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Globe Gazette property up for sale in Mason City at well under assessed value; newspaper’s future uncertain


This news story was published on October 25, 2020.
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MASON CITY – As the American newspaper industry continues to struggle and possibly disappear forever, the Globe Gazette building and grounds in Mason City, Iowa is now up for sale at well under assessed value.

The property located at 300 North Washington Avenue, where the newspaper known as the Globe Gazette has been produced since 1985, was listed for sale on Friday, October 23, 2020 for the low low price of $599,000 by a rank and file local realtor.  Assessed at the much higher sum of $897,450, some in the community whisper that this is a panic sale akin to the run on the banks of the 1920’s and liquidation of all assets in the building is coming next.

300 North Washington Avenue (owned by Lee Enterprises, which owns the Globe Gazette) once teemed with dedicated news professionals. Reporters, editors, publishers, photographers, HR professionals, accountants, print designers, maintenance persons, a grounds crew and many others came and went at all hours of the day and night. Once upon a time, sleek, buff, model-like web professionals modernized the slow-loading, clunky globegazette dot com website and made it the envy of the community and taught management how to do business and look good doing it. They all pitched in to make the Globe Gazette a glowing light in the community and a pillar of truthful reporting.

Reporters should be unbiased and impartial, not coffee mates with elected officials. The Globe didn’t abide by the ethics of journalism and locals took notice.  Now, the Globe needs a new home.  Where, if anywhere, will it move?

But alas, things soon went wrong for the Globe Gazette after about 2006 or so and really fell off a cliff later around October 1, 2010.  Stories became shoddily slapped together with hazy details by lazy reporters who chummed it up with elected and appointed officials. Ads became more expensive with little return on investment.  Talented employees were let go and not replaced.  The Globe’s website became bloated and uninteresting.  Readership dwindled.  Overhead skyrocketed.  The Globe’s reputation became tarnished and some in the community questioned their motives in stories slanted to favor the rich and connected.  Bold competition barged onto the scene and humiliated the Globe and taught local reporters how to do their jobs.  Times got tough for newspapers and the Globe Gazette was not immune to the virus infecting the industry. Little by little, the Globe became sick and frail to the point where it is a shadow of its former self.  Maintenance and grounds employees were seen less and less, later the newsroom became virtually vacant. No more free coffee in the break room. Bonuses for the talented employees who actually produced the news products were scuttled and reserved for arrogant management and salespeople. Many in town began to notice in recent years the Globe Gazette’s ever-shrinking size, razor-thin pages, glaring errors and extremely blurry ads and photos in what is left of the once-proud newspaper that produces nothing on Monday’s.  The Globe’s parking lots and offices became vacant on most days to the point where some folks wondered if anyone actually worked in the building at all.  One apparently poor business decision by LEE Enterprises and Globe management was to foolishly dole out $2 million for a used, “refurbished” Goss Urbanite “offset printer” press back in 2014. After countless blurry newspaper pages were delivered to angry locals craving some decent news, the Globe gave up and had their newspapers

Shoppers in the trash, a sight seen in town many times over the years.

printed out of town.  As times got tougher for the Globe, they began to shed more employees and farm out jobs overseas to foreigners or just ghost positions by cutting long-time workers and leaving the job vacant.  Sometimes they brought those employees back at embarrassing pay cuts.  Copies of the Globe’s Shopper publication were found in dumpsters all around the city or left to rot in the streets.

All in all, the end product at the Globe Gazette – news – has suffered.  It is too costly to produce a printed newspaper in a serious way in Mason City, Iowa.  Most savvy local business owners are too smart to buy print ads, thereby choking the ad revenue out of existence.  All that’s left are the unwitting local municipalities who are forced by outdated state law to pay newspapers to print public notices for the masses who do not subscribe to nor buy nor even have access to a newspaper.  Overhead to run the business cannot be earned, so cuts must be made.  Today, 300 North Washington Avenue is for sale and someone might buy it.  Is a “going out of business sale” next?

Calls to the Globe Gazette about their status were met with a recording.

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27 Responses to Globe Gazette property up for sale in Mason City at well under assessed value; newspaper’s future uncertain

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 26, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    “Once upon a time, sleek, buff, model-like web professionals…made it the envy of the community..”
    ” things soon went wrong for the Globe Gazette after about 2006…really fell off a cliff later around October 1, 2010.”

    Bwaaa, Markwart you pompous jackass.
    They fired your sorry ass in 2006 for incompetence and
    you created this shit hole of website on 1 October 2010.
    I know several people that worked at the Globe when you were there, and everyone of them agreed
    that you were a complete incompetent and a liar.
    You even tried to take credit for other peoples work.
    Even after all these years and you are a still real scum bag.

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      October 27, 2020 at 9:56 am

      Thanks for the snicker this morning, Jesus loves you and so do I! Sorry you are so angry, though. Please re-read the instructions on your mental medication bottles and double the dosage, maybe you will somehow find peace in your life 🙂

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 26, 2020 at 9:43 am

    What do you do when young people do not read newspapers? The only thing people see is what is on their smart phone.

  3. Avatar

    Boss Gobbler Reply Report comment

    October 26, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Too bad, Mason City lost it’s tv station, now it’s daily paper is going down. I moved out of town a few years ago, but would still buy the paper a few times a week. I quit doing that a couple years ago and went Sunday only. Even that paper isn’t worth the $4, not worth $2…..

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      October 27, 2020 at 10:27 am

      The radio stations aren’t worth shit either

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 26, 2020 at 6:11 am

    Horrors!! What’s going to happen to John (silly me) Skipper? I awake every morning craving to read his insightful, brilliant articles on his beloved Downtown Renaissance Project. He was always so very instrumental in promoting the Mason City Chamber Director’s positive views. Now what? Maybe he’ll drift off into the sunset, where he belongs.

  5. Avatar

    former carrier Reply Report comment

    October 25, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    bye Globe bye!

  6. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 25, 2020 at 1:48 pm

    Sell it for $90,000 and open up a corona museum for future generations. Explain how restaurants, bars sporting events, and in class schooling should have been closed till the end of 2020. Now going into the FIRST winter season of the pandemic the surging infections rates are out of control. Making sure in the coming five months it will be particularly brutal. They haven’t even sent the 2nd stimulus out and ALREADY there will be a third payout in March. There will be a state wide shutdown during this time frame. Still not wearing a mask? By spring you’ll want to shave off all facial hairs. Especially in hospitals. The world has changed. We’re not going back. The infection rate should be in the high 20% range in the midwest. Work, grocery shop, then go home. Stay there. Be Safe!

    • Avatar

      realist Reply Report comment

      October 25, 2020 at 5:49 pm

      the restaurant, bar and sporting event people went to work, grocery shop and home.but not if you shut them down, how do they live? Nancy says no to stimulus not enough pork in it.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        October 26, 2020 at 12:19 pm

        Too much Republican billionaire pork in it, that’s why

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          October 26, 2020 at 1:44 pm

          show me

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            October 30, 2020 at 7:23 am

            He can’t, just spewing out of his ass because his head knows better!

    • Avatar

      Marlboro Man Reply Report comment

      October 26, 2020 at 2:11 pm

      Meanwhile, almost half a million Americans die EVERY year from tobacco use. Where is the outrage? That absolutely shadows the corona number of 225,000 of which 90% already had their foot out the door with underlying conditions. If you are scared of corona stay home and let the normal people live their lives. You can put your mask on if you like and hide in mommy’s basement, nobody will miss you.

      • NIT Publisher

        NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

        October 27, 2020 at 10:06 am

        And rules and laws were enacted to contain second-hand smoke so the healthy would not have to breathe the filth the smokers spew (see: smokeless restaurants, stadiums, parks). Who do you see smoking cigarettes… top of the food chain? The outrage is there, it’s been here for decades. The tobacco industry continues to own Southern lawmakers and lobby to keep its business in operation.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          October 28, 2020 at 12:54 pm

          Tobacco is agenda and propaganda, EXACTLY like the corona 19 virus. Political fear mongering

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          October 30, 2020 at 7:31 am

          Smokefree Air Act, July 1 2008

      • Avatar

        mint Reply Report comment

        October 31, 2020 at 10:46 am

        I agree.

  7. Avatar

    Ozzie Reply Report comment

    October 25, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    New NIT world headquarters?

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      October 25, 2020 at 5:37 pm

      Hard to think of a use for that building once it is shuttered for good. Maybe the county can use it.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        October 26, 2020 at 7:29 am

        How about the Matt M. Magazine ????

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        October 26, 2020 at 2:39 pm

        Definitely too large a facility for NIT.
        All you need for that one man dog & pony shit show is something like the size of an old telephone booth.

        • NIT Publisher

          NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

          October 27, 2020 at 10:00 am

          Actually all I really need is a laptop with an internet connection and a cell phone. NIT will always be in business as long as I breathe. In fact, probably soon, NIT will be coming back to local gov meetings and ramping up coverage, so stay tuned for good times.

  8. Avatar

    stale gray cubicle dweller Reply Report comment

    October 25, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Globe’s editor is split between Mason and Waterloo … they have heaped job responsibilities onto the remaining employees to the point where how can these people do a decent job?