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

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
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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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ASNE stops trying to count total job losses in American newsrooms

Updated to include a comment from ASNE President Pam Fine and the percentage change in total jobs for those organizations that completed the survey this year and last. After a decade of documenting job losses for journalists totaling more than 20,000 since 2006, the American Society of News Editors has abandoned the effort. The annual ASNE census (renamed … Read More
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At the News Media Alliance, more than the name is changing

Newspaper companies have pursued digital innovation and reinvention in feverish fashion this year, so it only makes sense for their trade association to reboot as well. The New York Times reported Sunday that the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) has been rechristened the News Media Alliance. But the name change, CEO David Chavern told me in a phone interview … Read More
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Poynter records $900,000 surplus for 2015, thanks to real estate sale and revenue gains

After six consecutive years of losses, the Poynter Institute today reported in an Internal Revenue Service filing a surplus of roughly $900,000 for 2015. The result was driven by a gain on sale of land and a building as well as increased revenues and reduced expenses. On an operating basis, the institute still ran at a loss of $1.3 … Read More
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In the ad-blocking war, publishers gain an important ally in Facebook

News this morning that Facebook will block ad-blockers on most desktop displays may be mainly about preserving its own huge ad revenue base. But a quick sampling of reactions confirmed that the move will be highly welcomed by publishers and the advertising community, deeply worried about the growing ad-blocking threat. It's good to have the king of the internet … Read More
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I was interviewed by 'Last Week Tonight.' Here's why the show is journalism

John Oliver's 19-minute homage last night to local newspaper journalism managed to be witty, profane and at the same time dead serious, as his longform segments consistently are. I spoke to "Last Week Tonight" researcher Laura Griffin for more than an hour in late April as work began on the piece and twice again on Saturday when she was … Read More
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Are publishers obsolete?

Back in February when Tronc was still Tribune Publishing, new chairman Michael Ferro in one day made all the editors at his newspapers editor-publishers. Two of the publishers whose positions had been eliminated got new corporate jobs; the rest left the company. A press release suggested the move was to reinforce the primacy of editorial excellence at Tribune (soon … Read More
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High drama at Tronc takes an intermission

Still fending off an ongoing takeover bid by Gannett and developing a futuristic video news product, Tronc Inc. today released a largely uneventful second-quarter financial report. The headline on the company's press release said that it anticipates bringing in more revenue and posting higher profits than it had previously stated. The increases were tiny, though. For instance, Tronc … Read More
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Early bet on 'other' revenue is paying off at The Dallas Morning News

Jim Moroney was a John the Baptist of the newspaper industry five years ago when he suggested that the then-tiny "other" revenue category could grow to cover print losses. The Dallas Morning News publisher and A.H. Belo Chairman and CEO then practiced what he preached, aggressively buying up digital marketing and advertising companies around town and expanding commercial printing … Read More
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New Media Investment Group buys the Fayetteville Observer

New Media Investment Group, which operate the GateHouse chain of newspapers and websites, kept second quarter same property revenue losses to 3.2 percent year-to-year. The company also announced that it has acquired the family-owned Fayetteville Observer, which serves the eastern North Carolina city and nearby Fort Bragg, for $18 million. Like the rest of the industry, New Media suffered … Read More
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Digital advertising 2.0 has arrived, The New York Times finds

As the New York Times suffered sharp print losses like other newspaper companies in the second quarter, it experienced a "tipping point" in digital advertising as well. President and CEO Mark Thompson said that in recent months "traditional display" like banners have accounted for less than half of digital ad revenue. Audience and advertisers are moving quickly to smartphone … Read More
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Gannett's expansion strategy runs into bad news on the advertising front

Gannett today reported $21.7 million in second-quarter revenue growth driven by the addition of the 15 papers acquired when it bought Journal Media Group. Its earnings release alluded to continued weak advertising but provided no numbers. Questions from analysts in a subsequent conference call drew out these particulars from Chairman and CEO Bob Dickey: Advertising revenue was down roughly … Read More
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Revenue woes continue at McClatchy

McClatchy kicked off second-quarter earning reports for newspaper companies with results suggesting no abatement yet in the industry's widespread financial challenges. The company posted a loss of $14.7 million on revenues of $244.9 million. Total revenues were down from the same period in 2015 by 7.7 percent.¬†Advertising revenues were off 11.1 percent year-to-year. In its financial reporting, McClatchy does … Read More
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Why is McClatchy's stock up more than 45 percent? It took a risk.

With Gannett-Tronc hostilities at a standstill, it has been a quiet month for news company finances. With one exception: Shares of McClatchy, the newspaper company, are up more than 45 percent to $17.65 in the last 30 days. What gives? Some of the first to notice the stock's movement asked me whether McClatchy might have become a takeover target, … Read More