Media update: Price out at News Journal; State News gets $75,000 grant; Fowser another WDEL casualty

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Betsy Price is out at the News Journal.

Price had the title of content coach but did a fair amount of features and even hard news reporting for the daily newspaper and website.

Price honed the skills of a young and dedicated reporting staff that partially replaced veterans who were let go or moved on to other positions in state government and other areas.

Along the way,  newspapers have dismantled their copy desks, which saved many a reporter from embarrassing typos and other errors. That change made Price’s role increasingly important.

Her departure leaves the editorial side of the News Journal without a woman in a leadership role. 

Gannett-Gatehouse papers, like their counterparts around the country, are also instituting rotating furloughs of reporters to counter the financial impact of coronavirus.

State News gets $75,000 grant from Facebook

The Delaware State News in Dover has received a $75,000 coronavirus grant from Facebook. It was part of a $16 million in grant package  from the Facebook Journalism Project.

The giant company could well afford the funding. By providing a platform for news and personal posting, the company generates 30 percent pre-tax margins without investing in reliable content.

The  State News,  which always had a small staff , even during the glory days of print, will use the funding for coverage of the virus. The State News maintains a low profile but has a talented reporter Matt Bittle, who has been gaining some praise north of the C&D canal.

The paper/website owned by Independent Newsmedia USA. The State News is the company’s flagship paper. It also has weeklies and monthlies on the Eastern Shore, a small section of Florida, and the Phoenix area.

Independent operates under a unique corporate structure as a trust, an arrangement set up by the founding  Smyth family as a way to ensure that the company was not sold to the highest bidder.

Fowser also out at WDEL

While the departures of newsman Allan Loudell and traffic voice Robin Bryson made the headlines, Mark Fowser was not mentioned 

The long-time reporter-news editor never had the high air-time profile of Loudell and Bryson, but was a longtime fixture in the local radio scene.

He headed the news department at WILM before moving to WDEL owner  Delmarva Broadcasting, now Forever Media. 

Fowser continues to work gigs that include weekend traffic reports in the Philadelphia area and has been doing some freelance writing. He recently filled in for the host of the morning show on WDDE, Dover’s public radio station.

His departure was a big loss to WDEL, which soldiers on with a smaller staff.

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