Week of 7.17.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

ChildSafe Michigan Legends Gala

Legends were the story at the ChildSafe gala. But not the celebrity type. Rather at-risk  children and their dreams for becoming Legends of Tomorrow  –  a doctor, a ballerina, a teacher. To make those dreams come true, 310 supporters ($300) flocked to the Townsend Hotel for the annual benefit. Event co-chairs SuSu Sosnick and Christine & David Colman and board chair Keith Pomeroy greeted the 125 VIPs ($500) who arrived early for a reception in the Clancy Room before dinner, a salute to honoree Sandy Pierce  and a live auction conducted by Christopher Aslanian.
This weeks social light photos…


oakland confidential

July 2017

GET WELL SOON: We know others will join us in wishing Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson a speedy recovery after back surgery on June 1 in the green mountain state of North Carolina. Word is he had a pretty aggressive surgery to help him get out of the wheelchair he was finding himself bound to more and more, and one Republican said that he is already feeling better. Patterson was seriously ...more»
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Rise and fall of a newspaper

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Industrywide, the trend has many journalists tracking web statistics in order to meet production and readership quotas to help drive digital profits in the face of declining print revenue. Regardless of increasing gains in digital revenue, income from the printed product remains the largest source of revenue for newspapers, industrywide.

Declines aren't necessarily unique to The Oakland Press. Daily newspapers across the country have all witnessed their print circulation wither since the 1990s. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press have both lost hundreds of thousands of subscribers. In 2015 alone, the average weekday newspaper circulation, including print and digital readership combined, fell seven percent from the previous year, the greatest decline since 2010, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. Likewise, the trend of cutting staff in order to achieve profitability has emptied newsrooms throughout the nation, with staffing losses of about 39 percent over the past 20 years, or about 20,000 positions. Today, there are an estimated 33,000 employees working in newsrooms across the nation.

The most recent assessment of the industry found that print advertising losses are falling much faster than expected, which is likely to spur even more cuts to already struggling newsrooms, according to Ken Doctor, a national news analyst and author of Newsonomics.

"Almost all reported double-digit losses in print advertising this quarter compared to the third quarter of 2015," Doctor said of the three largest publicly-owned newspaper companies and those private companies that shared information. "That's swamping any other progress these companies have made. Digital First Media is in that same place. They have done steady reductions of staff over time, and I anticipate more of those in 2017."

Despite the industrywide trends, some former publishers, editors and newspaper veterans say the demise of The Oakland Press has been accelerated by various corporate ownerships over the years. Particularly, the former Journal Register Company, which has a reputation for practicing what Forbes once labeled "cheapskate journalism," as well as the current Digital First Media, which some media experts say is in the process of bleeding its papers of profits until they can be sold to the highest bidder.

Denver-based Digital First Media, which owns both The Oakland Press and The Detroit News, is among the three largest newspaper companies in the industry, behind Virginia-based Gannett, which owns the Detroit Free Press, and New York-based GateHouse Media. Digital First Media is owned by Alden Global Capital LLC, a New York-based hedge fund that invests heavily into distressed businesses and property.

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