November 7, 2013

Dallas Morning News | Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Los Angeles Times

The Dallas Morning News will start printing the Fort Worth Star-Telegram next year, Gary Jacobson reports. Two hundred and seventy-five people will lose their jobs, 75 of them full-time positions, because of the move. “This makes all the sense in the world,” said Morning News Publisher and A.H. Belo CEO Jim Moroney, according to Jacobson.

The Star-Telegram plans to sell its printing facility. Its publisher, Gary Wortel, tells his paper that “one added convenience for Sunday subscribers is that they will begin receiving their advertising circulars in a sealed plastic bag.”

The two papers already share some content. The McClatchy-owned Star-Telegram announced mandatory one-week furloughs for staffers at the beginning of this year, as well as layoffs.

Meanwhile, Belo’s planned sale of The (Riverside, Calif.) Press-Enterprise to Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner “may be in jeopardy,” Ken Bensinger reported Wednesday.

Originally slated to close Oct. 15, the sale has been extended to Nov. 15, according to the Monday filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and amended provisions require Kushner to prove that his company, Freedom Communications, is financially solvent and has enough cash to operate the Riverside paper after a transfer.

Perhaps most notable is a requirement that Kushner put up $1 million in cash as a “down payment” on the deal. Such a nonrefundable payment, akin to a layaway sale at a discount store, is highly unusual in the world of mergers and acquisitions, experts say.

The Star-Telegram’s total average Sunday circulation in September 2013 grew 4.4 percent over the previous year, according to figures it provided to the Alliance for Audited Media. Its average Sunday print circulation fell 5 percent, to 189,596. The Dallas Morning News’ total average Sunday circulation rose slightly over the previous September, to 703,915. Its average Sunday print circulation fell 8 percent over the same time period.

Correction: This post originally misspelled the Star-Telegram’s name in its headline.

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Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City…
Andrew Beaujon

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