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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

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
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
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