to attend the 2008 Marketing to African-Americans with Excellence (MAAX)
Summit? Order the workbook which contains hard copies of the presentations
made by some of the nation's top experts on the Black consumer marketing,
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Starcom MediaVest Group
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2009 by Target Market News Inc. All rights reserved
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Bay State Banner
publisher to accept loan offer from Boston development fund
Boston Globe (July 18, 2009) The Bay State Banner, Boston's only black-owned
newspaper, plans to accept a $200,000 loan from the city to stay afloat,
despite criticism that the money could compromise its impartiality
during an election year.
Publisher Mel Miller (above) said yesterday that he never met with Mayor
Thomas M. Menino to arrange the bailout loan, but when he learned of the
offer, decided "only a fool wouldn't take it."
"Let the Banner fail and deprive the community?" Miller, 75, asked
yesterday. "That's just foolish, and I'm not going to do that."
The newspaper, which was first published in the era of urban renewal and
civil rights, has been an edgy and outspoken local voice since 1965.
Menino has often been the target of editorials penned by Miller,
including one that questioned whether the mayor should step down. Miller
has also criticized the city for a lack of diversity in the Police
Department and insufficient funding to develop poor neighborhoods.
The newspaper, which has a weekly circulation of 30,000 copies and has
struggled with slumping advertising revenue, said last week that its
last issue would be July 9. Miller has not disclosed the company's
revenues, but said he decided to close the operation because the paper
was struggling financially.
Menino told the Globe Thursday that he had offered the loan, and said it
was not an attempt to curry favor, but an effort to "help a business
that is very important to the minority community."
Menino's offer came a day after Harvard University law professor Charles
Ogletree told the Globe that he had lined up investors to save the
newspaper in the long term. Ogletree said yesterday that the number of
investors interested in helping resurrect the Banner has grown from the
initial 12. He did not identify them, but said he expects the
publication to resume by August.
Ogletree also said that both the mayor and Governor Deval Patrick valued
the paper because it offered a unique, local perspective.
"The mayor and the governor have both been very concerned," he said.
"They see the value of it in this community, even though it has been
critical at times of both of them."
Menino said the city loan would be funded by the Boston Local
Development Corp., a private nonprofit administered by the Boston
Redevelopment Authority that has provided similar loans for other
businesses including Boston Common Coffee ($100,000) and Geekhouse
Bicycle Co. ($70,000). The funding will help the newspaper in the short
term while it works with Next Street Financial LLC, a financial services
company based in Roxbury, on a new business plan, Miller said.
Kelly McBride, an ethics specialist who trains journalists at the
Poynter Institute in Florida, said publications that take public money
to fund their operations whether in the form of a grant, loan, or tax
break are risking public trust that they are impartial and independent.
"If they're still getting loan money and this paper is covering the
election, that could get pretty sticky," she said.
Miller said his independence has never been an issue and will not be in
"They say you're compromising yourself," Miller said. "I say, 'I'm
compromising what?' I have lambasted the mayor every way but loose."
Target Market News
Congratulates the Recipients
of the 2009
of the Year
of the Year
LOUIS CARR President. Broadcast
of the Year
CRYSTAL WORTHEM Multicultural Marketing Manager
Ford Motor Co.
of the Year
ESTHER FRANKLIN Executive Vice Pres.,
Director of Cultural Identities
Starcom Mediavest Group
of the Year
President / CEO
"UNDER THE INFLUENCE"
Tracing the Hip-Hop Generation's Impact on Brands, Sports, & Pop Culture
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