Although WYTU has its own digital signal on UHF channel 17, it has a limited range as a low power television station to the inner ring of the Milwaukee suburbs, and placing the station on WBME's full-power signal allows it full-market coverage. It launched on September 24 with the network's preview reel before its September 26 premiere on
By Bruce Murphy - Nov 21st, pm Get a daily rundown of the top stories on Urban Milwaukee Milwaukee Journal Sentinel For decades, my favorite part of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was the Sunday sports section, particularly during the football season.
I loved reading Bob McGinn , arguably the best football writer in America, whose reporting on the Green Bay Packers was typically terrific, filled with insights and inside information.
He had more sources among pro football scouts, coaches and personnel people than any writer in the country and always garnered good quotes and pithy nuggets of information. There is no dearth of stories on the Packers, just a shortage of smart reporting and writing.
Tom Silverstein can be good, but he was always a distant second to McGinn, and none of the other writers do much more than tell you things you already knew from watching the game. McGinn, by the way, is still doing that, along with his game day feature and other stories at a new website he has created, BobMcGinnFootball.
Apparently the sports page is thrown together so quickly no one can bother to trim the repetition. The ink seems grayer and harder to read.
A few years ago JS stopped paying for syndicated New York Times stories, probably to save money, perhaps also to make the paper look less liberal, but that meant it no longer runs some of best national and international coverage to be found.
Now all the national and international coverage and even some of the state coverage comes from USA Today, which is typically second rate. Almost never. In the last few years the Journal Sentinel has eliminated the state and local news section, dropped the business section on several days, dropped letters, op eds, editorials and the entertainment section on most days, combined the Sunday Crossroads and Business sections and merged the entertainment and books sections.
The NOW weeklies that covered the suburbs have been compressed into just seven tabloids that barely cover anything: The North Shore section that once covered a few suburbs mostly Whitefish Bay, Shorewood and Glendale has now added Mequon, Cedarburg, Port Washington and all of Ozaukee County.
There are almost no beat reporters left at the paper, whatever their title on the JS staff list. Tom Daykin still covers the hell out of real estate, but no other reporter covers their beat like this. State capitol reporters Patrick Marley and Jason Stein did a good job covering the Foxconn development.
I respect their reporting, but they miss a lot and rarely report on the connection between campaign donations and proposed bills and policy changes. After the JS was scooped on the infamous Milwaukee County pension plan of , which has cost taxpayers several hundred million dollars and still counting the newspaper made county government its number one beat, and vowed never to make that mistake again.
But in the last few years, as Urban Milwaukee has done more coverage of the city, the paper has put far more emphasis on covering City Hall, and has relegated county government to a part-time beat worthy of about one story every couple weeks.
The newspaper has no dedicated obituary writer and prominent people pass away with no story, the most recent being Judge Robert Landry , who served for decades as a Circuit Court judge and was involved in the creation of UW-Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
The newspaper has been hollowed out after suffering nearly a decade of staff reductions. I count only about 35 reporters covering news and business plus about 10 editors in those areas. The Monday and Tuesday papers are so incredibly thin — a friend calls it the Daily Pamphlet — they sometimes have just a few local and state stories per day.
And about that website: the old jsonline was not very well designed, but it did feel newsy and allowed for more flexibility to emphasize important stories and breaking news.
The new website is a Gannett cookie cutter design, with no urgency and no flexibility, that feels more like a lifestyle publication and sometimes recycles old Gannett stories. McGinn tells me emphatically that he left the newspaper to escape the daily paper grind, and I believe him.
But he was reputed to be the highest paid JS reporter, so his departure helped solve the need for staff cuts. The paper looks like it also shed a couple editors, and recently longtime editorial writer Ernie Franzen took a buyout.
But is anyone under the age of 45 still reading print? If you think stories like this are important, become a member of Urban Milwaukee and help support real independent journalism.