Monday, November 30, 2009

East Valley Tribune May Have a Buyer

By Mike Sunnucks
Phoenix Business Journal

A Tucson newspaper publisher has a letter of intent to buy the East Valley Tribune and rescue the Mesa paper from closure. A letter of intent has been finalized between Freedom Communications, which owns the Tribune, and Randy Miller's Thirteenth Street Media.

Miller owns the Tucson Explorer newspaper. The Tribune confirmed the pending sale which includes Miller buying the Mesa paper's assets and debts. A price was not disclosed.

California-based Freedom is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and was planning on closing the Tribune at the end of the year if a buyer was not found.

The Explorer is a free weekly paper with a 50,000-reader circulation. Miller also owns the Telluride (Colo.) Daily Plant, a free daily newspaper. A statement by the Tribune said Miller would model the East Valley paper after the Explorer with a focus on local, suburban news.

Miller is expected to keep a "substantial number" of the Tribune's remaining 140 employees, according the Tribune's statement. The sale needs to be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court handling Freedom's Chapter 11.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Boulder City Review Launched

Stephens Media Group launched the Boulder City Review on Thursday, October 28, 2009, in an effort to capture the audience from the recently closed Boulder City News.

Helena Adit to Close November 25

The Helena Adit, a Lee Enterprise publication, will cease publishing as of November 25, 2009 per John Harrington of the Helena Independent Record. The Adit is a free shopper covering Helena, MT with roughly 14k distribution on Wednesdays.

Lee Enterprises plans to launch expanded distribution from the Bozeman Mini Nickel Classifieds by 5,000 to cover the area.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rogers Hometown News to Cease Publishing

Rogers Hometown News will cease publishing on November 25, 2009 per Rick Elder, Northwest Arkansas Times. The Hometown News is a weekly publication covering Rogers, Arkansas and the neighboring community of Lowell.

Detroit Daily Press to Launch Nov 23rd

The Detroit Daily Press is finally launching a print edition, starting Monday, November 23rd with single copy sales and Monday, November 30th with home delivery. The initial edition will have a distribution of approximately 200,000. This publication launch has been in discussion since June 2010 and now will come to fruition.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Philadelphia Bulletin Changes Distribution Days

The Philadelphia Bulletin converted from being a paid daily publication (Monday through Friday distribution), to being a Sunday-only publication. This change occurred on August 2, 2009. The Bulletin offers a web edition updated daily.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Midwest City Sun Closed

The Midwest City Sun ceased publishing on October 28, 2009. The semi-weekly publication (Thursdays and Sundays) was a paid community publication covering the eastern suburbs of Oklahoma City.

Calhoun City Monitor Herald to Close

The Calhoun City Monitor Herald announced that it will be closing effective December 31, 2009. The Monitor Herald is a paid weekly community paper covering Calhoun City, Vardaman and other surrounding communities in Mississippi.

La Frontera Ceases Publication

The La Frontera, an hispanic Freedom Newspaper publication covering southern Texas ceased publishing on October 12, 2009.

The El Nuevo Heraldo (Brownsville, TX) has increased its distribution in an attempt to cover the hispanic communities in that area.

Danville Weekly Ceases Publishing

The Danville Weekly, a community paper published by Embarcadero Publishing, ceased its print edition on October 2nd, 2009. The paper is going to continue with an online edition at .

The Weekly covered Danville, California, and neighboring communites.

Stillwater Gazette Moves TMC Distribution Day

The Stillwater Gazette, an American Community Newspaper publication, announced that it is moving its TMC product Valley Life from a Wednesday distribution to a Saturday distribution effective November 28th, 2009.

Mesa East Valley Tribune to Close December 31st

By Nick R. Martin November 2, 2009 10:53 AM

The East Valley Tribune, which has seen a roller coaster year that included laying off nearly half its staff and winning a Pulitzer Prize, will be shutting down on Dec. 31, staffers were told today.

Publisher Julie Moreno broke the bad news at about 10:30 a.m., telling employees that the Mesa newspaper's parent company, Freedom Communications, has been unable to find a buyer for it, the company confirmed at about noon.

Freedom, which declared bankruptcy Sept. 1 awash in more than $1 billion in debt, had put the newspaper up for sale hoping to make some hard cash from the deal. But no serious buyer stepped forward before today's announcement.

"There were people who expressed interest," said Freedom spokeswoman Maya Pogoda. "However, none of the bids were suitable."

The closing makes the Tribune the second Arizona newspaper to shutter this year. In May, the state's oldest newspaper, the Tucson Citizen, was shut down by its owner, Gannett. The Citizen has since become a local blogging website for the media chain.
"This is probably the most difficult decision a company can make," Freedom CEO Burl Osborne said in a news release. "But ultimately, after considering all available options, this is the best alternative for our company."

It's not yet clear how many employees are still at the Tribune, but its closure will not be a cheap proposition. A source who attended the meeting said staffers were told they will be given severance packages equal to one week for every year of service they had with the company.

Freedom's other newspapers in the Phoenix area, including the Ahwatukee Foothills News and the Daily News-Sun in Sun City, will remain in tact, said Pogoda.
The Tribune has had a year of ups and downs. Early in the year, the newspaper laid off about 40 percent of its staff and reduced its number of days in print from seven to just three. The remaining staffers were also forced to take pay cuts and time off without pay.

But the newspaper also rode a wave of praise this year as it racked up numerous statewide and national awards for a series it ran last year focusing on crime and immigration enforcement by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. Among the awards was the highest given out to newspapers: the Pulitzer Prize. The Tribune was given the Pulitzer for local reporting in April.

In mid-September, the Tribune was put up for sale by its parent company, which bought the newspaper about a decade ago. Rumors of potential bidders spread in recent weeks, but no formal announcement was ever made.

Pogoda would not discuss specifics about the newspaper's finances, however she said "economic and industry" forces had played a role in its demise.

"They've tried for about a year to make certain changes to improve it," Pagoda said. "But they just weren't able to."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Central Arizona Zip Code Changes

On July 1st, 2009, the United States Post Office changed 30 zip codes in Arizona to new numbers in order to improve operational efficiency. Information on the zip code changes can be found at the USPS.

This impacts zip codes in Pinal County, AZ