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

Heavy-hitter investors plan a for-profit digital launch next month in Denver

The growing wave of local digital news startups is about to get a new player. The investors behind Business Insider will launch Denverite in June. Like Jim Brady's Billy Penn in Philadelphia or Ted Williams' Charlotte Agenda, this is a for-profit venture, and, if successful, may be replicated in other cities. Gordon Crovitz, a former Wall Street Journal … Read More
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Tribune Publishing's $70 million gambit: Escalation or prelude to a deal?

So Tribune Publishing Chairman Michael Ferro has brought on board a fellow biotech billionaire, selling Nant Capital about 13 percent of the company for $71 million in newly issued shares. The investor behind Nant, Patrick Soon-Shiong, is Los Angeles-based and already owns a stake in the Lakers. So it makes sense that he could be buying into Ferro's vision of building … Read More
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Looking for a sustainable business model for a regional newspaper? Start at the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Does the Star Tribune of Minneapolis have a secret formula for outperforming the rest of the newspaper industry? I have been puzzling over that for years. After two run-ins at the Newspaper Association of America annual conference last month in Washington, D.C., I think I may have finally cracked the code. Marketing chief Steve Yaeger wrapped up an NAA presentation … Read More
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In ad-blocking wars, publishers propose a détente

Publishers are finding that work-arounds are better than confrontation as they deal with the ad-blocking challenge, a recent research report from WAN-IFRA finds. The Frankfurt-based international newspaper trade group had earlier suggested that publishers must admit responsibility for ad clutter and bad user experience. This latest goes further. It recommends three main strategies, all conciliatory: Make user experience … Read More
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Tampa Bay Times buys and folds the Tampa Tribune

The Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times announced Tuesday afternoon that it has acquired The Tampa Tribune, ending a 29-year competitive battle in the bay region and creating the fifth-largest Sunday circulation newspaper in the nation. “The continued competition between the two newspapers was threatening to both,” said Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash. “There are very few cities that are able … Read More
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The New York Times thinks digital growth will outpace print losses — just not yet

The New York Times Company, with its huge digital subscription base and international reach, is quite different from most U.S. publishers. But its first quarter results turned out to be very similar. The company posted a small loss of $13.5 million for the period. It showed strong growth in digital subscriptions and a number of digital advertising categories. But … Read More
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Just how big will Gannett get?

Gannett's expansion goal is to be the number one news network in the country as measured by ComScore metrics, CEO Bob Dickey told analysts in an earnings conference call Wednesday. The company can achieve that with a presence in 125 to 140 markets, he added. It won't take 200.  Gannett already has the largest newspaper related sites and trails Time … Read More
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Why Gannett is likely to win its takeover bid for Tribune Publishing

(Updated to include Gannett comment that it will keep Tribune Publishing intact) Despite initial resistance from Tribune Publishing's management, financial logic suggests that Gannett will ultimately succeed in acquiring the company. Consider that Gannett's $815 million offer is a 60 percent-plus premium on the trading value of Tribune Publishing. Tribune's board has a fiduciary duty to consider the proposal … Read More
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An ethical quandary for nonprofit journalism — are funders calling the shots?

The American Press Institute — and an axis of the biggest journalism foundations — makes the case in a new study that the nonprofit news sector urgently needs a code of ethics for accepting story-related grants. The report, released late Wednesday afternoon at a Columbia Journalism School event, has a pair of damning findings: More than half of 63 … Read More
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Salt Lake Tribune sold to Huntsman family

The Salt Lake Tribune, one of two competing papers in Salt Lake City, has been sold to the billionaire Huntsman family, the Tribune reported this morning. Patriarch Jon Huntsman Sr. had acknowledged he wanted to buy the paper nearly two years ago. The executive in charge will be his son Paul (another son, Jon Jr., ran for president in 2012). Though … Read More
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Is there a business model for virtual reality news? Native advertising provides a start

Virtual reality and its cousin, 360-degree video, have been the talk of future-of-news circles since late last year — usually with the disclaimer that there is no business model yet. But the starting place to generate revenue is clear: native advertising and sponsored content. Even as both VR storytelling and viewing technology remain in their infancy, big brand sponsors — McDonalds, … Read More
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U.S. newspapers to ad blocker: Drop dead

A new battle in the ad blocking wars has broken out as major American newspaper companies today threatened legal action against Brave Software. Brave, a creation of Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich, not only blocks ads but offers to pay users in bitcoin if they view alternative ads. (It also says it will give more than half the revenue generated by … Read More
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For the first time in years, presidential candidates snub Newspaper Association of America conference

Major presidential candidates are breaking with custom and will not be speaking live to the annual conference of the Newspaper Association of America in two weeks. Hillary Clinton is sending a filmed message. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders are not on the program at all. The association has held its conference in Washington during presidential election years … Read More
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Shorter isn't better, photos aren't always alluring and deep digging pays off, recent report concludes

After two years work analyzing more than 400,000 stories, the American Press Institute is beginning to find general patterns in what works to attract and hold the attention of digital readers. The findings are collected in a recent paper by API executive director Tom Rosenstiel for the Brookings Institution — and a number are counter-intuitive. For instance: Long stories … Read More
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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