Can Ogletree rescue the Banner?


On last week's installment of Beat the Press, Emily Rooney reported that Harvard Law professor Charles Ogletree is interested in saving the Bay State Banner. Earlier today, Ogletree--who's currently in New York for a celebration of the NAACP's 100th anniversary--discussed his rescue plans in detail.

"A lot is being done," Ogletree said. "I’m meeting with a number of influential people, this week and next, with a goal of making sure that we have the financial support to get the Banner going again.... It’s a confluence of political, economic, and even religious groups that are stepping up, and are going to make sure we get the Banner back on the stands, hopefully as early as next month."

While Ogletree stressed that he's confident he'll succeed, he also acknowledged that a number of things need to go right for that to happen. Like what, exactly?

"Making sure that the revenue is flowing in the right direction and the right amounts," Ogletree said. "Making sure the Banner's group of talentedstaff can be reassembled in short order. And the long, really clear commitment of the community will be established to make sure we don't have this"--i.e., the Banner's recent shutdown--"happen again."

In closing, I asked Ogletree what role Melvin Miller--the Banner's founder, editor and publisher--will have if the paper makes a comeback.

"I think Mel will make that determination," Ogletree said. "But it would be shortsighted to lose his incredible creativity and insight, in terms of the overall philosophy of the banner. So he will certainly be a principle part of the new Banner, even if he decides for any of a host of reasons that his role will be scaled back."

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