Tim Grobaty's Resignation Hints at a New Local Newspaper

By: 
Steve Propes

Long Beach columnist Tim Grobaty announced on Facebook that after four decades with the Press-Telegram (P-T), he's leaving the paper. "Thanks, everyone, for all the kind and generous words. Monday was my last day at the P-T. To paraphrase an old coworker, it was a great 35 years; unfortunately I was there for 42."

According to the Los Angeles Business Journal, this is the first sign of a new publication on the local horizon, a newspaper that will cover Long Beach news only, which some note has been in short supply in the Press-Telegram.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram, one of 11 newspapers owned by Denver’s Digital First Media under the California News Group moniker created “a terrible situation,” said ex-PT City Editor Melissa Evans to the Business Journal. She explained that Digital First's majority stakeholder is New York investment house Alden Capital, which “has no investment in local journalism.”

Crime and Safety Reporter Jeremiah Dobruck also resigned, leaving the P-T with one staff reporter, Chris Haire.

In 2016, Grobaty hinted at this very outcome in an interview with the Beachcomber. In 1997, "when Dean Singleton bought out the paper, I think 25 percent of the people got laid off, a large number got a cut in pay." Then Singleton got bought out. It's now owned by "a hedge fund of some sort. We don't want to be owned by a hedge fund. Our paper makes a product. It's not the product they want. You buy every company there is, you trim fat. Why do you need four guys, when you can have two guys. Throw out the building, move into a strip mall.

"If we all walked out, they'd just grab people from other papers. When I was working in features, we had 40 people in the features department, over a dozen photographers, sports people all over the place. Now if you have four people walk out, it wouldn't cripple the paper, but it would take the personality out."

In his parting message, Grobaty further hinted at the new publication. "Great and exciting things to come in a few weeks from those of us who left this week."

In a succinct email for this story, Grobaty wrote, "The P-T now has one reporter and no editor. The city editor, crime reporter and I left on Monday. Things are a sort of poorly kept secret for a few weeks. We will be covering Long Beach."

In the past ten years, there have been several similar attempts at a new local paper that have fallen short, namely the Long Beach Register, operated by the O.C. Register five years ago, to which several P-T reporters defected. The Long Beach Register existed for about a year before the O.C. Register was acquired by Digital First. Notice to subscribe to the Long Beach Register remains on the O.C. Register site to this day. The alternative District Weekly began in 2007 and folded in March 2010.

steve@beachcomber.news

 

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Comments

Well, I am not sad about old Tim’s departure nor of the PT basically folding. Tim is a grumpy old guy who thinks that makes him amusing, it doesn’t. The PT’s coverage of the “local” news has always been spotty. I often found more interesting local stories in other media sources that the PT deemed unworthy of covering.

Long live the P-T (and its Grunion Gazette)
Long live this new Grobaty/Evans/Dobruck venture
Long live LBReport.com
Long live LBPost.com
Long live longbeachize.com
Long live longbeachlocalnews.com
and yes.....long live beachcomber.news
Long live them all. The more shoe leather investigative journalism covering our city, the better!

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