Daily Clips: Political Ads Soar

May 12, 2022

Gannett Closing Four Newspapers In Northern Kentucky

The Boone Recorder, Campbell County Recorder, Kenton Recorder and Campbell Recorder will no longer be printed after this month. The closures are part of moves made by parent company Gannett that affect papers in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties. All four are weekly newspapers.

“Until this time, Kentucky has almost the same number of newspapers we had in 1985,” said David Thompson, executive director of the Kentucky Press Association. “We have not lost that many papers. Those newspapers that we have lost, we have been able to replace with new people coming in and starting newspapers. I don’t know if anyone would start one in that area since there is a paper, the Kentucky Enquirer, in Kenton County. It is an important market because it is northern Kentucky.”

Gannett is also closing or merging 20 print papers in eastern Massachusetts as the company shifts to more digital and regional coverage of local news. “Gannett is a special circumstance,” Poynter Institute media analyst Rick Edmonds told the Boston Globe. “They did this merger (with Gatehouse). They borrowed a lot of money. … That turns up the heat on operating it profitably. (It gets) harder to justify going through the trouble of printing and delivery for smaller weeklies.”

Gannett CEO Mike Reed has been clear — the future is digital. In a recent earnings call, Reed bragged that Gannett passed the $1 billion mark for digital revenue last year, representing about one third of all sales. The company grew digital-only subscribers by 49 percent, year over year, to 1.6 million.

Owner Of Maine Newspaper To Recognize Employees’ New Union

The owner of a Maine newspaper has decided to recognize a union formed by its employees.

The union will represent more than 30 newsroom workers at the Bangor Daily News, which covers Maine’s thirdlargest city and many of its rural northern and eastern communities. The paper’s parent company made the announcement on Friday.

The workers organized as part of the News Guild of Maine. The bargaining unit will include reporters, digital editors, photographers and others at the Daily News and weekly papers, the paper reported.

The Daily News’ parent company is Bangor Publishing Company, which is a family-owned business. The company dates to the 19th century.

Local Businesses Expect To Make Content Marketing A Bigger Priority This Year

The amount spent on the creation and distribution of content marketing increased by nearly $20 billion in the last two years, and 42% of local businesses said they expect to make content marketing even more of a priority this year.

The Meta Branded Content Project 2022 Content Marketing Study used information from 2,811 respondents in Borrell’s Local Advertiser Survey and interviewed 194 advertisers specifically on content marketing through Borrell’s SMB Panel to gauge their interest and thoughts. The study found that content marketing among local advertisers has gained ground since the pandemic. In 2020, a significant number of local businesses put priority on getting their story out — which often included how they were handling the crisis of the pandemic — through content marketing. Now, as businesses begin to return to pre-pandemic “normalcy,” content marketing has become a more consistent way of communicating with their client base and drawing in new customers.

“We expected local businesses to decrease their use of content marketing following the COVID crisis, when it was widely used, so we were pleasantly surprised to find that their interest actually increased since 2020,” said Julia Campbell, general manager of the Meta Branded Content Project, an initiative by the Local Media Consortium, Local Media Association and Meta Journalism Project. “This tells us that businesses really believe in the power and promise of content marketing, even though many of them had not even heard of it a few years ago.”

According to the survey, the No. 1 reason businesses are prioritizing content marketing this year is because of its ability to help them connect with their customers through meaningful content.

Google Paying More Than 300 EU Publishers For News

Alphabet (GOOGL.O) unit Google has signed deals to pay more than 300 publishers in Germany, France and four other EU countries for their news and will roll out a tool to make it easier for others to sign up too, the company told Reuters.

The move to be announced publicly later on Wednesday followed the adoption of landmark EU copyright rules three years ago that require Google and other online platforms to pay musicians, performers, authors, news publishers and journalists for using their work.

“So far, we have agreements which cover more than 300 national, local and specialist news publications in Germany, Hungary, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Ireland, with many more discussions ongoing,” Sulina Connal, director for news and publishing partnerships, said in blogpost seen by Reuters and expected to be published later on Wednesday. The blog did not say how much publishers were being paid.

Two-thirds of this group are German publishers including Der Spiegel, Die Zeit and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “We are now announcing the launch of a new tool to make offers to thousands more news publishers, starting in Germany and Hungary, and rolling out to other EU countries over the coming months,” Connal said in the blogpost.

Nexstar Q1: Core Advertising Grows 4%, Political Ads Soar

With growth in its first-quarter political advertising and the expectation of more midterm election ad revenue to come, Nexstar Media Group posted 8% higher total ad revenue to $451.8 million. The company said there was “growth in nineteen of Nexstar’s top twenty-five advertising categories which more than offset continued weakness in automotive advertising.”

• Automotive advertising — for many years the leading local TV advertising category — has been generally down since the first of the year.

• National TV automotive spend was off 14.4% in April, according to iSpot.tv. Ongoing supply-chain issues have impacted the business, according to analysts.

• Political advertising more than tripled — up 340% — to $23.7 million, which “reflects strong early mid-term election spending,” according to Nexstar.

The company’s big moneymaker — distribution revenues — climbed 7.5% to $667.9 million. In addition, Nexstar says there was a 19% improvement to $78.7 million in digital revenue. Results for Nexstar also include the publication of The

Hill, which was acquired in the third quarter of 2021.

Nexstar company-wide revenue was up a solid 8.6% to $1.21 billion, while net income was 26% higher to $251.4 million. Mid-day Tuesday’s stock price of Nexstar perked up 4% to $158.90.

Daily Clips is a culmination of various articles from an array of news sources on topics spanning from news to tech