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Posts Tagged ‘Digital First Media’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Digital First Mulls Sale | DirecTV to Launch Online Services

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Digital First Media, Second Biggest U.S. Newspaper Publisher, to Consider Sale (HuffPost / AP)
Newspaper company Digital First Media said Friday that it is exploring strategic options, which could include a sale of the company or parts of it. New York Post Chief executive John Paton said the publisher of the Denver Post, the Los Angeles Daily News, The New Haven Register and 73 other daily and Sunday papers is profitable and generates $1.2 billion of revenue. NYT Digital First has long suffered from the headwinds facing newspapers. One former division, The Journal Register Company, which includes papers like The New Haven Register and The Trentonian, filed for bankruptcy twice in the last five years. In April, the company announced that it was shutting down Project Thunderdome, a centralized newsroom that aimed to provide articles from around the nation and the world to the company’s 75 newsrooms. That closing resulted in layoffs for more than 50 people in the Project Thunderdome newsroom. Denver Post Digital First Media was formed in December 2013 with the merger of Denver-based MediaNews Group and the former Journal Register Co. It is the nation’s second-largest newspaper company, based on circulation, operating in 15 states, with 800 multi-platform news and information products, including 76 daily and Sunday newspapers and 160 weeklies. The company said it serves 75 million customers monthly. Poynter / MediaWire Ken Doctor reported in April that Digital First planned to sell its newspapers at the same time it shuttered Project Thunderdome. The company won’t set a deadline for the sale or report any developments “until the Board has determined whether it will proceed with one or several transaction(s), or otherwise concludes its review,” a news release said.

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Project Thunderdome Officially Closes Its Doors

In spite of melancholy circumstances, staffers at the NYC headquarters for Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome are having some fun on this, their final day. Here for example is the front of the internal farewell Web page, as shared on Twitter by project EIC Jim Brady:

ProjectThunderdomeFarewellPage

Further examples of the kind of humor that invariably courses through newsrooms can be found via the fast-moving Twitter-list stream of 51 Project Thunderdome departing members. Like this observation:

ThunderdomeTweet1

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Sued | Layoffs at AJAM | Turner’s Koonin Exits for NBA

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Texas Monthly Sues Times Co. Over New Hire (NYT)
The publisher of Texas Monthly filed a lawsuit on Friday against The New York Times Company related to the Times’ hiring of the magazine’s departing editor-in-chief, Jake Silverstein. FishbowlNY Emmis Publishing is claiming that the Times influenced Silverstein into breaching his contract. The lawsuit states that Silverstein’s contract expires in February of next year. NY Post The six-page Texas state court action alleges that Times executive editor Jill Abramson started recruiting Silverstein in December 2012 — a full year before then-magazine editor Hugo Lindgren was ousted. Greg Loewen, president of Emmis, said the company has been “damaged by the Times and expects to be compensated.” Capital New York The suit, which seeks damages between $200,000 and $1 million, names only the Times, not Silverstein, as previously reported. Loewen said the company never intended to stand in the way of Silverstein’s pursuit of the Times Magazine editorship. Loewen said that after Silverstein told his employer last month that he was being considered for the job, Emmis notified the Times that they would have to reach a settlement on the termination of his contract with Emmis to account for the costs associated with finding Silverstein’s replacement, as well as the damage of losing a star editor. New York Magazine / Daily Intelligencer In a statement, Emmis said, “No such agreement was reached and, to date, the Times has refused to even participate in settlement discussions despite numerous attempts” by Emmis to do so.

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David Butler, 63, Will Now Oversee 75 Daily Newspapers

DavidButlerPicDigital First Media, headquartered in New York City, has found its man. David J. Butler, editor and senior vice president of the San Jose Mercury News – as well as West editor for the company – has been promoted to chain editor-in-chief.

As such, Butler, age 63, will oversee 75 daily newspapers and other weekly publications that publish across the country. From today’s announcement:

“Dave Butler is a focused editorial leader who will continue to challenge Digital First Media newsrooms to innovate and to continue to transform,” said John Paton, DFM chief executive officer.

Added Butler: “I hope to bring a special appreciation and knowledge to the job having been a long-time editor at both companies (MediaNews Group, Journal Register Company). Our commitment at Digital First Media is unchanged — aggressively pursuing a new and exciting digital future while continue to produce superb, exclusive, local enterprise reporting that makes a difference in the lives of our readers, including those who cherish print.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Unveils Fire TV | Strahan to Join GMA | Peabody Award Winners

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Amazon Announces Set-Top Box ‘Fire TV’ (LostRemote)
Amazon continues its quest to become more than an e-commerce powerhouse, announcing Wednesday a set-top box that allows HDTV viewers to connect to Amazon’s video offerings. Mashable The set-top device, called Amazon Fire TV, will be sold for $99. It is a small flat box with a remote control. The hardware aims to take on the Apple TV, Roku and even the Xbox One. The Internet-connected set-top box, which uses voice search when you speak into the remote and also serves as a gaming console, was announced during a launch event in New York City on Wednesday with Amazon VP Peter Larsen playing master of ceremonies, not CEO and founder Jeff Bezos. WSJ The new Fire TV is an ambitious move by Amazon to break into the living room. Amazon offers a streaming-video service to its Prime subscribers, but until now has been largely dependent on other hardware manufacturers to deliver that content to televisions. Sales of streaming media devices such as Roku are expected to grow 24 percent this year, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. Apple currently leads the market, followed by Roku and Google, the firm said. NYT Fire TV will show a range of content from other providers, including Hulu, Netflix and ESPN. With a separate $40 controller, it can be used to play games, including a version of the extremely popular Minecraft. Among the improvements and enhancements promoted for Fire TV: a voice search function that allows users to utter a name like “George Clooney” or a genre like “horror” and see results instantly pop up, and a prediction feature that knows what you want and queues it up. THR The small black box began shipping Wednesday, Larsen told a crowd of reporters. It has a premium price point in line with Apple TV. Roku, meanwhile, costs as low as $50 and Chromecast retails for $35.

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Digital First Media Exec Touts the Power of Mobile Video

All sorts of fascinating info has been coming out of this week’s World Publishing Expo in Berlin. Among those keeping tabs on the proceedings and in some cases sharing Google docs via Twitter about the presentations has been journalism.co.uk’s Sarah Marshall.

JohnPatonBerlinToday, Digital First Media CEO John Paton spoke about his company’s expanding reliance on TOUT, a video App the Wall Street Journal started making use of in 2012. Other media companies running with the technology include CNN, ESPN and UK’s The Sun newspaper. The Digital First Media effort encompasses 1800 reporters:

The mobile video App is now used in 75 Digital First Media newsrooms. Journalists create and publish videos on the move in near real-time, with most going live in about 30 seconds.

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