/31/2007 1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very telling about how bad things are. The Fiesta section was always a huge section that required a lot of time and resources from Retail, Editorial and Production. It is all local news so they can't just throw in wire stories. If the local advertisers have pulled back, there wouldn't be the revenue to support it. Sounds like the meltdown and subsequent actions by Ms. McCaw are starting to cost her big time. Pretty embarassing especially since the El Mercado is in her front yard!

7/31/2007 3:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not surprising that the SBNP didn't have the resources or motivation to put together the annual Fiesta insert, but I am dismayed and disappointed by the lack of concern about local events. One of the main Mercado is located just a few feet from the NP building - how hard is it to walk outside.

My guess is that that the readership the SBNP owner desires, the idle rich and FOW (friends of Wendy), does not care about Fiesta anyway, so what does this matter to the NP business.

7/31/2007 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like alot of whining and complaining, expecting the News-Press to pay for the cost of Fiesta. If you haven't noticed... Things have changed and one should stop looking at other people to pay your bills.

7/31/2007 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NewsPress had a big banner and booth at the Greek Festival. It did not keep anyone away. Nice to see them wanting to take part in this community. I hope they do more.

7/31/2007 8:17 AM  
Anonymous snarky said...

Last years credits:
# Scott Steepleton, City Editor
# Len Wood, Photo Editor
# Colin Powers, Cover Design
# Lindsay Foster, Section Design
# Tom DeWalt, Graphics
# Christian Montecino, Web

# Melinda Burns
# Aria Miran
# Charlotte Boechler
# Ashley Ratcliff
# Claire Spera
# Camilla Cohee
# Leah Etling
# Thomas Schultz

Don't really think you can do a section when you only have 3 people left from last years team.
# Scott Steepleton, City Editor
# Tom DeWalt, Graphics
# Christian Montecino, Web
# Charlotte Boechler

7/31/2007 8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the purposes of this forum according to many posters here is to boycott everything even remotely connected to the NP, it was a humanitarian gesture for the NP not to support Fiesta. Viva la Fiesta.

7/31/2007 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Mr. Moreno said...

A few things going here, Sara. First, you think rationally. McCaw is not rational. Sure, the N-P has always promoted Fiesta with great zeal. But that was the old News-Press, the one that actually had some relationship with the community.

Wendy doesn't give a fig about SB. Haven't you noticed? Not sponsoring Fiesta is just her way of saying "Screw you." And anyway, who's gonna cover Fiesta there? College kids who don't know Fiesta from Tostitos?

Look, I keep saying it: the News-Press is dead. The only people who support Wendy are reactionary fossils who long for the good ol' days of indentured servitude. They are Wendy's focus, not regular folks who work for a living.

It's time for everybody who finds her repellent to step away from the N-P forever, which is the worst thing you can do to her. She needs the drama, the conflict, the Me vs. the world. Don't give it to her. Ignore her and the advertisers will follow. Soon the N-P will make the Sound look like the NY Times.

I'm sorry about what happened to all the people who got screwed by McCaw. They're good people and many are my friends. But it's over.

Really, folks. Walk away.

7/31/2007 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I quit my SBNP subscription- again-out of disgust and embarassment. I didn't wnat my neighbors seeing it on my driveway; think I'm the only house on the street that gets it. Plus the delivery is so late now; about 7am in my Mesa neighborhood. Luckily Travis didn't call and berate me and launch a personal smear campaign against me.

7/31/2007 9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have posted a number of comments recently that haven't been posted. Is "What is the purpose of this blog?" a criteria for not posting a comment?

You so have a double standard, Sara.

7/31/2007 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News-Press not sponsoring Fiesta just makes me want to go to it even more! Good riddance.

7/31/2007 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always quick to bash the NP, Sara got her facts wrong. Go figure.

Go to the Fiesta website to view its sponsors. Lo and behold, see the NewsPress is there!

7/31/2007 10:24 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

These are all more symptoms of the continuing decline of a very good newspaper prior to 2006.

The most recent Sunday edition only had one true news article, about a drug bust that was reported by the Independent and Daily Sound days earlier. The other content was really Fiesta features that should have been in the Life section and recycled police news releases and syndicated stories.

The web version under the Local News section even is listing opinion columnists there to fill up the space and look like it has a longer list of "articles"

7/31/2007 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chin up News-Press! Your radio star was recruiting for you at the pentagon! See Craig Smith.

A NATIONAL DISHONOR if she does not allow soldiers full disclosure on the mess.

The loss of Fiesta tradition at the Santa Barbara News-Press is one of Wendy's ugliest tragedies. They don't care for this town, only how they can buy and change to their perversions.

7/31/2007 2:15 PM  
Blogger Citizen Stringer said...

As enticing as that would be, "Godzilla Man" on the bike is not the Nipper. We know because I saw Godzilla Man drinking tap water from a fountain.

7/31/2007 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of hard to cancel...anyone else tried to get them to stop littering your driveway with the Goleta Valley Voice? I call every week, and every week have to recycle another edition...

7/31/2007 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those in charge of Editorial and Production live in Ventura and Santa Clarita. I'm not kidding. Maybe they don't know about T.M. and Charles Storke riding in the Fiesta Parade and the other strong connections between Fiesta and the News-Press.

It's ignorance and incompetence and lack of professional newspaper publishers rather then anything conscious.

7/31/2007 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An editorial by the News-Press owner a few days ago equated the Fiesta's Rodeo with quarterback Vick's dogs. Quite a stretch, but it shows the pathology at work in McCaw's secluded white tower.

What's amazing is that the guy from Jedlicka's keeps helping Wendy try to sell papers.

If this isn't an actual boycott of the news-press by Fiesta advertisers, it will be, next year, since the News-Press is turning its back on the Fiesta business crowd.

The downward spiral continues of a once prominent and influencial newspaper.

7/31/2007 5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Godzilla Man" can't be the Nipper since boytoy doesn't have "white" hair. A reliable source at his Montecito hotel hair parlor reports that when the Nip Nip has what's left of his roots "done," he opts for a striped look. And, yo, if you've seen the porkburger boy, doesn't look like he's been on a bicycle in years.

7/31/2007 5:28 PM  
Anonymous anonymous with duct tape said...

Let me try again. Sara didn't post this link last time. I suppose I pointed out the obvious a bit too much and touched a button, so I won't "comment" too much this time, but I will try again to get this posted.

Here's the link to the Fiesta website that shows that the NP is in fact sponsoring Fiesta 2007!

Fiesta 2007 sponsors

7/31/2007 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's astounding about the News-Press this week is not that it has crashed its traditional Fiesta supplement and Fiesta sponsorship, but that it is not covering the fire in any professional or thorough manner.

It is running outside Associated Press reports about our fire. Unbelieveable.

"Best local news to be had," the owner claims? Actually, in 40 years of reading, I've never seen local news this bad.

As opposed to past fires, no one really understands how close the fire really is ... or how quickly it could come over the mountains to the coast. The lack of in depth coverage is a public safety issue.

Wasn't the idea of the paper's local news radio station that fire updates would be available? I tuned in over the weekend to figure out why my car was covered wth ash and only got Andy Caldwell going on and on about nothing.

Are the publishers fiddling onboard in the Med while our backcountry burns?

7/31/2007 5:58 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

10:04 AM -- sorry but when that is your main point...I may reject it. That statement has been published so many times and no one has taken the bait. It's not necessary...make your point in opposition if you like but I am under no obligation to publish everything that is commented. Certainly, you've had plenty of chances to make your point.

About the web site link -- I've been out all day....and am finally moderating now. No conspiracy here. What did the News-Press do for that?

7/31/2007 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NP is for local readers. Fiesta is for out of town tourists.

The old Fiesta supplement was a waste of trees since so few locals go to most of the events and know which ones they do want to attend since nothing has changed in the last 50 years, except changing the parade from Thursday to Friday. Yawn.

I am glad the trees got saved. Thank you NP for not clogging up my recycling bin.

7/31/2007 9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 3pm Citizen Stringers comment showed up as the 5th comment. Now there are a bunch of comments in front of his/hers.

HOw does that happen?

7/31/2007 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might have bought the NP for my favorite part, I loved the Fiesta section. There are alot of people who love destroying others culture

Obviously,Yawn,you would do well at the Salton Sea

"Thank you NP for not clogging up my recycling bin." ! !

7/31/2007 11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FWIW, the News Press leaves stacks of newspapers at Cottage Hospital, and they get distributed to most of the rooms. For free. That's one way to get rid of extra copies. And they probably get to count them as "others" when the audit comes around.

8/01/2007 8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:04 AM -- sorry but when that is your main point...I may reject it.

That is obvious, because of the mission statement.

That statement has been published so many times and no one has taken the bait.

What do you mean by that? What about the thousands of unsubstantiated postings about the News-Press, that use name-calling and false information. Talking about taking the bait. This entire thread about Fiesta sponsoring is based on lies.

It's not necessary..

Oh, it's necessary. It's probably the most necessary thing on this blog. People here have to be reminded that you have a specific agenda, and when something doesn't go the way you want it, you change the rules. The new rule is that people that think Travis is writing good editorials are trolls. Would you like me to post your previous statement to prove my point?

make your point in opposition if you like but I am under no obligation to publish everything that is commented. Certainly, you've had plenty of chances to make your point.

I have made my point and I will continue to make my point.

8/01/2007 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The home beside mine was rented over a year ago to a family who doesn't speak or read English. Ever since, they've received the N-P... no doubt the ghosts of subscribers past. They asked the delivery guy (who does show up late enough to talk to) to stop littering their driveway, but he says he can't. Nice....

8/01/2007 3:53 PM  
Anonymous snarky said...


8/01/2007 4:36 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I stand corrected on the sponsorship and have edited the post to reflect that...

9:44 AM -- go ahead and keep making your point and say something if you need to. Have fun, too.

8/01/2007 5:43 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

How sweet. Their "sponsorship" involves a web site. We've already learned their usual web site is for subscribers only, so why would anyone think to look for a free fiesta site? I think they've shot themselves in the foot. Again.

8/01/2007 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wine guy, you just shot yourself in the foot.

Two front page features on Fiesta in today's NewsPress - nicely done. A calendar of events and a map story about the mercado food booths. Both easy to tear out and carry around.

8/01/2007 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a bit off-topic since I'm not addressing the News-Press (though I have several times), but since this is just my second Fiesta I find it interesting to see so many Latin-American people celebrating Spanish (as in Spain) culture. I know S.B. was discovered by Spanish explorers and then the padres came with the Mission, but it's not a legacy that Latinos universaly celebrate, to say the least, certainly not those with indigeneous blood as most have. I'm not saying they shouldn't be celebrating Spanish culture, just noting it as interesting. In many Latin American countries, you'd NEVER see such a thing. (Cortez ... what a guy!)
Also, it should be noted that the Spanish culture that's represented at Fiesta is specifically Andalucian (whereas most of the explorers/padres in fact came from Extremadura, which has a separate culture.)
I have friends from other parts of Spain who resent that Andalucian culture is commonly represented as Spanish culture. Partly that's because Franco pushed Flamenco et al as a politcally harmless tourist attraction, and partly it's because other parts of Spain indeed have vigorous folk cultures that are largely unknown outside of those parts of Spain.

8/02/2007 12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a subscriber but from what I could tell from the teasers on today's NP editorial page and Opinion page, I am wondering if the lack of a Fiesta Section of any sort might have something to do with dishing local officianados. Anybody else have thoughts on that?

8/02/2007 5:26 AM  
Anonymous lemmings in cha cha heels said...

The question/complaint "Where's the News-Press during Fiesta?" is really what this spiral for the News Press is all about. I don't think we've really figured it out yet, even for ourselves, what has occured over the last year.

I think the News Press was correct in stirring up the pot with the reporters. There is something inherently weird about "the Media." You need to ask the question "how can you have a unbiased newspaper if are a supporter of anything let alone Fiesta?" In this case the News Press has it's logo as a silver supporter on the Fiesta propaganda media....the Fiesta brochuer. That seems a little biased to me and yet the complaint raised here is that the News Press should be the cheerleader for this cause "Fiesta."

How can the News Press or any other "press" be an unbiased media outlet while being entrenched in the promotion? The brochure is a way for sponsors to "buy their love" of the "community" at large...and that is what the "press" ought not do.

If the "press" supports any community action while it is doing something inconspiciously wrong, then that is not being unbiased. The only way the "press" can be informative and free from bias is to not be a sponsor or accept advertisements as a means of support.

If we had ever had a "free" press Fiesta would not exist today! I must state that I am in disagreement with the NP methods and the dismissals and the overall confrontational and twisted management style. I also do not think that this News Press management intentions was to root out biased reporters specifically to bring about unbiased reporting.

(it's donaldo)

8/02/2007 6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Considering what the Spanish did to local native Americans, I'm surprised Travis Armstrong keeps glorifying Fiesta with those huge pictures all over the paper.

8/02/2007 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with you Donaldo. The Fiesta edition is a Features section. It is not a politically motivated section. It generally mentions historical facts about Santa Barbara and Fiesta. It also features the people and characters who are a part of Fiesta like the Spirits and St. Barbara.
The advertisers pay for the section as it is a community effort and face it, Fiesta brings tourists with dollars. Tourism is the major industry in SB so why not go all out. Doing a section like this isn't bias, it is good business. I is part of supporting the community and local economy.

8/02/2007 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The News-Press used to be in favor of local business, even home builders.

8/02/2007 9:45 AM  
Anonymous me thinks said...

Well, wineguy, since you asked "why would anyone think?" I'm happy to point out to you that has links to lots of free information on the lefthand bar of their site. Movie listings, Fiesta, NewsPress sponsored Half-Marathon, etcetera.

Why would anyone think, when they can just swim with the lemmings at Blogabarbara?

How's that foot?

How's your foot, Sara?

Get well soon, all of you!

8/02/2007 12:05 PM  
Anonymous lemmings in cha cha heels (2) said...

Responding to Anon 7:20 AM

Your comments make my point for me. My comments were not to question the Fiesta boon for the local business coffers via tourism. Ironically you make my point that the News Press promotes commerce rather than unbiased reporting of "The News."

The News Press prominence on the Fiesta brochuer would not exist except for a harshly commericialized press or "media." By the way The Independent is no exception to this profiteer press.

Several decades of News Press Fiesta promotions have apparently brainwashed you as well as many others as to the origin of this disasterous celebration of Spanish/Anglo Imperialism. If you were not submerged from birth in myth and if you were properly given the facts, through the "media" you would not be participating in this event called "Fiesta" anymore than you would participate in a celebration of the Holocaust in the Bier Garten of a Nazi Germany Oktoberfest.

con mucha preocupaciĆ³n, donaldo

8/02/2007 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is the NewsPress at Fiesta?

Right there in DelaGuerra Plaza providing a nice courtesy refreshment booth for the dancers, among other things. Thanks, NP.

8/03/2007 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the NewsPress ratio of good to evil?

The NP let go 14 people or so for their own good and private reasons, being a private employer.

And they do a lot of good for many more than 14 or so other people in this community. More like thousands and thousands of the remaining subscribers.

I would say the ratio of good to evil weighs very favorably on the side of the NewsPress.

Plus TA is hitting homerun after homerun with his editorials lately, and the new range of local voices in the letters to the editor are highly appreciated.

No, I am not a NP hack. But I will continue to subscribe to my local, home delivered daily. And I will pick up my free Sound and Independent as well. One newspaper cannot be all things for all people. But several of them can.

Today the NP asks the burning question: how can Falcone undo her blue line vote in time to be elected mayor next year? This is developing into a **great** newstory with tremendous legs. And I don't mean Iya's. This is one heck of a local story that is morphing into just the lesson this city council needs to learn. Great story.

8/03/2007 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 3:10pm

I don't know where you get the number 14 from but you obviously have no idea how Wendy treats her employees, nor do you care. Private employer or not, there are laws and ethics that are greater than she is.

AS far as how she treats the community. The NP spits on Santa Barbara daily. Journalistically the paper is crap. Don't you think there is a reason why they can't find competent, experienced editors and reporters to replace those who have left. Nobody with any experience and competence will come work for them.

Since when has Travis ever printed a range of letters or opinions that do not reflect the views of Wendy and company? His editorials are vicous and mean spirited. His latest tirade is an all out war on City Hall.

And you say you aren't a News Press hack?

8/04/2007 4:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that as far as daily reporting goes, the NP is woefully inadequate. But as far as Travis's all out "war" on City Hall, he is telling it like it is. Our elected and appointed officials have made shocking transgressions and it is the job of the press to watchdog--not just exhausted citizens who carry no weight in this community anymore. I wish the NP both the determination to investigate, and good reporters to really go after some of these stories somewhere other than the editorial pages. Sorry, but the paper of record hasn't done that for a very long time, far longer than Wendy's reign.

8/04/2007 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've heard someone was killed on State St. about 11pm last night. Anything in the News Press? KEYT had a short report.

8/04/2007 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like how anon 4:42 doesn't like how someone's editorials are vicious, but proceeds to say things like:

"you obviously you have no idea"
"NP spits on Santa Barbara daily"
"the paper is crap"
"his latest tirade is an all out war on City Hall"

So when you say mean spirited, do you mean that he uses language like you do?

8/04/2007 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 12:18 and 10:09 I can easily justify my saying the new NP is crap and that the citizens of SB are ill served by Wendy and company.

I will agree that the newspaper should expose problems within city and county government, but ranting on the editorial page is not the place to do it.

To put it very briefly:

Editorials are opinions only, not hard news reporting. This is a serious subject that deserves serious investigation. If there are possible ethics violations to be exposed, they should be researched, investigated, and the facts reported in a logical, unemotional story. The story should include hard evidence backing up the potential ethics violations. City officials should be allowed to respond fairly. The story should also be followed up as to how these issues are resolved. If it means people lose their jobs, so be it. They should have known better. That is how real news organizations act as watchdogs and serve their community.

If there are no real ethics violations, then this is another witch hunt to ruin reputations and that is definitely unethical. If this were true it would also be another example of how the NP does not serve the community well.

8/04/2007 1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another dead body. Np can show their reporting ability and care for the community here. Or they are just out to destroy in order to effect future elections for their own purposes.

8/04/2007 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re ethics violations: having the City Attorney rule on ethics violations and legal violations is a little bit like having the fox guarding the henhouse. Somehow he always manages to find a technicality that keeps the questionable legal, but fails utterly to ever rule on ethical. And there are far too many conflicts of interest and appearances of unethical behavior that pass right on by. Travis is right to call for an ethics commission. It's much needed, but it's not going to happen from the top down. Why would the City want to cause themselves even more problems by having an independent commission investigating and asking questions, even more than those pesky citizens do?

8/05/2007 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 12:18 and 10:09 I can easily justify my saying the new NP is crap and that the citizens of SB are ill served by Wendy and company.

No. I just think its funny that you don't like Travis's editorials because he is mean-spirited, but you sound mean-spirited and overzealous trying to explain your opinion. The irony escapes you, doesn't it.

8/05/2007 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Put That Dog Down said...

I like having a watchdog.

But If my watchdog decided to bite the hand that feeds it, attacked my neighbors and crapped on me for objecting to it's behavior I'd have it put down.

A watchdog I can't trust isn't worth the kibble to keep it alive.

8/07/2007 4:13 PM  

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