September 3, 2013 |
News Corp. has sold its U.S.-based community newspaper group -- eight daily newspapers and 15 weeklies -- to an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group, an asset management firm. Financial terms were not disclosed. Rupert Murdoch's media company acquired the small papers as part of its 2007 acquisition of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Wall Street Journal. The Stockton Record was the only California newspaper in the collection. News Corp.'s Dow Jones Local Media Group owned two Oregon papers: the Medford Mail Tribune and the Ashland Daily Tidings.
August 20, 2013 |
Over the last year, the Orange County Register has been furiously paddling against a riptide that has newspapers around the country laying off journalists, shrinking coverage and in some cases cutting back home delivery. The Register has doubled the number of reporters and editors to 350 and fattened the paper by adding 22 weekly sections. On a recent Tuesday, it had 72 pages while the Los Angeles Times had 42. The Register's parent company, Freedom Communications Inc. in Irvine, has expanded its 26 weekly community newspapers and turned two into five-day-a-week operations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 15, 2013 |
Robin Thicke's summer pop hit is called "Blurred Lines," and journalism critics say that's exactly what they see in a music video parody that uses dancing TV news starlets to take a shot at Bob Filner, the San Diego mayor accused by 14 women of sexual harassment. The video by U-T TV -- the cable television affiliate of the newspaper once known as the Union-Tribune -- has created a modest storm for its attempt to make light of the scandal threatening to drive Filner from office. "Vapid and embarrassing," pronounced the managing editor of the Voice of San Diego news site, a U-T competitor.
August 13, 2013 |
During a quick trip to Maryland for a weekend wedding, I was in the nation's capital long enough to discover who it is that has caught the town's attention. It is not President Obama off on his golf vacation or any of the members of Congress scattered back to their home districts. No, the person of great interest is a Seattle billionaire named Jeff Bezos. Bezos, the founder and master of the Amazon.com online retail empire, has just agreed to purchase the Washington Post, and everyone from loyal subscribers to journalists with national reputations is speculating about what this surprising sale may mean for the city, for inside-the-beltway politics and for the future of traditional journalism.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 2013 |
Stan Lynde, creator of the syndicated western comic strip "Rick O'Shay," which ran for 20 years in major newspapers and reached about 15 million readers, died Tuesday of cancer in Helena, Mont. He was 81. Lynde was a Korean War veteran who had studied journalism at the University of Montana and briefly worked on his family's ranch in Colorado when he realized he wanted to try to make it as a cartoonist. After buying a one-way ticket to New York City in the 1950s, he worked his way up to commodities reporter at the Wall Street Journal while attending the School of Visual Arts at night.
August 10, 2013 |
Holding back time is a big job. But out here in the high mountain desert, where rattlesnakes and sagebrush outnumber people, it is a task Dean Coombs shoulders each week with a certain glee. Tuesday is press day at the Saguache Crescent, now in its 134th year. Coombs is the disheveled guy hunkered down amid the dust and dilapidation of the newspaper's office, hunting and pecking at the keyboard of the same Linotype machine his grandparents used when Warren G. Harding was in the White House.
August 9, 2013 |
Here's an assumption underlying many a Big Idea online: If you make it easier for people to act on their impulses in a way that benefits your business, they will. A good example of this is Comcast's reported anti-piracy initiative. And my hunch is that it might explain Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' $250-million purchase of the Washington Post. Variety's Andrew Wallenstein reported this week that Comcast was trying to build support for a different approach to online piracy than the content industry's new "six strikes" Copyright Alert System . That system -- developed by representatives of the film, television, music and communications industries -- sends progressively stronger warnings to broadband customers whose accounts are used to download unauthorized copies of movies, TV shows and songs.
August 7, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Jeff Bezos' purchase of the Washington Post is provoking anxiety and uncertainty among journalists. But for Silicon Valley techies, this unlikely marriage is cause for optimism: Someone may finally deliver technical and entrepreneurial prowess to an industry they largely view as slow footed. Forget grand futuristic ideas. For many in Silicon Valley, the news industry is so woefully behind in its grasp of the Internet, that if Bezos can simply modernize its Web efforts, it would represent a great leap forward for many news organizations.
August 6, 2013 |
Brad Stone, a longtime Silicon Valley reporter, has been working for years on what he hopes will be the definitive account of Jeff Bezos and the rise of Amazon, the online retailing giant founded in 1994. His new book, “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” is slated to be published in October by Little, Brown. On Monday, he got handed fodder for a new chapter, when Bezos once again did something unexpected and risky: he bought a newspaper, the Washington Post.
August 6, 2013 |
The definitive line about a newspaper's public mission came, as it happens, from Hollywood. In Orson Welles' classic "Citizen Kane," the title character, his newspaper empire in tatters, is asked by Walter Thatcher, the film's stand-in for J.P. Morgan, what he would like to have been. Kane answers: "Everything you hate. " Jeff Bezos' dealings with the moneymen of Wall Street have always been rather friendlier than those between Kane and Thatcher. But what he may share with Kane is the feeling that these unappreciated - indeed, financially despised - enterprises known as newspapers have some value that other investors have been overlooking.