Google: We’re Making It Easier to Listen to Local News (News & Tech)

September 8, 2020

Article by: News & Tech

Google: We’re Making It Easier to Listen to Local News
Google is bringing Your News Update to Google Podcasts and also making it easier to listen to local news when you ask Google Assistant, Google said in a blog. Last fall, Google launched its news playlist Your News Update on Google Assistant. Your News Update is now coming to Google Podcasts to make it easier for millions of podcast users in the U.S. to discover and listen to news that’s timely and relevant to them, says Google. Podcasting is more popular than ever and news is the fastest-growing category in podcasts, Google points out. But there often tends to be a focus on national news and it’s harder to find on-demand quality audio journalism at the local level, says Google. When a user opens the Google Podcasts app and navigates to the Explore tab, that user can subscribe to Your News Update and listen to a mix of short news stories chosen based on the user’s interests, location, history and preferences.

NYT Pulls Plug on Daily TV Listings
The last weekend of August saw the end for daily TV listings in the print editions of The New York Times. The feature debuted on May 18, 1939. It may be surprising to some that that paper was still printing the listings. For years, the paper had included the grid only in its New York City edition. “We are firmly in the streaming age,” said Gilbert Cruz, The Times’s Culture editor, “and the TV grid no longer reflects the way people consume television.” “It used to be you’d flip through the TV guide and say, ‘Oh my God, this movie is on basic cable this week!’” he said. “But now that buzzy show is on Netflix whenever you want to watch it.” Dropping the listing lets The Times print one version of its Arts section for both city and national subscribers.

Drupa Launches Drupa Preview Online Platform
Printing technologies trade fair drupa is extending its digital offering: starting in October the online platform drupa preview will offer exhibitors and visitors an additional channel for touching base with the sector, discussing trending themes and presenting product portfolios. The portal will consist of the content formats “Conference,” “Exhibition” and “Networking.” The drupa preview enables continuous exchange of information until the hybrid trade fair in April 2021 (April 20–28 in Dusseldorf, Germany), which will combine the on-site event with additional digital content, say organizers Messe Dusseldorf. “We have already been working long and hard on enhancing our digital offering. The pandemic has faced us with new challenges and has ultimately been a catalyst for digitization,” says Sabine Geldermann, director drupa and Print Technologies. “With the hybrid drupa we also give those visitors who are unable to travel the possibility to take part in the industry get-together.”

Guild: Roanoke Times Cutting 10
The Roanoke Times (Virginia) is cutting 10 staff members in October, according to the Timesland News Guild. The cuts come as owner Lee Enterprises moves to consolidate design in the Midwest. Lee’s design hubs are in Madison, Wisconsin, and Munster, Indiana.

According to the guild, Iowa-based Lee has communicated to members of the Timesland News Guild bargaining committee that the company said no to the union’s proposal to set up a hub in Roanoke that would keep design work on site and provide a new revenue stream through custom publications and web services for area businesses.
The cutting of 10 copy editing and design positions amounts to nearly 20% of the newsroom’s unionized workforce, says the guild. These include three full-time and seven part-time positions.

Paxton Media Group Buys Wilkes Journal-Patriot
Paxton Media Group has bought the Wilkes Journal-Patriot newspaper in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, from Carter-Hubbard Publishing, according to Randy Cope of Cribb, Greene & Cope, who represented the Hubbard family in the sale. Dale Morefield, publisher of The Enquirer-Journal in Monroe since 2015, has taken on the additional duties of publisher of the Wilkes Journal Patriot. The Wilkes Journal-Patriot joined The Enquirer-Journal in Paxton Media Group’s North Carolina/Tennessee/Georgia division. Julius C. “Jule” Hubbard, editor of the Journal-Patriot and one of the former owners, remains with the paper as a Paxton employee. Paxton Media Group, based in Paducah, Kentucky, owns more than 30 dailies and several dozen weeklies in the South and Midwest.  The Wilkes Journal-Patriot will continue to publish Wednesdays and update its website throughout the week.

Chatham Completes McClatchy Buy
New Jersey-based hedge fund Chatham Asset Management has completed its buy of McClatchy, Chatham announced. The purchase transitions the McClatchy operation out of bankruptcy. As of Sept. 4, the entirety of McClatchy’s 30 news organizations and all of its employees transitioned to a new private entity under Chatham ownership.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era and opportunity for McClatchy,” said Tony Hunter, CEO of McClatchy. “The company is now poised for sustainable long-term growth driven by differentiated local content and an acute focus on our digital presence and offerings.” McClatchy has appointed a new board of directors, of which Hunter has been named chairman. Additional board members include John Bode, COO of Readerlink Distribution Services, a book distributor. Earlier in his career, Bode was CFO of Tribune Publishing Company. Also on the board is Jamal Mashburn, a business owner and former NBA player. Mashburn owns over 150 local businesses and franchises in the U.S. McClatchy-owned Sacramento Bee has some background here. Former McClatchy board chairman Kevin McClatchy wrote a goodbye column with background on his family here. . The Miami Herald, Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, (Raleigh) News and Observer and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram are among McClatchy papers.

More news
• Capital Newspapers is stopping print production of the Reedsburg Times Press (Wisconsin). The last edition will go out Sept. 17. Capital Newspapers is based in Madison and owned by Lee Enterprises and The Capital Times Company.

• Starting Oct. 6, The Herald-Whig (Quincy, Illinois) will use the U.S. Postal Service for home delivery. With the change, The Herald-Whig will become a morning newspaper. Subscribers who get Sunday home delivery by carrier will still get that service. Quincy Media owns the paper.

• The Mores family has sold the Harlan Newspapers (Iowa.) Louie Mullen, owner of Blackbird, is the new owner of the business.

• The Bismarck Tribune (North Dakota) is going to six-day print starting Oct. 10, the paper announced. The paper will stop printing a Sunday edition. The Saturday edition will be the biggest paper of the week. Lee Enterprises owns the paper.

• The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and its parent company, WEHCO Newspapers (Little Rock), have bought The Pine Bluff Commercial, the paper announced.


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