Kodak Acquires Southern Lithoplate
Kodak has announced the acquisition of the service and parts assets of Southern Lithoplate (North Carolina), complementing the strategic alliance formed with SLP in December 2020. Kodak’s service and support team will provide a plan for Southern Lithoplate’s customer base, offering a range of service options, says a news release from Kodak.
“Our partnership with Southern Lithoplate deepens our expertise in the newspaper segment and strengthens our ability to provide exceptional service for customers,” said Jim Continenza, executive chairman and CEO, Eastman Kodak Company.
“On behalf of the Casson family and Team SLP, I express our deepest gratitude to you, our loyal customers, our alliance partners and the marketplace at large for your support these many decades,” said a statement from Edward A. “Trip” Casson III, SLP chairman and CEO.LThe Kodak service team will take over the servicing of Southern Lithoplate’s accounts beginning Aug. 1.
Agfa Announces Offset Printing Plate Price Increase
Belgium-based Agfa announced June 24 that it will globally increase the prices of its offset printing plates. The ongoing rise of raw material costs, particularly aluminum, energy and packaging materials, in combination with high freight rates make price adjustments unavoidable, says the company. Offset plate prices will increase by up to 10%, effective Aug. 1, as contracts permit. This is in addition to the previously announced and implemented increase and will likely be followed by subsequent increases as the trend continues, says the company. The Agfa sales teams will be in contact with customers to discuss the details.
Gannett Launches Non-Fungible Token
USA Today Network announced it will auction its inaugural non-fungible token (NFT), inspired by the first newspaper delivered to space in 1971. Powered by Origin’s NFT Launchpad, the auction will consist of a mosaic incorporating more than 300 images from 50 years of space coverage. All auction proceeds will benefit the Air Force Space & Missile Museum Foundation and the Gannett Foundation.
Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space, famously transported a special edition of Today, now Florida Today and part of the USA Today Network, to the moon. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Shepard’s visit to the moon, the collection allows bidders the chance to immerse themselves with the interactive artwork of the Apollo Landing and related NASA missions. The 48-hour auction will begin June 28 at 8 p.m. ET at nft.usatoday.com. Gannett will also be offsetting the NFT footprint with carbon credits.
Reuters Institute Releases Digital News Report
The Reuters Institute has released the tenth edition of its Digital News Report. Some items from the executive summary:
- Trust in the news has grown, on average, by six percentage points in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic — with 44% of the total sample saying they trust most news most of the time. This reverses, to some extent, recent falls in average trust — bringing levels back to those of 2018. Finland remains the country with the highest levels of overall trust (65%), and the U.S. now has the lowest levels (29%) in the survey.
- Despite more options to read and watch partisan news, the majority of respondents (74%) say they still prefer news that reflects a range of views and lets themdecide what to think. Most also think that news outlets should try to be neutral on every issue (66%), though some younger groups think that “impartiality” may not be appropriate or desirable in some cases — for example, on social justice issues.
- Reuters data suggest that mainstream news brands and journalists attract most attention around news in both Facebook and Twitter but are eclipsed by influencers and alternative sources in networks like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. TikTok now reaches a quarter (24%) of under-35s, with 7% using the platform for news — and a higher penetration in parts of Latin America and Asia.
- There have been significant increases in payment for online news in a small number of richer Western countries, but the overall percentage of people paying for online news remains low. Across 20 countries where publishers have been pushing for more online payment, 17% have paid for any online news in the last year — up two percentage points. Norway continues to lead the way with 45% (+3) followed by Sweden (30%), the U.S. (21%), Finland (20%), the Netherlands (17%) and Switzerland (17%).
Charter to Focus on the Future of Work
Quartz co-founders Kevin Delaney and Jay Lauf, along with Erin Grau, formerly of The New York Times, are starting a new media company called Charter, focused on the future of work, Axios reports. Charter is currently self-funded and will have three main money sources: sponsorships, subscriptions and services, Delaney and Grau told Axios. Among the offerings: an online course and digital certificate on hybrid work management co-created with Nomadic, a B2B training firm.
6AM City Expanding
Newsletter-first local media company 6AM City is on pace to more than triple the size of the business in 2021, says the company. Over the next six months, 6AM City will expand into 24 U.S. cities and reach more than one million subscribers. To help with this expansion, the company has added experienced media executives to its board and leadership team, says the company.
6AM City has announced its next 14 markets, adding to eight current markets across the Southeast. Additional markets will be named in the coming months, says the company. The fourteen are Boston (BOStoday), Portland (PDXtoday), Seattle (SEAtoday), San Diego (SDtoday), Sacramento (SACtoday), San Jose (SJCtoday), Louisville (LOUtoday), Lexington (LEXtoday), Kansas City, Missouri (KCtoday), Richmond (RICtoday), Madison, Wisconsin (608today), Indianapolis (INDYtoday), Fort Worth (FTWtoday) and San Antonio (SATXtoday).
In each city, 6AM will be hiring local editorial and sales staff.
O’Rourke Media Group Buys Las Vegas Optic
O’Rourke Media Group has bought the Las Vegas Optic from Paxton Media Group (PMG). The Las Vegas Optic is one of the 46 newspaper operations PMG recently acquired from Landmark Community Newspapers. When PMG announced its purchase of Landmark Community Newspapers to the staff of the Optic, the staff was also told that PMG intended to focus on the Landmark newspapers closer to the company’s current geographic footprint in the Southeast and that they were working to find a new owner for the Optic as soon as possible. Dirks, Van Essen & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in New Mexico, represented Paxton Media Group. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. “I’m excited to plant a flag in the state of New Mexico with the acquisition of the Optic,” O’Rourke Media Group CEO Jim O’Rourke said.
Bee Publishing Making Changes
The Bee Publishing Company (Connecticut) is making changes to its printing, says The Newtown Bee. As of July 1, all printing is moving from the company’s printing plant on Commerce Road to Trumbull Printing in Trumbull. The company publishes The Newtown Bee, Antiques and The Arts Weekly and The Bee Extra. The publications are currently printed in house by members of Bee Publishing Company’s staff. Special projects, including the annual Guide To Newtown, were handled by Trumbull Printing. The paper also recently announced that position of editor will transition from Nancy K. Crevier, who is retiring, to Associate Editor John Voket.
People-Sentinel to be Locally Owned Again
The People-Sentinel (Barnwell, South Carolina) is going back to local ownership, the Augusta Chronicle reports. Barnwell native Jonathan Vickery, the paper’s editor, has made a deal with the current owner, a subsidiary of Gannett, to take over ownership on July 1. The paper was last locally owned by the late Bob and Kathy Harris in the 1980s.
“It’s been my pleasure to work for my hometown newspaper since October 2010. I have enjoyed keeping my community informed and engaged in what’s happening locally. I thank Gannett for this opportunity to become the new owner of The People-Sentinel so I can invest in my community and continue to keep my neighbors informed,” said Vickery, according to the Chronicle.
- Hong Kong police arrested a journalist who had been with the shuttered Apple Daily paper Sunday as he was trying to catch a flight to leave Hong Kong, according to reports, Reuters says. “Fear Grips Other Hong Kong Media After China Crushes Apple Daily,” reads a Bloomberg headline on the issue.
- Euclid Media Group (Cleveland) has bought Leo Weekly, a Louisville alternative newsweekly publication, formerly owned by Aaron Yarmuth and founded by John Yarmuth, says Leo Weekly.
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