INDUSTRY NEWS 11-17-15
Quincy Il. Newspapers Inc. acquires four TV stations
Quincy Newspapers Inc., parent company of The Herald-Whig and WGEM-TV and Radio, took ownership of four television stations on Monday. The acquisitions mean QNI now owns television stations in 14 markets that provide a total of 47 program signals. Three stations acquired from Granite Broadcasting are WEEK-TV, serving Peoria and Bloomington in Illinois; KBJR-TV, serving Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis.; and WBNG-TV in Binghamton, N.Y. QNI also acquired WPTA-TV in Fort Wayne, Ind., from Malara Broadcasting.
Media General rejects Nexstar bid, but willing to talk
The television company Media General rejected a $1.9 billion buyout offer from Nexstar Broadcasting on Monday, but said that it's still willing to talk. The Nexstar bid comes in the wake of a $2.4 billion bid from Media General Inc. for Meredith Corp., which owns television stations and publishes about 20 magazines. Media General said in September that a deal with Meredith would create a company with almost 90 television stations in 54 markets and magazines including Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart Living. Some see the bid from Nexstar, which owns, operates, programs or provides services to more than 100 television stations in 58 markets, as an attempt to drive a wedge between Meredith and Media General.
Journalist snubs Vatican magistrates seeking to question him
One of the Italian journalists whose expose of Vatican mismanagement has made headlines is refusing to appear before Vatican magistrates to be questioned in a criminal case over leaked confidential documents. Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of "Merchants in the Temple," received an official summons from the office of the Vatican prosecutor to appear Tuesday to be interrogated in the case against a Vatican monsignor accused in the leaks probe. Nuzzi, who has been placed under investigation in the case, said Monday he wouldn't appear for questioning. In a statement, he accused the Vatican legal system of punishing journalists and criminalizing the publishing of news, and noted that there are no norms in the Vatican legal code allowing journalists to protect their sources.
CBS hopes debate coverage will boost streaming service
CBS News sees its coverage of Saturday's Democratic presidential debate as a key moment in helping to establish CBSN, the streaming service that just celebrated its first birthday. Political reporter Major Garrett will host a preview of the debate an hour before it begins on CBSN. The free service will stream the debate live, accompanied by data and tweets provided by Twitter, with Garrett stepping in with reactions during commercial breaks of the televised contest. It is also being shown on the broadcast television network. CBSN, which launched on Nov. 6, 2014, provides a continuous newscast and also allows users to click on streams of individual stories. It is available on the CBS News website, on the network's mobile apps and through services like Apple TV, Roku and Android TV. Starting this week, it can also be seen on Xbox One.
Slain journalist Foley's family: Drone strike small solace
The family of a journalist beheaded by an Islamic State group fighter known as Jihadi John said Friday, Nov. 13, that a U.S. drone strike targeting the extremist provides little comfort. Diane and John Foley, of Rochester, the parents of James Foley, said the U.S. should put more effort into finding and rescuing hostages. "It is a very small solace to learn that Jihadi John may have been killed by the U.S. government," the statement said. "His death does not bring Jim back. If only so much effort had been given to finding and rescuing Jim and the other hostages who were subsequently murdered by ISIS, they might be alive today."
UW-Madison paper cutting print production
One of the oldest student newspapers in the country is cutting production of its print edition from four to two days a week. The Daily Cardinal at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will print Mondays and Thursdays next semester. Editor-in-chief Jim Dayton says the 123-year-old paper will shift its focus to web and mobile products. Just a few years ago, the university had two daily student newspapers. The other paper, The Badger Herald, now prints weekly and focuses on online reporting. UW-Madison journalism professor Katy Culver tells the State Journal that college papers once had a captive audience of students, but that's no longer the case. Advertisers can now reach young consumers directly through social media. The student newspapers do not receive revenue from the university.
Public radio station KUOW announces plans to purchase KPLU
Seattle-based public radio station KUOW announced plans on Thursday, Nov. 12, to buy KPLU in an $8 million deal. The University of Washington station, known for National Public Radio content, will buy the KPLU broadcasting licenses from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma. Pacific Lutheran University spokeswoman Donna Gibbs said Thursday the deal came from more than a decade of talks about how to better serve public radio listeners in the Puget Sound region.
Man convicted of stalking Philadelphia TV anchor
A suburban Philadelphia man has been convicted of stalking a television anchor after she broke up with him in 2011. The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1GZlRAC ) reports a Philadelphia jury convicted 39-year-old John Hart of Havertown of stalking and harassing Erika von Tiehl of KYW-TV. Von Tiehl was not in court for Thursday's verdict, but released a statement expressing relief. She says, "It was important to me to speak up, not only for myself, but also for all of the women he has victimized in the past who didn't have their day in court." Hart has several arrests and convictions for similar crimes. He'll be sentenced in January.
Prosecutors sue AG Kane, claim retaliation, misuse of office
Five former Pennsylvania prosecutors and investigators sued Attorney General Kathleen Kane on Thursday, Nov. 12, saying she illegally used the power of her office to retaliate against them after they criticized her public statements and handling of high-profile cases. The federal lawsuit also names the Philadelphia Daily News and a reporter, and claims the plaintiffs' free speech rights were violated and their reputations sullied by the embattled attorney general. The allegations relate to a series of episodes that have kept Kane — and the plaintiffs — in headlines since she took office in early 2013, including a leaked story the newspaper published last year that prompted criminal charges against Kane, the state's top prosecutor.
Owner of LA Times, Chicago Tribune expects to cut jobs
The owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers says it expects a buyout offer to cut its staff by 7 percent. Tribune Publishing employees had to apply by Oct. 23. The company said in October that layoffs could follow the buyouts. Spokeswoman Dana Meyer said Thursday that CEO Jack Griffin had said last week on the company earnings call that "initial results indicate that the company will reach its internal targets" for buyouts. Meyer declined to comment on how many employees took a buyout or how many employees Tribune Publishing has. As of the end of 2014, it had 7,595 full- and part-time employees.
UF journalism school gets $1M for watchdog reporting
The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications will receive a $1 million boost to advance the teaching of watchdog journalism. Sarasota homebuilder Lee Wetherington said in a news release he is giving the school the funds “to provide the means to help our next generation of journalists continue the tradition of being on the front lines of making sure our government and leaders do not take advantage of the trust we have put in them.’’ “Investigative journalism is one of the best means to do this,” he said in the release on Thursday, Nov. 12.
Missouri protesters welcome media, day after shunning it
Protesters credited with helping oust the University of Missouri System's president and the head of its flagship campus welcomed reporters to cover their demonstrations Tuesday, Nov. 11, a day after a videotaped clash between some protesters and a student photographer drew media condemnation as an affront to the free press. Activists removed yard signs warning the media to stay away from a grassy area of campus that has served as an impromptu campsite for the protesters in recent days. Concerned Student 1950, a group which led the protests, put out fliers titled "Teachable Moment" that encouraged demonstrators to cooperate with the media.
Trib Total cutting 153 jobs, merging Pittsburgh metro papers
Trib Total Media will lay off more than 150 employees at year's end and consolidate its three main daily newspapers in the Pittsburgh metro area as part of an ongoing reorganization intended to bolster its digital delivery of news, the company announced Tuesday, Nov. 11. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Tribune-Review in Greensburg and the Valley News Dispatch in Tarentum will become a single paper, the Tribune-Review, the company said. The two suburban papers will become locally zoned editions. The company also is closing its printing operation in Greensburg and reducing its home delivery footprint, eliminating unprofitable routes.
INDUSTRY NEWS 11-11-15
Jury overturns Little Rock housing director's FOI conviction
A jury has overturned the conviction of Little Rock's housing director for violating the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1MhvKpO ) the Pulaski County jury deliberated for about 2½ hours Friday before finding Metropolitan Housing Alliance Executive Director Rodney Forte not guilty of violating the FOI Act. Forte had appealed his June misdemeanor conviction of failing to respond to FOI requests from the newspaper within three working days — as required by state law. He was sentenced to pay a $100 fine and $140 in court costs. A reporter for the newspaper started submitting requests after learning the organization hired a deputy executive director at a $92,000 salary. The reporter and an editor asked several times for information that included employee documents, work orders and tenant complaints.
Carson defends West Point story, calls news media 'unfair'
Criticizing the news media as unfair, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is defending his past descriptions of receiving a scholarship offer for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point even though it does not offer scholarships and he never applied for admission. Questions about Carson's assertions about his personal history, including his claim that he was a troubled youth beset at times by violent behavior, and his inaccurate pronouncements about historical events have gained attention as he has risen to the top of some national polls.
News Corp. misses Street 1Q forecasts
News Corp. (NWSA) on Nov. 5 reported fiscal first-quarter profit of $175 million. On a per-share basis, the New York-based company said it had profit of 30 cents. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains and to account for discontinued operations, were 5 cents per share. The results did not meet Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 7 cents per share. The publishing company whose flagship is The Wall Street Journal posted revenue of $2.01 billion in the period, which also fell short of Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $2.11 billion. News Corp. shares have declined 2 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 2 percent.
Iranian president criticizes recent arrests of journalists
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized in remarks published Thursday the recent arrests of journalists amid an ongoing crackdown on expression by the country's hard-liners. According to a report in the state-owned daily IRAN, Rouhani said hard-liners "misuse" remarks by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on the possible spread of U.S. influence in Iran as an excuse for the detentions. The president was referring to Khamenei's statements this week that reflect deep suspicions of the United States and prevailing views among hard-liners in Iran that U.S. policies are a threat to the country.
Media outlets sue Kansas governor in open records lawsuit
Three media organizations are suing Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and two others in his administration under the Kansas Open Records Act, seeking the public disclosure of documents related to the appointment of a magistrate judge to replace another who retired before the end of his term. The lawsuit filed late Wednesday, Nov. 4, by The Associated Press, The Hutchinson News and the Kansas Press Association, follows a flurry of media requests for more transparency in the appointment to a usually elected position. The administration has repeatedly refused to release application documents, saying the material is exempt under the Kansas Open Records Act. The lawsuit filed in Shawnee County District Court names Brownback, his spokeswoman Eileen Hawley and his director of appointments Kim Borchers. It asks the court to order the disclosure of the requested records and seeks costs and attorney fees.
Ex-LA Times columnist awarded $7.1M in discrimination suit
A jury on Wednesday, Nov. 4, awarded $7.13 million to former Los Angeles Times sports columnist T.J. Simers, who claimed he was forced out of his $234,000-a-year job by age and health discrimination. The Superior Court jury made the lawsuit award after a six-week trial, the Times reported. Simers had sought more than $12 million. The newspaper believes Simers made unfounded allegations and will appeal, spokeswoman Hillary Manning said. Simers, 65, was a Times columnist for a decade but left two years ago to work for the Orange County Register.
LA Times owner offers $3M loan during Freedom bankruptcy
Chicago-based Tribune Publishing told a federal bankruptcy judge that it's willing to loan Freedom Communications the money for day-to-day operations — with the money counting in any bid Tribune might make for Freedom's assets. Freedom, which owns the Orange County Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday. It lost more than $40 million in two years during a rapid expansion under former CEO Aaron Kushner, who started newspapers in Los Angeles and Long Beach that were later closed.
Newspaper: Corker failed to disclose Chattanooga earnings
Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee made profitable short-term trades in a Chattanooga real estate firm, but didn't properly disclose the deals until challenged by the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper reports Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor who is now chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, bought between $1 million and $5 million in shares of CBL & Associates Properties Inc. 2011, and sold them again five months later at a 42 percent gain. Earlier purchases in the names of his daughters in 2009 likely netted more than $1 million, though the paper says the exact gain isn't possible to calculate. Corker in a written statement to the Wall Street Journal blamed the lack of disclosure required by congressional ethics rules on "filing errors" by his accounting firm.
One hundred international journalists visit St. Petersburg
One hundred journalists from more than 80 countries have gathered in St. Petersburg, Fla., this week to "examine the role of independent media in fostering and protecting freedom of expression and democracy around the world," according to a news release. Nonprofit World Partnerships, based in the Tampa Bay area, hosts the 10th anniversary of the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. The program, part of the U.S. Department of State's International Visitor Leadership Program, has brought thousands of international journalists to the U.S. This year's group, comprised of journalists from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, will spend two days at the Poynter Institute (which owns the Tampa Bay Times) for an advanced training symposium and visit print and broadcast media outlets in the area.
GMA anchor Lara Spencer posts photo hugging Donald Trump
An Instagram photo of ABC News' "Good Morning America" co-anchor Lara Spencer hugging presidential hopeful Donald Trump is drawing a mix of responses on social media and in real life. In the photo posted Tuesday, Nov. 3, Spencer has one arm around Trump's shoulder and the other across his midsection. Trump's hand is on her waist. They are both smiling. Spencer's message that initially accompanied the photo: "Can't beat having the REAL DonaldJTrump on," with a smiley face. The photo, snapped Tuesday morning on the "GMA" set, triggered comments on Instagram that ranged from support for Spencer and Trump to attacks on her professionalism. After a number of critical comments were posted, Spencer clarified in the Instagram post that she was not seated in his lap, as it appeared to some observers, but "standing next to Donald Trump. Said a quick hello and welcomed him to the GMA studio for first time since he announced his candidacy."
Sports, political contests dominate TV ratings
Nothing beats athletes clashing on the field for impressive TV ratings, but the skirmishes of CNBC's Republican debate came close. NFL programming and baseball's World Series dominated last week's ratings, taking seven of the top 20 spots, the Nielsen company said Tuesday, Viewers also were drawn to the debate with leading GOP presidential candidates. It was the week's top-ranked cable show with an audience of 14 million — a record for CNBC — and was among TV's top 10 overall despite competition from Game 2 between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets. As impressive as the debate viewership was compared to previous years, it was down sharply from the 24 million who saw the first GOP contest on Fox News Channel in February and the 23 million viewers who tuned in to CNN's event.
FCC probing US radio firm said to be backed by Chinese govt
A spokesman for the Federal Communications Commission confirmed Tuesday, Nov. 3, that the agency will open a probe into G&E Studio Inc., a Los Angeles-based company reportedly owned by James Su, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Shanghai. The company leases stations and air time, and broadcasts in more than 10 cities across the U.S., including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Its operations were disclosed in a report Monday by Reuters.
Owner: Over 40 layoffs at Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News
The owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer and its tabloid partner, the Philadelphia Daily News, plan to lay off more than 40 members of the news staff, but won't comment on how many managers might lose their jobs. Philadelphia Media Network said in a message to Guild members Monday, November 2, that the 46 newsroom layoffs will be effective Dec. 4. The company also says cutbacks are expected for management and other areas. Publisher Terrance Egger on Friday told staff its digital operation, Philly.com, would also be part of a consolidation to move to a single newsroom. He said the Network will save $5 million to $6 million annually. The newspaper owners are to meet with Guild leadership Wednesday to further discuss the layoffs. Egger took over as publisher on Oct. 1.
INDUSTRY NEWS 11-5-15
Blogger's widow urges safe houses for writers on death lists
The widow of a Bangladeshi-American atheist blogger killed earlier this year decried the Bangladesh government's failure to prosecute the perpetrators of deadly attacks on writers Monday and urged countries to provide safe houses for dozens more on death lists. Rafida Ahmed, who was hacked four times in the head and had her thumb sliced off in the Feb. 26 attack in Dhaka that killed her husband Avijit Roy, was the surprise speaker at a panel Monday to mark the second International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. They lived in Atlanta and were visiting Bangladesh where he spoke at a book fair just before the attack. Ahmed, who helped her husband with his writings, said there is a death list of 84 bloggers given to the government by "Islamic terrorists," adding that they are also killing people outside the list and she has also been threatened.
On trail of reporters, film puts 'Spotlight' on journalism
A group of Boston Globe reporters and editors recently gathered in New York to celebrate the premiere of Tom McCarthy's drama about their Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal. When asked why "Spotlight" — the film named after their investigative team — has earned their respect, they respond in an eager chorus. "They got it right," echoes around the table of Walter Robinson, who headed Spotlight, former deputy managing editor Ben Bradlee Jr., and two reporters from the team: Sacha Pfeiffer (now a columnist) and Mike Renzendes, who remains a part of Spotlight. In the film, they're played, respectively, by Michael Keaton, John Slattery, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo. Usually, the gulf between fiction and reality, Hollywood and the newsroom (or anywhere else), is too wide to engender the kind of enthusiasm shared among the veteran journalists.
Some Ohio prosecutors use social media to explain law, cases
Some prosecutors in Ohio are turning to social media to help update the public on court cases and the legal system. Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville in Mount Vernon said he has been working since January to find ways to use Facebook and other social media to help the public, The Columbus Dispatch reported Sunday. Online comments about the case of a man charged in the fatal shootings of his mother and girlfriend made McConville realize people don't always understand the legal process, he said. So he made a short video and posted it on Facebook to help explain the process. "Ordinary people do not understand because, for most, luckily, they've never had any interaction with law enforcement or the courts in this way. And it is the responsibility of the prosecutor to explain the process of the law," McConville said. Union County and Delaware County prosecutors are among others who are embracing social media to keep the public updated on cases and their offices' work.
NYT to name successor to publisher Sulzberger within 2 years
New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger says a successor will be chosen within two years. He said Monday in a "State of the Times" speech to employees that the board, senior management and family trustees would be involved in choosing a deputy publisher. Sulzberger is 64. New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy sent a transcript of his speech to The Associated Press. Like other newspapers, The New York Times Co. has suffered from the decline of print ads during Sulzberger's tenure, as readers migrate online. But the company has managed to grow its online circulation, and now has more than 1 million digital-only subscribers. It has set a goal of doubling its digital revenue, to $800 million, by 2020. Sulzberger has been publisher since 1992, when he was 40. "I've hit my mid-sixties, so it should come as no surprise that the task of choosing my successor has begun," he said Monday.
Campaign underway to fund UW-Oshkosh student newspaper
Faced with $74,000 in debt, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh student newspaper has launched a fundraising campaign to help keep it afloat. The Advance-Titan launched the drive using the hashtag WeNeedTheAT last Monday, Oshkosh Northwestern Media reported (http://oshko.sh/1P4Ppzh ). The student newspaper is working with UWO administrators to develop a plan to pay off that debt $5,000 a time each February for the next decade. University officials say they will not bail out the paper if it cannot come up with that amount.." Faculty adviser Vince Filak fears that if the A-T shuts down, it won't reopen.
Orange County Register owner files for bankruptcy protection
Freedom Communications Inc., owner of the Orange County Register, has filed for bankruptcy, and the newspaper's publisher said he plans to lead a bid to purchase the troubled company. Freedom filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court's Central District of California, the Santa Ana, California-based Register reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1HlrF1M ). Rich Mirman, Freedom's chief executive and publisher, and other local investors plan to reorganize the company's finances and assume ownership. Mirman said he expects the bankruptcy case to have no impact on day-to-day operations. Staffing will remain steady and payments to employees, key vendors and partners will continue, he said.
Man arrested at Idaho newspaper for attempted kidnapping, rape
Police in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, have arrested a man at the office of the Coeur d'Alene Press for investigation of kidnapping and attempted rape charges. KXLY-TV reports a 27-year-old woman was working alone in the newspaper office on Sunday morning when a subcontractor for the paper came into the building and told her a friend was waiting outside to talk to her. Police say the woman followed 44-year-old Jason Edwards, where he grabbed her, verbally threatened her and held a knife to her stomach. She was able to break free and take his knife. Edwards was cut in his hand during the struggle. The woman ran back into the building, locked the door and called police. Police say Edwards chased her but was not able to get back inside. Coeur d'Alene police arrested him and took him to get treatment for his injuries. Once released, he will be taken to jail. He faces kidnapping, aggravated assault, attempted rape, burglary and DUI charges. Police said Edwards is a registered sex offender.
Journalist files lawsuit against Baker City, Ore., for retaliation
A journalist has filed a federal lawsuit against Baker City, Ore., and its police chief, claiming officers retaliated against him after he wrote an editorial that was critical of the agency. Journalist Brian Addison filed the lawsuit Oct. 29 that says police harassed him and tried to get him fired in 2014 from a new job. The suit alleges the retaliation stemmed from a 2008 editorial in the Record-Courier in which Addison criticized a Baker City police canine unit for patrolling a high school gymnasium with drug-sniffing dogs during a basketball game. The editorial called the "random search by a canine unit" a violation of the U.S. Constitution's 4th Amendment. Baker City Police Chief Wyn Lohner told The Oregonian he hadn't seen the lawsuit but that the harassment allegations are false.
Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News to consolidate, cut jobs
The Philadelphia Inquirer and its tabloid partner, the Philadelphia Daily News, will merge newsrooms but continue to put out two separate newspapers, leading to an unknown number of job cuts, the owner announced Oct. 30. Publisher Terrance Egger said the digital operation, Philly.com, would also be part of the consolidation. Egger, in his first staff meeting since coming on board weeks ago, told employees the move to a single newsroom is designed to save Philadelphia Media Network $5 million to $6 million annually.
Charges filed in altercation between Tesla guards, RGJ staff
Storey County prosecutors have charged a Reno Gazette-Journal photographer with misdemeanor counts of trespassing and battery, and a reporter with misdemeanor trespassing after an altercation with two Tesla Motors security guards at an industrial park east of Sparks. The newspaper's lawyer says the journalists were trying to leave the area when they were attacked by two guards on Oct. 9. Photographer Andy Barron initially was booked on one trespassing count and two counts of felony battery with a deadly weapon after the guards told investigators he drove a Jeep into them, causing minor injuries to both.
GOP suspends partnership with NBC News for February debate
Still annoyed by CNBC's handling of this week's presidential debate, the Republican National Committee said Oct. 30 that it was suspending its partnership with NBC News and its properties on a primary debate scheduled for February. NBC News said it was disappointed in the development and will work to resolve the issue with the GOP. It was unclear in the letter from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus to NBC News chief Andrew Lack whether the party would forbid NBC from televising the Feb. 26 debate and open up the broadcast rights to others. The debate was expected to be telecast on NBC and its Spanish-language partner, Telemundo.
Editors from around the world urge Turkey to protect media
Dozens of editors from leading international news organizations have written to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressing "profound concern regarding the deteriorating conditions for press freedom in Turkey." The letter is signed by editors of news organizations in more than two dozen countries, including The Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Agence France-Presse, Germany's ARD and Japan's Mainichi Shimbun. "We urge you to use your influence to ensure that journalists, whether Turkish citizens or members of the international press, are protected and allowed to do their work without hindrance," the editors write. Erdogan's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Publisher of Logan, Utah, newspaper to resign
The publisher of The Herald Journal in Logan, Utah, is resigning. Publisher Mike Starn wrote in the northern Utah newspaper that he'll be leaving his post of five years after Jan. 1. Starn says he's stepping away to spend more time with his family after 34 years in the newspaper business, an industry that also employed his father and grandfather in Pennsylvania. The 53-year-old says his first job was managing newspaper carriers while studying at Ohio State University. Before joining The Herald Journal in 2011, he served as publisher of The High Point Enterprise in North Carolina, The Independent in Massillon, Ohio and The Times-Reporter in New Philadelphia, Ohio. The Herald Journal is owned by Seattle-based Pioneer News Group.
CNBC reaches 14 million viewers with GOP debate
CNBC reached its biggest audience ever with the third Republican presidential debate, but paid a price in criticism of how its moderators handled the opportunity to question the candidates. The Nielsen company said 14 million viewers watched the debate Wednesday night, down from the 24 million who saw the first contest on Fox News Channel in February and 23 million viewers for CNN's second contest. Still, it's an extraordinarily high bar: a 2011 debate with GOP candidates on CNBC had 3.3 million viewers, Nielsen said. This week's debate also competed against the second game of the World Series.
PRC settles failed lawsuit against a newspaper for $20,000
The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission is paying $20,000 to a New Mexico newspaper as part of a settlement in a failed lawsuit. The agency filed suit last August in an attempt to stop the Santa Fe New Mexican from publishing documents on an electric utility's coal plant plans. The newspaper's attorney says a countersuit seeking damages and attorney's fees will continue against Public Service Company of New Mexico and two coal companies. PNM and the coal companies also sued to stop publication of the records, which were related to the San Juan Generating Station near Farmington. The commission also agreed to never again attempt to impose a publication restraint on the newspaper.
Brown, Shelby elected to Pulitzer Prize Board
The board that chooses the winners of the Pulitzer Prizes has two new members.
Columbia University announced on Thursday, Oct. 29, that Neil Brown, editor and vice president of the Tampa Bay Times, and Harvard University Professor Tommie Shelby have been elected to three-year terms on the 19-member board. Brown became editor of the Times in 2010 after being managing editor and executive editor. It has won five Pulitzers under his leadership. Shelby is a professor of African and African American studies and of philosophy at Harvard. He has written two books and is working on his third, which focuses on black urban poverty. Members of the board can serve up to nine years. Columbia manages the prizes, which recognize excellence in journalism, books, drama and music.
BBC: Police used terrorism powers to seize reporter's laptop
British police used anti-terrorism laws to seize the computer of a reporter who has interviewed supporters of the Islamic State group, the BBC said Thursday, Nov. 29. The broadcaster said police had obtained an order from a judge under the Terrorism Act "requiring the BBC to hand over communication between a 'Newsnight' journalist and a man in Syria who had publicly identified himself as an IS member." The BBC said the man had appeared in reports on the "Newsnight" program by journalist Secunder Kermani and was not a confidential source.
Florida newspaper says Rubio should resign from Senate
In a blunt editorial, a top south Florida newspaper called on Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio to resign from the Senate, saying he was not doing his job in Washington. Citing his missed votes and his complaints about dysfunction in the Senate, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, based in Fort Lauderdale, said Rubio should step down and "let us elect someone who wants to be there and earn an honest dollar for an honest day's work." "Marco Rubio should resign, not rip us off," says the editorial's headline.
Turkish police raid media company tied to US-based cleric
Istanbul police used tear gas in a dawn raid Wednesday on the headquarters of a major media company linked to a government critic, enforcing a court order to seize the business just days before Turkey holds a national election. Police scuffled with hundreds of Koza-Ipek Holding employees, supporters and opposition legislators before breaking down the company's iron gates and escorting the newly appointed trustees into the building. The melee was broadcast live by Bugun TV and Kanal Turk. A prosecutor has ordered Koza-Ipek Holding placed under the management of a trustee while its ties to the movement led by Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based moderate Islamic cleric, are investigated. The government accuses the movement of trying to destabilize the state and prosecutors have labeled it a terrorist organization.
Telemundo closing gap on Spanish-language leader
Telemundo, the perpetual little brother to Univision in the competition between Spanish-language television networks catering to a U.S. market, is closing the gap this season with the help of fast-paced soap operas involving characters in the drug trade. So far this season, Telemundo's prime-time viewership is up 23 percent to 1.46 million, while Univision is down 21 percent to 2.29 million, the Nielsen company said. Telemundo has never beaten Univision in prime time, and the margin this year is smaller than it has ever been. Among viewers aged 18-to-49, Telemundo has cut the difference by 54 percent since 2010. The biggest factor are the so-called "narco novelas" like "Senor de los Cielos" and "Senora Acero." Spanish-language novellas, which air five nights a week in the same time slot, have generally run up to 150 episodes before reaching a conclusion, and Telemundo has been cutting these runs by as much as half.
'Spotlight' film illuminates Boston clergy abuse scandal
It was a scandal that shook the Roman Catholic Church to its core: Hundreds of priests molested children for decades and got away with it because church leaders covered it up. More than a decade later, the story of how The Boston Globe exposed the church's secret is being told in "Spotlight," a movie starring Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo, set for release in the U.S. Nov. 6. In Boston, where the scandal led to the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law and settlements with hundreds of victims, key figures featured in the film say it captures the shock of the scandal as it unfolded, the pain suffered by the victims and the work done by journalists to bring it to light.
INDUSTRY NEWS 10-27-15
Indiana media executive will lead Quad-City Times
Lee Enterprises has named a media executive from Indiana as the publisher of the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa.
Lee announced that it has promoted Deborah Anselm to publisher of the Quad-City Times, replacing Greg Veon who retired after nearly 40 years with Lee.
Anselm will shift from her current position as general manager of northwest Indiana's Times Media Company, publisher of The Times in Munster, Indiana. Anselm has held leadership positions at the company for 15 years.
Idaho Statesman names Debra Leithauser as new publisher
The Idaho Statesman has named Debra Leithauser as its new president and publisher.
The newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/1jT9k6T ) that 44-year-old Leithauser has been president and publisher of McClatchy's Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania since last year. She replaces Mike Jung, who left the Statesman in August.
Leithauser has worked as an editor of The Washington Post, acting as the Post's online Going Out Guide editor and editing the print entertainment section Weekend. She previously served as editor of The Washington Post Magazine.
Fred Scheller named publisher of Daily Star in New York
Fred Scheller, a veteran newspaper executive, has been appointed publisher of The Daily Star in Oneonta, New York, effective immediately.
Scheller moved to Oneonta from Pennsylvania, where he served as assistant general manager and audience director for The Daily Item in Sunbury.
Both newspapers are owned by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.
Hines to develop Houston Chronicle block
A partnership led by Houston development giant Hines has purchased the Houston Chronicle building for a future project.
The deal for the 10-story building that houses the Chronicle's editorial, circulation and advertising operations, as well as an adjacent parking garage, closed recently.
Hines, whose development portfolio includes such iconic nearby structures as Pennzoil Place, JPMorgan Chase Tower and Bank of America Center, said it plans to demolish the Chronicle building but has not decided what to build in its place.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, charity to grow Point Park journalism slate
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is partnering with the Allegheny Foundation to help Point Park University expand its journalism program and establish a $2.5 million Center for Media Innovation.
"The Center for Media Innovation will play a key role in the university's mission to teach students to be entrepreneurs and to embrace technological change," Point Park President Paul Hennigan told the newspaper.
An Allegheny Foundation grant will pay for most of the center, which should open next year. The foundation was headed by Dick Scaife, publisher of the Tribune-Review and head of its parent company, Trib Total Media, before his death last year. H. Yale Gutnick, Trib Total Media's chairman, said the newspaper will cover the other costs of the center through a sponsorship agreement.
INDUSTRY NEWS 10-21
Salt Lake City's daily newspapers want to extend court delay
Lawyers for Salt Lake City's two daily newspapers are asking a judge to extend a delay in a lawsuit over their business arrangement. Court documents show attorneys asked Friday, Oct. 16, for U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish to keep the case on hold for another three months. The document cites ongoing discussions, though it doesn't elaborate and it is unclear if the talks are related to a possible sale of The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah billionaire Jon Huntsman Sr. said last year he's interested in purchasing the Tribune but would wait until the lawsuit is settled. Former Tribune employees sued over the joint-operating agreement between the newspaper's corporate owners and the Deseret News. They argue it violates federal antitrust laws and could put the Tribune out of business. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints owns the Deseret News.
Biermann named new Star-Tribune publisher
Casper Star-Tribune operations director Tom Biermann will become the new publisher of Wyoming’s statewide newspaper, Nathan Bekke, vice president of consumer sales and marketing and group publisher for Lee Enterprises, the newspaper's parent company, announced Friday, Oct. 16. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with the leadership team in place here as we continue to serve our customers across Casper and Wyoming,” Biermann said. Lee Enterprises is also the parent company of The Billings Gazette, Missoulian, Montana Standard in Butte, Helena Independent Record, and Ravalli Republic in Hamilton. Biermann, of Casper, has served as interim publisher since July.
Trib Total Media has deal to sell 2 dailies, 6 weeklies
Trib Total Media, which publishes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, has agreed to sell eight of its smaller newspapers. The Trib announced in August it hoped to sell some smaller papers as it reorganizes to enhance its digital operations. On Friday, Oct. 16, the company announced that Sample Media Group affiliate West Penn Media LLC will buy the Leader Times in Kittanning and the Daily Courier in Connellsville. West Penn will also buy six weekly publications: The Dispatch in Blairsville, The Mount Pleasant Journal, The Independent-Observer in Scottdale, The Ligonier Echo, The Times-Sun in West Newton, and The Jeannette Spirit. Terms weren't disclosed and it wasn't immediately clear when Sample will take over the papers. President George "Scoop" Sample III says his company is committed to carrying the legacy of those newspapers into the future.
Foundation to run in remembrance of slain journalist
Supporters of the James W. Foley Foundation will be running in remembrance of the journalist who was executed in August 2014 after being held hostage in Syria by the Islamic State. Foster's Daily Democrat reports (http://bit.ly/1Oz0ZT0 ) the foundation is holding its inaugural Foley Foundation 5K on Saturday in Rochester. Officials say the run is meant to celebrate Foley's legacy and the work of the foundation. More than 1,200 people have registered for the run. That includes Gov. Maggie Hassan and U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte. His parents, Diane and John, established the foundation to carry on his legacy of American hostage advocacy, freedom of the press and education opportunities for disadvantaged youth.
CBS bans advertising for critical film
CBS has refused to run advertising for "Truth," the film starring Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford that revisits a painful episode in the network's past involving a discredited 2004 news story on former President George W. Bush's military service record. CBS has denounced the movie, which opens Friday, as a disservice to the public and journalists. Redford plays Dan Rather in "Truth," with Blanchett as producer Mary Mapes. Together, they were behind a "60 Minutes II" story that questioned Bush's Vietnam War-era commitment to service in the Texas Air National Guard. But CBS apologized for the story after documents used were called into question and could not be verified. Mapes and three news executives were fired.
Officer convicted of lying about arrest of news photographer
A New York City policeman has been convicted of lying about the arrest of a New York Times photographer. Prosecutors say journalist Robert Stolarik was photographing police Officer Michael Ackermann handcuff a teenager in 2012. They say he was using a camera not equipped with a flash and was several feet away. But they say Ackermann arrested him for obstructing governmental administration, claiming on court papers he repeatedly got in the officer's face firing a flash. The charge later was dismissed. Ackermann was convicted Thursday of offering a false instrument for filing. He faces up to four years in prison. He says he made an honest mistake. The New York Press Club says it's imperative journalists be allowed to do their work without the threat of police intimidation or false arrest.
Cable news pundit charged with fraud; ties to CIA disputed
Federal prosecutors say a Maryland man who offered national-security commentary on Fox News has been charged with fraud for falsely claiming a CIA career. Authorities say they arrested 62-year-old Wayne Simmons of Annapolis on Oct. 15 and charged him with fraud against the U.S. and making false statements to the government. An indictment states Simmons lied about having a 27-year career with the CIA as an "Outside Paramilitary Special Operations" officer. The indictment alleges that Simmons made the claim as he sought security clearances and in seeking work as a defense contractor.
Harmon named publisher of The Columbus Dispatch
A veteran newspaper group manager has been named president and publisher of The Columbus Dispatch. The Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1X7cy5d ) says Oct. 15 that Bradley M. Harmon has been appointed president and publisher of the newspaper, as well as president of the Dispatch Media Group. He was previously vice president for large dailies for Gatehouse Media, whose parent company bought the Dispatch earlier this year. Harmon began his career in Willoughby, Ohio, with The News Herald and went on to work for newspapers in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Portland, Oregon, before joining GateHouse Media in 2010. Harmon replaces interim publisher Jim Hopson. The newspaper has a circulation of more than 130,000 daily and 235,000 on Sundays. The group also includes 24 suburban weeklies and a magazine division.
Village Voice has new owner with longstanding newspaper ties
The Village Voice, an alternative New York weekly founded six decades ago, has been bought by the owner of a Pennsylvania newspaper whose family has been involved in the industry for generations. Peter Barbey told The New York Times (http://nyti.ms/1MxrdDA) that the Voice has "a unique journalistic role in New York and the country as a whole." Barbey's family has been the longtime owner of The Reading Eagle. He bought the Voice for an undisclosed sum from the Voice Media Group, which owns a number of weekly newspapers.
Brother of US journalist condemns 'cruel' detention in Iran
The brother of Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post journalist detained in Iran and convicted in secret, described his brother's imprisonment Oct. 13 as "cruel and inhumane" and called on the U.S. government to take "any appropriate actions" to win his freedom. Ali Rezaian told The Associated Press in an interview in Washington that the charges were "trumped up" and there was no evidence that his brother tried to access security information. Iran's judiciary spokesman confirmed the verdict on state TV Sunday, saying the ruling is eligible for appeal within 20 days, but gave no indication of what punishment the 39-year-old Iranian-American journalist could face.
Journalist says Canada PM abandoned him during Egypt ordeal
A Canadian journalist who spent much of last two years jailed in Egypt said Oct. 13 that he felt "betrayed and abandoned" by Prime Minister Stephen Harper during his ordeal. Mohamed Fahmy, a former al-Jazeera journalist who was released last month after receiving a pardon from Egyptian President el-Sisi, said Harper should have intervened more aggressively to get him freed faster. Instead, Fahmy said, Harper delegated his responsibility to people who lacked the clout to win his freedom.
Germany's top-selling daily combats ad blockers
Germany's biggest-selling daily is giving online readers who use ad-blocking software a choice: turn it off, or you can't read any content unless you pay a subscription. Publisher Axel Springer SE said Oct. 13 the experiment on the Bild newspaper's website is starting immediately. Users who don't switch off ad blockers won't be able to see any articles unless they pay a 2.99 euro ($3.40) monthly fee for "almost ad-free" access. Axel Springer's move is a response to the increasing use of software to block advertising that is important for publishers' revenue. Bild group management board chairwoman Donata Hopfen said that "even on the Internet, journalistic services need to be financed via the two well-known income streams — advertising and revenues stream — in order to continue to offer independent journalism."
INDUSTRY NEWS 10-7-15
AP to use Knight grant to expand access to data journalism
The Associated Press has announced plans to expand its data-driven journalism with a $400,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation that will improve public access to critical information and provide increased distribution of localized data to thousands of news organizations. The hiring of additional data journalists will enable the AP team to increase its production of projects based on analysis of national and local data, bring data journalism into more newsrooms and lead to more collaborative projects with reporters and editors at all kinds of news organizations. The data will be distributed to AP members and customers, including broadcasters, newspapers and new media.
Buyouts coming at company behind Chicago Tribune, LA Times
The owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers is offering buyouts to employees. Tribune Publishing announced the "Voluntary Separation Program" in a memo from CEO Jack Griffin to employees that was obtained by The Associated Press on Monday. The memo says the newspaper publisher needs to reduce costs but does not specify by how much. A separate memo to employees with more details on the buyouts says that after they are done, the company will determine if it needs to make "additional involuntary reductions" — layoffs.
Media company: DJ tried to influence listening habits
The owner of a Florida media company said Monday that radio host Bubba The Love Sponge Clem tried to influence the listening habits of a person who was participating in a ratings survey. In a statement, Beasley Media said Clem was contacted directly by someone who had a ratings device to measure listening habits. Nielsen calculates its ratings by putting listening devices that resemble pagers on people. Beasley said that Clem attempted to influence the person participating in the Nielsen ratings survey. "Beasley strongly condemns the actions of Mr. Clem," the statement said.
Publishing executive to lead Northeast Ohio Media Group
A longtime publishing executive will become president of Northeast Ohio Media Group, which operates Cleveland.com, the Sun News and is responsible for multimedia ad sales and marketing for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. NEOMG announced the hiring of Timothy P. Knight on Cleveland.com (http://bit.ly/1OhYYdG ) Monday. He will succeed Andrea Hogben, who said in August that she would leave the company at the end of the year. For the last four years, Knight has been chief executive officer of Wrapports LLC, which owns the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader and Splash and is an investor in digital startup businesses. Knight has previously served as president and CEO of Newsday Media Group, publisher of Newsday and has held executive positions with Tribune Publishing Company and Chicago Tribune Media Group.
Police: Man vandalizes News & Observer newspaper building
Police have distributed surveillance images of the man they say broke into the Raleigh, N.C., offices of The News & Observer newspaper and damaged property inside. The newspaper (http://bit.ly/1KUnH3O ) reports that a man vandalized the offices early Sunday morning, throwing computers through windows, tossing administrative files outside and leaving several bloody smears behind. Publisher Orage Quarles III says surveillance footage shows the suspect, who he says appears to have been intoxicated. He says nobody was injured during the vandalism. Police say the nearby First Presbyterian Church was also vandalized overnight, with similar broken windows and blood traces left behind. Quarles said The News & Observer had no security guards on duty Saturday night and Sunday morning.
IAPA reports 11 journalists killed in Americas since March
The Inter American Press Association says that 11 journalists from around the Americas have been killed since March — three each in Brazil and Mexico, two in Guatemala, and one each in Colombia, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. That brings to 16 the number of journalists killed in the region since the beginning of the year, the press group said in a report delivered during its current meeting in Charleston, S.C. It also said that there have been convictions in only 19 of the 145 journalist killings it has tracked since 1977. The association singled out Venezuela for criticism, saying "the attacks against freedom of expression are part of the deterioration ... occurring in the country."
Grant allows historians to digitize Idaho newspaper
Officials with the Idaho State Historical Society say they have secured a $250,000 grant to digitally preserve thousands of pages of old newspapers. KTVB-TV (http://bit.ly/1QPIEhH) reports that the grant will pay to digitize 100,000 pages of Idaho newspapers published between 1864 and 1923. Newspapers printed before 1923 are in the public domain and are not protected by copyright. Steve Barrett, with the society, says Idaho's newspaper archive was converted to microfilm in the 1980's. The microfilm now fills racks inside the society's facility, but officials are determined to keep up with technology. "They're priceless. They're absolutely priceless," Barrett said.
Vargas Llosa: More freedom now for Latin America press
While there's more freedom of the press for Latin American media under democracies than the dictatorships once common in the region, drug cartels pose a threat to such freedoms, Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa said Saturday. The Peruvian journalist, author and scholar who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2010, spoke on a variety of issues during an appearance at the Inter American Press Association which is meeting in Charleston, S.C. through Monday. Vargas Llosa comments in Spanish, interpreted by a translator, on some of those issues:
Late Las Vegas journalist Laura Myers named to Hall of Fame
The late Laura Myers, a veteran journalist and humanitarian who most recently served as the lead political reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was posthumously inducted into the Nevada Press Association's Hall of Fame on Friday. Myers died June 19 at the age of 53, two years after she had been diagnosed with colon cancer. Her family accepted the award on her behalf during the association's annual awards banquet in Sparks. Myers, a Las Vegas native, began her journalism career in 1984 as a reporter for the Reno Gazette-Journal. She spent more than 17 years on and off with The Associated Press, starting in 1987 in the Reno bureau and including a stint as AP's political editor during the 2000 presidential elections.
24-hour news, social media put pressure on cops, reporters
The 24-hour news cycle and social media put enormous pressure on reporters and law enforcement to get accurate information out quickly in a crisis such as the Charleston, S.C., church massacre, officials who responded and journalists who reported on the tragedy said Friday. Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., city police chief Greg Mullen, and journalists who covered the shootings discussed the challenge at a meeting of the Inter American Press Association that was held just a few blocks from the church. Mullen said there was pressure on police after the shootings to get accurate information to the news media quickly, but he said police simultaneously had to investigate the crime, ensure people were safe and help victims. Mullen and Riley met with the families of the shooting victims before information was released to the media.
Photographers association seeks repeal of Atlanta ordinance
A national organization that represents news photographers on Friday asked Atlanta's mayor to repeal a city ordinance it says is being used to stop news photographers from taking photos on public sidewalks. The National Press Photographers Association, joined by 11 news organizations including The Associated Press, sent a letter to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed saying it appears the ordinance is being applied too broadly and in a way that violates the constitutional right to free speech. Anne Torres, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said Atlanta police officers are being advised not to enforce the ordinance and that Reed's administration plans to introduce an ordinance on Monday to repeal it. She added that no one has been arrested or cited under this ordinance.
APG Media buys 4 Wyoming newspapers
The four Wyoming newspapers in the McCraken Newspaper Group have a new owner. The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/1L91oce ) that APG Media of the Rockies LLC has purchased the newspapers, which include the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in Cheyenne, the Laramie Boomerang, the Rawlins Daily Times and the Rock Springs Rocket-Miner. APG is a subsidiary of the Minnesota-based Adams Publishing Group, which publishes community newspapers, digital products and magazines in several states. The former WTE publisher and president of Cheyenne Newspapers Inc., L. Michael McCraken, says he's pleased with the purchase and praised APG's support of community newspapers.
Spain media mogul seeks libel charges against El Pais editor
Two of Spain's top media companies are facing off after a broadcasting magnate who has bankrolled Woody Allen movies asked a court to file criminal charges against the editor-in-chief of the country's leading newspaper. Jaume Roures, who heads Barcelona-based Mediapro, says El Pais newspaper hurt his reputation with an article last year stating he had 250 million euros ($278 million) in 150 accounts around the world, much of it in tax havens. He tried to force El Pais to publish a correction, but a judge dismissed that plea in August, saying Roures wasn't hurt and failed to prove the article was false. Now Roures has mounted a criminal libel and slander case against El Pais editor-in-chief Antonio Cano and reporter Rosario Garcia Gomez in a case made public last week after a magistrate said there was enough evidence for an investigation. If convicted, they could face up to two years in prison.
Jeffrey Shabram named Midland Reporter-Telegram publisher
Omaha, Nebraska, digital media executive Jeffrey Shabram has been named as the new publisher of the Midland (Tex.) Reporter-Telegram. Hearst Newspapers announced that Shabram will be responsible for the performance of the chain's West Texas newspapers, including the Reporter-Telegram and the Plainview Herald and two weeklies, the Muleshoe Journal and Canyon News. He succeeds Mike Distelhorst, who is now publisher of three eastern North Carolina dailies. Shabram is scheduled to take up his duties Monday. He comes to Midland from his position as senior director of Digital and corporate director of Digital Agency Services in the Berkshire Hathaway Digital Services Division. Before that, he was vice president of Midlands Newspapers from 2010 to 2014 and director of digital at the Omaha World-Herald from 2006 to 2010.
Newscast airs from lawn after bomb threat on building
Southern California TV station KABC-TV had to do its afternoon newscast from the building's front lawn after a bomb threat. The station's anchors, David Ono and Ellen Leyva, stood on the grass Wednesday, Sept. 30, and used trucks to broadcast as though they were reporters in the field. Glendale police said they received a call from an anonymous man who said there were multiple bombs inside the building. A bomb squad and search dogs combed the offices, which are also home of West Coast operations for ABC national news. Nothing was found, and the scene was declared safe. The KABC newscast included shots of the empty newsroom from an unmanned camera. Still, the mood outside was light-hearted. Weatherman Dallas Raines, in 90-degree heat, said it was neat to be in the weather rather than just forecast it.
News Corp. slashes 500 jobs at Amplify upon sale
News Corp. says it has laid off about 500 of the 900 employees at its money-losing Amplify educational unit and sold it to Amplify managers and private investors for an undisclosed amount. The move comes after the publishing company booked a $371 million write-off on the Amplify business, which sought to sell tablets to schools and develop a digital curriculum. The business lost $93 million in the year through June on $109 million in revenue. Joel Klein, the former New York City school chancellor who led the education business at News Corp., is to remain a director at News Corp. and Amplify. Amplify executive Larry Berger replaces him as CEO. Amplify will now focus on curriculum and assessment after it stopped selling tablets earlier this year.
Court upholds California law to control driving by paparazzi
An appellate court ruled Sept. 30 that California's newest anti-paparazzi law aimed at curtailing reckless driving by photographers is constitutional and does not violate the First Amendment right to freedom of the press. A three-justice panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles also unanimously decided the law is not vague and does not place an undue burden on the rights of newsgatherers, as opponents of the statute have argued. The ruling came in a case involving photographer Paul Raef, who was charged under the 2010 law after being accused of engaging in a high-speed pursuit of Justin Bieber along a Los Angeles freeway in 2012.
ABC apologizes for mixing up video of Indian actresses
ABC's "Nightline" is apologizing for confusing new network star Priyanka Chopra with another Indian actress. The news magazine aired a feature earlier this week about Chopra, the star of ABC's new drama "Quantico." A video shot supposedly showing Chopra in the Miss World pageant was included. But the video was of Yukta Mookhey, who won the crown in 1999. Chopra was the 2000 Miss World winner. The error was noted online by viewers, and ABC responded with an apology and posted a corrected version of the "Nightline" story online. Chopra, a Bollywood star who plays an FBI recruit in "Quantico," responded to the mix-up on Twitter by posting "LOL" and linking to another post that read, "Uh oh, @Nightline!"
Philadelphia alt weekly City Paper ending print edition
The Philadelphia alternative weekly newspaper City Paper will stop printing after it was purchased by a company whose investors include the publishers of a competing publication. Broad Street Media LLC said Wednesday it expects to incorporate City Paper's best features into the competitor, Philly Weekly. It also will combine their websites. SB New York Inc., which publishes the free Metro daily newspaper in Philadelphia, New York and Boston, had owned City Paper since August 2014. City Paper will cease print publication Oct. 8. Broad Street Media publisher Perry Corsetti says the company respects City Paper's history, dating to 1981, but doesn't want to run competing newspapers. Both free publications provide extensive coverage of the city's food, arts, music and entertainment scenes. As of last year, each reported weekly circulation of around 63,000.
German publisher Springer to invest in Thrillist Media Group
German publisher Axel Springer SE says it plans to buy a minority stake in Thrillist Media Group, the second U.S. investment plan it has announced this week. A statement Sept. 30 from Springer, the publisher of Germany's mass-circulation Bild newspaper and broadsheet daily Die Welt among other titles, didn't specify the size of the stake it will take in New York City-based TMG or the value of the deal. TMG operates the lifestyle portal Thrillist. Springer CEO Matthias Doepfner said the investment is "a further step we are taking to expand our global footprint as a digital publisher, especially in English-language markets." Springer said Sept. 20 that it will buy 88 percent of the Business Insider news website for $343 million.
Fox, SiriusXM launch headline news service
Fox News is collaborating with SiriusXM to launch a 24-hour news service that will update satellite radio listeners and mobile device users on headlines every 15 minutes. The service, to launch Oct. 5, is Fox's most high-profile new business venture since the Fox Business Network was started in 2007. Fox is hiring 40 to 50 new journalists and building a new newsroom for the operation, said Jay Wallace, Fox's senior vice president of news. Fox News Headlines 24/7 will introduce SiriusXM subscribers to a concept familiar to radio listeners in many of the nation's biggest cities — top stories continuously updated and repeated in 15-minute increments.
40 percent of millennials pay for print, online news
In a world flush with free information, some young people are still willing to shell out for news they read. A recent poll shows that 40 percent of U.S. adults ages 18-34 pay for at least some of the news they read, whether it's a print newspaper, a digital news app or an email newsletter. Another 13 percent don't pay themselves but rely on someone else's subscription, according to the survey by Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Older millennials are more likely than younger ones to personally pay for news.
INDUSTRY NEWS 9-29-15
Nexstar offers about $1.9B in cash, stock for Media General
Nexstar Broadcasting, attempting to drive a wedge between Media General and Meredith Corp., offered nearly $1.9 billion to buy Media General on Monday. Media General Inc. earlier this month made a $2.4 billion offer for Meredith, which owns television stations and publishes about 20 magazines. The deal, according to Media General, would create a company with almost 90 television stations in 54 markets and magazines including Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart Living. Nexstar on Monday bid a combination of cash and stock valued at $14.50 for each Media General share, a 30 percent premium to Media General's closing price Friday.
Media rights group says EU is too soft on Hungary
An international press freedom group says the European Union has been too lenient in its treatment of media abuses in Hungary and accuses it of economic bias in defending the rights of journalists. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in Tuesday's report "Balancing Act" that the 28-nation bloc was struggling to match its lofty human rights standards with its day-to-day actions in protecting journalists around the world. "There are significant challenges that undermine press freedom and new threats are emerging," the report concluded.
Some millennials digging into news, contrary to stereotype
Don't believe everything you see tweeted, shared or posted about the millennial generation being uninformed. A sizable group of these young adults — 4 of every 10 — actively seeks out the news, an analysis of their media habits finds. Even the out-of-it others say they stumble on news while they're catching up with friends on Facebook, scanning their Twitter feeds or looking for entertainment online. Like generations before them, the millennials are more nuanced and complicated than the stereotypes about them would have it.
Rouhani, meeting editors, hopes for better US relations
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is holding out the possibility for improved relations with the United States if the international nuclear deal that has caused controversy in both the U.S. and Iran gets fully implemented later this year. Asked specifically about the possibility of freeing Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, who has been held for over a year in an Iranian prison, Rouhani said he favored freeing U.S. prisoners in Iran and all Iranians held in U.S. jails, but the matter was mainly in the hands of Iran's judiciary. Speaking to a group of editors Friday after arriving for the annual U.N. General Assembly, Rouhani said implementation of the nuclear deal would improve the atmosphere to allow progress to be made.
Arizona Republic hires Parrish as new publisher
The Arizona Republic has named Mi-Ai Parrish of the Kansas City Star as its new publisher. Parrish has been publisher at the Kansas City newspaper for the last four years and previously held the top position at the Idaho Statesman in Boise. She replaces John Zidich, who was promoted to president of domestic publishing for Gannett Co. In her time in Kansas City, the 44-year-old Parrish won praise for embracing digital media and engaging with readers and the community while improving the overall quality of the newspaper's journalism. She previously worked at newspapers in Minneapolis, San Francisco and Chicago and served as an editor at the Arizona Republic from 1999 to 2001. Parrish said she looks forward to returning to Phoenix and building on the paper's strong tradition of investigative journalism.
Kirk campaign launches unusual attack on Chicago Tribune
Sen. Mark Kirk's campaign has launched an unusual public attack on a Chicago Tribune reporter, accusing him of "bullying" former and current staff members with questions about allegations that the Illinois Republican has been physically and verbally abusive toward employees. Kevin Artl, who is Kirk's re-election campaign manager, released a memo this week in which he said Tribune reporter Todd Lighty had contacted more than 15 people connected with Kirk, including current and former staffers and the senator's sister and mother. According to Artl, Lighty has identified four former staffers who the reporter says were subjected to abusive treatment. Artl says those staffers have denied any abuse took place. More broadly, the campaign denies that Kirk has been abusive toward any staff members.
ABC apologizes for claiming O.J. Simpson video as exclusive
ABC News apologized for promoting as an exclusive a videotape of O.J. Simpson that NBC had aired 15 years ago. In a statement issued Friday, ABC said it had the wrong impression that video footage from a 1990s civil suit deposition given by Simpson had not aired before at length. But NBC's "Dateline" had broadcast video from the deposition in 1999. The tapes were part of ABC's "20/20" broadcast that aired Friday after being heavily promoted by the network as including "never-before-seen videos" of Simpson being questioned about the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman.
Israeli officer suspended after journalists abused
The Israeli military says it has suspended an officer after soldiers were caught on camera assaulting a pair of Agence France-Press journalists in the West Bank. The army said Sunday that after a preliminary review, it determined the officer in charge "did not conduct himself in accordance with professional expectations." It called the incident "grave and in contravention of its code of ethics" and said the investigation was continuing. The Foreign Press Association, which represents journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories for international news organizations, has said the AFP photographer and cameraman were beaten by Israeli troops Friday in an unprovoked attack. The soldiers smashed a video camera and a still camera. The army has a long history of ignoring complaints of alleged violence against journalists.
Wesleyan students push boycott of campus newspaper
At Wesleyan University, known for its liberal culture, a campaign to shut down the campus newspaper is coming from an unlikely source: its students. The student government for the liberal arts school is weighing a petition to strip The Wesleyan Argus of funding after some students objected to an opinion piece it published on the Black Lives Matter movement. The university president, Michael Roth, has weighed in on the side of the press. In a statement titled "Black lives matter and so does free speech," he and two other administrators objected to what they described as harassment of the newspaper's editors and said the campus should not "demand ideological conformity because people are made uncomfortable."
Ad blockers rise as ads annoy, bog down websites
When you visit a website, you often find yourself waiting and waiting for advertisements to load. Video starts playing automatically, and animated ads jump in front of what you were there to see. The seconds tick by. It doesn't have to be this way. There are easy ways to block such annoyances, and Apple is now permitting apps that block ads in its Web browser for iPhones and iPads. All this might help users navigate, but it also threatens the livelihood of websites and publishers that depend heavily on advertising revenue — companies like Google, Hulu and The New York Times. While the rise in ad blocking isn't causing panic yet, publishers and content creators are watching.
Study: Presidential campaign coverage outpacing past
By one measure, the 2016 presidential campaign has made more news at this early stage than any of the six previous contests. ABC, CBS and NBC have devoted 504 minutes to campaign news on their evening newscasts through last Friday, according to an analysis by the Tyndall Report, which studies the content of these programs. The previous high of 462 minutes at this point came in 2007, another year when no incumbent was running. Tyndall made no such measurements prior to the 1992 campaign. Republicans have accounted for two-thirds of the coverage, partly because of the two debates and partly due to Donald Trump.
Off the air: Trump boycotts Fox News over campaign coverage
Donald Trump says he's done appearing on Fox News shows for the "foreseeable future" because he doesn't like the network's coverage of his presidential campaign. The billionaire businessman and leading Republican candidate tweets that Fox News has been treating him "very unfairly" and that he's going to stop appearing on its shows. Trump has been feuding with the network since first Republican primary debate, when he objected to the moderators' questions. There was a brief detente. But the feud escalated this week, with Trump tweeting and retweeting complaints about the network and hosts, including Megyn Kelly. Trump has become a constant presence on cable news shows and often phones in to share his thoughts. A Fox spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Journalists subpoenaed in lawsuit over Petraeus scandal
Nine journalists were issued subpoenas Sept. 22 as part of a lawsuit over the Obama administration investigation that led to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus. Those subpoenaed to provide depositions and documents include current and former reporters and editors at The Associated Press, The Washington Post, the Daily Beast and Fox News. Jill and Scott Kelley of Tampa, Florida, sued the federal government in 2013, alleging that officials violated the U.S. Privacy Act by disclosing information about the couple. Jill Kelley was implicated in 2012 scandals involving Petraeus and Marine Gen. John R. Allen.
Brian Williams returns to airwaves for pope coverage
Brian Williams returned to the airwaves of MSNBC to anchor coverage of the visit of Pope Francis to the United States on Tuesday, Sept. 22, his first day back at work following his suspension from NBC News and demotion for misleading viewers about his role in news stories. Dressed in a suit and blue striped tie, Williams made no mention of his absence. He anchored the network's coverage from 3 to 5 p.m. EDT, stationed in a Manhattan studio. Except for an interview with Matt Lauer on "Today," he'd been off the air since his suspension from "Nightly News" in February. He was caught telling a false story about his coverage of the Iraq War, and lost his "Nightly News" job after an NBC investigation turned up other instances of exaggerating his role.
Edwards chosen as new publisher of The Clarion-Ledger
Nathan Edwards will become president and publisher of The Clarion-Ledger and Mississippi Media, starting Oct. 1. Michael Kane, president of Gannett East Group, announced Edwards' new job Tuesday, Sept. 22, in The Clarion-Ledger (http://on.thec-l.com/1YzAQ9D ). Edwards will also have responsibility for the Hattiesburg American, which is also owned by Gannett. He has been general manager of the Hattiesburg American since March. Kane says a new general manager will be hired in Hattiesburg. Edwards was previously vice president of sales for the Augusta Chronicle and classifieds director at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. At The Clarion-Ledger, he will succeed Jason Taylor, who was named publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal in June. Owner GateHouse Media LLC also named Taylor president of its western U.S. publishing operations and CEO of GateHouse Media Live and Virtual Events.
INDUSTRY NEWS 9-23-15
AP’s Kathy Gannon and other international journalists win press freedom awards
International journalists who have endured death threats, physical attacks and imprisonment or exile are to be honored with Press Freedom Awards. The Committee to Protect Journalists' 2015 International Press Freedom Awards will be presented to Malaysia's Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, Paraguay's Candido Figueredo Ruiz and bloggers and journalists from Ethiopia and Syria at a ceremony in New York on Nov. 24. Veteran Associated Press foreign correspondent Kathy Gannon, who was shot six times by an Afghan security officer while on assignment in Afghanistan, will receive the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in the cause of press freedom.
International NY Times blocked in Thailand over king article
The local printer of the International New York Times decided not to publish Tuesday's edition in Thailand because of an article on the future of the Thai monarchy that it called "too sensitive to print" in the country, where strict laws limit open discussion of the royal family. The article, headlined "As Thai king ails, crown's future unclear," discussed the declining health of 87-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej and concerns about the monarchy's succession. The story, published on the front page of the newspaper's Asia editions, was written by its Bangkok-based correspondent.
After outrage, India rethinks draconian social media policy
The Indian government backtracked Tuesday on a proposed requirement for all messages sent on social media and mobile chatting apps to be saved for several months as a way of defeating encryption technology. The proposed law stipulated that all social media users would have to save plain-text versions of messages for 90 days. Services such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Viber and Google Chat encrypt messages as they are sent between users. There was widespread outrage online over the threat to privacy and the possibility of prosecution for those who refused to save their communications. The uproar comes just days before India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to Silicon Valley where he is to meet technology entrepreneurs to persuade them to invest in India.
Newseum displays freedom slogans in Chinese during Xi visit
Washington's popular museum about news media is preparing an eye-catching welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping's high-profile state visit this week: large banners calling for his authoritarian government to respect human rights and press freedom. The nonprofit Newseum, which lies on Pennsylvania Avenue a few blocks from the White House, will unveil the Chinese-language slogans Tuesday morning. Xi is set to arrive in Washington on Thursday ahead of an Oval Office meeting with President Barack Obama. Jeffrey Herbst, the Newseum's chief executive officer, said it is the first time the museum, which has occupied its current site for seven years, has used its prominent facade to highlight a situation in a foreign country when its head of state visits Washington.
Rural NC tract is last shortwave site for US broadcaster VOA
Despite broadcast satellites and cellphones, the U.S. government continues to transmit that staple of Cold War spy movies — shortwave radio — from miles of transmission towers tucked away in a corner of rural North Carolina. The last Voice of America shortwave transmission station in the United States spreads across 2,700 acres eastern North Carolina's flat coastal plain, ready in a crisis to blast news to the world's remote corners. The taxpayer-funded transmission site near Greenville, named for legendary broadcaster and former director of VOA's parent agency Edward R. Murrow, reserves a domestic option for the government broadcaster that has overwhelmingly gone digital or sends its signals from overseas sites.
Kate Snow appointment continues MSNBC transformation
MSNBC has appointed Kate Snow to anchor an afternoon news broadcast, nearly completing a daytime refocus of the struggling network back to news that will be fully on display next week when Brian Williams returns to the air for coverage of Pope Francis' visit to the United States. Since Andy Lack returned this spring to take over the NBC News operation, he's spent much of his time plotting a reconfiguration of MSNBC into something similar to what was envisioned at its start two decades ago — a fully integrated arm of NBC News. Gone are opinion-based programs with personalities like Ronan Farrow, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton and Alex Wagner, which Lack said were rejected by viewers. Instead, the daytime lineup will have news programs anchored by Snow, Andrea Mitchell, Thomas Roberts, Tamron Hall and Jose Diaz-Balart, with Williams moving in probably a couple of times a week as news warrants.
AP appoints new vice president of sales for Asia
The Associated Press has announced the appointment of YK Chan as its new vice president of sales for Asia. Chan, who has been head of AP's Global Media Services unit for Asia, will succeed Maria Ronson, who will conclude her long tenure as an AP executive at the end of the year. Asia, a key region for AP, continues to evolve at a fast pace. Chan, a native of Singapore who is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, joined AP in 2001 as a regional sales executive for Asia. Based in Hong Kong, he worked across different areas of the business before leading GMS in Asia, with a focus on Japan, China and Australia. He has already made a significant contribution to the Chinese market and the growth of customer revenues for AP.
Canada’s La Presse ends weekday paper
Another alarm bell sounded last week for the future of print newspapers in Canada when one of the country's largest and oldest dailies announced the end of its printed weekday edition nearly three years after introducing its free digital tablet edition. Montreal La Presse, owned by Power Corp., announced Sept. 16 that the print edition of the 131-year-old French-language paper will only be available on Saturdays after Jan. 1. Publisher Guy Crevier says the paper will become the world's first major daily to go completely digital on weekdays as it responds to a permanent shift in advertising spending.
Newspaper, Pennsylvania attorney general in court over release of emails
Lawyers for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane and a Philadelphia newspaper sparred before a state appellate court in Harrisburg over the release of more pornographic emails from her office. At a hearing in Commonwealth Court on Wednesday, Sept. 16, Kane's attorney argued only emails relating to government business must be released under Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know law. But Terry Mutchler, representing The Philadelphia Inquirer, said the emails are public records not only because they document official transactions, but also because they shed light on how employees use state time and resources. The Inquirer filed a Right-to-Know request last year for all the pornographic emails. Kane's office released some of the pornographic emails last year, resulting in a wave of resignations and firings, including a state Supreme Court justice, and the courts released more last month.
Brother of Post reporter detained in Iran appeals to UN body
The brother of jailed Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian has appealed to a U.N. human rights panel in to urge his release from detention in Iran. Ali Rezaian made the plea Tuesday, Sept. 16, at a working group on arbitrary detention at the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.
AP: Hungary police forced journalist to delete footage
The Associated Press is protesting the brief detention of one of its journalists by Hungarian police as he covered migrants crossing the border, saying he was forced to delete footage that included images of a police dog knocking down a refugee. Hungary disputed the account Tuesday, Sept. 15. The incident took place Saturday evening as the cameraman, Luca Muzi, was filming migrants who had crossed from Serbia through fields near the Hungarian town of Roszke. Police moved in to stop the people, and one policeman let a muzzled police dog attack a Syrian man, knocking him to the ground as the Syrian cried out, "Please, please, I'm a refugee!" Muzi said.
INDUSTRY NEWS 9-16-15
Gray Television to acquire TV, radio stations for $442.5M
TV station owner Gray Television Inc. said Friday it agreed to buy Schurz Communications Inc.'s TV and radio stations for $442.5 million. Gray said the acquisition will bring its operations to 49 television markets and 28 states, up from 30 markets in mid-2013. Gray will acquire TV stations in markets ranging from Wichita, Kansas and Augusta, Georgia to Anchorage, Alaska. Consolidation has swept the broadcast and cable industries as people increasingly turn to the Internet for video and content costs rise for cable and TV companies.
Judge in hot car death case allows news media in hearings
A judge on Monday refused to bar the news media from the courtroom during pretrial hearings for a Georgia man accused of killing his toddler son by leaving him in a vehicle on a hot day. Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley said defense arguments to close the hearing did not outweigh the value of open proceedings. She also said careful questioning during jury selection and clear and direct instructions from the court should protect Justin Ross Harris' right to a fair trial. Harris faces charges including murder in the June 2014 death of his son, Cooper. Harris has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his lawyers have said the boy's death was a tragic accident.
Sacramento Bee to hold public records seminar for readers
The Sacramento Bee will host a seminar this month to help readers understand how they can obtain information kept by government agencies. The event, titled “Your Right to Know,” will take place Sept. 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Sacramento Bee, 2100 Q St., Sacramento. In the first hour, panelists will explain state and federal public information laws and share strategies for dealing with agencies that refuse to provide records. During the last half-hour, readers can meet with reporters, editors and open-records experts to ask questions about how they can obtain public information. Media law experts Karl Olson and Terry Francke are among those expected to attend.
Clooney says Canada should press Egypt on jailed journalist
George Clooney urged Canada's prime minister on Friday, Sept 11, to put pressure on Egypt's government to free jailed Al-Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy from prison. Clooney's wife, Amal, is Fahmy's lawyer. The actor made the remarks about Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the red carpet of the Toronto International Film Festival. Fahmy, a Canadian, and two other journalists were sentenced to three years in prison this month in a case criticized by press freedom advocates and others.
Warden elected president of Missouri Press Association
The third-generation publisher of an eastern Missouri newspaper has been named president of the Missouri Press Association. Dennis Warden of Owensville is publisher of the Gasconade County Republican and president of Warden Publishing Co. He was elected Friday in Columbia at the MPA's annual convention. He succeeds outgoing president Jim Robertson, managing editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Warden became publisher and sole owner of the Republican with his wife, Connie, in 2008. Other 2016 MPA officers and directors elected Friday include: First Vice President, Jeff Schrag, Springfield Daily Events; Second Vice President, Carol Stark, The Joplin Globe; Secretary, Michael Jensen, Sikeston Standard-Democrat; and Treasurer, Liz Irwin, Missouri Lawyers Media, St. Louis.
Purdue, newspaper resolve suit over police confrontation
Purdue University and the school's student newspaper have resolved a lawsuit filed over a confrontation that campus police officers had with a student photographer shortly after a student was slain inside a classroom building. The parties said in a joint statement that their agreement includes the dismissal of the lawsuit that the Purdue Exponent newspaper had filed seeking release of a video of the photographer's detention by police. Bill Kealey and Steve Badger, attorneys representing Purdue and the Purdue Student Publishing Foundation, said the parties "found common ground on their shared concerns and reached a forward-looking agreement on how to improve communications and procedures."
Journalists listed as friends to witness Oklahoma execution
Two journalists and an outspoken death penalty opponent are among the execution witnesses for condemned Oklahoma inmate Richard Eugene Glossip. State Department of Corrections records show Huffington Post reporter Kim Belleware and Sky News reporter Ian Woods are listed among five friends of Glossip authorized to witness his execution on Wednesday, Sept. 16. Anti-death penalty advocate Sister Helen Prejean is designated as Glossip's clergy witness. Belleware and Woods both say they were asked by Glossip to attend because of their coverage of his case. They will not be considered among the five media witnesses. Department of Corrections policy provides one media spot to a reporter for The Associated Press and another to a media outlet from the city where the crime occurred. The remaining three media witnesses are selected by random drawing.
NBC's Chuck Todd settling in after year at 'Meet the Press'
One of the ironies in this season of Trump is that the man who publicly mocked "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd for low ratings was responsible for Todd's best ratings ever on the show. NBC hopes that numbers for the recent Sunday where Todd interviewed Donald Trump from Iowa aren't just an outlier. Todd has some momentum at his one-year anniversary at "Meet the Press," reimagining a show that began in 1947 while preparing for a new weekday role at MSNBC.
Brian Williams returning to air on Sept. 22
Former NBC News anchor Brian Williams will return to the air on Sept. 22 as part of MSNBC's coverage of Pope Francis' visit to the United States. The network pinpointed the date on Thursday. It had been looking toward coverage of the pope's visit as the place to start him in his new job of covering breaking news stories during MSNBC's daylight hours. Williams lost his job as anchor of NBC's "Nightly News" and was suspended for six months after a pattern emerged that he had lied about his role covering certain news stories. Lester Holt has taken over at "Nightly News" and maintained NBC's lead in the evening news ratings competition.
Deal gives Fox majority stake in National Geographic media
The 127-year-old nonprofit National Geographic Society has struck a $725 million deal that gives 21st Century Fox a majority stake in National Geographic magazine and other media properties, expanding an existing TV partnership. The agreement announced Wednesday will give the company controlled by Rupert Murdoch's family a 73 percent stake in the new National Geographic Partners venture. The society retains 27 percent ownership. The move shifts the longtime nonprofit flagship magazine into a for-profit venture. The arrangement brings together National Geographic's magazine with its cable channels and other media businesses.
NTSB: Crew neglected pre-flight check in crash that killed 7
The pilots of a business jet that crashed in Massachusetts last year, killing a Philadelphia newspaper co-owner and six other people, did not perform a pre-flight check, failed to disengage a safety mechanism before attempting takeoff and reacted too late to a warning light, federal investigators said Wednesday, Sept. 9. The system the pilots forgot to disengage was supposed to keep the moving Gulfstream IV from reaching a speed needed for takeoff, but failed to do so, the National Transportation Safety Board said during a meeting in Washington to discuss the final report into the May 2014 crash at Hanscom Field in Bedford. The pilot, co-pilot and flight attendant as well as four passengers, including Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner Lewis Katz, died. The passengers had been at an event at the home of historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Trump asks CNN to give debate advertising sales to veterans
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is asking CNN to donate to veterans the proceeds from advertising sold to air during this week's Republican debate. In a Tuesday letter to the cable news network, the billionaire says he is the reason the network sharply increased its rates ahead of the Sept. 16 debate in California. Trade publications have reported that CNN is asking for up to $200,000 for a 30-second ad, and that typical rates run as low as $5,000. Trump writes that the spike in viewer interest "is due 100 percent to Donald J. Trump." Trump angered some veterans in July when he mocked Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee and a former prisoner of war in Vietnam.
The Jersey Journal gets new publisher
An executive with long experience in newspapers and online operations has been named publisher of The Jersey Journal. David Blomquist was the former editor-in-chief of NJ.com and has recently been a strategist and mentor at several Advance New Jersey companies. The Detroit native spent 15 years at The Record newspaper, working his way up from municipal reporter to director of online development. He then led online operations at the Detroit Free Press, returning to New Jersey to join NJ.com and Advance in 2006. Blomquist told the newspaper's staff that working together, they will create a Jersey Journal that respects the paper's 148-year legacy of community service and leads the region into the future.
Los Angeles Times publisher is fired after year on job
Tribune Publishing Co. on Tuesday, Sept. 8, fired the publisher of the Los Angeles Times after little more than a year on the job. Tribune gave no explanation for Austin Buetner's abrupt departure, which took effect immediately. It appointed Timothy Ryan, publisher of The Baltimore Sun, to replace Buetner as head of the company's California Newspaper Group, which includes The San Diego Union-Tribune. Buetner, a former investment banker and Los Angeles civic leader, said on Facebook that he was fired. He was named publisher in August 2014, shortly after Chicago-based Tribune Publishing was spun off from broadcasting properties owned by Tribune Media Co.
Canadians urge PM to work to free journalist jailed in Egypt
Some 300 prominent Canadians have sent a letter to Canada's prime minister urging him to take action to get Al-Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy freed from an Egyptian prison and returned to Canada. Former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, Supreme Court of Canada justice Louise Arbour and author Michael Ondaatje are among those who signed the letter to Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Committee to Protect Journalists also joined in the call for Harper to do more. Fahmy, a Canadian, and two other journalists were sentenced to three years in prison this month in a case long criticized by press freedom advocates and others.
Media General buying Meredith in $2.4B deal
Media General is buying Meredith Corp. in an approximately $2.4 billion cash-and-stock deal. The combined company, called Meredith Media General, will have 88 television stations in 54 markets and media brands including Better Homes and Gardens, Parents and Shape. Meredith shareholders will receive cash and stock valued at $51.53 per share. That's a 12 percent premium to the company's Friday closing price of $45.94. Media General stockholders will own about 65 percent of the combined company, while Meredith shareholders will own approximately 35 percent. The board will include 12 members, eight appointed by Media General Inc. and four by Meredith. The deal is targeted to close by June 30, 2016. It still needs approval from Meredith and Media General shareholders and the Federal Communications Commission.
Image of dead child on beach haunts and frustrates the world
The photo of the dead 3-year-old Syrian boy on a Turkish beach is haunting. It captures everything we don't want to see when we tap our phones or open our newspapers: a vicious civil war, a surge of refugees, the death of an innocent. The image of little Aylan Kurdi is hammering home the Syrian migrant crisis to the world, largely through social media. Aylan died along with his 5-year-old brother and their mother when their small rubber boat capsized as it headed for Greece. The Associated Press distributed the photos to its subscribers. The photos were from the Turkish news agency DHA.
Apple wants to guide your news consumption with News app
Apple wants to be a central part of how you consume news.The iPhone maker has forged partnerships with CNN, National Geographic and others — more than 50 companies so far, representing hundreds of outlets. Apple will launch a News service on iPhones and iPads as part of a free software update this month. That means millions of devices will get the app on the home screen, with no separate download required.
News Corp confirms return of Rebekah Brooks in top role
News Corp, Rupert Murdoch's media empire, has confirmed that Rebekah Brooks is returning to the top spot in London more than a year after she was acquitted of charges in a hacking scandal that shocked the U.K. The New York company said Wednesday, Sept. 2, that Brooks, 47, will be CEO of News UK, returning to a role she left in 2011 amid the hacking scandal at the company's now defunct News of the World paper. News Corp has spent more than $500 million in legal settlements with hacking victims and other related costs after it came to light that reporters eavesdropped on private voicemails of thousands of people.
Century-old home of former LA newspaper will get new life
Developers are planning new life for a century-old building in downtown Los Angeles — the former home of the Herald Examiner newspaper. The Mission Revival style building with its red-tiled roof, front arches and marble-and-gold lobby has been closed to tenants since the paper closed in 1989. Since then, it's mainly been used as a filming location. But the Los Angeles Times says a New York developer, Georgetown Co., is partnering with the Hearst Corp. newspaper chain on a $40 million redevelopment project. They plan to convert the building into 80,000 square feet of office space, with ground-floor restaurants. Publisher William Randolph Hearst commissioned the building, which opened in 1915. The redevelopment is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
INDUSTRY NEWS 9-3-15
The Associated Press to move to new NYC headquarters in 2017
The Associated Press plans to move its global headquarters from Manhattan's far west side to a smaller, less-expensive space adjacent to the World Trade Center site, the news cooperative's president said.
The move, planned for early 2017, would bring the AP to 200 Liberty St., which is across the street from the Sept. 11 memorial in a waterfront neighborhood that has blossomed as the city has recovered from 9/11. At the time of the terror attacks, the building was known as One World Financial Center.
"We're going to a better building in a better location for less money," said Gary Pruitt, AP president and CEO.
He said the lease will be for at least 21 years, cementing the AP's presence downtown for the long term.
The building would be the 11th corporate address in New York for the AP since it was founded in 1846 by a group of newspapers that wanted to share the costs of covering the Mexican War. It stands just blocks from the AP's earliest address, 83 Liberty St.
Bloomberg News to lay off about 80 journalists
The Washington Post reports that Bloomberg News, the global media organization headed by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, will lay off about 80 journalists in a rare retrenchment for the high-flying company.
New York-based Bloomberg employs about 2,400 journalists in 150 bureaus worldwide, and it generally has been in a growth mode in recent years as other news organizations have pared back.
But the privately held company will announce this week that it is cutting about 3 percent of its editorial staff. The layoffs will be spread throughout the company and across bureaus, people familiar with the plans said.
About a dozen positions will be cut in Bloomberg’s 200-person Washington bureau, with a larger, undetermined number in New York and elsewhere.
Daily Transcript in San Diego, California, gets new life
The Daily Transcript of San Diego, California, which was scheduled to cease publication following a 130-year run, will live on, thanks to the purchase of its name and masthead by the Los Angeles-based Daily Journal Corp., the newspaper announced. While the Daily Journal did not buy the newspaper company itself, its purchase means it will be able to put out a print publication under the name of The Daily Transcript and as part of that, publish “public notice advertising,” explained Transcript Publisher Robert Loomis. The Daily Journal Corp., which operates small business and legal newspapers in California and Arizona, has hired four Transcript reporters and is expected to publish its first version of the new Transcript soon.
9 western Pennsylvania newspapers put up for sale
Nine western Pennsylvania publications, including four daily newspapers, are up for sale as Trib Total Media implements a strategic plan.
The company said (http://bit.ly/1EpbV1U ) it was selling The Valley Independent in Monessen, the Leader Times in Kittanning, The Daily News in McKeesport and the Daily Courier in Connellsville.
It's also unloading five weeklies in Westmoreland County. They are The Mount Pleasant Journal, The Independent-Observer, The Ligonier Echo, The Times-Sun and The Jeannette Spirit.
Chief executive Jennifer Bertetto says the company will offer buyouts to about 430 employees at other properties and expects about 75 to accept. She says the company plans to enhance its digital operations.
Trib Total Media is changing after owner Dick Scaife's death last year. It currently has 77 publications.
Parent firm of Philadelphia newspapers names new publisher
The parent company of Philadelphia's two daily newspapers has named industry veteran Terrance Egger as its new publisher.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1NwP1Z6 ) reports that Egger takes over Oct. 1 as the publisher of Philadelphia Media Network, which includes the Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.
Fifty-seven-year-old Egger previously led the Cleveland Plain Dealer and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Current publisher H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest called him "a proven leader in the industry" who understands how to keep the printed papers strong while expanding digital news.
Roswell (New Mexico) Daily Record names new publisher
A member of the family that has owned the Roswell (New Mexico) Daily Record for decades has stepped in as the new publisher.
The Roswell Daily Record announced the appointment of Barbara Beck. She replaces Charles Fischer, who left in early August after eight years at the helm.
Beck is a daughter of Robert Beck, president of Roswell Publishing Co., and sister to Cory Beck, who was the paper's publisher for nearly 20 years until his death in 2006.
Barbara Beck is an educator and worked as a journalist for The Associated Press for several years in the Middle East during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Elderton named newspaper’s new general manager
The new general manager of The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs, Arkansas, started his newspaper life in 1969, working for his hometown daily in Springdale.
Numerous disruptions have reshaped the media landscape during the ensuing 46 years, but Bill Elderton maintains newspapers are no less indispensable. It’s an essential quality that’s difficult to capture with circulation numbers, advertising revenue or awards.
Elderton started in the advertising and business departments, moving on from Springdale to work at the Camden News, Arkansas Gazette and El Dorado News-Times.
A career arc that bent toward management put him in charge of as many as five newspapers in Arkansas and Mississippi as a group publisher for Horizon Publications Inc.
Hamilton takes the helm at Journal Tribune in Biddeford, Maine
Devin Hamilton is the new publisher of the Journal Tribune in Biddleford, Maine.
“We are pleased that Devin has joined the Journal Tribune team,” George Sample, CEO of Sample News Group, parent company of the Journal Tribune, said. “He comes with great experience and a youthful exuberance to take the Journal Tribune into a new era.”
Hamilton comes from Community Media Group, where he was publisher of The Courier-Express and related publications in central Pennsylvania. Hamilton previously served as publisher of The Madison Press in central Ohio. He has worked for the Times Publishing Co. in Erie, Pennsylvania and Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. in various roles. In 2011, Hamilton was named to Editor and Publisher’s Top 25 under 35.
John Brewer to retire from newspaper in Port Angeles, Washington
John Brewer, who guides the Peninsula Daily News in Port Angeles, Washington, as its publisher and editor, will retire in early October, closing out almost 18 years at the PDN and five decades in journalism.
Brewer has overseen the newspaper's transition from a print-centered operation to one that also delivers content through the Web, social media sites including Facebook and the PDN's eEdition, an electronic page-by-page replica of the newspaper's daily editions tailored for Clallam and Jefferson counties.
“It's been a joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating and occasionally bumpy ride,” said Brewer, who will turn 68 in October.
New North Dakota law bolsters student journalists' free speech rights
Journalism students returning to North Dakota public schools this fall will be able to do their jobs at high school and college newspapers with stronger free-speech protections thanks to a new state law that observers are hoping will also spur changes nationwide.
The new measure guarantees student journalists the right to exercise free speech in school-sponsored media, regardless of whether the school supports the media financially or students participate as part of a class. The law puts North Dakota among a few states that have enacted legislation meant to counteract a 1980s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said limits can be set on the free-press rights of high school students.
Under the new law, North Dakota school administrators can only exercise prior restraint of school-sponsored media if it is libelous or slanderous; constitutes an unwarranted invasion of privacy; violates federal or state law; or incites students to commit a crime, violate a school policy or disrupt school operations.
INDUSTRY NEWS 8-26-15
Owner of New York tabloid says it's off the market
Mort Zuckerman, the owner of the New York Daily News, says the tabloid is no longer up for sale. In an internal memo made available to The Associated Press, Zuckerman says that after meeting with "several potential interested and well-intentioned suitors," he's withdrawing the paper from the market. He had said in February that he had been approached by a potential buyer. The Daily News has in recent years beefed up its website with a focus on national and celebrity news, and Zuckerman says the digital arm of the Daily News will be increasingly important.
AP Poll: No digital divide among black, white millennials
A new poll finds African-American millennials say they are just as engaged in getting news online as their white counterparts, further debunking a long-held belief that people of color are at risk of being left behind technologically. In general, 64 percent of millennials say they read and watch news online regularly, including 66 percent of African-Americans, according to the poll, conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute. Sixty-five percent of white millennials say they keep up with the news online, while 53 percent of Hispanics do the same. The findings suggest that, despite fears that millennials — those 18-34 years old — may not be going to traditional sources for news, they are clearly getting news from social media. Overall, 57 percent of millennials say they get news and information from Facebook at least once a day, and 81 percent say they get it from Facebook at least once a week.
INDUSTRY NEWS 8-19-15
West Virginia attorney general files petition over newspaper combination
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked a Putnam County judge to require the Daily Gazette Company to turn over information about the joining of the Gazette and the Daily Mail newspapers. Morrisey's office filed a petition last week in Putnam Circuit Court asking that a judge require the company to comply with an investigative subpoena about the newly formed Charleston Gazette-Mail. The attorney general’s office is looking into whether any antitrust violations occurred under state law when the newsrooms combined. Attorneys for the newspaper argue Morrisey has no probable cause for the subpoena and said they welcome an independent judicial review.
INDUSTRY NEWS 8-12-15
Stewart ends 'Daily Show' with 'moment of Zen,' Springsteen
Jon Stewart said goodbye to "The Daily Show," America's foremost satirist of politicians and the media ushered out by Bruce Springsteen and a reunion of the many colleagues that he worked with during 16 years as host. "Guess what?" Stewart said. "I've got big news. This is it." Armed with a razor-sharp wit and research team adept at finding video evidence of hypocrisy or unintentional comedy among the nation's establishment, Stewart turned a sleepy basic-cable entertainment show into a powerful cultural platform. But the 52-year-old comic announced last winter that he was getting restless and it was time to move on.
Trial wraps up for Washington Post reporter held in Iran
A Washington Post reporter detained in Iran more than a year ago and charged with espionage appeared in a Tehran court for a final hearing, with a verdict expected in the coming days in a trial that has been condemned by the newspaper and press freedom groups.Jason Rezaian's lawyer, Leila Ahsan, submitted a 20-page defense brief at the start of the session and provided an oral defense during the hearing, she told The Associated Press. Rezaian also spoke in his own defense, she said. She declined to provide details, citing confidentiality rules surrounding the trial. The fourth closed-door hearing in Rezaian's trial ended after a few hours devoted to his defense. Rezaian was tried by a Revolutionary Court, which hears sensitive cases, including those related to national security.
Times-Shamrock selling papers in Pennsylvania, New York
Times-Shamrock Communications is selling three groups of newspapers in Northeast Pennsylvania and South Central New York to the Sample News Group.The newspapers include dailies, weeklies and monthlies and are all part of the Towanda Printing Company, a Times-Shamrock unit being sold along with its printing plant.The Pennsylvania papers changing hands include The News-Item in Shamokin and The Daily Review in Towanda. Times-Shamrock will continue operating four dailies in the northeastern part of the state, including The Times-Tribune of Scranton. The Sample News Group currently operates 15 dailies in six states, including The Daily News in Huntington and the Latrobe Bulletin, both in Pennsylvania.
Frankfort, Kentucky, newspaper to be sold
The State Journal in Frankfort, Kentucky, which has been published by Dix Communications for more than 50 years, is being sold to Boone Newspapers Inc. Publisher Ann Dix Maenza told the central Kentucky newspaper staff about the pending sale. G. Charles Dix II, president of Ohio-based Dix Communications, told The State Journal that the two companies have signed letters of intent and are "moving toward the completion of a purchase agreement." They expect to close around Sept. 1. Boone newspapers and its affiliates own about 40 newspapers. Meanwhile, an affiliate of Boone Newspapers Inc., which has corporate offices in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and Natchez, Mississippi, has acquired two newspapers in Georgia. The Americus Times-Recorder and The Cordele Dispatch were acquired for an undisclosed amount from Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. of Montgomery.
Newspaper executive named regional publisher at Florence, South Carolina
Veteran newspaper executive Joseph Craig has been named regional publisher of the Morning News in Florence, South Carolina, and the Carolina Publishing Group.The Morning News reports (http://bit.ly/1MNk2HT) the announcement was made by Kevin Kampman, vice president of BH Media's Southern Group. Craig, who has more than 40 years in newspapers, will lead the newsroom, advertising and circulation departments.
San Francisco Bay area news crews targeted by robbers
San Francisco Examiner photographer Mike Koozmin was on a routine assignment at the city's Hall of Justice in the middle of the day when he was robbed of his camera equipment."They pulled me into an alley and were tugging on my camera strap," Koozmin said of his two assailants, who ended up with $10,000 worth of equipment last month. "I was resisting at first, but then I saw how desperate they were and gave it to them." It was the latest of at least a dozen robberies of television news crews and still photographers that has plagued the San Francisco Bay Area in recent years.
Vice digital editorial staffers join union
Vice Media's digital editorial staff are joining a union, the latest in a wave of digital staffers voting to unionize. The Writers Guild of America, East said that the next step is negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with Vice management. Vice is based in New York. Vice CEO Shane Smith said he supported the writers' decision to unionize. Over the summer, Gawker Media and Salon joined the same union. Guardian U.S. editorial staffers joined The News Guild-CWA. Before that, no digital media sites had been unionized.The Associated Press, The New York Times and other newspaper staffers have union representation. The Writers Guild of America, East is part of the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of labor unions in the United States.
Idaho Statesman Publisher Mike Jung announces his departure
Mike Jung is leaving the Idaho Statesman in Boise to become president and publisher of The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida. A search for his successor is underway, according to Mark Zieman, the vice president of operations for McClatchy Co., the Sacramento, California, company that owns the Statesman. Jung spent 10 years working in advertising sales for Florida Today in Melbourne, Florida. Both The Fort Myers newspaper and Florida Today are owned by Gannett Co., which owned the Statesman from the 1970s until 2005.
INDUSTRY NEWS 8-6-15
Philadelphia newspapers offer buyouts to 170 guild members
The company that owns The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News is offering buyouts to news guild members with at least 25 years of experience.
Philadelphia Media Network says that about 170 people are eligible. They would get 40 weeks of pay and six months of health insurance.
Vice president Keith Black says the buyouts are part of the latest contract negotiated with the local Newspaper Guild.
He says the company does not have a target number of staff reductions in mind.
The company has changed hands and cut staff frequently in recent years amid industrywide declines. The current owner is local philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest.
New publisher named for Capital Journal newspaper in Pierre, South Dakota
A veteran Midwestern newspaper executive has been named publisher of the Capital Journal in Pierre, South Dakota.
Wick Communications says (http://bit.ly/1MxzHel ) John Clark comes from Delaware, Ohio, where he spent several years as a group publisher for Civitas Media. He was responsible for 19 daily and weekly newspapers in seven markets.
Clark replaces Steven Baker, who left in May to become publisher at the York News-Times in Nebraska.
American Journalism Review to stop publishing after 38 years
The American Journalism Review will stop publishing online, bringing to an end 38 years of reporting on the news media.
Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, which published the magazine, announced the closing on the college's website.
AJR, which once published 11 print editions a year, cut back to three times and year and ceased print publication in 2013, according to its website.
The magazine, founded in 1977 by American University graduate student Roger Kranz, was first published as the Washington Journalism Review.
Dalglish says the AJR website and its archives will remain available online.
Tampa Tribune sells downtown headquarters to Miami developer
The Tampa Tribune says it has sold its downtown Tampa building to a Miami developer.
The Tribune (http://bit.ly/1JVTRZx) reported that the deal paves the way for development of a 400-unit residential complex on the west bank of the Hillsborough River.
The newspaper's staff will remain until demolition starts, likely in the spring of 2016. Tribune Publisher Brian Burns says the newspaper is consulting with relocation experts on a future location.
Tampa Media Group, owner of the Tribune, sold the building to Related Group of Miami.
William Morris IV named CEO Of Morris Communications
William S. “Will” Morris IV has been named chief executive officer of Morris Communications Co.
The appointment was announced by his father, William S. “Billy” Morris III, 80, and is effective immediately.
Will succeeds his father as CEO, while his father continues as chairman of the board. His father also will continue as publisher of the Augusta (Florida) Chronicle until April 12, 2016, when he will complete 50 years in that role.
In his new role as CEO, Will Morris, 55, will have direct operational oversight of the company’s corporate operations and its business divisions.
Morris Communications is a diverse, privately held company headquartered in Augusta, with divisions in media, hospitality and agriculture and holdings throughout the United States and abroad.
Rolling Stone selects Jason Fine as new managing editor
Jason Fine, the editor of Men’s Journal, will take over as the managing editor of Rolling Stone as part of what the magazine’s publisher, Jann S. Wenner, described as a “shake-up.”
Fine will succeed Will Dana, who ran Rolling Stone for a decade before it was announced he was leaving. The leadership comes after the magazine in April retracted a widely criticized article that alleged a gang rape at the University of Virginia.
Meanwhile, three University of Virginia graduates and members of a fraternity profiled in the debunked article filed a lawsuit against the magazine and the article's author, court records show.
Post Register newspaper up for sale with 3 other Idaho papers
Jerry Brad, president of the Post Company, says the family-owned business that includes the Post Register in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and three other Idaho newspapers is for sale and there's an interested buyer.
The Post Register reports (http://bit.ly/1eDhLQE) that Brady informed employees of the potential sale in an email.
Brady says the company needs additional resources that a larger company could provide.
Brady and his brother, Jack, own about two-thirds of the company, with employees owning the rest through an ownership plan. The Post Co. has been a family business since 1925.
Joseph Craig named publisher of Morning News
Veteran newspaper executive Joseph Craig has been named regional publisher of the Morning News in Florence, South Carolina, and the Carolina Publishing Group.
The announcement was made by Kevin Kampman, vice president of BHMedia’s Southern Group.
INDUSTRY NEWS 7-30-15
Trump campaign bans Iowa newspaper from event
The Des Moines Register says Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has denied press credentials to its reporters after the newspaper published an editorial calling on the billionaire businessman to end his campaign.
The Register says its reporters were denied credentials to a Trump campaign event in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The newspaper says Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told its reporters they were being excluded because of the editorial.
In the editorial, the newspaper called Trump a "feckless blowhard" who is "unfit to hold office."
Washington Post seeks UN agency help in freeing reporter
The Washington Post has filed an urgent petition with the United Nations in the hopes that the institution will pressure Iran to release journalist Jason Rezaian, the newspaper's top editor and lawyers said.
The announcement came on the one-year anniversary of the arrest of Rezaian and his Iranian wife, who was later released. Rezaian, the Post's bureau chief, remains in prison under charges of espionage and distributing propaganda against the Islamic Republic. He has faced several closed-door hearings.
The Post's lawyers and his family have denied the allegations and say Iran has no credible evidence to keep holding him.
San Diego's Daily Transcript to close after nearly 130 years
The Daily Transcript of San Diego says it will publish its last edition Sept. 1, ending a nearly 130-year run in the newspaper business.
The newspaper is no longer viable due to rising costs for health care and other expenses and an uncertain future for the industry, Publisher Robert Loomis wrote in a note to readers.
The privately held Daily Transcript began publishing in 1886 and provided extensive coverage of local businesses, legal affairs and government.
AP gets $250,000 grant from Knight Foundation to research effective exit polling
In the last presidential election, more than a third of voters did not go to a polling place on Election Day but instead voted ahead of time or by mail.
“Voters are increasingly … challenging exit polls’ ability to fully capture the electorate’s opinion on Election Day unless extensive supplemental telephone polling is also done,” Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee told the Nieman Lab blog, as AP was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Knight Foundation for a research project called “The Next Generation Beyond Exit Polls.”
AP works with a consortium, the National Election Pool, made up of AP and the networks (ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox and NBC), which contracts with the well-respected Edison Media Research to conduct exit polls.
Working with AP’s two polling partners, GfK and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, AP will test new methodologies and methods during a handful of elections this fall and the early 2016 presidential primaries.
Block Communications names ex-leader of Post-Gazette vice president
Diana Block has been appointed to the position of executive vice president of Block Communications Inc., company chairman Allan Block announced.
Ms. Block will report directly to Mr. Block and will be based at BCI’s headquarters in Toledo, Ohio. She will assist Mr. Block as a member of the corporate executive staff.
“I am delighted to have Diana back in Toledo to strengthen our executive team,” Mr. Block said.
Ms. Block is the great-granddaughter of Paul Block, who bought The Blade in 1926 and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1927 and was publisher of both papers. She is the daughter of William Block, Jr., cousin of Allan Block and John Robinson Block, publisher and editor-in-chief of both newspapers.
Ms. Block, who is 42, served as president and general manager of the Post-Gazette and co-publisher of The Blade and Post-Gazette. She stepped down in July 2009 to spend more time with her children.
Charleston's two newspapers combine newsroom operations
The Charleston Daily Mail and The Charleston Gazette have combined their newsroom operations.
The West Virginia dailies announced the decision in a statement posted on their websites. The Charleston Gazette-Mail then published its first edition. The statement says the newspaper will continue to publish separate editorial pages.
According to the statement, the move "is not one paper gobbling up the other," but will combine newsroom staffs to bolster investigative reporting and increase online breaking news and multimedia stories. The statement did not immediately address newsroom positions.
The newspapers are owned by The Daily Gazette Co. Their advertising, circulation and production departments were merged into one corporation in 1958.
Naples (Florida) Daily News creates advisory board
The Naples (Florida) Daily News has created a 12-member advisory board to help keep the multimedia news company connected with the community as it covers and shapes Southwest Florida’s future.
The board members, who come from throughout Collier and south Lee counties, reflect the demographic and economic diversity of the region.
“The assembly of this talented and diverse group is just one more example of the diligence we are placing on transparency and representing the whole community we serve,” said William R. Barker, president and publisher of the Naples Daily News and vice president of the parent company, Journal Media Group.
Wheeling newspaper named historic site by journalism group
The Intelligencer in Wheeling, West Virginia, has been named a National Historic Site in Journalism by the Society of Professional Journalists for its role in the birth of West Virginia and other historical events.
The Society says in a news release that the newspaper opposed Virginia's secession and supported West Virginia's creation during the Civil War. The Intelligencer also led the call for Abraham Lincoln to run for president.
The Intelligencer began publishing on Aug. 24, 1852. It's West Virginia's oldest continuously published daily newspaper.
INDUSTRY NEWS 7-22-15
Former Colgate University president to head Newseum in DC
A former university president will be the next president and CEO of the Newseum, a museum about journalism and the First Amendment in Washington that has been struggling to cover its costs, The Associated Press reported.
The Newseum named political scientist Jeffrey Herbst as its next chief executive. Herbst recently stepped down as president of Colgate University after five years at the Hamilton, New York, school. He will join the Newseum on Aug. 3.
Herbst is credited with leading Colgate's recent $480 million fundraising campaign, which he extended by $54 million above the initial goal.
The Newseum has struggled for years to raise enough funds to cover its costs since opening a new museum and conference center along Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue in 2008.
Former CEO James Duff resigned in November after three years at the museum.
WTMJ, Milwaukee Business Journal form partnership
The Milwaukee Business Journal and WTMJ have announced a new partnership.
WTMJ will air Milwaukee Business Journal Updates eight times each weekday, featuring the latest on business news in southeastern Wisconsin. In addition, Milwaukee Business Journal reporters will join WTMJ hosts discussion on the biggest stories affecting the Wisconsin business community.
WTMJ news reporters will contribute business stories as well and be an additional resource. This partnership enhances coverage for listeners and readers on multiplemedia platforms.
Liens placed on Times Publishing properties for missed pension payments
The federal agency that protects private-sector pension plans has placed liens on property owned by Times Publishing Co., which publishes the Tampa Bay Times, and its parent, the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, valued at $30.5 million.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said the filings were for missed pension contributions for the Times Publishing Co. Pension Plan, and the figure includes interest and penalty.
Jana Jones, vice president and chief financial officer at Times Publishing, said the figure represents the difference between the value of the assets in the plan today and the calculation of all future payments.
"As we have previously acknowledged, the Times received approval to delay some of its contributions to the pension plan during the economic recession and recovery," she said in a statement emailed by Times Publishing. "Related to those approvals, the Times agreed to provide collateral to the PBGC. These liens are part of this process."
The Times reported it is about $10 million behind in its contributions.
Times' publisher accepts job in Florida; controller promoted as interim
The publisher of the Beaver County Times, a sister newspaper of the Herald-Standard in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, is heading south to oversee a Florida newspaper.
Lisa Reese has been appointed president and publisher of the Gannett-owned Pensacola News Journal, effective Aug. 10. She is leaving the times, where she has served as vice president of publishing in charge of the western Pennsylvania division for Calkins Media.
Tina Bequeath, controller, has been named interim publisher and vice president in which she will oversee operations at The Times and the Ellwood City Ledger, as well as the Herald-Standard and SWC Properties, both in Uniontown.
Newspaper executive Kirkpatrick steps down as LNP president
John Kirkpatrick, a prominent central Pennsylvania newspaper executive, is stepping down as president of LNP. The Lancaster-based news company announced Kirkpatrick's resignation.
In a letter to LNP publisher and board chairman Robert Krasne, Kirkpatrick cites his work goals and home-life balance among the reasons he is stepping down.
Kirkpatrick had been at LNP since 2013. He was previously publisher and president of The Patriot-News in Harrisburg. It was under his leadership that the Patriot-News won its first Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for its coverage of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University.
INDUSTRY NEWS 7-9-15
Wisconsin State Journal: Scott Walker, legislative leaders drop open records changes
In the face of withering criticism, Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican leaders of the Legislature announced that a provision added to the state budget to gut the open records law “will be removed from the budget in its entirety,” the Wisconsin State Journal reports.
Walker made the announcement in a joint statement with several legislators, including the Senate majority leader.
“We are steadfastly committed to open and accountable government,” the statement said. “The intended policy goal of these changes was to provide a reasonable solution to protect constituents’ privacy and to encourage a deliberative process between elected officials and their staff in developing policy. It was never intended to inhibit transparent government in any way.”
Advance Central Services Oregon will outsource printing of The Oregonian
Advance Central Services Oregon, which prints and distributes The Oregonian, has signed a contract with a Portland-based company to print the newspaper.
The new printing contract with Signature Graphics will be phased in later this summer. Financial terms were not disclosed. Signature, located near Portland International Airport, also will print the Oregonian Media Group's weekly papers and specialty publications.
Advance Central Services Oregon was formed as a separate company in October 2013 to print and distribute The Oregonian and other publications. Its sister company, the Oregonian Media Group, publishes OregonLive and The Oregonian.
Newspaper: Health system bans sales over media coverage
A major health system has banned the sale of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from some of its hospital gift shops, accusing the newspaper of "slanted" coverage, the newspaper reports.
At least three hospitals in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center system have said they will no longer carry it, the Post-Gazette said.
UPMC, in an internal note, accused the Post-Gazette of treating the medical system unfairly.
"The P-G's hostile editorials and insensitive cartoons have bled over into slanted news coverage," UPMC said. UPMC did not address the gift shop ban in its note. But it did say it cannot support the Post-Gazette through advertising or subscriptions.
Poynter Institute to host marquee event in celebration of Pulitzer Prizes centennial
The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, has been selected to host the first of four marquee events in 2016 that will celebrate the centennial of journalism's top award.
Called "Voices of Social Justice and Equality," the free two-day event on March 31 and April 1 will examine the effect of the Pulitzer Prizes and how award-winning reporting has shaped civil rights in the United States.
"It's a great opportunity not only to highlight journalistic excellence but also Poynter's role in fostering it," said Tim Franklin, the institute's president. "It's a tremendous honor."
The non-profit Poynter Institute, a school for journalists, owns the Tampa Bay Times.
Other partners include the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard; the Los Angeles Times and USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; and the Dallas Morning News.
Providence Journal building sold, newspaper may relocate
The Providence Journal building in Providence, Rhode Island, has been sold to two real estate development companies.
Nordblom Company and Cornish Associates announced they had purchased the downtown Providence building and two adjoining parking lots from Dallas-based media company A.H. Belo.
A.H. Belo sold the Providence Journal newspaper to Gatehouse Media in September but retained ownership of the building.
The new owners have not disclosed how much they paid for the property.
Journal President and Publisher Janet Hasson says the newspaper is working with the new owners to remain in the building and also exploring other options in Providence.
Philadelphia newspapers, union reach tentative 2-year deal
The owner of Philadelphia's two largest newspapers and their companion website has reached an agreement with the news outlets' largest employee union on a new two-year contract.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1dnBy61 ) reports that the accord between Philadelphia Media Network and the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia was reached after a marathon negotiating session.
The union represents many editorial, advertising and circulation workers at The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.
Gannett completes split of print, broadcasting divisions
Gannett has completed the split of its print and broadcasting divisions into separate companies.
The broadcasting and digital arm, which will be called Tegna Inc., will run the company's television stations and websites such as CareerBuilder. It will also include Cars.com. Tegna will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the "TGNA" ticker symbol.
Gannett announced its plan in August, one of many media companies to split up as people increasingly head online for their news. Gannett's move follows similar maneuvers by major operators such as Time Warner Inc. and News Corp.
Gannett's publishing arm will keep the Gannett name and include USA Today, local U.S. daily publications, and Newsquest, a regional community news provider in the U.K.
Both companies will remain headquartered in McLean, Virginia.
McClatchy names Roy Heatherly as new Wichita (Kansas) Eagle publisher
Roy Heatherly, 59, has been named the new president and publisher of The Wichita (Kansas) Eagle.
Heatherly, who was a 1978 graduate of the University of Kansas, comes to The Eagle from the Jackson Sun, where he was president, publisher and advertising director for the Gannett-owned newspaper in Tennessee.
At The Eagle, he replaces Kim Nussbaum, who was promoted to vice president for advertising of McClatchy Co., based in Sacramento, California.
Ken Browall named publisher of Record Herald in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania
A veteran newspaperman is the new publisher of The Record Herald in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, the latest step in a career dating back to when he was a 10-year-old paperboy for The Boston Globe.
Ken Browall became senior group publisher for GateHouse Media's Mid-Atlantic Group. In addition to serving as The Record Herald's publisher, he leads a group that includes other papers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune publisher announces resignation
Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune Communications publisher and editor Jason Adrians has announced his resignation.
Adrians joined the Star-Tribune in 2013 as editor. He has acted as both the publisher and editor for the state’s largest news organization since February, when previous publisher Nathan Bekke accepted a promotion to vice president of consumer sales and marketing within Lee Enterprises -- the Star-Tribune’s parent company located in Davenport, Iowa.
Adrians is relocating to Wisconsin, where he will be executive editor at the Appleton Post-Crescent.
Pittari named publisher of Picayune (Mississippi) Item, other outlets
Jeremy Pittari, 38, has been named president and publisher of Picayune Newsmedia LLC, which publishes The Picayune Item, The Poplarville Democrat and their affiliated print and digital products in Mississippi. The announcement was made by Boone Newspapers Vice President Dennis Palmer.
New publisher named at Journal-Tribune in Marysville, Ohio
Kevin Behrens has been named publisher of the Marysville (Ohio) Journal-Tribune, becoming the fourth generation of the family to serve in that capacity.
His father, Dan Behrens became editor and publisher in February 1997 after the death of his brother, David. The paper has been owned by the Gaumer-Behrens family since 1904.
The younger Behrens is the fifth generation of his family to be involved in the newspaper industry as his great-great-grandfather Dr. T.M. Gaumer was an owner-operator of the Champaign Democrat, now the Urbana Daily Citizen, and the Zanesville Signal, as well as other newspapers.
Clinton-Dunne named publisher of Alabama newspaper
Tricia Clinton-Dunne, 34, became publisher of The Times-Journal in Fort Payne, Alabama.
She succeeds David Clemons, who left the paper to pursue other interests.
Clinton-Dunne has worked at The Times-Journal nine years.
Michael Distelhorst moving to North Carolina newspaper group
Hearst Newspapers announced that Publisher Michael Distelhorst will be leaving Midland, Texas, to take a similar position with a newspaper group in North Carolina.
Distelhorst will be leaving the Reporter-Telegram and will assume a similar position with a trio of Gatehouse Newspapers -- The Daily News in Jacksonville, the Free Press in Kinston and the Sun Journal in New Bern.
Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette announces new publisher
The Daily Gazette Company President Elizabeth E. Chilton announced that Susan Chilton Shumate has been elected publisher of the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette. Shumate, a lifelong Charlestonian, is the daughter of the late Gazette editor and publisher, W.E. Chilton III, and Elizabeth E. Chilton.
Lima (Ohio) News names Stricker as new publisher
A veteran newspaper executive has been appointed publisher of The Lima (Ohio) News.
The northwest Ohio newspaper announced (http://bit.ly/1TPdRoA ) that Pamela Stricker is taking over the post from Jim Shine. He stepped down recently after leading the newspaper since 1995.
Stricker has been publisher of the Wilmington News-Journal in southwest Ohio for 14 years and was an assistant regional director for Civitas Media's southern Ohio newspapers. Civitas Media owns the Lima and Wilmington newspapers.
Chappell named Gainesville (Texas) Daily Register publisher
Lisa Chappell, a veteran newspaper executive, has been named publisher of the Gainesville (Texas) Daily Register.
Chappell is currently publisher of Herald-Banner Publications which includes the Herald-Banner in Greenville, Rockwall Herald-Banner, Royse City Herald-Banner and The Commerce Journal. As a senior publisher, she will continue in that role as well as serving as publisher of the Gainesville Daily Register.
INDUSTRY NEWS 6-25-15
Dow Jones begins layoffs
Dow Jones, the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, began a sweeping round of job cuts, including eliminating entire teams of reporters and closing international bureaus, The New York Times reported.
The Journal’s editor, Gerard Baker, said in a memo to the staff that the company was trying to transform to a more digital operation. “This process inevitably requires us to discontinue some of our activities as we invest more in others,” he said.
He listed challenges that the company faces and outlined its strategy in the memo, which had the subject line “The Next Steps.” Job cuts are mentioned for the first time in the ninth paragraph.
“We will be consolidating some areas of coverage,” he said, “merging some bureaus and teams, and discontinuing completely some of what we do.” That includes reducing the size of European bureaus, he said, and closing those in Prague and Helsinki. He said the company would reduce the number of blogs and eliminate the small-business group and the New York-based economics team.
Longtime newspaper executive is new Record-Eagle publisher
Longtime newspaper executive Paul Heidbreder has joined the Traverse City (Michigan) Record-Eagle as its new publisher.
Heidbreder is a former advertising manager and publisher in Michigan, Maine, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.
Rossi Appointed CEO of Digital First Media
Steve Rossi, a veteran newspaper executive, has been appointed CEO of Digital First Media, the company that operates the Bay Area News Group and its digital and newspaper properties.
Rossi succeeds current CEO John Paton effective July 1. Paton is retiring.
Since January 2014, Rossi, who is based in San Jose, California, has served as president and chief operating officer of DFM, which manages more than 800 print and online products serving 67 million readers each month.
INDUSTRY NEWS 6-18-15
Sale of The Columbus Dispatch newspaper completed
The $47 million sale of the publishing operations of The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch to the New York-based New Media Investment Group has been completed.
New Media announced the completion of the sale of the newspaper, which has been owned by the Wolfe family for more than a century. The sale affects about 1,100 employees.
The newspaper's publisher, John F. Wolfe, has said the sale offers the best chance for the publication's future.
The deal between Dispatch Printing Co. and the New Media Investment Group includes the Dispatch, which has a circulation of more than 130,000 daily and 235,000 on Sundays; ThisWeek Newspapers, a group of 24 suburban weeklies; and seven magazines, including Columbus Monthly.
The Dispatch Printing Co. will retain nonprint assets, including broadcast operations and other enterprises.
Post Community Media to close Maryland papers, sell others
Post Community Media LLC, which is affiliated with The Washington Post, announced plans to close some suburban weekly newspapers in Maryland and sell others in that state and Virginia.
The company told employees that The Maryland Gazette will cease publishing its two editions in Montgomery and Prince George's counties June 18 after no buyer was found for the weekly papers. The company declined to disclose how many employees would be affected.
Post Community Media was part of the Washington Post Co. that was sold to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos in 2013.
Owner says 2 Alaska newspapers are for sale
Two Alaska daily newspapers will be offered for sale, a newspaper executive says.
The two publications being sold are the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and the Kodiak Daily Mirror, chief executive officer William Dean Singleton said in a letter to employees.
The family trusts of Singleton and his media partner, Richard Scudder, bought the News-Miner from C.W. Snedden in 1992. The News-Miner owns the Kodiak newspaper.
Singleton and Scudder formed MediaNews Group, which at its height owned dozens of newspapers across the nation. Scudder died in 2012, and Singleton retired a year later.
Guardian US to launch mobile innovation lab
Guardian US plans to create an open innovation lab focused on mobile technology with $2.6 million from The Knight Foundation, the two organizations announced.
The lab aims to help publishers navigate the mobile-centric future of news as traffic from those devices continues to climb.
With mobile audiences now accounting for over 50 percent of the Guardian’s daily traffic, the lab will aim to create new and more engaging ways for people to consume news on their mobile devices. Additionally, the lab will explore the challenges faced by journalists in the mobile age and experiment with new ways of bringing stories to life on smaller screens.
Ashland (Ohio) Times-Gazette names Andrew Dix as new publisher
The Ashland Times-Gazette in northeast Ohio has named Andrew Dix as its new publisher. He takes over from Troy Dix, who will continue working for the corporation.
The 42-year-old Dix also is publisher of The Daily Record of Wooster and The Daily Jeffersonian in Cambridge. The two men are cousins.
Dix Communications owns three other Ohio newspapers: the Kent-Ravenna Record Courier, the Crescent News in Defiance and the Review in Alliance. The company also owns radio stations in Ohio, Maryland and Florida.
Adams Publishing Group acquires papers, publications
Adams Publishing Group, based in Easton, Maryland, recently announced that it is acquiring The Post Community Media Group’s Southern Maryland Newspapers and Comprint Military Publications.
This acquisition includes 13 newspapers and their associated digital assets. The group includes three twice-weeklies, nine weeklies, and one bi-weekly publication covering Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties in Maryland, along with 12 military installations in Maryland, District of Columbia and Virginia.
Prior to this acquisition, APG’s Maryland and Delaware properties consisted of two dailies, The Star Democrat (Easton, Maryland) and Cecil Whig (Elkton, Maryland) along with a number of weeklies, specialty magazines and websites.
Pioneer Press Sells Downtown Headquarters to Apartment Developer
The Pioneer Press sold its downtown St. Paul headquarters to a South Dakota real estate developer who plans to convert the building into an apartment complex.
The newspaper is planning to relocate to a newer, nearby facility in St. Paul and expects to release the details of that plan soon, according to a company statement. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. It had been listed at $4.2 million.
Apple to offer a new app for news
Apple will offer a new app for news, with a personalized feed based on your interests and choices.
The app pulls text, photos and video from a variety of sources.
Stories that use Apple's new News format will look best on the app.
Features include the ability to save articles to read later and to get suggestions on new publishers and topics by selecting "explore."
It's not immediately clear how Apple will handle news sources that require subscriptions. Apple says it has worked with leading organizations such as The New York Times and ESPN to bring stories to the app.
The app will initially be offered in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. It was unveiled at the technology giant's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
USA TODAY publisher Kramer retiring as Gannett board approves print spinoff
Gannett, owner of TV stations and 93 daily newspapers and their digital operations, said its board of directors has approved the planned spinoff of the publishing unit, and USA TODAY Publisher Larry Kramer will step down once the transaction is completed.
Kramer, who has headed Gannett's largest newspaper for about three years, will stay in his current job until June 29, when the new publishing company begins trading as a separate company. He will then become a member of the board of the publishing company, which will be headed by Robert Dickey, now the head of Gannett's U.S. community publishing division.
John Zidich, who was Arizona Republic publisher until he was promoted to Gannett's president of domestic publishing in late April, will succeed Kramer as USA TODAY publisher on an interim basis.
The company is based in McLean, Virginia.
Report: Women produce about a third of US news content
Men are behind more news stories than women by a nearly 2-to-1 margin across print and television platforms, though there was a slight increase in bylines and credits for women last year, a new study says.
The Washington-based Women's Media Center released its study as part of its fourth annual report on "The Status of Women in U.S. Media."
Overall, the study found that the percentage of bylines, on-camera appearances and producer credits for women had increased nominally from last year. In 2014, about 37 percent of news was generated by women, up from 36 percent in 2013.
Dickerson plan as 'Face the Nation' host: Stick to the news
John Dickerson says just-retired Bob Schieffer left him with one piece of advice about moderating CBS' "Face the Nation" — and he's going to follow it.
Dickerson ended his debut broadcast as permanent host of the public affairs program by repeating what Schieffer told him: "Stick to the news."
The CBS News political director says that's what Schieffer did and "that's what we'll do — inviting people on to help us understand the news" and trying to ask the questions that viewers want answered.
Schieffer stepped aside after 24 years as the show's moderator.
Las Vegas Review-Journal gets a new publisher
Nevada's largest newspaper has a new publisher. GateHouse Media announced that Jason Taylor will be president and publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Taylor arrives in Las Vegas nearly a year into his tenure as president and publisher of The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, which is owned by Gannett Co. He was president of the Chattanooga Times Free Press in Tennessee for seven years, and senior vice president of sales and marketing for The Honolulu Advertiser.
Greenspun Media Group names new group publisher
Greenspun Media Group has a new group publisher.
The Las Vegas Sun, which is owned by Greenspun Media Group, reports (http://bit.ly/1IpEYTG ) that Gordon Prouty will oversee Las Vegas Magazine, The Sunday, Las Vegas Weekly and Vegas2Go starting later this month.
Brian Greenspun remains editor and publisher of the Las Vegas Sun newspaper, as well as owner and chief executive of Greenspun Media Group.
Prouty is president and publisher of the Puget Sound Business Journal in Seattle.
The former group publisher, Travis Keys, will stay with the company as vice president for business development.
Black journalists' convention planned for Detroit in 2018
The National Association of Black Journalists has selected Detroit to host its 2018 convention.
Felecia Henderson, president of the Detroit Association of Black Journalists and an assistant managing editor at The Detroit News, tells the newspaper (http://bit.ly/1GsGbq1 ) the convention traditionally attracts thousands and it was held in Detroit in 1982 and 1992.
National Association of Black Journalists says Detroit is "America's great comeback city." Detroit emerged in December from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
INDUSTRY NEWS 6-3-15
Maine newspapers' sale complete; most employees offered jobs
The sale of the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel and weekly Coastal Journal newspapers by financier and philanthropist Donald Sussman to MTM Acquisition was completed on Monday. Media executive Reade Brower, who controls MTM Acquisition, said he aims to build on the MaineToday Media newspapers' success of watchdog and investigative reporting over the past three years, a period in which Sussman spent $13 million to hire reporters and editors, buy new equipment and make other improvements. Jobs were offered to 98 percent of employees at the same wages and benefits, and CEO Lisa DeSisto will stay in place and remain responsible for day-to-day operations, Brower said. Financial details were not released.
NBC approaching 4 months without Williams decision
As the four-month anniversary of Brian Williams' suspension for misrepresenting his experiences as a journalist nears, NBC News has remained mum on whether he will return as the network's top anchor, be cut loose or take on some other role for the news division. Lester Holt continues as Williams' substitute on "Nightly News," keeping NBC slightly ahead in a ratings competition with ABC's "World News Tonight" that Williams had dominated. NBC suspended Williams for six months on Feb. 10 after he admitted to falsely claiming that he had been in a helicopter hit by enemy fire during the Iraq War, when in fact his helicopter had not been hit. The network subsequently ordered an internal investigation into other instances where Williams allegedly embellished his experiences, most often in talk show appearances.
Gannett acquiring 4 Pennsylvania newspaper companies
Gannett Co. has announced it is acquiring four newspapers in south-central Pennsylvania, including the York Daily Record/Sunday News, the largest of the group. The McLean, Virginia-based company said Monday the deal is part of a larger purchase of newspapers from Digital First Media. It includes media properties in Texas and New Mexico. The other Pennsylvania papers joining Gannett are the Public Opinion in Chambersburg, the Lebanon Daily News and The Evening Sun in Hanover. Daily Record publisher Sara Glines told members of her staff that The York Dispatch is included in the acquisition. The Daily Record and the Dispatch have had a joint operating agreement since 1990 and operate as the York Newspaper Co. Both are now morning newspapers. The Daily Record said the two newsrooms will remain independent.
Gannett buys El Paso Times, 6 New Mexico papers
Gannett Co., Inc. has purchased 11 media organizations from Digital First Media 11, including the remaining majority interest in the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership, Gannett announced Monday. The McLean, Virginia-based media company said that Gannett now will own 100 percent of the Texas-New Mexico Newspapers Partnership. That partnership includes the El Paso Times; Alamogordo Daily News; Carlsbad Current-Argus; The Daily Times in Farmington; Deming Headlight; Las Cruces Sun-News; and the Silver City Sun-News.
Charlie Rose to get university's 2015 Walter Cronkite Award
Charlie Rose, anchor of "CBS This Morning" and host of a weekly interview show on PBS, will receive the 2015 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism from Arizona State University's Cronkite School. The university announced Monday that Rose will receive the award during an Oct. 19 luncheon in Phoenix. Rose said in a statement released by the university that he treasures the award from the school located in downtown Phoenix partly because it honors Walter Cronkite, the late longtime CBS News anchor whom Rose said was "the constant connection to our world." A North Carolina native, Rose is a graduate of Duke University with a bachelor's degree in history. He also has a law degree from Duke.
It's a wrap for CBS' Bob Schieffer at 'Face the Nation'
Bob Schieffer has ended his long tenure as host of the CBS Sunday morning news show "Face the Nation." He moderated his final broadcast Sunday after 24 years, ending a journalism career that started at age 20 at a radio station in Fort Worth, Texas. During the show, the 78-year-old Schieffer said he tried to "remember that the news is not about the newscaster, it's about the people who make it and those who are affected by it. I'll be honest, I'm going to miss being in the middle of things." He said he would never forget the trust that he said viewers placed in him and "how nice you were to have me as a guest in your home over so many years."
Pa. newspaper: We 'bungled' letter calling for Obama's execution
A Pennsylvania newspaper has apologized for printing a Memorial Day letter to the editor that called for a "regime change" and the execution of President Obama. The letter, which appeared in the Daily Item of Sunbury, lamented the fall of Ramadi to ISIS militants in Iraq and criticized Obama's handling the situation.
Turkey revokes journalist's honor over Erdogan criticism
A Turkish city has canceled plans to bestow a rare honor on a former New York Times journalist because of an article in which he criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Stephen Kinzer was scheduled to be made an honorary citizen of the southern city of Gaziantep this week in recognition of his work that helped save Roman mosaics that were threatened by flooding from a dam. Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Sahin confirmed on Twitter Thursday that her office decided not to honor Kinzer because of "unjust allegations against our president in his writings." The decision is the latest in a series of moves by Turkish authorities to crack down on free expression and punish critical voices. Dozens of people are on trial in Turkey for insulting Erdogan.
UN recognizes role of journalists in preventing conflict
The U.N. Security Council recognized the role journalists can play in preventing deadly crises in a resolution adopted unanimously Wednesday, May 27, that condemns escalating attacks on the media and demands that perpetrators face justice. The resolution expressed concern over growing threat to the safety of media professionals posed by terrorist groups and urged the immediate and unconditional release of all media members kidnapped or taken hostage during conflicts. The Lithuanian-drafted resolution also "affirms that the work of a free, independent and impartial media constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society." U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the council the issue is about "not giving in to threats and intimidation from those who advocate and practice violence and intolerance."
Letter to Obama discussed at Post reporter's trial in Iran
A letter a detained Washington Post journalist wrote to U.S. President Barack Obama and a trip he made to the U.S. Consulate in Dubai have become major topics of his espionage trial in Iran. Jason Rezaian, the Post's 39-year-old bureau chief in Tehran, is being tried in a Revolutionary Court on allegations of "espionage for the hostile government of the United States" and propaganda against the Islamic Republic, Iran's official IRNA news agency has reported. The Post has said he faces 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted. The Post, U.S. diplomats and media rights organizations have criticized Rezaian's detention and the handling of the case. His trial also comes amid ongoing negotiations between Iran and world powers over its contested nuclear program.
San Diego newspaper lays off 1/3rd of workforce after sale
San Diego's dominant newspaper on Tuesday, May 26, announced the layoffs of nearly a third of its 600 employees after it was acquired last week for $85 million by Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Publishing. The San Diego Union-Tribune said 178 employees — most in its printing and delivery divisions — would be laid off and their jobs done in Los Angeles.
"When the two companies announced that they were coming together, we said at the time there were going to be some synergies, and unfortunately for a lot of people today we're realizing those synergies," said Union-Tribune president and CEO Russ Newton.
Obama meets with family of reporter killed by Islamic State
President Barack Obama has met with the family of an American journalist who was killed last year by the Islamic State group. Steven Sotloff was a 31-year-old Miami-area native who freelanced for Time and Foreign Policy magazines. He had vanished in Syria, and then last September, militants released a video showing Sotloff's beheading. The White House says that during a trip to Florida on Thursday, Obama met with the reporter's parents, Art and Shirley Sotloff, and sister Lauren. The White House says Obama appreciated hearing more about Sotloff's work as a journalist and that the family spoke of Sotloff's passion for reporting the stories of people who are suffering. Obama also recognized the foundation the family has formed in Sotloff's memory to support journalists reporting from conflict torn areas.
INDUSTRY NEWS 5-27-15
Iran begins trial of detained Washington Post reporter
An Iranian security court on Tuesday held the first hearing in the closed trial of an American-Iranian reporter for The Washington Post who has been detained for more than 10 months, the official IRNA news agency reported. It said Jason Rezaian is being tried in a Revolutionary Court on allegations of "espionage for the hostile government of the United States" and propaganda against the Islamic republic, charges that could send him to jail for up to six years. The report did not provide further details, but initial hearings in Iran usually see the prosecutor spell out charges.
Media CEOs are the highest-paid American executives
They're not Hollywood stars, they're not TV personalities and they don't play in a rock band, but their pay packages are in the same league. Six of the 10 highest-paid CEOs last year worked in the media industry, according to a study carried out by executive compensation data firm Equilar and The Associated Press. The best-paid chief executive of a large American company was David Zaslav, head of Discovery Communications, the pay-TV channel operator that is home to "Shark Week." His total compensation more than quadrupled to $156.1 million in 2014 after he extended his contract. Les Moonves, of CBS, held on to second place in the rankings, despite a drop in pay from a year earlier. His pay package totaled $54.4 million. The remaining four CEOs, from entertainment giants Viacom, Walt Disney, Comcast and Time Warner, have ranked among the nation's highest-paid executives for at least four years, according to the Equilar/AP pay study.
Journalism students aim to dispel myths about veterans
Wishing living U.S. military veterans a "Happy Memorial Day" might be well-intentioned but misses the mark on an occasion meant for remembering those who lost their lives. That and other timely reminders can be found in a new book researched and written by a Michigan State University journalism class with assistance from former servicemen and women. "100 Questions and Answers About Veterans" is aimed at clearing up myths and misunderstandings held by some civilians. "A day of mourning doesn't square with 'happy,'" instructor Joe Grimm said. "They're thinking, 'I'm still here. My day is coming in November (on) Veterans Day.'" The book, available in print and digital versions, is the eighth that Grimm's classes have published. Others have covered Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans, East Asians and Muslim Americans.
Old copies of Pittsburgh Courier a trove of black history
One photograph shows a young Fidel Castro with boxer Joe Louis, standing next to men in shorts and beach shirts. Another shows six Tuskegee Airmen huddled outside a plane as they pore over a map sprawled on the ground. Young black men and women dance the Twist in another frame as a prominent minister watches from the side. John Brewer has thousands of the images. A part-time historian, he has been working to preserve nearly 50,000 photographs that were part of the Pittsburgh Courier's archives. He started the process more than seven years ago, having found 100 bound books of the Courier's editions that many thought had been lost.
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8394422-74/courier-brewer-pittsburgh#ixzz3b9qkNHL3
New publisher named for the York (Nebraska) News-Times
Alex Skovgaard, vice-president of Berkshire Hathaway Media Midwest Group, announced on Friday, May 22, that Steven Baker, publisher of the Capital Journal in Pierre, South Dakota, a Wick Communications company, has been appointed publisher of the York (Nebraska) News-Times.
Baker will replace Greg Awtry, who assumed the position of publisher at the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, also a BH Media Group newspaper. Baker has held a number of positions in daily newspapers, including publisher, general manager, regional advertising director, marketing director, advertising director, circulation director and mailroom supervisor.
Hawaii pays off lawyers' fees for Honolulu newspaper
Hawaii Gov. David Ige has approved the state's last payment to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, bringing an end to a legal battle that began when the newspaper sued to force officials to disclose the names of judicial nominees. A payment of $45,000 is the state's last installment in the reimbursement of the paper's lawyers' fees, reports the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/1Q1JaIf ). The paper sued Gov. Neil Abercrombie when he refused to release the names of applicants for state judge positions, reversing the practices of his predecessors.
The lawsuit cost taxpayers $115,272.
Newspaper sting stops teen from traveling to Syria
A newspaper sting has prevented a 16-year-old girl from traveling to Syria to become a jihadi bride. Britain's Daily Mail reported Friday, May 22, the girl had been planning to travel to Syria via Turkey and Switzerland after completing her exams. The paper says a reporter posed as a teen wishing to travel with the 16-year-old. The girl's older sister reportedly left Britain earlier and allegedly is a recruiter for the so-called Islamic State group. Police have been stepping up efforts to stop the flow of radicalized young Britons to the Middle East. Detectives have been criticized for failing to prevent three 15- and 16-year-old London girls from making the journey this year.
House passes bill to reform US-funded broadcasts
A House committee unanimously approved a bill on Thursday to reform U.S.-funded broadcasting to counter what a California congressman dubs the "weaponization of information" from Russia and anti-American propaganda being aired by Iran and Islamic State militants.
"The Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency charged with leading the U.S. response effort, is crippled by an inefficient bureaucracy and incoherent leadership structure," said Republican Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. "We cannot allow these problems to fester any longer at an agency that is so important when the stakes are so high."
Former Palm Beach Post publisher retires
Doug Franklin, a former Palm Beach Post publisher, is retiring Aug. 1 from the company that owns The Post. Franklin, now Cox Enterprises vice president and chief financial officer, spent 38 years with the Atlanta-based company. “I’ve been fortunate to have had a fabulous run with a remarkable family company, and I’m proud to have played a small part in its history and future,” he said this week. Dallas Clement, 50, will succeed Franklin. Most recently, Clement served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for Cox Automotive.
Newspaper seeks ruling to allow appeal of reporter subpoena
A northern Indiana newspaper fighting to keep one of its reporters off the witness stand in a murder trial has asked a court to allow it to file an appeal over a subpoena before a final judgment is issued in the case. A hearing was scheduled Thursday, May 21, on the request by The Elkhart Truth (http://bit.ly/1HhM1YI ) to prevent reporter Emily Pfund from being called as a rebuttal witness in the murder trial of Freddie Rhodes, who is charged in a September 2014 shooting. Pfund interviewed Rhodes from the Elkhart County Jail and spoke with his mother for an article about Rhodes' efforts to have statements he made the night of his arrest thrown out. Prosecutors issued a subpoena for her notes and recordings.
Anti-Muslim film back up on YouTube after court ruling
An anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in the Middle East and death threats to actors was reposted to YouTube on Tuesday, May 19, a day after a federal appeals court ruled the website should not have been forced to take it down. The roughly 14-minute trailer for "Innocence of Muslims" was reposted by a YouTube user. YouTube is owned by Google, which declined comment. Monday's court ruling by an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for YouTube to remove filters blocking users from posting the clip on its site. The panel said a previous decision by a smaller group of judges from the same court ordering Google to take the film down gave "short shrift" to the First Amendment and constituted prior restraint — a prohibition on free speech before it takes place.
Michael Burns named publisher of Wisconsin’s River Valley group
The Dunn County News announced a new publisher Tuesday, May 19. Michael Burns took over as publisher of Wisconsin’s River Valley Newspaper Group, which includes the La Crosse Tribune, Winona Daily News, Chippewa Herald and The Dunn County News. Burns, 47, has worked in the print news industry since 1994, most recently as publisher of the Press-Enterprise, a 120,000-circulation daily, and chief revenue officer for the Freedom News Group, a California-based company with assets including the Press-Enterprise and the 220,000-circulation Orange County Register. He has also served in leadership roles at The Gannett Co. and the Tribune Co.
Doug Olsson named Times Leader publisher
Doug Olsson, a long-time news executive with experience fighting newspaper wars in Pennsylvania, has been named publisher of the Times Leader Media Group. Olsson most recently was a senior group publisher for GateHouse Media properties in Missouri. There, he led a group of three daily newspapers, three weeklies, two shoppers and seven magazines.
“I'm excited to be joining such a dedicated group of professionals at the Times Leader, and I look forward to leading our efforts in providing our readers, advertisers and the community at large with an engaging and thought-provoking newspaper,” Olsson said. He said his goal is to “provide Northeastern Pennsylvania with a world-class newspaper that everyone can call their own.” Olsson succeeds Walt Lafferty, who has been promoted to senior vice president of finance and administration for Civitas Media, the Times Leader's parent company.
INDUSTRY NEWS 5-20-15
Trial of Washington Post reporter in Iran to start next week
The trial of a Washington Post reporter detained in Iran for nearly 10 months will begin next week, a defense lawyer representing the Iranian-American journalist said Tuesday. State TV and other news outlets quoted an unnamed judiciary official as saying the first session of the trial of Jason Rezaian, 39, will be held next Tuesday. The official did not say whether the hearing would be open to the public. It said two other suspects who were detained alongside Rezaian will also be tried. Rezaian's defense lawyer, Leila Ahsan, confirmed the report. She told The Associated Press that she learned of the hearing from news outlets but confirmed the news with the court. Ahsan said Rezaian will go on trial alongside his wife, Yeganeh Salehi, who is a reporter for The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi, and a freelance photographer who worked for foreign media. The photographer's name has not been made public.
Mother of US reporter missing in Syria pleads for answers
The mother of an American journalist missing in Syria for nearly three years has pleaded for information about him. Marking 1,000 days since his disappearance, Debra Tice made a statement in Beirut on Tuesday saying she believes her son, Austin, is still alive. She says her son is not being held by members of the Syrian opposition. The family has previously said it does not believe he is being held by the Islamic State group or the Syrian government. Tice, of Houston, Texas, disappeared in August 2012 while covering Syria's civil war. His mother said: "I long to hold my son in my arms. I want my family to be whole again."
Appellate judges side with Google in anti-Muslim film case
In a victory for free speech advocates, appellate judges have ruled that YouTube should not have forced to take down an anti-Muslim film that sparked violence in the Middle East and death threats to actors. The 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal sided with Google, which owns YouTube, in its ruling Monday saying the previous decision by a three-member panel of the same court gave "short shrift" to the First Amendment and constituted prior restraint — a prohibition on free speech before it takes place. "The mandatory injunction censored and suppressed a politically significant film — based upon a dubious and unprecedented theory of copyright," Judge M. Margaret McKeown wrote in an opinion joined by nine other judges.
UConn program seeks to boost state's digital media industry
A University of Connecticut program set to begin this summer is intended to boost the state's digital media industry. Digital Media CT seeks to attract individuals with a demonstrated interest in digital media and want to develop the basic skills for entry-level work. Candidates who are encouraged to apply include high school seniors, college students and graduates with majors in communications, film or television. The monthlong program, which is available at UConn's Stamford campus, will offer four tracks of study, including 3D animation in cinema4D, game design, motion graphics design and web design. George Norfleet, director of the Office of Film, Television and Digital Media at the state Department of Economic and Community Development, said the training program provides another incentive for industry players establishing, expanding or relocating in Connecticut.
Newspaper publisher Digital First Media won't sell itself
Digital First Media, one of the largest U.S. newspaper publishers, says the company won't be sold and that CEO John Paton will step down. In a memo that was sent to employees on Thursday, May 14, Digital First Media, which owns the Denver Post and the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, said it has decided that a sale of the entire company isn't in the best interest of its shareholders. The privately-held company said in September that it was exploring strategic options, including a sale of the company or some of its operations. The company said Friday that the review is not complete, as it is still having talks about some of its assets and is considering possible acquisitions.
ABC faces credibility crisis over Stephanopoulos donations
George Stephanopoulos apologized to viewers Friday, May 15, for donating $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and failing to disclose it earlier, as ABC News now finds its chief anchor in a credibility crisis on the eve of a presidential campaign. Stephanopoulos said on "Good Morning America" that the donations, made in three increments to the foundation started by his one-time boss, former President Bill Clinton, were a mistake. Stephanopoulos rose to the top ranks at ABC over 18 years and worked to establish himself as an independent journalist despite skepticism by some in politics because of his background as a top aide to Clinton's 1992 campaign and later in the White House. The donations brought that issue back to the fore just as Hillary Rodham Clinton is launching her presidential campaign.
Verizon barges into online video, buying AOL for $4.4B
Verizon is buying AOL for about $4.4 billion, advancing the telecom's push in both mobile and advertising fields. The acquisition gives Verizon an entry into increasingly competitive online and mobile video. The New York company is the country's largest wireless carrier as well as an Internet and TV provider — and wireless video and targeted advertising is seen as the next battleground for customers. The move comes as the media landscape is increasingly being disrupted on several fronts as more TV watchers stream shows online and through their smartphones and tablets. AOL offers an advertising sales and display network that made it an acquisition target.
INDUSTRY NEWS 5-13-15
Former CIA officer sentenced to 3½ years in Iran leaks case
A former CIA officer was sentenced Monday to 3 ½ years in prison for leaking details of a secret mission to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, a sentence that was received with a measure of relief from his legal team and paled in comparison to the decades-long term that had been on the table. Jeffrey Sterling, 47, of O'Fallon, Missouri, had faced federal sentencing guidelines calling for 20 years or more, as well as a push by prosecutors urging a severe sentence for a leak they said hit the nation's security apparatus at its core. A jury convicted him in January of telling New York Times journalist James Risen about a classified plan to trick the Iranian government by slipping flawed nuclear blueprints through a Russian intermediary.
Canadian Cops posing as journalists breach rights, media groups argue