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

People don't want to trade privacy for targeted ads

The Pew Research Center has released another in a series of studies of privacy issues with fresh evidence that consumers do not want to sacrifice personal information to get served targeted ads. A separate study from the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, to be presented at a Federal Trade Commission conference today, finds many consumers resigned … Read More
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Non-profit ownership is a match for Philadelphia papers -- but not for everyone

Gerry Lenfest's decision, announced Tuesday, to give the Philadelphia newspapers and their digital operations to a new non-profit institute has been in the works for some time. In transferring ownership, Lenfest also pitched in a $20 million endowment. Will it work for the Inquirer and Daily News? What are the benefits and limitations? Is the model one others will … Read More
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The New Republic is for sale — buyer beware!

A former publisher of the New Republic told me once that his charge was not necessarily to turn a profit but to keep the losses to a low roar. For Facebook billionaire Chris Hughes, losses were more like a loud roar — $20 million during the three-and-a-half years of his ownership. Also credit the 32-year-old Hughes with maturity, realizing that … Read More
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Digital sales collective, Local Media Consortium, gets straight on its total audience

The Local Media Consortium which sells digital ads for 1,660 local sites, two-thirds of them affiliated with newspapers, has done its first comScore study to verify its reach. The count for November was more than 133 million, the consortium announced earlier this week, which it said makes it the seventh most visited entity comScore tracks.  (The New York Times and … Read More
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What's next for the Las Vegas Review-Journal?

To say that things are returning to normal at casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Review-Journal would be a huge stretch. I would contend, though, that this week's well-chronicled events at the paper represent first steps down that road — and not necessarily tiny ones. Wednesday afternoon, Glenn Cook, the newspaper's senior editorial writer, was named interim editor. The week … Read More
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3 media business trends to watch for in 2016

A wise person (not me) once said that in predictions of media change it is relatively easy to get the direction right but lots harder to forecast timing and magnitude. Take, for example,  my effort in this space a year ago.  I thought 2015 might be the year legacy print media broke through with video that had wide audience … Read More
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The best-read digital story of 2015? It's The Atlantic's 'What ISIS Really Wants.'

Metrics now allow a fairly exact measure of which stories attract the most readers and hold them for the longest time. By that standard, there will be one story best in engagement in a given year. For 2015, that was The Atlantic's "What ISIS Really Wants," according to Chartbeat, which earlier this month published a first attempt to crunch … Read More
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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