Better Newspapers buys Mountain Echo
“Better Newspapers, an Illinois-based company owned by Greg Hoskins, has bought The Mountain Echo (Ironton, Missouri), the paper reported.
The ownership change was set to take place Aug. 1.
Publisher and Editor Randy Pribble was scheduled to retire at the end of July. Randy and his wife, Sue, have owned the paper for seven years, the paper said.
Better Newspapers owns and operates 21 newspapers across Illinois and Missouri.
Kim Combs, who manages the Wayne County Journal-Banner Piedmont and the Reynolds County Courier in Ellington, will now serve as general manager for The Mountain Echo, the paper said.”
Source: News&Tech, 2019
Jet, Ebony archive sold
“A large photo archive from Jet and Ebony magazines was auctioned off in late July and will go to the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture and to the Getty Research Institute, NPR and others reported. The public will have the opportunity to see over a million photos for the first time, the new owners say.
The auction took place in Chicago.
The archive went for $30 million, money that will go to Johnson Publishing’s bankruptcy debt, NPR reported.
The Ford Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the MacArthur Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation were the buyers.”
Gannett selling Milwaukee buildings
Gannett, owner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is selling the paper’s buildings, The Waukesha Freeman and others reported.
The paper will relocate to a new downtown site, Gannett announced. The paper has around 260 employees. The move is expected to take place next year.
A group headed by developers Tony Janowiec and Joshua Jeffers is buying the properties, which are the six-story 1924 Journal Sentinel building at 333 W. State St., the 1919 ex-home of the Milwaukee Sentinel, a sports bar and a parking lot, Urban Milwaukee reported.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The newspaper buildings have been deemed historic properties by the Milwaukee Common Council, so the city’s Historic Preservation Commission would need to okay alterations to the structures’ exteriors, according to the Freeman. The site is expected to be redeveloped into mixed uses, including offices, retail and apartments, according to real estate sources, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Quad, LSC cancel merger
“Quad/Graphics and LSC Communications have mutually agreed to terminate their merger agreement, under which Quad would have acquired LSC, Quad announced on July 23.
The all-stock transaction was announced on Oct. 31, 2018, and was approved by shareholders of both companies in February.
In June, the U.S. Department of Justice sued to block the acquisition, and in July the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois set a litigation schedule that includes a trial that would start in mid-November at the earliest and that would not result in a decision on the merits until 2020.
The parties have determined that the added delay, uncertainty and cost of legal challenges would have likely eroded expected benefits of the merger, Quad said in a news release.
As required by the merger agreement, Quad will pay LSC a reverse termination fee of $45 million.
“We are disappointed by the Justice Department’s decision to sue to block the transaction and believe that the lawsuit does not reflect the dynamics of print today and the competitive effect of digital media,” said Joel Quadracci, Quad chairman, in the release. “However, rather than devote time and resources to prolonged litigation, we are choosing to focus on ensuring that our clients benefit from our Quad 3.0 growth strategy through exciting innovations in printing and integrated multichannel marketing solutions that reduce complexity, increase efficiencies and enhance marketing spend effectiveness,” he said.”
Pew Research Center assesses state of news media
Pew Research Center issues an annual assessment of the state of the news media, and has done so since 2004. Here is some key information from the 2018 state of the industry:
• U.S. newspaper circulation has reached its lowest point since 1940, the first year with available data. Total daily newspaper circulation (print and digital together) was an approximated 28.6 million for weekday and 30.8 million for Sunday in 2018, according to Pew. Those figure dropped 8 percent and 9 percent, respectively, from the year before, according to Pew’s breakdown of Alliance for Audited Media data.
• Digital circulation for daily papers was up in 2018, though not sufficiently to turn around the fall in circulation.
• Ad revenue for newspapers was down 13 percent, according to an analysis of Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Circulation revenue was steady in 2018.
• Revenue was up 4 percent over the year for Fox News, CNN and MSNBC combined, say estimates from media research group Kagan.
• Digital ad revenue has grown substantially, with most landing in Facebook’s and Google’s pockets. Revenue from ads put on all digital platforms was up by 23 percent last year, and currently represents 49 percent of all ad revenue in the country, say eMarketer estimates.
• Traffic to news websites seems to have plateaued. The number of unique visitors to the sites of newspaper and digital-native news sites got no bigger between the fourth quarters of 2017 and 2018, the second year in which there was no notable growth, according to Comscore.
Source: News&Tech, 2019
L.L. Bean Enters Canada with Plans for Stores Across the Country: Interview
By Mario Toneguzzi
The first retail location of L.L.Bean in Canada will be a 13,000-square-foot store in Oakville Place which is set to open August 23. The international retailer has a history of being in business for 107 years.
Kastner said Jaytex has worked out a deal with Hudson’s Bay where the best of L.L.Bean products in all categories will be sold in self-contained branded shops ranging from 300 square feet up to 2,000 square feet.
“These shops will house our key product categories which include men’s, women’s and kids’ apparel, footwear, bags and accessories. They will be mini L.L.Bean stores within Hudson’s Bay. Kastner said that 57 locations will be rolled out at the end of August in Bay stores and next spring it will likely be rolled out to all the remaining Bay stores in Canada.
“The Hudson’s Bay locations that we’re rolling out this fall will cover the top 57 stores from coast to coast right from the flagships in Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and Vancouver down to mid-size and smaller stores,” he said. The Bay has 88 stores in the country. The brand will also be available on thebay.com.
“Ultimately our plan is to get to 20 standalone stores within a 10-year period and it’s really all going to depend on getting the right locations, the right deals, and the right space. We’re going to focus on Ontario first by opening four or five stores, and then start to branch out across the country. We have the postal code data from L.L.Bean from their online and catalogue business. We know where the L.L.Bean customer is.”
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multi-channel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. L.L.Bean is a family-owned Maine company led by Executive Chairman, Shawn Gorman, the great-grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean and Stephen Smith, President and CEO. In the past five years, L.L.Bean has donated over $6 million toward conservation and land stewardship. L.L.Bean currently operates 44 stores in 18 states across the United States, along with 28 stores in Japan. The 220,000-square-foot. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than three million visitors every year.
“We’ve had a long, meaningful relationship with Canadian customers for decades, so we’re thrilled to be able to give our loyal Canadian fans a true comprehensive, omnichannel L.L.Bean experience, with a dedicated web site, Canadian catalogues, and now L.L.Bean retail stores,” said Smith in a news release. “As a Maine-based company that shares a lot of commonalities with our northern neighbours, we’re eager to be infusing a bit of the Maine essence and L.L.Bean brand into the Canadian market.”
The company said the brick-and-mortar store is the latest offering of L.L.Bean products geared specifically for Canada. In late June the brand launched a Canadian-only version of its famous catalogue featuring duty-inclusive prices, designed to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers. The catalogue joined the company’s Canadian-specific website, which launched late last year.