Media update: Nardone exits Delaware Today, paper cuts in Cecil County & that Action News theme

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Longtime Delaware Today Editor Mark Nardone has departed Delaware Today after 22 years at the regional magazine.

Nardone announced his departure in  a farewell column.

Nardone worked on and later headed the editorial side of the magazine during a difficult period that features the same pressures facing all print media.

Regional magazines have not seen the precipitous decline in advertising as their newspaper counterparts, but issues tend to be packed with special sections and advertorials to make up for the changing landscape. 

Nardone is now communications manager at Winterthur Museum Gardens and Library in northern Delaware’s  Chateau County, an area frequently featured in Delaware Today.

 Parent company Today Media has been seeing staff departures on the editorial side.   Today Media has an internal posting for editor of the Delaware Business Times,  a business journal that is published every two weeks. The Business Times also has a website.

No help wanted listing was found for the Delaware Today slot. However, four job openings have been posting for Gannett’s  News Journal and Delmarva Now (News and Advertiser). The Delmarva Now position is based in Bethany Beach and mentions flipflops.

Please bring back the bongos to Action News theme

Anyone who wandered into the Delaware Valley over the past 40 years or so marveled at the Channel 6  Action News theme. As other stations went through many format and theme song changes, Action News stayed on the top of the ratings heap with the “If it bleeds, it leads formats” crime-heavy format and that song you can’t get out of your head 

When renting a room in the Little Italy neighborhood on my arrival, the only station coming through the rabbit ears antenna was Channel 6. I couldn’t get the theme out of my head, especially the bongo drums. 

Back in 2013, a TV news aficionado went through the archives and patched together the changes in anchors, culture, fashions etc. It’s an interesting piece you can view below. Click here   for a post from  Citilab on the Action News theme song that was dropped in most markets, but lives on in Philly.

By the way, I miss the bongos, which according to the story were dropped back in the 1990s.

Fewer print options  in Cecil County

Big changes in the newspaper landscape took place across the state line in Cecil County, MD over the summer. 

The Cecil Guardian weekly newspaper ceased publication in June and the Cecil Whig cut its publication schedule from three days a week to two. David Fike, who heads the Chesapeake  side of Minnesota-based Adams Publishing Group  blamed tariffs  coming out of trade war with Canada for soaring newsprint costs that led to the decision.

Recently the tariffs were  blocked by a trade commision  but newsprint prices remain volatile as mills shut down due to a sharp decline in the number of pages printed at most papers over the past several years.

Mills left standing in Canada gained pricing power that put a further crimp on costs at newspapers seeing a decline in display advertising. 

Several years ago, the Whig reduced its print schedule  from five days a week down to two, with then-parent company ACM Chesapeake closing its Elkton printing plant and cranking out the Whig from its Easton flagship the Star-Democrat.

The Star-Dem also announced it posted a Monday E-edition and dropped the print edition from its six-day-a-week  schedule.

The Cecil  Guardian got its start as the Whig was struggling with a steep slide in advertising revenue. The same challenges faced the Guardian.

The Guardian is still posting content online.

The Whig and Star-Democrat are  owned by the family of recrational vehicle and billboard  tycoon  Stephan Adams, who has snapped up 100 small dailies and weekies  around the country in forming  Adams Publishing Group. The company’s lone  Delaweare holding is the Newark Post.

A radio affiliate in Salisbury, MD owns stations with signals that cover Sussex County.

 

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