Tea Party Patriot Luncheon with Jeff Ackerman

Russ Steele

Ellen and I sat with George and Jo Ann Rebane and Jeff Ackerman joined us at our table. We enjoy chatting about the newspaper business in general, The Union specifically, and then we veered into local politics.  Jeff thinks there is a huge leadership deficit in local government, with little or no passion for problem solving, especially in creating much need jobs.  He thinks that every decision by political leaders should be measured by the number of jobs created or destroyed. Do those things that create job and not do those that kill jobs.

Jeff had a standing room only audience. All the tables were full, and more were set up as more member flooded in, and  finally the staff  just gave up and seated people along the wall, or let them stand in the door. New members were asked to stand and about ten people stood to be recognized.  Before long the Tea Party will have to find a much larger luncheon facility.

Jeff’s message was the newspapers are not going away anytime soon, at least not until there is some mechanism for collecting six billion dollars worth of unique content that they collect daily.  In his view, most bloggers just take material from the existing newspapers and comment on it. If The Union went away the lefty bloggers would not have anything to write about, he said.

Asked about the Swift News pay-wall, Jeff said that all newspapers are struggling to monetize their Internet traffic. So far, those that have installed a pay-wall for unique news items have not seen any drop in web traffic.  I checked the Greeley Gazette and their estimated traffic actual went up after the pay-wall was installed.  The Union traffic is about flat at about 69K unique visitor a month.

Jeff’s humorous presentation was well received by the Tea Party Patriots.  I am sure he will be welcome back for another presentation as the 2012 election comes closer.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

5 Responses to Tea Party Patriot Luncheon with Jeff Ackerman

  1. Sorry I missed it, but it sounds as if he did well.

  2. gjrebane says:

    Good summary Russ.

  3. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    Sounds like a decent guy with a grasp of what print is up against. I’m sure peeline will have quite a different take that he heard from somebody that wasn’t there either.

  4. Have there ever been a non-flattering report after a speaker at a local Tea Party get together?

    The Union needs balance in reporting to even think about thriving. If the quoted numbers are correct, 69k visitors vs unique.visitors in a huge difference.

    Personally, I would buy such a paper, once more. Opinion pages needs balance to, although papers editorial policy have long been on either side of the political world.

    Since forever The Union web site does not allow comments. While the figure out how to do that again, the should think about the old system, with real names back online.

    Like I
    Have said before, I subscribed to the local paper for no other reason other than to support local journalism. Made no secret that the writings of the Publisher is what fianally made me spend my “news information” dollar elsewhere, and the long string of disappointment with the paper before I
    “pulled the plug.”

    Thanks to all the local bloggers who do original reporting and lots of scoops and scooplets. Big “hole” to fill.

  5. David Wright says:

    Can you please take Jeff Ackerman back to Nevada County. He’s already worn out his welcome here in Roseburg, Oregon.


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