LNP Expands Relationship with SCS
Longtime SCS customer LNP Media Group, based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has selected SCS/ClassPag to automate the pagination of its classified pages across its multiple publications. LNP Media Group owns and publishes several titles, including LNP, its flagship daily paper, and Lancaster Farming, published weekly. LNP has used Layout-8000 from SCS for more than 30 years and will lean heavily on SCS/ClassPag to streamline and automate its complex classified workflow, says SCS.
In addition to SCS/ClassPag, LNP Media plans on upgrading its editorial system to SCS’s new Community Publishing System in early 2021. SCS offers a line of publishing-related applications, including Layout-8000. Pennsylvania-based SCS is privately held by Richard and Martha Cichelli.
Google Suit Draws News Industry Reactions
Various parties have weighed in on the Department of Justice’s antitrust suit against Google, filed last week. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-sues-monopolist-google-violating-antitrust-laws “It is good that the DOJ is starting the process, but ‘search distribution’ issues are a small subset of the many issues presented by Google dominance,” said News Media Alliance President and CEO David Chavern in a statement. “News publishers are particularly harmed by Google’s control of ad tech — and that doesn’t appear to be covered at all by the DOJ’s action today,” said the statement. Chavern pushed for the passage of the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act in his statement. “For Big Tech, it’s a reckoning that’s been a long time coming,” says a LA Times editorial headlined “The DOJ is taking the gloves off against Big Tech.” “The lawsuit, which was joined by 11 state attorneys general, is likely to be just the first in a salvo of antitrust cases, legislative proposals, rule-makings and other governmental initiatives to rein in Big Tech companies,” says the piece.
Senators Introduce Legislation to Provide Waiver for News Publishers
Senators Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Chris Coons (D-Delaware) have introduced the “Heroes Small Business Lifeline Act,” which provides a Small Business Administration affiliation waiver that would allow more news publishers to apply for SBA loans under the Paycheck Protection Program created by the CARES Act in March 2020, reports the News Media Alliance. The News Media Alliance says it commends the move. The waiver language follows that included in the updated HEROES Act passed by the House on Oct. 1, says the News Media Alliance. Both bills would allow news publishers to apply for PPP loans as individual, independent entities, despite ownership by companies with other small news publishers or non-news businesses, allowing more publishers to qualify for the loans. Twenty-nine senators had signed on as co-sponsors by Oct. 21, says the Alliance.
Naviga Launches Production Automation Tool
Naviga has launched Smart Layouts, a marriage of two of its products that is aimed at automating print production workflows for publishers. The software leverages AI/machine-learning technology and is composed of Naviga Publisher and Naviga Templates. Naviga Publisher is powered by Sophio.io, an AI system conceived by The Globe and Mail, and is combined with Naviga’s unified CMS to automate the full assembly of a publication. Naviga Templates is an Adobe InDesign plug-in that automates layout of individual newspaper articles, giving publishers manual control where needed. Naviga Publisher is currently in use at Norwegian daily Agderposten. Gota Media, a Swedish newspaper company, is currently using Naviga Templates.
41 North Media Buying Nantucket Paper From Gannett
41 North Media is buying the Inquirer and Mirror (Nantucket, Massachusetts) from Gannett, the paper reported. The sale is expected to close on Nov. 1. The sale returns the paper to local ownership.
“This is great news,” editor and publisher Marianne Stanton said, the paper reported. “Although our corporate parents have largely been ‘hands-off’ with our operations, I’ve always thought that the newspaper would be in the best long-term position with local ownership.”
Douglas Budget Works with Bluefin
The Douglas Budget (Wyoming) is now using Bluefin Technology Partners’ offerings for increasing ad revenue and enhancing online readership content, according to a news release from Bluefin. Bluefin is a provider of print and digital advertising solutions for the publishing industry. The web-hosted solution includes Bluefin Place Ad, allowing advertisers to place classified ads in multiple print and online publications from a single user experience. The Douglas Budget also rolled out Bluefin Marketplace to host their online classified listings. “We are delighted to add the Douglas Budget to Bluefin publishing client family,” said Rich Grover, founder of Bluefin. Bluefin was founded in 2005 by senior executives servicing media companies in the United States, Canada and South Africa.
Plain Dealer’s Friday Section Retooled
The Plain Dealer’s Friday entertainment section has been retooled, the paper said. Starting Oct. 23, it’s been published as a broadsheet section. It’s now dubbed “In the CLE.” The section had been a magazine-sized tabloid for more than a half century. It started as The Plain Dealer Action Tab in 1966 and was renamed Friday in 1976, says the paper. Among “In the CLE” offerings are arts news and features, movie reviews, TV picks and coverage of musical acts to hear locally and online, says the paper.
Ex-owner of St. Louis Magazine Files for Bankruptcy
Ray Hartmann, ex-owner of alternative paper the Riverfront Times and a former owner of St. Louis Magazine, has filed for bankruptcy, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Hartmann and his wife have assets of about $65,000 and creditors who are owed more than have $1 million, according to the filing, says the paper. Hartmann said he made “one really big catastrophic commercial real estate investment,” the paper said.
Koenig & Bauer, DCOS Partner on Compacta S80 Work
Koenig & Bauer is partnering with DCOS to develop a retrofit and upgrade solution for the Koenig & Bauer Compacta S80 short-grain heatset press. Even though these presses were manufactured decades ago, they’re “still a hot candidate for service-life-extensions and automation upgrades,” says Koenig & Bauer in a news release. First out of the shoot is a 1991 vintage Compacta S80 in Germany. Besides a complete drive and control system upgrade, the project also includes a fully loaded print inspection system. The original drive and control systems were facing total obsolescence. DCOS’s automation platform Printing Framework was customized to fit the needs in a combined effort between Koenig & Bauer and DCOS. The upgrade incorporates a new main drive system, mechanical PIVs replaced by shaftless drives, an updated safety system and a new machine and quality control system. A new feature in the DCOS Print Inspection Systems family was developed for this project: a camera-based closed-loop web-guide control system. This feature will serve as a possible upgrade solution for obsolete web-guide control systems.
ABB to Futureproof Major German Printing House
Augsburg-based Presse-Druck- und Verlags, responsible for printing some of Germany’s biggest regional papers, will implement updates to offset industry cost pressures, says a news release from Switzerland-based ABB. ABB will build provide the latest updates to the company’s planning and management software tech. ABB will install its specialist MPS Cockpit for planning and management of the entire newspaper production process across the plant, MPS Insight for reporting and analysis necessary for process optimization to increase profitability, and MPS InsertManager for the support and coordination of sales, production planning, storage and distribution of inserts. Europe currently has ABB’s largest installed base for printing customers, followed by the U.S.
New Weeklies in South Carolina
Andrew O’Byrne Sr. and Andrew O’Byrne Jr. have started two weekly papers, one for Bamberg County and the other for eastern Orangeburg County (South Carolina), The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg) reported. The papers will be named the Bamberg County Leader and the Orangeburg Leader. The launch of the papers comes after the shuttering of the Bamberg Advertizer-Herald, the Holly Hill Observer and the Santee Striper. The O’Byrnes also own The Calhoun Times Leader, the Wagener-based Aiken Leader and the Kershaw-based Kershaw News-Era, the paper says.
• San Francisco Chronicle owner Hearst extended offers of voluntary buyouts to staff last week, the paper reported.
• Michael Bloomberg may take his media business public through a company run by hedge fund manager and billionaire Bill Ackman, The New York Post reported.
• Batavia Newspapers will offer digital subscription models on Nov. 1 for its two papers, The Daily News in Batavia and The Livingston County News in Geneseo (both in New York), the Livingston County paper reported.
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