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Acquisitions

Wall Street Journal Publisher Jumps to Merged Paywall Firm

PianoMediaLogoFrom a media personnel perspective, the most intriguing aspect of Slovakian startup Piano Media’s acquisition of much larger U.S. paywall services firm Press+ is the individual they’ve snared to run the merged entity. Poynter’s Rick Edmonds spoke to Kelly Leach, formerly the publisher of the Wall Stret Journal‘s European edition, to ask why she decided to make this somewhat unorthodox career move:

“I really believe in the paid digital model, and I did when not very many others did…” she said. “It’s an area I’m passionate about. We have seen this wave working its way around the world and at the same time we are realizing that digital ads alone won’t carry the day.”

Leach worked with [Press+ co-founder Gordon] Crovitz in the early 2000s, when he was Wall Street Journal publisher, and the Journal was among the first to introduce digital subscriptions. (Closing the Dow-Jones loop, she was recruited for the job by [Piano Media communications director] David Brauchli’s brother, Marcus, a former editor of the Journal and later the Washington Post).

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Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now! 

Penske to Acquire Fairchild Fashion Media

FFMLogoCondé Nast wouldn’t comment. But according to New York Times media reporter Ravi Somaiya, Jay Penske is about to add an impressive group of media properties to his PMC empire.

From Somaiya’s report:

Condé Nast plans to sell Fairchild Fashion Media, the group behind trade publications like Women’s Wear Daily and Footwear News, to Penske Media for around $100 million, according to a person familiar who has been briefed on the deal.

Fairchild’s employees will go with the new company, the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal an as-yet unannounced deal, said.

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CBS Outdoor Buys Van Wagner’s Billboards

CBSOutdoorLogoSo how much is one of those big advertising billboards worth in the open market? Well, if you do the math – dividing the $690 million paid by CBS Outdoor for 1,100 Van Wagner billboards – it works out to a little over $672,000.*

Per AP, the deal is subject to regulatory approval and won’t take effect until 2015. The transaction involves prime impression-real-estate from coast to coast:

About 600 of the billboards are in Los Angeles and 294 are in New York. The rest are in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington.

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RumorFix Needs a Press Release Fix

HutchMediaLogoWe’re as happy as the next media blog when a legitimate Web operation like RumorFix kicks off a spring month with exciting, acquisition news. However, the folks that wrote up today’s announcement may want to review the following sentence:

As the fastest growing entertainment website in America, RumorFix is also known for exclusive and verified scoop [sic] about the Real Housewives franchises, The Bachelor and other popular reality shows.

The fastest growing entertainment website in America? Really? Even if RumorFix had done the gargantuan comScore and Quantcast heavy lifting to back up such a claim, we’re guessing TMZ, Hulu and Netflix – among others – might still have something to say about this.

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Thanks to George Stephanopoulos, Museum Enlarges Permanent Collection by 3200%

GeorgeStephanopoulosPicWe’re a little late to this one, but still thought it was worth sharing.

Per The Post-Star reporter Bill Toscano, The Hyde Collection and Historic House in Glen Falls, NY until recently had four photos in its snapshots collection. Moving forward, that total has grown to 132, all thanks to a very generous donation by George Stephanopoulos:

“We have been hopeful of making additions to our photography holdings, but did not imagine that such a significant group of work might come into the collection at one time,” Hyde Collection director Charles Guerin said. “The great breadth of photography history, as well as the variety of national origins represented by this generous gift by Mr. Stephanopoulos, makes this a truly exciting and important moment for the growth of our permanent collection.”

When asked about his gift to The Hyde, Stephanopoulos said in a statement: “Our whole family is thrilled that this collection has found the perfect home. Knowing these images will be seen and valued makes us very happy.”

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PandoDaily Acquires NSFWCORP

NSFWCorpTestimonialsThis morning, PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy writes that one out of three can sometimes in fact be very good.

In her item about PandoDaily’s agreement to acquire Paul Carr‘s NSFWCORP, she notes that there are still two other ideal partnerships on her radar and that this one is very safe one for NSFW:

We aren’t just getting Paul. I’m equally thrilled to announce that we’re also adding Mark Ames, Brad Jonas, Yasha Levine and David Sirota as full-time staffers. NSFWCORP contributors like John Dolan and Dayvid Figler will be making regular appearances too, and Katherine Dolan will continue to work her copy editing magic behind the scenes.

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From Staff Writer Intern to 300K EIC

CentelMediaLogoThe first paragraph of this week’s announcement about the acquisition of libertymetro.com by Centel Media is notable for two reasons. One, it reveals in the very first paragraph the annual salaries of two folks associated with the forthcoming, revived website. And two, those salaries are insane:

The details are still being finalized, but the website is slated to return early next year. Regina Edmond has been named CEO of Liberty Metro and will have a starting salary of 480K per year, while Matthew Shaffer, editor-in-chief, will be paid 300K. These salaries were not originally part of the deal, but were spearheaded by [Centel Media CEO Jack] Cola in the late stages of the buyout.

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Boston Globe Sale Goes Into Extra Innings

The bottom of the ninth for this particular media deal was last Friday. That’s when the New York Times Company was all set to complete the transfer of the Boston Globe to Red Sox owner John Henry.

NewsTelegramLogoHowever, per a report in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (one of the other publications attached to the deal), a Superior Court judge on that same day issued a temporary restraining order blocking finalization of the $70 million transaction. It has to do with a class action suit, filed in 2009 against the Telegram & Gazette, by the paper’s carriers. From T&G editor Aaron Nicodemus:

On Monday, the New York Times asked that the judge’s restraining order be lifted, and the sale be allowed to go through. In exchange, the New York Times would set aside a sum of money — to be determined by Judge [Sharon] Frison — that would be designated to pay a future settlement in the case.

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Maker Studios Co-Founder Acquires NewMediaRockstars

Not too long ago, like everyone else in the Web video content media space, newmediarockstars.com was covering the turmoil at Maker Studios and the exit of CEO Danny Zappin. Today, Zappin is on the site again but this time in a completely different context, under the headline “I Guess That Fortune Cookie Was Right”.

Zappin has purchased all assets of NMR from founding investor Ryan Devitis. And he’s got big plans:

NMR original CEO Benny Luo, who had left to work on other startups, returns to the site as president, and will retain an ownership stake in the business. NMR editorial chief Alan Van will continue at NMR in the editor role.

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TripAdvisor Gobbles Up Oyster.com

The TripAdvisor press release is short and not very sweet. Terms are not going to be disclosed; there’s no quote from the oyster.com end.

So we’ll go elsewhere for some real meat. Via Travel Weekly, it didn’t take long after the pick-up of this announcement for a reader to express their concern:

Travelerkate: Do we know if this will change their content? I liked Oyster because it was much more reliable than TripAdvisor.

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