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INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 30, 2016
Official: FBI probing attempted cyber breach of NY Times
The FBI is investigating attempted cyber intrusions targeting reporters of The New York Times and is looking into whether Russian intelligence agencies are responsible for the acts, a U.S. official said. The Times reported that the attempted cyber attack targeted the newspaper's Moscow bureau, and that there was no evidence that it was successful. "We are constantly monitoring our systems with the latest available intelligence and tools," Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said in a statement. "We have seen no evidence that any of our internal systems, including our systems in the Moscow bureau, have been breached or compromised." CNN first reported the FBI's investigation. A U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that an investigation was underway. The news comes as federal authorities continue to investigate a breach of the Democratic National Committee that outside cybersecurity experts have attributed to Russian intelligence agencies and that led to the posting of embarrassing internal emails.
Mother of slain journalist James Foley fights for press safety, freedom
The mother of a photojournalist killed by the Islamic State is fighting for press freedoms and services for families of hostages two years after her son's death. Diane Foley, of Rochester, New Hampshire, tells the Portsmouth Herald (http://bit.ly/2brGcoV ) she thinks many Americans take press freedoms for granted. Foley created the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation to advocate for the release of American hostages and help keep journalists reporting in conflict zones safe. James Foley was killed on Aug. 19, 2014, after being held hostage by the Islamic State for several months. Diane Foley says she wants people to realize the vulnerability of journalists who shoot the photos that bring the world's conflicts to light. The foundation collaborates with major news organizations on reporter safety and training.
Missouri journalism school pushes diversity recruitment
University of Missouri's journalism school is starting a new program to recruit diverse high school students. Dean David Kurpius announced recruitment efforts to reporters and students in a cross-cultural journalism class at the Columbia campus. Kurpius said the goal is to partner with alumni working at media and strategic communication outlets to mentor high school students in big cities. He said the school will offer summer programs and other recruitment events on campus. Mizzou set aside $959,000 over three years for the program. Mizzou Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement Ron Kelley will step down to lead the program Sept. 12.
Gannett names 2 executives to lead New Jersey news company
Gannett has named two executives to lead a New Jersey media company it recently purchased. Nancy Meyer was named president of North Jersey Media Group, and Rick Green was named vice president for news and editor. Meyer is the former publisher and chief executive of the Orlando Sentinel Media Group. Green is president and publisher of the Gannett-owned Enquirer Media in Cincinnati, Ohio. The McLean, Virginia-based Gannett purchased the New Jersey news organization last month
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 23, 2016
The Tennessean to sell longtime Nashville offices
The Tennessean is putting its longtime offices in downtown Nashville up for sale. The newspaper reports (http://tnne.ws/2bODpVH ) that no price has been named for the 10-acre property located in the Gulch neighborhood. Laura Hollingsworth, president of The Tennessean and USA Today Network -Tennessee, says the Gannett-owned newspaper plans to move news, business and sales operations to a new space in Nashville that has yet to be identified.
VMS publisher heading to El Paso
After nearly four years as publisher of the Valley Morning Star in Harlingen, Texas, Lilia Castillo Jones will be moving to another Texas town. Early next month, Jones will head to work for Gannett/USA Today Network as President of the El Paso Times & Texas/New Mexico Partnership, overseeing the company’s paper in El Paso and other properties in New Mexico.
New Tribune owner says Huntsman Sr. will have role at paper
The wealthy new owner of The Salt Lake Tribune says his father, Utah billionaire and industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr., will serve in a role at the newspaper as chairman emeritus. Deputy editor Tim Fitzpatrick says Tribune publisher Paul Huntsman made the announcement with his father during a meeting with the newspaper's staff and new editor, Jennifer Napier-Pearce. After purchasing the paper in May, Huntsman made his first major editorial staffing change last month by replacing longtime editor Terry Orme.
Provo newspaper Daily Herald sold to West Virginia company
The Daily Herald newspaper in Provo, Utah, has been sold to a West Virginia company that owns 40 newspapers across 14 states. Newspaper chain Lee Enterprises, Inc., announced that it was selling the Provo newspaper and its digital media operations to Ogden Newspapers of Utah, LLC. The company is part of Ogden Newspapers, Inc., out of Wheeling, West Virginia. The Provo newspaper has a daily circulation of about 20,000 people. Lee had owned The Daily Herald since 2005.
Rochester, Minnesota, management to split duties
Randy Chapman, who has been publisher of the Post-Bulletin in Rochester, Minnesota, since 2007, has been named publisher emeritus, it was announced. His new role will include chairing the P-B's editorial page and community advisory boards, continuing his weekly column and other writing, representing the company in community leadership and advising top management, according to Post-Bulletin President Len R. Small, who will assume additional duties as publisher. Small and his brother, Tom, have managed the newspaper and its holding company, Small Newspaper Group, for decades.
Gawker's Nick Denton out of the 'news and gossip business'
Gawker.com, a nearly 14-year-old blog being shut down following the sale of its parent company to Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, has stopped posting. In a memo to its staff, Gawker founder Nick Denton, the acerbic, outspoken former financial journalist, said he's also getting out of the news business. The blog's parent, Gawker Media, was sold following a $140 million judgment against it in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit filed by former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan over a sex tape. It was later revealed Hogan's lawsuit was backed by Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel.
More cuts are coming to newspapers owned by GateHouse Media, Poynter reports.
Poynter says that several GateHouse Media papers, including the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, the Rockford (Illinois) Register Star and the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal are undergoing a round of buyouts as the newspapers' parent company seeks to offset revenue declines. The offer, from GateHouse Media CEO Kirk Davis, cites "ongoing efforts across our organization to reduce costs" as the primary motive for the cuts. GateHouse Media owns 125 daily newspapers across the United States.
Tampa Bay Times sells Highlands Today to owners of Sun Coast Media Group
The Tampa Bay Times is selling the Highlands Today newspaper to the owners of Sun Coast Media Group. The Times assumed ownership of Highlands Today in May when it purchased the Tampa Tribune. The Times sells about 9,000 newspapers in Highlands County. Sun Coast Media Group is owned by the Dunn-Rankin family.
West Yellowstone News to stop publishing in September
Big Sky Publishing's president says The West Yellowstone (Montana) News will shut down its newspaper and website in September unless a new owner is found. Stephanie Pressly says advertising revenue has been in decline since the 2008 economic downturn, and the company can no longer afford to keep producing the weekly newspaper. A story in the West Yellowstone News (http://bit.ly/2b6Qkk4 ) announcing the closure says the owners considered a digital-only edition, but concluded it would still lose money. Big Sky Publishing also publishes the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and the Belgrade News. Another Big Sky newspaper, The Lone Peak Lookout, closed in 2015.
New York Times shuts down NYT Now smartphone app
The New York Times is shutting down its NYT Now smartphone app because the company says it hasn’t lived up to its hopes in the two years since it was launched in an effort to reach a younger audience. NYT Now offers morning and evening news briefings and a curated list of articles in a mobile friendly format. It was launched in 2014 with a subscription fee of $8 a month but was transitioned last year to a free model. The Times says it had 334,000 unique users at its peak in May of last year. That number had fallen to an average of 257,000 per month over the past three months. The Times says many NYT Now features are being incorporated into the main New York Times app.
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 16, 2016
Adams Publishing Group to buy ECM Publishers
A family-owned media company in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, intends to purchase one of the country's largest publishers of weekly newspapers. Adams Publishing Group announced it is purchasing ECM Publishers Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Adams Publishing Group has multiple publications, including 63 community newspapers, 18 shoppers, 20 specialty publications and 81 websites. The company's website says it serves communities in Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, Idaho, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, D.C. ECM has 50 publications and reaches more than 600,000 households in central Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Its holdings include several of the weekly "Sun" newspapers in the Twin Cities metro area. Coon Rapids-based ECM was founded by former Minnesota Gov. Elmer Andersen in 1976.
Arianna Huffington signs off at The Huffington Post
Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post's editor-in-chief, announced that she's leaving The Huffington Post to head a new health, wellbeing and productivity startup. "I thought HuffPost would be my last act," Huffington said in a tweet. "But I've decided to step down as HuffPost's editor-in-chief to run my new venture, Thrive Global." The one-time conservative commentator oversaw explosive growth at the liberal online news and blog site that she co-founded in 2005, which went on to win a Pulitzer in less than a decade. The site is known for its celebrity and newsmaker blogs and was a pioneer in the "aggregation" model in online news, posting stories that relied on articles and information from different news organizations as well as its own contributors. Aside from its U.S. edition, The Huffington Post has 14 international editions in multiple languages.
Will Bourne leaving The Village Voice
Will Bourne, the editor in chief of The Village Voice, is leaving the newspaper after less than a year at the helm of the free weekly, Poynter reports. News of Bourne's departure came via an announcement from the The Village Voice noting that the newspaper was undergoing preparations for "an extensive relaunch." The Village Voice is undertaking preparations and planning leading up to an extensive relaunch next year. Under the direction of CEO Peter Barbey, we've engaged Pentagram, the world's largest independent design consultancy, to spearhead a redesign of the newsprint weekly. We've also tapped leading digital product shop Postlight to head the build out of an entirely new website for the brand. As part of these changes, Will Bourne has stepped down as Editor in Chief. Managing editor Meave Gallagher will assume editorial responsibilities in the interim pending formal announcement of The Village Voice's next Editor in Chief.
Vermont dailies sold to owner of Portland Press Herald
The family that owns the Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus in Vermont says it's selling the newspapers to a company that owns several publications in Maine, including the Portland Press Herald. In selling to a company run by Maine-based publishing entrepreneur Reade Brower and printing and marketing executive Chip Harris, the Mitchell family said in the Rutland Herald that they had found owners with the entrepreneurial spirit, community focus and commitment to journalism. The Mitchell family has owned the Rutland Herald since 1947 and the Times Argus since 1964. Together, the newspapers have 80 full and part-time employees.
Florida journalists form union at The Ledger newspaper
Journalists at The Ledger in central Florida have voted to unionize. Newsroom employees voted 22-3 on Thursday to have The News Guild represent them in bargaining for their first labor contract with the Polk County newspaper's parent company, GateHouse Media. Ledger Media Group publisher Kevin Drake said in a statement that the vote was disappointing but the newspaper remained committed to producing quality journalism. GateHouse Media acquired The Ledger and other Florida newspapers from Halifax Media in 2015. The Pittsford, New York, company is a subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc. According to a News Guild statement, over 20 Ledger newsroom employees have been laid off since the acquisition. The News Guild said The Ledger is the only Florida newspaper with a unionized newsroom. The News Media Guild represents Associated Press editorial employees in the U.S.
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 9, 2016
Nevada media company president to head Oregonian Media Group
John F. Maher, the president of Nevada company RGJ Media, has accepted a position at the helm of Oregonian Media Group, the parent company of The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon. He replaces Steve Moss, who is moving to senior adviser at Advance Local, parent company of Oregonian Media Group. The job move was reported by the Reno-Gazette Journal (http://on.rgj.com/2aW9HhE ). RGJ Media owns the Reno Gazette-Journal, RGJ.com and Reno.com. Maher has been its president since 2011. Maher previously served as publisher of the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska and in leadership positions at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Kansas City Star.
Group honors journalists for Las Vegas newspaper sale story
A team of journalists that broke the story that Nevada's largest newspaper had been purchased by the family of billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson is receiving a national ethics award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Former Las Vegas Review-Journal reporters James DeHaven, Eric Hartley, Jennifer Robison and Howard Stutz, former editors Mike Hengel and James G. Wright, former columnist John L. Smith, and the newspaper's current managing editor, Glenn Cook, were named for the honor. Steve Majerus-Collins, a former reporter at the Bristol Press in Connecticut, was honored with them. The Bristol Press was linked to the Review-Journal through a company set up during the Adelson purchase. The society said the team "didn't waver in their exposé and related coverage" despite "obfuscation and obstacles from their new bosses."
Parent company of Aberdeen newspaper to buy Public Opinion
The parent company of the Aberdeen (South Dakota) American News and Farm Forum has agreed to buy the Watertown Public Opinion. The American News reports (http://bit.ly/2aOkSX8) that Public Opinion publisher Mark Roby will be regional publisher for both the Watertown and Aberdeen properties after the sale is finalized. The American News and Farm Forum are owned by Schurz Communications Inc. of Mishawaka, Indiana. The Public Opinion is owned by United Communications Corp. of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Roby would replace Aberdeen publisher Cory Bollinger, who is taking on regional publisher duties for the Schurz Indiana newspaper group. Bollinger, who has been Aberdeen publisher since 2010, will continue leading Schurz print operations as the company's vice president-publishing.
Eugene Jackson named Democrat News publisher
Lee Enterprises has announced that Eugene Jackson has been named publisher of the Daily Journal in Park Hills, Missouri. He succeeds Gary Berblinger, who retired earlier this year. “Jackson is a rising leader in our industry, and we’re delighted to welcome him to Lee Enterprises and the Daily Journal,” said Lee group publisher Ron Peterson. “Eugene has a passion for local news and local communities, and I look forward to what he brings to his new role.” Jackson will also serve as publisher of the Farmington Press and Democrat News, Peterson said. Jackson, 36, most recently served as director of advertising for the Hearst Connecticut Media Group. His career also includes 10 years with The Roanoke Times.
Ron Fournier to become associate publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business
Ron Fournier, a former White House correspondent for The Associated Press, is leaving Washington for Detroit, according to Poynter. Fournier, best known for covering the Clintons and aggressively morphing into an edgy online columnist for The National Journal and The Atlantic, revealed that he'll return to Detroit as associate publisher of Crain's Detroit Business. He returns often to Michigan, has a cottage in the northern woods and now has a daughter, who was born in Arkansas and raised in the Washington area, living in Detroit. Another daughter is a law student at Michigan State University. Tyler, a son who has Asperger's Syndrome and is centerpiece of Fournier's best-selling "Love That Boy," simply "misses his sisters and extended family in Michigan."
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 2, 2016
Fayetteville Observer sold to GateHouse Media
The Fayetteville Publishing Company announced that it is selling the Fayetteville Observer to GateHouse Media LLC, one of the largest publishing companies in the U.S. The sale also includes other Fayetteville Publishing businesses and will end 93 years of local ownership of the company, the paper said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Fayetteville Observer is North Carolina's oldest newspaper, celebrating its 200th anniversary, and it has been the largest independent newspaper in North Carolina and one of the largest family-owned papers in the country. Publisher Charles Broadwell, who followed in the footsteps of his uncle and grandfather in leading the newspaper, said he has been working on the deal for about a year as the paper faced dwindling circulation and was forced to downsize. The newspaper has about 350 employees, down about 100 from its peak. GateHouse later named Robert J. Gruber as publisher of the Observer. Gruber has served as publisher of The Wilmington Star News, another GateHouse property, since October 2005.
Gatehouse announces changes at several Arkansas papers
Two publishers for Gatehouse Media in Arkansas have been replaced by a former executive at USA Weekend. Arkansas Business reported (http://bit.ly/2ajQ7tY ) that Ed Graves will replace veteran Pine Bluff Commercial publisher and editor Byron Tate and senior group publisher Shane Allen, who was based in Heber Springs. The Arkansas Press Association said Graves is the first African-American publisher of a daily newspaper in the state. Several weekly papers have had African-American publishers. Gatehouse is headquartered in Rochester, New York, and also owns the Southwest Times-Record in Fort Smith, the Daily Siftings Herald in Arkadelphia, the Hope Star and the Stuttgart Daily Leader, along with several weekly newspapers in Arkansas.
Arkansas newspapers announce merger
Another chapter in community journalism is being written in Nashville, Arkansas, with the purchase and merger of the Nashville Leader and the Nashville News. The newspaper now goes by the name The Nashville News-Leader. The Texarkana Gazette (http://bit.ly/2axuqqF ) reports that after nearly two months, the community has had little problem adjusting to a new owner_John Robert Schirmer of Nashville_since he is a local teacher and helped launch the Nashville Leader with Louie Graves in 2003. "A key desire on our part in selling the newspapers was passing ownership to someone who lives in the local area rather than having community newspapers owned by out-of-state interests who only care about the bottom line," said former Graves Publishing Co. CEO Michael Graves of Nashville. The sale of the Graves Publishing Co. was concluded May 31 and included The Nashville News, Murfreesboro Diamond, Glenwood Herald and Montgomery County News. The press, commercial printing operation and building in Nashville were also included.
Poynter: Kyle Pope to head Columbia Journalism Review
Kyle Pope's journalism career hasn't been a straightforward exercise in ladder-climbing, Poynter reports. He's been an editor at a daily newspaper (The Wall Street Journal), a weekly (the New York Observer), a glossy magazine (the short-lived Condé Nast Portfolio), and, most recently, a chain of eight hyperlocal weeklies in Manhattan. So he's jumped around a lot. It's a career that Pope, 52, says has prepared him for his latest gig, editor and publisher of Columbia Journalism Review. "I've had a long career, and the hyperlocal stuff is the last three years of it," Pope said Friday. "I will miss it. But this is an entirely different thing. In a way, I view this as the coming-together of everything that I've done." In September, Pope will take over at CJR for Liz Spayd, who was recently appointed as public editor of The New York Times.
Ralph Martin named an executive at Steinman Communications
Ralph Martin, a former top executive at Trib Total Media in Pittsburgh, has been named executive vice president of Steinman Communications. Steinman's businesses include LNP newspaper in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the Delmarva Broadcasting Company, which operates radio stations in Maryland, Delaware and southern New Jersey. Steinman CEO Robert Krasne said that the 62-year-old Martin will help drive strategic initiatives across its radio, newspaper and digital operations. Martin was president and chief executive of Trib Total Media, publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, before being named CEO of Davidson, North Carolina-based Civitas Media in 2015. He stepped down from that job last month.
Eugene Jackson named Daily Journal publisher
Lee Enterprises has announced that Eugene Jackson has been named publisher of the Daily Journal in Park Hills, Missouri. He succeeds Gary Berblinger, who retired earlier this year. “Jackson is a rising leader in our industry, and we’re delighted to welcome him to Lee Enterprises and the Daily Journal,” said Lee group publisher Ron Peterson. Jackson, 36, most recently served as director of advertising for the Hearst Connecticut Media Group. His career also includes 10 years with The Roanoke Times, where he held a number of positions including advertising sales development manager.
INDUSTRY NEWS JULY 26, 2016
W.K. Kellogg Foundation awards grant for criminal justice reporting project
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) a $400,000 grant to partially fund a new criminal justice reporting project. This three-year special reporting series will focus on producing multimedia content on criminal and juvenile justice issues affecting communities of color. The project is scheduled to launch first in the state of New Mexico. AAJA will partner with the National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) to train journalists, with an emphasis on journalists of color, in strong investigative skills and increased knowledge of criminal and juvenile justice issues. The project also hopes to partner with local media to enhance current state coverage of juvenile and criminal justice issues.
Fremont (Nebraska) Tribune has new leader
A Nebraska native with strong background in the newspaper industry is the new publisher of the Fremont (Nebraska) Tribune and The Plattsmouth Journal. Gary Loftus began serving as publisher on July 13. His career in the newspaper industry spans more than four decades, with more than 30 years in management and more than a decade of newspaper publishing experience. Ava Thomas, regional president and publisher, Lee Enterprises, Nebraska newspapers group, believes Loftus will be an asset to the communities and the corporation.
Trib Total Media offers more buyouts to workforce
Trib Total Media, a Pittsburgh-based publisher, says it will offer buyouts to further reduce its workforce. The publisher of the Tribune-Review newspaper and other publications said about 400 of the company’s 585 full-time employees will be eligible for the buyout. The company said it expects about 100 workers to accept it. Specific terms of the buyout were not disclosed but employees across the company with five years or more of full-time service are eligible, said Lindsay Berdell Bock, executive director of marketing. “As the habits of our readers continue to change, it is imperative that we adjust our expenses in line with the changes to our revenue,” said Jennifer Bertetto, president and chief executive of the publishing company.
INDUSTRY NEWS JULY 19, 2016
Pew Research: Digital technology continues to upend the news industry
Facebook, Snapchat, and other social platforms have dominated conversations around journalism over the past year. While publishers have flocked to tools like Facebook Live, Instant Articles, and Snapchat Discover to reach new audiences, they’ve also worried about changing revenue models and the threats platforms pose to their businesses. The Pew Research Center has released its annual State of the News Media report, which examines these trends and shows that digital technology continues to upend the news industry. Nearly half of American adults now get news from Facebook, Pew found. Daily newspaper circulation fell 7 percent from 2014 to 2015, and newspaper ad revenue fell 8 percent over the same period. Spending on mobile advertising grew by 65 percent between 2014 and 2015, Pew said. In 2015, $31.6 billion, or 53 percent of total digital advertising, was spent on mobile ads. “While that is a steep climb for mobile, the rate of growth is down from recent years, when growth rates were in the triple digits,” the report’s authors write. Still, mobile accounted for 17 percent of the $183 billion that was spent in media advertising on all platforms in 2015. Video advertising spending climbed 46 percent to $7.7 billion in 2015, accounting for 29 percent of display advertising.
Boston Globe reaches agreement to sell headquarters
The Boston Globe has agreed to sell its longtime headquarters in Dorchester. The newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/29KgjuGP) that Boston Globe Media Partners chief executive Mike Sheehan confirmed the company has signed a purchase-and-sale agreement for the 16.5-acre property and 815,000-square-foot Globe building along Interstate 93. Sheehan has declined to identify the buyer or detail the terms of the deal. The Globe previously announced that its editorial and business departments will move to an office complex in Boston near the city's political and business centers. Printing and delivery operations will be done from a new facility in Taunton, about 40 miles south of Boston. The plant will print the Globe and also the Boston Herald, The New York Times and USA Today for delivery to their local subscribers.
Brian Priester to lead Michigan.com, Detroit Free Press
A Gannett veteran was named as the new leader of Michigan.com and The Detroit Free Press, after both organizations' former head Joyce Jenereaux in May announced her upcoming retirement. Brian Priester will serve as president of Michigan.com and the Detroit Free Press, effective August 1, according to Gannett officials and a statement by Jenereaux. Priester currently works as president of Gannett in the mid-Michigan region and leads the Lansing State Journal. He spent more than 20 years as a marketing and media executive with Gannett, which owns the Free Press and has part-ownership of Michigan.com.
Jones named publisher of Newnan Times-Herald
Walter C. Jones, an experienced Georgia journalist, has been named publisher of the Newnan (Georgia) Times-Herald. Jones has been director of news services for Morris News Service/Augusta Chronicle since January 1997. He worked for the Griffin Daily News as a staff writer and has held consulting and management positions with Square Service, Inc. and Phillips Publishing, Inc. For two years, he was executive assistant to U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich. In that role, Jones collaborated on a treatise on national security, coordinated special projects and drafted legislation.
La Crosse man creates kites fashioned from local newspaper
Greg Remen would like you to go fly a kite — and he's got just the deal for you: a free kite fashioned from a La Crosse Tribune if you've been featured in a story or photo. You might have seen samples of Remen's work dangling from kite-eating trees in Copeland Park and other parks in La Crosse, the La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/29SKRMk ) reported. "I like to take them up to the Cass Street Bridge and let two or three fly, then come down to Riverside Park and watch them," the La Crosse man said during an interview in the park Tuesday as he pointed to one tethered to the bridge. The 61-year-old Remen's lifelong love of kites is just one of his motivations for crafting 300-plus kites from newspapers during the past year. Just as important, perhaps, is his view of them as a novel way to preserve history.
Wisconsin to weigh moving to online public notices
Wisconsin legislators are again weighing whether to allow local governments and school boards to post more legal notices online in lieu of printing in newspapers. The issue has surfaced every few years, leading to some revisions in the state's existing laws, which require publication of ordinances, meeting notices, school board minutes, alcohol license applications and other notices. A legislative study committee now plans to take up the issue more comprehensively at a meeting on July 26. "There's no question that the internet has dramatically changed the way people get information," said Sen. Mark Miller, a Monona Democrat and vice-chair of the committee. "We want to try to make use of that capacity to improve public notices." Many school boards and local governments favor moving toward more online notices because it has the potential to reach people more easily and saves them money. But the Wisconsin Newspaper Association has opposed previous legislative efforts, saying many people still rely on newspapers for information.
INDUSTRY NEWS JULY 5, 2016
New York Times: Facebook to change news feed to focus on friends, family
For years, Facebook has courted publishers of all sizes, asking them to depend more and more on the social media giant to expand their audiences. Now, Facebook has a new message for publishers: Tamp down your expectations. Facebook announced recently that it planned to make a series of changes to its news feed algorithm so that it will more favorably promote content posted by the friends and family of users. The side effect of those changes, the company said, is that content posted by publishers will show up less prominently in news feeds, resulting in significantly less traffic to the hundreds of news media sites that have come to rely on Facebook. The move underscores the never-ending algorithm-tweaking that Facebook undertakes to maintain interest in its news feed, the company’s marquee feature that is seen by more than 1.65 billion users every month. It is also a reminder that while Facebook is vastly important to the long-term growth of news media companies, from older outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post to upstarts like BuzzFeed, Vice and Vox Media, publishers rank lower on Facebook’s list of priorities.
New York Times: Pillars of black media fight to survive
For the black community in Chicago and elsewhere, Johnson Publishing Company represented a certain kind of hope. The company’s magazines, most notably Ebony and Jet, gained prominence during the struggle for civil rights — Jet published graphic photos of the murdered black teenager Emmett Till that helped intensify the movement — and made it their mission to chronicle African-American life. At a time when much of the media was ignoring black people, or showing them primarily in the context of poverty or crime, Ebony and Jet celebrated their success, featuring stars like Muhammad Ali and Aretha Franklin on their covers. When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the first print publication he granted an interview to was Ebony. So when Johnson Publishing, which is based in Chicago, announced a little more than two weeks ago that it had sold Ebony and Jet to a private equity firm in Texas, there was a sense of loss. “It was a very heartbreaking day,” said Melody Spann-Cooper, the chairwoman of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, which owns a Chicago radio station, WVON, aimed at a black audience. “Ebony gave to African-Americans what Life didn’t.” Ms. Spann-Cooper’s reaction underscored a deeper concern: As racial issues have once again become a prominent topic in the national conversation, the influence of black-owned media companies on black culture is diminishing.
Gordon McLeod stepping down as publisher of NY's Newsday
Gordon McLeod, the publisher of Newsday Media Group, is stepping down from his post. Newsday reports (http://nwsdy.li/29qGnLH ) that McLeod emailed employees saying that his decision was "personal" and that he had found his work "an incredibly rewarding experience." A Newsday spokesman declined to comment. McLeod was hired in March 2014 and was responsible for leading all of the Newsday Media Group's outlets. That includes Newsday, Newsday.com, amNewYork, amny.com, exploreLI.com and a large group of weekly shopper publications. Prior to joining Newsday, McLeod served as president of Krux, a technology company. From 2006 to 2010, he worked at News Corp.'s Dow Jones & Company as president of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.
Publisher Frank Wood to retire, West Virginia native Randy Mooney to succeed him
Publisher Frank D. Wood is retiring after more than 40 years in the newspaper business and 17 years at the helm of The Register-Herald in Beckley, West Virginia, as well as The Montgomery Herald and The Fayette Tribune. He will be succeeded by Randy Mooney, publisher of the neighboring Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Mooney is a native of St. Albans, West Virginia. Wood began his newspaper career in 1969. He returned to Beckley as publisher of The Register-Herald and its companion papers in 1999, expanding them into the digital era with electronic replica editions, websites and mobile platforms.
E. Mayer Maloney Jr. retires in Indiana
E. Mayer Maloney Jr. has retired as publisher of The Herald-Times in Bloomington, Indiana, and its sister news organizations in Bedford, Martinsville and Mooresville. He spent 14 years at the Herald-Times. He graduated from University School in Bloomington and Indiana University, and often recalled his childhood years delivering The Herald-Telephone around his eastside neighborhood. He still can list off many of the families who lived along his paper route.
Tony Bernados promoted to publisher of The St. Augustine Record
Tony Bernados, vice president of revenue for the Savannah Morning News, has been named publisher of The St. Augustine Record in St. Augustine, Florida. The announcement was made by William S. Morris IV, president and CEO of Morris Communications Co. Bernados will report to Mark Nusbaum, president of The Florida Times-Union and group publisher for the Morris Florida Division.
Paper in Kerrville, Texas, welcomes new publisher
The Kerrville Daily Times in Kerrville, Texas, welcomed a new publisher and editor Neice Bell, who takes over from retiring publisher Mike Graxiola. Bell previously was publisher of The Lufkin News and before that was publisher of The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, both sister papers of The Times. Bell, a San Antonio native, lived in Kerrville for 27 years and worked at The Times as Neice Wienecke, before she was married. Graxiola retired Thursday after 40 years in the newspaper business.
San Francisco media execute week of coverage on homeless crisis
More than 70 media organizations in San Francisco planned to saturate online, TV and print publications with news stories about an issue that has stumped politicians and residents for decades: The city's homeless. Homelessness has defined San Francisco for generations, with panhandlers and urine-stained sidewalks as much a part of the scenery as the Golden Gate Bridge or Victorian homes on a hillside. But with thousands of newcomers and tensions exacerbated by a shortage of affordable housing, complaints about those who live on the streets are growing. Media outlets planned stories through the week in a push to inform residents and spur action. The San Francisco Chronicle, one of the city's two daily newspapers, has lined up a week of coverage capped by a front-page editorial. "We have expertise, and we have resources," said Audrey Cooper, the Chronicle's editor-in-chief who created the idea for the "SF Homeless Project." ''We want things to get better, too, and we want people to make smarter decisions."
INDUSTRY NEWS JUNE 28, 2016
Poynter Institute to grow 'News University' platform with Knight Foundation funding
The Poynter Institute said it will remake its "News University" platform with $758,000 in new funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to build a mobile-friendly platform more responsive to the needs of its audiences. Poynter owns Times Publishing Co., the parent company of the Tampa Bay Times. The redesigned site will offer on-demand and mobile-tailored courses that will include the use of games, interactive hands-on practice and video. Poynter said it will also explore ways to integrate its News University with its news site, poynter.org. And Poynter plans to expand its teaching to non-journalists interested in learning more about writing, communication, leadership, critical thinking, audience development, social media and more.
Herald-Leader moving printing operation to Louisville
The Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader has announced it will move its printing and packaging operations to Louisville and will put the newspaper office and production and packaging facilities on the market. The McClatchy-owned newspaper (http://bit.ly/2934jbH ) published a statement from President and Publisher Rufus M. Friday that said the change will affect 25 full-time and four part-time jobs in Lexington. The statement said the newspaper is transferring printing and packaging to Gannett Publishing Services LLC in Louisville and said the move "will focus the Herald-Leader's resources on its rapidly growing digital news, information and advertising operations." Friday said the newspaper would look for "new space in downtown Lexington that better meets the needs of a 21st century media company." The statement said Gannett prints The Courier-Journal, The State Journal of Frankfort, LEO Weekly, USA Today and various printing for The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Daily News publisher named group publisher
Daily News Publisher Ken Harty has been named group publisher for Wick Communications, based in Sierra Vista, Arizona. A second-generation newspaperman, Harty joined Wick in October 1992. He has worked in several departments of the Daily News in Wahpeton, North Dakota, and Breckenridge, Minnesota, including a five-year stint in the pressroom. "Ken Harty's talents and experience position him to do well with his added responsibilities," said Francis Wick, president and CEO of Wick Communications.
San Francisco's oldest LGBT newspaper turns 45, looks forward
The year San Francisco's oldest surviving LGBT newspaper printed its first issue, sodomy laws were abundant throughout the country, San Francisco public employees could be fired over their sexual orientation, and police harassment of gay, lesbian and bisexual people was just starting to abate. AIDS hadn't yet hit. Legendary gay rights activist and former San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk was still alive. And the idea that gay and lesbian couples would someday be able to legally marry - let alone print wedding announcements in the Bay Area Reporter - would have seemed preposterous. "It was a totally different time," said Terry Beswick, the executive director of the GLBT Historical Society who worked as an assistant editor at the Reporter in the 1990s. "[The newspaper] validated us and our community at a time when not much else did. It helped us speak amongst ourselves, but also proved that we're here, we exist. ... If you took the BAR out of the gay community, I don't know that it would function the same way. It's become like our coral reef." The Bay Area Reporter, which began as a community and culture publication, published its first issue on April 1, 1971. In the 45 years since, it has evolved to become an enduring local news source and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. One of the oldest LGBT newspapers in the nation, the Bay Area Reporter outlasted many that came after it.
Miranda Spivack coming to DPU as Pulliam Visiting Journalism Professor
Award-winning journalist, Miranda S. Spivack, who spent nearly 20 years at the Washington Post as an editor and reporter, is coming to DePauw University to serve as Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism for the 2016-17 academic year. Spivack has been a working journalist for four decades and has spent much of her career writing accountability stories about state and local governments. She is currently working on a journalism project about state and local government transparency and secrecy, which is being funded by the Fund for Investigative Journalism, CUNYs Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program and Marquette University's O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism.
INDUSTRY NEWS JUNE 21, 2016
Pew Research: Newspaper declines accelerate
The 13th annual Pew Research State of the News Media Report documents another year of alarming declines for newspapers — the worst since the 2008-2009 recession, Poynter reports. Other sectors did much better, with revenues actually growing robustly both for cable channels (up 10 percent) and network news (up 6 percent for evening shows and 14 percent for mornings). Cobbling together newspaper data that is less current and available than it once was, Pew estimates that the industry lost 7 percent of daily circulation in 2015 and 8 percent of ad revenues. More up-to-date surveys of readership provide further cause for discouragement. Pew research in January 2016 found nearly everyone is following news of the presidential race. But only 5 percent said print newspaper coverage in the last week was their "most helpful" source (3 percent local papers and 2 percent national) — by far the lowest among available channels.
Johnson Publishing announces sale of Jet, Ebony magazines
Ebony and Jet magazines, which have chronicled African-American life for the past 71 years, have been sold to an Austin, Texas-based private equity firm. Johnson Publishing Co. in Chicago announced that Ebony and digital-only Jet were sold to Clear View Group. The sale of the magazines was closed in May, and no sale price was disclosed. Johnson Publishing will retain its Fashion Fair Cosmetics business and Ebony photo archive, which is for sale, according to The Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/1VYkBDc). Ebony magazine was founded by John Johnson in 1945, but had been affected by declining circulation and revenues in recent years as it tried to evolve from print to digital platforms.
Simons family selling Journal-World to Ogden Newspapers, Inc.
Nearly 125 years of Lawrence newspaper history will end later this year when the Simons family, owner of the Journal-World, completes the paper’s sale to Ogden Newspapers Inc., a family-owned company based in Wheeling, West Virginia. The pending transaction was announced to Journal-World department leaders by Dolph C. Simons Jr., editor of the Journal-World and chairman of The World Company, which owns the newspaper. His sons, Dan, president of World’s digital division, and Dolph III, president of its newspapers division, took part in the session, after which the three leaders met with all staff members to tell them of the company’s plan.
Aspen Times owner acquires papers in Craig and Steamboat
Colorado Mountain News Media Co, a subsidiary of Swift Communications Inc, the owner of The Aspen Times, will acquire the Steamboat Pilot & Today and Craig Daily Press from WorldWest LLC. The deal, whose terms were not disclosed by the privately held companies, is expected to be complete Aug. 1. The 131-year-old paid weekly Steamboat Pilot & Today publishes Sundays and is complemented by the free daily Steamboat Today, online news site SteamboatToday.com and a number of glossy magazines. The Craig Daily Press has a paid circulation of 1,700 and publishes four days a week.
Harris Enterprises puts newspapers up for sale
Harris Enterprises has announced plans to sell its six newspapers. John Montgomery, vice president of Harris Enterprises and publisher of The Hutchinson News (http://j.mp/1W46Z9t ), announced that the company's newspapers are up for sale. The Hutchinson, Kansas-based company said it has hired a firm to sell the chain. Bruce Buchanan, president of Harris Enterprises, said in a release that the owners hope to sell all six newspapers as a group, but that it may be necessary to deal with more than one buyer. Harris family involvement in the newspaper business began in 1907 when Ralph Harris bought The Ottawa Herald. In addition to the Herald and The Hutchinson News, the family-owned company also owns the Salina Journal, The Garden City Telegram, The Hays Daily News and The Burlington, Iowa, Hawk Eye.
It's official: LA Times owner Tribune changes name to Tronc
Don't call it Tribune anymore: The newspaper company has officially changed its name to Tronc. The company behind the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune is shedding its name to rebrand as a high-tech journalism company as it tries to avoid being bought by USA Today owner Gannett Co. Tronc stands for Tribune online content, the company says. The Chicago-based publisher will also get a new stock symbol. Tronc Inc. began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange Monday under the ticker symbol "TRNC." Previously, Tribune Publishing Co. was traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "TPUB."
2 Vermont newspapers cutting days of printed editions
The Vermont-based Rutland Herald and its sister newspaper, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus are eliminating print publication on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Rutland Herald reports (http://bit.ly/28KD0lS ) the company will continue publishing an online edition seven days a week. But it's moving to a four-day-a-week schedule for print editions. The reduced printing schedule will result in expanded newsprint editions on Thursday through Sunday. News, sports, opinion, comics and obituaries will be part of the online editions.
New publisher announced for The Courier in Waterloo, Iowa
Lee Enterprises announced Roy D. Biondi has been named publisher of The Courier in Waterloo, Iowa, and The Globe Gazette in Mason City. He succeeds David Braton, who became publisher of The Bismarck Tribune in March. Biondi, 54, is currently vice president and group publisher for Consumer NewServices and ThisWeek Community News in central Ohio. He begins his new role July 5.
David Magee named publisher of The Oxford (Mississippi) Eagle
Oxford, Mississippi, native David Magee has been named publisher of The Oxford Eagle and president of Oxford Newsmedia LLC. The newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/1XqPa5s) that Magee, 50, is a former city council member and business owner. He got his journalism start at The Eagle while a student at the University of Mississippi. Magee is currently publisher of Birmingham magazine and vice president at Alabama Media Group, which owns websites and newspapers including AL.com, The Birmingham News, The Mobile Press-Register and the Huntsville Times. Before joining Alabama Media Group, Magee was managing editor of The International Business Times.
New group publisher to lead The Daily Astorian in Oregon
Northwest newspaper executive David Pero has been named group publisher of The Daily Astorian and its companion publications on the Oregon Coast. He succeeds Steve Forrester, who is retiring as publisher after 28 years in Astoria. Pero, 59, will serve as editor and publisher of The Daily Astorian. As group publisher, he will oversee all operations on the coast for the Astorian, Seaside Signal, Cannon Beach Gazette, Coast River Business Journal and Chinook Observer. Pero most recently was chief operating officer for the Register-Guard in Eugene.
INDUSTRY NEWS JUNE 14, 2016
Vermont newspaper publisher holds essay contest to find new owner
As he approaches his 71st birthday, Ross Connelly is ready to retire as editor and publisher of the 127-year-old community newspaper in Vermont he and his late wife bought three decades ago. He was unsuccessful at selling the weekly Hardwick Gazette, so he came up with a novel way to find a new owner: an essay contest that kicks off on his birthday. If he gets at least 700 essays, he'll pick a winner from among them. He's looking for someone who can show they can handle the responsibility of providing strong local coverage at a time when people are increasingly relying on the internet and social media for their news. The newspaper is based in Hardwick, a community of about 3,000 residents in northern Vermont. The new owner also must be committed to the community.
AP on why it called delegate race for Clinton: 'That is news'
After being criticized for calling the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton hours before polls opened in the nation's most populous state, the Associated Press fired back, with a top official saying, "That is the news, and reporting the news is what we do." Kathleen Carroll, AP senior vice president and executive editor, said in a statement on the news service’s corporate blog that "AP concluded that Hillary Clinton had enough delegates to clinch the nomination after a painstaking but very straightforward exercise: We counted." By Monday evening, Carroll said, 571 superdelegates had "told us unequivocally that they intend to vote for Clinton at the convention. Adding that number to the delegates awarded to Clinton in the primary and caucus voting to date gave her the number needed to be the presumptive nominee. That is the news and reporting the news is what we do.” The blog post, quoted by the San Francisco Tribune, said Carroll emphasized that nothing in the report “discourages or prevents voters in six states from exercise their right to go to the polls.”
AP journalist Tom Kent appointed Radio Free Europe president
Associated Press journalist Tom Kent has been appointed president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Kent worked for the AP for more than four decades, serving as Moscow bureau chief, international editor, deputy managing editor and most recently as standards editor. In announcing the appointment, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty board chairman Jeff Shell praised Kent's "track record in digital news expansion and his collaborative leadership style." Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is one of the five U.S.-funded broadcasters under the Broadcasting Board of Governors, whose mission is to support democracy and free speech around the world. It broadcasts in 26 languages to 23 countries.
Bob Hansen named publisher of Courier-Times in Indiana
Bob Hansen, a 35-year veteran of the newspaper business, has been named publisher at The Courier-Times in New Castle, Indiana. David Holgate, Indiana-Michigan Group President for Paxton Media Group, made the announcement. “I am very happy to announce Bob Hansen as the new publisher of The Courier-Times,” Holgate said. “Bob has been a valued member of our management team and is absolutely the right person to lead our team in New Castle.” He came to The Courier-Times after serving three years as editor of The News-Examiner in Connersville, Indiana.
RG Media Company hires new publisher
Logan Molen, formerly senior vice president and chief operating officer of The Bakersfield Californian, has been named publisher and chief executive officer of RG Media Company, based in Eugene, Oregon. In 28 years at the Californian, a 35,000-circulation daily about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, Molen held several executive and management positions, including assistant city editor; general manager of the company’s website, Bakersfield.com; managing editor; and vice president of interactive media before being named senior vice president and chief operating officer in 2009. Molen, 54, will assume duties at RG Media Company from interim Publisher and CEO Tony Baker. Baker, who served as editor and publisher and CEO for 28 years before retiring in 2015, returned to lead the company after the resignation of Editor and Publisher N. Christian Anderson III last December.
Gawker files for bankruptcy, to sell itself to Ziff Davis
Gawker Media is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and putting itself up for sale, strained by a jury's verdict that that it must pay $140 million to pro wrestler Hulk Hogan in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit. The filing by the 14-year-old website follows the revelation in May that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel bankrolled Hogan's lawsuit as what he called a "deterrent" to Gawker's no-holds-barred and sometimes gonzo style of journalism. Thiel's secret role sparked anxiety over the possibility that more wealthy individuals might cow publications by covertly funding lawsuits against them. Gawker says it plans to sell itself to publishing company Ziff Davis, although other bidders could emerge during the bankruptcy court auction. The sale will help it fund its appeal against the Hogan judgment in a Florida state court.
John Temple named managing editor at Berkeley program
The Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism has named veteran journalist John Temple as its new managing editor. In his role, Temple will oversee all editorial projects at the IRP, which produces in-depth documentaries and investigative stories for major media outlets that include The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Mother Jones, Univision and PBS Frontline. Temple will also teach courses in investigative reporting at the Journalism School. Temple will report to Lowell Bergman, the IRP’s longtime director and the Reva & David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism. Temple was president of audience and products at First Look Media from 2014 to 2015. Before that, he was a senior fellow in the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships program at Stanford University. He has also served as managing editor of The Washington Post and editor and general manager of Honolulu Civil Beat, a news service launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. In addition, Temple was editor, president and publisher of the award-winning Rocky Mountain News and vice president of news of the newspaper division of the E.W. Scripps Co. before it closed the Denver paper in 2009.
The Oklahoman to close printing facility, lay off 130
The Oklahoman has announced plans to close its printing and packaging operations in Oklahoma City and lay off a total of 130 employees. Chris Reen, the publisher of The Oklahoman and the president of The Oklahoma Media Group, said printing and packaging operations will be outsourced to the Tulsa World starting in September. The newspaper said, with other manufacturing changes, the layoffs will include 65 full-time and 65 part-time jobs.
INDUSTRY NEWS JUNE 7, 2016
NPR journalist David Gilkey, translator killed on assignment
David Gilkey, a veteran news photographer and video editor for National Public Radio, and an Afghan translator, Zabihullah Tamanna, were killed while on assignment in southern Afghanistan, the network says. Gilkey and Tamanna were traveling with an Afghan army unit near Marjah in Helmand province when the convoy came under fire and their vehicle was struck, the network's spokeswoman, Isabel Lara, said in a statement. Two other NPR journalists, Tom Bowman and producer Monika Evstatieva, were traveling with them and were not hurt. Gilkey had covered conflict and war in Iraq and Afghanistan since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on Washington and New York and was committed to helping the public see the wars and the people caught up in them, NPR's senior vice president of news and editorial director, Michael Oreskes, said in a statement. Oreskes formerly worked as a vice president and senior managing editor for AP. "As a man and as a photojournalist, David brought out the humanity of all those around him. He let us see the world and each other through his eyes," Oreskes said. Tamanna, 37, was a freelancer who often worked for NPR.
Poet Elizabeth Alexander elected to Pulitzer Prize Board
Poet Elizabeth Alexander has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, which selects the winners of the awards recognizing excellence in journalism, books, drama and music. New York's Columbia University made the announcement. Alexander has written six books of poetry, including one that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2005. She also wrote a memoir that was a Pulitzer finalist this year. Alexander recited one of her works at Democratic President Barack Obama's first inauguration. She also has taught at Yale University, New York University and the University of Chicago. She currently works at the Ford Foundation. She has been elected to a three-year term on the 19-member board. Columbia University manages the prizes, which are announced in April.
Venture capitalist new chair of Inquirer, Daily News parent
A cofounder of a venture capital firm has been named board chairman of the company that operates the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and their joint website, Philly.com. Josh Kopelman succeeds philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest as chair of Philadelphia Media Network. Lenfest bought the media company two years ago. But late last year he donated it to a nonprofit journalism institute, which can accept outside donations and help underwrite Philadelphia Media's operations. The 45-year-old Kopelman joined Philadelphia Media's board last year. He is cofounder of First Round Capital, which since 2004 has invested in over 300 technology startups.
Tribune renames itself 'Tronc' while Gannett weighs its bid
It is unclear if USA Today owner Gannett will continue its $864 million bid for Tribune Publishing, but it is clear that no one will have Tribune to kick around anymore. That's because it's changing its corporate name — to Tronc Inc., standing for "Tribune online content." It's also the former name of Tribune's new "content curation and monetization" technology, which it now calls TroncX. That's the backbone of Tribune's plan to squeeze more money out of digital ads and customize news articles for readers. Tribune Chairman Michael Ferro said the rebranding reflects the way the company will "pool our technology and content resources to execute on our strategy." The renaming is so far the only tangible change following a shareholder vote that ratified Tribune's slate of directors, although the company hasn't yet released official results. Gannett seized on the symbolic vote as a way for shareholders to signify approval for its takeover bid, hoping that a lackluster result could pressure Ferro into a deal.
New York Times: Jeff Bezos defends decision to buy Washington Post
Jeff Bezos built Amazon into an e-commerce and computing powerhouse. Now his ambitions are more sprawling as he takes on ever larger civic and business challenges. Those diverse interests were on display recently when Mr. Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, spoke onstage at the Code technology conference here, where he commented on an array of topics, including workplace culture, privacy and his decision to buy The Washington Post in 2013. Mr. Bezos said he bought the newspaper because he wanted to make it into a more powerful national — and even global — publication, and that The Post was well situated to be a watchdog over the leaders of the world’s most powerful country.
Bellevue Gazette newspaper closes after almost 149 years
A small northwestern Ohio newspaper has announced it is closing after nearly 149 years. The Bellevue Gazette, owned by Civitas Media-owned property, had been publishing only twice a week after switching from daily last fall. Its circulation was about 1,000, after peaking at about 4,300 in the 1970s. The statement on its website says recent cost-cutting measures weren't enough to keep the newspaper financially viable in the changing media landscape. The newspaper was founded in October 1867 and was owned by the Callaghan family until 2007. Jim Lawitz, Civitas' vice president of editorial, says a company-owned weekly newspaper in nearby Clyde also was shuttered.
Miniseries based on journalist David Carr's memoir planned
A TV miniseries based on the late journalist David Carr's best-selling memoir is in development. AMC and Sony Pictures Television said that "Better Call Saul" star Bob Odenkirk is set to play Carr. Carr, who was a media columnist for The New York Times, died last year. His 2008 memoir, "The Night of the Gun," details his path from drug addiction to respected journalist. The six-part miniseries will be written by Shawn Ryan, whose credits include "The Shield." The AMC debut date for the project was not announced.
Coalition of Asian organizations to host presidential town hall
The Asian American Journalists Association and Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote have announced a partnership with over 30 professional and community organizations to host a Town Hall event with the invited 2016 presidential candidates, taking place during the 2016 AAJA National Convention August 10 - 13 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. This gathering will be the largest of its kind, with Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander professionals and community leaders from across the nation converging in Las Vegas this summer.
INDUSTRY NEWS MAY 31, 2016
New York Times: Billionaires’ growing control of news
At first blush, the secret support that the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel provided for Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker is a salacious yarn about money, power, gossip and revenge. But it is also about something more important: an aggressive bid by the very wealthy to control the American news media at a time when it is in a financially weakened state, struggling to maintain its footing on the electronic frontier’s unstable terrain. Speaking with Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times, Mr. Thiel said he had financed the Hogan lawsuit — which resulted in a $140 million verdict against Gawker — not only because Gawker Media wrote in 2007, against his wishes, that he was gay, but also because he had determined the gossip site had too often operated with “no connection to the public interest.” His verdict rendered, Mr. Thiel had the resources to swap his judge’s gavel for an executioner’s sword. Should the $140 million verdict stand up to appeal, Gawker Media will most likely cease to exist as we know it. And if too much of Gawker survives, Mr. Thiel, with an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion, indicates he will keep financing anti-Gawker lawsuits to kill off whatever is left. Mr. Thiel’s campaign is in keeping with the pledge his favored candidate for president, Donald J. Trump, made to ease barriers to lawsuits against journalists. But it is actually the flip side of the media realm’s new coin. Many of his fellow billionaires have gained control of news organizations by buying them or starting them.
The most striking example can be found in Nevada, where the conservative casino magnate Sheldon Adelson bought The Las Vegas Review-Journal last year. Mr. Adelson is not shy about using his money to influence the politics of his state and country. And the sale was followed by reports of editors suddenly altering articles about Mr. Adelson’s business dealings to put them in a more flattering light, or holding from publication articles about him altogether.
Now Gawker has its own billionaire backer, sort of
The courtroom fight between former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan and news-and-gossip site Gawker is becoming a battleground of sorts for Silicon Valley tycoons as well. First Look Media, a news organization financed by Pierre Omidyar, philanthropist and the co-founder of eBay, says it is reaching out to other media outlets to file supportive briefs about Gawker. The briefs could be used for the site's appeal of a $140 million invasion-of-privacy verdict Hogan won two months ago because Gawker posted a sex tape of him. There's no indication that Omidyar might fund Gawker's defense. "The possibility that Gawker may have to post a bond for $50 million or more just to be able to pursue its right to appeal the jury's verdict raises serious concerns about press freedom," First Look wrote in a statement explaining its move.
Gawker may be looking to sell after losing Hulk Hogan case
The embattled online media company Gawker Media has hired an investment banker to explore its options, including a possible sale. Gawker says it expects to prevail in an appeal of the Hogan verdict and that it's always said it is exploring contingency plans. The company would not say when the banker, Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey, was hired, other than to say "recently." The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post earlier reported that Gawker was interested in a sale. Gawker hasn't said whether it could afford to pay the $140 million verdict. During the trial in Florida in March, Hogan's lawyer said Gawker Media's gross revenue in 2015 was $48.7 million. Lawyers said the company was worth $83 million.
New York Times offers buyouts to staff
In a bid to continue aggressive digital expansion while controlling costs, The New York Times will offer voluntary buyout packages to members of the newsroom and several business departments at the end of the month, the company announced. Members of The Times’s executive committee, including Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the newspaper’s publisher, and Dean Baquet, its executive editor, said in a memo to employees that the buyouts were a part of the company’s larger mandate to build a more digitally focused newsroom and to reach its stated goal of doubling digital revenue by the year 2020. Mr. Baquet said that The Times’s news operation, which employs 1,300 people, would need to shift to accommodate more people with skills in visual journalism and more people from diverse backgrounds, while continuing its focus on deep reporting.
Gary Berblinger, who has led the Park Hills Daily Journal, Farmington Press and Democrat News in Missouri as publisher since 2008, has announced that he will retire after 43 years in the publishing industry. His retirement is effective July 1. "Gary has been a strong advocate for local community news throughout his career," said Ron Peterson, Lee Enterprises group publisher. "We will all miss Gary, but we wish him a long and happy retirement." Berblinger is 67.
Paul Huntsman will take over as publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune when his deal to purchase the newspaper becomes official, he recently told the newsroom. Terry Orme will continue as the newspaper's top editor but cede his title as publisher, The Salt Lake Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1OQaZTU ). Orme said he's excited about the new ownership and flattered the Huntsmans trust him. During the meeting, Paul Huntsman and his father, wealthy industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr., once again tried to assuage fears that their ownership would change the newspaper's role as an independent watchdog. The Huntsmans, who are predominantly Mormon and Republican, are one of the most influential families in Utah.
INDUSTRY NEWS MAY 24, 2016
Tribune rejects second Gannett bid; sets the stage for talks
Tribune Publishing rejected a second takeover bid from USA Today owner Gannett, but did say that it was open to further talks. Gannett last week raised its per-share bid for the owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers to $15 from $12.25. Gannett, based in McLean, Virginia, put the total value of the revised offer at about $864 million, which includes some $385 million in debt. Tribune also revealed a $70.5 million investment from Nant Capital. Nant's acquisition of 4.7 million shares makes it Tribune's second-biggest institutional shareholder with a 12.9 percent stake. Nant's founder, Patrick Soon-Shiong, will become vice chairman of the board. The rejection from the Tribune arrived three days after Gannett sent an excoriating letter to Tribune shareholders questioning the motives of the company board and Michael W. Ferro Jr., the publisher's non-executive chairman
Court orders arbitration in Vegas newspapers profits dispute
The Nevada Supreme Court says a profit-sharing dispute between the owners of the Las Vegas Sun and crosstown rival Las Vegas Review-Journal newspapers belongs before a third-party arbitrator. The state high court sided with the larger Review-Journal, which argued that a 2005 amendment to a 1989 joint-operating agreement specifies such a case should go to an arbitrator. Sun owner Brian Greenspun contends the Review-Journal improperly deducted editorial costs before paying monthly profit shares to Greenspun Media Group. The Sun argues it's due at least $6 million over 10 years of business with former Review-Journal owner Stephens Media. The Review-Journal is now owned by the family of billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson.
Facebook drops news outlet input in 'trending topics' review
Facebook says it is dropping its reliance on news outlets to help determine what gets posted as a "trending topic" on the giant social network, a move adopted after a backlash over a report saying it suppressed conservative views. Facebook's General Counsel Colin Stretch outlined the change in a 12-page letter sent to Republican Sen. John Thune, chairman of the commerce committee, which oversees the Internet and consumer protections. The move comes less than a week after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with Glenn Beck and more than a dozen other conservative commentators to address concerns stemming from a report in the tech blog Gizmodo. The Gizmodo report, which relied on a single anonymous former Facebook worker with self-described conservative leanings, claimed that Facebook downplays conservative news subjects on its trending feature. As part of the changes, Facebook will stop looking to news outlets like The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post and Drudge Report to automatically nominate topics for its trending feature.
Provo’s Daily Herald legacy continuing at new location
The Daily Herald is changing locations in Provo, Utah. For more than 45 years the Herald has called a building on Freedom Blvd. home. Now the staff will have a new home on University Ave. “With today’s technology, and utilizing the same presses that print the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune, it allowed us to relocate to a more visible office space,” said Publisher Bob Williams. “Locating in downtown Provo, especially with the completion of the historic Provo City Center Temple, gives us the visibility in a thriving location.” On August 1, 1873, four journalists and printers from Salt Lake City published the first edition of what was then called the Provo Daily Times. For 143 years, sans a few bumps and kick starts, the Daily Herald has distributed local, state and international news from eight locations in Provo and under a handful of owners.
INDUSTRY NEWS MAY 17, 2016
Gannett raises offer for Tribune Publishing by 22 percent
USA Today owner Gannett has boosted its takeover bid for Tribune Publishing Co. by about 22 percent one week after the owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers adopted a "poison pill" plan to thwart the unsolicited offer. Gannett Co. announced that it was raising its bid to $15 per Tribune share, up from the $12.25 per share it previously offered. Gannett said that the total value of the revised offer is approximately $864 million, which includes the assumption of certain Tribune liabilities, such as about $385 million in outstanding debt. The Chicago company had rejected Gannett's prior per-share bid of $12.25, saying the price was too low.
New York Times: Capitol Hill newspapers redefine themselves
The New York Times reports that when Neetzan Zimmerman arrived at The Hill as its first director of audience development in January 2015, he found a publication largely unchanged since its heyday as a scrappy weekly for Washington’s deal makers. “I don’t know if struggling is the right word because that would imply they had been trying, and they really had not,” he said recently, referring to the paper’s efforts to compete in a digital ecosystem. “They did not have any reasons to think they needed to exist in any meaningful way in this world.” It has been the job of Mr. Zimmerman, a former editor at Gawker and Whisper, the anonymous messaging app, to help change that. And the challenge is daunting. Capitol Hill publications such as The Hill, Roll Call and National Journal were for decades a Beltway staple, strewn across desks on K Street and in Congress. With a captive audience and a strong advertising base, they were protected from broader economic forces and less concerned about competition from more nationally focused newspapers. Now these publications are scrambling to find their footing in a political landscape that is more competitive and almost unrecognizable from the one they chronicled for decades. Advertisers have fled, in part, these publications say, because of congressional inaction, which has sapped the special interest advertising that once padded their balance sheets.
Huntsman Sr.: Salt Lake Tribune will maintain independence
The pending sale of The Salt Lake Tribune to a member of the Huntsman family won't mean the end of the newspaper's role as an important independent voice in the state, said patriarch Jon Huntsman Sr. in the family's first interview since the deal was announced last month. The wealthy industrialist said his son, Paul Huntsman, may join the editorial board when he becomes owner but he doesn't plan any to make any drastic changes or meddle with day-to-day newsroom decisions. Paul Huntsman has great confidence in Tribune editor and publisher Terry Orme, Huntsman Sr. told The Salt Lake Tribune (http://bit.ly/1UZRgaY). "He's going to listen carefully and let the people who are doing a great job at The Tribune keep doing it," Huntsman said of his son. "He isn't a man to come in and make changes or do anything like that. If it isn't broken, you don't fix it." The announcement that Paul Huntsman had reached an agreement to buy the newspaper was widely viewed a positive development. The Tribune was struggling after a recently revised joint operating agreement with the Deseret News cut its share of profits nearly in half in exchange for an undisclosed, one-time lump sum to the company that runs the Tribune, Digital First Media.
Tampa Media Group files notice of layoffs with state of Florida
Tampa Media Group, the former owners of the Tampa Tribune and its affiliates, has filed a notice with the state of Florida announcing it will lay off 300 Tribune employees, according to public records. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Notice was made public on a state website. The job losses will occur July 3, the notice states. The WARN Act requires employers of a certain size to give notice to the state for mass layoffs. The Tampa Bay Times, which purchased Tampa Media Group, is offering jobs to some Tribune staffers but acknowledged at least 100 or more of those were in jobs duplicated by the Times and would not be offered positions. Tribune documents show the company had about 265 full-time workers and additional part-time staff.
Facebook publishes editorial guidelines
Facebook, the largest social media network, published internal editorial guidelines in the company’s latest attempt to rebut accusations that it is politically biased in the news content it shows on the pages of its 1.6 billion users, The New York Times reported. The 28-page document details how editors and computer algorithms play roles in the process of picking what should appear in the “Trending Topics” section of users’ Facebook pages. Facebook describes a list of processes it uses to display some of the most popular content across the network, including relying on algorithms to detect up-and-coming news trends as well as a team of editors who, much like a newsroom, direct how those topics are presented and decide what should be displayed to people who regularly use the service. As the guidelines make clear, at practically every point in the process, a human editor is given the leeway to exercise his or her editorial influence.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel president will retire next month
A president who led the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel through the economic challenges of a recession and a shift in advertising revenue while maintaining prize-winning journalism plans to retire next month. Elizabeth "Betsy" Brenner told her staff she will leave her job as president June 30. The 61-year-old Brenner says she's leaving on her terms after a "terrific run." The Journal Sentinel was purchased last month by Gannett Co. Inc. When Brenner arrived at the company in 2004, the Journal Sentinel was in transition. Parent company Journal Communications had recently become publicly traded after decades of employee ownership. The economic challenges forced Brenner to cut staff, which she says was "incredibly painful." Yet, under her watch the newspaper and its journalists won three Pulitzer Prizes and numerous other awards.
'60 Minutes' honors correspondent Morley Safer as he retires
"60 Minutes" said goodbye to Morley Safer, honoring the newsman who has been a fixture at the CBS newsmagazine for all but two of its 48 years. The tribute marked the close of a 61-year career for Safer, who, according to the program, has had the longest-ever run on prime-time television. During the hourlong show, Safer was described as tough, funny, intrepid, curious and courageous, with reporting that ranged from the Cold War to cyberspace, from the Muppets to the Orient Express. "He's asking a question on behalf of all of us," said "60 Minutes" Executive Producer Jeff Fager. Safer's first report on "60 Minutes" in 1970 was about the training of U.S. Sky Marshals. His 919th and last, a profile of Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, was broadcast in March. At 84 and dealing with health issues, Safer had cut back on work in recent years. The Toronto-born Safer was the first Saigon bureau chief for CBSNews.
Free Press publisher Joyce Jenereaux to retire this summer
Detroit Free Press President and Publisher Joyce Jenereaux has announced her retirement. The newspaper reported (http://on.freep.com/21X0Qwf ) that the 62-year-old Jenereaux will step down this summer, ending a 26-year career with parent company Gannett Co. Inc. Jenereaux, named publisher last year after the retirement of Paul Anger, became president in 2013. In 2011, she became president of Michigan.com, which runs the business operations for the Free Press and The Detroit News. Jenereaux says she's proud of boosting the Free Press' digital audience as the newspaper has emphasized digital publishing.
INDUSTRY NEWS MAY 10, 2016
Tribune adopts shareholder rights plan to fend off Gannett
In an attempt to fend off a takeover by USA Today owner Gannett, Tribune Publishing says it adopted a one-year shareholder rights plan. Known as a "poison pill," these types of plans are used to fight off hostile takeovers. Gannett Co. offered to buy Tribune Publishing last month for more than $388 million. Chicago-based Tribune Publishing Co. rejected the deal last week, saying that Gannett's offer was not enough for the company, which owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing's new rights plan allows existing shareholders to buy preferred stock if a person or group acquires at least 20 percent of its stock. Gannett is headquartered in McLean, Virginia.
Tampa Bay Times buys Tampa Tribune, ends decades-old rivalry
Florida's largest newspaper, The Tampa Bay Times, has purchased its main competitor, the Tampa Tribune, ending a decades-long newspaper rivalry. The acquisition means that the Tribune printed its final newspaper, ending its 123-year-old run as a stand-alone paper. The Times will become the fifth-largest Sunday circulation newspaper in the nation. Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash said he intends to create one financially secure, locally owned daily newspaper in the Tampa Bay region. Tash did not disclose the purchase price. The Times bought the paper from Revolution Capital Group, which purchased the Tribune in 2012 for $9.5 million.
Paxton Media Group purchases The Elkhart Truth
The Paxton Media Group, a fifth-generation family-owned company that owns more than 30 daily newspapers, announced that it has purchased The Elkhart Truth in Elkhart, Indiana, from Federated Media. “We are gratified for the opportunity to assume stewardship of The Elkhart Truth,” said David Paxton, president and CEO of Paxton Media Group, which owns 10 newspapers in Indiana including the Vincennes Sun-Commercial. “It is an award-winning newspaper with a proud history of serving Elkhart County.” Paxton said The Truth will be in a better position to serve readers and advertisers by combining its strengths with those of other Paxton newspapers, including the La Porte County Herald-Argus, The Michigan City News-Dispatch and The Herald-Palladium in St. Joseph, Michigan.
Dozens charged in subscription renewal scam that defrauded Denver Post subscribers
The Denver Post reports that the Federal Trade Commission has charged the operators of dozens of companies with defrauding consumers by pretending to handle subscription renewals for publications including The Denver Post. More than 375 publications, including The Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal told the companies to stop and have tried to warn their customers about the fraud. The scam has been going on since at least 2010 and involves a byzantine web of shell companies owned by people who went by multiple names, the FTC said in its complaint. In 2014, some Denver Post subscribers were sent renewal notices from companies such as Publisher's Billing Exchange, Reader's Payment Service, Associated Publishers Network and Platinum Subscription Services charging $489.95 for a one-year subscription and promising the lowest price available. In reality, the price was about $200 more than the actual cost of a seven-day print subscription.
Katy Culver new director of UW Center for Journalism Ethics
UW-Madison Assistant Professor Kathleen (Katy) Culver has been named the director of the Center for Journalism Ethics in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Culver replaces Robert Drechsel, who is retiring after serving as director of the center since 2013. "I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to lead the center at such an important time in journalism," Culver said. "The industry faces many pressures, yet the journalism itself has never been stronger."UW-Madison alumnus James Burgess, former publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal, provided the funds to set up an endowment for a journalism ethics professorship and in turn, the development of the center in 2005, the university said.