THE PLANK AUGUST 11, 2009
Michael Sokolove's lively article about the decline of Philadelphia's two newspapers was most surprising in its portrayal of Brian Tierney--the p.r. man turned newspaper publisher who, contrary to pretty much everything I'd previously read about him, actually seems to be a force for good. My favorite bit about Tierney from Sokolove's piece:
He has taken his public relations mind-set to newspapering. He says he thinks the industry shares too much bad news about itself — “The audience for TV news is tanking, but do you ever hear them talk about that?” — and he was an early advocate for the idea that newspapers ought to begin charging for online content, a notion that has recently gained momentum. He can be a loose cannon. Testifying before Congress in April, he attempted a strained metaphor that involved a “dance club” charging high prices for beer but not paying its dancers, or what might be termed the content providers. “Was that example in reference to a gentlemen’s club?” Representative John Conyers asked. “That’s the kind of club I meant, sir,” he responded.
Judging from this recent Massachusetts court decision in a class-action lawsuit brought by strippers against the King Arthur's Lounge, Tierney's metaphor isn't that strained.