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Tribune buys out McClatchy’s stake in MCT newswire

Tribune Publishing “will take full ownership” of McClatchy Tribune Information Services” and its operations will move to Chicago, McClatchy vice president for news and Washington editor Anders Gyllenhaal tells staffers in a memo. “MCT will consolidate editorial and business staffs in Chicago and merge with the Tribune Content Agency, creating a single business out of the two related operations,” he writes.

“A portion of the jobs based in Washington will be part of the ongoing wire service or remain with the bureau. But a majority of the Washington positions will be phased out over the course of the summer as the move to Chicago is complete,” Gyllenhaal writes.

In a press release, Tribune said “MCT products and services will become part of the offerings of Tribune Content Agency.”

McClatchy’s D.C. staff was due to meet at 11:45 today. “The MCT changes don’t have any impact on the bureau,” Gyllenhaal writes in an email to Poynter. “Also, McClatchy’s connections the wire service remain much the same: we’re contributors, we work closely with the service and we’re the largest client. We’re no longer an owner, and instead become a preferred customer.”

McClatchy has shed several assets in recent months. It sold its stake in Classified Ventures’ Apartments.com for $147 million on April 1 and agreed to sell the Anchorage Daily News on April 8. Meanwhile, Tribune’s publishing arm has been on an acquisition spree of late — its Baltimore Sun Media Group recently agreed to purchase papers in Maryland, and the Hartford Courant agreed in March to purchase a publisher of weekly papers in Connecticut.

Tribune Co. plans to split its newspaper and broadcasting properties. It “expects acquisitions to be ‘an important component of our business strategy,’” Dean Starkman reported Wednesday.

Memo follows: Read more

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McClatchy explains change in circulation revenue

The McClatchy Company

Circulation revenue was up nearly 6 percent in McClatchy’s first quarter, the company said in a report Wednesday. But, the report said, that revenue was up less than 1 percent “excluding the $4.3 million in revenue related to the transition to fee-for-service circulation delivery contracts at certain newspapers.”

Reached by email, McClatchy Director of Investors Relations Ryan Kimball said some of the company’s newspapers “transitioned to a different circulation contract” during the first quarter. The contracts are fee for service, which for accountants means their “delivery expenses are no longer netted against circulation revenues and thus makes the reported circulation revenue higher.” So some of the papers had higher revenues and higher delivery expenses, he said. The change “has no impact on operating income or cash flow but we do point it out so investors can get a sense of what circulation revenues did in a given period ignoring the impact of the transition.”

Advertising reveue was down nearly 7 percent compared with the same period in 2013, McClatchy said in its report. The company said nearly half of its advertising revenue now comes from “nontraditional sources.”

The company got $147 million from its stake in Classified Ventures, which recently sold. It expects to receive $34 million from the pending sale of its Anchorage Daily News. Taxes should shrink that nut to $24 million.

Disclosure: Poynter has a training partnership with McClatchy. Read more

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Online publication buys McClatchy’s Anchorage paper

Alaska Dispatch | Anchorage Daily News

The online news publication Alaska Dispatch has reached an agreement to purchase the Anchorage Daily News from McClatchy, the companies announced Tuesday.

The purchase price was $34 million, Alex DeMarban reports for Alaska Dispatch, calling the deal a “stunning media shakeup in the 49th state.”

Alaska Dispatch “plans no changes to the Anchorage Daily News’ staff, content or distribution,” DeMarban reports.

The purchase “includes the newspaper, ADN.com and the Daily News’ building on Northway Drive in East Anchorage,” the Daily News reports. “After the purchase is finalized, the building will be sold to a private local buyer, according to a statement from Alaska Dispatch, and the Daily News will continue operations as a tenant.”

According to figures filed with the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the Anchorage Daily News’ average Sunday circulation was 45,783 in September 2013, and its average Monday through Saturday circulation was 51,539.

Here’s the press release: Read more

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Classified Ventures’ assets could be worth more than all Tribune’s papers

Crain’s Chicago Business

The sale of Apartments.com and the planned sale of Cars.com “shows how upside-down the media business has become,” Lynne Marek writes about a conversation with the investment banker Chuck DelGrande.

“The joint venture’s assets could be worth more than the value of all eight newspapers owned by Tribune,” Marek writes. “The highest price floated for Tribune’s newspaper group, which Tribune plans to spin off as Tribune Publishing Co. later this year, topped out at about $1 billion when it was on the sales block last year.”

Tribune’s 28 percent stake in Classified Ventures is worth about $700 million, William Launder reported in The Wall Street Journal last year. Apartments.com sold for $585 million earlier this month, and some of that cash went to newspaper companies like McClatchy, Gannett and A.H. Belo, as well as Graham Holdings, which used to own The Washington Post. All have stakes in Classified Ventures.

The consortium is looking for “as much as $3 billion” for Cars.com, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month. Read more

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Washington Post video honcho leaves for McClatchy

Senior Editor for Video Andy Pergam will leave The Washington Post to “help The McClatchy Company develop its digital video strategy,” a memo from Post Executive Editor Marty Baron and Managing Editor Emilio Garcia-Ruiz tell staffers in an email. Pergam helped launch PostTV, the company’s video initiative, which began a rethink in late 2013, moving from shows to “easily digestible segments.”

Pergam will also work on his Spark Camp project, Baron and Garcia-Ruiz say in their memo.

Full thing: Read more

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Poynter and McClatchy expand customized training program

The Poynter Institute and The McClatchy Company will expand the training program they began last year. Poynter was able to align some new teaching around McClatchy’s emphasis on news video, Poynter Director of Training Partnerships and Alliances Howard Finberg said in a phone call: “We were able to help shape the offerings for this year in support of their efforts,” he said.

McClatchy Vice President of News Anders Gyllenhaal said Poynter’s training reached “a little less than half” of the company’s journalists in the past year through three certificate programs and 11 webinars offered through Poynter’s News University.

Sacramento Bee Executive Editor Joyce Terhaar tells Poynter in an email that 54 people in its newsroom took 120 hours of Poynter classes last year. “I’m happy with that number because our big training emphasis in Sacramento last year was on our new Newsgate 3 publishing system, which involved 1,406 training hours across the room,” she writes. “With that behind us, I’m looking forward to our newsroom becoming more fully engaged with the Poynter training this year.”

“We want one year’s training to build on the next,” Gyllenhaal said in a phone call. “We want one course to build on what you’ve already taken.” Read more

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McClatchy ends year with circulation revenue up

McClatchy

Circulation revenue in 2013 was up 5 percent over the previous year, McClatchy said in its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings report. Total advertising revenue was down 6.7 percent across the company’s platforms, and down about 9 percent in print.

After taxes, McClatchy made $8.2 million on its sale of the Miami Herald’s property, the report notes. Compensation expenses were down about 7 percent compared with 2012. Revenue from McClatchy’s digital subscription program, called Plus, “provided more than $8.8 million in new revenues in the quarter and $31.4 million in total for all of 2013,” the report said. The company says it has 60,300 digital-only subscribers. Read more

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Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron complained to the New York Times about not crediting his paper. Times Public Editor Sullivan e-mailed with the Times’ associate managing editor for standards, Philip B. Corbett, about the issue. He replied:

One complication is that there’s no clear or simple rule on when and how to credit. When information reported by another news organization is not widely known and we haven’t been able to match it ourselves, we normally attribute it or link to the source. But in cases where we have done our own reporting, it’s less clear-cut. We still want to credit another news organization if they have done major enterprise or have unearthed a big story — something no one would have known about without that initial reporting. But for an ongoing story or beat — where lots of reporters are chasing the same story line and may break different elements at different times — it’s not always practical or useful to tell readers, well, this element was first reported by News Organization A, and this other part was broken by Organization B, and we were the first to report these other pieces, etc.

Margaret Sullivan, The New York Times

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McClatchy’s Deb Leithauser will become publisher of Pennsylvania paper

Centre Daily Times

Debra Leithauser will leave her job as editor of McClatchy-Tribune Information Services to become publisher of the McClatchy-owned Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. She joined McClatchy in 2012 after a long hitch at The Washington Post.

McClatchy Vice President for News/Washington Editor Anders Gyllenhaal tells staffers in an email that Wes Albers will become deputy editor of the news service, which is absorbing the clients of Scripps’ wire service.

In a note to staff, Leithauser said the move “was not something I anticipated.”

But being a publisher has always been a dream of mine, so when the opportunity presented itself, I had to take it. The Centre Daily Times is a terrific paper, the job lets me stay with the McClatchy Company, and State College is a wonderful place to raise kids — all of those things equaled an opportunity to good to pass up.

Gyllenhaal’s memo: Read more

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McClatchy updates policy on handout photos: ‘it’s important to take a stance’

“The editors of McClatchy newspapers have agreed not to publish photography issued by the White House,” McClatchy Vice President for News/Washington Editor Anders Gyllenhaal told staffers in an email Tuesday night. The policy is not “a significant departure from current practices,” he says.

USA Today told staffers Sunday it wouldn’t use such photos. News organizations protested the White House’s stingy rules about photo access last week.

Gyllenhaal’s email: Read more

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