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INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 17, 2017

Morris Communications selling newspapers to GateHouse Media

Morris Communications will sell its 11 daily newspapers and other publications in those markets to New Media Investment Group, the parent company of GateHouse Media Inc., the companies announced.

New Media said in a news release it will pay $120 million to purchase Morris Publishing Group, the newspaper division of Georgia-based Morris Communications.

The sale includes The Augusta Chronicle, The Savannah Morning News and The Athens Banner-Herald in Georgia; The Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville and The St. Augustine Record in Florida; the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal and Amarillo Globe News in Texas; the Topeka Capital-Journal in Kansas; the Log Cabin Democrat of Conway, Arkansas; and the Juneau Empire and Peninsula Clarion of Kenai in Alaska.

Family-owned Morris Communications has operated newspapers for more than 70 years.

The deal allows Morris to remain as publisher of The Augusta Chronicle.

GateHouse Media owns more than 130 daily newspapers and other publications in 36 U.S. states. The Morris acquisition will add 79 total publications, including a number of weekly newspapers, plus all related websites and digital operations.

Alabama media firm to acquire west Georgia-based newspaper

An Alabama media company is purchasing a daily newspaper based in west Georgia.

The Valley Times-News reports that a subsidiary of Boone Newspapers Inc. of Tuscaloosa intends to purchase the Times-News from Valley Newspapers Inc. and its owner, Nell Walls.

The publication, based in West Point, Georgia, serves readers in the West Point area and also the Alabama communities of Lanett and Valley.

Boone Newspapers manages newspapers in similar-sized communities in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.

Civitas Media Sells Newspaper Group

Civitas Media, the North Carolina-based company that owns the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre, has sold a group of three newspapers in Kentucky and Tennessee to Paxton Media Group.

The newspapers include the Grayson County News-Gazette in Leitchfield, Kentucky, the News-Democrat & Leader in Russellville, Kentucky, and the Macon County Times in Lafayette, Tennessee.

The Grayson County News-Gazette has been the county’s source for local news for more than a century and publishes every Wednesday and Saturday.

The News-Democrat & Leader has roots dating back to 1806 and publishes every Tuesday and Friday. The Macon County Times publishes every Thursday.

Newspaper files for bankruptcy protection, gets new owners

The Alaska Dispatch News in Anchorage has announced it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is in the process of transitioning to new ownership.

KTVA reports ( ) the newspaper's potential buyers might pay as much as $1 million for the paper. Those buyers included four siblings — Ryan Binkley, Wade Binkley, James Binkley and Kai Binkley Sims — as well as Alaska Media LLC, publisher of the Arctic Sounder, The Bristol Bay Times and the Dutch Harbor Fisherman.

A statement from Dispatch News publisher Alice Rogoff called the decision bittersweet. But she expressed pride in the paper's work under her tenure since buying the former Anchorage Daily News in 2014 for $34 million. She renamed the print publication the Alaska Dispatch News.

A number of creditors have filed lawsuits against the Dispatch News, the state's largest newspaper.

Pew Research: Digital News Fact Sheet

In the U.S., roughly nine-in-ten adults (93%) ever get news online (either via mobile or desktop), and the online space has become a host for the digital homes of both legacy news outlets and new, “born on the web” news outlets. Digital advertising revenue across all digital entities (beyond just news) continues to grow, with technology companies playing a large role in the flow of both news and revenue. … While online news includes the digital operations of many so-called “legacy” news organizations (those that originated in print or broadcast), this audience section presents data about digital native news publishers – those originally founded on the web.

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White House's Omarosa Manigault jeered during panel talk

White House official Omarosa Manigault-Newman clashed with a veteran news anchor during a panel discussion on policing in black communities held at the largest gathering of black journalists in the country in New Orleans.

The director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison was a late addition to a panel at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in New Orleans.

Her conversation with anchor Ed Gordon became testy when he attempted to question Manigault-Newman on President Donald Trump's policies around policing in communities of color. Trump recently said some police officers are too courteous to suspects when arresting them.

The conversation quickly escalated into a tense exchange before Manigault-Newman, a former "Apprentice" contestant, left the stage. Several people in the audience, which included non-journalists, turned their backs in protest during the discussion.

Poynter: Jim Kirk leaving Chicago Sun-Times for Tronc

Jim Kirk, the editor and publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, is leaving the newspaper to join Tronc, the parent company of longtime Sun-Times competitor the Chicago Tribune.

The news comes just weeks after the Sun-Times was acquired by a group led by businessman Edwin Eisendrath and the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Kirk will be senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Tronc, the digital content and commerce division of Tronc.

CNN fires commentator Jeffrey Lord over Nazi salute tweet

CNN fired conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord after he tweeted a Nazi salute at a critic.

A network spokesperson confirmed that Lord was no longer with the network and said "Nazi salutes are indefensible." The statement came hours after Lord tweeted the Nazi slogan "Sieg Heil!" at the head of a liberal advocacy group, Media Matters for America.

Lord said in a telephone interview that he respected CNN and its journalists, but fundamentally disagreed with the network's decision to fire him. He said his "Sieg Heil!" tweet was not an endorsement of Nazism or fascist tactics, but was meant to mock Media Matters and its use of boycotts of advertisers of conservative voices such as Sean Hannity, which Lord equated with fascism.

UK journalist Alison Smale named new UN communications chief

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Alison Smale, a veteran foreign correspondent and editor who has reported major stories for nearly 40 years, as the United Nations' new communications chief.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced the 62-year-old British journalist's appointment as undersecretary-general for global communications, succeeding Cristina Gallach of Spain.

"She has a proven track record as reporter, editor and senior leader," Dujarric said.

Smale, who speaks at least four languages fluently, started her journalistic career with United Press International in Germany and then joined The Associated Press in December 1981 in Bonn.

She covered events in the Soviet Union leading to its breakup and was at the Berlin Wall when it fell on Nov. 9, 1989, crossing at Checkpoint Charlie along with the first East Germans.

Smale joined The New York Times in 1998 and became a deputy foreign editor in 2002. Two years later she moved to Paris as managing editor of the International Herald Tribune, and in December 2008 she was named that paper's first female executive editor.

Since August 2013 she has been the Times' chief correspondent for Germany and Central and Eastern Europe, based in Berlin.

INDUSTRY NEWS • Aug. 3, 2017

AP: White House aide's tirade tests editors and producers

A presidential aide's explosion of profanity while talking to a reporter about his new White House colleagues tested newsroom leaders, forcing decisions about whether to use the graphic language or leave much of what he said to the imagination of readers and viewers.

Anthony Scaramucci, the incoming White House communications director, aimed his tirade at then-chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon. An account of his conversation with Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker was published in graphic detail on the magazine's website, complete with expletives and anatomical references.

Scaramucci used the language in suggesting to Lizza that Priebus had leaked information about him, and that Bannon was more interested in advancing his own agenda than President Donald Trump's.

Following The New Yorker's lead, The New York Times printed all of Scaramucci's words.

The Washington Post similarly published the expletives Scaramucci used in reference to Priebus, but avoided the very graphic descriptor of self-love he used in reference to Bannon.

The AP's rules prohibit use of obscenities, racial epithets or other offensive slurs "unless they are part of a direct quotations and there is a compelling reason for them." Scaramucci's words satisfied the first part of that restriction, but editors concluded there wasn't a compelling reason to use the profanity.

Kevin Shaw named new regional publisher of Dakota Media Group

Kevin Shaw has accepted the position of regional publisher of Schurz Communications' Dakota Media Group, which includes the American News, Farm Forum and Watertown Public Opinion.

He will begin Aug. 14, according to an announcement from Schurz. He will work alongside current Regional Publisher Mark Roby through Roby''s retirement on Sept. 1.

Shaw has worked in a variety of positions at the South Bend Tribune in Indiana.

Wyoming Press Association helps fund journalism department

The journalism department at the University of Wyoming is in a tight spot, but a few members of the Wyoming Press Association stepped up to help fund a couple of courses.

The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle ( ) reported that Robb Hicks, publisher of the Buffalo Bulletin, and Toby Bonner, general manager of the Powell Tribune, jointly paid for the multimedia messaging course. Bonner says it cost $1,750 from each newspaper's budget.

Bob Kennedy, owner of the Cody Enterprise, says he diverted the Bruce M. Kennedy Scholarship to help fund the journalism department. Kennedy says that is worth approximately $1,000-$2,000.

The department, which had six full-time faculty members two years ago, is down to just two.

INDUSTRY NEWS • July 27, 2017

New York Times: Facebook may let publishers charge for articles

Facebook is working on a new tool that could help drive subscriptions to news organizations that publish articles directly on the online service, an effort to improve the fraught relationship between the social giant and media companies, the New York Times reports.

The tool would be added to Facebook’s Instant Articles product, which allows publishers to post news articles that can be read within Facebook rather than on the publisher’s website.

The discussions about the tool are still in the early stages, according to two people familiar with the talks who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details were not public. But it is possible that Facebook could produce a metered pay wall product similar to those used by some publishers. After reading 10 New York Times articles on Facebook, for instance, a user could be sent to The Times’ subscription sign-up page.

Facebook plans to start a pilot with a small group of publishers using the tool in October and to expand the initiative in 2018 if early results are promising. It was not clear which publishers might participate in the test. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on the discussions.

Capital Newspapers names John Blais general manager

Capital Newspapers, publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times, has named John D. Blais general manager.

Blais, a senior media executive with two decades of experience in Chicago and northern Illinois, will oversee day-to-day operations of the company, which provides operational support for the two Madison newspapers and several other daily newspapers and non-daily publications in southern Wisconsin.

Blais co-founded Chronicle Media, which circulates in 14 counties in Illinois, including the Chicago metro area. He previously served as vice president/general manager of Chicago Sun-Times Media Local and director of business development for the Sun-Times.

Capital Newspapers is co-owned by Lee Enterprises, the Davenport, Iowa, company that is responsible for the State Journal, and The Capital Times Co., which publishes The Capital Times.

Globe CEO resigns amid John Henry shake-up

The abrupt departure of Boston Globe CEO Doug Franklin after just seven months on the job — over strategic differences — underscores the financial pressures owner John Henry is under as he looks to rein in costs after the paper’s move from Dorchester to downtown, the Boston Herald reports.

In a goodbye memo to staff yesterday, Franklin said he and Henry “share similar passion and vision for the Globe” but “have our differences how to strategically achieve our financial sustainability.”

The sudden resignation came after an apparent clash over the Globe’s future, particularly how much to invest in its digital subscription platform. Franklin was quoted on his hiring saying “quality storytelling and great journalism tied to the subscription model has promise.”

But Henry appears more geared toward slashing costs, dropping special sections and pushing buyouts, which he has done each of the past three years.

Roby announces retirement as Dakota Media Group publisher

American News/Farm Forum Publisher and Dakota Media Group Regional Publisher Mark S. Roby announced his retirement from the company and newspaper industry, effective Sept. 1. As far as a successor, Roby indicated that work has already begun and he is confident Schurz Communications Inc., parent company of the American News/Farm Forum and the Dakota Media Group, will find a suitable candidate.

INDUSTRY NEWS • July 20, 2017

AP-NORC Poll: Three-quarters in US say they lack influence

Linda Bell, a beekeeper and farmer who makes about $11,000 a year, feels Washington power brokers have no intention of making health care affordable.

"They don't care about people like me," says the Bosque County, Texas, resident.

Three-quarters of Americans agree that people like themselves have too little influence in Washington, rare unanimity across political, economic, racial and geographical lines and including both those who approve and disapprove of President Donald Trump, according to a new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Majorities also don't have a great deal of confidence in most of the nation's institutions. That's especially true of Congress, which takes the biggest hit, and the presidency.

Even at a time of deepening economic and political divisions, the poll finds widespread agreement that small businesses, poor Americans and workers have too little power in Washington, while lobbyists, big business and rich people have too much.

Group with ex-alderman, unions set to buy Chicago Sun-Times

An investment group led by a former Chicago alderman along with a coalition of labor unions is close to acquiring the Chicago Sun-Times, the group's leader said.

A deal to acquire the newspaper is expected to be completed soon, former Alderman Edwin Eisendrath said.

Eisendrath has declined to disclose terms of the deal and also said he doesn't have permission to reveal all the members of his investment group. "A great group has come together and make sure that a genuine voice with honest and good reporting that connects with working men and women thrives," he said.

One of the investors is the Chicago Federation of Labor, an umbrella group of labor unions. Chicago Federation of Labor secretary-treasurer Bob Reiter said the Sun-Times will retain its independence in reporting on labor unions.

Eisendrath came forward with a bid to buy the Sun-Times after owner Wrapports LLC announced it would enter into discussions with Tronc Inc. — which owns the rival Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and several other major newspapers — to acquire the paper.

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announces investment in Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik announced that he belongs to a group of local investors who loaned $12 million to help refinance the Times Publishing Co., which owns the Tampa Bay Times.

"I am happy to confirm that I am part of the investor group, FBN Partners, which recently formed to support the Tampa Bay Times," Vinik said in a statement.

"The Times is a critical local institution and a voice for our community. As Tampa Bay continues to grow and emerge as one of the most significant metropolitan areas in the southeast, I believe that it is important to have a strong, locally owned and operated newspaper, with the resources necessary to retain its independent voice and place as one of the nation's best."

Paul Tash, the chairman and CEO of the Times and the Times Publishing Co., announced June 30 that an investor group called FBN Partners took out a mortgage on the buildings and 27 acres of land at the newspaper's printing facilities in central St. Petersburg.

Some investors agreed to be identified, but others wished to remain anonymous.

CBS News announces partnership with BBC

Britain's BBC News is ending a long-running agreement to share reporting and resources with ABC News in the United States and instead will match up with CBS.

CBS News President David Rhodes said the deal with the BBC gives the network access to an organization that is larger and more comprehensive than Sky News, which had been its British partner. He said it does not mean CBS will be looking to cut back on its own staff.

BBC spokeswoman Charlotte Morgan said the British network has worked informally with CBS over the past few years and that the American network matches its current needs well. The BBC thanked ABC for "a long and fruitful partnership."

Canedy named administrator of Pulitzer Prizes

Dana Canedy, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former senior editor at The New York Times, has been named administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes.

The appointment was announced by the Pulitzer Prize Board and by Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, where the prestigious prizes in journalism, letters, drama and music are administered.

Canedy succeeds Mike Pride, 70, editor emeritus of the Concord (New Hampshire) Monitor, who will retire July 31 after three years as administrator.

Canedy joined The Times in 1996 after eight years of reporting and editing at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. As a special projects reporter and editor at The Times, she was a lead journalist on “How Race Is Lived in America,” the series that won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.

Maine's largest media company buys storied newspaper

A family that has owned a Maine newspaper company for more than a century has announced a sale to the owner of the state's largest newsgathering company.

The Costello family has operated the publishing company that owns Augusta, Maine's Sun Journal since the 1890s. The Sun Media Group employs 225 people and includes magazines and weekly newspapers.

Reade Brower's purchase of Sun Media Group under the new SJ Acquisition company will close Aug. 1.

Brower owns MaineToday Media, which includes the Kennebec Journal, the Morning Sentinel and the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram.

INDUSTRY NEWS • July 13, 2017

News outlets seek to negotiate with Google, Facebook on ads

News outlets are seeking permission from Congress for the right to negotiate jointly with Google and Facebook, two companies that dominate online advertising and online news traffic.

The News Media Alliance, which represents nearly 2,000 news organizations, said the two companies' dominance have forced news organizations to "play by their rules on how news and information is displayed, prioritized and monetized."

"These rules have commoditized the news and given rise to fake news, which often cannot be differentiated from real news," the alliance said.

It won't be easy getting a congressional antitrust exemption to negotiate as a group. But the alliance's chief executive, David Chavern, said in an interview that trying is better than doing nothing.

The news industry has been hit with declining print readership and a loss of advertising revenue as it has moved online.

MSNBC 'Morning Joe' hosts fire back at Trump Twitter blasts

"Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski said that President Donald Trump lied about their December encounter in a tweet and that his "unhealthy obsession" with their program doesn't serve his mental health or the country well.

The two MSNBC personalities postponed a vacation in order to respond to Trump's tweet, which drew wide condemnation a day earlier because he called Brzezinski "crazy" and said she was "bleeding badly from a face-lift" when he saw them at his Florida estate.

"We were heartened to hear a number of Republican lawmakers call out Mr. Trump for his offensive words and can only hope that the women who are closest to him will follow their examples," the hosts said in a co-bylined column posted on The Washington Post's website.

Trump tweets mock video of him beating CNN, sparks criticism

President Donald Trump crowned his weekend rage against the news media with a mock video that shows him pummeling a man in a business suit — his face obscured by the CNN logo — outside a wrestling ring.

It was not immediately clear who produced the brief video, which appears to be a doctored version of Trump's 2007 appearance on World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. The 28-second clip was posted on Trump's official Twitter account Sunday morning, with the message: "#FraudNewsCNN #FNN."

Trump, who has branded the media as the "opposition party" and CNN as "fake news," stayed on the attack later in the day, stating on Twitter that "the dishonest media will NEVER keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of our GREAT AMERICAN PEOPLE!"

Bruce Brown, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, condemned the video as a "threat of physical violence against journalists." He said Trump's tweet was "beneath the office of the presidency."

Maine governor suggests he makes up stories to mislead media

Gov. Paul LePage lashed out at the media for reporting he planned to leave the state during a budget impasse, and he suggested he sometimes concocts stories to mislead reporters.

The Republican governor also characterized the state media as "vile," ''inaccurate" and "useless."

"I just love to sit in my office and make up ways so they'll write these stupid stories because they are just so stupid, it's awful," he told WGAN-AM.

Maine media, citing lawmakers, reported recently that LePage might leave the state amid a government shutdown. Republicans including Senate President Michael Thibodeau and Sen. Roger Katz said LePage had told them he planned to leave the state.

Responding to a Freedom of Access Act request, the Senate Republican office produced a voicemail in which the governor is heard telling Katz, "I'm heading out of town for about 10 days and I'd like to speak to you before I leave. So could you give me a call please? Thank you."

A LePage spokesman called the news reports "fake news."

New York Times staff opposes elimination of copy desk

With the imminent elimination of a stand-alone copy desk at The New York Times, copy editors and reporters have sent two strongly worded letters to top management voicing their concerns over the changes to the newsroom’s structure.

Copy editors sent an open letter to Dean Baquet, The Times’s executive editor, and Joe Kahn, the managing editor, challenging the decision to cut staff and eradicate the copy desk, which is responsible for, among other things, catching factual and grammatical errors and ensuring that articles adhere to Times style guidelines.

“We have begun the humiliating process of justifying our continued presence at The New York Times,” the letter from the copy desk began.

Times reporters sent their own letter in support of the copy desk.

Calkins closes on sale of Pennsylvania newspapers to GateHouse Media

Calkins Media completed its sale of the Bucks County Courier Times, The Intelligencer and Burlington County Times newspapers _ all in Pennsylvania _ to GateHouse Media.

Also included in the sale to GateHouse is the Beaver County Times and Ellwood City Ledger newspapers in western Pennsylvania, as well as Calkins Digital.

GateHouse Media publishes 656 community and business publications, including 130 daily newspapers, along with more than 555 affiliated websites in 36 states. GateHouse is one of the largest media companies in the country. GateHouse Media is overseen by New Media Investment Group.

In a separate transaction, Calkins is selling The Uniontown Herald-Standard, the weekly Greene County Messenger and SWC Properties to Ogden Newspapers.

New general manager starts at Burlington (Iowa) Hawk Eye

The Burlington Hawk Eye in southeast Iowa has a new general manager.

The newspaper reports ( ) Ellis Smith, 33, previously was a digital editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, where he first worked as a business and technology reporter.

GateHouse Media acquired the Hawk Eye in December.

New management announced at Nebraska newspapers

There's new management at the North Platte (Nebraska) Telegraph and the Grand Island Independent.

BH Media Group announced that Dee Klein will become publisher of the North Platte Telegraph. She replaces Terrie Baker, who has been named general manager of the Grand Island Independent.

The Telegraph reports ( ) Klein is the newspaper's longtime advertising director.

BH Media Group owns both newspapers.

Texas publisher Jeff Smith to retire

After more than four years as publisher of the Weatherford (Texas) Democrat, Jeff Smith announced plans to retire Nov. 3.

“After much consideration, my wife and I have decided it is time for a major change in our lives,” Smith said. “The decision to retire was based on a combination of things, but family played the largest part.”

Veteran newspaper executive named publisher in Indiana

Charles G. Lee, an accomplished newspaper executive, has been appointed publisher and advertising director of The Lebanon Reporter and the Zionsville Times-Sentinel, both in Indiana.

Lee is the former sales director of the Houston Community Newspapers and Media Group, which included 25 local newspapers in suburban Houston. He left the company after it was purchased by Hearst Newspapers a year ago.

Gizmodo Media Group announces 'Very Smart Brothas' partnership

One of the most popular websites for commentary on the black community is joining the media platform that includes online powerhouses Gizmodo, Deadspin and Jezebel.

Gizmodo Media Group announced that Very Smart Brothas will become a vertical of The Root, among the country's most-read online sites for African-American news. Co-founders Damon Young and Panama Jackson also will join the company as writers for and work on new multimedia projects.

Very Smart Brothas launched as a blog in 2008 focused on black American popular culture and politics and has built a following covering everything from Beyonce to police brutality.

The site attracts an average of 2 million monthly unique visitors. The Root was acquired by Fusion Media Group in 2015 and posted 8.2 million monthly unique visitors in June.

INDUSTRY NEWS • June 29, 2017

CNN accepts resignations of 3 involved in retracted story

CNN accepted the resignations of three journalists involved in a retracted story about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump and the head of a Russian investment fund.

The story was posted on the network's website last week, then removed. CNN immediately apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, the Trump transition team member who was reported to be involved in the meeting.

The story's author, Thomas Frank, was among those who resigned, according to a network executive who requested anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss personnel issues. Also losing their jobs were Eric Lichtblau, an assistant managing editor in CNN's Washington bureau, and Lex Haris, head of the investigations unit.

Poynter: NPR to reorganize around regional hubs

NPR's top news executive announced plans to roll out a regional hub system at a speech for the Public Radio News Directors convention in Miami.

Michael Oreskes, NPR's senior vice president for news and editorial director, told news directors that he envisions, "more than four and less than 12 hubs around the country."

The hubs would be staffed by experienced managers who could help identify regional stories while making it easier for local stations in those regions to share expertise and resources around investigative work and digital content.

Hubs, he said, would better allow NPR and its more than 900 member stations to act in unison. NPR now reaches a digital audience of about 40 million people while local stations combined have about 20 million digital listeners and readers, he said.

Rhett Long named new publisher of Daily Herald

Rhett Long has been appointed as the new publisher of the Daily Herald in Provo, Utah. He formerly was publisher and president of The Spectrum in St. George and Spectrum Media.

Long will replace Bob Williams, who will be retiring at the end of July.

Ogden Newspapers Inc. purchased the Daily Herald in August 2016 from former owner Lee Enterprises.

Commercial Appeal Will Seek New Office In Memphis With Digital Capabilities

The Commercial Appeal is selling the property on Union Avenue it has called home since 1977 and then will search for new office space in Memphis.

Mike Jung, president of the newspaper, told employees that the property will go on the market in two to three weeks.

“We are a Memphis-based organization, and we will remain in Memphis,” Jung said in a later interview. “We look forward to moving into a new, modern building that reflects our digital-forward environment and organization.”

INDUSTRY NEWS • June 15, 2017

Latvian man extradited to US in alleged hacking scheme

A Latvian man has made an initial appearance in U.S. federal court in Minneapolis for his alleged involvement in a hacking scheme that caused internet users to lose millions of dollars. Twenty-eight-year-old Peteris Sahurovs was indicted in 2011 in a "scareware" scheme that targeted the Minneapolis Star Tribune's website. The indictment says Sahurovs and an accomplice created a phony advertising agency and bought ads on, then infected computer users who visited the site with malware. The affected computer users were tricked into buying purported antivirus software. The scheme generated more than $2 million. Sahurovs was arrested in Latvia in June 2011 but fled after a Latvian court released him. He was arrested in Poland last fall and extradited to the U.S. The federal defender's office will represent him, but he hasn't yet been assigned an attorney.

Fired Fox executive calls lawsuit against her a 'money grab'

A former financial executive at Fox News Channel says a racial discrimination lawsuit against her is "nothing more than a meritless and reprehensible money grab." Lawyers for Judith Slater, who ran the accounting department at the network but was fired earlier this year when some employees alleged she ran a racially hostile environment, said in court papers filed Monday, June 12, that their client sometimes used humor to lessen pressure at work. Slater said that the main plaintiffs in the case — Tichaona Brown, Tabrese Wright and Monica Douglas — were trying to turn reality upside down by portraying a friendly relationship as hostile. In the original lawsuit, Slater was accused of racial hostility over several years, including discussing her physical fear of black people and mocking the "Black Lives Matter" movement.

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New Alabama governor hires PR firm to help get message out

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey's office is hiring an outside firm to do communications and public relations work for Ivey who was suddenly catapulted to the governor's office this spring. Under the contract, the governor's office will use state funds to pay $46,000 to Direct Response, LLC over the next six months. The contract description says the firm will do "communications and public relations support, external affairs development." The Alabama governor's office has its own press office with state-paid several employees who send out news releases and answers reporters' questions. Ivey spokeswoman Eileen Jones in an emailed statement said that Direct Response is needed to "support the ongoing transition to the Ivey Administration on a number of topics."

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First Amendment lawyer defending neo-Nazi website publisher

A Las Vegas-based lawyer specializing in free-speech cases is representing the publisher of a leading neo-Nazi website who has been sued for orchestrating an anti-Semitic online trolling campaign against a Montana family. Marc Randazza told The Associated Press June 9 that his law firm is defending The Daily Stormer's founder, Andrew Anglin, against a federal lawsuit that real estate agent Tanya Gersh filed against him in April. "Everybody deserves to have their constitutional rights defended," Randazza said. "Nobody needs the First Amendment to protect Mr. Rogers. That's not what it's there for." Gersh is represented by attorneys from the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.

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Trump's social media director receives ethics warning

White House social media director Dan Scavino violated the law when he used an official-looking Twitter account for campaign purposes, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel has concluded, issuing Scavino a letter of admonishment. The agency also warned that if Scavino engages in prohibited political activity again, it will be considered "a willful and knowing violation of the law, which could result in further action." The agency concluded that Scavino, one of Trump's most trusted aides, violated the Hatch Act, which bars most executive branch officials from using their government positions to influence elections.

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Al-Jazeera a target in Gulf confrontation with Qatar

The Arabic news network Al-Jazeera has been thrust into the center of the story as Qatar came under virtual siege by its Gulf neighbors, pressuring it to shut down the channel that has infuriated them with its coverage for 20 years. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties with Qatar this week over allegations it supports terrorism and, more specifically, that it uses Al-Jazeera as a mouthpiece to destabilize the region. The Qatar-based network, one of the most widely seen Arabic channels in the world, had long angered Mideast governments, since at its start it was one the few that presented alternative viewpoints. Critics say it has in past years turned to promoting Islamist movements as a tool of Qatar's foreign policy. The region's rulers see many of these movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood, as threats.

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Chelsea Manning talks leaks, transition after prison release

Chelsea Manning believed she had a "responsibility to the public" and didn't think she was risking national security when she leaked a trove of classified documents, the soldier said in her first interview since being released from a military prison last month. The 29-year-old formerly known as Bradley Manning said in a pre-taped interview broadcast Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that she was prompted to give the 700,000 military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks because of the human toll of the "death, destruction and mayhem" she saw as an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq. She told ABC that she has "accepted responsibility" for her actions. "No one told me to do this. No one directed me to do this. This is me. It's on me," she said.

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Comey's release of Trump memo to newspaper draws criticism

When former FBI Director James Comey revealed June 8 that he orchestrated a disclosure of damaging details about his conversations with President Donald Trump, he demonstrated his savvy use of media and his skills as a Washington operator. He also kicked up a hornet's nest of questions about the legal and ethical implications of the move. Trump's personal lawyer made Comey's secret gambit a central piece of his defense of the president against the fired lawman's testimony. Attorney Marc Kasowitz claimed Comey made "unauthorized disclosures" of privileged communications. He said he would leave it to the "appropriate authorities" to determine whether Comey's plan should be investigated along with the leaks of material that have infuriated Trump. But Comey seemed unconcerned about that prospect when he acknowledged the move Thursday before a throng of cameras and a packed Senate intelligence committee hearing room.

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Coverage of Comey testimony plays out with partisan spin

The extensive coverage of former FBI Director James Comey's Senate testimony on June 8 gave Americans time to pause and focus on the slowly unfolding story about President Donald Trump and Russian involvement in the presidential campaign. But there was no rest for partisan spinners. Broadcast networks cast aside regular schedules for three or four hours. So did cable news networks, bracketing Comey's first public appearance since being fired by Trump with hours of their own talk. His plain-spoken answers to questions from alternating Democratic and Republican senators offered quotes for each side to latch on to. "Depending on which camp you're in, you could say that Comey totally condemned President Trump today, or you could say the president was exonerated by Comey," commentator Dana Perino said on Fox News Channel. "The thing is, this was just another log on the fire, because America is going to continue to push forward on this."

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Gianforte apologizes to reporter for assault before election

Newly elected U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana issued an apology letter June 7 and said he plans to donate money to a journalism advocacy organization as part of a settlement agreement with a reporter he is accused of assaulting. In exchange, Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs agreed not to sue Gianforte over the attack, and he will not object to Gianforte entering a "no contest" plea to the misdemeanor assault charge the Republican faces from the May 24 encounter. Jacobs tried to ask Gianforte about the Congressional Budget Office's analysis of the Republican health care bill as Gianforte was preparing for a television interview. Gianforte, according to Jacobs at the time, "body slammed" him to the ground and broke his glasses. Gianforte then told Jacobs to "get the hell out of here," according to an audio recording by Jacobs.

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Advocate for women and girls wins photojournalism award

This year's recipient of an award named for an Associated Press photographer killed in Afghanistan is a photojournalist who captures the quiet dignity of women and girls who have endured cruel practices such as child marriage, genital mutilation and acid attacks. New York-based freelance photographer Stephanie Sinclair will accept the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award on June 8 in Washington. "Courage is not only defined by facing risk on the front lines of war but also displaying emotional and intellectual courage required to continue to bear witness to scenes of despair with eloquence and compassion," the panel of industry judges gathered by the International Women's Media Foundation wrote, adding that Sinclair received their unanimous support.

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How news networks plan to cover Comey's testimony

With television networks setting aside regular programming to mark the moment Thursday, June 8, former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before Congress on the investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election will be hard for most Americans to miss. CNN has already kept a "countdown clock" to the start of Comey's appearance before the Senate intelligence committee on its screen for days. The moment has already drawn comparisons to past congressional appearances that riveted the country, from Watergate to Anita Hill's testimony at Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation hearing. "This is one of those moments where much of the country may want to stop and watch," said Norah O'Donnell, part of the trio anchoring CBS' live coverage.

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Newspaper objects to candidate's use of fake front pages

A Maine newspaper is objecting to the use of its logo on campaign posters modeled after real newspapers, but carrying fake headlines. The Portland Press Herald ( ) reports that that its lawyer has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Republican Mary Mayhew, who announced her candidacy for governor Tuesday, June 6. At the campaign kickoff, posters lauding the business climate in Maine were made to look like the front pages of the Portland Press Herald, the Lewiston Sun Journal and the Bangor Daily News. The Press Herald says the fabricated headlines are especially problematic at a time when politicians make accusations of "fake news." But the Sun Journal's editor said she was "tickled," taking the stunt as an implicit affirmation of her newspaper's trustworthiness. Mayhew's campaign declined to comment.

Young journalists honored with national Livingston Awards

Young journalists who wrote about economic despair in Appalachia, covered mass killings in Syria and put a human face on immigration policy have been named winners of Livingston Awards. Associated Press reporter Claire Galofaro, The California Sunday Magazine's Brooke Jarvis and The New Yorker's Ben Taub received the $10,000 awards intended to encourage journalists younger than 35. The late Gwen Ifill also was honored at a Tuesday ceremony in New York City. The University of Michigan and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation help fund the awards.

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US contractor arrested after leak of Russia hacking report

A federal contractor has been arrested following the leak of a classified intelligence report that suggests Russian hackers attacked at least one U.S. voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election. Shortly after the release of the report by The Intercept on Monday, June 5, the Justice Department announced it had charged government contractor, Reality Leigh Winner, in Georgia with leaking a classified report containing "Top Secret level" information to an online news organization. The report the contractor allegedly leaked is dated May 5, the same date as the document The Intercept posted online. The report suggests election-related hacking penetrated further into U.S. voting systems than previously known. A Kremlin spokesman denied the report.

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INDUSTRY NEWS • June 8, 2017

Poynter: Pew Research study shows decline in newspaper business, rise in cable

The Pew Research Center offered new and telling data points on the continuing financial decline of the newspaper business and a banner year in 2016 for their cable competitors.

A fact sheet documents concurrent declines last year in newspaper organizations' paid circulation, advertising (down 10 percent compared to 2015) and news staffing. The outlets are making progress on the digital side of their business but that falls well short of a turnaround.

Conversely, cable cashed in bigly on the presidential election year and Trump transition in every dimension on which their business can be measured.

The report is a reduced version of the annual State of the News Media project Pew has been producing since 2004. This year, there is no accompanying narrative. Reports on other sectors will come later.

New York Times offers buyouts to staff

The New York Times offered buyouts to its newsroom employees, aiming to reduce layers of editing and requiring more of the editors who remain.

In a memo to the newsroom, Dean Baquet, the executive editor, and Joseph Kahn, the managing editor, said the current system of copy editors and “backfielders” who assign and shape articles would be replaced with a single group of editors who would be responsible for all aspects of an article. Another editor would be “looking over their shoulders before publication.”

“Our goal is to significantly shift the balance of editors to reporters at The Times, giving us more on-the-ground journalists developing original work than ever before,” they said in the memo.

In a separate memo, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher, said the company would be eliminating the position of public editor, which was established to receive reader complaints and question Times journalists on how they make decisions. Liz Spayd, the current public editor, will leave The Times.

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Poynter: Lenfest Institute offers $1 million for journalism projects

The well-heeled Lenfest Institute for Journalism in Philadelphia plans to distribute $1 million over the rest of this year to support local news innovation projects and individual "entrepreneurs-in-residence."

The money will be distributed through an open application process.

Executive Director Jim Friedlich said that two "buckets" with three distinct programs are planned:

     Experimental grants of up to $35,000 as seed money for "new projects just getting off the ground."

     Amplification grants of up to $100,000 "for products or services that have already shown initial traction and applicants who are looking to scale for broad impact."

     Funding "entrepreneur-in-residence" positions that will pay up to $10,000 a month for three to six months of research and development aimed at "building news and information products for local communities."

WSJ, Google spar over free stories, search

After blocking Google users from reading free articles in February, the Wall Street Journal's subscription business soared, with a fourfold increase in the rate of visitors converting into paying customers, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. But there was a trade-off: Traffic from Google plummeted 44 percent.

The reason: Google search results are based on an algorithm that scans the Internet for free content. After the Journal's articles went behind a paywall, Google's bot only saw the first few paragraphs and started ranking them lower, limiting viewership.

Executives at the Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., argue that Google's policy is unfairly punishing them for trying to attract more digital subscribers. They want Google to treat their articles equally in search rankings, despite being behind a paywall.

"Any site like ours automatically doesn't get the visibility in search that a free site would," Suzi Watford, the Journal's chief marketing officer, said in an interview. "You are definitely being discriminated against as a paid news site."

The Journal's experience could have implications across the news industry, where publishers are relying more on persuading readers to pay for their articles because tech giants like Google and Facebook are vacuuming up the lion's share of online advertising.

14 journalists who died in line of duty in 2016 recognized

The Newseum is adding the names of 14 journalists who died in the line of duty last year to its memorial.

The Washington museum is rededicating its Journalists Memorial. National Public Radio editorial director Michael Oreskes was scheduled to deliver the keynote remarks. NPR photojournalist David Gilkey was one of the 14 who died last year, killed in Afghanistan during a Taliban attack.

The Newseum is also blacking out its popular exhibit of front pages from around the world Monday as a way to raise awareness of the threats journalists face.

Four of those killed in 2016 were reporting from Syria. Other nations included Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Iraq, Libya, Mexico, Somalia and Ukraine.

The memorial bears the names of more than 2,300 journalists, dating to 1837.

Hearst acquires New Haven Register, other newspapers

Hearst has announced it has acquired the New Haven (Connecticut) Register and other newspapers from Digital First Media.

The Register Citizen, of Torrington, and The Middletown Press were also acquired in the deal.

The newspapers will be added to the Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

The group now includes eight daily and 11 weekly newspapers and a number of digital outlets.

Hearst says the acquisitions reach more than 470,000 households combined and 1.4 million online visitors.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

4 West Virginia newspapers changing ownership

The publisher of The Herald-Dispatch in Huntington, West Virginia, has reached an agreement to acquire four newspapers in southern West Virginia.

The Herald-Dispatch ( ) reports that parent HD Media will acquire the Logan Banner and the Williamson Daily News from Davidson, North Carolina-based Civitas Media, along with two weekly newspapers, the Coal Valley News and The Pineville Independent Herald.

HD Media also publishes The Wayne County News, The Putnam Herald, The Lawrence Herald, Tri-State Weekly and River Cities Magazine.

APG purchases Eau Claire Press Company in Wisconsin

Minneapolis-based Adams Publishing Group LLC announced that it has acquired The Eau Claire Press Company, a fourth-generation and fifth-generation family-owned media company with a daily newspaper, a weekly agricultural newspaper, a shopper product, a commercial printing division, digital and marketing services in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Adams Publishing Group (APG), chaired by Stephen Adams, is the parent company of the Mesabi Daily News, Hibbing Daily Tribune, Grand Rapids Herald-Review, Chisholm Tribune Press, Pilot Independent in Walker and Manney’s Shoppers.

Newspapers in the sale include The Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire), The Country Today (Eau Claire), Leader Printing, a commercial printing division, and their associated websites, for an undisclosed amount.

Reggae star Damian Marley, others buy control of High Times

An investment group that includes legendary ganga guru Bob Marley's son has bought a controlling interest in High Times, the magazine that for decades has separated the stems and seeds from the leaves when it comes to showing people the best ways to grow, roll and consume the finest blends of marijuana.

Damian "Junior Gong" Marley, whose forthcoming reggae album is appropriately titled "Stony Hill," is one of 20 investors who announced that they have acquired 60 percent interest in Trans-High Corp., owner of High Times, its digital platforms and its popular Cannabis Cup trade shows.

THC (the acronym is the same as that of marijuana's key ingredient) will be renamed High Times Holding Co.

Mark Elliott named publisher of Register-News and Times-leader

Veteran newspaper executive Mark C. Elliott has been appointed publisher of the Mt. Vernon (Illinois) Register News and the McLeansboro (Illinois) Times-Leader.

Elliott has been the advertising director for the Anderson, Indiana, Herald Bulletin for the last two years, and the Goshen, Indiana, News for two years before that.

Previously, he also served in executive advertising and marketing roles for newspapers in Arkansas, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut.

INDUSTRY NEWS • June 1, 2017

Americans don't trust media, but feel better about favorites

While Americans have doubts about how much they should trust the "news media" in general, a poll by the Media Insight Project suggests they have a higher opinion of the sources they personally rely upon to follow the world.

The survey by the project, a partnership between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and American Press Institute, echoed the phenomenon where people express distaste for politicians yet support their local representatives.

Only 17 percent of people judged the "news media" as very accurate but twice as many said the same thing about the news sources they visit most often, the poll found. Ask about other attributes and it's the same pattern: 24 percent judged the media as a whole as moral, while 53 percent said that about their favorites. Twenty-seven percent said the media was willing to admit mistakes, and 47 percent said that about their sources.

"The whole question of trust in the media is more complicated than we think," said Tom Rosenstiel, executive director of the American Press Institute.

Sun Coast Media Group announces changes

The Charlotte Sun in Charlotte Harbor, Florida, reports that longtime Sun Coast Media Group employee Glen Nickerson will return to Charlotte County as publisher of all Sun newspapers, and current publisher Rob Lee will take on a new challenge as revenue chief for coastal operations.

Sun Coast Media CEO David Dunn-Rankin revealed those changes, along with the move of current Venice Publisher Tim Smolarick to Highlands News-Sun.

National Association of Black Journalists honors four

Publisher Emeritus of The Miami Times Garth C. Reeves Sr. is among The National Association of Black Journalists 2017 Hall of Fame class, the group announced.

The induction ceremony will take place at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana on Aug. 11 as part of NABJ's national convention. The Hall of Fame Award is the highest recognition given by the organization. The other inductees include Michael Days, John Jenkins and Aisha Karimah, who retired as Washington’s NBC4 community director.

Days is an APME board member and editor of the Philadelphia Daily News; John Jenkins is a veteran photographer and television executive.

Denver Post fires sports writer over tweet

A veteran sports writer is no longer working with The Denver Post after he posted on Twitter that he was "uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend."

Terry Frei sent the tweet after Takuma Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the race.

Frei sent a follow-up tweet apologizing to Sato and the paper for his comment, saying he "fouled up." He noted his tweet occurred during an emotional time when he was honoring his late father, who was a World War II pilot in the fight against Japan.

Police probe whether damage at newspaper caused by gunfire

Several windows were shattered at a Kentucky newspaper office, and police are investigating whether the damage was caused by gunfire.

The Lexington Herald-Leader ( ) reports damage to first-, second- and third-level windows of the press room.

The newspaper says three exterior windows were shattered, while two windows on the upper level of the press room were damaged but didn't shatter. The press room is no longer in use.

The newspaper in Kentucky's second-largest city says police confirmed they are investigating the incident as criminal mischief, and investigators believe the damage is consistent with small-caliber bullet damage.

No employees were injured or near the area where damage occurred.

Publisher Rufus M. Friday says security is being increased.

INDUSTRY NEWS • May 24, 2017

Poynter: AP Social Newswire launches

The Associated Press has become the latest news organization to get into the user-generated content game, announcing the launch of a new service called AP Social Newswire, Poynter reports.

The new service works with the platform SAM to find, vet and verify content generated by users on social media and elsewhere. AP customers will be able to embed that content into their work. The feed will offer UGC on international and regional coverage as well as trending topics.

The AP has used SAM since 2015, according to the press release, and owns an equity stake in it.

AP, ExpertFile collaborate to connect newsrooms with expert sources

The Associated Press and ExpertFile announced that they will work together to make ExpertFile’s online directory of subject matter experts available to newsrooms.

As a first initiative in this collaboration, ExpertFile’s search engine and content platform for media on over 25,000 unique topics will be integrated into AP Planner, the news agency’s media planning tool. The integration will allow those who use it, including print, broadcast and online journalists and others, to more easily find and connect with experts.

Poynter: New York Times to offer buyouts to editors to transform editing

The New York Times plans to release "more information by the end of the month" about a buyout program for editors amid a much-anticipated reduction of the editing staff, Poynter reports.

The buyout program will also be offered to some staffers across the newsroom, according to a memo sent to the newsroom this morning by Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Kahn.

"As we have said several times in recent months, we're working hard to improve and streamline our editing system," the memo reads. "Our goal is to preserve meticulous text editing while meeting the demands of digital, which requires more speed and more visual storytelling. We have also said that we expect some reductions in the size of the newsroom, including in the editing staff."

Poynter: Sacramento Bee enacts layoffs

The Sacramento Bee has enacted a round of layoffs, the latest in a series of staff reductions executed by its corporate parent, The McClatchy Company.

Sacramento Bee Executive Editor Joyce Terhaar acknowledged the layoffs in an email to staff that did not specify the number of staffers cut. She declined to comment on the layoffs in an email to Poynter.

Earlier this month, McClatchy reported a net loss of $95.6 million in the first quarter of 2017, largely due to the continued decline of print advertising and a one-time charge related to the carrying value of the company's interest in CareerBuilder.

The McClatchy Company, a national newspaper chain headquartered in The Sacramento Bee's Midtown building, has laid off staffers from several of its newsrooms in recent weeks.

Mid-Valley Media Group publisher expands role

The publisher of the Mid-Valley Media Group, Jeff Precourt, will assume an expanded role as publisher of Lee Enterprise's Oregon properties.

Precourt will remain in his role as publisher of the Albany Democrat-Herald, the Corvallis Gazette-Times and the weeklies Lebanon Express and Philomath Express. But his duties will expand to include oversight of The World newspaper in Coos Bay and its associated weekly publications.

Lee names new Casper Star-Tribune publisher, general manager

Lee Enterprises, the parent company of the Casper Star-Tribune in Wyoming, has named Eugene Jackson as the newspaper’s regional publisher. Dale Bohren, the newspaper’s executive editor, will be promoted to general manager, the company announced.

Current publisher Tom Biermann will be moving to Davenport, Iowa, to take on a role in consumer sales and marketing for Lee.

Jackson, who will also oversee the Rapid City (South Dakota) Journal, began working for Lee in 2016, as publisher of the Daily Journal in Park Hills, Missouri.

Jeff DeLoach leaves 2 Texas newspapers for Tennessee job

The president of the Abilene (Texas) Reporter-News and the San Angelo Standard-Times will leave the USA Today Network to become president of the Times Free Press in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Jeff DeLoach has been president in San Angelo since 2009 and became president of the Reporter-News in 2014, splitting his time between the two markets.

DeLoach replaces Bruce Hartmann, who plans to take a job with the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

BH Media appoints new publisher for Winston-Salem, region

BH Media Group has appointed Alton Brown to be the next publisher of the Winston-Salem Journal and vice president of the North Carolina Group of the company, which includes the News & Record.

Brown is currently regional publisher of the Lynchburg, Virginia, Group, according to a statement from Terry J. Kroeger, BH Media Group's president and chief executive officer.

Eleven newspapers are part of the North Carolina Group, including six dailies.

Fox News fires Bob Beckel for racially insensitive remark

Fox News Channel said that it had fired liberal commentator Bob Beckel for making a racially insensitive remark to a black employee.

Fox offered no details on the case, but a lawyer for the employee said Beckel had "stormed out" of his office when the man, who is a technician, came to do work on his computer, saying he was leaving because the worker was black.

Beckel, 68, is a veteran Democratic political strategist who was a regular on Fox's "The Five," where he discusses stories with four conservative panelists.

INDUSTRY NEWS • May 10, 2017

Pay for news? More than half of Americans say they do

A battered news industry can find some flickers of hope in a survey that gauges public willingness to pay for journalism, as long as its leaders plan judiciously.

A little more than half of American adults regularly pay for news, through newspaper and magazine subscriptions, apps on electronic devices or contributions to public media, according to the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

It's not only greybeards, either. Although they're less likely than their parents' generation to subscribe, close to 4 in 10 people under age 35 also pay. Younger people are also more likely to express a desire to support a news organization's mission as a reason for subscribing, the project's study found.

On the other hand, young adults who don't pay for news are especially likely to say they're just not very interested in the content that's for sale.

Sinclair to buy Tribune Media, expanding its local TV reach

NEW YORK _ Sinclair Broadcast Group, already the nation's largest local TV station operator, wants to be even bigger.

The company announced that it will pay about $3.9 billion for Tribune Media and its 42 stations, which includes KTLA in Los Angeles, WGN in Chicago and WPIX in New York. Chicago-based Tribune also owns stakes in the Food Network and job-search website CareerBuilder.

Sinclair has 173 stations, including KUTV in Salt Lake City, KOMO in Seattle and WKRC in Cincinnati. The Tribune deal, plus other pending acquisitions, will give it a total of 233 stations, putting distance between it and rival Nexstar Media Group, which has 170.

Sinclair said it may have to sell some stations to comply with Federal Communications Commission rules, although the FCC has recently loosened rules related to media ownership. Sinclair is also in the process of buying Bonten Media Group, which owns 14 stations, for $240 million.

Poynter: Northwestern’s Medill opts out of accreditation system

The Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern has announced that it's not seeking the once-every-six-years formal accreditation because it believes the process overseen by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications is screwed-up and doesn't serve Medill's needs.

Medill is among the elite journalism programs, and at a total yearly cost of about $70,000. Most of its peers generally seen as operating in the same realm do go through the process, including the programs at Columbia University, the University of Missouri, the University of Pennsylvania and the Graduate School of Journalism at U.C. Berkeley.

The University of Wisconsin at Madison opted out of the system 25 years ago, seeing its focus on producing doctoral candidates as out of sync with the council aims.

The council's multi-stage process finished in Chicago recently with its formal approval of 24 schools' accreditation. Not having gone through the process this time, Medill thus will allow accreditation that's been in place since 1987 simply lapse.

Tim Franklin leaving Poynter for Medill

Tim Franklin, Poynter's president, announced to the staff this morning that he is leaving the institute to become senior associate dean at the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing at Northwestern University.

He will be replaced in the interim by Andy Corty, the president and publisher of Florida Trend magazine. Poynter's board of trustees will soon begin a search for his successor.

Franklin, who joined Poynter in 2014, has led a financial turnaround at the institute and adapted Poynter’s business to the changing industry during his tenure as president.

New York Times adds 308,000 digital subscription in 1Q

The New York Times added 308,000 digital subscribers in the first quarter — its best quarter since it began offering digital-only subscriptions in 2011. The additional subscribers helped boost the company to a net income of $13.2 million in the first quarter after reporting a loss of $8.3 million in the same period a year earlier.

Digital-only subscription revenues were up 40 percent over the first quarter of 2016, and advertising revenue for digital jumped 19 percent over the previous year's quarter.

Sales of the Times' print edition continued to decline, taking advertisers with it. Print ad revenue fell about 18 percent from last year's first quarter. The company attributed the decline primarily to lower display ad sales.

Minneapolis Star Tribune CEO Mike Klingensmith to chair news industry trade group

Mike Klingensmith, publisher and CEO of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, has been elected chairman of the News Media Alliance, an industry trade group formerly known as the Newspaper Association of America.

Klingensmith, who previously served as vice chairman of the NMA, succeeds Tony Hunter, a consultant and former chief executive of the Chicago Tribune.

Klingensmith, a Fridley native, joined the Star Tribune in January 2010 after spending most of his more than 30-year career in publishing with Time Inc. in New York.

Institute tasked with saving local journalism raises $26M

A Philadelphia-based journalism institute tasked with finding ways to save local journalism has raised over $26 million in donations.

The Lenfest Institute for Journalism says it has secured new commitments of $26.5 million. Its creator, philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, has committed an additional $40 million.

The institute also announced a matching gift campaign to further advance the development of sustainable business models for high-quality local journalism.

Lenfest previously donated $20 million to establish the institute in January 2016.

Lenfest bought Philadelphia's two largest newspapers, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, and their joint website,, and gave the struggling properties to the institute to help them survive the digital age.

Facebook to hire 3,000 to review videos of crime and suicide

Facebook plans to hire 3,000 more people to review videos and other posts after getting criticized for not responding quickly enough to murders shown on its service.

The hires over the next year will be on top of the 4,500 people Facebook already has to identify crime and other questionable content for removal. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is "working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner — whether that's responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down."

Videos and posts that glorify violence are against Facebook's rules, but Facebook has been criticized for being slow in responding to such content, including videos of a murder in Cleveland and the killing of a baby in Thailand that was live-streamed.

Networks, CNN refuse to air Trump advertisement

ABC, CBS and NBC have joined CNN in refusing to air an advertisement that lists President Donald Trump's accomplishments during his administration's first 100 days while blaming the "fake news" media for not reporting on them.

A "fake news" graphic superimposed over the faces of news anchors was cited by CNN, ABC and NBC for not airing the ad. The networks contend that makes it inaccurate, and ABC said it represents a personal attack. CBS would not comment on its reasons for the rejection.

The journalists whose faces are seen in the commercial are Andrea Mitchell of NBC, Wolf Blitzer of CNN, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, Scott Pelley of CBS and George Stephanopoulos of ABC.

The ad has run on Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network. The Trump campaign did not seek ad time on the Fox broadcast network, which doesn't have a regular newscast.

Mark Hamrick to head SABEW

Mark Hamrick, Washington Bureau Chief and Senior Economic Analyst at, has been named president of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, a leading organization of business journalists.

SABEW was formed over fifty years ago to promote exceptional coverage of business and economic topics and events. Hamrick joined the Board of Governors in 2014 and has held the positions of secretary, treasurer and most recently vice president.

Mr. Hamrick joined personal finance site in January 2013 after leading business news for the Associated Press radio and television/online video operation in Washington for many years.

Fired BET executive sues, alleging 'old boys' club' bias

A former female executive with Black Entertainment Television has filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the channel and its parent company, Viacom.

Zola Mashariki claims a discriminatory "old boys' club" atmosphere led to her firing while she was on disability for breast cancer. Mashariki was an executive vice president who oversaw original programming for the network.

The lawsuit filed in a Los Angeles federal court alleges that BET, Viacom and its largely male leadership foster a climate in which women are systematically harassed and exploited.

John Rung named CEO of Shaw Media

Shaw Media, based in Sterling, Illinois, has named John Rung CEO. The company publishes close to 100 print and digital publications in Illinois and Iowa.

He replaces Thomas D. “Tom” Shaw, 69, of Grand Detour, who announced last month that he would retire. Shaw will remain on the company’s board.

The Shaw Media Board of Directors named Rung CEO on Thursday at the company’s annual meeting. He is the first nonfamily member to hold that role at the third-oldest continuously owned and operated family newspaper company in the nation.

Rung, 54, had been president of Shaw Media since 2013.

Shaw Media has about 550 employees at newspapers, magazines and other publications in northern Illinois and Iowa. Its daily newspaper holdings include Sauk Valley Media, which is the Daily Gazette in Sterling and the Telegraph in Dixon, the Ogle County Newspapers and its publications in Oregon, Polo, Mount Morris and Forreston; the Bureau County Republican in Princeton; and the Prairie Advocate in Carroll County.

Winston-Salem Journal publisher Kevin Kampman announces his retirement

Kevin Kampman, publisher of the Winston-Salem (North Carolina) Journal, is retiring.

Kampman, 60, made the announcement in an email to staff.

“I have been working in the publishing business for 37 years and it is time to spread my wings and try something different,” Kampman wrote.

A successor has not been named but BH Media is looking to fill the position quickly, said Terry Kroeger, president and chief executive officer.

INDUSTRY NEWS • April 27, 2017

State Department names former Fox News anchor as spokeswoman

The State Department says former Fox News Channel anchor Heather Nauert will be the agency's new spokeswoman. The department says Nauert will fill the slot that had been vacant since the start of the Trump administration. The job had been filled on an acting basis by Mark Toner, a career diplomat who served as deputy spokesman during the last years of President Barack Obama's presidency.

It was not immediately clear when Nauert would start briefing reporters from the podium. Nauert, who has 15 years of experience in television journalism and started in the industry with ABC News, was most recently an anchor on the "Fox and Friends" morning show, which is known to be a favorite of President Donald Trump.

AP journalist covering Kashmir protest helps injured teen

He was documenting a protest by dozens of Kashmiri students confronting armed Indian government forces wearing riot gear. But when an 18-year-old was hit in the head and began bleeding profusely, the Associated Press photographer put down his camera and rushed in to help her. "It was an instant decision, and I didn't think twice," Dar Yasin said. He explained that he was closest to the woman and so best able to help. "I gave my camera to a colleague. ... I took the injured girl in my arms."

The scene soon became chaotic. Other protesters became angry when they saw the woman bleeding and hurled stones at the police and paramilitary soldiers, who retaliated with tear gas. Yasin carried Khushboo Jan away from the protest site in Kashmir's main city of Srinagar, and urged her anxious friends not to worry. "I told the girl protesters that I have two daughters," he said. The effort was captured by another photographer who then helped Yasin load Jan into a car that had been pulled up by a civilian to take her to a hospital.

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Eagle publisher leaving as part of McClatchy restructuring

Wichita Eagle publisher and president Roy Heatherly is leaving the company as part of a larger restructuring by the McClatchy Co. Tony Berg, regional publisher for McClatchy's Midwest Division, announced Monday that Heatherly's last day will be May 5. Heatherly joined The Eagle in June 2015. Berg said he will hire a general manager to lead The Eagle and its sales operations. Berg told employees the McClatchy reorganization is designed to streamline the company's operations and refocus resources as it works to increase the pace of its digital transition. The Eagle reports ( ) McClatchy recently announced a regional publishing structure that moves its markets into four regions across the country.

Berg also oversees The Kansas City Star, the Belleville News-Democrat in Illinois, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

GateHouse executive based in Hutchinson is resigning

GateHouse News Senior Group Publisher John Montgomery says he plans to leave the company, effective May 8. Montgomery was publisher and editor of The Hutchinson (Kansas) News for 10 years before Gatehouse Media purchased the Harris Group in November. When that purchase was complete, Montgomery became publisher for 16 newspapers. Most are in Kansas and three are in Colorado. The 50-year-old Montgomery said Monday he will move to the Kansas City area but has no immediate plans. Montgomery was editor and publisher of the Ottawa Herald and The Hays Daily News before moving to Hutchinson. The Hutchinson News ( ) reports Steven Curd, of Lee's Summit, Missouri, will be interim replacement for Montgomery. He is currently Group Publisher for GateHouse Media in Independence, Missouri.

Greitens' social media use draws praise, criticism

During his first 100 days in office, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has trained with firefighters and police, announced a parental leave policy and various business expansions, and answered online questions from constituents. He has broadcast it all on his personal Facebook page. Like President Donald Trump, Greitens has used social media as a primary — and sometimes his only — means of public communication. It's an approach unlike any used by previous Missouri governors.

"The governor has said from the beginning that his top priority is the people, and (social media is) where the people are," said Greitens spokesman Parker Briden, who has shot some of the videos posted on the governor's site. Political use of social media has been growing nationally. In the 2008 presidential primary election, 10 percent of people said they followed candidates or got involved through social media. In 2016, the number of adults turning to social media for presidential election news had more than doubled to about 24 percent, according to the Pew Research Center.

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Lexington police using social media video to solve crimes

Lexington police are using more video on social media and the web to help solve crimes. The Lexington Herald-Leader ( ) reports that the police department produced 28 videos in 2016, including three surveillance recordings for its website and YouTube channel and for social media. In the first four months of 2017, 19 videos, including eight surveillance videos, have been uploaded. The department's public information officer, Brenna Angel, says that of the 11 surveillance videos posted since Angel joined the department in January 2016, seven have led to charges filed. Angel says property was recovered in three of those cases. Some suspects have turned themselves in once the material was posted.

Bill O'Reilly to return with new podcast episode April 24

Bill O'Reilly is back and ready to talk. His personal website says the former Fox News host will air a new episode of his "No Spin News" podcast Monday evening, April 24. Fox News Channel's parent company fired O'Reilly on Wednesday following an investigation into sexual harassment allegations by women. O'Reilly has called the allegations completely unfounded. For two decades, O'Reilly and his show "The O'Reilly Factor" had been the linchpin of Fox News' success as the most visible and most watched host. Many wondered what the future would hold for him. O'Reilly's podcast episode will be available on his website to premium members at 7 p.m. EDT Monday.

Retirement for O'Reilly? He'll have other options

Chances are you haven't heard the last of Bill O'Reilly. He'll have options, and retirement seems unlikely. At least three conservative news outlets are eager to speak with him. O'Reilly, the top cable news personality for two decades until Fox News Channel fired him this week following harassment claims by women, would be a game-changer for any company trapped in Fox's shadow. "He's an incredible, unparalleled, unchallenged talent and I would be very eager to discuss the possibility of him on Newsmax," said Chris Ruddy, CEO of the Florida-based media company. "I think he has been unfairly treated." Another right-leaning outlet, One America News Network, has been inundated with emails from O'Reilly fans who want their hero back on television, said Robert Herring, Sr., the network's founder and CEO.

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New law promotes media literacy, internet safety in schools

Washington leaders have passed a law that requires students to learn about media literacy and internet safety in schools. The News Tribune reports ( ) Gov. Jay Inslee signed the new law on Thursday. The law requires Washington schools to develop a model policy to better support digital citizenship, media literacy and internet safety. Media literacy is defined as the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media. A statewide survey of teacher-librarians, principals and school technology directors will be conduct to determine how they are currently integrating digital citizenship and media literacy education into their curriculum. A website with links to successful practices in other schools, curriculum and other resources for teachers will be created under the law.

Reports: US prosecutors weighing charges against WikiLeaks

Two media reports say U.S. prosecutors are preparing or closely considering charges against the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, including its founder Julian Assange, for revealing sensitive government secrets. CNN ( reported Thursday that authorities are preparing to seek Assange's arrest. The Washington Post ( reported prosecutors are weighing charges against the organization's members after the Obama-era Justice Department declined to do so. Possible charges include conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act, the newspaper said, though any charges would need approval from high-ranking officials in the Justice Department. The move comes after WikiLeaks last month released nearly 8,000 documents that it says reveal secrets about the CIA's cyberespionage tools for breaking into computers, cellphones and even smart TVs.

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Vermont's media shield law heads to Governor's desk

In a nearly unanimous vote, the Vermont House on Thursday approved a bill designed to protect journalists from revealing confidential sources, even when threatened with a subpoena. The House voted 140-2 without debate to give final approval to the bill. It passed the Senate unanimously last month. The bill will soon land on the desk of Republican Gov. Phil Scott, who supports the bill, said spokeswoman Rebecca Kelley. "I think this is a huge victory for a free press in Vermont and for the sources we rely upon," said Paul Heintz, a board member of the Vermont Press Association and political editor at Vermont's Seven Days newspaper.

Heintz, along with a cohort of media professionals from Vermont's print, radio and television outlets, became temporary lobbyists to help get the law through, putting them in an uncomfortable position, Heintz said.

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Without O'Reilly, Fox News faces its toughest test

Fox News Channel has thrived despite losing founding leader Roger Ailes and next generation star Megyn Kelly within the past nine months. The firing of defining personality Bill O'Reilly will be its toughest test yet. Fox moved quickly to install a new lineup after announcing O'Reilly's exit due to several harassment allegations by women, which he continues to deny. Outside pressure isn't leaving with him; members of the National Organization for Women demonstrated outside Fox's headquarters Thursday, saying the company's workplace culture won't really change unless management cleans house of other high-ranking executives who knew about the sexual harassment but didn't do anything. For most of Fox's existence, O'Reilly had been the linchpin of its success as the most visible and most watched host.

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O'Reilly is out at Fox but influence endures; career too?

Despite the inglorious end to Bill O'Reilly's two-decade Fox News Channel career, observers say his deep imprint on Fox and other cable news outlets and his influence on barbed political discourse are intact for the foreseeable future. Fired on April 19 amid a drumbeat of sexual harassment allegations, the vacationing host's "The O'Reilly Factor" was quickly redubbed "The Factor" and Fox News announced his time slot will be filled by Tucker Carlson, another adamantly conservative Fox host who dovetails with the channel's audience. But it was O'Reilly who created the template for how to succeed in cable TV punditry, delighting his viewers with unapologetic attacks on liberal politicians and media members that he delivered with gusto.

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Newspaper decline continues to weigh on AP earnings

Earnings at The Associated Press shrank substantially last year compared with 2015, when the news organization enjoyed a large tax benefit that skewed its results. Revenue also edged downward, reflecting continued contraction in the newspaper industry and a stronger U.S. dollar that reduced the value of overseas sales. Net income last year shrank to $1.6 million from $183.6 million in 2015, a 99 percent decline. The 2015 profit figure was bolstered by a one-time, $165 million tax benefit. AP's 2014 net income of $140.9 million was also boosted by a large non-recurring gain from the sale of a stake in a sports data company. In 2013, net income at the AP — a not-for-profit news cooperative — was $3.3 million.

Although AP's 2016 profit was slightly less than half that of 2013, AP chief financial officer Ken Dale said last year brought the company's net results "back to more normal levels."

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O'Reilly out at Fox News Channel, still denies allegations

Fox News Channel's parent company fired Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday, April 19,  following an investigation into harassment allegations, bringing a stunning end to cable news' most popular program and one that came to define the bravado of his network over 20 years. O'Reilly lost his job on the same day he was photographed in Rome shaking the hand of Pope Francis. The downfall of Fox's most popular — and most lucrative — personality began with an April 2 report in The New York Times that five women had been paid a total of $13 million to keep quiet about disturbing encounters with O'Reilly, who continued to deny any wrongdoing in a statement hours after he was fired. Dozens of his show's advertisers fled within days, even though O'Reilly's viewership increased. O'Reilly's exit came nine months after his former boss, Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, was ousted following allegations of sexual harassment.

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Internal memo on Bill O'Reilly sent to Fox News employees

The following internal memo was sent to Fox News Channel employees on Wednesday, April 19: "We'd like to address questions about Bill O'Reilly's future at Fox News. After a thorough and careful review of allegations against him, the Company and Bill O'Reilly have agreed that Mr. O'Reilly will not return to the Fox News Channel. This decision follows an extensive review done in collaboration with outside counsel. By ratings standards, Bill O'Reilly is one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news. In fact, his success by any measure is indisputable. Fox News has demonstrated again and again the strength of its talent bench. We have full confidence that the network will continue to be a powerhouse in cable news. Lastly, and most importantly, we want to underscore our consistent commitment to fostering a work environment built on the values of trust and respect. Best, Rupert, Lachlan, James

Bill O'Reilly's statement following his firing from Fox News

Former Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly issued the following statement following his firing Wednesday, April 19:

"Over the past 20 years at Fox News, I have been extremely proud to launch and lead one of the most successful news programs in history, which has consistently informed and entertained millions of Americans and significantly contributed to building Fox into the dominant news network in television. It is tremendously disheartening that we part ways due to completely unfounded claims. But that is the unfortunate reality many of us in the public eye must live with today. I will always look back on my time at Fox with great pride in the unprecedented success we achieved and with my deepest gratitude to all my dedicated viewers. I wish only the best for Fox News Channel."

A few heated, barbed interludes with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly

Over the years, "The O'Reilly Factor" was a forum for heated exchanges led by host Bill O'Reilly and, appearing elsewhere on Fox News Channel, he was often ready with a barbed remark. Here are a few examples:

2003: Jeremy Glick, the son of a Port Authority worker killed in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, proposed that CIA support of anti-Soviet Afghan fighters in the late 1970s and 1980s had provided the training for what would later emerge as the organization responsible for the terrorist attacks. O'Reilly roared that Glick had dishonored the memory of his father, repeatedly ordered him to "shut up!" and finally cut Glick's microphone "out of respect" for Glick's father.

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Kansas students invited to Washington correspondents' dinner

Six Kansas high school journalists who published a story that led to the resignation of their school's new principal will be special guests at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The Pittsburg High School students and their teacher, Emily Smith, are receiving an all-expenses paid trip to the April 29 dinner in Washington D.C., courtesy of the Huffington Post. The group made national news after a story published last month in the student newspaper questioned the credentials of Amy Robertson, who had been hired to become principal at the school. The questions eventually led Robertson to resign. Pittsburg Superintendent Destry Brown told the Pittsburg Morning Sun ( ) he's excited the students will get a "once in a lifetime" experience. The students will be in Washington from April 28 to April 30.

In “The Promise,” Christian Bale stars as an AP reporter

The life of the wire service scribe has, traditionally, been to toil in anonymity. Christian Bale, however, is far from anonymous. In "The Promise," Bale stars as an Associated Press reporter in Constantinople in the early days of World War I, and at the onset of the mass killings and deportations of Armenians carried out by Ottoman Empire. He's not the central figure in the movie; that's Oscar Isaac's Armenian medical student. But as a brash speak-truth-to-power journalist firing out powerfully worded dispatches, he's pivotal in bringing attention to the atrocities against the Armenians. The killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey during and after World War I is considered by genocide scholars to have been the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies a genocide occurred and argues that the death toll among Armenians was more limited in scale and resulted from civil unrest and war, not deliberate policy.

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Viewership of 'O'Reilly Factor' drops without Bill O'Reilly

Through four days of Bill O'Reilly's vacation, his show's viewership declined by 23 percent in the hands of substitutes Dana Perino, Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld. O'Reilly is on a nearly two-week vacation at the same time Fox News Channel's parent company looks into a woman's accusation that her career was slowed when she spurned his advances. Dozens of his show's advertisers have fled following reports of harassment settlements paid to other women. O'Reilly has denied any wrongdoing. Despite the vacation, the pressure is staying on O'Reilly and 21st Century Fox, which is looking into at least one complaint about his behavior. On Tuesday, attorney Lisa Bloom said she was representing a former clerical worker at Fox who complained that day to a hotline established at Fox about O'Reilly's behavior during her six months working there in 2008.

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Walter Cronkite journalism award going to Woodruff, Ifill

Arizona State University is awarding its Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism for 2017 to Judy Woodruff and the late Gwen Ifill, co-anchors and managing editors of the "PBS NewsHour." An announcement Monday, April 18, by the university's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication says Woodruff will accept the award for herself and Ifill Oct. 19 in Phoenix. Ifill had served with Woodruff as co-anchor and co-managing editor from 2013 until her death from cancer in November. Woodruff says in the announcement she was honored to be selected for the award named after Walter Cronkite, the late and longtime CBS Evening News anchor. She says Cronkite "represented the very best of our craft." Woodruff says Ifill "left a legacy of excellence and dedication that touched all who knew her."

INDUSTRY NEWS • April 18, 2017

Lawmakers consider more protections for student journalists

Missouri lawmakers are working on legislation that would place stricter limits on what administrators are allowed to restrict in student publications. The Kansas City Star ( ) reports that the bill passed out of the House in March and now awaits debate in the Senate. The current law allows administrators to censor anything considered to be "sensitive." It was established by a landmark Missouri case that made it up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The 1988 Hazelwood decision determined that public school students do not have full First Amendment rights in school-sponsored publications. Republican Rep. Kevin Corlew, of Kansas City, says the additional protections show student journalists that their rights matter. So far, at least 11 states, including Kansas, have adopted some form of additional protection for student journalists.

Vegas journalist arrested at Trump rally released from jail

The journalist arrested at a Tax Day protest at President Donald Trump's signature Las Vegas hotel has been released from jail. KLAS Vice President and General Manager Lisa Howfield said photojournalist Neb Solomon was freed April 15, hours after he was arrested while covering the off-Strip protest. Las Vegas police said Solomon was uncooperative and refused to provide his personal identification information at the scene. He was then booked into Clark County jail on two misdemeanors, including trespassing and obstructing an officer. Solomon was recording the protest while on private property that belonged to the Fashion Show Mall, adjacent to the Trump International Hotel, police said. Mall security notified officers on scene that Solomon refused their request to stop filming there.

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Chasing retirement, newsman-rancher takes on state and wins

Les Zaitz has been living and working at a ranch near John Day in eastern Oregon for more than a decade — not exactly where most would expect to find one of the state's top investigative journalists. The 61-year-old is a former reporter and editor for The Oregonian who favors jeans and boots as daily attire and a cowboy hat when not in the office. He grew up on the west side of the state in Keizer, near Salem, and started muckraking as a teenager, probing high school budgets in response to grumbling about cuts. . Almost a half-century later, the two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist hoped to relax more after retiring from The Oregonian following exhaustive coverage of the armed occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. But he's still working long hours and breaking big news, now for a weekly newspaper that he owns with his family, The Malheur Enterprise.

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Maine governor: Printed legal notices prop up dying industry

Laws requiring legal notices to be published in newspapers prop up a "dying, antiquated industry," Maine's Republican governor said in the latest example of his antipathy toward the press. Gov. Paul LePage has said journalists use words to destroy people and make his remarks seem racist. The governor, who once apologized for telling a boy that he'd like to shoot his Bangor Daily News cartoonist father, has most recently called for governmental oversight of newspapers and retreated to interviews on talk radio shows and conservative websites. Legislators on Thursday, April 13, overrode LePage's veto of a bill that requires the continued posting of newspaper legal notices on a publicly accessible website. The Democratic-controlled House overrode the veto with a 121-22 vote, while the Republican-controlled Senate voted 32-0.

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CNN commentator Lord defends his likening of Trump to King

CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord tweeted clips of speeches from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the overnight hours Friday, April 14, capping a strange day where he stepped on a third rail of American politics by suggesting viewers think of President Donald Trump as "the Martin Luther King of health care." Lord made his comparison on CNN's morning "New Day" on Thursday and ended the day in a shouting match with CNN's Don Lemon. He was the subject of social media derision and outrage during the hours in between, illustrating what some critics suggest is cable television's ability to bring heat, if not light, to an issue. Generally amiable, he's gotten into a few rough exchanges with other CNN pundits, most notably Van Jones on election night. Fellow commentator Symone Sanders' eyes widened in astonishment when Lord first equated Trump with the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner. "There is no similarity," she said.

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Boston Fox affiliate drops "Fox" from newscast name

Boston's Fox television affiliate is distancing itself from the conservative Fox News national cable network by dropping the word "Fox" from the name of its newscast.

WFXT-TV Channel 25 announced Thursday, April 13, that the name of its independent and locally produced newscast is being changed from "Fox 25 News" to "Boston 25 News" starting April 24. General manager Tom Raponi tells The Boston Globe ( ) that local viewers perceive the station as being conservative when it strives to be impartial. The station will still broadcast Fox shows and refer to itself as Fox 25 in most cases, including on its building signs and on-screen visuals during non-news broadcasts. Raponi says the name change has been considered since 2014 when the station was acquired by Atlanta-based Cox Media Group.

The Providence Journal has named a new executive editor

The Providence Journal has named a new executive editor. The newspaper reports ( that Alan Rosenberg, who currently serves as managing editor, will take over the post when David Butler, the current executive editor, retires in June. The announcement was made April 13 by the Journal's president and publisher, Janet Hasson. Rosenberg has worked for the Journal for nearly four decades in various roles. He'll be replaced in the managing editor's role by Michael McDermott, who was most recently the assistant managing editor for breaking news and features. Rosenberg says he's excited to take the post in a time when "accurate, verified reporting" is more important than ever. Butler joined the newspaper in 2015 after retiring from the San Jose Mercury News.

Audit sparked by newspaper probe flags Reno jail death rates

After a newspaper investigation revealed a sharp increase in suicides and in-custody deaths at a Nevada jail, an independent audit found serious deficiencies in training and mental health care for inmates. Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen requested the outside review after the Reno Gazette-Journal launched its probe into deaths at the county jail where the suicide rate jumped to nearly 10 times the national rate two years ago. The newspaper reports ( there were no suicides at the jail from 2011-2014, but a total of five over the last two years and one so far this year. The paper found the spike coincided with an end to suicide training and ongoing problems with the jail's private health care provider.

Who could Fox News tap if Bill O'Reilly doesn't return?

Fox News Channel expects Bill O'Reilly back from his vacation on April 24, ready to resume his position as cable television news' most popular host. But given advertiser defections and the swirl of stories about payouts totaling $13 million to five women to keep harassment allegations quiet, it's impossible to dismiss the idea that Papa Bear may lose his television home for the past two decades. Fox News without Roger Ailes once seemed unthinkable, too, until the network chief's downfall following sexual harassment charges last summer. Replacing the host who came to define the network would be no easy task. While Megyn Kelly wasn't as popular as O'Reilly, her departure for NBC in January is instructive. Tucker Carlson took over her 9 p.m. time slot and increased the ratings, evidence that Fox viewers are Fox viewers — loyal to the network and its ethos as much, if not more, than individual personalities. For that reason, it's a virtual certainty that whoever takes over O'Reilly's time slot will be somebody Fox viewers already know.

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CIA director calls WikiLeaks 'hostile intelligence service'

CIA Director Mike Pompeo denounced the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks on Thursday, April 13, as a "hostile intelligence service" and a threat to U.S. national security, a condemnation that differed sharply from President Donald Trump's past praise of the organization. In his first public speech since becoming America's spy master, the former Republican congressman escalated the agency's hostility to WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, accusing them of making common cause with dictators. While "Assange and his ilk" claim they act in the name of liberty and privacy, Pompeo said that in reality, their mission is "personal self-aggrandizement through the destruction of Western values." "WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service," Pompeo said. Pompeo's tone was notably different from that of his boss.

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$19.8 billion airwaves auction may mean better cell service

Consumers could see more competition and better mobile service after the end of a big U.S. government auction transferring airwave rights from TV broadcasters to companies interested in wireless networks. The biggest spenders in the Federal Communications Commission's $19.8 billion auction were T-Mobile with $8 billion, satellite TV company Dish at $6.2 billion and Comcast with $1.7 billion. The nation's airwaves regulator ran the auction to help wireless networks keep up as people spend more time on smartphones. The biggest bidders in the last auction, in 2015, were AT&T ($18.2 billion) and Verizon ($10.4 billion). T-Mobile says its winnings will give its network more oomph against industry heavyweights AT&T and Verizon. The company "just cleaned up," its CEO, John Legere, tweeted . The company has racked up new subscribers in recent years and helped tug AT&T and Verizon into offering unlimited plans again.

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Courts administrative arm investigated for vehicle auctions

The Administrative Office of the Courts says it is being investigated for possible irregularities with its employee-only auctions of surplus vehicles. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports ( ) the office began an internal review after it was questioned by reporters at the newspaper. Office spokeswoman Leigh Ann Hiatt said one employee has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which she said is being conducted in partnership with the Attorney General's office. Attorney General Andy Beshear's office would not confirm or deny the investigation. The office is the administrative arm of Kentucky's court system. If often auctions off surplus equipment to employees. Such employee-only options are illegal in the executive branch, but the judicial branch is not subject to the same laws.

Journalists at 2 New York digital news sites opt to unionize

Journalists at two recently combined digital news organizations in New York have agreed to unionize. The Writers Guild of America, East announced Wednesday, March 12, a majority of the 26 reporters and editors at DNAinfo and Gothamist opted to the join the guild. The workers released a joint statement saying the union move will "make the newsroom stronger" and "attract and retain quality journalists." The websites are owned by billionaire Joe Ricketts, who founded the online broker TD Ameritrade. Ricketts also is an owner of the Chicago Cubs and is a prominent Republican donor. A spokeswoman for Ricketts says DNAinfo was considering its options. Many of New York's digital media companies have been unionized in recent years, including The Huffington Post, Vice, MTV News, Gizmodo Media Group and The Intercept.

Embattled O'Reilly takes his longest spring break in years

Embattled Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly, who announced he's vacationing starting Wednesday, April 12, and returning April 24, hasn't taken off this much time consecutively in March or April for at least 10 years, an examination of his show's transcripts revealed. O'Reilly said he likes to take vacation around this time and that he booked this year's break months ago. That would appear to stave off stories that the cable host had been pressured to make himself scarce for a while. His show has seen an advertiser exodus since reports emerged of settlements reached with five women to keep quiet about harassment accusations. Fox would not discuss whether network executives influenced the duration or timing of his break. O'Reilly's announcement immediately set off speculation about whether cable television's most popular host will return at all.

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Melania Trump wins damages from Daily Mail publisher

U.S. first lady Melania Trump has accepted an apology and damages from the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper for reporting rumors about her time as a model, the two parties in the lawsuit said Wednesday. In a joint statement, the parties said the Mail retracted its false statements that Trump "provided services beyond simply modeling" and agreed to pay damages and costs. The total settlement for the U.S. and U.K. lawsuits was about $2.9 million, according to a person familiar with the settlement who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose the information, which was not released in court. "First lady Melania Trump is very pleased that she has resolved this matter favorably with the Daily Mail, which has issued a full and complete retraction and apology for its false statements about her, and agreed to pay her millions of dollars in damages and full reimbursement of her legal fees," Melania Trump’s lawyer Charles Harder said in a statement Wednesday.

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Rolling Stone settles, but fight over rape story isn't over

Rolling Stone magazine settled a University of Virginia administrator's lawsuit over its discredited story about a rape on campus, but its legal fights over the botched article aren't over. Attorneys for Rolling Stone and Nicole Eramo announced this week that they reached a confidential settlement over the 2014 story "A Rape on Campus," putting an end to the lengthy case stemming from the now-debunked claims of a woman identified only as "Jackie."  The magazine still faces a more than $25 million lawsuit filed by the University of Virginia chapter of the fraternity where Jackie claimed she had been raped, which is scheduled to go to trial in October. A separate lawsuit from three former fraternity members was dismissed last year.

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Upstate NY newspaper delivery driver retires after 57 years

After nearly six decades and millions of newspapers delivered, Mel Rulison has called it quits. The 87-year-old retired April 10 as a route driver for The Leader-Herald, a 7,500-circulation daily afternoon paper published in Gloversville, in New York's Mohawk Valley. The newspaper reports ( ) Rulison delivered 220 to 300 newspapers a day, seven days a week for 57 consecutive years. That's more than 5 million papers delivered during that span. Rulison was working for his uncle's tannery when he took on newspaper deliveries as an extra job in 1960. After the tannery closed nearly 30 years ago he kept the delivery job, spending three hours a day dropping off papers at homes in a rural area 40 miles northwest of Albany. On Monday, the newspaper threw Rulison a retirement party, thanking him for his 57 years of dedicated service.

Advertisers are fleeing Bill O'Reilly, but viewers aren't

Advertisers are fleeing Bill O'Reilly's "no spin zone" on Fox News Channel, but viewers are remaining loyal. "The O'Reilly Factor" averaged 3.71 million viewers over five nights last week, the Nielsen company said Tuesday. That's up 12 percent from the 3.31 million viewers he averaged the week before and up 28 percent compared to the same week in 2016. O'Reilly's show averaged just under 4 million viewers for the first three months of 2017, his biggest quarter ever in the show's 20-year history. "Controversy is a breeding ground for interest," said Marc Berman, editor in chief of The Programming Insider. "So people who otherwise might not have seen his show recently are curious. People might want to see if he addresses the subject. If the ratings were not up, I would have been surprised."

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New center to combat disinformation to be built in Finland

A center to combat such things as disinformation and fake news will be built in Finland following an agreement Tuesday, April 12, of nine countries from the European Union and NATO. The countries — Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and the United States — signed the memorandum to set up the so-called "hybrid threat" center in Helsinki with the support of the Finnish government. The center will become operational later this year and will initially have a budget of 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) and be staffed by a group of experts and reasearchers from the founding members. Lorenz Meyer-Minneman, head of NATO's civil preparedness unit, said the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats will serve as a platform for EU and NATO to pool resources and share expertise.

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'Daily Show's' Hasan Minhaj to star at Correspondents Dinner

With President Donald Trump staying away, "The Daily Show's" Hasan Minhaj is set to headline this year's White House Correspondents Association dinner. In a press release, the comedian made a tongue-in-cheek reference to the president's Twitter style, saying: "It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD!" WHCA President Jeff Mason made the announcement on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Tuesday, saying the April 29 dinner will be "different" without Trump. In a statement, Mason says the event "will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media." Trump was famously the butt of jokes from President Barack Obama at the 2011 dinner. Trump announced in February that he wouldn't attend this year.

Black journalists hold regional conference in Philadelphia

Hundreds of journalists, communication professionals and students from across the Northeast attended the National Association of Black Journalists’ Region I Conference, Diversity, Innovation & Technology Summit earlier this month. “The conference was absolutely, 100 percent phenomenal,” said freelance journalist and author, Marsha Stroman. “I think it should happen at least once a month!” Held at the Annenberg School for Communication on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, March 31 and April 1, the gathering featured workshops, panel discussions, lectures and job interviews.

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