Hunter Publishing Joins Wick Communications
The Madison Leader (South Dakota) has been sold to Wick Communications, a family-owned media company based in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The Madison Leader has been published by the Hunter family for 75 years. New Mexico media merger firm Dirks, Van Essen & April represented the Hunter family in the transaction. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The announcement was made last week by Daily Leader Publisher Jon Hunter and Francis Wick, CEO of Wick. “Wick is a third-generation family newspaper business, just like the Daily Leader,” Hunter said. “They have demonstrated a commitment to communities they serve and are well-prepared to serve Madison. There’s a bright future ahead for our newspaper and Leader Printing.”
End of a Print Era at the Missoulian
On March 28, the Missoulian (Montana) press will be fired up for the last time. Lee Enterprises owns the paper. Going forward, the paper will be printed in Helena. The change comes on the heels of the sale of the Missoulian building at 500 South Higgins. “It’s been a good run,” said Todd Matthews, who has operated the press for more than a decade. Matthews is one of four press operators who print the Missoulian and other publications daily. To see more, go here.
Register-Guard Story Reflects on Changing Print
The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon) has a story with photos reflecting on the changing world of printing newspapers. The paper’s owner, Gannett, is shifting printing to Columbian Publishing in Vancouver, Washington. The last day for the press was Sunday, the paper said. Among others, the story features second-generation pressman Aric Frydendall, who worked his way up from “icky jobs” to being lead mechanic. He reflected on the changes he has seen. “It is all going online,” he said. “But some of us still like the print, we like to be able to pick it up and read it and hold it in our hands.” “It is hard,” he said. “It is what we’ve done, and now it is all going away.”
Torstar to Gamble on Gaming
Torstar Corporation intends to launch an online casino betting brand this year in the regulated Ontario online gaming market, the company has announced. “We are excited at the prospect of participating in a regulated online Ontario gaming market with a made-in-Ontario product,” said Corey Goodman, chief corporate development officer at Torstar. The launch is pending approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and the setting of a launch date by the Ontario government. The 2019–2020 Ontario budget contained a promise to license private operators to operate in a regulated online gaming market in the province.
In its latest budget, the Ontario government said it would be “introducing legislation to give the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) authority to conduct and manage iGaming, in addition to having the role of the regulator.” The commission would “manage the relationship between the government and private iGaming operators.” Ontarians spend more than $500 million dollars a year on online gaming, the 2019–2020 Ontario budget noted, with the vast majority spent in unregulated, grey-market offshore websites, says Torstar.
“There are two reasons for our entry into this field,” said Paul Rivett, chair and co-owner of Torstar. “First, we want to ensure the new marketplace is well represented with a Canadian, Ontario-based gaming brand so that more of our players’ entertainment dollars stay in our province. Second, doing this as part of Torstar will help support the growth and expansion of quality community-based journalism.” https://www.torstar.com/component/content/article/9-latest-news/244-torstar-to-launch-ontario-based-internet-gaming-business?Itemid=101
NY Bill Would Make Newspapers Responsible for Recycling
A bill in the New York State legislature would put the responsibility for end-of-product-life recycling onto product producers, the Long Island Advance reports. Senate bill 1185A would transfer the expenses of disposal from municipalities to manufacturers, says the paper. Product packaging, plastic wrappers and bottles and paper products such as brochures, newspapers and magazines would be included in the change, says the paper. Other extended producer responsibility (EPR) changes are being proposed in other states, Packaging World reports.
‘Uplifting’ Chicago Star Launches
The Chicago Star has launched, Robert Feder reported on his site. It’s a subscription-based monthly publication that highlights “uplifting news.” It’s a merging of hyperlocal monthlies New Eastside News and Streeterville News, says Feder, and uses AI to create much of its material. Chicago Star has a starting distribution of 30,000, says Feder.
• Tribune Publishing has released its fourth quarter and full-year 2020 results.
• The Blade (Toledo) has stopped Wednesday print delivery, the paper announced. Block Communications owns the paper.
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