from Jack Neely in Knox Mercury ...

I still think our basic model can work. It has to.

The Way Forward: The death of print, and the future of local news

danandrews's picture

What could have been...or maybe what could be....

Looking back on it, I really wish Jack Neeley would have taken up the offer from the Focus to meet with Steve Hunley, the publisher. Steve and I had a talk soon after Metropulse was cut and to be honest, I think Jack would have been a perfect fit at the Focus. Steve gave me the go ahead to call Jack. I called him and he never did follow up. One thing that the Focus get's right and to be honest, I really think is untouchable is Ray Hill's political history. My plan at the time was to bring Jack in, get the rights to the archives of the Knoxville Journal and maybe even pick up a sports history writer. It would have been the perfect fit. Jack would have been a mature professional, and level headed guy (unlike me, who looking back on it, was way on the edge.)Neely is much like Steely. He could have brought over some ad accounts. He would have added instant credibility to the Focus and instead of trying to create something from nothing...he could have built on the Focus.Again much like how Steely brings a level of upper credibility to the Focus.

Looking at it now. Interestingly, I think it could still be done. If the Focus, was to buy the biggest assets of the Mercury...Jack Neely and the social footprint (Facebook following and Twitter following) well that would catapult the mainly dormant social media of the Focus rapidly. Which would bring in more readers and sales. Once again, "Neely and Steely" could even do a podcast...most of all it appears the Focus might have the rights to the Journal's archives. Last but not least, with Neely in house, heck Hunley would be able to place the paper on autopilot.

Please note, I no longer work at the Focus. Have nothing to do with the Focus. That being said, I continue to read and support the good quality work that is within the Focus, like Mike Steely, Ray Hill, and Ken Lay. Also note, next week I will be deployed again so if you see me not know why...Dan

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Jack would have been a perfect fit at the Focus.

Okay, then.

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