Before starting the second interview in a conference room, Norcross shepherded me into his office. He wanted to show me a replica of the 1865 page one of The Philadelphia Inquirer with the news that President Lincoln had been shot. The Inquirer was preparing to move its office from Broad to Market Street, and Norcross had asked someone to make replicas of famous front pages found during the packing. He seemed excited.
At the same time, my former newspaper, the Home News Tribune, was preparing to move
from East Brunswick to Somerville, where it would share space with its Gannett sister paper, the Courier News. Not long after that move, I ran into the man who runs one of the local libraries in the HNT coverage area. This man—who is not young—had done what sounded like some back-busting work as he and his son packed a minivan 10 times with HNT clippings and photos. He seemed more overwhelmed than excited as he talked about trying to figure out where to house all this history in his library. He seemed upset that he had to throw some out, and that librarians in some other towns had little interest in the local files.
It sure didn’t sound like Gracia C. Martore
, president and CEO of Gannett
, was telling anyone to save famous front pages from the Home News Tribune so she could make replicas of them. And why would she? From an office in McLean, Va., Martore oversees 82 daily newspapers in the U.S. Has she ever even been to Middlesex County, N.J.?