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Posts Tagged ‘Dean Singleton’

MediaNews: ‘No Plans’ For ‘National Consolidation’ Of Copydesks

On Friday afternoon, the president of The Newspaper Guild issued a press release saying that MediaNews Group executive chairman Dean Singleton will be consolidating his papers’ copy editing, pagination, and production functions into a centralized national center.

This would not be very surprising, after all, Gannett consolidated those functions into five regional hubs, resulting in hundreds of layoffs and Media General opened three centers to save $1 million per year starting this year. But MediaNews Group, which owns the San Jose Mercury News, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and many more papers, has no such plans for a “national consolidation.”

Singleton refuted the charges and blasted the Guild for sending out an “irresponsible” press release.

However, he specifically refuted the “national consolidation,” not any consolidation, we note. And Singleton’s rebuttal ends:

While we constantly assess better ways to serve our readers in this changing and uncertain world, including the Guild in these considerations are not a part of those assessments.

The irresponsible Guild press release is a perfect example of why we don’t.

There is no future for any of us if we continue to live in the past. Someone should tell that to the Guild.

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Condè Nast Fails a Drill While 30 Rock Has More Plotline Fodder, Plus Other News of the Day

- Condè Nast employees received quite the email today, when a company-wide alert was sent out saying “We have received reports that a firearm has been discharged on the 10th floor of 750 building, 3rd Avenue in New York. If you are in a safe location, remain where you are,” reports Gawker. Minutes later, staffers received another alert, saying “Conde Nast Security Operation Center apologizes for a message received initially of reports of an active shooter at 750 3rd avenue. The message was sent in error. It was a department drill. Please accept our apologies. Please disregard.” Worst drill ever? Possibly.

- Publisher of the Denver Post Dean Singleton really wants to give his son, 18, every opportunity to get into the journalism game. He even went as far as to email people within the paper, asking for their help in showing the kid the ropes (as long as it’s not too late on a school night). According to the email obtained by Westword, “He [the son] can work a later shift, but Mon-Thur are school nites, so the aim is not to be too late getting him to bed — say 9 p.m . the latest…He does not drive, so it needs to be an assignment easily accesible via public transportation… or the staff member needs to pick him up and return him to the Post building.” Jeez, asking much? Who’s not going to jump at that opportunity?

- After 30 years at Bloomberg Businessweek, managing editor Ciro Scotti has decided to step away from the magazine. He didn’t specify where he would head next, but it seems like he’s leaving on good terms. “I’m going to skip the boilerplate about a great ride and smart people,” said Scotti in his farewell email. “The richness of my memories at BusinessWeek deserve more than a passing line, and if you weren’t brimming with brains and possibilities, believe me you wouldn’t be here.” Now that’s how you exit.

- Two other high-profile departures occurred today. First CNN fired its president of U.S. operations Jonathan Klein and replaced him with Ken Jautz, head of CNN’s sister channel HLN. Klein had stood at the top for six years, but CNN’s ratings decline meant this was only a matter of time. Also CEO of NBC Universal Jeff Zucker announced he would step away from the company once NBC completes the sell with Comcast. I just wonder how this will be worked into 30 Rock’s storyline?

The ‘Block Google’ Movement Picks Up Steam With Two More Companies Joining Murdoch

Execs at MediaNews and A.H. Belo said that they may pull their content from Google, joining Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in flirting with the idea.

MediaNews, the company that owns the Denver Post, the San Jose Mercury News, and many other dailies and weeklies, has been talking about paid content since forever (CEO Dean Singleton is also chairman of the AP) but making one’s paid content invisible to the biggest search engine takes cojones to say the least.

A.H. Belo, according to PaidContent, is being more cautious: “EVP James Moroney says his company…hasn’t made any decisions yet, [but] is considering instituting pay walls at some of its newspapers websites, and the article suggests that such a move could coincide with delisting the paper’s content from Google News.”

We’ve talked about the walled garden ad infinitum, so won’t bore you with a long explanation of why this will or won’t work. Murdoch is betting that the subscription revenue from his loyal readers (as well as the cash Bing may end up paying for News Corp’s Google invisibility) is worth more than the ad revenue from fly-by readers. It’s worked reasonably well with financial news (, except for the “leaky wall”) but will it work with daily, commoditized news? Your thoughts?

Denver Post’s First Audited Month Is Pretty Good; Keeping Those Numbers Up Will Be ‘Nothing Short Of A Miracle’

denver post front page showing demise of rocky mountain newsAfter the Rocky Mountain News closed in late February, the Denver Post started sending its papers to RMN subscribers who found themselves without a paper. Dean Singleton, CEO of Post parent company MediaNews Group, said it was the Post’s goal to keep 80% of the new subscribers.

The latest ABC audit shows that, for the first month at least, the Denver Post was able to hang on to 82.6 percent of those subscribers.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations report covers only Feb 28 through March 31, or a little over one month.

Michael Roberts at Westword notes that it’s “too early for a victory parade…This drop-off occurred in just 32 days, and circulation at major-metro dailies across the country continues to slide. Moreover, the remaining margin is mighty small. The next major ABC audit takes place six months from now, and if the Post remains above Singleton’s 80 percent threshold on both weekdays and Sundays in that survey as well, it’ll be nothing short of a miracle.”

Besides, though it may seem great to say that more than 80 percent of the Rocky subscribers are sticking with the Post, isn’t it more fair to say that more than 80 percent just haven’t bothered to cancel? When 18 percent of your subscribers cancel in a month, that’s actually pretty hardcore.

AP Is Not Going To Indulge Taking Anymore

Say it with me folks, “We are mad as hell, and we are not going to take it any more.” Sound familiar? Like a quote from an Academy Award winning movie about the demise of news? Yeah, well Associated Press chairman Dean Singleton is spouting the same sentiments (actually, the exact same sentiments, this is a direct quote from his fire-and-brimstone speech for the AP‘s annual meeting this year) regarding blogs scraping their site for content. This is an issue that is going to affect most bloggers, who draw from professional news sites to inform their own topics of discussions (i.e. pay attention bloggers, this action is aimed at you).

Today’s speech lays out plans to “go after” sites pilfering AP content. Here are some vague details from the AP‘s press release:

On Saturday, the AP Board of Directors unanimously decided to take all actions necessary to protect the content of the Associated Press and the AP Digital Cooperative from misappropriation on the Internet.

The board also unanimously agreed to work with portals and other partners who legally license our content and who reward the cooperative for its vast newsgathering efforts &#151 and to seek legal and legislative remedies against those who don’t.

MediaMemo received an update from Jim Kennedy VP/director of strategic planning for the AP, offering more concrete plans of attacking this repurposing problem. Some of the details include renegotiating with Google&#151whose content deal with the AP expires at the end this year&#151to start covering some of the ways that Google is currently using AP content that weren’t expressly granted to Google under their first contract. The AP will also be expecting compensation from Google for some of the various uses that they feel have cost the wire service money.

This is only the beginning though. Find out how they will be coming after you after the jump!

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