Editor’s note: We’ve revised this post, in the Valuations section, to reflect today’s news that Digital First Media has “concluded we are not going to sell the company to a single buyer” — meaning Apollo Global Management.
If you want to talk about profits at the U.S.’s top newspaper companies, you don’t need big numbers any more.
Yelp’s for sale, and the news has generated the usual, now-tiresome lists of potential buyers: Google, Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, Facebook. It’s like all the money in the business world slid off one end of the table and sluiced down to Silicon Valley. Forget the old spend-a-week-without-the-Internet experiments; is it possible to spend a week without talking about one of those companies?
Anyone running a news organization — particularly one born in print, still struggling to adapt to the Internet — knows there are too many things to do: too many moves to make, too many innovations to chase, too many places to invest your limited resources of time, money, and attention. Your efforts are finite; you have to pick what to emphasize.
In the beginning, Megan Finnerty knew she’d have to tell a story in front of a group of strangers. That’s not counting however many friends and assorted colleagues at The Arizona Republic she could draft into service on the first night of Arizona Storytellers.
Not long after his family sold The Tulsa World to Warren Buffett’s BH Media Group in 2013, Robert E. Lorton III, the paper’s former publisher, began thinking about how he could get back into the news business.
The traditional newspaper model is broken, Lorton figured, and online advertising isn’t really a sustainable way to support a news organization. So he decided to start The Frontier, a for-profit online investigative news startup that will keep most of its reporting behind a hard paywall. A subscription, or membership as the site is calling it, will cost a non-trivial $30 a month. The site will be ad-free, but Lorton said he’s working to attract corporate sponsors who will help underwrite it.
The Mountaineer student newspaper at California’s Mt. San Antonio College no longer exists. About two months ago, the paper dropped its print edition, abandoned its website, ditched its longtime news production process, expanded its coverage base, and rejiggered its entire reporting philosophy. It also changed its name to SAC.Media.