The Plain Dealer Masters the Non-Exclusive "Exclusive"


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Ever since Susan Goldberg took the reins of The Plain Dealer, Ms. Editor has quickly learned that leading Cleveland largest news operation isn’t as easy as the instruction imply. She baffled readers and reporters alike with her move to soften front page news. And now she’s pissing off competitors swiping a tactic of TV stations: bragging up the non-exclusive “exclusive.” At a December City Club speech, Goldberg announced that The PD had scooped The Akron Beacon Journal when it ran a story on the new Goodyear Headquarters in Akron. Beacon reporters in the audience weren’t too happy with her announcement. After all, the Beacon had broken the news of Goodyear’s $900 million building project in a front page story on November 30. The Plain Dealer didn’t run anything until it posted a “breaking news” item on it’s blog at 4 p.m. that same day. Then, on January 3, the PD ran an interview with Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, labeling it an “exclusive.” Never mind that it’s impossible to have an exclusive with someone who talks to the press nearly every day – or that the Youngstown Vindicator had ran a similar interview just the day before. – Denise Grollmus



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