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Posts Tagged ‘MediaNews Group’

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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Who Will Be The OC Register‘s New Daddy?

MediaNews Group and the Tribune Co. are the lead bidders for the Orange County Register, reports “Newsosaur” Alan D. Mutter. Both publishing companies would stand to benefit from the bump in SoCal circulation and consolidation of operating expenses. But do they want the Register‘s brothers and sisters?

A major issue in any potential transaction would be whether the Register is purchased as a free-stranding entity or the buyer also takes ownership of Freedom’s eight television stations and its more than 100 daily and weekly newspapers. In the interests of minimizing taxes on the transaction, Freedom’s management is known to favor a sale of the entire company, as opposed to the piecemeal disposition of individual assets.

Even so, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Freedom will be sold off in bits and pieces and not as a giant entity. Consolidation may be good for operating expenses, but it is lousy for newsrooms.

San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group Loses Managing Editor

Ben Baeder put in his last day Friday as the deputy managing editor of the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group, a local division of newspaper publishing giant MediaNews Group. The San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group consists of three dailies: the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the Pasadena Star-News and the Whittier Daily News.

According to Gary Scott, Baeder decided to leave the company last month shortly after newsroom layoffs were announced. The layoffs came even after paycuts, furloughs, and a freeze on vacation accruals. Sounds like a pretty demoralizing place to work.

MediaNews Tries Press+ For Pay Walls

250px-Medianewsgroup.jpg

Is this the turning of the content tide? For months now we’ve been looking forward to seeing Steve Brill‘s model for regulating content with his new company JournalismOnline, which will be using a platform called Press+ to standardize pay walls for websites. We have yet to see JO work in practice, but other media companies are already jumping on the Press+ bandwagon, most recently the York Daily Record in Pennsylvania and the Enterprise-Record in California, which should be ready for the content provider come April or May, and be the first sites to test the new system. Both papers are owned by MediaNews Group, one of the largest newspaper holders in the country.

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Reader’s Digest Gets Reorganization Plan Approved|MediaNews Plans For Bankruptcy|McIntosh On Buying E&P

Bloomberg: A bankruptcy court has approved Reader’s Digest Association‘s reorganization plan, which will allow the company to cut its debt by 75 percent.

Wall Street Journal: Newspaper publisher MediaNews Group said Friday that its parent company will seek bankruptcy protection.

Folio: Why would the publisher of boating publications want to purchase newspaper trade Editor & Publisher? Duncan McIntosh tells Folio the impetus behind his decision.

Rothstein Joins FishbowlDC|Newspaper Publishers To Charge Sunday Prices For Thanksgiving Papers|Disney Names Lightcap Prez|Ruth Reichl|Reporters Among Slain In Phillipine Massacre

FishbowlDC: Meet the new FishbowlDC editor, former gossip columnist at The Hill, Betsy Rothstein.

Bloomberg: Some newspaper publishers, including Tribune Co., E.W. Scripps Co. and MediaNews Group, plan to charge Sunday prices for their Thanksgiving papers.

Variety: Disney Channel Latin America executive Carolina Lightcap has been named president of Disney Channels Worldwide, replacing Rich Ross, who became chairman of Walt Disney Studios last month.

New York Observer: Will former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl continue to host her Gourmet-branded PBS show after the first season ends soon?

New York Times: At least 20 journalists we among the almost 50 people slain in the Phillipines massacre earlier this week, the largest number of reporters killed in one day.

Other Media Companies Look To Join Murdoch’s Google Block

rupertm.jpgOther media companies are looking to follow the lead of Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp., which has been in talks with Microsoft to feature its content exclusively on its Bing search engine, thus removing links to its news stories from Google.

Today, Bloomberg reports that those looking into the Google-block include newspaper publishers MediaNews Group and A.H. Belo Corp.

MediaNews, which publishes The Denver Post, among other papers, said it will block Google from searching content behind a pay wall once the pay structure is unveiled for its papers in Chico, Calif. and York, Penn. next year. Still, there is still a conflict between not wanting to let nonsubscribers see paid content while still reaping the benefits of Google’s traffic to news sites. Said MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton:

“The things that go behind pay walls, we will not let Google search to, but the things that are outside the pay wall we probably will, because we want the traffic.”

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MediaNews Set To Launch Pay Walls Next Year

medianews group.pngMediaNews Group, one of the largest newspaper companies in the U.S., has decided to launch pay walls on Web sites of two of its papers early next year.

The pay walls will first go into effect for the The Enterprise-Record in Chico, Calif. and The York Daily Record in Pennsylvania, and then may be extended to other MediaNews newspaper properties, Editor & Publisher reports.

“We wanted to get sites that were not metro sites for the same reason that you don’t open on Broadway,” Howard Saltz, MediaNews’ vice president for content development, told E&P. “But not a site that has Web traffic so small that the change would not affect anything.” However, what these papers will put behind a pay wall and when exactly we can expect to see them rolled out has yet to be decided.

The decision to launch the pay walls comes six months after MediaNews outlined its new interactive strategy in a May memo, paving the way for online paid content. We’ll be keeping an eye on how this latest pay wall plan works out for this paper publisher, and keep you updated on any developments. This probably won’t be the last we’ll be hearing about publishers unveiling pay wall plans in the next few months.

MediaNews To Launch Partial Pay Walls At Two Newspaper SitesEditor & Publisher

Related: Poll: Will Paywalls Save Newspapers?

WaPo Nixes Salons In Face Of Criticism|The New York Blade Closes Up Shop|MediaNews Denies Bankruptcy|Boston Mag Owner Dumps “Idiot” Editors|SalaryTK’s Unpaid Job Posts Sad But True


FishbowlDC: The Washington Post responded to criticism of its proposal offering lobbyists and others off-the-record access to reporters and editors for a price. The “salon” idea has since been nixed altogether. Also: some fun bits from the AP‘s interview with President Barack Obama today.

The New York Times: Biweekly gay newspaper The New York Blade has suspended publication after its parent company, HX Media, was sold.

Editor & Publisher: MediaNews Group, which publishes the Denver Post and other daily papers, has denied bankruptcy rumors.

Boston Globe: Boston magazine owner Herb Lipson‘s approach to owning a magazine: “When the economy turns and it [the magazine] gets skinny, he figures the editor is an idiot,” a former editor said.

BusinessWeek: Jon Fine has a chuckle at SalaryTK.com, “The job board for journalists who don’t want to get paid.”

MediaNews Memo Continues Online Pay Content Discussion

medianews group.pngYesterday, Romanesko published a memo by executives from national newspaper publisher MediaNews Group. The memo outlined the company’s new interactive strategy, as devised by 22 MediaNews execs. Like many other newspaper companies, MediaNews is facing a decline in print circulation and interactive revenue growth, so its leaders have been trying to find a good solution.

The strategy outlined in the memo — don’t put all print content online for free, create distinct Web sites that will emphasize regional news and build local sites to draw user generated content, younger audiences and targeted advertisers — has been criticized by Jeff Jarvis for lacking innovation and creativity. But paidContent.org, which also pointed out this is a similar strategy sought by companies like Gannett, said MediaNews’ plan “could help maintain newspapers’ fairly strong audience growth.”

We agree that putting all print content online for free undermines the value of journalism and undoubtedly has contributed to the decline in print circulation nationwide. Media companies will not be able to survive this recession until they find a way to make money from their Web properties, but finding the right solution may take some time — time the faltering industry doesn’t really have. Maybe MediaNews’ strategy won’t work, but they do get credit for trying.

How do you feel about paying for content online? WSJ.com is doing it well, and dreaming up new ways to get online revenue every day (micro-payments anyone?) What do you think publishers have to do in order to keep the newspaper industry alive?

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