New publisher at the helm for Gilroy Dispatch - Gilroy Dispatch: Community

New publisher at the helm for Gilroy Dispatch

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Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 6:50 pm | Updated: 8:59 am, Tue Oct 2, 2012.

Chief Executive Officer Tony Allegretti, 67, has officially taken the helm as publisher of the Gilroy Dispatch and its sister papers, the Morgan Hill Times and Hollister Free Lance.  

After living in La Jolla for four years, Allegretti recently settled back down in Gilroy to replace his business partner of 21 years, Steve Staloch, who recently resigned as chief operating officer and senior vice president.

Allegretti and Staloch co-founded Mainstreet Media Group in 2004. The company consists of 14 publications located throughout California and includes South Valley Newspapers – a geographic division within the company that includes the Morgan Hill Times, Gilroy Dispatch and Hollister Free Lance.

After a lengthy and colorful news career spent working in numerous pockets of the media industry, Allegretti says he's right where he wants to be.

“I plan on remaining here as the publisher,” he says. “I like to publish. I started as a publisher, and I miss it.”

He's also happy to be back in the Garlic Capital, an area Allegretti appreciates for the “mix of agriculture with a vibrant growing community,” he said. “You're living in the country, but you're 40 miles from a metropolitan area. This is the perfect place.”

As president and publisher of the Mainstreet Media Group, Allegretti is responsible for oversight of all operations and the editorial policies of the newspaper company.

He praises the local newspapers for comprehensive coverage of breaking, hyper-local and lifestyle stories “better than anyone else.” The economic woes in the newspaper industry are actually on an upward trend, he said.  

“I think it's a wonderful time to be in the business. Everything is going local,” he explains, identifying Internet giants including Facebook, Google and Groupon as moving in the direction of trying to tap into local markets. “We're already there.”

Calling attention to how American business magnate Warren Buffett recently purchased 63 newspapers for $142 million, Allegretti believes “there's a great future in the newspaper business.”

In the same vein as Buffett, who in June told The Daily Beast: “I think we made a mistake in newspapers when we offered the same product online … that is not a sustainable business model,” Allegretti's mantra is on track with other media outlets across the nation.

“Every major newspaper company in America is going to go to paid websites,” he explains. “And we will also.”

Beginning Oct. 1, the Gilroy Dispatch website will ask readers to sign up for a free online subscription, which requires logging in with an email address. The Morgan Hill Times began requiring email addresses before a reader can read a full story in April of this year.

In the future, a “nominal fee” will be required to access certain parts of the Dispatch website. Allegretti wants this to happen as soon as possible, he said.

At that time, current print subscribers will continue to receive their online news for free.

Readers will have the option to buy either a print or an online subscription if they don't want both, or purchase a package that includes a print and online subscription.

“The news isn't free,” Allegretti reasons. “It costs money to gather news, and it can't be given away.”

Allegretti grew up with ink on his fingers – literally – starting when he was a newspaper delivery boy at the age of 7. His family owned the daily paper in his hometown of Watseka, Illinois.

He remained entrenched in the news business ever since, getting his hands dirty in numerous jobs including sports writing, sales, advertising, managing, publishing and group publishing.

Allegretti previously oversaw 44 different publications in Wisconsin, Michigan and Nebraska over a time span of nine years.

Allegretti has two grown sons and twin daughters living in Texas, California and Illinois.

A newspaper's job, Allegretti believes, “is to be the watchdog over government. And that's why our forefathers created freedom of the press. Sure, we're a moneymaking venture, but we have a job to do, and that's to protect people from government and to watch government, and I take that very, very seriously.”

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12 comments:

  • Foekie123 posted at 8:38 am on Tue, Oct 2, 2012.

    Foekie123 Posts: 1

    Great article on a boring subject. We need to know about this guy... why????? Its kinda interesting hearing about newspapers making a comeback though. Newspaper employees across the nation are overworked and underpaid. Now THAT would be an interesting article.

     
  • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot posted at 3:10 pm on Sat, Sep 29, 2012.

    WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot Posts: 9

    LideralsRstupid, for someone who obviously hates the Dispatch (and who has WAY too much free time), you sure post a lot on it's comment section.

    I look forward to paying for access if it helps make you go away.

     
  • LiberalsRstupid posted at 9:28 am on Sat, Sep 29, 2012.

    LiberalsRstupid Posts: 294

    Arbusto why dont you move your sad sack sorry arse to Venezuela or Cuba you stinkin Marxist wannabe... This absurd idea you have about "LABOR" is right out of the Karl Marx playbook and makes you and enemy of American freedom.

    If you dont like your job for whatever reason then QUIT and go find a job you can actually do, like toilet bowl cleaning... But you think Toilet Bowl cleaners should Unionize and demand a 100k year for this valuable technical service.... Thats the problem with Marxism, its for IDIOTS....

     
  • LiberalsRstupid posted at 9:21 am on Sat, Sep 29, 2012.

    LiberalsRstupid Posts: 294

    Yeah, its cost a lot of money to transcribe the "News" from the NYT into your editorials... LOL...

     
  • LiberalsRstupid posted at 9:18 am on Sat, Sep 29, 2012.

    LiberalsRstupid Posts: 294

    Who in their "right mind" would pay to read anything Lisa Theunich has to say?

     
  • LiberalsRstupid posted at 9:16 am on Sat, Sep 29, 2012.

    LiberalsRstupid Posts: 294

    When the media owned a Monopoly on information it used to be easy to push the propaganda and few questioned for fear of media attacks, today with the internet, not so much... Walter Cronkite was a flaming Libtard that did more damage to the industry and America than anyone before or since. We can replace Benedict Arnold with Cronkite as the worst traitor in American History.

    Does this editor think Cronkite was a hero or a zero?

     
  • LiberalsRstupid posted at 9:12 am on Sat, Sep 29, 2012.

    LiberalsRstupid Posts: 294

    Perhaps if the Dispatch online presence wasnt such a terrible product people would actually not mind paying a small fee. Such as the Dispatch is, NO EFFIN WAY...

    We dont need no stinikin JournOlists we need the TRUTH...

     
  • Tony_R posted at 11:08 pm on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    Tony_R Posts: 5

    “Every major newspaper company in America is going to go to paid websites,” he explains. “And we will also.”

    That's one of the reasons why major newspapers in America are slowly dying. Another reason is their penchant for feeding hog swill to the public, their own biased political views, instead of real news. There are plenty of alternative sources on the Web and broadcast radio now that we'll still be able to get all the news we can eat for next-to-free.

     
  • 1jmcg posted at 2:51 pm on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    1jmcg Posts: 3

    Logging in and paying a fee to read the articles? No thanks, on October 1st, I'm done with the Dispatch.

     
  • I'm Bottle Fed posted at 2:47 pm on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    I'm Bottle Fed Posts: 39

    I completely agree with Arbusto !

     
  • GilroyVoters posted at 1:09 pm on Fri, Sep 28, 2012.

    GilroyVoters Posts: 30

    A new publisher or editor is always the moment of truth for a newpaper.

    One can only hope that the Dispatch will actually act like a watchdog of our city and local government.

    There was a time when newspapers and publishers would act like the public watchdogs and hold our government accountable for it actions. Question all that the government did. Gave praise when it was earned and took the politicians to task when deserved.

    Now newspapers are an extension of an ideology. Turning a blind eye to protect their allies and going after those with whom they did not agree with. Facts are a thing of the past.

    So Mr. Allegretti, are you a watchdog for the good of the public or a bias tool? As a watchdog you would gain the respect of all.

    If you are a watchdog then please start by asking the city about the violent crime that we are plagued with. Past efforts and no lead to a decrease. So what are they going to do different this time?

    Crime is the number one concern of residents so it is a good place to start don't you think?

     
  • Arbusto George posted at 8:23 pm on Thu, Sep 27, 2012.

    Arbusto George Posts: 16

    I feel it's time for the south valley and especially Gilroy to have another newspaper, alot of people don't care for the editorial content of the DISpatch and it's slanted poiltical activism and anti labor mantra. IMO!

     
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