GateHouse Media

Career Beat: Teri Hayt named executive director at ASNE

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

  • Dashiell Bennett will be news editor at Bloomberg Markets. Previously, he was news editor at The Atlantic. (@TheStalwart)
  • Kate Bennett will be a gossip columnist at Politico. She is fashion editor at Washingtonian. (Email)
  • Teri Hayt will be executive director of the American Society of News Editors. She is executive editor of GateHouse Media Ohio (Email)
  • Pamela Padilla is now a multimedia journalist for KDEN. Previously, she was Web editor for KXTX. (Media Moves)
  • Chelsea Manning will be a columnist for Guardian U.S. Previously, she was an Army intelligence analyst. (NPR)

Job of the day: Wired is looking for a features editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs)

Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org Read more

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NYT edges closer to layoffs

Good morning. Almost there. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. NYT may have layoffs, after all

    A memo from Janet Elder says the news org may not have enough buyout applications to forgo layoffs. "Early efforts to handicap the outcome regrettably point to having to do some layoffs." Also, if you take the buyout, MOMA will not let you in for free anymore. (Mother Jones) | Last month Keith J. Kelly reported that more than 300 people had filed buyout applications, but many were "just securing their rights and checking it out," Guild unit rep Grant Glickson said. (NY Post) | Floyd Norris is taking the buyout. (Talking Biz News) | More N.Y. Guild news: Eight Guild members who worked at Reuters' Insider video project are losing their jobs. (The Newspaper Guild of New York) | Time Inc. has declared it's at an "impasse" with the union and "can begin unilaterally imposing many of the terms, including the right to farm out up to 60 full-time jobs while slashing vacation and medical benefits and eliminating voluntary buyout provisions from future layoffs." The Guild has asked the NLRB to investigate. (NY Post)

  2. Aereo files for bankruptcy

    The "challenges have proven too difficult to overcome," the company says. (Aereo) | "Aereo's CEO told early VCs: This either will be the best investment of your career, or it will be a total loss. There is no in between." (@danprimack)

  3. Networks on Obama's immigration reform speech:

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    ABC, NBC and CBS gave it a "collective shrug," Erik Wemple reports. "Asked whether the White House formally requested coverage, the White House wouldn’t even provide the Erik Wemple Blog an on-the-record response." (WP) | New York Post front: "Bamnesty" | "Sí se pudo": How La Opinión and El Diario La Prensa covered the speech. (WP)

  4. Gatehouse parent co. buys Halifax newspapers

    New Media Investment Group will pay $280 million for Halifax's 36 newspapers, which include 24 dailies. (NMIG) | NMIG will be the Worcester (Massachusetts) Telegram & Gazette's third owner in 16 months. (T&G)

  5. Phone hacking scandal principals move on

    Rebekah Brooks may be named editor of the New York Post, Leela de Kretser writes in a kicky inaugural column for Capital. She and her family are "ensconced in an Upper East Side pad." (Capital) | Former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson got out of jail early. (The Guardian)

  6. Your daily BuzzFeed links

    Should BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith have disclosed that some of his publication's backers have invested in Uber competitors? It's "easy to see this sort of thing creating an endless rabbit hole," Peter Kafka writes. (Re/code) | BuzzFeed has discovered that "social URLs" -- think back to the punny headlines you may have written before Google ruined all your fun -- can "act like a rocket booster for a post," Lucia Moses reports. Note the URL on the story. (Digiday)

  7. #Pointergate: The timeline

    Corey Hutchins writes a fabulous tick-tock of KSTP's ludicrous non-story and its risible attempts to defend it. Owner Stanley Hubbard confirms the station's initial tip came from "the police federation guy" and says the station polled viewers after it became a national laughingstock for running it: "We just did a major study—we wanted to find out the public reaction—I haven’t got the number exactly, but it’s something like 65 or 70 percent of the people don’t care one way or the other. But interestingly, of those who are aware of the story, 52 percent of black people say, ‘Good for you, right on.’” (CJR) | The Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists calls the story "fundamentally flawed." (MNSPJ) | A big takeaway from all this from David Brauer: "Primarily, we should be vigilant about civilian control of police." (Southwest Journal) | Hubbard called a sponsor's decision to pull advertising from KSTP "unbelievable." Finally, something KSTP finds hard to believe. (MPR News)

  8. HuffPost may host Jill Abramson-Steven Brill startup

    A "decision on a deal is likely to be made soon," David Carr and Ravi Somaiya report. (NYT)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    The Washington Post goes big on Obama's immigration action. (Courtesy the Newseum)
    wp-11212014 

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Dan Lyons is now editor-in-chief at Valleywag. Previously, he was a marketing fellow at HubSpot. (Re/code) | Rachel Racusen will be vice president of communications at MSNBC. Previously, she was associate communications director for the White House. (Playbook) | Jeff Fager will be an executive producer at "60 Minutes". Previously, he was chairman of CBS News. (Politico) | Nitasha Tiku is now a west coast senior writer at The Verge. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of Valleywag. (Business Insider) | Jason Kravarik is now a producer at CNN. Previously, he was assistant news director at KOIN in Portland, Oregon. (TV Spy) | Job of the day: The Rockford (Illinois) Register Star is looking for an editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

Corrections? Tips? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org. Would you like to get this roundup emailed to you every morning? Sign up here. Read more

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Cape Cod Times to move 14 positions to GateHouse’s Texas design center

Cape Cod Times

Fourteen newsroom positions at the Cape Cod Times will shift to GateHouse Media’s new design center in Austin.

The newspaper reports its staffers will have the opportunity to move to Texas. Other Local Media Group newspapers, which are managed by GateHouse, will also make the move. Read more

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Bankruptcy

GateHouse declares Chapter 11, announces ‘prepacked’ reorganization

GateHouse Media | Bloomberg Businessweek | Jim Romenesko

GateHouse Media announced Friday it has filed “voluntary chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings” in Delaware and has “filed and requested confirmation of a joint prepackaged plan of reorganization.” The plan “proposes a ‘balance-sheet restructuring,’ by which GateHouse will emerge from bankruptcy with much less debt on its balance sheet, but with its business operations completely intact,” GateHouse CEO Michael Reed said in the company’s announcement.

The company “listed assets of $433.7 million and debt of $1.3 billion” in its filing, Sophia Pearson and Tiffany Kary report.

Upon its exit from bankruptcy, GateHouse intends to pair with Local Media Group, the collection of U.S. newspapers News Corp sold to Fortress Investment Group, which owns GateHouse, earlier this month.

GateHouse says none of its creditors voted against the plan. Its “common stock would be canceled under the plan, and holders of secured debt would have the option of receiving a cash distribution equal to 40% of their claims, or stock in New Media Investment Group Inc., a new holding company that will own GateHouse and Local Media Group,” the announcement says.

The company says it has “sufficient cash to operate during the chapter 11 process,” and Reed told employees he expects the process to take “45 to 60 days.” Read more

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GateHouse Media revenue drops alongside foreclosure rates

Boston Business Journal | WPRI

The drop in foreclosures nationwide in March should be good news for everyone, but the Boston business Journal’s Jon Chesto notes GateHouse Media Inc. is facing a 6 percent decline in revenue year over year because of a decrease in ad sales for foreclosure auctions.

The loss of all those foreclosure auction ads that GateHouse once counted on to get through the tough times is continuing to hurt the company’s classified ad pages. Lower foreclosure revenue in Massachusetts accounted for a full 40 percent of GateHouse’s classified ad revenue decline in the first quarter, the company said. But there’s good news, GateHouse investors: CEO Mike Reed said he expects this problem to subside by the end of the third quarter, and “possibly reverse.”

The Fairport, N.Y., company referred to the Massachusetts legislature in an SEC filing about first quarter results. Lawmakers there passed a law last year making loan modifications easier, implicitly leading to a further decrease in ad revenue.

Declines in classified ad sales have plagued newspapers since the advent of the Internet. Next door in Rhode Island, the Providence Journal’s owner A.H. Belo blamed the city’s real estate market for the slow sale of some of the company’s real estate. Read more

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GateHouse reorganizes papers by size, rather than region

Starting next year, GateHouse publications in nearly two dozen states will be managed by size — metros, large dailies and community papers — rather than by geography or region. With this realignment, there will be staff changes:

Current Vice President of News & Interactive for GateHouse Media, Brad Dennison has been named Vice President of Publishing Large Dailies. Responsibility for Publishing Communities will be shared between two of our current Regional Vice Presidents, Gloria Fletcher and Nick Monico. The Company will name the Vice President of Publishing Metros in the near future.

The company also announces a new vice president of digital and several other moves in the release. Read more

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GateHouse Media CEO: ‘We need to become more than a newspaper company’

Romenesko+ Memos
GateHouse Media CEO Mike Reed unveiled Project Apple in September — an initiative with the goal of “a turnaround just as impressive as Apple’s.” (The newspaper chain recently reported a $5 million net loss for the third quarter.) On Tuesday, Reed gave his employees a Project Apple update. “We are already seeing progress in several areas,” he writes in a memo. “But even so, the simple fact is that the way we are working today is not in line with the way our business is moving. Over the next few months, we’re going to continue to introduce initiatives that will assist us in meeting the challenges and demands of the business.”

We need to recognize that newspapers may be a product in declining popularity and readership, but content is not and never will be. In fact, the content our publications produce is more valuable and necessary than ever before. No one creates it better than we do and we need to deliver it in many different ways. We need to become more than a newspaper company — we must become a content company. That is what will drive the changes in the coming months.

Reed’s full memo is after the jump. Read more

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GateHouse+Media

GateHouse Media aims for ‘a turnaround just as impressive as Apple’s’

Illinois Times
GateHouse CEO Michael Reed recently unveiled Project Apple in a memo to employees, which said “we are not looking to dominate the world. But, we are looking to remain the most dominant local media franchise in each of the markets we serve and a turnaround just as impressive as Apple’s is something to which we should all aspire.” The memo is long on buzzwords like “structural cost alignment” and “digital ecosystem” but short on specifics, reports Bruce Rushton, a former employee of GateHouse’s State Journal-Register. He notes that it arrived in employees’ email boxes on the same day that three people lost their jobs at the Springfield, Ill.-based SJ-R. Read more

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