New Media Investment Group to acquire Gannett 8/5/19

New Media Investment Group Inc. and Gannett Co., Inc. have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which New Media will acquire Gannett for a combination of cash and stock.

The merger brings together the portfolios of two leading local newspaper companies, and includes USA TODAY, Gannett's flagship brand, and its more than 160 brands in the U.K., which will significantly expand the existing USA TODAY NETWORK.

This combination will create a broad network of talented, experienced journalists poised to deliver unique and award-winning content for local communities and national audiences. The breadth and depth of each company's digital offerings will make the combined company a leading digital media player. Additionally, the joining of New Media's UpCurve and GateHouse Live businesses with Gannett's ReachLocal and WordStream subsidiaries will provide multiple, diversified marketing and revenue solutions and position the combined company as a stronger partner for advertisers and small businesses in the markets served.

Keep up to date with the latest Gannett and GateHouse merger news, including perspectives from newspapers and media experts around the country, at this link.

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Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, GateHouse Media announce agriculture data journalism fellowship 8/5/19

GateHouse Media, LLC and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting have embarked on a new partnership through the creation of an agriculture data journalism fellowship funded by GateHouse.

The agricultural data reporter will be embedded in the newsroom of the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and will focus on in-depth agribusiness investigative reporting.

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Graphics manager shares how Brainworks Xpance is helping her team be more efficient 7/30/19

Brainworks Software's longtime customer, M. Roberts Media, is a diversified media and marketing solutions company that delivers unique experiences for consumers and advertisers across all platforms. It publishes six newspapers, eight magazines and one full-service digital agency.

Graphics Manager Katie Case explains how she was able to successfully lead projects for three sites on her own with the efficient tools and customer service provided by Brainworks' Xpance.

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Increase public awareness of First Amendment; download, run ads 7/30/19

Media of Nebraska's "Think F1rst" public awareness campaign about the First Amendment of the United States Constitution is spreading across America.

Twenty-three press associations and broadcast associations have agreed to ask their respective members to support the campaign in-kind on radio and television stations, in newspapers, and on the websites and social media platforms of these same entities.

"Think F1rst" is a campaign designed to express a simple directive: to encourage all Americans to think about the five freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment.

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The Tyler Loop: Growing membership with events and newsletters 7/29/19

By Ebony Reed, director of innovation and the RJI Futures Lab

In a small town with slightly more than 100,000 people, known for its annual rose festival, news site The Tyler Loop is growing a membership model with events and a newsletter to collaborate, not compete with, other local news organizations.

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Missouri School of Journalism launches new investigative fellowship program to support authors 7/29/19

The Missouri School of Journalism is launching a groundbreaking fellowship program to support authors as they write in-depth print journalism projects, while also training future generations of investigative reporters.

The Watchdog Writers Group will provide stipends to authors as they work on a book that focuses on vitally important social issues. Additionally, Missouri School of Journalism students will work directly with the authors through graduate assistantships or as part of their coursework.

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Family-owned newspapers in Ohio sold to West Virginia firm 7/24/19

By The Associated Press

A newspaper that has operated under the same family for 150 years in Ohio has been sold to Wheeling, West Virginia-based Ogden Newspapers.

Ogden is buying the Sandusky Register along with the Norwalk Reflector from Sandusky Newspapers Inc.

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Fenice Community Media acquires The Katy Times 7/24/19

The Katy Times is continuing to publish, thanks to a deal negotiated between Fenice Community Media and Hartman Newspapers, Inc.

The announcement was made July 23 by Fenice Community Media Founder and Chairwoman Brandi Chionsini.

Hartman Newspapers Inc., which has owned the Times since 1973, announced earlier in July that it planned to cease publishing the print edition of the newspaper. Hartman has sold its interest in The Katy Times to Chionsini Children Ltd. Chionsini Children is managed by Cedar Park-based Fenice Community Media.

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Aiken Standard: Still growing and building for the future 7/24/19

The Aiken (S.C.) Standard is in the process of deconstructing its 34-year-old printing press and clearing space in the pressroom for a more powerful and faster printing press.

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Newspaper's redesign includes five-column layout for news, advertising 7/23/19

The Taos (N.M.) News switched to a five-column format as part of a redesign with Creative Circle that launched July 18.

"The Taos News is one of the best weekly papers in the United States," said Bill Ostendorf, president and founder of Creative Circle Media Solutions. "But their owner, Robin Martin, knew they could be even better and asked us to help them take their work up a notch."

Key elements of the redesign were to improve headlines, introduce alternative story forms, make content more relevant to readers, improve the layout and organization of the paper and make better use of their staff photographer (yes, they still have a staff photographer, and a good one). "We also worked on better planning and handling of deadlines," Ostendorf said.

But one of the biggest and most obvious changes was a switch to a five-column grid for both news and advertising.

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