News & Tech: Pandemic Leaves Mark on Media Habits

June 21, 2021

Article by: News & Tech

Pandemic Leaves Mark on Media Habits

The coronavirus pandemic has left its mark on people’s media habits, says a report from eMarketer. Around a third of U.S. adults’ daily time spent with media will be on mobile in 2021, says the report. Mobile will account for around a third (33.2%) of time spent with any form of media in 2021. By the end of 2023, that share will climb to 35%, says eMarketer. Before the pandemic, eMarketer “expected growth in mobile time spent to slow and level off within a few years. Instead, average time spent on smartphones, tablets, and feature phones in 2020 increased by just over half an hour per day to reach 4 hours, 16 minutes (4:16), about 28 minutes more than we had predicted back in November 2019,” says eMarketer.

2020’s 13.8% growth was mobile’s fastest yearly growth since 2014. Growth will slow to 2% or 3% year over year through the end of eMarketer’s forecast in 2023. In 2023, the average US adult will spend 4:35 per day on mobile devices.

Legacy Launches Community High School Memorial Pages

Legacy has launched community high school memorial pages. Legacy’s community pages gather obituaries for people associated with a specific high school (and soon other groups of interest, like veterans and universities, says Legacy). Readers will be able to find obituaries for their classmates, coaches, teachers and students, no matter when they were published.

Legacy cites the fact that audience attention is fractured these days. Legacy’s current analyses estimate that less than 50% of local deaths on average are published as obits in a newspaper. The pages feature a newspaper’s logo and branding, prominent links to the paper’s obit homepage and notification options for page updates. “We developed our community memorial pages in a partner-centric ecosystem,” says Ernie Roth, general manager of newspapers at Legacy. “Our product team really challenged themselves to create a broad network that adds additional traffic and value for newspapers at every step.”

Better Newspapers Buys Five Illinois Weeklies

Better Newspapers (Mascoutah, Illinois) has bought five weekly papers in Illinois, WLDS/WEAI Radio reports. Greg Hoskins, publisher of Better Newspapers, has bought the Greene Prairie Press, the Scott County Times, the Pike Press, the Calhoun News-Herald and the Jersey County Journal from Campbell Publishing. Better Newspapers is family owned. The company owns 31 other publications in Illinois and Missouri. The company constructed a regional press plant in Altamont, Illinois, in 2012. The facility prints Better Newspapers publications along with other papers, says Herald Publications.

Tribune Journalists Take Alden Buyouts

Around a quarter of Chicago Tribune staff has opted for a voluntary buyout, says Robert Feder, citing the Chicago Tribune Guild. Tribune Publishing shareholders approved Alden Global Capital’s takeover of the company in May. Among those going is Tribune columnist John Kass, who has written a farewell column to his readers and has a website where readers can access content from him.

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mary Schmich has also announced she’s taking a buyout, Feder reports. Other columnists who announced they’re leaving include Eric Zorn, Heidi Stevens and Steve Chapman, says Feder, who writes a blog focused on Chicago media. Susanna Homan, editor-in-chief and publisher of Chicago magazine, is leaving the city monthly owned by Tribune Publishing, Feder reports. The voluntary separation plan was offered to Tribune Publishing newsroom employees around the country.

Berkshire Hathaway Puts Buildings on Market

Berkshire Hathaway has put some former newspaper buildings on the market. In spring 2020, all of the Berkshire Hathaway papers were bought by Lee Enterprises. Berkshire Hathaway kept the real estate. Some of that real estate has already been sold. Facilities on the market now include buildings that contain the Hickory Daily Record, RockinghamNow, Statesville Record & Landmark (all in North Carolina).

A.H. Belo Moving From NYSE to Nasdaq, Changing Name

A. H. Belo Corporation has announced that it will transfer the listing of its Series A common stock from the New York Stock Exchange to Nasdaq starting with trading on June 29. The company’s new ticker symbol will be DALN. The decision to move to Nasdaq follows an internal review of what market best serves the company’s interests going forward, according to Katy Murray, executive vice president and chief financial officer. Concurrent with its listing on Nasdaq, the company will change its name to DallasNews Corporation.

The parent company of The Dallas Morning News announced in March that it would change its name, citing its A. H. Belo’s links to the Confederacy, said the paper. The name change was approved by approximately 99.4 percent of the votes represented at the company’s annual meeting on May 13. The name change and website will be effective on June 29. “We are keenly aware that the relationship of our company’s name to a person who figured prominently in the Confederate Army is the source of discomfort, even pain, for many of our fellow citizens,” Robert W. Decherd, company chairman, president and CEO, said during a quarterly conference call in March. “And that is intolerable to the leaders of this enterprise.” The company wants to embrace “the social justice movement underway in America,” said Decherd.

Virtual.drupa Bridged Gap, say Organizers

Virtual.drupa was the first purely digital version of the drupa global trade fair for printing technologies. It took place from April 20 to 23. The virtual event successfully bridged the gap between the previous and forthcoming face-to-face event in 2024, says organizer Messe Dusseldorf. Two hundred and twelve exhibitors from 35 countries, as well as team participants from global subsidiaries, presented their product portfolios and innovations within the online showrooms and more than 125 live web sessions with an average of 140 participants, say organizers.

Before the next drupa (May 28  to June 7, 2024), Messe Dusseldorf and its trade shows in Asia will offer a range of events. This includes the Print & Digital Convention, scheduled for Oct. 20 to 21, 2021, at the Dusseldorf Exhibition Centre as well as the following events from the global Print Technologies portfolio: PackPrintPlas Philippines (Oct. 7 to 9) and Indoprint (Jakarta, Oct. 13 to 16).  The virtual.drupa chat function will remain open until the end of October.

More News

  • Apple Daily, a Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper, will have to close “in a matter of days” an adviser to owner Jimmy Lai told Reuters. Authorities have frozen billionaire Lai’s assets and Lai is in jail. The paper’s chief editor and chief executive are also in jail. Next Digital, founded by Lai, publishes the paper.
  • Conde Nast has agreed to its first contract with unionized employees at the New Yorker, music website Pitchfork and tech pub Ars Technica, preventing a strike, The Wall Street Journal reports. This month, Conde Nast staff had picketed outside the New York home of Global Chief Content Officer Anna Wintour.
  • The New York Times won’t be purchasing Athletic, The Information reported.
  • The Cass County Democrat-Missourian (Harrisonville, Missouri) is stopping publication of its weekly paper, The Kansas City Star reported. Its last edition will be out June 25. McClatchy bought the paper in 2006.
  • TBO Printing and Publishing (TBO) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, installed two manroland Goss Cromoman presses on May 31 to establish a textbook production facility for East Africa, says manroland Goss.
  • Cottrell Printing recently installed Agfa’s Anapurna H2500i LED Hybrid wide-format press and a Colex cutter. Cottrell serves Centennial, Colorado,and Metro Denver.


News & Tech is the premier resource for insight, analysis and technology integration in newspaper, magazine, digital and hybrid operations and production. News & Tech is written by industry experts and read by publishers and executive decision-makers.