Media Watchdog Returns

The Internet’s strange allure can’t be resisted.

First, local blogger and veteran journalist Bill Sloat decided to revive his excellent Daily Bellwether blog after an absence of several months, once again offering his fresh take on news around Ohio’s major cities.

Now Jim Hopkins has brought back his insightful Gannett Blog, offering news, analysis and criticism about the newspaper and media giant that owns The Cincinnati Enquirer and USA Today.—-

Not content to just to revisit old ground, Hopkins has added new blogs covering News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal and the various Fox media properties, and the eponymous New York Times Co.

Hopkins started the Gannet Blog in September 2007 and stopped updating in July 2009 when the company was undergoing its latest round of layoffs, stating it was time to move on from the project. But he couldn’t stay away long and began revving it back up this winter.

He is a former USA Today editor and reporter who lives in San Francisco.

The blog already has several interesting items including Gannett reportedly seeking a new partner after the bankrupt Tribune Co. pulled out of the joint Metromix venture. It reveals that Gannett’s digital revenues for 2009’s fourth-quarter dropped 7.2 percent from the comparable quarter a year earlier.

Also, another item examines how executives at financially strapped Gannett recently received stock options that quickly became worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s because the executives were given the price of $15 per share, no matter how high the actual market price of the shares increase.

Welcome back, Jim. The public is better informed due to your return.

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