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"They wanted someone who knew what they were doing, and they wanted to stay out of their hair," he said.
In 1985, Capital Cities made a huge play in the media business and purchased the much larger American Broadcasting Company (ABC) for $3.5 billion. The resulting company was known as Capital Cities/ABC, which was roughly five times the size of the original CapCites. Despite the size, McIntyre said, management at ABC adopted the CapCities style of management, allowing The Oakland Press to operate with a large degree of autonomy.
From an editorial standpoint, McIntyre said his philosophy was to create a complete newspaper that provided complete local coverage, as well as what was going on in the world. At the same time, he said coverage and circulation was focused on areas where they already had a stronghold, rather than attempting to expand into other areas of the county.
"Our advertisers don't care if we have 10 percent of the houses in Novi or Farmington Hills. What they care about is if we have 60 percent of the houses in Waterford," McIntyre said about where he chose to focus circulation. "If we dilute our obligation by chasing circulation in places where we are never going to achieve a sufficient majority, then it's a waste of time,"
Traditionally, he said, the paper had its strongest circulation in Waterford, Lake Orion, Pontiac, Rochester and West Bloomfield, with some in other locations like Birmingham, but not in high concentrations. The Oakland Press, McIntyre said, never had any significant circulation in southern Oakland County, with its reach being diminished south of Square Lake Road. It's strength, he said, lay in the northern and western parts of the county.
Today, McIntyre, who has served on his hometown city council in Orchard Lake Village since his retirement in 1998, said cuts instituted at The Oakland Press by the Journal Register Company have hurt the quality of the newspaper and its coverage.
"There are probably six to eight local stories in the whole paper, including some that were written by people in Macomb and Royal Oak," McIntyre said, holding up a Monday edition of the paper. "There's not much in there."
Worse, he said, are the cuts to some of the longtime newsroom staff that were hired on his watch, which included the firing one day in 2006 of former managing editor Susan Hood, assistant managing editor Dolly Moiseeff and editorial page editor Neil Munro, who had each been at the paper for more than 30 years....continued on page 9