Three days after it and dozens of other papers in 21 states were acquired by Retirement Systems of Alabama, the Eagle-Tribune of North Andover posted two job openings on its editorial side: one for a “dynamic sports reporter” and one for an “aggressive local news reporter.”
This is fairly typical and not a clear sign that Merrimack Valley readers can expect amped up coverage; when companies put themselves up for sale they typically streamline expenses and freeze hiring to make the balance sheet look more attractive. Chances are these are positions that have been long vacant and not newly-created positions, and it certainly doesn’t mean they will be immune from cutbacks if the new owners decide they need to trim the balance sheet further.
I’d be shocked if they offer more than $30,000 per year. Along with its sister paper, The Salem News, and a bunch of weeklies, the Trib has been decimated for being too slow to figure out the digital media game. The paper is still read by Merrimack Valley power brokers, but the average resident in the towns its covers is reading the cliff note version of their articles on Patch.
If anyone from the Eagle-Tribune wants to enlighten me or point out the errors in my speculation/analysis, I’m happy to listen and I’ll assure your confidentiality: firstname.lastname@example.org