Columns » Ranger Rich

New Hallmark at the G

Ranger Rich



Roses are red

Violets are blue

Some people read the Gazette

But probably not you

You've likely heard that our village's daily paper, the Gazette, has been purchased. The new owner's main experience has been running a small greeting-card company. Because a guy like me never knows when he might need a job, I'm working on a new writing style that might catch the new boss's attention.

Call me a fool / Call me a ninny

But that Gazette newspaper / It sure looks skinny

Aaron Kushner, a 39-year-old New Englander, has bought a bunch of floundering newspapers including the Gazette, which he may or may not re-sell very quickly — depending on which side of his mouth you listen to.

The new owner dropped into the G's newsroom last week and really impressed the staff. "What an idiot," said a reporter who has been at the Gazette for nearly a decade and was at the meeting. "He owns a greeting card company. A greeting card company! Maybe we'll start writing in jingles."

Aaron's message: He'll nearly abandon the online product and bring the newspaper back to the good old days of paper and ink, cranking them out on noisy presses and then throwing the finished product onto your roof.

This came as quite a surprise to the current Gazette boss, Carmen Boles, who is a digital master and the paper's "director of content," which would be a nice title if there was some, uh, content. So Carmen heard Aaron announce the Gazette was going to re-focus on the hard-copy version, which left her asking the obvious question: "We make a newspaper?"

Have yourself a nice day / A wish from the whole mob

Because we bet in two months / You won't have a job

"Print! We're going back to print!" the G reporter said. "The entire world is online! He said we'd focus 75 percent on print and just 25 percent on the online product. We think he just pulled those numbers out of his ass."

Which would hurt. Especially the "7," with those sharp points. Proctologists say only the letter X would hurt more. But enough about Kushner and his magic show. Let's see what Boston Magazine said about Aaron the Magnificent, who repeatedly tried and failed to buy the Boston Globe.

"After growing up in Georgia," that 2011 article pointed out, "he attended Stanford University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's in organizational analysis, and starred on the gymnastics team."

Which will come in handy when he has to vault over Wayne Laugesen's next highly thoughtful "If we all have guns and we shoot everybody, there won't be any gun violence" editorial.

Here's what Aaron said about his then-plans for the Globe:

"At [the greeting card company] I was not a writer. I was not an artist. I did not do layout. Similarly, I don't expect I'll ever write a newspaper story."

(Footnote: That gives him a lot in common with the Gazette staff.)

Online will die / Ink's where it's at

Aaron will flip the company / It's how Romney got fat

More from the magazine, about his then-plans for the Globe: "We will take the things the Globe does really well and expand upon them and layer on additional things that they haven't been able to do and do those."

I am not a nut / I am not a hack

Oops, Stanford just called / Wants both degrees back

"Here's what most people think will happen," the Gazette reporter said. "Boy Wonder will suck money from our remaining readers by jacking up the price of the paper, then he'll bleed our last remaining big ad clients by jacking up ad rates. Then he'll take a profit for himself and sell what's left of us.

"We got the idea he didn't know what the f*&# he was talking about."

He thinks digital's a fad

But we won't shed any tears

For we get to watch the Gazette

Go back 20 years

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