New Orleans Times-Picayune

advance-local

Advance claims digital ad growth will outpace print declines in 2015

Advance Publications’ much debated five-year-old strategy of discontinuing some days of daily print editions to devote added resources to digital is poised to achieve a critical crossover point in 2015: digital advertising gains will exceed print newspaper ad losses, the company claims.

In a bi-annual letter to employees today, Advance Local President Randy Siegel, writes:

Our local sales and marketing teams have leveraged their entrepreneurial abilities and expansive digital knowledge to prove they can grow digital ad revenue faster than we’re losing print ad revenue.  In 2015, our local leadership teams plan to generate higher total ad revenue in every one of our markets, reversing a longstanding trend of decline.

I asked Siegel by e-mail whether he was including national advertising in that calculation, and he said yes.  Read more

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Times-Picayune will close New Orleans print facility, print in Alabama

The Times-Picayune

The Times-Picayune will close its New Orleans print facility and print in Alabama, it announced Tuesday. About 100 production jobs will be lost, but none from the newsroom, the Advance-owned paper says.

Ray Massett, the general manager of Advance Central Services Louisiana, says Advance Central Services Alabama will print the Picayune in Mobile, Alabama. The move “will reduce print-related costs, improve efficiencies and allow for greater use of color in the pages of The Times-Picayune,” the report says.

ACS Alabama handles printing and packaging for The Times-Picayune’s sister paper, The Press-Register. Massett added that printing remotely is commonplace at many newspapers that formerly housed their presses near their newsrooms.

Masset also said the building housing the current print facilities “may be donated to a nonprofit institution in the community.” Read more

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Medical Marijuana Ads

NYT runs a pot ad

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. NYT runs a pot ad: Sunday’s paper had a full page ad on page 19 of the A-section from Leafly, which connects marijuana users to dispensaries and reviews weed strains. After the paper’s editorial board endorsed legalizing pot, “it just seemed like the right time,” a brand manager at the company that backs Leafly told Lucia Moses (Digiday) | “We accept ads for products and services that are legal and if the ad has met our acceptability standards,” Times spokesperson Linda Zebian says. (WSJ)
  2. Tribune Publishing is on its own as of tomorrow: “For now, plans to sell the Tribune newspapers, once widely reported, are off the table,” Christine Haughney reports.
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Nate Silver: Pulitzer-winning newspapers aren’t immune to circulation losses

FiveThirtyEight

A newspaper’s Pulitzer Prize count has very little effect on its circulation losses, Nate Silver found after a spin through some data:

Does that mean that newspapers might as well forget about quality as an economic strategy? That’s not what this data says. There is a relationship between Pulitzer Prizes and circulation (the correlation is .53 among the 50 newspapers listed here). It’s just that this relationship hasn’t changed much from 10 years ago. The vast majority of newspapers have seen their circulations decline; the ones that win a lot of Pulitzers have suffered about as much as the ones that don’t. You could spin this result as a negative for high-quality journalism — newspapers that win Pulitzers are doing no better at retaining their readers — or as a positive — almost all newspapers are struggling, but the ones that win Pulitzers continue to have more readers.

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Judge acknowledges racist, sexist Web comments, withdraws from race

Arkansas Times | Blue Hog Report

Judge Mike Maggio withdrew from a race for the Arkansas Court of Appeals after acknowledging he’d posted sexist, racist and homophobic comments on a website, Max Brantley reported Wednesday.

Maggio posted under the name “geauxjudge” on a message board called TigerDroppings.com, sharing musings on topics like “rodeo sex,” someone who was “black by injection” and “Why do two men get their weiners cut off to them date each other.”

Matt Campbell compiled a dossier of Maggio’s postings, triangulating personal information he mentioned in his comments with facts about Maggio. In his statement acknowledging the postings, Maggio decried “the politics of personal destruction.” Read more

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Study says quality of content is down at Nola.com

CJR

A Tulane University study says the quality of content has declined at Nola.com since the Times-Picayune decreased print frequency, Dean Starkman writes. The study, on which Starkman consulted, looked at “hard” and “soft” news (including opinion pieces) in the printed paper and online.

While “the 2013 version of the printed Times-Picayune is not terribly different from its predecessor in terms of the type of stories covered,” Starkman writes, the stuff on its digital products “was more likely to be about lighter subjects such as sports and entertainment, as opposed to politics, education, courts and other traditional core newspaper beats.”

Nola Media Group Editor and Vice-President for Content Jim Amoss told Starkman the study’s methodology “doesn’t begin to provide a statistically valid measure of ‘soft’ versus ‘hard’ news” online. Read more

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Advance Local president: ‘signs of success are everywhere’

Privately held Advance has been mostly mum on the results of its cutback of print editions in most markets and the relaunch of its newspapers as digital media companies. But in a year-end letter to employees, Advance Local President Randy Siegel partly answers one key questions skeptics like me have been posing:

Most of our new organizations are rapidly increasing their digital revenue and approaching the point where digital ad revenue growth will be larger than print ad revenue declines. This positions us well for the future given the inexorable shift of print advertising dollars to digital. When we started launching our new companies, growing digital ad revenue faster than losing print ad revenue was one of our preeminent goals and we are getting there sooner than expected.

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Newspaper War

A year after daily publication ceased in Alabama and New Orleans, media market is ‘fractured’

B.E. Mintz is attuned to the irony: After the 176-year-old New Orleans Times-Picayune ceased daily publication a year ago this week, “people took the position, ‘I’m so angry that I have to read the newspaper online, that I’m going to go read my news somewhere else online,’” he said.

Mintz is editor and publisher of NOLA Defender, a 3-year-old news and arts website. Not coincidentally, he said, the site’s readership has doubled and its advertising revenue has increased by more than 50 percent since the T-P’s cutbacks were announced.

Besides New Orleans, the communities of Huntsville, Birmingham, and Mobile, Ala., and Pascagoula, Miss., also lost their daily newspapers on Oct 1, 2012, as part of a radical “digital-first” restructuring by Advance Publications, the nation’s second-largest privately held media company. Read more

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Long Beach Register, New Orleans Advocate debut

The Long Beach (Calif.) Register debuted Monday. “We’re not going to let a competitor come into our city and take it,” Los Angeles News Group’s Michael A. Anastasi told the Associated Press. His company produces the (Long Beach) Press-Telegram.

In other newspaper war news, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate launched its redesigned New Orleans edition Sunday. It will compete with The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, which does not publish a traditional home-delivered edition on Monday but does produce a “street” edition. To the front pages!

Courtesy the Newseum
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Play about ‘corporate dismantlement’ of a newspaper to open in New Orleans

NOLA Project

Jim Fitzmorris’ play “A Truckload of Ink” will open next month in New Orleans. The play is “about the sudden upheaval at the city’s most established newspaper,” the company says. The production “vividly brings to life the human relationships, history, politics, back-room deals, and righteous fight to save a cultural institution from an out-of-state corporate dismantlement.”

Any ideas which newspaper Fitzmorris is thinking of?

 

Last year, former New York Times news assistant Gabe McKinley’s play about Jayson Blair, “CQ/CX,” opened off-broadway. The play received mixed reviews, but McKinley told The New York Observer “The entire masthead has seen the play, past and present.” Read more

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