Covering the Trump Era – with Shrinking Newsrooms

First came the election; now, for the news business, comes the reckoning. The internecine media wars – full of self-criticism and finger-pointing – dominated the online discussions about the business during the two weeks after the election. But many working journalists face a more immediate ...

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Newsonomics: In Southern California’s Newspaper Chaos, Is Anyone Really Speaking For The Readers?

William Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice’s antitrust division, had already bluntly told all involved in the Freedom Communications newspaper bankruptcy auction that Tribune Publishing should stay out of the bidding. He sent an email two days before ...

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Feds Sue Tribune Hours After It ‘Wins’ Bid for Freedom Communications

What started as a marathon has turned into an obstacle course. In today’s wee hours, just before dawn, Tribune Publishing was named as the “winner” in the Orange County Register bankruptcy auction. Tribune’s winning bid of $56 million in cash – topping high-end estimates of the combined value ...

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Tribune, the Register Auction and DOJ’s Scarlet Letter

For those who have been following the ongoing tragicomedy of California’s dying newspaper industry, today, March 16, marks a climax. And as with all amazing stories, the moments leading up to that climax have made it a nail-biter. The real action is mundane enough: Today is the day that final ...

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Trash-Talking in the O.C., With Two Newspapers Hanging in the Balance

Nothing is easy when it comes to newspapering in southern California. Two bids for the Orange County Register, and associated properties, are now in to a bankruptcy court, and my sources indicate they are on the “puny” side. That may not be surprising, considering the current dismal state of ...

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Newsonomics: When News Companies Are No Longer Built To Last

I’ve gotten feedback about vulture capitalists, hatchet men, and chop shops, and of close-to-retirement publishers getting that unexpected knock on the door from visiting corporate vice presidents. I’ve heard about 30-year-old journalists turning in their resignations, and other young reporters ...

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Newsonomics: Are Post-Paton DFM Cuts More Than a Milking Strategy?

Two months ago, Digital First Media’s deal to sell itself to Apollo Global Management collapsed (“Apollo withdraws from DFM deal, Paton leaves”), and its founding CEO (and would-be industry leader) John Paton said he would leave the company. Now, as of July 1, he’s gone. New CEO Steve Rossi, ...

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Newsonomics: Digital First Media’s Upcoming Sale Produces Some Surprises

Anxious journalists from San Jose to Saint Paul, New Haven to Novato await the final shouts of the Digital First Media auction. Bidding is still in progress, as DFM’s regional business heads coast to coast make presentations to would-be buyers, anonymous to them, by conference call. They share ...

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The Envelopes Open on the Sale of Digital First Media Newspapers

Valentine’s Day may be coming early for Digital First Media this week. DFM’s board and UBS, its broker, open the envelopes, looking for affection. It’s an uneasy love-me/love-me-not time, newspapers’ version of Match.com. Will DFM’s affection for the open market be returned, or will it be left ...

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Newsonomics: Digital First Media’s Newspapers Half-Billion Dollar Pricetag (and California Schemin’)

Could the sale of the Digital First Media properties lead to the U.S.’s first quasi-national newspaper company? That’s the hope of DFM’s current owners, and the shiniest lure tossed out into the newspaper property marketplace by UBS, the unorthodox pick of DFM to be its banker/broker as its six ...

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