Colorado Media Activists Save Aurora’s Weekly Newspaper
Media activists in Colorado have stepped up once again to save a newspaper from either closing or falling into the clutches of corporate chain ownership. Colorado media watcher Corey Hutchins, a journalism professor at Colorado College, reports that Sentinel Colorado, a free weekly with a daily website in Aurora, will be acquired by a temporary holding company.
It’s a complicated transaction that involves some of the same players that pulled off the purchase of Colorado Community Media’s weekly and monthly newspapers last year. CCM is now being managed by The Colorado Sun, a digital start-up in Denver that was given an ownership stake.
Aurora, Colorado’s third-largest city, has a population of about 380,000 and is approximately a dozen miles east of Denver. As with the CCM transaction, the Colorado News Collaborative has helped with the Aurora deal, although the Sun is not involved this time around. Laura Frank, the collaborative’s executive director, was quoted by The Sentinel as saying:
Journalism leaders and community members in Colorado are finding ways to change the narrative and the trajectory of failing news outlets. Together, we are making journalism stronger, which makes democracy stronger. I’m thrilled COLab can help support that work.
CherryRoad Media ramps up legals with new and collaborative technology
The process of publishing public notices is cumbersome. Not only does it bog down staff, it also puts at risk the continued existence of legals in newspapers by frustrating the governments, law firms and citizens required to file them.
Last year, Kathy Malm, the Vice President of Sales at CherryRoad Media, decided that CherryRoad needed a new system. In January, she found the solution in a software company called Column. CEO Jake Seaton founded Column as a mission-driven public benefit company to fortify the future of public notice. Column offers all of its technology tools to publishers for free and generates revenue from a small processing fee paid by the individual placing the notice.
Of course, there was a reason for Kathy to be skeptical of any new digital platform. “For newspapers, it’s a scary thought to give away a piece of your business to a vendor,” Kathy explains. “In the past, it’s not been a smart move.” But after hearing why Jake started Column, Kathy’s trust began to build. Jake was the fifth generation of a newspaper family. Like Kathy, he watched the internet disrupt the news industry; he witnessed his family’s newspaper profit margins plummet amidst the pressure of an increasingly digital world.
“I knew that Column’s tool was something we needed to pursue to create a solid structure for legals moving forward,” Kathy reflects.
Once CherryRoad started using Column, “staff could reallocate their time to focus on more valuable tasks.” Kathy describes how Column helps publishers maintain compliance with changing regulations, offers keyword search, and is customized according to each individual paper’s needs. The bulk affidavit processing tool also organizes the entire affidavit process, “which staff particularly love.”
The Wall Street Journal Launches BUY SIDE FROM WSJ, A New And Independent Commerce Site
Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, today introduced Buy Side from WSJ, a new and independent commerce site dedicated to helping readers make smart decisions about how to spend their time and money. Buy Side offers readers a range of commerce content, including informed recommendations on consumer goods and actionable insights to support their personal finance goals.
“The launch of ‘Buy Side from WSJ’ offers our customers, readers and users trusted analysis and information to help with their purchasing decisions,” said Almar Latour, CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal. “It’s a natural extension of our mission — to provide the world’s most trusted source of journalism, data and analysis to help people make decisions. This mission extends to decisions in business, finance, policy, the workplace and life in general.”
Buy Side from WSJ is the latest example of Dow Jones’s commitment to expand the Journal and Dow Jones brands in new and creative ways. It comes on the heels of the company’s recent additions of OPIS and Chemical Market Analytics, which bolster Dow Jones’s expansion into energy and renewables, and of Investor’s Business Daily, which fortifies its suite of markets and investing offerings. “At its core, Dow Jones and the Journal strive to play an expanded, leading role in helping people and businesses navigate complexity and make decisions during a time of great volatility,” Latour said.
Vincent Cirel Joins Gannett As Chief Technology Officer
Vincent Cirel is joining Gannett as chief technology officer (CTO), accelerating Gannett’s digital evolution as a data and technology subscription-led business. Partnering with the Digital Marketing Solutions (DMS) and Gannett Media business units, Cirel will drive the company’s enterprise-wide technology vision and strategy, including the company’s overall cybersecurity program. He will also work closely with internal partners to ensure ongoing compliance with data privacy rules and regulations. Cirel will report to Gannett’s Chief Financial Officer Doug Horne.
Cirel brings over two decades of experience, most recently as founder and managing director of Pivotal Technologies, LLC, where he provided consulting and advisory services in areas of digital transformation, artificial intelligence, solution engineering, innovation, emerging technologies, information security and program management for global clients across multiple industries including travel and transportation, healthcare, gaming and higher education. “We are excited to welcome Vincent to the team at a pivotal time in Gannett’s digital transformation,” said Doug Horne, Gannett chief financial officer. “As technology continues to be paramount to the future of our business, Vincent’s depth of experience will be invaluable as we continue to implement a technology strategy that improves operational efficiency and our customer experiences.”
Prior to his role at Pivotal Technologies, Cirel served as Global CIO and CTO for Scientific Games, one of the largest gaming industry suppliers in the world, reshaping global technology operations and services for corporate, manufacturing, gaming, lottery and mobile functions. Cirel was also SVP and CIO for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, responsible for designing and implementing a world-class IT operation.