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Stock market darling New Media Investment keeps growing, books small profit

Acquisitive New Media Investment Group reported its fourth quarter results today and tallied the score on $538 million spent buying newspapers over the last year and a half.

The company’s business plan calls for $1 billion in acquisitions over three years, so more of the same is on the way.

New Media also increased its quarterly dividend which yields investors 4 to 5 percent annually. And the company’s shares were up more 6 percent for the day and nearly 50 percent in the last six months.

Besides offering the generous dividend, New Media targets smaller papers that have been less affected by digital competition than metros.  After the acquisition of Stephens Media, announced a week ago, is completed in March, the largest circulation titles in its roster of 125 dailies will be the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Providence Journal. Read more

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This newsroom-themed hotel is a dream or a nightmare, depending on how much you like work

The Press Herald building.

The Press Herald building. | Portland Press Herald

Overworked journalists who sleep in their newsrooms will feel right at home come April.

The Press Hotel, a “lifestyle boutique” inn opening its doors in two months, is a newspaper-themed getaway situated in the former offices of the Portland Press Herald, Madeline Bilis writes for Boston Magazine.

The newsy accommodations include “an art gallery, featuring an installation of antique typewriters, a vintage cocktail bar aptly named “The Inkwell,” rooms inspired by 1920s writers’ offices, and a letterpress art sculpture hanging on the wall behind the front desk.”

Journalists will also be at home — or perhaps at work — in the guest rooms, which are furnished with a writing desk, a chair stamped with the phrase “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” and a newspaper rack. Read more


KNXV was all over the llamas on the loose story

If you watched Twitter Thursday afternoon, you know the story of the llamas that were loose in Phoenix pretty much took over. Like other media outlets in the area, KNXV live-tweeted the whole thing. It started this afternoon. They kept us updated. Here are some of the station’s tweets:

Read more
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NY Daily News owner considering sale of paper

Mort Zuckerman, the billionaire owner of the New York Daily News, said in a memo to employees Thursday he has retained a financial advisory firm to explore selling the newspaper.

In the memo, Zuckerman says he was approached by a buyer asking whether he would consider selling the paper. He said there were “no immediate plans” on the table, but he “thought it would be prudent to explore the possibility” of a sale.

In 1992, Zuckerman, who also owns U.S. News & World Report, agreed to purchase the the New York Daily News for $18 million. He purchased the paper, which was then bankrupt, in 1993 for $36.3 million.

The New York Daily News claims a daily circulation of 338,944, the seventh-largest circulation of all newspapers in the United States. Read more


Scripps Washington bureau to lay off 4 long-form journalists

The Scripps Washington Bureau will lay off four journalists in preparation for the upcoming newspaper spinoff of The E. W. Scripps Company, the company confirmed Thursday.

The journalists, who focus on long-form text, will leave after March 31, said Ellen Weiss, Washington bureau chief for Scripps. The cuts come as Scripps gets ready to divest its print assets to become a digital and broadcast news company. Scripps’ print assets will be combined with those of Journal Communications and split into a new company called Journal Media Group.

Among the journalists losing their jobs are investigative reporter Sydney Freedberg, a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and Marcia Myers, a two-time Polk award-winner who was hired as senior investigations editor. The other two journalists are investigative correspondent Thomas Hargrove and national reporter Isaac Wolf. Read more


An ode to the man who publishes poems in the Pittsburgh paper


The Wall Street Journal

For eight years, Billie Nardozzi has paid to publish his poems in the classified section of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. On Wednesday, James Hagerty wrote about the classified poet for the Wall Street Journal.

“We usually pay people to write for the paper,” said the executive editor of the Post-Gazette, David Shribman. “In a period of declining revenue, it’s always nice to have someone pay us.”

Each poem is accompanied by a black-and-white picture of Mr. Nardozzi, his hair in a pouffy mullet style. He includes his phone number for anyone who wants to chat.

Nardozzi pays $50 per poem, and they run in the classified’s Celebrations section. In 2009, Brian O’Neill wrote about Nardozzi for the Post-Gazette after a reader wrote in encouraging a column. Read more

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Rajiv Chandrasekaran to leave The Washington Post

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a senior correspondent and associate editor at The Washington Post, is leaving the paper to create a media company that will partner with Starbucks:

In a post on his Facebook page, Chandrasekaran writes that the new company will produce “nonfiction, social-impact content, some of it in partnership with the Starbucks Coffee Co.” The company will start with producing television and film projects around Chandrasekaran’s 2014 book “For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism and Sacrifice.”

Chandrasekaran has had several jobs at The Post, including national editor, assistant managing editor and Baghdad bureau chief, according to his website. Read more


ESPN’s Vince Doria retires without ever posting a tweet

Vince Doria

Vince Doria

As ESPN’s director of news, Vince Doria has been at the forefront of the new media. Yet he never has posted a tweet.

He is on Twitter at @VinceDoria. However, Doria didn’t set up the account. His colleagues did it for him in the hopes that he might share some of his thoughts.

It didn’t happen. Under number of tweets for Doria, the number still says 0. Doria gets that it’s part of the job these days, but he simply is adhering to the age-old doctrine that journalists should remain objective.

“I just never felt it was good to do it in my current role,” Doria said. “No matter how you cut it, Twittter turns out to be a platform for opinion.”

And a platform full of potential landmines. Read more


After her death, memories of Dori Maynard and many thanks

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. ‘Why Dori Maynard Matters’

    Following her death on Tuesday, many journalists wrote about Dori Maynard's work and its impact. From Benet Wilson: "Those of us who have been on the front lines in fighting for media diversity understand the magnitude of this loss." (All Digitocracy) | From Steve Buttry: "She constantly reminded and taught us that diversity is more than a social issue, it is a journalism value, a matter of accuracy." (Steve Buttry) | From Latoya Peterson: "It isn’t enough to say that Dori was a tireless champion for diversity. Her calling in life was to help people understand one other." (Fusion) | From S. Mitra Kalita: "Our numbers might be dwindling in newsrooms.

Read more

Jay Carney to take vice president job at Amazon

Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will join Amazon as senior vice president for worldwide corporate affairs, Politico’s Mike Allen reported Thursday.

The new position brings the e-commerce giant’s worldwide public relations and public policy shops into one department under Carney. He’ll split his time between Seattle HQ and the D.C. office, where Amazon veteran Paul Misener will continue to run the company’s lobbying efforts.

In September, CNN announced Carney was joining the news network as a political commentator. He will leave that job, Allen reports. Read more

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Career Beat: Juliet Lapidos named op-ed page editor at the Los Angeles Times

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Juliet Lapidos will be the op-ed page editor of the Los Angeles Times. She’s currently a staff editor at The New York Times. (Email)
  • Luz Maria Doria will be a contributor to Siempre Mujer. She is vice president and executive producer of Univision’s Despierta America. Irma Martinez will be a contributor to Siempre Mujer. She is a celebrity stylist. Luz Avila-Kyncl will be a contributor to Siempre Mujer. She is a nutrition coach. (Email)
  • James Warren will be chief media correspondent at Poynter. He is Washington bureau chief for the New York Daily News. (Poynter)
  • Remy Stern is now chief digital officer at The New York Post. Previously, he was digital managing editor there.
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Today in Media History: NPR began 45 years ago

45 years ago today, on February 26, 1970, the National Public Radio articles of incorporation were issued and NPR officially began.

However, it would be another year before the first NPR sound came out of a radio.

Here is how the Wisconsin newspaper, the Fond du Lac Commonwealth Reporter, described NPR in September 1970:

Image-Radio 1

Image-Radio 2

An excerpt from NPR’s “Overview and History” page:

“NPR was incorporated on February 26, 1970, by 90 forward-thinking charter stations to provide national news programming. In April 1971, NPR hit the air with live coverage of the Senate hearings on the war in Vietnam.

Just a month later, we debuted our first weekday newsmagazine, All Things Considered.

In 1977, NPR assumed a new responsibility — to represent the interests of NPR member stations (who had grown from 90 to 190) — before Congress, the FCC and others.

Read more

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015


What I wish I had told Dori Maynard in our last conversation

Dori J. Maynard

Dori J. Maynard

The last time I saw Dori Maynard was in September at the American Society of Newspaper Editors-Associated Press Managing Editors summit in Chicago. We tended to meet at the alphabet soup of conferences that is the life of a minority journalist and media manager: NABJ, AAJA, NAHJ, SPJ, SABEW and on and on.

At ASNE-APME, as it’s known, I was speaking on a panel titled, “Creating a Culture of Innovation: How to Just Do It.” Dori approached me afterward and told me she was proud, that I’d come a long way from when she first met me at Unity ’94, the historic gathering of all four minority journalist groups in Atlanta. And then as happens when two journalists of color get together, we lamented how little real progress the industry had made, how pathetic the latest newsroom diversity figures were, and pondered what could be done to fix it. Read more


Gigaom executive editor Tom Krazit to step down


Tom Krazit, executive editor at Gigaom, is leaving the news organization on Friday, he writes on Medium:

It’s been an honor and privilege to lead this group, one of the best groups of tech writers I’ve ever been associated with. I don’t think there’s any other group in technology and business media that is covering tech across as many sectors with as much skill and integrity as our folks, and I will greatly miss being part of that day-to-day creative process.

Krazit arrived at Gigaom in 2012 after the news organization purchased paidContent parent company ContentNext. He was news editor for more than a year before becoming executive editor in September 2013.

Krazit writes that he has “no specific plans at the moment,” although he is mulling his future options. Read more


The New York Times will expand its comment section

The New York Times

The New York Times intends to “expand and build” on its commenting system, providing readers with more stories to opine on, New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan wrote Wednesday.

New York Times community editor Bassey Etim tells Sullivan the Times will double the number of stories open for readers to comment on “by the end of the summer,” and added that the paper will make attempts to “elevate and recognize” the quality of the conversation around its stories.

Several news organizations, including Reuters and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have ended or clamped down on commenting systems to stem the flow of invective from readers. Popular Science and The Huffington Post also cracked down on commenting, as has the Chicago Sun-Times. Read more


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