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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Toyota Story In Cincinnati Enquirer's Backyard: Newspaper Sleeps While Americans Have Died

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Toyota is catching hell for its faulty gas pedals and the company is reeling. Yet the Cincinnati Enquirer appears to be sleeping through the story, even though Toyota's North American manufacturing headquarters is in the Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper's circulation area. What if this was a Detroit automaker with a problem? Guess here is the Enquirer would be all over the story. The Japanese carmaker's offices in Erlanger, Ky., are about 15 minutes away from the newspaper's offices in downtown Cincinnati. The Toyota factory is in Georgetown, Ky., about an hour's drive from Cincinnati. Yet the Enquirer doesn't seem very interested in devoting resources to cover national news in its backyard. Apparently, it hasn't even assigned a reporter to cover the gas pedal crisis. The Enquirer has broken no stories, nor has it developed any new angles or raised new issues. The newspaper has printed a handful of wire stories, but hasn't jumped full bore into covering the Japanese automaker's woes. The Enquirer -- which is owned by the nation's largest newspaper company -- repeatedly boasts to advertisers and readers it is the dominant news source in the region. But boasts can ring hollow. And perhaps there is a caveat. Maybe the region's largest news gathering organization doesn't want to offend advertisers who sell Toyotas. Maybe it doesn't want to offend a major corporation with a headquarters in Greater Cincinnati. Maybe it lacks enough staff to jump into the story. Or maybe it just doesn't give a damn about a major development occuring in its backyard. Of course, that would mean The Cincinnati Enquirer doesn't want to dig for information. And that would mean the newspaper really doesn't care about the interests of subscribers and readers who own Toyotas and want to know what the heck is happening. And that would mean the Enquirer is in the tank.


  1. Bill,
    The Enquirer is in the tank. Is now, has been and always will be. There is a talented staff. There is no leadership. This morning's newspaper, Feb. 1, 2009, did not have one story about Toyota. Nada.

  2. I agree that the Enquirer has a talented staff. I don't know much about the leadership there today. I assume that Gannett, through its Detroit Free Press, is covering the story and that the Enquirer could carry some of it. I did check the paper after your comment. There was nothing about Toyota that I could see. Maybe I missed something, but if there was a story it was not obvious or placed where one could spot it easily.

  3. I have business dealings with Toyota North America and they are engaging in an internal introspection like I've never seen. I certainly don't expect to get any insight from the local rag. The trades and national papers do the best job. This morning, the New York Times shook Toyota upside down to tell the story about how it tried to play down the gas pedal problem. I tried to paste a link here, but your blog wouldn't let me.