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.

Will Sheldon Adelson pursue a personal agenda at his Las Vegas paper? He may already have.

Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson's family was unmasked mid-week as the "secret buyer" of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Given Adelson's support for the Republican party, many have wondered whether he will use the paper to advance his pet political causes or business interests. On Friday, the Review-Journal continued its aggressive coverage of the sale with a story offering … Read More

Lee Enterprises announces new executive lineup

Longtime Lee Enterprises CEO Mary E. Junck is leaving that job to become executive chairman, the company announced Thursday. She will be succeeded by Kevin Mowbray, chief operating officer and a former publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lee's largest newspaper. Junck, 68, joined Lee in 1999, and became CEO in 2001. She has served as board chairman of The … Read More

Community publisher snowed under and files for bankruptcy

A community publishing company in western New York state suffered heavy losses after last winter's run of snowstorms and has filed for bankruptcy protection, the Wall Street Journal has reported. CEO James Austin told the Journal that the chain of 24 free-distribution newspapers -- weeklies and shoppers -- had been operating profitably. But the 2014 Snowvember storms and more that … Read More

The Nevada newspaper mystery — a business perspective

I would love to break the story of who bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a pricey $140 million last week. Can't do that today, but here are a few business thoughts on the transaction: About that price: New Media Investment Group closed on the Review-Journal and other Stephens Media properties in mid-March for $102.5 million.  The sale represents a … Read More

Blendle, the Dutch 'iTunes for news,' will launch in the U.S. early next year

Blendle, a Dutch "digital newsstand" that allows readers to pay by the article, is coming to the United States early in 2016, the company announced today. The two-year-old company has 500,000 users in the Netherlands and Germany, and its expansion into the U.S. has been expected. Alexander Klopping, Blendle's 28-year-old co-founder, describes the U.S. version of the … Read More

John Paton resurfaces as investor and consultant to digital vendors

John PatonWhen John Paton stepped down as CEO of Digital First Media July 1, he didn't really leave the legacy news transformation business, much less slink away with mea culpas for a failed effort to right the company financially, then sell it. Paton had prearranged a soft landing, hanging out his shingle as IVA Ventures, a company … Read More

Gannett rebrands its local papers as USA TODAY Network

In a slightly cryptic rebranding maneuver, Gannett is removing its own name from the digital sites of its 92 local newspaper organizations and describing them as part of the USA TODAY Network. The new style has been piloted at The Courier Journal of Louisville. The company announced today that it will be rolled out to all of its local … Read More

Most of your headline writing tricks don't work, apart from these two

Analytics firm Chartbeat has published a new study which finds that most of the conventions for writing catchy digital headlines don't work very well. Author Chris Breaux, a Chartbeat data scientist, summarized results of testing a dozen styles for optimal click-through rates as follows: “Use terse, punchy headlines”; “Ask questions”; “Name drop.” None of these properties show much predictive … Read More

Rupert Murdoch says Tribune Publishing is being sold

Media business reporter Rupert Murdoch has scooped us all with a tweet Friday saying he has "strong word" that Tribune Publishing is being sold to a Wall Street firm and the Los Angeles Times spun off to a local group. Strong word Tribune newspaper group to be bought by big Wall St firm, LA … Read More

Reader's Digest parent company bets its life on hearth-and-home, wholesome audience

Bonnie Kintzer has had plenty of experience as a publishing consultant and executive as well as earning a Harvard MBA degree. Still, when she signed on as CEO in April 2014 to turn around the twice-bankrupt Reader's Digest Association, it may have looked from the outside like Mission Impossible. "I came in with my eyes fully open," Kintzer said, … Read More

Digital is gaining fast on broadcast in competition for political advertising

In the 2016 political race, a dark horse is advancing without much notice. Digital advertising is poised to challenge the long dominance of local broadcast in sucking up campaign dollars. Consider these indicators: An August Borrell Associates study estimates that digital political ad spending in the 2015-2016 cycle will pass $1 billion (of a total $16.5 billion).  Borrell also … Read More

Poynter cuts budget deficit by 35%, reports $2.26 million operating loss for 2014

The Poynter Institute reported today that it grew income and reduced expenses in 2014, cutting its operating loss by 35 percent from the previous year, but still ended with a $2.26 million operating deficit. Revenues were up 22.2 percent year-to-year and expenses down 9.5 percent, according to an institute filing with the Internal Revenue Service. That narrowed the budget gap … Read More

What's behind this fall's wave of layoffs and buyouts?

Mid-September to mid-November brings changing leaves and football but also rampant newsroom downsizing, and this has been an especially cruel season. Just last week saw 46 layoffs to the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News and the website plus deep cuts at National Geographic. That's not counting the 75 in process at the Los Angeles Times … Read More

Tribune Publishing claims finances improving but records 9.6 percent ad revenue decline and slight loss for 3rd Quarter

The drama surrounding Tribune Publishing Company management was largely absent as the company reported third quarter results and discussed them with analysts. In line with other regional publishers like McClatchy, A.H. Belo and New Media Investment Group, Tribune Publishing booked a slight loss for the quarter -- $3.4 million on revenues of $404.3 million.  Excluding increases from its purchase … Read More

Sixth-generation family owners have sold The Republic of Columbus (Indiana)

The office of the Republic of Columbus, Indiana. (Wikipedia Photo)After 140 years of family ownership, The Republic of Columbus, Indiana has been sold to a small Texas-based chain. The buyer is AIM, run by veteran news executive Jeremy Halbreich, whose main holdings are small Texas papers it purchased in 2012 from Freedom Communications. Jeffrey Brown. president and CEO … Read More