Where Gowan goes, Fox News follows

by | Jul 14, 2008

One or two readers may recall that, back in June, I created a bit of a rumpus with a whimsical post on items from the Putnam County News and Recorder, an upstate NY newspaper with some 3,000 readers.  Now the New York Times reveals that I’m not the only out-of-towner to admire this 142-year-old publication:

Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, liked his local newspaper so much he decided to buy it.  Mr. Ailes, 68, who counseled Republican presidents before creating the Fox News Channel, purchased The Putnam County News and Recorder last month.

But residents of the area should not expect any sort of makeover, ideological or otherwise. The paper will “probably stay the same,” said Elizabeth Ailes, Mr. Ailes’s wife, who will be the publisher. “We bought it not to change it, but perhaps it will evolve over time.”

The Aileses do not plan to manage the paper day to day; they will hire a general manager.  To readers, the change may be imperceptible. “It’s a really quaint paper,” Mrs. Ailes said by phone. “It reflects the community. We really like it, and that’s why Roger wanted to buy it.”

I’d watch out if I were you, Mr. and Mrs. Ailes – this blogger found that the citizens of Putnam County don’t take being called “quaint” lightly…

(Hat tip to Roy Greenslade over at the Guardian for putting two and two together on this story – excited readers may be pleased to note that I have just returned from the Channel Islands, and will soon be posting on the local press there).


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