What’s In A Name?

What’s In a Name?

Folks,

It has now been 60 days since we launched our efforts to transform Journal Register Company from a collection of newspapers into a true multi-platform news and information media company. And while we have such a long, long way to go, I want to point out the successes to date.

Working with crappy equipment; outdated computers; challenged I.T. – and in some cases lousy pay – it is your dedication, ingenuity and enthusiasm that has created those successes.

You have pushed hard to adopt the new news ecology into your thinking and daily routines and that isn’t easy when staffing levels in many of our locations is just enough to push out the print editions let alone dynamic web sites, Tweets and other digital products. 

Innovation and Enthusiasm

At Montgomery Media, James Myers, Andy Stettler and Ron Dacanay, in just a couple of weeks, built and launched a successful iPhone app for the division – for less than $200. We need to invent a MacGyver award for this kind of quick thinking and innovation to work around our current systems.

Last week, Emily Morris, editor of our weeklies in Souderton and Perkasie in PA, while covering a controversial borough council meeting on a planned electricity rate increase, solicited questions from the community via Twitter. Emily asked the responders’ questions at the meeting and Tweeted the council members’ responses. Using social media, Emily brought the community to the meeting and made them part of the process in Internet time. That’s just plain smart.

Bringing The Outside World In – Harnessing Twitter and Community Media Labs

Our Company’s products have gone from very little use of Twitter only two months ago to more than 12,000 Twitterer followers for the products themselves and many thousands more following our writers and editors.

We are working hard to bring the outside world in to our company and harness the power of the link economy. Our Community Media Labs are up and running. Check out this video of the new lab at The Trentonian  http://www.trentonian.com/medialab/. We are learning to crowd source content and our products are the better for the effort.

 This Company is Growing Again – Audience Numbers and Ad Sales Are Up

As you know, we are the first newspaper company I know of to buy all of our reporters a Flip HD video camera. We have purchased many hundreds of them as well as others for our advertising departments. And it is paying off.

In January, our websites had about 117,000 video streams. The Flips went out near the end of February. In March, we streamed more than 600,000 videos and this month we expect to top 2 million video streams. That’s a lot of effort from newspaper people who are learning on the fly but enthusiastically adopting the new tools of the trade.

All of these efforts have helped drive our online unique visitor traffic by more than 58% in the last month. Even better, video advertising, nearly non-existent 60 days ago, will by the end of next week have paid for all of the Flip cameras we bought. Now that’s hustle.

We are now positively driving total audience and sales. In fact, our Company, and its 324 products, is one of the few, if not the only, newspaper company I know to have higher ad sales this March than the same month last year. And it looks like four of our five state clusters of papers and online sites will be up in advertising this quarter over the same time period last year.  This company is growing again and that success is because of your efforts.

You should all take a bow. You deserve it. More importantly, our success lets us invest in the necessary systems and changes needed to transform this company for the future. And, remember, with profit sharing, we all share in that success.

Is It Time To Change The Company Name?

I end most of these updates by asking you a question. Here’s the latest: What’s in a name? While some of our newspapers have been around since before the American Revolution, the Journal Register Company name is only about 20 years old or so. That name has certain connotations both pro and con.

I am wondering if the name now needs to be changed to reflect our new focus on multiple media platforms and hyperlocal journalism. What do you think? Let me know.

Until next time, John.

179 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. John,
    Just read your latest blog; my opinion: based on what direction you are trying to take the company and our past reputation – change the name. Our local papers have stronger brand identity in our communities anyway.

  2. The story of our company will tell of how we picked ourselves up when the news industry was changing. I say keep the name, keep the story.

    • I’m with Andy on this one. Having survived under the “Ancien Regime” and the guillotine, I still feel loathing when I say “JRC” but if companies and certain countries survive catastrophes with their name intact, why can’t we? It would not be the first time I’ve raised a product up from the mire.

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  4. I agree with Andy Stettler (whose video of the Obama visit, by the way, was awesome).
    This conversation was raised at the conference in Philadelphia and I think it has the feel of Comcast trying to pretend its a new company with Xfinity.
    As a new company, we don’t have any baggage that’s true, but it seems like the difference between what is right and what is easy…(yes I quoted Albus Dumbledore. So shoot me.)
    By staying JRC, our turn-around becomes that much more dramatic. Not only is that an advantage to us but, dare I say it, an inspiration to our industry…”if THEY can do it…”
    Having had the dubious distinction of being one of the first national newspaper companies to go into bankruptcy, think about the narrative we present when some of the achievements noted above are ascribed to us.
    Changing the name seems a little cowardly and underhanded to me. We say we’re going to be transparent and let other people know what we’re doing and how we’re changing for the better and one of the first things we do is try to fool people by changing our name?
    Of course, this is coming from a guy who wanted to change his name to Peter when he was a kid so what do I know…

    • Greater Detroit Newspaper Network just completed a name change to “Journal Register Newspaper Network”. I think that we should keep the name. Our clients and competitors need to see the transformation and all the good things that we are doing…kinda like before and after.

      Alot of people have gone through all the bad things with Journal Register. Let’s give them a chance to experience ALL the good things

  5. You could keep the name, just add Multimedia to it. Journal Register Multimedia Co. You don’t lose the brand name and you put the onus on us to keep producing multi-platform news.

    • I like this idea as well. I think keeping “Journal Register” but adding something like “Multimedia” shows people that yes, we are the same people from the Journal Register Company, but we’re expanding and changing. It would allow the company name to accurately reflect what we are.
      I think adding to the name expresses that we’re not trying to hide the past, but we’re changing for the future. It says we’re not trying to cover anything up or pretend the Journal Register Company didn’t exist; instead we’re embracing the company and bringing it forward and expanding.

  6. Thank you John, on many levels. Thank you for mentioning my coworkers by name (Andy, James, Ron and Emily) for their outstanding and outside-of-the-box thinking. It has been my honor to listen to these people as they have created such wonderful ideas (no, I did NOT play any role in helping them other than to “oooh” and “ahhh” when they showed their brilliance). In an area still filled with suffocating negativity, these people have bucked the trend and have replaced anger with passion and 21st century thinking. They deserve to be singled out for kind words (and maybe a cash prize).

    As one of those people clamoring to excise the ugly JRC name (“Just a Rotten Company” and “JRC, the ‘R’ stands for ‘wrong'”), I agree with Andy and Evan on keeping it. Let’s not try to fool anyone. Comcast’s move is ridiculous and we should show others we’ve been through the war and have come out the other side. Colin, too, has a point. Add Multimedia to it. That’s what we arem after all.

    Lastly, thanks for reminding us that you are well aware of how crappy everything has been and – to a degree – still is. I think that every time I have to work extra hours at my two other jobs just to pay my bills.

    We are doing great work under the cruelest of circumstances, but now it is out of hope and the possibility of a great future, rather than threats and recriminations.

    Oh and if you could tell everyone how great Parents Express magazine is, that’d be really nice, too.

  7. John:

    I agree 100% with changing the name of the company. We need a name that reflects the transformation of a newspaper company to a media company.

    As you pointed out we are off to a good start and the moral has risen beyond all expectations, Let’s keep the momentum ongoing and a name chage would be a move to put the past behind and start fresh.

    A few suggestions are as follows:

    *Inter/Act Media Company

    * JR Multimedia Company

    *Active Media Group

    *MASS Media

    *21st Century Media Company

    *Legacy Media Group

    It’s all in the name and we have embraced our new beginning.

  8. Those of us who “stuck it out” becoming battered bloody and bitter, did’t do it to change the flag, we did it to protect the flag.

    Leave the neame the same, it is what we fought for.

    karl

  9. We should change the name of the company.

    Regarding the Community Media Labs we had 30 peopple attend a Thursday night session at The Oakland Press and have another session coming up. When you add this to our existing Citizen Journalism Program we have more content generated from non traditional sources across more platforms than ever before.

  10. Mr. Paton – Changing the name would be great. JRC’s name is mud in the newspaper industry and beyond. A new name would signal a new start, which is obviously what’s happening under your leadership. Let’s put the bad, old days behind us.

  11. I also agree an updated name for the parent company should be done.
    Keeping part of the name would be a good suggestion. JRC Interactive Media Group has a nice ring to it.

  12. I think a small change would be welcomed.
    I saw something at the Publishers Conference called Journal Register Interactive, which even had a new cool logo. I had never seen or heard that name used before, but I think it would work well for the company name. Journal Register would still come up in any search, and we would not be hiding from our past, but the Interactive part would bring us closer to what we are trying to achieve in the future.

    Journal Register Interactive (JRI)

    Gary

  13. John:
    A name change would definitely benefit us – why?

    1. Removes the old stigma / negative association which can be a stumbling block in
    recruiting the best talent.

    2. There is a psychological and emotional aspect on the part of employees that perhaps would change. When they hear “JRC”, they think of what they lost in benefits when the acquisition occurred, wage freezes, etc. The connotation is normally negative.

    3. A new name would further emphasize the “new beginning” of the corporation.
    New media, new culture, new attitudes, etc.

    Suggestions on name changes:
    Something with the word “interactive, collective, communal, or connected”.
    JR Interactive
    Connected Media Group

    Bob Butkins
    NVO

    PS – Sorry – I posted this as a comment on the wrong article originally.

  14. Change is good. Keeping part on the orginal makes sense. I agree with Evan and Colin. Having a durable brand that is recognizable will give more value to our metamorphosis.

  15. John,
    I would strongly be in favor of a name change. Now with our multiple media platforms I think a new innovative name would spark new interest and help us grow. It would be a positive thing. 
    Bill

  16. John,
    What’s in Name? A lot, if the name has earned a reputation as slow-moving, has negative connotations (Bankrupcy- Chapter 11) or becomes outdated as the business grows and transforms into a multi-platform news media company. What our company stands for should reflect the key audiences today and in the future, while conveying a sense of trust, reliability and strength.

    The company would benefit renaming itself Journal Register Company, to secure its role in the digital news media industry. I do believe that the name matters as an important component of our overall identity, vision, recruiting the best talent and renewed attitudes/energy. Communities will always identify with their local newspaper brand and should; however a national or regional audience requires a name to differentiate from our competition and grow with an emerging media image.

    Thanks for your time,

    ACC
    ____________________________________________
    Annette Cortiana Clark

  17. A lot is in a name – mainly identity on some level. I want to say keep it, because I think, as a journalist, it makes a better story. It’s like how they tell you not to cancel your oldest credit card – you lose your history. But I think we all know in the age of Google, our history will follow us wherever we go.

    At the same time, I wonder how many of those 20 years JRC sucked and was truly heinous. I see no reason to honor that legacy. Let’s buy it a shot on its 21st birthday and send it on its way. Or maybe we just send out a press release apologizing for our teenage indiscretions and let everyone know that we’re ready to act like a responsible adult multimedia news corporation.

  18. Is the brand too tarnished to be rehabilitated? I agree with everyone above who said, we need to show we have improved as a company.

    Exxon survived the Valdez, Coca Cola New Coke

    Time pointed out 10 worst names changes
    http://bit.ly/cN6rkq

  19. As someone with a somewhat distinctive name myself, mulling over a name change brings up a lot of thoughts.
    On one hand when I think of something like Comcast and its new name Xfinity, as a dissatisfied customer of that cable company I only think of “now they can charge us to Xfinity and beyond.”
    But on the other hand, mentioning JRC to anyone always gets that, “Oh, you work for THAT company,” look in response.
    And we DON’T work for “that” company anymore.
    We’re excited about all the change and the forward movement… It’s time to stop looking back and bemoaning how bad the past years have been.
    We must look forward and embrace all of these exciting changes — and a name change seems appropriate.
    Whatever may be chosen has to be active, fresh and reflective of our new focus, commitment and dedication to accountability journalism on every platform.

  20. Hi there, i’m just curious about Andy Sttler’s Obama video. Andy didnt put a link on his name in the post here, so, i can’t find him ;)

    Can yu help? Thks

    Btw, im following the brand “new” JRC story unfolding from… Belgium.

    Keep going guys!

  21. First, I would like to say how much I love the video reports and local ads on Macomb Daily’s website. Very fun.

    It is probably an old saw to you who have been in management or have business degrees, but the idea of looking at the true nature of a company was an epiphany moment for me. About ten years ago, my brother-in-law said “if Grand Trunk Railroad had understood its nature — a transportation company — instead of thinking of itself as a rail road company, we would all be flying Grand Trunk Airways.”

    That true nature idea was exactly what we needed in the newspaper industry. We are not just news and we certainly don’t need to be just on paper! But co-workers don’t like change and management is so this-week’s-bottom-line oriented they never want to look one or five or ten years down the road.

    Well, the road has just jumped up and met us! Smacked us in the face! So I have played with many names to reflect the true nature of our business–providing information.

    Lots of ideas are not available for websites but two not only are available, but refer to JRC’s website within five suggestions on Google. So I suggest Journal Information Company and Journal Reference Company. (I liked Vantage Point better, but it comes up John Deere tractors.)

    We used to be the first place people would go to for movie and TV guides, sports scores and news, coupons and sales, funnies and advice columns, obits, crossword puzzles, garage sales and help wanted and real estate ads. . .so many things beyond the local and national news. Daily papers used to help us manage our lives. I would have to visit dozens of websites to get this same information. That is not manageable. But the arrogance of our profession keeps squeezing as much news as possible on the home page screen and puts almost impossibly small print in the menu bars that list all the information we really want to access.

    So, along with the name change, I am hoping for a home page change that provides all the information we seek within two clicks from a menu that reflects the importance of our customers’ interests.

    Respectfully,
    Linda Lee Addis
    Classified Advertising Representative
    Macomb Daily, Daily Tribune,
    Advisor and Source Newspapers

  22. When I moved to the city desk in 2006, I called a mentor of mine to help me come up with ideas on how to change from a cemetery (news that happened yesterday) to a time machine (news on the horizon).
    The first question he asked what company I was working for. He immediately started humming the Darth Vader theme (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bzWSJG93P8). Then told me there were plenty of other companies out there which could better use my skills (and he worked for Gannett at the time).
    I believe the ‘Journal Register Company’ name is nearly impossible to get around inside the business.
    Do readers care? I don’t know. Those who follow the ins and outs of newspapers (and those who work for newspapers) certainly do.
    A name change, while strictly cosmetic right now, might be a good way to smooth over some of the bad feelings inside each office.
    Of course, it wouldn’t go as far as providing computers (laptops?) for each reporter that can actually access the Internet (let along Facebook, Twitter, etc.) That, though, might be a discussion for another time…

  23. It warmed my heart to read these comments – especially how many would like to keep the name. Having worked for JRC for 8.5 years, I was always proud of my affiliation with the company even when the reputation was at rock bottom. I always admired the many hard-working and dedicated employees that work for JRC like Bill Higginson, Betsy Wilson, Shelley Meenan, Jim Williams, Frank Gothie, Amie Gallagher and so many others. Now Journal Register is getting a lot of positive press; I too say keep the name or add Interactive to it. Let the world see how this company can be transformed. Let JRC be the model for the rest of the industry.

  24. The most obvious name for our company to me is Local News Media. Now when I tell my friends that I work for Journal Register Company, I have to explain to them what business the company is in. I think that the name Local News Media is pretty self explanatory.

    • I too find I have to explain to people what the company does. Most think that “Journal Register” refers to one specific newspaper and since there is no local paper by that name, they are confused as to where we are located. Generally people are sympathetic upon hearing I work for a newspaper company because even if they don’t know JRC’s history, they have heard that the industry is in a bad state.

  25. Dear Mr. Paton;

    After receiving your email about our strides as a company and the progress in our other facets other than print media, I have thought about a name that best exemplifies our company. Some companies make a drastic change in their brand name and it works, but sometimes it is the downfall of their business. It all depends on if it is the right time to make that move or not. In the case of our company, I personally believe that this would be the right time to make that change. With a new CEO at the helm and changes we, as a company, are making, this would be a great time to transform our company with the perfect name and brand. I really have thought about this and have come up with a name that I think best fits are movement on the multimedia front.OnWard: A Multimedia Group. . I am throwing out a few ideas and am working on a logo for this name and will email you as soon as it’s done.

    Sincerely,

    Justin Sobotka
    Multi Media Sales Representative

    610-272-2500 EXT. 271

    jsobotka@timesherald.com

  26. Hello John,

    I must say that the direction this company is taking excites me very much. When I started exactly 1 year ago today (happy anniversary to me) I was concerned to say the least. The company was dealing with massive changes to the work force and I wasn’t sure about the longevity of my time here. Now I feel secure and blessed to be a part of this transformation. Your leadership has been the key to building confidence in JRC. Thank you for tackling such an extreme task.

    Here at the Morning Sun we have taken your direction and immediately started using those good ideas. Flip cameras have added something so different to advertising and reporting that we are now considered the only authority on news in our area. Using Twitter and Facebook have increased the value to our customers. I, being the Yahoo! Hotjobs Specialist just started Tweeting every new help wanted ad featured on Hotjobs. Not my idea but still a good one. I feel the community will view us as being pro-active in helping the unemployed find jobs, especially in this dumpy economy. Thanks again for those innovative ideas.

    As far as the name of the company goes, I personally would love to see a change. Something that denotes more than print products would help us get over the proverbial hump. I have some suggestions. “Apex Media Group” AMG. Cutting edge reporting tactics and advertising methods have set us apart from the main stream. Similar ideas “Pinnacle Media Company” PMC. “American Media Products” AMP. “Summit Information Network” SIN (not sure about the acronym but could be edgy in a good way). And this is my personal favorite “Not Your Grandmas Newspaper Anymore” NYGNA.

    This is just my $.02, but hey after all, you asked for it. J I hope we get a chance to meet in the near future but until then I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Since their is so much change inthe air, why not change the most visible part of who we are: NAME.

      I am VERY much in favor of American Media Publications (not products). It captures the fact that we are multimedia but we still are excited aboutp print. And the patriotic flair also appeals to me.

      .02 given!

  27. Hi again, just wanted to add some thoughts. Im an employee of a belgian media group. I read a tweet about a Jeff Jarvis presentation, decided to watch it, and here i m, following your progress, the way your company is changing, the tools and ideas.
    So great to do it OPENLY.
    About your company name, i dont have any tips to give. But i’m not sure a change is needed. People know JRC because it failed (at least, that s how i imagine it, reading your comments). It’s now time for people to know JRC as a good company, one that goes forward, that brings change, that interact. the New JRC ?

    Keep the faith in what you do!

  28. There is a saying…
    Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place. … New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort. … The most familiar people stand each moment in some new relation to each other, to their work, to surrounding objects.
    – Henry Ward Beecher
    You Mr. Paton are changing us, forming us (employees) into a community that now is social, trending, exploring and adjusting. All the change you have brought forth is awesome! Change the name, how about…

    Interactive Media Community (IMC)
    Social Streaming Media Community (SSMC)
    Optimized Multi Media Company (OMMC)
    Kaleidoscope Multi Media Community (KMMC)

  29. Hi John,
    I think we should be Journal Register Media Co.
    Since the New Haven Register is the flagship, I would prefer to keep Register in the company name.
    I have been at the Register for almost 32 years and am happy to see we are a 24-hour media company again. Best part is, we don’t have to save the news until the next day’s paper.
    Ann

  30. I say keep the name. Be like Phoenix rising from the ashes. I think the biggest compliment our company could ever receive is when an employee is asked what company you work for and you say Journal Register and they say Wow, How did you get that job? What a great company to work for. Moral would soar.

  31. Wow. Of all the questions I’ve been asked by John and others, this is the toughest one of all. Sure, those of us who have worked for JRC for any number of years know and remember all of the negatives. It hasn’t been a totally pleasant ride. Now here comes one of my many sports comparisons, stories, nostalgic looks … When I coached one of my first ice hockey teams we flat out stunk. We knew we were horrible. So should we have changed our name? It would have made us different on the outside but the same team nonetheless. But what we did was work harder, smarter and out hustle everyone else. No, we didn’t win a championship that season but by the end we earned everyone’s respect. We COULD change the JRC name. But what would that really say about us as a “team”? I agree with those who suggest to tweak our name — Journal Register Media Co. sounds nice to me as well. It keeps Journal Register and lets people know we’re more than just about newspapers. Contrary to a lot of reports, my friends in the business outside of West Chester are seeing a change. They see the Facebook and Twitter efforts, they see the tons of video, the Media Lab, the bloggers and they sense the new attitude. I believe that the change in how and what we do can be just as viral as any social network. Does anyone believe that the Inquirer and others aren’t watching what we are doing? Trust me, they are. I and others here in West Chester are for the first time in a lot of years, proud to say we work for JRC. We are at last the leaders and not the followers. We are proactive, not reactive. We are setting the trends, not following them years too late. I think the Comcast example is terrific. I am a Comcast customer and I have zero respect for their latest campaign. Xfinity. Yeh, right. I vote to keep the JRC name with some minor tweak. We should all be proud of our company and the fact that we’ve remade ourselves. We are riding a wave while the others are still standing on the beach. Let them eat our dust for a change.

  32. Hello John,

    I say leave the name as is. Most readers of our newspapers don’t know or care who our parent company is so it won’t really matter at that level.

    As far as the industry goes, we have made the same mistakes as everyone else. We just made them first, and probably made them worse than most.
    We made them as JRC, and when we turn our company around as JRC, it will have a more profound impact and make a stronger statement on our place in the industry, in my humble opinion.

    For the longest time, we’ve been the bastard child of newspapering as JRC. We should, I think, brag about the fact we’ve taken the bastard child and turned it into something to be proud of under the same name.

    Why try to escape our past? We can’t. Nobody can.

    Jim Franco
    City Editor
    The Record, Troy NY

  33. Andy nailed it.

    Tweak the name to reflect our multi-media focus, but keep it. The time to change it completely was on day 1 as a symbolic fresh start. What matters is what we are doing, not what we call ourselves.

  34. Since the company is changing for the better, the obvious thing to do is change the name of the company for better. It’s that simple.

  35. What’s in a (new) name? A powerful signal of true change. To reflect the company’s new media ecology, why not solicit specific names through the social media, choose the best three and let the social media democracy vote and make the final choice? Personally, though it’s a division of the company, I think the term JRC Interactive sends the right message.

  36. I vote for Journal Register Interactive. “Keep the name, keep the story” of the company that transformed itself, but change to Interactive to note the transformation. “Interactive” describes a new way of working externally with audience and a new way of working internally with employees, as well.

  37. John,

    I think changing the name would make a statement. That the company is in fact open to change and that we are evolving.

  38. John: Naming the company something like, “NewsPartners” (you’ll need to buy the domain name) would reflect the participatory aspects of the changes that the new company is embarking on. Or “Newshare” (maybe Bill Densmore will sell you that one:). All the best – Bernie

  39. Let’s tweak the name. I like the suggestion for Journal Register Interactive (JRI).

    We didn’t just get the eye rolls and sympathy pats when JRC bought us, we actually had one columnist from another outlet editorialize on how horrible JRC is and how lucky his paper was to not have the same fate as ours …

    If I were to run into that columnist today, I’d like to say, “It turns out the whole JRC purchase worked out pretty well for us after all. Have you heard the latest?”

    And I’d be happy to fill him in on the new JRI and how excited we all are. Thank you, for that.

  40. My first thought was, NO! Don’t get rid of “Register”! My second thought was, I don’t remember what “Journal” stood for, and most readers probably don’t know the origin of the name at all. So I thought, sure, change it: Lightning Media Co. or something jazzy. Then I read a lot of these comments. I find the arguments against changing the name interesting. The idea of not trying to hide under a new identity is cool. Let’s have pride in what we’re doing. And I don’t want to be referred to as “21st Century Media, the former Journal Register Co.” in every news report (like “Xe, formerly Blackwater”). Comcast is changing its name but not changing its approach, apparently. When I close out of a DVR program now, my TV is muted until I change the channel! So I think reflecting a new approach is good. So my vote right now (subject to change based on hearing others’ good ideas) is for “Journal Register Multimedia.” It keeps our identity while adding something to show our new direction. Just please don’t make it JRC Multimedia. I hate names with initials that stand for something that no one except insiders know. And it’s impersonal. So: Journal Register Multimedia is my vote!

  41. I think it would be pretty “neat” to definitely stress Multimedia within the name somehow. So maybe something like…..

    “Resourceful Multimedia Association or Company”

    Or something like…

    “Intermedia Resource Company or Association”

    Just a thought…

    It is very direct, I know…..could even sound a little “dumb” to some BUT maybe that is how it should be (not necessarily dumb) but rather than leaning on the more indirect side?

  42. Sucessful branding of a product or company takes a very long period of time. That being the case, it would be to our best advantage to keep the name (or a version of it) and continue working on changing both the reputation and the image.

    It appears we’re well on our way!

  43. I couldn’t be happier with the movement forward we’ve taken, beginning with getting flip camers into the hands of the writers and advertising consultants.

    I, too think a name change is due. Journal and Register seem very old fasioned terms. Register makes me think of the County Deeds office, and journal is what you keep in a writing class. Seems like we need some forward moving title. But something short and sweet, easy to remember.

    Linda Kunkel
    Administrative Assistant

  44. What would Google do? Concentrate on the conversation with the audience. What they think of us will make more difference than the name. The old name connotations had to do with a culture and business philosophy that are gone. If we adopt a business plank of “do no evil” we will be a very different entity. The name will acquire a different reputation with our audience. Changing the name seems like a marketing move.

  45. The cost to make the changes on all print and online material would be an added expense, that at this point in time I think we need to keep expenses down.

    I say keep the corporate name but add a “motto” to all new printed materials.

    That could be another question to ask everyone to come up with a company wide motto.

    “Delivering News into the future” (hey, I’m a programmer)

  46. The question is, if you want to continue on the same old path of being referred to as a newspaper company, then keep the name. If not, change it.

    The Journal Register Company name is fraught with negative connotations and is known for wiping out newsrooms and sacrificing product for the sake of the bottom line. JRC brought us down the path to bankruptcy because it was unwilling to transform and accept that change was imminent.

    We are no longer Journal Register Company — we have morphed into a new dynamic and transparent company so change the name to reflect who we are today and who we want to become tomorrow.

    My suggestion: Novus Media (Novus Latin for New)

  47. John: We are a new company doing new things using our past outstanding ability to gather and provide news about our local communities. I think a name change that provides something new and simplifies but retains some of the old is called for: Journal Media Co.

  48. I agree with many of the comments. But, why waste the time and money to change the name and instead use this money to better what we already have and improve the product, facilities, staffing, etc. By doing these things we are improving are name.

  49. In 1959, the Chester Times changed it’s name to Delaware County Daily & Sunday Times. 51 years later, some of our customers still write checks to the Chester Times, and call us by the same name.

    Changing the name would help reflect a fresh start, but it won’t change who we were and who we are striving to become.

    I like the previously stated “Journal Register Interactive”, same but different.

  50. I find myself ambivalent with respect to re-branding. Businesses routinely change their names in the course of marketing. From a business standpoint it may be a smart move in our case, we are trying to be a different entity all together and changes have already been implemented. From a personal standpoint, though, I’d love to cheer bravery. This company earned its negative reputation. Wouldn’t it be sweet if JRC owned its name while it worked to earn a better one?

  51. Names mean a lot. Our name only has 20 years or so of history, but it’s icky history with an almost painfully neutral name – Journal Register Company.
    We went through bad times, and are coming out the other side, and should remember that.
    So, sure, I agree it should be changed, but I would go with those who say, add Media or Multimedia to Journal Register.
    It’s not exactly snappy, but it’s clear.

  52. I think a name change will help with attracting new employees. It may also help current employees that have weathered the storm feel the sunshine of a new day.

    I don’t know how much it would help with readers/advertisers, because the name they see is that of their local paper. But as the company improves and more feet hit the street our products will improve and expand. That is the important change the readers and advertisers will want to see.

    Though, I will have to get new business cards… :D

  53. found online: “(Name change) can bring growth. Since Kodak dropped the Ofoto name, the online service has grown from 18 million to 25 million users…good news for a well-known and loved brand name that’s facing an uncertain future.” If I stopped an average Oakland Press reader on the street and said, do you know what the Journal Register Company is, I would bet they would shrug. I don’t see how changing the name would hurt. I would love it if the name sounded futuristic.

  54. If you started producing cars today would your flagship model be a Yugo? Based on the history of that vehicle my guess is no. It’s been nearly 20 years since the last Yugo was imported to the US and the stigma has not faded.

    Think of the Publisher and Director positions that remained dark for years at a time because no one wanted to work for JRC.

    I say change it and change it all. Keep nothing that even remotely resembles J, R, or C.

    This is our new company with a bright future and to me it’s a Ferrari, not a Yugo.

  55. Leave the name the same, and prove the connotations wrong. A great satisfaction would come from showing the world the new direction and success.

  56. I second Al Frattura’s motion of a name change!

    I believe that, while being a relatively youthful addition to the company, we are in a changing age, which means we should fully embrace what the future of the newspaper business has to offer.

    Although JRC does hold excellence throughout its many publications through its historical years, it also holds negative connotations.

    We as a company are experiencing a full-throttled facelift and a new name would allow for us to be freshly seen in a new light — all while not dismissing the accolades of each and every publication in the company.

    I support a name revamp 100%!

  57. I would like to start off with thanking you Mr. Paton. You have brought this company many changes that have been long overdue. And given the employees hope for a better future.

    As far as the name change goes, I have conflicted thoughts. I realize that the JRC name is associated with a negative reputation in many of our communities but part of me agrees with many who think we should not hide from our past but instead be proud of how far we have come.

    The other part thinks we do need to update the name to include the multimedia. But I do not think we should change it entirely!

  58. I was initially of a mind that we should change the name, but after reading some of the comments here, I’ve warmed up to Journal Register Multimedia Co. It acknowledges the company’s history (which isn’t going away no matter what we call it), but also embraces how we have changed.

  59. I haven’t been around long enough for the name “Journal Register Company” to send shivers down my spine, but I certainly have heard enough stories to understand why some folks have that reaction. However, I think completely changing the name and getting rid of all reference to Journal Register Company would be overlooking all of the hard work everyone has been putting forth to make a change for the better. I agree that a good choice would be to modify the name to include some part of Journal Register Company or JRC, but also to add reference to the changed atmosphere and forward-thinking, multi-platform focus. It’s not the same-old JRC any longer and a name “modification” could reflect the focus for the future, but also respect the past and the journey we’ve taken to get to this point.

  60. I also agree with changing the name. Our name says everything about who we are and what we do. I don’t believe that the name Journal Register Company reflects all that we are and will be. Our name should reflect that we are focused on local news and multi-media news.
    There have been so many changes over the past few months, all for the better. The new initiatives have come with challenges but meeting these challenges are so well worth the time and energy we are putting into our products and service.
    We have heard so much doom and gloom for the future of newspapers. Newspapers are what I love so the lose a newspaper is like losing a child for me. I have experienced this twice before and feared I would experience it again, being an editor of a small weekly community newspaper as were the other newspapers that failed to succeed.
    These changes, these new initiatives, this new way of viewing newspapers has brought me so much hope and motivation. I could cry for happiness and gratefulness.
    Our name should reflect that we have grown and transformed into something so much bigger and better than what we could have possibly imagined before. I want to shout from the mountain tops that newspapers are not going anywhere. We are here to fight for what we love and what our communities need and want. How better to shout all of this than in a new name?

  61. I’ve been thinking about a name change that would somehow represent the transformation this comapny is going through. We talk a lot about the new ecology of news, how news is now a process and the fact that we are more of a 24/7 information resource than a Sunday a.m. headline. So some of the names i thought of were as follows:

    Eco news systems

    Transformedia Inc.

    New Vision Media

    Chrysalis Media (incorporate a butterfly into logo)

    Synthesis Media

    Modern Media Inc.

    Syncronews Systems

    Maybe I’m thinking too “out of the box” but i thought these names could represent our transformation.

    C. Troszak

  62. We should change the name of the company and move forward.

    Here’s a quote from JKF that sums up change: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future.”

  63. Rebranding the corporate identity is superficial. It’s like iPad — many people thought it was a terrible name when announced. A sanitary napkin. The product is transcending and transforming the name in the public consciousness. We can do the same thing with JRC. And, quite frankly, there are ancillary costs associated with changing a name — every penny should be put into making our tools, personnel and, hence, product better.

  64. A new name will indicate a fresh start. None of us want to hide the past, but embrace the future. Sometimes fresh starts change perspectives and outlooks and we’ve already started to implement positive change.

  65. It seems like a name change could be expensive — new logos to be designed, new business cards for everyone etc. — and that the money could be better spent elsewhere. I think a name change should be a little lower on the list of JRC’s priorities than say replacing the broken computer systems and paying the employees a living wage.
    A name change might serve the company well… in the future. But has the company really changed enough to warrant it already?

    Just my little two cents.

    • I agree with my colleague on this one. Changing the name of the company would be, in my view, little more than a placebo designed to make employees feel that things are different, when, in fact, nothing is changing. Resources can and should be better allocated.

      The most pressing issue that I see facing our newspaper, and, I assume, other JRC properties, is the constant turnover of staff who can only afford to work for minimal wages for so long before they are forced to turn to other opportunities where they will be fairly compensated. Our staff is worth more than they are being paid.

      That’s to say nothing of our woefully outdated IT platforms.

      Invest in our workforce and IT and JRC can become a proud name worth keeping.

      Andrew J. Bernstein
      Sports Editor
      The Saratogian

      • Andrew, I can see how this may look like more the talk of change rather than real change yet. It’s early but let’s look at the last 60 days. Flip cams for every reporter in the company. In some cases new laptops in divisions that needed them. About a $100,000 spent there but only a drop in the bucket of the many millions needed. I just received this week the report from the I.T. consultant I hired to figure out just how big our I.T. problem is. The short answer: It’s a big problem. I said we would deal with it and I will.
        As for investing in the workforce, I agree, in many cases the pay sucks. I announced a profit sharing plan my first day of the job. There’s a lot more to do there but it’s a start.
        We have also had more than 1,000 employees attend webinar training sessions. Again, there is a lot more to do but it’s a start.
        I’m sorry you don’t see change happening yet but I am certainly more sorry you think me talking about it is some kind of scam.
        You’ll just have to keep watching what I do and judge for yourself. That said, don’t you think us having this public exchange shows some kind of improvement? Regards, John.

      • John,
        Thank you for your reply. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that I don’t see change happening — one would have to be asleep to have missed the positive changes occurring here — what I do believe is that changing the name of the company (and a company-wide blogversation on the topic) feels, to me, like a distraction from other problems.

        The point of my original comment is to highlight what I see as real problems we are facing as a company. I don’t think our name is one of our problems. Change it or don’t, but please keep us focused on improving our products by increasing our resources, or helping us work better with what we have.

        Thank you very much for the update on your IT consultant’s report, I look forward to reading more about your plans regarding IT in the near future. And, of course, the pay sharing program is an exciting opportunity that I hope will be in place before we see more of our talented staff leave this building.

        Thank you again for your reply, AB

        P.S. “Scam” is your word, not mine.

        P.P.S. Yes, discourse is good.

    • I completely agree with this. As exciting as a name change might be, I’d rather see the man power, resources and money spent on the computer issues. As a production manager, I can’t even begin to describe how frustrating it is to be working in Photoshop 6 and Quark 4 while the rest of the world is sending you camera-ready ads made with CS4 and InDesign — ads that will not process properly with our outdated technology and thus bringing our print quality down. This is only going to get worse as Adobe is planning to release Creative Suite 5 in the near future: when people start sending us ads created in CS5, what happens when we cannot open them? We’re going to lose revenue because no one will want to advertise with us. It’s already embarrassing enough trying to explain why a client’s ad has printed muddy in our papers but no one else’s and looking for a nice way of explaining why we’re stuck using programs that are a decade old.

      This, among others, is a change I’d like to see before a name change. Some great changes have been made on the editorial and management ends, but I haven’t seen much going on with getting the production departments help. (I’ve heard some offices are still running Mac OS 8.6.).

      • Earlier I said I was ambivalent. This exchange, and your recent post, Mr. Paton, about critiquing our content has changed my mind in favor of keeping the name for the reasons Mr. Bernstein described.

        If content is king, as you say, all available resources should be spent there.

        I am also concerned about Mr. Paton’s response in interpreting Mr. Berstein’s opinion. Mr. Bernstein never said or implied talking about this was a scam. Dissent is discourse, too. Mr. Bernstein’s words were cogent ones not fighting ones.

  66. How about we go the way of Kentucky Fried Chicken? They were kind of in the same boat in that people didn’t want to associate with “fried” anything so they simply went with KFC.
    I’m proposing JRC Interactive.
    We’re throwing out the grease, but keeping the good stuff.
    OK, that probably wasn’t as elegant as it should have been…

  67. We absolutely should take advantage of this opportunity to rebrand ourselves both for public perception in our markets and for the continued upswing in employee morale. We have been promised change before. You Mr. Paton are turning people into believers! Most of the folks I have spoken with here in the upper part of the “mitten” agree.

  68. I’d like to suggest the name Phoenix Forward Media. The Phoenix is a symbol of rising from the ashes and prevailing in a new life – much like JRC. Putting “Forward” after Phoenix means we are flying into the future strong and our one goal is progress – soaring forward.

  69. Forget the negative context that comes with “Journal Register Company” – the name alone strikes me as dated and rigid.

    I cannot agree more with what seems to be the emerging consensus- the old name needs a new sheen. Shake the trees, but don’t burn down the forest.

    Didn’t see any name suggestions in this dialogue here that really grabbed me; but something to the effect of JR Interactive, I think, is what we should be after.

    On a local level: Here at The Mercury, we’ve been tinkering with plans for a promotional campaign that encompasses this whole discussion of re-branding ourselves as a multi-faceted, all-media property. Hooks we’ve been batting around:

    *Start Here.

    *Press Play.

    *Do what other media can’t – Everything.

    -Chris March
    Promotions/Marketing
    The Mercury

  70. I’m not a fan of Multimedia in the name. I know that’s what we’re trying to add to our product but the noun just feels impersonal to me.

    Journal Register Interactive is something I could support. A change to NewsNow, though, while exciting, could be seen as too desperate an overhaul – and I agree, the flag has been protected, now let’s fly it.

    Thanks for asking us, John.

  71. John,
    I agree with some of the others here in that I believe it would be great for JRC to become associated with excellence in journalism and have the industry watch as we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and become a model for others.

    – Tom Caprood
    Digital Specialist
    The Record
    Troy, NY

  72. I feel we are recovering for a low spot in this industry and we should keep part of the JRC name but add to the name.

  73. John —

    Change is good, especially when it comes to changing JRC’s name.

    How about something like “OutsideInMedia.”

    Isn’t that our mission — to bring the outside in?

  74. John,
    I’ve been with this company for 10 years. I remember when we were purchased by JRC and I vote – change the name.

  75. John,
    Long time reader, first time commenter.
    First I’d like to applaud you for taking such a hands on, personal approach to JRC. Second, even more applause for considering the most elusive of animals: change.
    As much as I’d like to echo Al Frattura’s comments, I’d just as much like to argue that we have not fully changed yet.
    As an emerging multimedia company, we have unlimited potential, as we are more or less paving the way with multifaceted user-friendly news.
    We have not finished in the transformation process, we should not stop here; we should keep going.
    I really like the tired cliche of “It’s all in a name” so let’s not stunt our growth with a name that reflects what we are now.
    Our name should reflect unlimited potential and the untamed future of journalism and community media.

  76. John:

    Absolutely a perfect time for a name change. Unfortunately, many people associate negatively with our current company despite the climate change that has occurred. So my idea will be very simple, since we have a JRNN, what about JRMM (Standing for Journal Register Multi-Media)

    You can add company at the end if you want to but this reflects where we are headed as a multi-media company.

  77. John,

    First, I want to thank you for keeping all JRC team members participating in these important discussions. Your guidance, enthusiasm and drive will change JRC into true Multi-Media Company soon. I agree that we should add Multimedia into the JRC name as per so many suggestions.

    I would also like to give another suggestion for the JRC name change to “UR Multimedia Partner”.

    Best Regards,

    Neelam Chopra

  78. I don’t think we should completely change our name. For those of us who have been with JRC for sometime, there is some
    sentiment attached. With any company, there are good times and bad. The fact that we have survived, says something about
    us. The fact that things are looking up, says something about us. Not to mention the fact, that our name identifies us in the
    publishing/printing business.

    I would suggest a fresh spin on our name. Something that updates our appeal.

    One more note. Thanks for keeping us in the loop; and for all the changes that are moving us forward!

    Regards,

    Kathie Del Rosso
    /Vice President/InterPrint

  79. “What’s in a name” is the question. Well, Romeo realizes the answer is “very little.” A rose would still smell as sweet if it were called “wet dog flower” (I paraphrase, of course).

    As a gesture, changing the name might be nice. But that’s about it — nice, but not substantive. A name change without substance behind it would be pointless.

    In my mind, we shouldn’t put the cart before the horse. Let’s talk about changing the name to reflect a new image reinforced by reality, not just intention. Let’s change the name to reflect what the company HAS become, not what the company WILL become.

    Jordan Fenster
    jfenster@registercitizen.com

  80. Outside observer here: As a marketing/branding geek I must say I have seldom if ever seen a more rapid transformation of reputation than John has brought to JRC. To test whether a name change is a necessary step, answer this question: If the name changed but the old leadership were still in place, would that have helped change the company’s old reputation? No, of course not. It’s not the name, it’s the leadership.

    About adding the word “interactive:” Five years from now including that word in any media name will seem entirely redundant and quaint. What media won’t eventually be interactive by necessity? I say keep the name as is, or add the word “media” if the majority feels that’s necessary (not sure I agree but I’d love to hear the case made).

    So IMHO, your current name no longer limits you in any way. Congratulations on creating the new JRC.

  81. Do it. Change the corporate identity to reflect our new direction then connect that brand more clearly and consistently with the individual enterprises.

    I suspect that very few Trentonian readers have any idea of other markets we serve, our current and future plans to serve them better, and why we think this matters. Make the name change just one part of the new way we relate to our communities.

  82. Wow. It’s awesome to see so many responses on this.

    I vote for changing the name completely.

    The name “Journal Register Company” hasn’t even been around that long, and even despite the negative associations, it doesn’t really say anything about what we are becoming.

    I don’t know exactly the wording, but I like Karl’s suggestion that the name reflect openness and empowerment of readers and community voices rather than the one-sided, closed-process of us producing news for others to consume.

  83. Actions speak louder than words, and I think our actions across the company are speaking loudly. I said to some of my co-workers at the Philly conference and upon my return: JRC produced scowls among our colleagues in its previous incarnation, but now all eyes in the industry are on us (or will be).

    I say keep the name, but maybe tack on “Multimedia” or “Interactive” as was suggested above. As Jim Franco said: You can’t hide from your past.

    Let the metamorphosis be as transparent as possible.

  84. Hi John,
    I have been with the company for 20 years. I have been through many name changes and I say let’s go through with it again. You have many positive thoughts and I believe a new name will bring in many positive things to the company.

  85. I haven’t been with JRC nearly long enough (2 weeks!) to relate to those who have been through past struggles with the company. But, I was working on a story this week that reminded me of the proposed name change.

    A neighborhood here in Troy, referred to as North Central, is changing its name to Uptown in order to shed some of the negative connotations associated with its old name (crime, poverty, etc.) What’s more important though, is that as part of the name change, people in the community have started an initiative to try and clean up the neighborhood, attract new homeowners and improve life for the residents there.

    I can’t help but think how great it would be if the community could make these great changes without the need for a re-branding, and instead have pride for where they came from and what they’ll become.

    I think that, at JRC, what’s important is not the name, but the actions. The company has already made some great strides working to shed that negative image.

    I liken it to a high school reunion. How much do you love it when the former outcast is now the most successful on there, and everyone says, “Wow, is that really JRC?” I imagine it will feel really great when that happens. Keep the name.

    -Cecelia Martinez
    Reporter, The Record
    Troy, NY

  86. I think the name should be changed to reflect the new philosophy of the company. I would also suggest perhaps holding a contest in which you give employees the chance to suggest a new name, then hold an internal vote through UPickEm for the winner. You could have all entrants in the contest or choose a team to pick the top 10 and then hold the vote. The winner would receive some sort of prize. The Palace of Auburn Hills (home of the Pistons) did this when they opened and the winner of the contest received season tickets for life. This makes it more of a team effort and gives everyonet the opportunity to weigh in. Thanks.

  87. In answer to your question, I think a name change would be a huge stepping stone for this company. Over the years there have been many critic’s, issues within the company, and disgruntled employees that have really damaged the JRC name. I think a name change would almost be a relaunch of a new and improved company heading in a different direction. It shows to our readers that we do not represent the past, but the future of this company.
    But that’s just my opinion. As with anything there are pro’s and con’s to both sides.
    I do agree that should we keep the name, we need to add Media Group to it.

  88. Matt DeRienzo you are exactly right! Let’s give the papers back to the people, our readers! We need to incorporate “COMMUNITY” into a new name change. With all of our changes and advancements we need to be more of a community than a company.

  89. John:
    I agree with a name change. Journal Register Company has had a poor reputation based on the styles of management long gone. I’ve had first hand difficulty attracting talent willing to accept a “promise of change” rather than word of mouth or very dated message boards even in the pre-bankruptcy days.

    Our customers, for the most part, are familiar with the publication names but rarely recognize Journal Register the parent company. A name change would be consitent with our internal changes and new direction and hopefully create a new positive environment for all.

    As you field suggested names, please keep in mind that we’ll need to check the name availability as well as related web addresses. One name we already own is JRC Media, Inc. which might serve for a smoother transition.

    Regards,
    Gary Struening

  90. I have not responded before now because I am in no way objective. I am a proud 18-year employee of the Journal Register Company. They have been the best years of my life. It’s not just that JRC has put food on my table; it is that it has allowed me to practice my profession with a minimum of interference, and the stories I heard about the chains like Knight Ridder and Gannett horrified me with their corporate dictates and ethical mush. There has been no such ambiguity with JRC. The three JRC papers I have worked with have always been allowed to find their own paths to success. I have never been ashamed of the company or its leadership. No one has prevented our success. Therefore, why would I favor a name change? On a practical level, I suspect the administrative task involved in a name change would be substantial, with unforeseeable consequences, and the benefits not worth the time expended. But, as I said, I am biased.

  91. It’s interesting that General Motors has recently decided that it’s not beneficial for Cadillac to promote any branding that will tie it to the parent company. Advertising for Cadillac now only contains reference to GMAC and all General Motors icons are absent from the ads. An article I read stated that General Motors felt that any stigma from the bankruptcy etc. could possibly transfer to their signature car brand so the move was made for Cadillac to stand alone. It’s time for JRC and its employees to move up to new “platforms” and leave the JRC stigmas in the dust!!

  92. Impressive to see so many comments! Seems people now feel they have the right to say things, and say it loud and publicly. Wow.

  93. Reply to Andrew:

    Andrew, no thanks are necessary. I want and need all of your comments and those of your colleagues.
    There is so much to do here. It’s interesting that the name conversation is as large as it is which is not something I anticipated.
    Nothing, however, will get me de-focused from the fixes that are needed here. JRC is a backwards company but not with backwards people. From content to I.T. it all has to be fixed. Keep the comments coming. Regards, John.

  94. Hi John,
    I think a new company name would be beneficial. But the name needs to reflect the kind of company we are becoming. My idea?

    Flash Media Inc.

    The flash for the speed that news can be sent to the public and the speed that the public can respond to the news and pass it on to others.

  95. John,

    I am in agreement with Emily and Andrew. A name change is costly. That those dollars could be more wisely spent. You mention in your notes the “crappy equipment; outdated computers; challenged I.T. – and in some cases lousy pay-…… You have pushed hard to adopt the new ecology into your thinking and daily routines and that isn’t easy when staffing levels in many of our locations is just enough to push out the print editions let alone dynamic web sites, Tweets and other digital products”. I am a lucky one to still be here. I have waited through the rounds of layoffs, watching the stress it has put into the employees and the work enviroment. I have personally dealt with the 12.5% pay cut, the increase in medical insurance coverage duplicated into the increase cost in my deductible coverage for office visits, presriptions, etc… All of this has brought morale down in the work place and stress levels up.
    I was enthused with your changes inside the company and I see the positive changes. It gives hope to our future as a company. Changing the name will not change the negative conotations and negative reputation that JRC has. It is the inner changes and improvements that will show the strength this company has to make it in the media world.
    In my opinion I would feel more proud working for this company as it improves the standing of the original “JRC” name, than trying to disquise it under a mask of another name. “That which we call a rose, by any other name would still smell as sweet…” ~ William Shakespeare. In other words, what matters is what something is, not what it is called. Let’s make Journal Register Company, a company to be proud to work for. A company with integreity in this media world, built on honesty. Covering the name by another, really is not building integreity and honesty.

  96. I do like the idea of a name change since it would be a new name for our new image as we become more and more technologically-savvy. I have noticed changes in the newsroom where I work that are mostly good, aside from some annoyances with adjusting to said new technology.

    If the main reason for a name change would be to escape the reputation we had while in bankruptcy, however, I do not see the point since the company would still be known as the former JRC.

    We proved we were a different company when we made it out of the tough times – despite what many colleagues at other papers thought would happen.

    I think that it of itself made a new name for us.

  97. “The one thing that remains the same is change”…whether we accept it or not… JRC is changing, so should the name.

    I like “Media Emphasis”, “Xpand Media”, “Media Journal”, “Media Merge”, or “Aidem Doc”. :)

    Have an awesome day!

  98. A couple others….just thoughts…some may hate, but some may like….never know? :)

    (I really ran with the word Rapid lol)

    *Rapid Development Interactive
    *Rapid Development Multimedia
    *Rapid Advance Interactive
    *Rapid Advance Community (?) This one is kinda sketchy

    and last but not least, I kind of like this one best as it is short and sweet…

    *Agile Interactive

    ….?? :o/ :o)

  99. I believe the name should be changed to reflect the new direction that the company is moving in. The news of the change would also give us further opportunities to promote those changes.

  100. I am all for changing the name. I have been with the company going on three years and I have heard the company referred to under many names. Let’s pick one and give it everything we have.

    We are fresh, new and exciting. So let’s not hold on to the past. Onwards and upwards!!

    How about VIP Media? (video-internet-print)

  101. I am always amazed at what the creative people in this company can come up with, especially when working together. I do like the idea of letting the history show where we’ve come from to where we are now, and keeping the name. A name change won’t change our history or where we are going. All the employees of JRC will do that. We do also have an opportunity to change the name and give everyone something new to discuss about us. I really like JRC Interactive or JRC Media.

  102. A name change could be good, as long as it follows true change beneath the name. I don’t think we need to change the name for the general public, though, as JRC is more recognizable to people in the industry. But if a new name highlights the new company, there’s nothing making us hold onto that old name.

    There’s no point in changing a name as a shortcut to truly changing the culture, the product and the process. I’m happy the company is changing, evidenced by its realization that it needs to look to the future. These changes are most important.

    The real challenge will be the names of our individual papers as the industry and company move forward. Our individual brands are most important and those names have value, yet Daily and Press might not have value in the (not-so-distant?) future.

    So back to the question: If we do go with a new name, what would work?????
    – News Now Co.
    – I like the above Journal Register Media Co. (though if changing, it would seem we’d drop Journal)
    – Active Media Group (from above, good idea)

    I don’t know, but this is an interesting discussion.

  103. Why change the Journal Register Company name? The brand may be dented by what we’ve all gone and/are going through but we have gotten more positve name recognition now than in the past. Yes, our individual news operations do have local brand recognition but when it comes to national or international brand recognition JRC is being recognized for what we are doing now.
    Also, why change the whole name but instead just change it to JRC. We all call the corporation by this nickname all the time privately and publically. Changing the name means changing the brand means having to rebuild brand recogniction within the industry and with the public. Name changes are difficult to do in the business arena. I say go with what you know, go what is recognizable and you don’t have to change all of the letterhead.

  104. This is a tough one because the “Journal Register” name does carry a negative image with a certain segment of people in the Philadelphia market. I was thinking of something that would retain the feel of the old and still convey a feeling of new progressive thinking’

    Logo: New Journal/Digital Media

    Caption under logo in a complimentary typeface approximately 20% of the logo type; “News from around the corner to around the world”

    This would keep something from the old and update it so it sounds like a positive move into the 21st century.

    I would not completely abandon the present corporate name.

    Sy Lichtenstein
    President, InterPrint

  105. Hi John,

    NAME CHANGE VERSUS LOOKING WITHIN FOR THE SOLUTIONS THAT NAME CHANGE IS DESIGNED TO ADDRESS!

    Nice topic to stir debate! Name changes require tons of effort and expenditure to achieve their main intended goal of raising up the organization’s image in the publics’ mind.

    Frankly, I don’t see how a name change would move us closer to that goal. I’m certain most of us in the field, dealing with advertisers, don’t refer to Journal Register Co., but rather the newspapers or newspaper groups we directly support. This is how our customers know us.

    The only ones that might be more impressed with a name change are those large national and major regional advertisers that Corporate level employees deal with.

    If those advertisers who know us as the Journal Register Company have a possitive experience in dealing with our employees, this will do more to raise the Parent Company’s image, than a name change.

    Frankly, one of the sorest points with our advertisers is with billing issues that can do more to sour an existing adveriser’s experience, and image of our Company.

    Over the past year, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time troubleshooting complaints over billing issues. We used to have someone local that could field the issues as they came up; but the sales force is now overworked with administrative functions.

    While things are getting a bit more under control as we get more familiar with the accounting side of the business ( which we did not have to do before); too many errors and too much time is still consumed, keeping us from our primary mission of selling.

    The “Credit Hold System” is a nightmare; it should be called the “Consternation System”. An unbelievable amount of time and frustration is consumed in dealing with Credit Holds. There has to be a smoother way to achieving the same end goal of controlling and reducing bad account experience.

    It seems to me that we are smart enough, in a joint effort between accounting and sales, to develop a profile of clients that don’t require to be placed on credit hold everytime they advertise. Currently, the system is pure “BLACK” & “WHITE” in the decision making — no flexibility.

    My background is not the newspaper industry, but the health field. In my experience in that arena, no one successfully improved their image by a name change; the image improvement came with a “Culture Change” in the organization’s management. John, I believe you are bringing that much needed “cultural change” that will do far more to benefit the Company and our employees; and give us the opportunity to make this organization into a multi-media winner!

    I would like to see us take the $$houndreds of thousands of dollars that would be needed to make the name change, and put it into updated equipment and software, and possibly, the hiring of additional adminstrative support personnel.

    My wife says I talk too much…so I’ll stop now!

    Joe Lendvay
    Montgomery Media
    (The Best and Proudest Multi-Media Group in the JRC Family)

  106. The name “Journal Register Company” has never evoked positive images in my mind. Picture a pair of meaty, sweaty hands wringing a bunch of newspapers into a cash drawer until all that’s coming out are pennies and screams and that about sums it up – even before round after round of layoffs.
    From a business perspective it would probably be a good idea to lose the name so we can go by a different symbol on the NYSE. As romantic as it would be to redeem our battered emblem, I’d be more comfortable as an employee with a course of action that is more practical.
    I’ve also heard some folks say that people on the ground level don’t even know what JRC is, but I have had different experiences. Folks know what JRC is, that we’re owned by it and that JRC’s ownership of the Michigan properties has coincided with a decline in quantity and quality of content (due entirely to severe staff reductions). The JRC brand is visible and known from the floor of the NYSE to the streets of Southeast Michigan.
    As for suggestions, a colleague just recommended Journal Online Company (JOC). Not sure how I feel working for “jock” but it sure beats working for “jerk” in my honest opinion.

  107. Hello John,
    When I first read your post, my first thought was “change the name.” However, several employees who have already responded have made some very compelling arguments in favor of keeping the JRC name. I agree with some of the earlier posts — if the name is changed, something like Journal Register Multimedia Company would better reflect where we are heading toward.

  108. Hi Mr. Paton,
    I think we should call it Journal Register Multi-Media Group. I’ve seen too many businesses change the name to a completely different name and it it has effected their business in a negative way.

  109. John:

    In my experiences, the Journal Register Company name is not even known to the readers of the papers here in “The Michigan Cluster.” When I speak to folks about my work, I describe The Oakland Press, Macomb Daily and The New Haven Register. As I continue on to describe the other “Clusters” and JRC, I observe their look of understanding turns to that of confusion.

    The people who really understand what JRC is are industry-savvy folk who are in the know.

    I feel that it is very important for those “in the know” to be able to see the evolution of our company and make apples-to-apples comparisons of where we are and where we came from.

    Changing the name will do two things:

    –Remove the established JRC from the story of an evolving company.

    –Paint a picture of desired distraction.

    In my opinion, we should want neither.

    I am not a fan of facades or of muddying history with “feel good” stories. I think that changing the name would touch on both of these.

    We are making a real transition which requires no facade. Our story is real; no “feel good” attention needs to be drawn. The attention will come from our genuine transformation.

    My feeling is that we should keep the name and revel in the history of what we have been as compared to what we are and what we are becoming.

    Nick Zbiciak
    The Oakland Press

  110. I like the suggestions of “Journal Media” as a possible new name for the company. But with that being said, it’s not necessary to change the company’s name, because there is nothing wrong with the one we currently have.

    If our company gets its act together and prospers, then the name “Journal Register Co.” would earn the association of a successful multimedia company. Therefore, the company’s focus should be on maximizing our profits to the extent that Journal Register Co. gains notoriety as a bellwether that produces top-notch videos on top-notch Web sites that deliver top-notch news to the local communities that we serve.

    There’s no need to run away from our identity. We are the Journal Register Company. Just because the corporate philosophy and business model changes doesn’t mean the company’s name has to be abandoned.

    The reason why the company plunged into bankruptcy is because the company foolishly invested in old media at a time when public demand was trending toward new media.

    The company’s historic and embarrassing failures had absolutely nothing to do about the company’s name. Our name could have been “Barack Obama” and we still would have devolved into a failing company because our old business model failed to satisfy the demands of the modern public. Changing our name wasn’t the answer back then and it isn’t the answer now. If we change our name, that won’t boost employee morale, and it certainly won’t do anything to boost our profits.

    The company in recent years became a laughingstock because of bad management, but now we have a new leader in charge in the form of Mr. Paton, who should be focused on positioning Journal Register Co. as a powerhouse on the stock market.

    Mr. Paton, I appreciate what you’re doing as the CEO. The traditional newspaper industry is on borrowed time, and it doesn’t take much foresight to realize that newspaper companies need to adapt to survive in the wake of the Internet and digital media age.

    Mr. Paton, you understand what needs to be done from a corporate standpoint, so now it comes down to implementing your vision in a way where your rank-and-file employees, such as me and my co-workers, will buy into what you’re selling. To achieve that, you need to equip your workers with the appropriate resources and compensation so that productivity becomes maximized.

    I support the new corporate approach despite having no assurance that I’ll be rewarded for it. I’m a better worker than I was when I was hired in December 2007, and I’m doing more work now than I was back then, yet all I’ve gotten in return were two effective pay cuts.

    So let’s be honest, a needless action such as a company name change does nothing to boost worker morale or worker productivity, and the last thing the company needs to do is invest in new nameplates and logos to complement an unnecessary name change.

    To be clear, our company needs to adapt to the future by embracing the Internet and digital media head-on. That’s the direction we need to head, and we should want people to acknowledge us as a prominent and noteworthy multimedia news company. But we have to earn that recognition, and that can only happen through the labor, fruits and earnings of the company’s workforce, from the lowest paid employee up to the CEO.

    The way to boost our public profile must come through the hard work of an energized workforce that wins the hearts and minds of the communities that we serve. We can change the product and the delivery of the product without changing the product’s name.

    Yes, we want people to know that we’re an Internet-savvy company, but we don’t have to bang people over the head with our change of philosophy by forcing them to call us by a different name.

    To some people, we’ll always be Journal Register Co., and some people will always call us that whether we change our name or not. To others, changing our name will just remind them of how we used to operate as a bankrupted troll of a company; a name change would be perceived as us trying to run away from our past as if we could bury it in our proverbial graveyard.

    The best thing our company can do is to be successful under the name of Journal Register Co. That sets us up for a narrative of a nearly failed company that rose to prominence. Success, in turn, will grow our clientele, and maintaining the company’s Journal Register name will allow us to retain the name recognition that we currently have.

    It would be a mistake for the company to invest in a changed name. While a name like “Journal Media” tells the story for what our company is all about, simply being a successful company with the name “Journal Register Co.” will have the effect of making our company’s name synonymous with multimedia excellence. The most logical approach at this point is for the company to invest in its workforce and resources, not a new name.


    Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman
    Staff Writer
    The Trentonian

  111. John,

    Being a local sales representative, I am more commonly attaching myself to “The News-Herald” brand rather than the JRC brand, as it’s the local brand that clients and readers identify with.

    Having said that though, I think that “Journal Register Company” has an old, stale ring to it and it needs to be completely revamped to reflect the ever-developing media culture that we live in. While I can’t come up with a specific name to change it to, I do believe many of the previously mentioned proposed names have good elements to them and should definitely be considered.

    Tim

  112. We discussed the possible name change in our meeting this morning. We came up with several ideas which included interactive and multi-media.
    Here is an idea. Since we are based out of the city that this country was created. How about Independence Interactive Multi Media. The logo could
    be set like this I2M2.

  113. I am in total agreement to a name change. I come from a small community paper in Michigan that was bought by Journal Register in 2006 that has closed, and now work for The Oakland Press.

    I am in total agreement to a name change.
    The name Journal Register for me, conjures up a vision of portly men with white hair, sipping brandy and smoking cigars. While this can evoke an image of longevity and stability, it doesn’t speak of modern or progressive times to me. In trying to attract a new and younger audience who embrace a technological society, a new name is a must, since the portly men in my vision are 70+ and won’t be around for too much longer .

  114. I don’t think it’s as much in the name as it is in the brand. There’s a unique opportunity here to re-brand JRC in a way that speaks to its new CEO, new advisory board and new focus on multiple media platforms and hyper-local journalism. Re-branding could also help to redistribute any (if any) possible previous negative connotation with the company.
    I’m interested to see how a new JRC brand could collaborate or pair with the JiUS brand that’s been developed and marketed during the last 10 years.

  115. Millenium Multi-Media Information Group or Millennia Multi-Media Information Group.

    mil·len·ni·a (-ln-) or mil·len·ni·ums
    1. A span of one thousand years.
    2. A hoped-for period of joy, serenity, prosperity, and justice.
    3. A thousandth anniversary.

    I think the name lends itself to the thought of longevity as well as sounds very strong.

    Also would give limitless options for Marketing the new company.

  116. I worked briefly for the company when it was Ingersoll. The renaming of the company to JRC brought new leadership and a new direction. Without taking into consideration the cost to the company for changing the name (unknown at this point), we have new leadership, definitely a new direction and I’d like to see the name of the company reflect those changes.

  117. gftuI think that with everything we have gone through in the past year that our name should stay the same as we have conquered more than most newspapers have in the past 2 or 3 years.

    Sincerely,
    Chris Cracchiolo

  118. John,

    I am all for a name change but not for the sake of change and hiding from the past, but for the opportunity to create a competitive Brand in an every changing media marketplace. Strong brands such as Google, Yahoo, Apple and Microsoft have adapted to the new media environment and change almost daily to maintain and grow an audience or consumer base.
    The exciting fact is; our company is also changing, almost hourly to achieve the same goal, grow audience and market share. Strong brands are defined by their audience and the characteristics that make them attractive to advertisers and investors. And as we work to improve these characteristics, we are presented with a unique opportunity to create a brand that can be seen by our advertisers and investors as a company ascending and adapting to market changes and leading the industry in the delivery of local news and information at the demand of the audience. Not a newspaper company in decline, bleeding circulation and advertising dollars because we rely on a delivery system that was invented before the industrial age.
    To that, here is my suggestion: New Journal Media.
    New – not only a new name, but to signify that everyday our company’s purpose is to deliver information, important to the reader, where and when they demand it.
    Journal – A link to honor our past and the root of our core product, Journalism and journalistic integrity.
    Media – We are no longer a newspaper company, but a multimedia organization with a growing list of content and advertising delivery platforms.
    Thanks, this was fun!

  119. Good afternoon John,

    I am all for keeping the name. Why?
    I like our story.
    I like that it is getting better.
    I like that people who are paying attention will see how far we have come, and how willing/able we are to connect/offer our paramount audience on multiple levels.

    Further, I fear asking our national ad agencies to update their systems will create more work for them – of which I never like being the bearer.

    Thank you again for the opportunity to be a part of the New Now.

  120. John:

    What’s past is past. I’m proud to be a small part of what’s going on. It’s exciting and rejuvenating. For me, it’s not about the name but about the direction we’re headed and the end result: producing something that reinstills the pride we have in our craft and in serving our communities.

    I would lean toward keeping the name with a slight change, something like what has been suggested by an editor who I respect: Journal Register Interactive.

    M2

  121. The Yankees have been the Yankees for nearly a century. Did they consider changing their name when the going got tough after Mantle and Maris?

    Nay!

    In time, the ‘good memories’ outshine the bad, and the corporate name bears the honor of the scars it has earned in battle.

    New name, nay; JRC, stay!

  122. My first thought is who cares? Our readers know us by our Publications. The industry- keeping the name would show our success. Prospective investors, buyers — JRC may be taboo.
    It’s got to cost money, but if the return is successful, lets go for it!
    Local News 4U
    Your News Now
    Get It Got It Get More (too long)
    Our News Today
    News Interactive or Interactive News (IN)

  123. As a salesperson for 23 years with the Heritage Newspapers,and 3 owners,I can only say change can be good. Most of the readers in the Michigan Cluster refer to us as the papers we represent (examples-News Herarald,Press and Guide,Ile Camera,Monroe Guardian and the Western Region papers)not JRC .Any mention of JRC usually bring negative thoughts, expecially to those who have lost jobs or had bad experiences.I think the only people who may recognize a name change would be in the business sector,not our readers.
    I personnally think when Register is mentioned it reflects the old regime where money was the only concern no matter who it hurt or cost.
    I think anything with Multi Media or a New Begining would work.
    Thank you for allowing us to move on and up.
    Good Luck in all you are trying to do.

  124. Everybody loves a comeback…JRC is primed for it…leave the name alone and be proud for getting back up, dusting ourselves off, and moving forward.

    Instead, to help re-brand our company — and offer a more descriptive name — add a tagline (slogan,motto) instead.

    I think it’s an easier and more effective way to add value, be more descriptive and express our vision.

    Oh yeah…and did I mention…everybody loves a good comeback story?

    Bruce Entelisano

  125. John:
    If I can add one additional comment. Changing a company’s name is never easy. You want that change to reflect what is positive and good about the company. I have read a number of the comments on your blog and everyone has made some good suggestions but I would like to suggestion taking a different route. Stick with what the people already knows it as JRC.

    When the company’s stock was publically traded, it traded as JRC. The business community already knows us as this. Also, the employees refer to the corporate headquarters as JRC.

    When I worked in Cincinnati and served on the board of a non-profit and which went through a similar situation. Serving on the name change committee was an eye opening experience. I remember working with the consultants who said the new name needed to reflect what was, what is and what the organization is striving to be in the future. We had focus group studies done to see how people reacted to various names that we were considering. In the end we chose to keep the organization’s nickname – 4C (Its name was long each word began with the letter c) but we added a tag line to reflect what the company was all about. The name ended up being 4C with ….for children as it’s tag line. The name reflected the organization’s main mission – working on behalf of children.

    The work was easy but selling the change to the board was another thing. It was a good experience and I know I’m being long winded and I will get to the point. My recommendation is keep what people know but choose a great tag line to reflect where you are going.

    I suggest even have a company-wide contest for the best person or group creating the best tag line for the company. You could even make it an interactive contest with our readers to let them know that the newspapers they know are owned by this corporation and here is what we stand for.

  126. My opinion of Journal Register Co. was forever colored by the fact that the day we were taken over by JRC, the publisher of my paper, a man whom I greatly respected, quit rather than work for the company.
    I didn’t have that option, and I stuck it out. It turned out that he was right, but I resigned myself to keeping my head down and making sure I always had other options. My goal remained to provide the community I love with the best possible newspaper despite the corporation that owned it and seemed bent on destroying it.
    It’s different now. The owners are new. The management is new and appears to be more than competent. The direction is new. The products are new.
    I say get rid of the old, painful baggage and come up with a new name. I’d leave the name up to branding experts – my core competency is news content, not branding and marketing – and give all of us a brand we can be proud to work for.

  127. Good morning John,

    Thank you for your interest in obtaining our input regarding a possible company name change. As you may have imagined, that has been a subject of considerable debate in our division in light of the transition we have undertaken over the past year or so as we went about the considerable business of changing our name from the Greater Detroit Newspaper Network-GDNN to the Journal Register Newspaper Network-JRNN.

    We are absolutely looking toward a bright future for JRC and we are embracing the opportunities inherent in a new corporate identity that is reflective of a progressive multi platform media company. However, there is no small amount of concern that we if we deconstructed the JR in JRNN we would be undoing the thus far successful launch of JRNN with some of the largest advertisers in the nation. Many of these advertisers were at first reluctant to convert their day to day operations and internal systems to move towards a unified network approach to buying all of our company owned newspapers’ multitude of products. After many meetings, presentations, proposals, follow up phone calls, emails and some pointedly direct conversations, we were able to secure the buy in of JRNN with all of these advertisers and their agencies and buying services.

    Perhaps most tellingly, during those discussions with key supporters of newspapers in general and community newspapers in specific, it was gratifying to learn that there was little to no negative reaction to the Journal Register Company moniker and that any detritus that was associated with the difficulties we encountered in previous years was largely confined within the company and in the newspaper industry itself. In fact, few if any of our clients were aware of our bankruptcy until we revealed that we would be emerging from a prepackaged receivership in a very short period of time stronger, healthier and more committed to their success than ever before.

    Any name change that is undertaken might best be accomplished by fusing the best parts of the current company with the digital future that is before us. Such as Journal Register Multimedia or some other combination of what brought us to this point in our history and what will be the next chapter in that history.

    Thoughts?

  128. John,

    I would like to wish you a belated welcome to the Journal Register family and commend you on the progress that you have made in the short time you have been here. The steps that you have taken shows the commitment you have to ensure that this company will make the necessary changes to move forward and I am excited to be a part of it.

    Regarding the name changing of JRC, I am all for it! I believe that this should be the final step to show the country/world that this company’s intention is to compete to be the main media outlet in this country, if not Global… I would like to take it a step further and present you with a possible choice in names. “MAIN FRAME MEDIA”. Webster defines main’ frame as ” A large computer designed to serve numerous terminals” and I believe our company should be that outlet!! My answer to your question, What’s in a name? The Future….

    Tom Haden

  129. My first thought, when asked for my opinion of a name change, was, “Absolutely, and the sooner, the better!” I spent a good chunk of time thinking of nifty new names, giddy with the thought of so many possibilities; I was sure one of them would perfectly and proudly announce to the world how high our new direction and leadership is taking us. I was completely on board with shedding anything even remotely JRC related; that is, until an impromptu discussion about it at work. Why, I was asked, would I be in favor of spending the many thousands of dollars in legal fees and other expenses that a name change would require, not to mention the waste of money already spent on the unused paper, forms, etc., currently brandishing the JRC name? Not having a great response readily available made me rethink my thought process, and the longer I thought about it, the more sensible my thoughts became.

    No one can argue with the fact that the 12.5% concession last year here in Michigan was devastating. Personnel cuts, heavier workloads and bottom of the barrel morale have been the norm for far too long for many hard-working and loyal employees. And although everyone I’ve talked with is enthusiastic about the changes already in place, we still have a very long way to go. We have so many talented people in this company, driven to ensure it succeeds. Let’s stick with our name, and impress the hell out of everyone who’s watching us, and those who soon will be. All of our mothers were right: actions speak louder than words, and in the end it’s our actions, not the words by which we’re recognized, that will determine whether or not our company soars.

  130. Comcast, facing their own identity issues, came up with ‘Xfinity’ to describe their new services. Verizon has ‘Fios.’ While these names are forward-looking and tech-cool, ultimately I feel they are only as good as the companies that back them up. It’s just a name. I won’t sign up for Xfinity until I am assured they are truly delivering a great product at a fair price.

    If we really do change, the public will know it by our products. The rest is decoration.

    Personally, I like JRC Interactive. I think this modified name symbolizes what we are setting out to do in all platforms.

  131. John,
    I know I’m a little late to the party when it comes to name change suggestions, however this weekend I thought of one that I think has potential. It may have already been suggested but here goes.

    nExt Media

    Placing an emphasis on the “E” to highlight our expanding web presence, and indicate the forward motion of our company.

    For a format I would go with a very simple, modern looking font, except for the “E” which should be a graphic briefly depicting the transition from printed page to electronic interface showing the same content on both.

    Thanks for your time,
    Tom Bryant

  132. Good evening, John, and welcome to the company. It is very encouraging to someone such as myself (10 years with the company) to finally see us moving forward.

    I think a name change is just the ticket to send the message that the company has changed, but that we are building on a noble tradition (as sullied as it may have been in recent years). Thus: Register Media Group is my suggestion.

  133. I really don’t know if I think changing the name is warranted or not.
    But, too often in the old JRC regime, changes would be
    ordered without applying the journalistic 5Ws to it. Often it seemed on Tuesday, something would be ordered to be put in effect by Friday without any regard on how exactly it was to get done.
    I hope that any new changes made would be thought out using the standard who, what, when and why.
    Even though things are moving faster than ever, introspective thinking, cost benefit analysis and perhaps focus group polling might be in order. Thank you

  134. John,

    The new company name I suggest is –

    The Community Media Company or CMC.

    I feel this name embraces our commitment to being the center of community conversation and relevant local discourse.

  135. How many people know the original names of companies such as Panasonic, Nintendo, Sony, LG, NCR, or even Yahoo! or Google? How about the parent company of my previous employer, WPP Group? Let’s come back to that later. In the meantime, here are some thoughts to consider and questions to ponder…

    One definition of branding states branding is prejudice – creating an emotional bond between consumer and product. While a product has features, a brand makes promises. What do we want to promise our readers and advertisers?

    What does our name say now? Many people feel it says two newspapers merged and the names were slapped together, with little thought or creativity, to create one redundant name. Something like the Phoenix Cardinals. To paraphrase an old Chicken of the Sea commercial: “Is it a journal? Or is it a register?”

    While being able to look back on the history of the company and our rising from the ashes is certainly romantic, let’s also look at practical application. Does the name reflect what we do, who we are, and what we promise our readers and advertisers? Also, is it so cumbersome that it winds up abbreviated, butchered and nearly unrecognizable when it has to be written, typed or spoken when answering the phone? What will be the email domain? Will I be jgoldston@journalregistermultimediainteractive.com? Hopefully not.

    Obviously, my choice is to change the name, but with serious consideration for the practical application as well as the brand it creates and image it evokes.

    Now, as promised, here are the answers to the question I asked at the open:

    Current Name Original Name
    Panasonic Matsushita Electric Corporation of America
    Nintendo Nintendo Playing Card Company
    Sony Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation
    LG GoldStar (think cheap crap electronics sold at Big Lots)
    NCR National Cash Register
    Yahoo! Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web
    Google BackRub
    WPP Group Wire and Plastic Products (WPP is now the world’s largest communications services group and parent to JWT)

    Food for thought.

  136. I agree with many of my colleagues. Keep the Journal Register name to remind us of what we once were, but tweak it a bit as we become a multi-media force. Journal Register Interactive would be my vote.

  137. Allow me a sports analogy:

    From 1962 to 1968, the New York Mets were the laughingstocks of baseball. They were a national joke, on merit. And then, in 1969 the New York Mets won the World Series and suddenly their name no longer produced instaneous guffaws.

    A new name won’t do anything for Journal Register Company other than create a need to produce new letterheads and assorted signage.

    The new direction being taken by Journal Register Company will turn around the negativity with which the name is associated in the industry. Hell, it’s already happening, both inside and outside of the company.

    After all these years in this business, I still love a good story. This has the potential to be a great story: “Journal Register Company, once considered the doormat of the newspaper industry, has emerged from the depths of bankruptcy with new leadership, new ideas, new energy and a new commitment to excellence.”

    There’s a lead that writes itself. And in that lead is the name Journal Register Company.

    Ira Fusfeld
    Publisher
    Daily Freeman
    Kingston, N.Y.

  138. While changing the name to present ourselves to possible investors does make sense, it does not change who we are and how many employees view who they work for.
    I believe a larger change needs to be made to improve the value and perception of this company. While Journal Register Company was in accusation mode, it bought property by property, and for all intensive purposes left them with the company name they operated with originally. Front line employees blamed the bad on Journal Register Company and the good was because of the local property. True or false, perception is the reality. Due to this fact I believe many employees don’t feel they work for Journal Register Company, so they feel no allegiance to employees who are working in other properties or in other clusters, which in turn does not allow us to be one strong unit to drive change, revenue and perhaps most importantly profit.
    If we were able to get rid of the various small companies operating under Journal Register Company, I think it would enforce the idea we all work for one business. It is difficult to explain to some people that they work for Journal Register Company when their pay stub reads differently.
    Instead of saying I am the general manager of Main Line Media News, operating under Journal Register Company; I should be saying I am a general manager working for Journal Register Company in our Ardmore office.
    We are all on one team, and should represent ourselves to the investors as such, as well as to our own staffs.

  139. I also like the “JRNN” Journal Register Newspaper Network, however the word “Newspaper” should be changed to “News”, which better reflects the multiple media coverage we are promoting.
    The “Northeastern News Network” or “NNN” (“NENN”?) as a new name would show that the company has expanded to include the many other news outlets in the Northeastern United States that we now own.

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