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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