Hyde Media Group Grows
The Hyde Media Group, formed by Granbury attorney Paul Hyde last year to buy the Hood County News (Texas), has expanded, Hood County News reports. The Springtown Epigraph, Azle News and The Gatesville Messenger are now part of HMG.
“Unlike hedge funds that have been purchasing community newspapers across the country only to cut staff and fill the papers’ contents largely with nonlocal wire stories, Hyde and Sam Houston, the HCN’s publisher and the HMG’s chief operating officer, said they are committed to covering local news through quality reporting and photography,” said the Hood County News. Hyde worked in the HCN’s insert room in younger years, says the paper.
Legislative News of Interest of Media Industry
Bills of interest to the media industry have been introduced in Congress.
- The Local Journalism Sustainability Act is a bipartisan bill that provides a pathway to financial viability for local newspapers, be they in print or online, through a series of three tax credits. More on the credits here. The Local Journalism Sustainability Act was introduced in the House in July 2020 by U.S. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Arizona) and Dan Newhouse (R-Washington). It died in the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill was reintroduced by Kirkpatrick and Newhouse on June 16.
- On July 1 Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) introduced the Protect Reporters from Exploitative State Spying (PRESS) Act in the House, which establishes reasonable ground rules for when the government can obtain confidential source information from the media and their third-party service providers, says the News Media Alliance. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has introduced a similar bill in the Senate.
- U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) has introduced legislation to “halt Big Tech’s censorship of Americans, defend free speech on the internet, and level the playing field to remove unfair protections that shield massive Silicon Valley firms from accountability,” says a press release from the senator. The Disincentivizing Internet Service Censorship of Online Users and Restrictions on Speech and Expression (DISCOURSE) Actwould hold Big Tech responsible for complying with pre-existing obligations per Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996and clarify ambiguous terms that allow Big Tech to engage in censorship, says the release.
- Also out of Florida, a federal judge has blocked a Florida law that would ban social media companies from barring political candidates, NPR and others reported. Judge Robert L. Hinkle of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida granted a preliminary injunction after NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association sued. Those entities that represent Facebook, Twitter and other big tech companies.
Negotiations Thorny at Boston Globe
Labor negotiations between The Boston Globe and unions have gotten thorny, the Boston Business Journal reports. Three unions representing different groups of Boston Globe workers have together sent a letter to the paper company’s ownership and leadership. The letter complains of “a series of aggressive, harmful tactics by management” in negotiations. The Boston Newspaper Guild, the International Association of Machinists and the Teamsters sent the letter.
None of the organizations have a contract at the moment with the Globe, according to the unions, says the journal. Among recipients of the letter were Boston Globe Media Partners CEO Linda Pizzuti Henry, Globe owner John Henry, two Globe editors and Jones Day partner Trish Dunn.
Erie Times-News Moves Printing
The Erie Times-News is now printed at the Canton Repository in Canton, Ohio, the paper reports, having moved the job from Eagle Printing, in Butler, whom the paper says has been a first-rate partners for ten years. Gannett owns both papers. Consolidated printing is increasingly common for Gannett papers, says the Times-News. For example, The Columbus Dispatch is printed by the Indianapolis Star and the Jackson Sun and Memphis Commercial Appeal has relocated printing to the Clarion-Ledger site in Jackson, Mississippi, says the Times-News.
Purdue Northwest, Lee Digital Agency Expand Contest
Purdue University Northwest’s (Hammond, Westville, Indiana) College of Business now has a multi-year agreement with Amplified Digital Agency to continue to expand the Digital Marketing Competition across the U.S. and Lee Enterprises’s 77 local media markets. Launched in 2019, the Digital Marketing Competition is an international digital marketing competition for college students where they develop and pitch their digital strategy to a real-life client. Amplified Digital Agency is a Lee Enterprises company.
Pew: Circulation Revenue for U.S. Papers Tops Ad Revenue
This is the first year in Pew’s State of the News Media project, going since 2004, that circulation revenue for U.S. newspapers has been higher than advertising revenue. The total estimated advertising revenue for the newspaper industry in 2020 was $8.8 billion, based on Pew’s analysis of financial statements for publicly traded newspaper companies. This is down 29% from 2019. Total estimated circulation revenue was $11.1 billion, compared with $11 billion in 2019.
The estimated total U.S. daily newspaper circulation (print and digital combined) in 2020 was 24.3 million for weekday and 25.8 million for Sunday, each down 6% from the previous year, though with some caveats, as detailed below and in a new Decoded post from Pew.
Digital circulation is more difficult to gauge. Using only the AAM data, digital circulation in 2020 is projected to have risen sharply, with weekday up 27% and Sunday up 26%. But three of the highest-circulation daily papers in the U.S., The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, have in recent years not fully reported their digital circulation to AAM. If these independently produced figures were included with the AAM data in both 2019 and 2020, weekday digital circulation would have risen even more sharply, by 38%.
Salt Lake Tribune Moves to New Comment Platform
The Salt Lake Tribune has moved to a new platform “to improve the quality of the comments on sltrib.com,” says the paper. Comments will be subscriber-only, which means users must have logged into their sltrib.com account to participate. People do not, however, need a subscription to read the comments. The paper has moved to Coral by Vox Media, used by The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Seattle Times. World Table will no longer be available at the paper.
Hagadone Adopts ePublishing’s Duet
The Idaho-based Hagadone Corporation, owner of 13 papers in Idaho, Montana and Washington, is now using the software solution Duet. Launched by publishing services and software provider ePublishing, Duet allows newspaper and magazine publishers to place content from their web CMS platform and advertising ROP layout solution into Adobe InDesign for a digital-to-print workflow.
Implementing Duet was the second and final step Hagadone has taken to modernize their workflow. Last year, they implemented Ellington CMS, a cloud-based, digital content management platform. Ellington is also a part of ePublishing’s suite of revenue and productivity solutions for publishers. The Ellington team were the original creators of Django, a digital framework for the web.
SCS introduces Automated News Pagination
SCS is announcing a new application called Automated News Pagination (ANP) that automatically paginates news pages using SCS AI. “For a number of years, at the direction of our owner, Richard Cichelli, SCS has been refining the automatic placement algorithms (SCS AI) that have been the cornerstones of Layout-8000 and SCS/ClassPag to now include content along with advertisements,” says Kurt Jackson, SCS’s vice president and general manager.
ANP does not rely on endless InDesign templates. Instead, it uses content-package template abstractions that can create multiple paginated page results that editors and creatives can choose from, says the company. ANP is engineered to work with SCS’s Community Publishing System as well as most third-party CMS solutions.
The application is ready for beta test use targeting a roll-out in Q4 2021. Pennsylvania-based SCS is privately held by Richard and Martha Cichelli.
- The weekly Ellettsville Journal (Indiana) will print its last edition on August 4. Owner Gannett says it is moving coverage to The Herald-Times in Bloomington, Indiana Public Media reports. Schurz Communications bought The Ellettsville Journal in 2017. Schurz sold The Herald-Times and The Ellettsville Journal to Gatehouse Media in 2019. Gatehouse later merged with Gannett.
- Reporters Without Borders says it knows of at least 22 newspapers throughout the world that were driven to close by governments they annoyed during the past five years, the fate suffered by Apple Daily, Hong Kong’s popular tabloid, which announced on June 23 that it was shutting down under pressure from the Hong Kong and Chinese authorities.
- Stora Enso has completed co-determination negotiations concerning closing the pulp and paper production at its Kvarnsveden site in Sweden. The closure will take place by the end of the third quarter of this year, the company says.
- UPM’s newsprint mill Chapelle Darblay in France will be sold and make hydrogen in the future, EUWID Pulp and Paper reports. This means the end of paper production at one of the last two newsprint mills in France.
- Sun Chemical and DIC Corporation have finalized the acquisition of BASF’s global pigments business. Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC Group, is a producer of packaging and graphic solutions, color and display technologies, functional products, electronic materials and products for the automotive and healthcare industries.
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