Smithfield Times to be sold

“The Smithfield Times (Virginia) is being sold.

Longtime Virginia newspaper publisher Steve Stewart, principal owner of newly formed Smithfield Newsmedia, has an agreement in principle to buy the paper from John and Anne Edwards, the paper reported.

Stewart is a former publisher of the Suffolk News-Herald. The paper will be an affiliate of Alabama-based Boone Newspapers, which owns the News-Herald and The Tidewater News in Franklin, the Virginian-Pilot reports.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Stewart will be majority owner of Smithfield Newsmedia and the paper’s publisher. Also invested are Boone Newspapers, Suffolk News-Herald publisher John Carr, Tidewater News publisher Tony Clark, and Carpenter Newsmedia, a company owned by Boone’s president and CEO, the Virginian-Pilot reports. The deal is expected to close by Nov. 1.”

Source: News and Tech, 2019 

 

Seven West selling titles to Bauer

“Australia’s Seven West Media has announced it has signed an agreement to sell Pacific Magazines to Bauer Media for $40 million ($27.4 million U.S.)

Titles include Marie Claire, Men’s Health (Australian editions) and New Idea.

The sale is expected to complete by the end of the calendar year, subject to regulatory approval.

The proceeds of the sale will be used to pay down debt, improving SWM’s balance sheet flexibility and simplifying the organization to focus on its content-led growth strategy, according to Seven West.

SWM and Bauer Media have also entered into commercial arrangements to mutually benefit both parties, including advertising spending commitments, the ongoing production of a Better Homes and Gardens television program, and sharing lifestyle content under a long-term agreement. In addition, SWM will receive $6.6 million ($4.5 million U.S.) of advertising on Bauer Media assets over three years. ”

Source: News and Tech, 2019

LA Times, union reach deal

“The Los Angeles Times last week reached a tentative labor contract with the Los Angeles Times Guild, which represents some 475 employees at the paper. The deal is “a milestone for a newspaper that for generations was known as a bastion of anti-unionism,” according to the paper.

The deal has been in the works for over a year.

The three-year agreement would provide immediate pay raises of at least 5 percent for many newsroom staff members, the paper said. Some will get a bigger raise. There will also be a a 2.5 percent raise in the second and third years. The tentative deal includes job protections, parental leave, severance pay and rights for journalists who aim to go after book deals.

Times management agreed to interview people from underrepresented groups to fill positions in an effort to boost newsroom diversity.”

Source: News and Tech, 2019

 

Gannett denies Poynter report on USA Today print

“Gannett has refuted a Poynter report that USA Today’s print version may see the end of the line in the wake of GateHouse parentNew Media Investment Group’s pending buy of Gannett.

A move off print is part of the vision for the deal, says a recent piece by Rick Edmonds, which cites two knowledgeable sources talking on background.

Gannett has denied the report.

Maribel Perez Wadsworth, USA Today publisher, provided a statement to Edmonds. “Gannett has no plans to discontinue the print edition of USA TODAY, which remains an important part of our business,” it said. “Gannett remains committed to high-quality journalism for the communities we serve and our ongoing digital transformation, and we are pleased to have found a like-minded partner in New Media. We believe the combination of our two companies will transform the landscape in the print and digital news business and, following the close of the transaction, we look forward to delivering on the compelling benefits for audiences, customers, employees and shareholders.”

Gannett and USA Today leaders called a staff meeting last week to dispute the article and answer questions, Edmonds reported.

In its most recent audited circulation report, USA Today reported individually paid circulation of 178,000 and 342,000 in hotel distribution. In 2007, the paper claimed more than 2,289,000.”

Source: News and Tech, 2019 

Kroger drops free publications

“Kroger, America’s largest grocery chain, will no longer distribute free newspapers and magazines in its stores, the Memphis Business Journal reported. The change started Oct. 15.

Kroger has been carrying the publications for two decades.

“We are removing the publication racks from our stores because more publications continue to shift to digital formats, resulting in less customers using the products,” a Kroger rep told the Memphis Business Journal.

Local publishers were working with distributor DistribuTech to get the publications in Kroger stores. The Association of Alternative News Media is pushing back against the decision with its “Don’t Lose Local News” campaign. The group is encouraging people to call and voice their unhappiness with the move.

Meanwhile, Press Gazette reported that Aldi planned to stop selling papers in all its UK stores as of Sept. 30.

The move stems from a spat with distributor Fore UK, according to betterretailing.com.”

Source: News and Tech, 2019