Scripps papers mourn loss of famous blue lighthouse under Journal Media


On April 1 E.W. when E. W. Scripps and Journal Communications merge, the group’s newspapers, including  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, will be spun off into a new company called Journal Media Group.

bluelighthouseThe Journal Sentinel will be the group’s flagship paper, but it will not be the only one undergoing a transformation.

So will the 14 daily newspapers owned by Scripps.

The newly formed newspaper publishing entity will have its headquarters in Milwaukee and operate in 14 markets. It will have about 3,600 employees. Over the weekend numerous Scripps papers took note the upcoming changes.

Each mentions the disappearance of the Scripps logo, a blue lighthouse.

One of them suggests the Journal Media Group will have its own flag. That I wanna see.

“We may be losing the trademarked Scripps motto — ‘Give light and the people will find their own way’- but our light will continue to shine on what matters in the Memphis area,” said a story in the Commercial Appeal.

The staff at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times “will pause for a few minutes this week to raise a flag in front of our downtown … office to mark a new beginning. We will replace the Scripps flag with a new one representing the Journal Media Group.”

“I don’t know everything the shift will portend,” wrote David Nelson, editor of the Kitsap Sun, in Bremerton Washington, “but it will let us … do we what we do best … producing newspapers, in print and on digital platforms, and … serving readers and advertisers.”

The disappearance of the lighthouse, a Scripps corporate logo, “from our masthead this week probably went unnoticed by most of you…” But such small changes … are worth noting to describe the large influence the Scripps family and company have had … over the decades, and signal that it’s now the Journal Media Group’s turn to facilitate our continued responsibility to all of you into the future.”

Under the headline “News Sentinel sets a new corporate course,” Jack McElroy, editor of the Knoxville News Sentinel,  wrote that the paper “will bid farewell to the Scripps lighthouse and set sail toward a bright new future. To borrow a phrase: Don’t worry, we’ll keep the light on for ya.”

The bulk of the commentary is behind a pay wall.

In a story without a byline the Memphis Commercial appeal, founded in 1841 and a Scripps paper since 1936, wrote that readers “shouldn’t notice” the change. “The only difference you’ll see is the absence of the iconic Scripps lighthouse logo which began appearing … in 1983. The paper promised continued comprehensive coverage of postseason play by the Memphis Grizzlies and of the city budget, and will publish an investigation on “the city’s fragile financial condition” that “spans 45 years and four mayors.”

Below, the song that inspired the headline on this blog.

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  • jmills

    Very sad, as I got a lighthouse based on the Scripps model tattooed on my wrist before I graduated from college. RIP lighthouse. I hope the motto doesn’t leave with you.

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