Arkansas newspaper gambles on free iPads as the future 5/28/19

Over a lunch of hamburger steaks, mashed potatoes and green beans, Walter Hussman delivered his pitch to the dozen or so attendees of the Hope, Ark., Rotary Club meeting. He promised that if they keep paying their current rate of $36 a month for subscription to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper, even though it will no longer be printed daily or delivered to their door, they'll get a free iPad to view a digital version.

The daily digital replica of the state's largest newspaper will be accessed with an easy-to-use app they can download on the tablet that the newspaper is distributing to subscribers.

Hussman, the newspaper's publisher, said Wednesday that by the end of the year, only the Sunday edition of the paper will be printed.

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Sale of Reading Eagle approved by court 5/28/19

The sale of the 37,000-circulation Reading (Penn.) Eagle to MediaNews Group has been approved by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Pennsylvania.

Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., is representing Reading Eagle Company.

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Back to the future 5/28/19

The last time the Kentucky New Era made a big move, employees left their old offices at Seventh and Bethel streets and headed for new digs at the edge of town with a big wood-paneled newsroom and a typewriter at every reporter's desk. That was in the spring of 1971.

In several months, the newspaper will return downtown and set up offices on South Main at Eighth Street in the former J.C. Penney building. Staffers will bring different tools – slim laptops, digital cameras and smartphones – because nearly everything in the newspaper business has changed since the New Era last called downtown home nearly 50 years ago.

It turns out those changes mean that a modern newsroom can be a good fit for the heart of town again.

New Era Publisher Brandon Cox likes the idea of getting closer to the action.

"From an editorial perspective, we support what's going on in downtown Hopkinsville, and we think we should put our money where our mouth is," he said.

The paper will be directly across the street from city hall, he said, and that is a meaningful nod to journalism's traditional role as the watchdog of local government.

The move, expected by November, is part of the New Era's ongoing transition under new ownership.

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Adams Publishing chooses LEAP 5/21/19

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

For Adams Publishing Group, cutting edge technology and automation will give even the smallest community newspaper marketing and subscriber retention capabilities that weren't possible before.

APG has selected LEAP Media Solutions for the job. LEAP, based in Raleigh, N.C., is a full-service provider of data-optimized omnichannel marketing solutions. Its clients include GateHouse Media, Tribune Publishing and Shaw Media Group among many others.

For APG, LEAP is a high-end solution for community papers with small circulation staffs. Founded in 2013 by Mark Adams with the support of his family, APG consists of 27 daily papers, more than 100 non-dailies and other media businesses in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

"Our circulation departments are focused on getting the paper out every day, and this type of marketing seems to go by the wayside. We just never get to it. That is why we decided to go with LEAP," said Esther Maina, vice president of circulation and marketing and audience development.

According to its news release, "LEAP specializes in the media industry, applying best practices in the use of data, analytics and multi-channel marketing to drive digital and print subscriber initiatives, enhance customer value and diversify revenue. At the heart of those solutions is the BlueVenn Omnichannel Marketing Hub, specifically tailored to deliver analytics and customer journeys that grow, engage and monetize audiences."

Maina said the technology is "head and shoulders" above anything else she's seen in a newspaper career dating back to 1981. "It's like a wizard machine," she said.

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A letter to subscribers of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 5/21/19

In a letter to subscribers this past weekend, Walter E. Hussman Jr., publisher of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, outlined an experiment the paper undertook last year in Blytheville, Ark., designed to confront the reality of declining profits.

For the first time in over 20 years, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette lost money in 2018. "Our profit had declined every year for a decade, but we were now unprofitable and losses would be mounting," he wrote.

"Confronted with this reality, one logical option was to cut back on unprofitable circulation in remote areas of the state, something most newspapers had done years earlier," the letter said. "But realizing that newspapers are not just a business, but a public trust vital to our democracy, we tried to determine some way we could continue to be a statewide newspaper delivered to all 75 counties. We knew that thousands of our subscribers had started reading the exact replica of the newspaper on their own iPad. Most told us they liked it so much they had continued their subscription but had stopped reading the print copy."

Click here to learn why readers like the iPad version and the next steps being taken in Little Rock.

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GateHouse Media to acquire New Jersey Herald 5/21/19

GateHouse Media has agreed to acquire the daily Newton (N.J.) New Jersey Herald from family-owned Quincy Media.

Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., represented Quincy Media in the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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Second Street acquires Niche Media 5/21/19

Second Street has acquired Niche Media, which runs events dedicated to helping niche publishers generate new and additional revenue.

This acquisition further expands Second Street's role as a disseminator of best practices in media revenue and audience engagement. Second Street currently offers numerous resources including the Second Street Lab, Summit, sales workshops, webinars and playbooks to complement its audience engagement software platform.

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Finding the faces of Vietnam 5/14/19

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

With each Memorial Day that passes, putting faces to the names of veterans killed in Vietnam becomes more urgent. And community newspapers are uniquely positioned to help the cause, says Andrew Johnson, president of the National Newspaper Association.

In 1973, a fire at a government storage facility in St. Louis destroyed more than six million military records, among them thousands upon thousands of photographs of Vietnam veterans killed in action. Of the 58,300 veterans who died, 24,000 photos were still missing in 2013 when a concerted effort began to locate and collect them for the Vietnam Veterans Faces Project.

As of Friday, all but 1,064 photographs had been provided by family members or located by members of the news media and veterans groups across the country. Eleven states, Puerto Rico and Guam still have veterans with missing photos.

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AP to present VoteCast results at AAPOR polling conference 5/14/19

The Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago will present the results of AP VoteCast, the new standard in election research, at the American Association for Public Opinion Research conference in Toronto on Saturday.

AP VoteCast captures the opinions and preferences of voters as they choose who to vote for, along with the reasons behind their decision. Developed with NORC, VoteCast is a modern approach to public opinion research designed to deliver a broad and more accurate picture of the American electorate than ever before.

The presentations at the AAPOR conference, which will be livestreamed, will include a detailed report assessing the success of AP VoteCast's debut in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections.

AP and NORC are committed to transparency in conducting AP VoteCast and sharing the results returned by its innovative methodology for peer and academic review.

As part of that commitment, the 2018 AP VoteCast data is now available for download.

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Greenville Daily News to be sold 5/14/19

View Newspaper Group and Michigan Web Press, both owned by Rick Burrough, have agreed to acquire the Greenville (Mich.) Daily News and affiliated Stafford Printing from the Stafford family.

Dirks, Van Essen, Murray & April, a media merger and acquisition firm based in Santa Fe, N.M., represented the Stafford family in the transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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