Michael S. Green (Author photograph) New York: Grove Press, 1993. First Edition [Stated], First Printing [Stated]. Hardcover. xvi, 448 pages. Cast of Characters. Footnotes. Notes. Select Bibliography. Index. Inscribed by the author on the fep. Inscription reads Sheila--You helped me with this book a great deal. Thanks again! Bryan. Bryan Gruley (born November 1957) is an American writer. He has shared a Pulitzer Prize for journalism and been nominated for the "first novel" Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Gruley studied at the University of Notre Dame where he majored in American Studies and graduated in 1979. Gruley has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, writing long form features for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. He worked more than 15 years for The Wall Street Journal including seven years as Chicago bureau chief. With the Journal, he also helped cover breaking news including the September 11 World Trade Center attack, and shared in the staff's Pulitzer Prize for that work, which cited "its comprehensive and insightful coverage, executed under the most difficult circumstances, of the terrorist attack on New York City, which recounted the day's events and their implications for the future." Gruley's first novel, Starvation Lake: a mystery, was published in 2009 as a trade paperback original by the Touchstone Books imprint of Simon & Schuster. It is set in the fictional town of Starvation Lake. The novel begins when the snowmobile of a long-missing youth hockey coach "washes up on the icy shores". Two sequels have followed in the Starvation Lake series, The Hanging Tree and The Skeleton Box. As of May 2013 Gruley is working on a new novel set in a different town with different characters. Gruley writes of the 25-year struggle between the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press--two proud, family-owned newspapers that became pawns in the hands of the largest newspaper chains of our time, Gannett and Knight-Ridder. A tale of greed and power, of Wall Street and the courts. Derived from a Kirkus review: A heartfelt take on two heartland dailies that (following a lengthy battle for local dominance) joined forces after a fashion; by a Detroit News journalist who covered the twisty story's denouement and understands its varied implications. Gruley first provides background on a once-vigorous rivalry between his publication (an afternoon paper) and the Free Press (Motown's morning sheet). While previously profitable, he notes, both began losing big money during the 1980's due to a combination of socioeconomic developments. A 1985 takeover of the News by Gannett (the largest newspaper chain in the US) led to the negotiation of a joint-operating agency (JOA) with the hated Free Press (owned by Knight-Ridder, another fourth-estate colossus). Under terms of such accords, same-city newspapers are allowed to amalgamate their advertising, circulation, production, and allied activities while maintaining separate editorial staffs. By federal law, however, JOAs must be endorsed by the Justice Department—and, after a good deal of acrimonious debate, Attorney General Edwin Meese III approved the News/Free Press agreement. But unions and public-interest groups opposed the limited get-together right up through the Supreme Court, where, in late 1989, they lost their case on a four-to-four vote. Gruley offers tellingly detailed accounts of the roles played by high-profile participants (Clark Clifford, Jack Kent Cooke, Norman Lear, Ralph Nader, Al Neuharth, et al.) and a host of lesser lights in what amounted to a high- stakes game of chicken. He does a good job of reckoning the costs, concluding that Detroit would have been better served if the market had been left to decide which paper was fittest to survive. In the wake of the protracted struggle, Gruley observes, neither paper is equipped to compete with, let alone best, rival media. An informative rundown on an encounter that could prove a watershed in the evolution (or devolution) of America's metropolitan dailies. Condition: Very good / Very good.
Keywords: Newspapers, Gannett, Knight-Ridder, News Media, Detroit News, Clark Clifford, Jack Kent Cooke, Norman Lear, Ralph Nader, Al Neuharth, Supreme Court, Unions, Joint-operating Agency, Coleman Young, James Batten, Alvah Chapman, David Lawrence, Edwin Mee