Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Lots of things going on lately

There's quite a bit of things that have been going on with me since my last entry into this journal (or blog...or therapy outlet- call it what you will!! *LOL*).

About a couple of weeks ago, I traveled back to St. Louis to join some friends of mine for a trivia competition. For those who don't live in St. Louis, Trivia Nights are a popular fund-raising activity for many groups and organizations. The format is simple: Get together a few friends and buy a table for about $10-12 a head (teams of 8-10 people).

A crack committee or researcher comes up with 10 questions each in 10 different categories. Being St. Louis, you know there's going to be a category or two that's uniquely St. Louis, such as "Where Did They Go To High School" or "They Made it Big" or something along those lines.

A celebrity moderator asks the questions on the big night, and the team with the most correct answers is the winner.

Be that as it may, I hadn't seen these folks in quite a long time - like since I left home to take the job I've got right now. It was great seeing everyone again, believe me.

The best part - we took second place, and we had an shot to win it right down to the finish. It was just one bad category that tripped us up.

Even more important, though, is the fact that several of my friends/teammates told me they probably would have finished lower in the standings if I hadn't been there.

To say that made me feel wonderful would be an understatement.

I miss my friends back home, I really do. One of the things I'm planning on doing this year is trying to find a way to get back home - preferably with a decent-paying job with fairly normal hours.

Which is where this next part comes in: At the start of the month, the company that owns the papers I work for - Lee Enterprises of Davenport, Iowa - bought out Pulitzer, Inc. (the former Pulitzer Publishing Company), owners of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis (the chain I had been working for, in St. Clair County, IL) and other daily papers across the nation.

While it's said another St. Louis institution is being bought out by out-of-town interests, I'm also looking at it this way...

Once the dust settles, this could be a ticket back home for me.

Nothing for certain but we'll see.

Damn, do I miss home. Do I miss my friends. Do I miss the things I did back home.

Maybe soon....


Blogger Kristen said...

Wait wait. So Lee Enterprises is in Davenport (one of the Quads- I am from the Illinois half) and they bought out Pulitzer? Are you serious? That seems kinda wild to me.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Brent said...

That's right Kristen - it took place Jan. 31. Banner headlines in the Post: LEE ENTERPRISES BUYS PULITZER.

It was something like a $1.5 billion deal. Lee is based in Davenport - in fact, they own the Quad-City Times, your major newspaper where you're from. They also currently own the two papers I work for (the Times-Courier and Journal Gazette in Charleston/Mattoon), the Herald & Review in Decatur and the Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale.

With the buyout, they'll also own the Post, all the Suburban Journals on both sides of the river, the 4 precent of the Cardinals that Pulitzer had owned, The Pantagraph in Bloomington-Normal and the Daily Record (I think that's what it's called) in DeKalb.

It's also creating the fourth-largest newspaper corporation (by number of papers owned) in the nation.

Gonna be interesting times, to be sure.

12:42 PM  
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