Local Journalism Bill Would Provide Credits to Subscribers, Advertisers (News & Tech)

July 21, 2020

Article by: NEWS & TECH

Local Journalism Bill Would Provide Credits to Subscribers, Advertisers

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act, introduced on July 16, is a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by U.S. Representatives Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Arizona) and Dan Newhouse (R-Washington). The legislation provides for tax credits for subscribing to a local paper, payroll credit for paying journalists who provide local news and tax credits for advertising in local papers and local media.

Joining Reps. Kirkpatrick and Newhouse as original cosponsors of the bill are Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, Thomas Suozzi, Peter Welch, Rodney Davis, David B. McKinley, Peter Visclosky, Colling Peterson, Josh Harder, Denny Heck, Mark Takano, Andre Carson and Chuck Fleischmann. America’s Newspapers provides some details on the bill. America’s Newspapers, the News Media Alliance and National Newspaper Association are applauding the bill.

Drupa 2021 Shortened Amid Vendor Cancellations

Printing tech trade fair drupa will be shortened from eleven to nine days and will be held from April 20–28, 2021, organizers Messe Dusseldorf announced. The move comes as a number of vendors announced they are pulling out of the event, held at fairgrounds in Dusseldorf, Germany. Among those that have canceled their participation at the event are Heidelberg, Manroland Sheetfed, Komori, Xerox and Bobst. Koenig & Bauer says it will attend the event.

“We continue to see drupa, the world’s leading trade fair, as an important building block in the graphic arts industry and we see it as our responsibility to support this industry,” says Claus Bolza-Schunemann, Koenig & Bauer CEO and drupa president.

The trade fair’s practices are continuously updated to conform to the latest coronavirus regulations and official requirements, says Messe Dusseldorf. “The character of drupa in 2021, due to the pandemic and hygiene regulations, will certainly be different from what we are used to, but it will continue to make a very important contribution to the economic recovery,” says drupa Director Sabine Geldermann.

Outplacement Firm: Newsrooms Cuts Top 11,000 This Year

According to outplacement and business coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, newsrooms have announced 11,027 job cuts this year, up 169.8% from the 4,087 cuts announced in the first half of 2019.  Through June, newsroom cuts are their highest point since Challenger began tracking them in 2003.
“Newsrooms have had a rough few years, as revenues declined and consolidation in the industry decimated news teams. Coupled with a hostile environment for many journalists, news has become an increasingly difficult career path,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president.

Koenig & Bauer Seeks Government Loan

German press manufacturer Koenig & Bauer is applying for a government loan of up to €120 million ($137 million) to supplement existing credit lines, the company announced. No dividend distributions will take place during the term of the loan. The loan is in tandem with the company’s Performance 2024 efficiency plan.

“In parallel to the corona crisis management, we are working intensively on the Performance 2024 efficiency program, evaluating various scenarios. In addition, improvements in working capital and cash flow are at the top of the agenda alongside the strategic focus on packaging printing and digital services,” said CEO Claus Bolza-Schunemann.

The company is requesting the loan through KFW, Germany’s state-owned development bank. Short-time working (a German unemployment program that includes reduced hours and pay) has been in place at different Koenig & Bauer locations since April 1. Under the current uncertain conditions, the impact on revenue and earnings in the 2020 financial year cannot yet be determined, the company says.

Advance Buys Ironman Group

Advance has bought The Ironman Group from Wanda Sports Group. The transaction was first announced in March. Orkila Capital, an equity firm focused on the media, entertainment and consumer sectors, partnered with Advance as a co-investor in the transaction. The Ironman Group operates a portfolio of events that includes the Ironman Triathlon Series, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, mountain bike races, road cycling events and other races.

New York-based family company Advance’s portfolio includes Conde Nast, Advance Local, Stage Entertainment, American City Business Journals, Leaders Group, Turnitin, 1010data and POP. Advance is also among the largest shareholders in Charter Communications, Discovery and Reddit.
New York-based Orkila Capital was formed in 2013 by Jesse Du Bey and Taylor Storms.

MLive, Staten Island Paper Moving Print

MLive Media Group says it will move the printing of its eight papers to Ohio and shutter its printing plant outside of Grand Rapids, MLive reported. The change will take place Oct. 5.  The printing is moving from a facility in Walker to Cleveland, said Tim Gruber, president and chief revenue officer of MLive Media Group. The Walker building will probably be put on the market, MLive said. The Cleveland plant prints The Plain Dealer. Seventy-one jobs will be lost. The employees will get a severance package, MLive said. Advance owns MLive and The Plain Dealer.

Another Advance paper, Staten Island Advance and SILive.com, is moving its news operations and print. The building and property on Fingerboard Road in Staten Island will be put on the market and the newsroom will be in a leased space, the paper reported. The printing will happen with other Advance papers in Montville, New Jersey. The paper didn’t say how many jobs would be impacted.

Times-Journal Inc., SCNI Partner on Print

Times-Journal Inc. (Marietta, Georgia) will print six Georgia titles owned by Southern Community Newspapers, the Rome paper announced. The titles are the Gwinnett Daily Post, Rockdale Citizen, Newton Citizen, Henry Herald, Clayton News and the Jackson Progress-Argus. “We have been working closely with SCNI, helping each other, for several years,” Times-Journal Publisher Otis Brumby III said. “Whenever we can share resources and operate more efficiently, it helps both companies.” “There is a synergy between our two companies that we have tapped into before,” SCNI President and CEO Mike Gebhart told the paper. “We are similar in size, product and geography, and this partnership strengthens both of us.”

Allured Business Media Buys Creative Age

Allured Business Media acquired publishing house Creative Age on July 15. The move expands Allured Business Media’s salon and spa professional brands from one to five and grows its professional beauty event repertoire, said a news release. Before the acquisition, Illinois-based Allured Business Media was home to spa publication Skin Inc., fragrance brand Perfumer & Flavorist, cosmetic business brand Global Cosmetic Industry and cosmetic science brand Cosmetics & Toiletries. The acquisition adds to Allured’s portfolio medical aesthetic brand MedEsthetics, professional nail brand Nailpro, professional salon brand Beauty Launchpad and spa professional brand Dayspa, along with its associated sub-brands and the Nailpro events. Many staff from Creative Age, based in California, will remain after the transition, including CEO Deborah Carver, the release said. The acquisition was brokered by John McGovern of Grimes, McGovern & Associates. No financial details were disclosed.

 More news

  • Seattle magazine is coming back with a special issue later this summer, in concert with affiliated publication Seattle Business magazine, Seattle magazine announced. Seattle magazine had paused publication due to COVID-19.
  • Beginning Aug. 24, the Casper Star-Tribune (Wyoming) will cease printing papers on Monday and Tuesday, the paper announced. Lee Enterprises owns the paper.
  • The Journal Gazette/Times-Courier (Mattoon, Illinois) will go to a five-day (Tuesday to Saturday) print schedule beginning Aug. 17, the paper announced. Digital-only subscriptions have risen by 93% over prior year, the paper has said. Lee Enterprises owns the paper.
  • Birmingham magazine (Alabama) is stopping its print production, the Birmingham Business Journal reported. The coronavirus pandemic is behind the move, the journal reported. Advance owns the magazine as part of Alabama Media Group, which also has AL.com, the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times, the Press-Register in Mobile and other publications.
  • Travel and tourism publishing operation HCP Media, a subsidiary of the Miami Herald Media Company, will be shuttered at the end of this month, the Miami Herald reported.
  • The Metropolis Planet (Illinois) is closing its building on Fifth St. in Metropolis. The paper will continue to operate, it says.
  • The Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, Massachusetts) will stop print operations. The paper says it’s stopping one of only two flexographic newspaper presses still in the U.S.

More vendor news

  •  The proposed purchase of Kodak’s paper and chemistry business by Chinese company Sino Promise Holdings was made known internally in early July, says a Kodak Alaris insider, Inside Imaging reported.
  • Apple News has launched Apple News Today, a daily audio news briefing.
  • Print service provider ASB Graphics (High Point, North Carolina ) recently installed the Fujifilm J Press 750S, Fujifilm said in a news release. ASB Graphics is an in-plant printer for sister company Acme Sample, supplying Acme with the printed materials they need to produce swatch cards, painting sets, memos and stack books for the textile and wall covering industry. They are also a supplier of custom scorecards to more than 500 different golf courses across the country.


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