Last year, Columbus’ alternative newspaper, The Other Paper, ran a headline “Does Ohio Need an S.O.B. governor?” about John Kasich, which featured many of the popular tells of John Kasich’s long and distinguished history of being a jerk.

It’s also ran pieces highly critical of the Columbus Dispatch’s slanted political coverage as well as revealed its top news executives making news by using the paper as a means to fulfill their political agendas like with the Columbus casinos

The Dispatch Printing Company’s media empire, by Ohio standards, is huge.  Not only does it own central Ohio’s biggest daily newspaper, but it owns the Ohio News Network and local CBS affiliate WBNS Channel 10.  And it owns ThisWeek Community Newspapers, and WBNS’ radio station.

And now, it owns The Other Paper and Columbus Monthly Magazine, too:

The Dispatch Printing Co. announced on Tuesday that it acquired a group of niche publications from American Community Newspapers, expanding the depth and breadth of its news organization.
The newly acquired publications, which will become part of Dispatch Media Group, include:

  • Columbus Monthly, an award-winning city magazine for 35 years
  • Suburban News Publications, a group of 22 community newspapers serving Central Ohio
  • Columbus C.E.O., a monthly business magazine
  • A dozen specialty magazine publications, including Columbus Bride, CityGuide, Restaurant Guide and the Official Columbus Visitors Guide
  • The Other Paper, a news and entertainment weekly

In addition, a handful of supporting niche local news and information Web sites, including columbusmonthly.com, columbusbride.com and columbuslocalnews.com, will become part of the Dispatch Digital network.

[Source: WBNS, which, again, is owned by the Dispatch]

So you can forget about The Other Paper tweaking the Dispatch or the Kasich Administration anymore.

Ohio is literally sliding back towards a pre-Progressive era.  We’re like in the Hurst-Pulitzer era where the media is tightly controlled by one politically connected family.  If this doesn’t give you the chills, take this section of the Dispatch’s press release:

The acquisition will clearly benefit subscribers and readers as reporters/writers now have increased resources and outlets to tell the most compelling and interesting stories in our communities. Editorial convergence has been a hallmark of Dispatch Printing Co. publications, and the added resources will improve all of the print products and their ability to deliver more high-quality and engaging hard news, investigative, feature and human interest stories.

Editorial “convergence” is a nice way of saying we plan on having editorial uniformity/conformity throughout.  A perversion of E pluribus unum, “Out of many, one.”  Many media outlets, but really only one voice controlling it all.  Buying The Other Paper perverts the whole purpose of having an alternative paper, which historically has served as a check on corporately-owned and operated “mainstream” media outlets.

How big is too big?  How much control can one media company have in a media market that they can just buy out their critics?  And when should we expect our check?

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  • My one son is always talking conspiracies and I have been saying give it a break but when you start talking about one group have the monopoly on the News Media and you connect it to a political party  you have to wonder where is this going and what are we as a nation heading for? A powerful nation like ours has to be careful of this stuff because the larger you are the harder you fall. It could happen fast and it can happen slow but if we as a nation do not keep the watch dogs on ourselves it could happen fast and not for the good. I am so glad that we have groups such as Plunderbound and others to keep things real.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t wat to read Ben Maarrison’s serious comments on this. I’m sure I’ll benefit in some manner, as Ben will likely tell me.

    With the way The Dispatch has screwed up their commenting areas, we have probably seen the last of any opposing views expressed on any Wolfe publication. All we have left is Plunderbund.

  • The Columbus Alive use to tweak the Wolfes on occasion and after the Dispatch bought them they kept all the social fluffery it was known for and ditched the political writing.

    I assume I will be reading how great John Kasich is at chess or something in “The Other Paper” soon unless they dump the politics altogether and just stick with the music scene writing

  • Jen

    They should rename it Another Paper.

  • Well, we still have Plunderbund, et al.

  • Arlo

    Goodbye journalism in Central Ohio

  • It only took the Big D about 30 years to do this. I imagine they feel pretty good right now. One reporter said they have their eye on a sixth grade class newsletter in Clintonville. Resistance is futile.

    I feel bad. If they would have purchased TOP one month earlier, Ben Marrison would have experienced the joy of firing me.

    Ah, well. It’s still early.

  • Anonymous

    A monopoly on news, just before the start of a Presidential race!  Wonder who’ll they’ll support?

  • clambake

    Columbus Alive used to be the more progressive paper. After the Dispatch bought it it became all shopping,dining, and drinking all the time. Their ad revenue has taken off I’m sure but really it is really difficult to differentiate between the editorial content and the advertisements.

  • Two sides to every story. Did the Other Paper sell out of need/greed/or what?

  • Anonymous

    I think it was more a case of the parent company selling out.  It is tough to make a living in Central Ohio in the journalism biz.  The Other Paper hasn’t been the same since Dam Williamson left a few years ago.

  • Thanks for the info, Modern. 

  • Watchdog

    I’ll say it again — great stuff, but you lose credibility when you don’t proofread!!! We might be heading toward reverting to the Hearst-Pulitzer era — but not the Hurst-Pulitzer era

  • Xx

    Time to start a real alternative paper something like Seattle’s The Stranger.

  • Xx

    Time to start a real alternative paper something like Seattle’s The Stranger.

  • Anonymous

    There ought to be a law against this type of monopoly.

  • leeseh

    I agree. I used to intern for Outlook Media. Sounds like they are going to have to step up for us.

  • Anonymous

    PB, I hope you’re prepared to see a lot more traffic…

  • ThatDeborahGirl

    Wow. Just wow. If we don’t like what you’re saying we’ll just buy you out and print what we like.

    Scary as hell.

  • Guest

    I know this probably has been in the works for a little while now, but for me it seems like it came out of the blue.

    I don’t live in Ohio anymore, so I may be behind on asking this, but was this some sort of financial issue for TOP and its’ parent company? Could have TOP partnered with some other publishers in the area?

    I don’t know much about the  logistics in proposing this, but The Publishing Group seems like a place that TOP could have found a home with. Again, not entirely sure about their line up, but I’d bet TOP would have helped The Publishing Group out as it probably would have been their top publication from day one.

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