Saturday, March 21, 2009

Detroit Testing an Electronic Newspaper Reader

From Gannett Blog:

CEO Craig Dubow mentioned the Plastic Logic electronic display during Corporate's presentation Wednesday to Wall Street media stock analysts. Readers will use the Kindle-like device to access electronic editions of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News, as they drop four traditional print editions in a step closer to web-only delivery.

Gannett Detroit CEO Dave Hunke has said the Detroit Media Partnership got 100 Plastic Logic displays for distribution as part of an evaluation. "The readers, which boast a display area of 8 inches by 11 inches, aren’t slated for commercial distribution until 2010," says the Newspapers and Technology trade site.

Detroit is working with Plastic Logic to develop a lease plan that would allow subscribers to rent the readers, Hunke says. The Detroit joint operating agreement partnership will use the next several months to work out prices, availability and other issues, he said. Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mary Anne Dolan on Jim Bellows


Mary Anne Dolan was hired at the Los Angeles Herald Examiner by Jim Bellows and followed him as editor. Below are her remarks at last Friday's memorial service for Bellows, who died this month at age 86.

I walked into Jim’s room last Thursday and found him nattily dressed, lounging on his bed. He was propped up on his left side so as to watch the door. With his right hand he was trying to fold a page of the N.Y. Times.

He looked as handsome and vital that day as I ever saw him: Neatly-pressed khaki pants, crisp blue and white button-down shirt, khaki baseball cap, “Life is Good.”

“Hey, Dolan! You taking me to the doctor?” PAUSE, then
“Let’s go to lunch in Paris.” [Click for MORE]

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

San Diego Union-Tribune Sold to Platinum Equity

The parent company of The San Diego Union-Tribune announced Wednesday that it has reached an agreement to sell the newspaper to the Beverly Hills private equity firm Platinum Equity for an undisclosed price.

La Jolla-based The Copley Press Inc. had been seeking a buyer since July 2008, when it hired investment bankers to explore “strategic options” amid a nationwide decline in newspaper advertising and circulation.

The firm said in a statement that its team includes David H. Black, whose company Black Press owns dozens of community newspapers, mostly in western Canada, and has expanded its U.S. presence with acquisitions of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 2000 and the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal in 2006. [Click for MORE]


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What Happens to the Archives
of Defunct Newspapers?

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer announced Monday that it would discontinue the print edition of the newspaper. A few weeks ago, the 150-year-old Rocky Mountain News published its final issue. When newspapers fold, what happens to their archives? [Click for MORE] Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

AOL to Start Reporting the News,
Instead of Just Aggregating It

New Media is about to meet Old Media. But not in the way you’d think.

AOL is about to launch a politics site, hiring well-respected political journalists to do reporting and analysis, and thus moving the Time Warner division more aggressively toward becoming a producer of traditional news.

The site's top editor will be Melinda Henneberger, who has been on staff at The New York Times, Newsweek and, most recently, Slate. Henneberger told TheWrap that the launch will take place in April, "pegged to Obama's first 100 days in office."

"AOL is investing in a big way in news and in old school journalism," Henneberger said. The goal is "quality news sites that have zero aggregation, original content, that pay writers a living wage, and that pay bloggers." [Click for MORE]

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Another Newspaper Casualty

Next week, the slow, inexorable decline of newspapers will be marked by another datapoint when Bruce Sherman, the 61-year-old CEO of Private Capital Management, retires. For those who have followed the newspaper industry's financial travails, Sherman was the money manager who forced the merger of Knight Ridder to McClatchy back in 2006, and then, along with Morgan Stanley fund manager Hassan Elmasry, took on Arthur Sulzberger at the New York Times Company. [Click for MORE]


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New Strategy: 'Experiment a Lot, Fail Fast'

Today the Seattle Post-Intelligencer delivers its final print edition, tomorrow it debuts as an online-only publication. The new will try to answer the question raised by its executive producer Michelle Nicolosi: "Is it possible to run an online-only local news site that serves a city's readers well while turning a profit?"Nicolosi says, "Our strategy moving forward is to experiment a lot and fail fast" [Click for MORE]

Seattle Paper Shifts Entirely to the Web

The Post-Intelligencer is the largest American paper to drop its print edition and become an Internet-only entity.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Ben Stein on Jim Bellows

In Memoriam

Jim Bellows, RIP

Here I am with my wife at a memorial for my dear friend and colleague, Jim Bellows, at the Westwood Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. Jim died about a week ago of Alzheimer's at 86. He was a sprightly, lively, imaginative, courageous fellow, and I knew he was ill, but I did not know how close to the end he was. Naturally, I am sitting here crying my eyes out, racked with sobs, and I mean uncontrollable shivering sobs.

Jim was a friend. Not just a good friend, but a great friend. The world knows him as the last editor of the New York Herald Tribune, the Washington Star (well, not quite the last, but close to the last), the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, also not quite the last, the man who put Entertainment Weekly on the map and kept it there for decades, big power at Prodigy, author and raconteur, ace golfer and wit.

Again, to me, Jim was primarily a friend. He hired me to write a guest column at the Herald Examiner for four weeks and I stayed for nine years.

Towards the end of his life, when his disease was eating him up little by little and in fits and starts, I was nowhere near as good a friend to him as I should have been. It was hard for me to deal with having conversations with him and then having the same conversation a few hours later or days later and then getting a call asking to have the same conversation again. That was stupid and unfeeling of me. My day will come, too.

And as I thought, in between sobs, of Jim and his 32 years of kindness to me, I thought that I would mentally compose a letter to him of what I so much wish I had said to him when he was alive.

"Jim, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. [Click for MORE]

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Post-Intelligencer to Publish Its Last Issue Tuesday

From Romensko:

Post-Intelligencer to publish its last issue on Tuesday
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Hearst said it will maintain, making it the nation's largest daily paper to shift to an entirely digital news product. "Tonight we'll be putting the paper to bed for the last time," editor and publisher Roger Oglesby told a silent newsroom Monday morning. "But the bloodline will live on." || Related Seattle Times story and SND Update slide show.
> Seattle Times publisher: "Closing the Seattle P-I is unfortunate, but understandable, given the significant losses that both newspapers have experienced as a result of the Joint Operating Agreement," says Frank Blethen.
> "One of Seattle's brightest lights is about to go out"
> "P-I staff relished its uphill fight," says ex-AME Pattison
> Newspaper world will watch to see if readers follow P-I writers online
> P-I writers on what Seattle will have lost when the paper closes
Posted at 3:00 PM on Mar. 16, 2009 Sphere: Related Content