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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

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The announcement this morning that Gannett has withdrawn its bid for Tronc prompts a big question: What it will do with the big kitty it had set aside for acquisitions?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
NEWS

Native ads will provide 25 percent of ad revenues by 2018, says media association

Native advertising already accounts for 11 percent of ad revenues at news media companies, according to a new report, and will rise to 25 percent in 2018. The study, done jointly by the International News Media Association and the Native Advertising Institute, is based of a survey of 156 publishers worldwide, most of them at newspaper companies. I'm … Read More
NEWS

Gannett and Tronc shares tank on speculation deal is off

Shares of both Tronc and Gannett fell precipitously today on speculation that negotiations for a Gannett takeover may have collapsed. Bloomberg News reported mid-afternoon that bankers who would have financed the deal have gotten cold feet — figuring both companies are overvalued. Trading of Tronc shares was briefly suspended after that, then resumed. For the day, Tronc closed down … Read More
NEWS

GateHouse owner bucks plummeting revenue trend while Gannett stumbles

On a day Gannett reported worse than expected third quarter results, New Media Investment Group, which operates 121 dailies in the GateHouse chain, had mostly good financial news. The contrasting tale of two companies was reflected in market reaction, with Gannett stock down more than 13 percent in early afternoon trading and New Media up roughly 5 percent. Read More
NEWS

6 reasons why Gannett's plan to buy Tronc still makes sense

With Gannett's third quarter earnings due Thursday, there is at least a chance that its six-month bidding drama to take over Tronc will finally be resolved. The deal still makes all kinds of sense, especially for Tronc shareholders. But I can't help wondering whether Chairman Michael Ferro may be head-faking with all those serious negotiations and still wants to try … Read More
NEWS

Print advertising woes are getting worse

The first half of 2016 was financially bleak for newspaper organizations; the second may be even worse. The same day The Wall Street Journal reported a deep global decline in print advertising, McClatchy led off the third quarter earnings season Wednesday, posting a $9.8 million net loss on revenues of $234.7 million. McClatchy was able to grow digital … Read More
NEWS

An economist makes the case for saving investigative journalism

Stanford professor James T. (Jay) Hamilton is a realist. Expensive and ambitious investigative reporting, Hamilton writes, "is underprovided in the market." Financial pressures have taken thousands of local watchdogs out of the game. Yet Hamilton argues in his bracing new book, "Democracy's Detectives," that hard-nosed application of economic principles supports a guarded optimism about the future of investigative … Read More
NEWS

Newspapers hit with a wave of requests to take down embarrassing archived stories

Legacy news organizations have been trying for more than a decade to crack the code of what to publish digitally, where and when. Now they are fielding a different kind of urgent request from readers — can you "unpublish" that? The cause is obvious — people routinely get Googled by potential employers, dating partners or the just plain curious. That … Read More
NEWS

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review shuts down print edition

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review announced this morning that it will discontinue its print edition Nov. 30 and become a digital-only publication. That leaves the larger Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the only daily print newspaper in town. The company will lay off 106 full and part-time staff. The Tribune's parent company had already offered more than 400 buyouts as it announced the closing … Read More
NEWS

Consultant Jim Friedlich will direct Philadelphia newspaper nonprofit

After nine months of searching, Philadelphia philanthropist Gerry Lenfest has found someone to lead the nonprofit to which he donated the city's two newspapers. Jim Friedlich, an experienced media consultant and venture capitalist, will be the executive director of the Institute of Journalism in New Media in Philadelphia. A former high-level business executive at the Wall Street Journal earlier … Read More
NEWS

Where are local advertisers going? Facebook, new research suggests

Forecaster and analyst Gordon Borrell has just published his summer survey of 7,500 local advertisers with results that manage to be alarming but at the same time not surprising. Yes, there is a strong swing to digital and social. And yes, most advertisers subtract from their legacy media budgets to increase digital spending. But particularly striking is a … Read More
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