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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Newsonomics: The Halving of America’s Daily Newsrooms

Cigar maker. Elevator operator. Pinsetter. Iceman. Lamplighter. Switchboard operator. Local daily newspaper reporter? How soon will we have to add this once-stable occupation to the list of jobs that once were — occupations once numerous that slid into obsolescence? (Not to mention the even ...

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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: Razor-Thin Profits Cut Into Newspapers’ Chances at Innovation

If you want to talk about profits at the U.S.’s top newspaper companies, you don’t need big numbers any more. Tribune Publishing could count a bare $2.5 million in net income for the first three months of the year. That’s the combined net of eight metro papers, including the ...

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Newsonomics: A Coast-to-Coast Newspaper Shuffle Is Taking Shape

From coast to coast, the spring scent of newspaper transactions hangs in the air. The big one — Apollo Global Management’s purchase of Digital First Media — is nearing completion. Meanwhile, sellers from New York City to southern California test the mettle (and wallets) of would-be buyers. ...

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What Are They Thinking? Apollo’s Acquisition of Digital First Media

Apollo Global Management has almost won its two-horse race with Cerberus Capital Management to acquire Digital First Media’s 75 daily newspapers and more than 100 non-dailies, or as DFM likes to put it “800 multi-platform products reach 64 million Americans each month across 14 states.” The two ...

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Newsonomics: The U.S. Newspaper industry’s $1.4 Billion Money Hole

How big a hole is the U.S. daily newspaper industry in? We know the toll in newsroom jobs — about 20,000 lost in a little under a decade — and the fact that the industry as a whole took in about $26 billion less in 2014 than it did a decade earlier. We’re used to,... Read More