While Governor Corzine makes occasional campaign stops for Barack Obama touting an economic plan that will create new jobs, New Jersey faces a potential loss of 2,000 jobs if The Star-Ledger and its sister publications go under.
The Ledger’s management has already threatened that it may need to either be sold off or close shop altogether if it can’t hammer out a contractual agreement with its drivers union by October 8th.
But when asked if there’s anything the State of New Jersey can do to help its largest newspaper, Corzine said that his hands were, for the most part, tied.
“We can’t bail them out. If you want a bail out you have to go to Washington these days. There’s plenty of that going on there,” he said. “But if there were economic support programs that would keep jobs in New Jersey – we have programs that will help make that happen, but we can’t bail out the shareholders or the owners of the Star-Ledger. That’s what free enterprise is about.”
Corzine said that the newspaper faces problems endemic to its industry, and will likely need to undergo a painful adaption to the new media.
“There is a restructuring that is going on in the media businesses that is moving more towards the internet. So corporations that haven’t necessarily adjusted as effectively to that as would otherwise be the case have not necessarily done so well,” he said. “I’m not into giving The Ledger its business strategy, but I think they’re going to have to work on making sure that they’re attuned to current distribution of information.”