SCMG buys Highlands Today 8/23/16

By Romona Washington, publisher, Highlands News-Sun and Highlands Sun

Sun Coast Media Group continues to expand throughout central Florida as it becomes the new owner of the daily newspaper in Highlands County. It completed a deal Friday to purchase Highlands Today from the Tampa Bay Times.

Once the transition is complete, Highlands Today will merge forces with the Highlands News-Sun, which was purchased by Sun Coast Media Group in 2014.

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Lead generation: Reframing the future of advertising 8/22/16

By Steve Gray, vice president of strategy and innovation, Morris Communications

Steve Gray writes: "What reframed my understanding of our current challenges in advertising and marketing was taking a deeper dive into lead generation. That's one of the buzz terms on the list above, but I now realize it's the 'unified field theory' that puts all those other buzz terms in their right places.

"At Morris Publishing Group, what prompted us to look harder at lead generation was the struggle our own sales staffs were having."

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The Tennessean to sell offices, pursue new Nashville home 8/22/16

The Tennessean is putting its longtime offices up for sale, as the media company considers a new downtown Nashville home better suited for its expanding digital operation.

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Star Tribune Media Co. engages LEAP to enrich data culture 8/22/16

Star Tribune Media Company, LLC, publisher of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., has engaged LEAP Media Solutions to engineer, manage and deploy a state-of-the-art marketing automation and analytics platform (MAAXTM) to drive the company's ambitious audience initiatives.

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Lee Enterprises to sell Provo Daily Herald to Ogden Newspapers 8/22/16

Lee Enterprises, Incorporated has entered into an agreement to sell its newspaper and digital media operations in Provo, Utah, to Ogden Newspapers of Utah, LLC, including the Daily Herald and heraldextra.com.

Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., is representing Lee Enterprises in the sale. The transaction is expected to close Aug. 29.

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Ledger, News Chief journalists form union 8/16/16

Journalists in The Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.) and News Chief's newsrooms (Winter Haven, Fla.) elected to form a union Thursday and will be represented by The NewsGuild-Communication Workers of America. The bargaining unit, the first in the state according to the union, will cover the newspapers' reporters, photographers, copy editors and other non-management journalists.

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Univ. of South Carolina to host Media Law School Sept. 21-24 8/9/16

The University of South Carolina will host its 2016 Media Law School for journalists Sept. 21-24.

Applications will be accepted through Aug. 15.

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tronc restructures into traditional and digital publishing units 8/9/16

tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, is splitting itself into two separate business units for reporting purposes, the company has announced. Its print publishing arm has been christened "troncM" (for "media") while its digital publishing arm is "troncX" (for "exchange").

The troncM segment includes revenue from print circulation, advertising, and direct mail and expenses related to content, ad sales, distribution and marketing.

The troncX segment includes revenue from digital advertising and digital-only subscriptions, as well as from the Tribune Content Agency, the marketing agency Motiv8 and the real-estate site "For Sale By Owner." Its expenses include dedicated digital staff.

Splitting the business into two reporting segments is a way to separate continuing losses in print circulation and print advertising from the digital side of the business that tronc clearly sees as the future.

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The opportunity cost of content monetization 8/9/16

By Tom Ratkovich, managing partner, LEAP Media Solutions

While we might cut our way to short-term viability, Tom Ratkovich of LEAP Media Solutions says we can't cut our way to long-term prosperity. And the sometimes chaotic efforts to rapidly become "digital first" – rather than "customer first" – led to the disastrous customer experiences and privacy concerns that have, in turn, been manifested in ad blockers and, frighteningly, digital revenue declines at some highly visible publishing companies.

At first blush, content monetization seems a reasonable pursuit. Such pursuit has taken many forms, but two of note include (1) the broad domain of "paywalls" or metering of digital content, and (2) aggressive pricing actions for both print and digital content.

Why does Ratkovich say reasonable "at first blush?" Read this article to find out -- and then learn more at the News Industry Summit!

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Put your data into action with this step-by-step guide 8/9/16

When it comes to data and analytics, newspapers have more information at their fingertips than ever before. "Metrics help us see what readers are and aren't reading. That's a good thing," said Michelle Nicolosi, director of digital, video and Life & Culture at The Oregonian and Oregonlive.com.

And that means good news for publishers, according to Matt Lindsay, president of Mather Economics. There's a misconception that newspaper publishers have continued to be sloth in their digital adoption and innovation. In his estimation, newspapers have a healthy lead on broadcasting, in terms of how they're leveraging data.

Read more from Editor & Publisher

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