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

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
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Oh Canada — where business model woes are running off the charts

"Canada is the canary in the media coal mine," Ken Goldstein, one of that nation's leading publishing consultants and analysts told me during a recent visit to Poynter. If so, the air from up North is getting pretty toxic. Deciding how predictive that is for U.S media is trickier, though, because typical financial pressures are compounded by circumstances peculiar to … Read More
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Marketing, printing and events help Dallas Morning News owner keep revenues steady

A.H. Belo achieved one of its financial goals for 2015, the company reported today, generating enough revenue from its digital marketing, printing and events businesses to avoid any significant decreases in revenue. Bottom-line, however, the publisher of The Dallas Morning News was in the same boat as other publicly traded newspaper companies. It posted a small net loss for both … Read More
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Tribune Publishing's new management is in place — now how will they make money?

The flurry of executive changes at Tribune Publishing and an earnings call with analysts Wednesday left a basic question unanswered: How and when does this translate into a new strategy for profitability? From a strictly financial perspective, you could say Tribune buried the lead. The company operated at break-even (a tiny loss actually) for both the fourth quarter of … Read More
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At the Las Vegas Review-Journal, new editor Keith Moyer finds a fixer-upper

Keith Moyer was in his sixth year of teaching journalism at the University of Minnesota when a former Gannett colleague, Craig Moon, called with a proposal: Would he consider becoming editor-in-chief of the Las Vegas Review-Journal? Ultimately Moyer said yes, but on one condition: "I needed to meet (Sheldon Adelson and his family) face-to-face," Moyer said. "I did, and they … Read More
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New Media Investment Group is not yet done gobbling up small newspapers

With a windfall from its sale of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, other cash on hand and borrowing, New Media Investment Group could spend as much as $360 million on acquiring small newspapers by the end of the year. CEO Michael Reed told analysts in a fourth-quarter earnings call that the company will only pay that much if deal terms are … Read More
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In education publishing, even the stalwarts need to get on board with digital

Aging gracefully is a tough trick in publishing these days. I caught up recently with the chief editors of Education Week and The Chronicle of Higher Education — industry-leading publications with more than 80 years in business between them. Each is seeing the same slow slide in print revenue as have daily newspapers, and each has embraced a … Read More
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With CEO Jack Griffin gone, the stage is set to break up Tribune Publishing

With CEO Jack Griffin's unexpected ouster today, all bets are off on where the company is headed strategically. Specifically, I think the stage is set for Tribune to entertain offers for its various newspaper properties, pull back to focus on the Chicago Tribune and invest the proceeds in new media tech ventures. As I wrote last fall, it … Read More
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Gannett's revenues are down almost 10 percent, but it expects to make another acquisition soon

Gannett turned a small profit in the fourth quarter of 2015 with healthy digital revenue growth more than offset by weak results in print advertising and circulation. Total revenue was down 9.7 percent compared to the same period in 2014, and net income was $20.4 million, a profit margin of 2.6 percent — low by Gannett standards. While accounting and … Read More
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Bruce Dold is named editor of the Chicago Tribune

The Chicago Tribune changed editors today as Gerould Kern retired after nearly eight years. He will be succeeded by Bruce Dold, the longtime editor of the Tribune's editorial and opinion pages. Kern, 66, said in a phone interview, "I've worked nearly 45 years without a break. I can take a breath and do it now." Publisher Tony Hunter praised Kern … Read More
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As business shifts to online retailers, McClatchy is feeling the squeeze

McClatchy today reported operating at a 4.5 percent profit margin in the fourth quarter of 2015 and making considerable progress in building digital audience and advertising. But advertising revenues continue to deteriorate, down 11.7 percent year-to-year in total. The culprit, not new but worsening, is that bricks-and-mortar stores have been losing sales to Amazon and other digital channels, as … Read More