Not to take anything away from the Strib’s Dee DePass and Rochelle Olson, whose coverage has been definitive. But the Hecker story has so many tentacles that it was time someone put together the saga as one narrative. Nicole Garrison-Sprenger, Jason Hoppin and MaryJo Webster made the explainer a good read, too.
There’s also a nice and necessary interactive touch: Hecker’s incredibly complicated business empire, well worth clicking around on, if only to appreciate the ludicrousness.
It’s hardly news that despite stable circulation, the PiPress has seemed to shrink size-wise and staff-wise almost as fast as Hecker’s empire expanded. So it’s all the more interesting that this is the second big-deal takeout the paper has attempted in as many months; in September, they published a 22,000-word, 11-stanza recap of the U.S. Senate recount.
I know the staff worked their tails off on that, though I have to confess, I didn’t read much of the recount package. I guess I’d lived it and didn’t want to go back there that soon, in that depth. If I was editor Thom Fladung, I’m not sure would’ve dedicated that much staff to it, given all the daily stories papers used to do and can’t now.
However, perhaps because I’m merely a Hecker observer and don’t know how the juicy saga ends, this PiPress take-out grabbed my attention fully. I hungrily read it top to bottom both days. It does stink that two-parters, which inevitably begin on leisurely Sundays, continue on time-pressed Mondays, one of the lightest-reading days of the week. But that aside, the PiPress greatly clarified where we’ve been so we can see where the story is going.