Articles about "Digital First Media"


Digital First Media will explore sale of papers

Digital First Media | The Denver Post | Jim Romenesko

Digital First Media has hired UBS Securities LLC to help it determine what it calls “strategic alternatives for the Company’s business.” That could involve a sale of some or all of the company’s news products, which include 76 daily papers and 160 weekly publications.

The Denver Post headlines the news a bit less gingerly: “Denver Post, other Digital First Media newspapers, for sale.” (Here’s a list of DFM properties.)

Related: “What went wrong at Digital First Media — and what’s next?”

“As employees, the best thing we can do while this review is underway is to keep doing what we have been doing best these past years – producing unsurpassed local journalism; serving our customers’ needs and continuing to boldly experiment with our digital future,” DFM CEO John Paton tells employees in a memo.… Read more

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Clash over Abramson’s style may have figured in Politico editor’s resignation

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Rick Berke leaves Politico: The publication’s executive editor resigned Sunday, citing “an acceptance by the three of us that the dynamics were just not there for us to function seamlessly.” The other two people in that “three of us” formulation, John Harris and Jim VandeHei, tell staffers “We have very big plans for expanding POLITICO here and elsewhere and need in place a leadership team that shares our vision, ambitions and full faith.” (HuffPost) | Erik Wemple passes on word of an awkward “Politico University” workshop in May, after Berke’s former boss Jill Abramson was fired: “Berke got a bit off-topic, putting forth his opinion that Abramson was an inept and insensitive manager. Some female staffers objected to that characterization, and the session blew up in awkward polemics about the internal politics of a competing outlet.” (WP) | “Rick Berke does not capitalize “Politico” in his resignation message.
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Digital First puts 51 newspaper buildings on the market

Digital First Media has listed 51 newspaper buildings for sale, according to a press release from the real estate firm Twenty Lake Holdings.

The properties are “for sale across seven states including California, Connecticut, Colorado and Pennsylvania, to name a few,” Twenty Lake Holdings says in its release.

The planned sale “enables us to streamline our real estate portfolio through a comprehensive program encompassing property sales, new leasing, relocations and consolidation, thereby freeing the company from the constraints of being overburdened with underutilized properties,” DFM President and COO Steve Rossi says in the release.

With the addition of the DFM properties, Twenty Lakes and the broker Praxis Commercial have 70 newspaper buildings for sale in total, the release says.

Reached by email, DFM CEO John Paton said the listings represent “the remainder of our real estate holdings not yet sold.… Read more

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Do local news orgs need national news?

NetNewsCheck | The New York Times

Former Project Thunderdome editor-in-chief Jim Brady asks whether local news organizations need to provide much national news anymore in a reflection on his time at the now-shuttered Digital First Media venture.

Writes Brady, a member of Poynter’s National Advisory Board: “Do we think local news organizations — in the disaggregated Web world we live in and the even more atomic mobile world we’re speeding into — actually need much national news anymore?”

DFM announced the shuttering of Thunderdome in April, and it officially closed July 1.

RELATED: What went wrong at Digital First Media — and what’s next?

Among Thunderdome’s goals, Brady wrote, was:

To serve as a centralized national news desk for our properties so that we didn’t have multiple papers producing the same story about the royal baby or the Kentucky Derby or the Academy Awards.

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Brady takes another shot at local journalism with new venture

Sometimes people console Jim Brady about his bad fortune.

After all, they lament, he was general manager of TBD.com, an ambitious local news site that folded about two years after it started. Then, he went to work for Digital First Media, where he founded Project Thunderdome, an innovative news production hub — which was axed by company bosses earlier this year.

But Brady isn’t having it. “My response to that is nobody should feel sorry for me,” he said. “I’ve got to build two newsrooms from scratch, I got the chance to hire a lot of smart people and learned an amazing amount along the way about where journalism is headed.”

What did he learn? After two aborted experiments, Brady still thinks there’s a future for journalism in local news — and that’s a bet he’s willing to stake a lot of his own money on.… Read more

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Robyn Tomlin, former Thunderdome editor, heads to Pew

Robyn Tomlin, former editor at Digital First Media’s Thunderdome is heading to Pew Research Center as chief digital officer. Tomlin tweeted the news on Thursday afternoon.

In April, Tomlin spoke with Poynter’s Jill Geisler about the reaction inside DFM Thunderdome when staff learned that it was be shutting down.

While talking up her “amazing group of people,” Tomlin tells me she hasn’t decided what she will do next in her own career. She’s not sure whether she’ll keep leading in legacy media or try the world of pure plays. Because Thunderdome’s shutdown will happen on a rolling basis, she hopes to guide each person and piece of it to a soft landing.

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Thunderdome hosts informal job fair for employees

For most of the staff at Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome, Thursday will be the last day at work.

But over bagels and coffee Wednesday morning or a drink Wednesday evening, they might meet their next employer. From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thunderdome’s hosting an informal networking event in New York to help connect their journalists with new jobs. The event will also feature a space to engage in an online chat with the 12 staff members located around the country.

Mandy Jenkins, Thunderdome’s managing editor, said in a phone interview with Poynter that most of the major media organizations in New York will have someone at the event.

For Jenkins, who worked at the now-defunct TBD, this is her second time to be laid off.… Read more

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Digital First names David J. Butler its editor-in-chief

Digital First Media

David J. Butler is the new editor-in-chief of Digital First Media, the company announced Friday. In 2011 MediaNews (which later placed its newspapers under DFM’s management) put Butler in charge of its Bay Area News Group properties, including the San Jose Mercury News, which he still edits.

Butler succeeds Jim Brady, who announced he would leave DFM after it cut its Thunderdome project. The company’s papers “have informally been shopped around since the start of this year,” Rick Edmonds wrote earlier this month.

Butler will remain editor of the BANG newspapers, the company says in a release.

I’ve worked with Brady in the past, and he’s on Poynter’s National Advisory Board.Read more

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Salt Lake Tribune lays off employees, cuts print features

The Salt Lake Tribune

The Salt Lake Tribune laid off eight employees Thursday and announced it would reduce some of its print offerings, including its standalone religion section.

Seven full-time employees and one part-time employee lost their jobs, Tony Semerad reports. The cuts “come after the paper lost four other newsroom positions through attrition in the past six weeks and let 19 staffers go in September.”

It will also stop publishing its Faith section as a standalone section, and “Ensuing weeks may bring smaller Tribune offerings of outdoors and business coverage, as well as weather data, comics, TV schedules and puzzles.” Religion reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack will stay with the paper and Robert Kirby’s column “will also find a new home,” Semerad writes.

Digital First Media exempted the Tribune from its plans to install paywalls at newspapers.… Read more

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Technology background, News text in perspective

What went wrong at Digital First Media — and what’s next?

The announced shutdown of Digital First Media’s national newsroom Wednesday and the probable sale of its 75 daily newspapers later this year is a significant jolt to those who believe a viable business model for rapid transformation of legacy operations is close at hand.

CEO John Paton’s explanation in his blog that the company has decided to dismantle Project Thunderdome “to go in a new direction” barely hints at the converging economic troubles.

Most basically, the very able editor Jim Brady (a Poynter National Advisory Board member) and his lieutenants were like a crack auto racing team trying to succeed in a highly competitive field driving Chevy Cobalts.

The two companies that were merged into Digital First, Journal Register and MediaNews, have both been through bankruptcies, Journal Register twice.… Read more

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