Gatehouse Media, which owns more than 120 newspapers across the nation, has begun offering buyout packages to staffers.
Papers impacted by the buyout plan include the Columbus Dispatch, the Rockford Register Star and the Providence Journal.
As always, these packages are offered because the company is looking to cut costs.
“While we continue to make progress toward our goal of being revenue positive by 2018 and year-to-date our revenue performance has improved and outperformed our industry peers, we continue to see revenue declines and must align our expenses accordingly,” said Gatehouse Media CEO Kirk Davis.
Penske Media’s WWD has revamped its site. The new WWD.com is cleaner and easier to navigate.
The site also boasts a few new features:A carousel at the top that highlights news stories and features. The Essentialist module that features stories curated by WWD editors A chronological, constantly-updated stream packed with the site’s latest content Revamped vertical landing pages for business, fashion, beauty, accessories, media, men’s and Eye.
A couple Revolving Door items for you this morning, involving The Wall Street Journal and BuzzFeed. Details are below.Inyoung Hwang has joined the Journal as futures and options editor. She most recently worked for Bloomberg as a stocks editor. BuzzFeed has named Kate Nocera managing editor for its DC bureau. Politico reports that Nocera joins BuzzFeed from Vox Media.
Alexander Fury has two pieces in this weekend’s issue of T magazine. One is about the channeling of 18th century French punk culture on the current runways; the other, a look at how Chloé creative director Clare Waight Keller also finds inspiration in some more recent French history.
These and other pieces have impressed the editors of T. As a result, Fury has been promoted to chief fashion correspondent. From the announcement:
“Fashion today is dynamic, ever-changing, ever-innovating and always fascinating,” Fury says. “The landscape is shifting as we speak. It’s an amazing time to be joining T magazine as their chief fashion correspondent.”
Fury has also recently been contributing to Vogue and previously served as fashion editor for The Independent and i newspapers.
Gawker Media’s staffers can (for the most part) breathe a sigh of relief. According to Politico, Univision Communications—which acquired Gawker for $135 million—plans to keep current employees and their union contract.
Not that everyone is safe. The sources who spoke to Politico said that Univision will keep “95 percent” of Gawker’s staffers. Here’s hoping that number inches closer to 100 percent as the dust of the deal begins to settle.
As for the contact, that’s all good news. Prior to the sale, Gawker staffers urged its future owners to honor the contract it signed with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). In a memo, Gawker staffers said “We have no desire or inclination to work under terms other than our existing union contract.” Thankfully, that’s not going to be an issue.
NPR has added Jay Pearce and Gary Fernandes to its board of directors.
Pearce is the CEO and general manager of WVIK in Illinois. Fernandes is the chairman and president of FLF Investments and a board member at KERA in Texas. They’ll both serve three-year terms.
In other NPR board news, LaFontaine Oliver, who was elected to a partial term in February, has been elected to serve a full three-year term. Oliver is the president and general manager at WMFE in Florida.
NPR also reelected Kerry Swanson, Connie Walker, Fabiola Arredondo and Chris Boskin to its board.
Like we expected, Univision Communications has won the bidding process for Gawker Media. The price tag for Nick Denton’s (former) empire was $135 million.
For what it’s worth, Denton seemed pleased with the decision.
“Gawker Media Group has agreed this evening to sell our business and popular brands to Univision, one of America’s largest media companies that is rapidly assembling the leading digital media group for millennial and multicultural audiences,” said Denton, in a statement. “I am pleased that our employees are protected and will continue their work under new ownership—disentangled from the legal campaign against the company. We could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism.”
The deal between Univision and Gawker now heads to a bankruptcy judge for final approval. When it goes through, Univision’s digital empire will be quite impressive. It already owns Fusion, The Onion, AV Club, and The Root.
Gawker was forced to file for bankruptcy after Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea won a $140 million judgement against Gawker, which published a private sex tape featuring the wrestler. The lawsuit was bankrolled by Peter Thiel, a rich man who had his feelings hurt.
Long before the lumbering modern-age PR animal known as the Hollywood press junket, journalists have been asking actors, writers and directors dumb questions. And for just as long, the folks caught in the crossfire have been able to often handle these incoming duds with deft aplomb.
Case in point: Billy Wilder, while promoting the 1964 romantic comedy Kiss Me, Stupid. Reporter Gary Paul Gates, who was covering entertainment for UPI at the time, caught Wilder on the flip side and relays that portion of their conversation in a recent piece for the Shelter Island Reporter. The question Wilder had been asked by another journalist: ‘Why did you leave Berlin in 1933?’
That stunned me a bit, mainly because in my research for our interview, I had read that Wilder’s mother, grandmother and stepfather were killed in the Holocaust. And so in response, all I could think of to say was, “You’re kidding!”
“No,” he replied, “but I treasure the look of astonishment on your face.”
“Good Lord,” I said, “what did you tell the reporter?”
“Well,” Wilder said with a sigh and the faint hint of a grin, “I explained to him that while I happened to be Jewish, Hitler was not. And so, after a brief but spirited give-and-take, I decided to pack my bags.”
Hitler was appointed Chancellor of the German government on Jan. 30, 1933. There’s more fun stuff in the Gates piece. Including a reminder that when a filmmaker is grumpy because of bad reviews, it pays to jettison planned questions about that film.
Image courtesy: United Artists
From today’s announcement that Adande will head up the school’s new sports journalism program:
“J.A. brings tremendous experience, talent and loyalty to Medill,” said Bradley J. Hamm, dean of the school. “I’ve been impressed with his dedication to students and his ideas and drive to make this program the best of its kind in the world.”
Adande earned his undergraduate degree in journalism from Medill in 1992. He was sports editor of The Daily Northwestern, the student newspaper.
“Enrolling at Medill was the best decision of my life and I’m thrilled to return to the launch pad for my career, this time to help educate the sports journalists of tomorrow,” Adande said. “Dean Hamm has a vision and drive to make Medill the best journalism school in all fields and I’m excited and ready to do my part to bring that to fruition. The Northwestern family always welcomed me when I returned, so heading back on a full-time basis feels like I’m coming home.”
Adande, who spent 13 years with the Los Angeles Times before moving over to ESPN, will head up the school’s new sports journalism program. He will continue to contribute to ESPN on a freelance basis.
My new gig…or maybe I should say my NU gig https://t.co/zkk4EXfrTe
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) August 16, 2016
Previously on FishbowlNY:
NFL Players Suit Up for Sports Journalism Boot Camp
From today’s announcement:
Through the first half of 2016, the FanSided network experienced 80% average monthly year-over-year growth in unique monthly visitors, the fastest growth rate in sports media among the top 15 digital sports networks. Also, according to the June 2016 comScore report, the FanSided network’s monthly unique visitors grew to more than 10 million, up 105% from the previous year, with page views up 312% and mobile-specific visitors increasing 145% to 8.2 million.
Cavan will report to Patrick Allen, FanSided vp of content. Mike Dyce, previously the site’s managing editor, will assume the title of senior director of editorial operations. Moving forward he will oversee the launch of new FanSided properties and the development of new content. Other recent FanSided appointments include senior NBA editor Ian Levy, entertainment editor Ani Bundel and video producer-reporter Kayla Knierim.
Photo courtesy: Time Inc.
Happy birthday to Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated, which hit newsstands for the first time ever on August 16, 1954.
SI’s first issue—available for a cool 25 cents—featured an article about boomerangs, lots of ads for alcohol cigarettes; and a section titled “A Quick Quiz on Sport,” which asked readers to identify an object that was ran over by a car (it was a football).
Not bad for a first run.
Ahead of a new role as New York City chief digital officer beginning in October, Sree Sreenivisan traveled back home in India.
He gave a number of talks about social media, both on college campus and at the New Delhi U.N. office. At one of these events, writer Elizabeth Mathew decided, on the spot, to try out something that Sreenivisan counseled. From her piece for The Hindu:
“Build a network when you don’t need it,” Sree says, encouraging people to follow, retweet and tag people they would like to connect to, before they actually need to…
Taking his advice, I tweet a quote Sree shares, “The scarcest resource of the 21st Century is Human Attention,” and tag Les Hinton, ex-publisher of The Wall Street Journal. Within 10 minutes, Hinton’s handle has favorited my tweet, and I have two new random followers.
Remember; this is on a weekend, with Mitchell in India and Hinton in the U.S. Other observations from Sreenivisan included: hashtags are underrated; the life of a shared Twitter URL is about an hour; and on Twitter, everyone is “selling something.”
Another fun tidbit from Sreenivisan via his India tweets is that at both his family’s home and his in-laws, there are four to five print newspapers delivered every morning. In New York, he personally subscribes in print only to the Times. Check out more info from Srinivisan’s talks here.
— Elizabeth Mathew (@LizzMathew) August 13, 2016
Photo via: Twitter
Barry Rosentein’s Jana Partners just gave Time Inc. a boost by scooping up 4.99 million shares of the company at a cost of $62 million.
As a result of Jana’s investment, the publisher saw its stock jump to 7 percent, before closing at 5.6 percent, for $14.42 a share.
Doug McIntyre, publisher of the 24/7 Wall Street newsletter, told The New York Post that there were likely only two possible reasons why Jana invested in Time Inc.
“They [Jana] are looking for a buyout from another media company or private equity firm or else expecting huge job cuts,” McIntyre guessed.
Maxim is willing to try f*cking anything to remain relevant, and so we arrive at the point that it has named model Alessandra Ambrosio its “special lifestyle editor.”
Ambrosio is qualified to be an editor because she previously was the cover star for Maxim and… She likes the ocean! In her debut column, Ambrosio listed her favorite water sports and gear.
“It’s not just the beach I love, though—it’s also the sensation of freedom I get when I’m in the water,” wrote Ambrosio. “Considering my love of the beach and the ocean, you’re probably not surprised I’m sharing my favorite water sports and gadgets for Maxim’s Saint-Tropez issue.” We are definitely not surprised!
According to Maxim, Ambrosio will work with Maxim owner and editor in chief Sardar Biglari to “provide readers with interesting and useful insights.” Good luck, everyone.
Roughly three months after GQ Style debuted in print, it finally has its own site. GQStyle.com has officially launched, featuring pieces on the rapper Future meeting fashion legend Giorgio Armani, a behind-the-scenes look at Yeezy Season 3 and more.
In his Letter From The Editor, GQ Style editor Will Welch said he wants Gqstyle.com to be “fearless.”
“In this space, we’ll be fearlessly (some might say naively) pushing against the tide of snackable online content to bring you feature-length dives into all our favorite worlds: fashion, interior design, art, gear, cars, watches, booze, travel, and beyond… We intend to make this website priority clicking for anybody who closely follows men’s fashion, effective immediately.”
The Wall Street Journal, one of the pioneers of the paywall, has made some changes to make its online barrier slightly more scalable.
According to Nieman Lab, the Journal is opening all stories that are shared by a subscriber or one of the paper’s staffers. A non-subscriber can read that single story, or if they want, sign up for an experimental 24-hour free access offer.
Dow Jones chief customer officer Katie Vanneck-Smith said the paywall changes are designed to strike some balance between social sharing and protecting the Journal’s content.
“The destination has become a very hard place to protect,” Vanneck-Smith told Nieman Lab. “The big players—the Facebooks, the Googles—have in many ways become the default for many customers. As publishers, our job is to strike a balance between understanding how we protect the destination that is our brand, and also work with the consumer behavior of using distributed platforms as a gateway into news and information, and into the wider web.”
For a recent Hawaii Storytellers, Anthony Quintano explained to an audience why he is glad to have left his old routine behind.
As a social media editor for The Today Show, he would get up every morning in New Jersey at 3 a.m. to beat traffic into New York. Together with his wife Kim, who was temping, they would have the same conversation every night once back home: “What are we going to do?”
So how exactly did Quintano wind up handling social media for Honolulu Civil Beat? Listen to the above to hear all the details.
The New York Times has expanded its investigations desk. It has named Gabe Dance deputy investigations editor and brought on Times staffers Rebecca Corbett and Paul Fishleder to help out.
Dance comes to the Times from The Marshall Project, where he served as managing editor. This is a homecoming for Dance, who previously worked for the Times as chief interactive producer.
Corbett serves as the Times’ enterprise editor; Fishleder as senior editor for investigations.
For all the hype surrounding Gawker Media’s bankruptcy sale, it failed to produce more than two offers.
In addition to Ziff Davis’ $90 million “stalking horse” offer for Gawker Media, Univision Communications wants in. Reuters reports that the company—which owns the Spanish-language cable network Univision, Fusion, The Onion, and more—has made a bid to compete with Ziff Davis’ number.
Univision and Ziff Davis were the only clear bidders among a few that we sorted through yesterday, when bids for Gawker were due. There was a rumor that Vox Media and Penske Media made a joint offer, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
The Ziff Davis offer comes with a provision that keeps Gawker founder Nick Denton on for two years. If Gawker selects the Univision bid, the company must pay Ziff Davis a $2.47 million breakup fee.
Depsite the allure of keeping Denton and the fee, we imagine Gawker is leaning toward Univision. The comfort that a giant media company can provide might prove irresistible.
Now that bids have been submitted, both of the company’s reps and Gawker’s team will meet today to discuss the offers. Gawker’s lawyers will then select a winning bid; pending a bankruptcy judge approval on August 18. In other words, by the end of today, Gawker will have a new owner.