The Union newspaper seems more confused than ever about its mission statement. On the one hand it thinks its future is a “mobile first” game plan (witness the new website). But its op-ed page remains stuck in the McCarthy era.
The Union newspaper’s “mobile first” redesign is getting a tepid response, according to the newspaper’s own online poll. So far, 70 percent of those who voted said “I liked the old one better.” Just 16 percent said, “Yes, it’s so easy to use on my phone.”
The results are here:
This should NOT come as a surprise, because of the newspaper’s demographics. It reflects an aging, and a flat to declining population around here (AKA a retirement town). School enrollment has been declining. And guess what? Those who are 62 and older are the LEAST LIKELY GROUP to read newspapers on their phones. More of them prefer to read their newspapers in print.
As Pew reports: “About seven-in-ten adults ages 18 to 29 (71%) often get news on a mobile device, compared with 37% of those ages 65 or older. Moreover, those 65 and older are still more likely to often get news on a desktop than on a mobile device (47% compared with 37%, respectively). This is the only age group more likely to get news on a desktop or laptop computer than on a mobile device.”
“Square peg, meet round hole.” Bottom line: The Union needs to find some more fresh content to draw new readers, not just repurpose its existing content on a mobile platform. Content is king — not the platform.
“THINGS MUST be slow in Auburn: The police announced they have rounded up $3,500 worth of abandoned shopping carts,” The Union’s weekly columnist George Boardman writes in his column this week.
$3,500? According to the Auburn Journal, it’s $3,200, not $3,500. “Auburn Police are reporting about $3,200 worth of shopping carts were rounded up and returned to stores this week,” the newspaper reported.
To be sure, I checked with the Auburn Police Department, which directed me to their Facebook page. And sure enough, the Auburn Journal got it right — and Boardman got it wrong (again). See the last sentence below on the Auburn P.D.’s Facebook page.
You can’t make this stuff up! Last week, I noted that George Boardman (AKA “Bored” Georgeman) somehow confused a hip fast-casual salad chain (Sweetgreen) with Chinese takeout in Queens (Sweet Garden) in his weekly column in The Union. The details are here.
Sure enough, like clockwork, he posted another CORRECTION. But here’s the best part; he blamed it on a spelling error, writing in The Union:
That’s some spelling error, confusing the word “green” and “garden.” Or just plain confused.
But it’s sure not the first! To get an idea, go to TheUnion.com and type “George Boardman” and “correction” into the search engine. Go to “all results.” It’s a real treasure trove of errors!
You can’t make this stuff up! In his near weekly blooper, The Union’s weekly columnist George Boardman writes: “One of newest trends in the restaurant industry is the $15 lunch salad at upscale chains like Chop’t, Sweetgarden and Just Salad. This trend is so hot that Sweetgarden recently completed a $200 million round of funding that values the company at $1 billion.”
Sweetgarden? Huh? Does our crackerjack journalist-turned-PR flack and “business reporter” mean “Sweetgreen” (not Sweetgarden)?
—An article in Forbes magazine, “Why $200 Million Will Make Sweetgreen The Next Big Thing In Delivery (And, Yes, A Unicorn),” is HERE.
“We want to go beyond a food company and become a platform,” Neman, Sweetgreen’s co-CEO, told Forbes in an exclusive interview after closing the $200 million round, which brings the company’s total equity raised to $365 million and values the chain at more than $1 billion.
—Or as Restaurant News reported: “Fidelity Investments has made a $200 million investment in Sweetgreen, bringing the fast-casual salad chain’s total equity raised over the past five years to $365 million, the company said Tuesday. The Fidelity funding round values the 90-unit Los Angeles-based brand at more than $1 billion, the company said.”
I did, however, find a Chinese takeout joint in Queens called Sweet Garden (two words, not one). The menu is here.
You go George! Ringing in the New Year with another correction.