No, it’s not April Fools, more like the Ghost of Christmas Past. The St. Louis Globe-Democrat — dead for 23 years — is coming back to life as a free news site. www.globe-democrat.com is slated to launch Dec. 8, according to an announcement by Dan Rositano, who runs a St. Louis IT company for small businesses; he describes himself on Linked In as president and CEO of the Globe-Democrat and in the press release as publisher. Rositano promises “a quality staff whose names will be familiar to former Globe-Democrat readers and all St. Louisians.” Globe-Democrat alum Steve Yelvington owns the URL globedemocrat.com — which explains the “-” in this version.
Back story: Once upon a time, the Globe-Democrat was the Newhouse (as in the Conde Nast Newhouses) half of the St. Louis newspaper JOA with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Newhouse dropped its version of the Globe in 1984, continuing to make money from the JOA while others tried to make a go of it as a daily paper in various efforts through 1986. (A free paper about historical events by the same name has been published since the ’90s.) The Globe-Democrat was known as the conservative voice, with columnists who liked to call the P-D “Pravda on the Mississippi.” When Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE) acquired the P-D in 2005, it bought out most of the remaining Newhouse interest. Earlier this year, it bought the last 5 percent.