Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last to Enter Bankruptcy, ACN is First to Emerge

American Community Newspapers (ACN), which in April became the seventh and most recent newspaper company to declare bankruptcy in the industry recession, has become the first to emerge from its protection.

In a memo to employees, CEO Gene Carr said the chain closed the sale to its creditors on Friday. ACN's emergence from bankruptcy was first reported Monday by MinnPost media writer David Brauer.

ACN's prepackaged bankruptcy plan was approved by a judge in Delaware earlier this month. Under the plan, the chain --which publishes the Stillwater (Minn.) Gazette and clusters of community papers in Texas, Ohio and suburban WashingtonD.C. -- was for $32 million plus $5 million in post-bankruptcy financing to its creditors, including the General Electric Corp. andthe Bank of Montreal.

At the time of its bankruptcy filing, ACN said it had $102 million in debt.

The chain’s parent company will be known as American Community Newspapers II.

“Under our new ownership, our debt has been substantially reduced, which places us in a much better position to execute onour business strategy, serve our communities, and provide ample opportunities for our employees,” Carr wrote in the memo.

Miami Herald moves to 44" Web

As of July 7, 2009, The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald will begin publishing on a smaller web width size - a change from 48 to 44 inches.

As a result of the new width, all sections in The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald - ROP, Tabloid and Classified - will be formatted in six columns. Column widths in all sections will be identical; as such, ad sizes will also be consistent across sections.

The size modification will not affect newspaper content.

Seattle Times zones increase reach; rates to be adjusted July 1, 2009

Dear advertiser, I’m writing to share some important updates regarding your zone display advertising in The Seattle Times. As you know, The Seattle Times is proud to have retained nearly all former P-I subscribers since the transition, which has resulted in The Seattle Times significantly growing its weekday audience. This increased reach has had a particularly positive effect for zone advertisers like you. Depending on the zone, your advertising is now reaching 15% to 38% more area consumers. That means you’re getting even more value from your advertising at a time when keeping a high profile in the marketplace is more important than ever. This increased zone coverage has also resulted in additional production costs, so we will be adjusting zone advertising rates beginning July 1, 2009. These moderate rate changes vary by contract level, but in most cases your cost per consumer reached will still be lower than it was prior to the P-I closure. (See the enclosed rate sheet for a complete rate chart.) Please note that we’ve also added a new $25,000 contract level to reward advertisers at that spending level. I want to thank you for your business and your continued partnership. If you have any questions about these changes or our zone advertising programs, please contact your account executive or call me at 206/652-6276.

Bradenton Herald Preprint Shipping Changes

The Bradenton Herald has entered into an agreement with the New York Times local Sarasota property to facilitate our preprint packaging. Effective immediately all preprints for insertion into the Bradenton Herald should be shipped to the following: Bradenton Heraldc/o Sarasota Herald-Tribune1800 University ParkwaySarasota, FL 34243 Receiving contact: Peggy O’Connor – (941) 358-4011. Receiving hours: Mon. - Fri. 8 am – 4:00 pmDelivery Extensions: Jack Howell – (941) 358-4001 The MINIMUM needed for all incoming product for EACH skid tag is: Insert nameInsert publish dateInsert quantityWho the insert is for (Bradenton Herald or Herald Tribune) in large/bold typeSkid totals (1 of 1, 2 of 2, etc.) All Bills of Lading must be clearly defined (Herald Tribune, X Skids/Product Name, Bradenton Herald, X Skids/Product Name) Also, skids should be separated by newspaper on trucks when delivering so receiving can efficiently account for all. Please contact John Talley at 941-745-7042 if you have any further questions.

Bradenton Herald moves to 44" Web

The Bradenton Herald will convert to a new, 44-inch web width format on Tuesday May 5th, 2009. Please review the new mechanical specifications at: www. bradenton.com\advertise. If you have any questions regarding the changes please contact us directly at 941-745-7042.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Philadelphia Inquirer TMC Changes Distribution Day to Sunday

The Philadelphia Inquirer TMC Product, My Community Trend, will be changing its distribution day from Wednesday to Sunday, effective July 5, 2009.

Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald Reduce Page Size

The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald announced that effective July 7, 2009, the two papers will be published in a 44 inch web size, instead of their past 48 inch web size.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lafayette Daily Advertiser No Longer to Accept Inserts on Tuesdays

The Lafayette Daily Advertiser has announced that it will no longer distribute preprints/inserts effect July 28, 2009, per representative Mary Adams. The Advertiser advertiser already refuses inserts on Mondays.

The Advertiser publishes seven days a week with roughly 40,000 subscribers daily and 50,000 Sundays.

Mammoth Times Changes to Friday Distribution

The Mammoth Times, a community newspaper covering the Mammoth Lakes area of California is changing its distribution day from Thursday to Friday, effective July 3, 2009, per representative Dave Michalski. The Mammoth Times is primarily sold in racks and over the counter.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Kilgore News Herald Now Wednesday & Saturday Distribution

The Kilgore News Herald ceased being a daily publication on April 19th, 2009 per Valerie Melton, Marketing Manager for Bluebonnet Publishing. The News Herald now distributes only on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The paper also changed its distribution from carrier to mail delivery.

Furthermore, the News Herald TMC product has been discontinued. The paper is instead distributing 1,800 free samples on Wednesdays.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chicago Tribune to discontinue weekly publication of magazine

The Chicago Tribune said today it is discontinuing its weekly Sunday magazine, replacing it as of July 5th with Sunday, a new section that will combine some of the magazine's features with content that had been in the paper's Smart and House & Homes sections.

Chicago Tribune Magazine, which traces its roots to 1914's Chicago Tribune Pictorial Weekly and took on its current form on Oct. 4th, 1953, will continue as a series of themed sections published roughly once a month beginning in September.

Gerould Kern, the Chicago Tribune's editor, said in a memo to staff that the change involving the magazine was made "because declining advertising and high costs made weekly publication unsustainable."

Other changes coming to the Sunday Tribune next month involve the introduction of new sections and consolidation of others. "To succeed in this economic climate, we must continually evaluate and adapt our offerings to meet reader and advertiser needs and to improve profitability," Kern wrote.

The Chicagoland report will be incorporated in the Sunday main news section, as it is on weekdays, while the Tribune launches a new World & Nation section, which will also include obituaries and the Sunday weather page.

The new Money & Real Estate section on Sunday will incorporate stories, graphics, advice columns, special features and guidance on home sales and personal finance previously found in House & Home and the Your Money pages of the Business section. Career Builder ads will now appear in the back of the Business section, rather than as a section unto themselves.

The Chicago Homes section will move from Friday to Saturday, as of July 11th. The Tribune in April moved The Guide, with its television listings, from Sunday to Saturdays.

Covington Leader Changes to Thursday-only publication

The Covington Leader announced that effective July 9th, it will begin distributing only on Thursdays, per Brian Blackley, publisher. The Leader had been a twice weekly publication for the last five years, publishing on Tuesday and Friday.

The Leader covers Covington, Tennessee and surrounding communities in Tipton County, Tennessee.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trumann Democrat and Try-City Tribune Merge July 1st

The Trumann Democrat and Tri-City Tribune will merge together on July 1st to become the Poinsett County Democrat Tribune, per Samantha Martin, Editor and General Manager.

The Trumann Democrat is a Wednesday weekly publication with a little over 1,000 distribution covering primarily Trumann, Arkansas.

The Tri-City Tribune is a Wednesday weekly publication with approximately 1,500 distribution covering the Arksansas towns of Marked Tree, Tyronza and Lepanto.

The new Poinsett County Democrat Tribune will be based out of Trumann, and will cover the same distribution area, with an additional single copy sales effort in Harrisburg, Arkansas. The expected circulation of this publication is 3,000 weekly.

Durant Daily Democrat Ceased Publishing on Mondays

The Durant Daily Democrat no longer publishes on Monday per Karl Oakley, Advertising Director. This change was put into effect in May 2009. The Daily Democrat continues to publish on Tuesday through Friday, and Sundays.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Houma Daily Courier / Thibodaux Daily Comet Restrict Preprint Days

The Houma Daily Courier and the Thibodaux Daily Comet will both reduce the days they accept preprinted inserts effective July 6, 2009, per Marian Long, Retail Advertising Director of the two publications.

The Daily Courier will cease running inserts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays, thus leaving advertisers with options of using Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Sunday.

The Daily Comet will cease running inserts on Tuesdays and Saturdays, thus leaving advertisers with options of Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Sunday.

Marian Long is suggesting that those advertisers that used to use Saturday for their inserts, now use Fridays for their inserts.

Philly Newspapers' Parent Company Into Bankruptcy

The group of business people who paid $562 million to return The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News to local ownership in 2006, only to file for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, have now filed for Chapter 11 protection themselves.

Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC (PMH) filed for bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Philadelphia, claiming assets of between $100,001 and $500,000, and liabilities estimated between zero and $50,000.

A PMH spokesman said PMH is a holding company with no employees or revenue. "What it holds is the actual legal entity Philadelphia Newspapers LLC and other smaller properties that are also incorporated separately," spokesman Jay Devine said.

Last Feb. 21, Philadelphia Newspapers, the publishing company of the two dailies, filed for Chapter in Philadelphia, to restructure its debt load of $390 million in debt load.

When Philadelphia Newspapers filed for bankruptcy last February, it wasn't thought necessary to include PMH in the filing, headded. But PMH is also named in some litigation along with Philadelphia Newspapers. Since the litigation is stayed during bankruptcy proceedings, filing for Chapter 11 ensures that PMH cannot be pursued in court separately.

PMH is the group formed by local public relations executive Brian P. Tierney to buy the newspapers from The McClatchy Co.,which acquired them in its acquisition of Knight Ridder Inc. The group put up $152 million in cash and borrowed the rest of the $562 million purchase price.

According to the bankruptcy petition, filed last Wednesday, the largest stakeholders in PMH are the Carpenters Pension and Annuity Fund of Philadelphia with a 30.35% interest, followed by luxury housing magnate Bruce E. Toll with a 20.26% stake. William A. Graham IV is listed as having a 16.88% stake. Tierney's interest in PMH totals 6.75%.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Detroit Daily Press

Mark Stern and Gary Stern, veteran publishers in the newspaper industry, have announced that they intend to create a new daily newspaper for the Detroit market called The Detroit Daily Press.

They expect to launch the new newspaper within 60 days, selling for fifty cents daily and $1 on Sundays.

The Sterns are currently working to secure contracts with two printing plants and lease office space. They are also looking to hire department heads, which given the number of newspaper employees laid off nationally (and locally), should give them many options to consider.

The paper is expected to start small, and then grow based on advertising revenue increases. The Sterns believe their paper can be financially viable as it will not be burdened with the legacy cost issues such as pension funds, old trucks, and facilities, which contribute to the debt problems of existing struggling papers.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press have stopped home delivery on Monday through Wednesday, and Saturday, restricting its home delivery to only Thursday, Friday and Sunday. This is leaving an opportunity, the Sterns believe, for another daily publication to fill the market need.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ottaway Newspapers changes name to Dow Jones Local Media Group

Times Herald-Record
Posted: June 08, 2009 - 12:02 PM

NEW YORK — Ottaway Newspapers is changing its name to Dow Jones Local Media Group.

Dow Jones purchased the Ottaway group, which includes the Times Herald-Record, in 1970. News Corp. bought Dow Jones in 2007.

“The new name reflects the closer working relationship between our successful local news franchises and the rest of Dow Jones and News Corp.,” said Les Hinton, CEO of Dow Jones.

Dow Jones Local Media Group employs 1,200 and has its headquarters at the Times Herald-Record’s office in Middletown. It includes eight daily newspapers, 15 weekly newspapers and a collection of magazines and Web sites in six states.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Journal-Register Co. to sell Lapeer County Press, other papers

The bankrupt owner of The Oakland Press and The Macomb Daily has signed a purchase agreement to sell the Lapeer County Press and several smaller Michigan newspapers.

Yardley, Pa.-based Journal-Register Co., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, will sell the Lapeer newspaper and a dozen other publications to Lapeer-based Jams Media Inc. for an undisclosed sum, according to a news release issued this morning.

The sale is expected to be finalized before July 31.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yuma Daily Sun changes TMC

The Yuma Daily Sun has announced they will be discontinuing their current TMC Product 'Yuma 33:10' on June 10th, in favor of a new TMC Product called the 'Marketplace'.

The new TMC product will be distributed on the same day as the old TMC (Wednesday), plus cover the same distribution area plus the addition of RV Parks. The major difference will be that the 'Marketplace' is broadsheet format while the 'Yuma 33:10' was a tabloid format.