Should a bankrupt newspaper be donating fireworks?

A former Baltimore Sun staffer sent a story about the Tribune-owned newspaper’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display donation, along with this comment:

It’s offensive The Sun would buy a bunch of fireworks for the city when it is paying reporters and editors increasingly tiny sums and bleeding parts of the staff through attrition. And it’s really offensive that a MEDIA COMPANY “declined to say how much the media company donated.” How can you ask the people you’re interviewing to be transparent when you yourself are not transparent? Very irritating.

I’ve invited Baltimore Sun Media Group Senior Vice President/Marketing Judy Berman to respond and will post her email when/if it comes in.

Your thoughts on the donation?



  1. While it’s probably a dumb idea considering the low morale, it is a privately owned company.

    No one is forcing anyone to work there. If they don’t like the conditions, they can vote with their feet.

    That said, it probably doesn’t make sense from a business perspective, so why waste the money? Loss, loss.

  2. trotsky said:

    How often have newspaper ad reps told to clients that you can’t cut your marketing back just because of a recession — rather, indeed should sell harder?

    The Sun isn’t setting off fireworks because it has money to burn as fuses. It is doing it so all manner of potential readers in Baltimore will have warm and fuzzy feelings about the hometown paper that really supports the community.

    I know journalists are skeptical of marketing — bless ’em for it. But within reason, and subject to due hard-headed analysis, community promotions are good business.