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.
POYNTER

Tampa Bay Times buys and folds the Tampa Tribune

The Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times announced Tuesday afternoon that it has acquired The Tampa Tribune, ending a 29-year competitive battle in the bay region and creating the fifth-largest Sunday circulation newspaper in the nation. “The continued competition between the two newspapers was threatening to both,” said Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash. “There are very few cities that are able … Read More
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The New York Times thinks digital growth will outpace print losses — just not yet

The New York Times Company, with its huge digital subscription base and international reach, is quite different from most U.S. publishers. But its first quarter results turned out to be very similar. The company posted a small loss of $13.5 million for the period. It showed strong growth in digital subscriptions and a number of digital advertising categories. But … Read More
POYNTER

Just how big will Gannett get?

Gannett's expansion goal is to be the number one news network in the country as measured by ComScore metrics, CEO Bob Dickey told analysts in an earnings conference call Wednesday. The company can achieve that with a presence in 125 to 140 markets, he added. It won't take 200.  Gannett already has the largest newspaper related sites and trails Time … Read More
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Why Gannett is likely to win its takeover bid for Tribune Publishing

(Updated to include Gannett comment that it will keep Tribune Publishing intact) Despite initial resistance from Tribune Publishing's management, financial logic suggests that Gannett will ultimately succeed in acquiring the company. Consider that Gannett's $815 million offer is a 60 percent-plus premium on the trading value of Tribune Publishing. Tribune's board has a fiduciary duty to consider the proposal … Read More
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An ethical quandary for nonprofit journalism — are funders calling the shots?

The American Press Institute — and an axis of the biggest journalism foundations — makes the case in a new study that the nonprofit news sector urgently needs a code of ethics for accepting story-related grants. The report, released late Wednesday afternoon at a Columbia Journalism School event, has a pair of damning findings: More than half of 63 … Read More
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Salt Lake Tribune sold to Huntsman family

The Salt Lake Tribune, one of two competing papers in Salt Lake City, has been sold to the billionaire Huntsman family, the Tribune reported this morning. Patriarch Jon Huntsman Sr. had acknowledged he wanted to buy the paper nearly two years ago. The executive in charge will be his son Paul (another son, Jon Jr., ran for president in 2012). Though … Read More
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Is there a business model for virtual reality news? Native advertising provides a start

Virtual reality and its cousin, 360-degree video, have been the talk of future-of-news circles since late last year — usually with the disclaimer that there is no business model yet. But the starting place to generate revenue is clear: native advertising and sponsored content. Even as both VR storytelling and viewing technology remain in their infancy, big brand sponsors — McDonalds, … Read More
POYNTER

U.S. newspapers to ad blocker: Drop dead

A new battle in the ad blocking wars has broken out as major American newspaper companies today threatened legal action against Brave Software. Brave, a creation of Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich, not only blocks ads but offers to pay users in bitcoin if they view alternative ads. (It also says it will give more than half the revenue generated by … Read More
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For the first time in years, presidential candidates snub Newspaper Association of America conference

Major presidential candidates are breaking with custom and will not be speaking live to the annual conference of the Newspaper Association of America in two weeks. Hillary Clinton is sending a filmed message. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders are not on the program at all. The association has held its conference in Washington during presidential election years … Read More
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Shorter isn't better, photos aren't always alluring and deep digging pays off, recent report concludes

After two years work analyzing more than 400,000 stories, the American Press Institute is beginning to find general patterns in what works to attract and hold the attention of digital readers. The findings are collected in a recent paper by API executive director Tom Rosenstiel for the Brookings Institution — and a number are counter-intuitive. For instance: Long stories … Read More
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National Association of Broadcasters has started investing directly in tech startups

Without fanfare, the National Association of Broadcasters has rebranded and expanded a small in-house technology development program. Also, kicking the disrupt-yourself stakes up a notch, it has taken direct early-stage investment positions in three companies over the last year. It was news to me that the industry group has had an active involvement in tech experiments for years — a … Read More
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Blendle, the Dutch 'iTunes for news,' arrives in the U.S. with major partners

Blendle, the much-hyped Dutch-based "digital newsstand" that allows readers to pay by the article, launches in the United States today. It will initially accept up to 10,000 beta users for the service, offered on browsers and a forthcoming app. Blendle launches with 20 publishing partners, most of which offer high-end reporting and analysis behind relatively hard paywalls. The list includes … Read More
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In Orange County Register sale, we have a winner (and lots of questions)

Tribune Publishing folded its federal bankruptcy auction bid for Freedom Communications today. That cleared the way at a brief hearing for the sale of the company to the second highest bidder, Digital First Media. The Department of Justice had obtained a temporary restraining order late last week blocking the sale of the Orange County Register and Press-Enterprise of Riverside … Read More
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Who will walk away with the Orange County Register? A key round of bidding ends today

My first rule for covering newspaper bankruptcies is never to be too sure in advance of the outcome. Postponements, revised bids and new legal issues at the 11th hour happen with some frequency. That said, with "final" bids due later today, Digital First Media is a good bet to win the three-way auction for Freedom Communications' two newspapers (California's Orange … Read More
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Gannett's USA TODAY Network picking up momentum with new chief content officer

"We've come a long way fast." Joanne Lipman said of the USA TODAY Network she has been directing for the last three months. As if to prove her a woman of her word, three upcoming developments Lipman told me about in a phone interview last Wednesday have since been announced — a virtual reality news show, a branded … Read More