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Posts by Rick Edmonds

About Rick Edmonds

Rick Edmonds is Poynter's media business analyst, co-author of 10 State of the News Media reports, former Tampa Bay Times and Philadelphia Inquirer reporter.
NEWS

GateHouse acquires Morris Publishing's 11 daily newspapers

New Media Investment Group has acquired Morris Publishing Group, whose portfolio includes the Augusta Chronicle, the Savannah Morning News and the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. The price was $120 million for 11 daily newspapers, 30 weeklies and various online assets, which will join New Media's GateHouse chain. The transaction, announced this morning, is expected to close in the fourth … Read More
NEWS

Can streaming save ESPN?

When Walt Disney Co. reports earnings and talks with financial analysts, box office results for the latest princess movie or the growth of Shanghai Disneyland is secondary. For two years now, the question has been whether the fabulously profitable ESPN franchise may have crested as a business. The company addressed the challenge directly today — spending $1.8 billion to … Read More
NEWS

Despite disappointing results, Gannett wants to buy more newspapers

With print revenues plunging and digital businesses coming along slowly, Gannett is still sticking with its plan to acquire more local newspaper organizations. In reporting second-quarter results today, CEO Bob Dickey said that his shopping list includes large metros (serving 500,000 to 3 million people) and smaller organizations that can be clustered geographically with its 109 regional properties. Rekindling … Read More
NEWS

Tronc's digital results are headed in the wrong direction

Tronc Inc. experienced a rare decline in unique visitors in the second quarter of this year, off 9 percent compared to the same period in 2016. Even as revenues disappoint, and Facebook and Google spirit away advertising share, legacy media companies like Tronc almost always show some gain in uniques and pageviews. Digital advertising was also down 9 percent … Read More
NEWS

New York Times aims to satisfy a new kind of digital subscriber

Who are these hundreds of thousands of new digital subscribers The New York Times has added over the last year? Without getting specific about numbers, CEO Mark Thompson and Chief Operating Officer Meredith Kopit Levien sketched this picture for analysts in an earnings conference call today: Those joining as subscribers the last nine months skew somewhat younger and include … Read More
NEWS

McClatchy quarterly results and forecast show more stormy weather ahead for newspaper organizations

As expected, McClatchy today reported some encouraging gains in several of its digital businesses but a big second quarter loss – $37.4 million on revenues of $225 million. The report also included an ominous forecast with implications for the rest of the industry – deep print advertising losses are not expected to ease in the second half of this … Read More
NEWS

Digital may be the future, but print still looms large in the present fortunes of newspapers

Another installment in the tale of newspaper earnings woes kicks off this week. In reports on the second quarter, expect to hear CEOs tout how the growth of digital audience and digital subscriptions is a bright spot. But I have been harvesting some statistics suggesting that print circulation revenues are far from a side issue for these transforming companies. Take … Read More
NEWS

Report: Republicans think national news media is bad for the country, by an 8 to 1 margin

That news media is unpopular these days is commonplace knowledge. But a new survey from Pew Research quantifies just how deep the dislike is running. Pew found: – Overall 63 percent of responders thought national news media has a negative effect "on how things are going in the country," compared to 28 percent positive. – Among Republicans, or … Read More
NEWS

Why digital news IPOs are so rare

Want to buy stock in the fast-rising digital news business? That is easier said than done. Last week, the CEOs of both Vice and BuzzFeed dropped hints that they might, possibly, go for an initial public offering in 2018. They fit the profile — big, fast-growing, around long enough to claim staying power. But the trajectory of digital … Read More
NEWS

Inside McClatchy's plan to reinvent its newsrooms

If you are a reporter at one of McClatchy's 31 papers, you will have this meeting sometime in the next year, or you may have already: You will be asked to join one of your editors and a member of corporate's roving "reinvention team." There will be talk of digital best practices, but the heart of the exercise is a … Read More
NEWS

Lenfest Institute will offer $1 million this year to fund entrepreneurial projects that sustain journalism

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 that begins today. Executive Director Jim Friedlich said that two "buckets" with three distinct programs are planned: Experimental grants of up … Read More
NEWS

Pew report shows dismal 2016 for newspapers and boom times for cable news networks

The Pew Research Center today 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 … Read More
NEWS

After Google and Facebook scarf down most of the local ad pie, there's still $12 billion left

It is old news by now that Google and Facebook hog most of local digital ad spending. And Facebook, especially, has kept growing its share 50 percent year-over-year at the expense of newspapers and other local media. But analyst Gordon Borrell in his latest benchmark report on local digital revenues suggests an alternate view: Even after the digital giants … Read More
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