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Review-Journal Publisher Bob Brown
Review-Journal Publisher Bob Brown

AIR DATE: December 16, 2011

Las Vegas Review-Journal Publisher Bob Brown joined us to talk about what his paper has become—post-layoffs, post-Sherman Frederick— 12 months into his, and editor Michael Hengel’s, tenure.

“I think the newspaper can be a great force for good in the community," Brown says. "[Reporters] can feel that energy, that vibrance. That's what they want."

But that force for good has certainly been cut down during the past year, as the R-J sustained massive layoffs, first of its investigative team, and then in August laying off several other reporters, editors and photographers later in the year.

 “Certainly, our revenues were down substantially,” Brown says of the reasoning behind the layoffs. “We had to take steps to make sure the enterprise was sound and to do the things we need to do."

Brown’s mantra has become doing “more with less,” but it certainly appears that that might not be possible. Brown, a former ad and sales guy, preaches “metrics,” meaning that fewer reporters simply must write more stories.

It’s tough out there for newspeople, folks.

At the time of the layoffs, former Las Vegas blogger Steve Friess bashed Brown for not being more transparent, and for declining interviews with KNPR and himself. However, Friess also added that Brown was wasn’t nearly as culpable for the layoffs as his predecessor, outspoken conservative columnist Sherman Frederick.

“I would like our business to get to the point where we could hire everybody back," he says." My goal is to have more journalists on the street."

A big part of the paper’s future, Brown says, will be in new media—a large investment of both time and money, of which newspapers are often in short supply. Still, there have been steps forward. There’s currently an iPhone app for the R-J, and its tech team is working to build an iPad version of the daily paper.

Brown, not surprisingly, points to online news as a sector for growth.

"Our audience reach is tremendous when you factor in the Internet," he says. "It's yet another area of expansion for us."

Have any questions or comments about the R-J or Bob Brown? Let us know in the comment section below.

Bob Brown, publisher, LVRJ
    comments powered by Disqus
    Here is some really bad writing from Glenn Cook at the LVRJ. He mentioned this in his article and I found it to be not only untruthful but disgraceful and he should be called out on this. This is bad all the way around. Here is what he said..."In fact, a handful of iconic moments in endurance racing involve courageous champions who crapped all over themselves before crossing the finish line. Foremost among them: Julie Moss in the 1982 Ironman Triathlon, Uta Pippig in the 1996 Boston Marathon and Paula Radcliffe in the 2005 London Marathon." What idiot would print this?
    Ligeia WillDec 18, 2011 00:40:17 AM
    Why are the people who leave comments on the LVRJ website so nutty? I mean they are way off the far right deep end in terms of their political views.

    The Sun's website is a bit better, but the wackjobs spill over there too.

    David MuzoDec 16, 2011 13:31:19 PM
    Does the Rj plan on having an iPad edition?
    MikeDec 16, 2011 09:24:29 AM
    Hi Mike: Brown says that the R-J is currently developing an iPad version of the paper. They also have an iPhone app.
    Erin @ KNPRDec 16, 2011 09:31:02 AM
    Prior to his arrival, one of the RJ's significant embarrassments was polling during the 2008 election. True, CNN missed on the Reid race, too, but the Democrats seem to have had it right in internal polls, so it wasn't an impossible call. That the RJ's polls missed in the direction supported by the editorial page only made this embarrassment worse. Will you be using different pollsters next time?
    Bill ChaloupkaDec 16, 2011 09:20:53 AM
    You'll notice since the old guard was ousted the newspaper has used different pollsters from the ones that produced the embarrassingly wrong results in 2010 and 2008. This is a good thing.
    Anon O'MouosDec 16, 2011 16:12:43 PM
    Love the RJ BUT! Do you mind commenting on the really annoying kind of 1/3 page format on the front of the RJ? You can't turn the page and hold the newspaper without it falling apart. Can you let us poor readers know the purpose of this?
    AllisonDec 16, 2011 09:16:56 AM
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