Online ‘Globe-Democrat’ May Revive Conservative Bent, Too, Says Publisher

By: Mark Fitzgerald

What many loyal readers of the old St. Louis Globe-Democrat most lamented when it folded in 1986 was the loss of a reliably conservative political voice that contrasted with the famously liberal, and much bigger, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Now there are plans to revive the Globe-Democrat as an online-only daily, and its new publisher, Dan Rositano, said in an interview with E&P Tuesday that presenting a conservative voice is “definitely” among the approaches that will be taken by globe-democrat.com when it launches Dec. 8.

“When you take a look at your market situation, and every market is different, that is of course being discussed going forward,” he said. “We’re negotiating with certain voices, certain opinions that haven’t been available to the people here.”

Rositano said he is still assembling a staff for the venture, and that one motivation for the site is “to provide a canvas for these (journalism) professionals to do what they do best.” He counts himself among the many St. Louis area journalists who have lost their newspaper and broadcast jobs in the past year or so. He was laid off in January as director of information and technology at KPLR-TV.

Rositano said he had hired some staff and was “in a lot of negotiations.” The sports editor, he said, will be Rob Rains, who was the Globe-Democrat’s baseball writer when it folded in 1986, and has since been the author of several sports books.

The venture faces a legal challenge from another St. Louis publisher, who asserts he has the right to the Globe-Democrat name. Steve DeBellis has been publishing a nostalgia-oriented paper six times a year since 1995 when he discovered the name had been abandoned. He told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he registered the name with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office in 2000.

Rositano said he could not comment extensively on DeBellis’ claim. “We’re aware of it and we’re working through that at this time,” he said. He said the trademark expired in 1993 and that early this year he applied for a trademark on the name.

As for the financial side of the for-profit site, Rositano said it will have “no one specific business models, but multiple formats in order to diversify.” That might mean “different verticals and product offerings,” he said.

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