The Capital Curmudgeon – Bill Cotterell – Moves On As Gannett Inc. Continues to Cut Local Resources

The Capital Curmudgeon – Bill Cotterell – Moves On As Gannett Inc. Continues to Cut Local Resources

The recent announcement that Gannett Inc. would move forward with another round of employee layoffs hit the Tallahassee Democrat when Bill Cotterell notified readers he would be leaving his post due to the belt tightening.

Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the United States, began another round of layoffs in early December, 2022. Employees at Gannett’s newspapers, which include USA Today and the Tallahassee Democrat, were notified of the cuts as part of an effort to reduce about 6 percent of the company’s roughly 3,440-person U.S. media division.

The layoffs are the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures by Gannett, which in August eliminated about 400 jobs. More spending cuts were announced in October.

In his final column – published on December 9th – Cotterell wrote, “As I expected through rounds of belt-tightening over the last few years, I finally got caught in the wave of staff cuts recently announced by Gannett newspapers. I have no complaints, as I don’t need the income and there’s no point getting mad about the decline of print media. That would be like getting mad at gravity — ain’t nothing anybody can do about it.”

Cotterell began working with Tallahassee Democrat around 1984. His 57-year career will continue with City & State Florida – a new statewide news organization. Jim Rosica, who is the editor-in-chief of City & State Florida, recently announced he had hired Cotterell.

Rosica wrote, “Gannett’s loss is City & State’s gain. When veteran state government reporter and columnist Bill Cotterell announced he was ending his “Capital Curmudgeon” column for Florida’s USA TODAY Network, I grabbed the phone. In his final column in the Tallahassee Democrat, Bill explained that he “finally got caught in the wave of staff cuts recently announced by Gannett.” I asked him if he’d like to move to City & State Florida. He said yes.”

The Gannett cuts are a reminder of the decline in the legacy media and the associated impacts on local journalism.

19 Responses to "The Capital Curmudgeon – Bill Cotterell – Moves On As Gannett Inc. Continues to Cut Local Resources"

  1. I worked fro the Tallahassee democrat for 1 year in their composing department as a paste up artist. This was back in 1999. It had a proud legacy and I was proud to work there. Then they changed publishers, went digital and out the door i went. It makes me very sad to have watched it slowly turn to crap under Gannet and I have only read it rarely if at all the last ten years. Not even for the Thursday grocery coupons. THERE was a time when IT was something. But that time has long passed.

  2. You people should be alarmed by the decline in traditional or “legacy” news media. It is where you get non-biased information–whether you like to admit it or not.

    Like the current Republican party, you can try to hold on to your laughably out-dated dinosaur “conservative” opinions that reality has been pushing back against for decades now.

    Hiding your collective heads in the sands will not help you.

    And cutting off the truth of investigative journalism only helps wrong-doers that will not be exposed.

    But, then you people support white-collar theives like Rick Scott and admitted liars like George Santos, so maybe morality and the truth aren’t your concern.

  3. In response to ‘A Skeptic’. I’m not sorry for Bill because he is part of the reason they can’t get subscribers. Too biased, too expensive – poorly run business – just like our government.

    To the staff at Tallahassee Reports – you are doing a very good job! We sorely need ‘investigative’ thorough reporting that is not biased. There is graft, corruption, and deviant behavior on both sides.

    Thank you for filling a void on local/state news. I see growth and improvement each year and continue to recommend you to my friends.

  4. I had a wonder dream last night.

    The “Tallahassee Democrat” closed its door and went out of business. Someone came along and filled the local news void by opening an independent none-biased, none-woke publication with real reporters who would dig into stories and tried their best to only report the facts while leaving their personal bias out of the articles. The cost for a locally printed paper copy or on-line digital access was affordable by the majority of Leon County residents.

    After many years of only having the “Tallahassee Democrat” newspaper, in all fairness to both major political parties the new local paper was named the “Tallahassee Republican.”

    The I woke up and saw that our local newspaper was still the “Tallahassee Democrat.”

  5. The TD missed or should I say deliberately looked the other way or facilitated corruption. Rosica is a nice guy, but he missed the biggest corruption scandal that has allowed someone to be in a position who should have been disbarred and prosecuted. It set in motion unleashing a chain reaction of detectives, prosecutors, attorneys, and an appellate judge to misuse their positions. Oddly some are still involved in an upcoming high profile case. Either remove the corrupt prosecutors and attorneys or throw the case out. Publisher Pate actually SCREAMED at the victim who was the whistleblower and allowed the whistleblower to be victimized by the process and those who are supposed to protect. Will Rosica ever right the wrong? The lawlessness needs to stop.

  6. The main underlying issue is credibility and bias. Legacy outlets are fading away yes.. but in their place, bought and paid-for spin heavily influenced by governmental and political advertisers are largely filling the void. Schorsch, FloridaPolitics, Alabama Today etc as examples are biased by big money lobbyists and special interest $.

    That’s not good either and we will remain vigilant.

  7. The Democrat is a horrible paper. It’s all about hating the Governor, and anyone that doesn’t hate the governor. It is awful.

  8. There’s an old saying in business regarding excessive cost-cutting: “You can go broke saving money.” This is the case here. Who do you think writes the local stories people want to read, robots?

  9. The Tallahassee Democrat chose their liberal/biased path and they are paying the price. Actions have consequences and they get no sympathy from me.

    Having said that, I liked Bill Cotterell’s columns. About 60% infuriated me but I kept reading them anyway.

    Maybe he will write for Tallahassee Reports periodically. I could support that decision.

  10. Proudly banned from the TDO site years ago by Gabordi for asking questions about relationships with Maddox, Gillum, Pittman, Miller, Ziffer, Fernandez and the rest of the grifters.

    I have zero use or sympathy for the tallahassee democrat.

  11. The internet and technology certainly had/has an impact on the print news industry. However, I think a big part of its decline is due to the bias so clearly displayed by many of them. I’ve dealt with a number of newspaper reporters low these past many years. And to a one, when asked why their stories were not consistent with the reality of the interaction… they all replied something to the effect of “Sorry, I wrote the truth but my editor changed it”.

    Proof of this “bias” impact can also be seen in CNN/MSDNC TV and Website ratings/hits versus FOX TV/Website ratings/hits. So it’s not all the internets fault. The establishment and legacy media has a lower approval rating that Congress… and that’s saying something.

  12. If they delivered the Democrat in a roll fashon with a softer grade of paper and priced each edition below a roll of Charmin I still could not bring myself to support the liberal rag with my hard earned funds just based on principal alone. However the thought of soiling the Democrat in the somewhat smelly process just prior to reaching around behind myself for that courtesy flush does bring a smile to my face. So there’s that.

  13. @ A Skeptic = I agree with you on the Pricing. I used to run lots of Ads in the Democrat’s Classified Section until the Super Jumped their Prices. I remember there Classified Pages were 5 to 6 Pages and NOW they are a Half of ONE Page.

  14. I’m sorry for Bill, but as he implies the newspaper business is a business and not immune to budgetary pressures just as any other business isn’t.

    I had had home delivery of the Democrat for a very long time. The paper had devolved to where the comics, puzzles, and sports pages were the biggest reason to get it. When we moved about 4 years ago I transferred the subscription to the new address. Others on the new street were also getting the paper so it wasn’t a new service area, but when the annual renewal came up the price jumped $200. I said no and haven’t had the paper since. I wonder how many other subscribers just said no due to a crazy price increase and reinforced the need for the paper to examine its business model.

  15. Well, Gannett has been going down hill for a while now. Ever since they stopped printing the Weekly TV Guide small deletions started happening and now no Saturday Paper and no Paper on Holidays. It’s Sad really.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.