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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

How are your stories performing on distributed media? Facebook and Chartbeat are teaming up to solve the mystery

Chartbeat and CrowdTangle today announced a major expansion of a tool for measuring how stories are performing on social platforms. The two companies began a beta version of the Offsite Social service in September 2016. Two months later Facebook acquired CrowdTangle. The announcement says that Facebook is now making a "robust" (but unspecified) additional investment in expanding what's measured … Read More
NEWS

Joanne Lipman becomes editor in chief of USA Today

Joanne Lipman, who joined Gannett 15 months ago to create an investigative network of the company's 109 community papers, today was named editor-in-chief of USA Today. Lipman said in a phone interview that she is "pleased at how the USA Today Network has come together.... I'm awed by the increased quality and ambition in the work." But rather than … Read More
NEWS

Are daily opinion pages headed to the morgue?

At the end of February, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel eliminated weekday print editorial pages except on Wednesdays. An economizing move, of course, but to me also a marker of a tipping point where opinion has started to join other traditional newspaper staples as digital-first. Put another way, it might be that the daily print editorial page is on its … Read More
NEWS

Cost cuts loom large for newspaper companies in 2017

"You can't cut your way to prosperity," holds a favorite truism about the news business. But when Tronc inc. recently reported improved financial results for the fourth quarter of 2016, cost controls were the big driver. The company went from operating at break-even in the fourth quarter of 2015 to posting a $19.4 million profit in the last … Read More
NEWS

Gannett and McClatchy made digital gains at the end of 2016

Though steep print ad revenue losses persisted in the fourth quarter of 2016, Gannett and McClatchy both reported today slightly improved financial performance heading into the new year. Gannett's USA Today Network posted a revenue gain compared to the same period in 2015, even though print ads declined at about the same rate as in the third quarter — … Read More
NEWS

Where did that story come from? Pew finds new evidence that many readers don't know.

It's old news by now that way more than half of digital traffic comes through the side doors of social media and search rather than a reader selecting from a home page menu. That's OK, the theory goes, because at least readers are exposed to the content and will take note of the source. But that brand-building effect may … Read More
NEWS

Trump-bump subscription surge brightens otherwise grey results at New York Times

President Trump's mocking tweets about the "failing" New York Times and its "dwindling" subscriber base miss the boost his election and early days in office are giving the company's business. CEO Mark Thompson stopped short today of saying Trump was the cause of a record 276,000 net quarterly growth in digital subscriptions in the last quarter of 2016 and … Read More
NEWS

Can this man get McClatchy back on track?

The final accounting of a financially brutal 2016 for newspaper organizations begins this week with the first earnings reports for the year. But McClatchy jumped ahead of the story Wednesday, unexpectedly replacing CEO Pat Talamantes with board member Craig I. Forman. Talamantes spent four years leading the company, and before that was McClatchy's chief financial officer for more than a … Read More
NEWS

The best-read story of 2016? Take a bow, Nate Silver

Chartbeat has released its second annual ranking of the best-read digital stories of the year, as measured by engaged time, among 46 million client articles it tracked during 2016. Politics dominated, no surprise. And the top of them all was a 2016 presidential election forecast by Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight. In fact, Silver's interactive opus registered more engaged time than … Read More
NEWS

The Gannett-Tronc bidding war showed us why people are still investing in legacy media

Arguably the biggest newspaper business story of 2016 was Gannett's failed (for now) bid to take over Tronc. What the broken deal says about the industry, however, is more than a little ambiguous. For starters, consider that 2016 was a particularly hard year financially, with advertising revenue losses that started bad and got even worse in the fall.  Both … Read More
NEWS

In Houston, Hearst bucks the industry trend and reinvests in journalism

Here's a novel management strategy for beleaguered metro newspaper organizations — don't cut, reinvest instead. Privately-held Hearst has pursued such a program without fanfare at its five large newspapers for most of this decade — notably at its biggest property, the Houston Chronicle. When Mark Aldam became president of Hearst Newspapers in 2011, he began by assessing the group as … Read More
NEWS

A look at Facebook's billion dollar 2016 hit on the news ecosystem

Credit CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his lieutenants for belatedly acknowledging the fake news problem and inching toward assuming other responsibilities that go along with publishing, even if it's algorithmic publishing. Pardon a churlish thought, however — is that modest progress diverting attention from the company's bigger and devastating impact on the business of journalism? With a little help from … Read More
NEWS

The New York Times thinks it can add a million more digital subscribers

A weak third quarter at The New York Times isn't slowing down the company's digital ambitions. CEO Mark Thompson told analysts in a conference call that he believes the Times can add a million, maybe even several million, digital subscribers over the next few years. In just the third quarter, the Times showed a net increase of 116,000 subscribers to … Read More
NEWS

Now that the Gannett deal has collapsed, Tronc is rebooting

Tronc capped a very bad day Tuesday with a reasonably upbeat third quarter earnings report. The company experienced the same sharp advertising downturn as erstwhile suitor Gannett and the rest of the industry. But executives say it remains on course for earlier earnings estimates because it's keeping a close watch on spending. Market reaction to those results, reported … Read More
NEWS

Gannett's giving up on Tronc. So what will it buy next?

The announcement this morning that Gannett has withdrawn its bid for Tronc prompts a big question: What it will do with the big kitty it had set aside for acquisitions? The company wasn't saying, but recent transactions and earlier statements provide hints at where Gannett will turn its attention. In last week's earnings call with analysts, executives said that … Read More
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