HD Media to buy Charleston Gazette-Mail 3/9/18

HD Media, publisher of the Huntington (W.Va.) Herald-Dispatch, has been approved as the successful bidder to acquire the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette-Mail.

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Journalism Competition and Preservation Act of 2018 3/7/18

In an effort to ensure fairness and preserve critical access to trusted, high-quality news, Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, introduced the "Journalism Competition and Preservation Act of 2018."

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Ogden to acquire Byrd newspapers in Virginia 3/7/18

The Byrd family, owners of daily newspapers in Winchester and Harrisonburg, Va., has reached an agreement to sell its publications to Ogden Newspapers, a family-owned newspaper group with 43 daily newspapers published in 16 states.

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New Media Investment Group to acquire Austin American-Statesman 3/6/18

New Media Investment Group Inc., one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States as measured by number of publications, announced today that it has agreed to acquire the Austin American-Statesman and its niche publications and companion websites from Cox Media Group, LLC for $47.5 million.

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AP, HHMI expand collaboration to bolster health, science coverage 3/6/18

The Associated Press has announced an enhanced collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education that will further expand the news agency's reporting on health and science over the next three years.

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SNPA newspapers shine in E&P's '10 Newspapers That Do It Right' 3/6/18

Four SNPA members made the list of Editor & Publisher's "10 Newspapers That Do it Right." And, another five were recognized among the Honorable Mentions. Congratulations!

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Kroger and personalization: A grocery retailer becoming a media player? 3/6/18

By Cindy Durham, assistant executive director, SNPA

By 2021, 90 percent of Kroger’s in-store sales are expected to be influenced by digital in some way, Michael Wilhite told attendees at the Mega-Conference last Tuesday.

Wilhite is vice president of data strategy for 84.51° – the analytics arm of Kroger. This division employs a sophisticated, proprietary suite of tools and technology to turn customer data into knowledge. Its aim is to put the customer at the center of every business decision.

Kroger’s advertising strategy is centered on using big data and knowledge about its customers to cut through the clutter to drive real connections and sales.

While Kroger’s heritage is that of a grocery retailer, Kroger Precision Marketing, which launched in the Fall of 2017, is giving the company the opportunity to expand its business through exclusive touchpoints: advertising on Kroger channels, word-of-mouth advertising and advertising across the web.

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Media execs discuss investment strategies, importance of strong newsrooms 3/6/18

By Cindy Durham, assistant executive director, SNPA

Link below includes 3-minute video clip.

The importance of the newsroom and of newspapers publishing engaging, relevant, local news was emphasized again and again by media executives on the "Investing in Newspapers" panel at the recent Key Executives Mega-Conference.

Over the last 13 years, the newspaper industry has lost more than 1,400 newspapers in the U.S. to closures, mergers and the downsizing of smaller free-standing newspapers that have become editions of larger regional ones, said Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair, Digital Media Economics, School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

"We've lost more than 1,000 newspapers," she said, "but the decline in circulation has been even more dramatic. It's been halved. Total print circulation – that includes all weeklies and dailies – has declined from 117 million to 67 million, the biggest drop coming in dailies."

She said, "The average print circulation of a daily newspaper in 2018 is 20,000. Since 2004, more than a third of all newspapers have changed hands and about half of them have changed hands two times or more."

When calculcated based on the number of newspapers (not on the circulation of those papers), she said the top 25 companies own a third of the nation's newspapers and control about 50 percent of print circulation.

Three of those companies – Adams Publishing Group, Hearst and AIM Media Management – were among the conference panelists.

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New app, new strategy 2/27/18

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

Block Communications markets NewsSlide as "more than an app." Instead, it's a new way to present news and advertising combining the best of print, TV and internet with the goal of immersing the reader.

Block executives call it a game-changer.

"It starts with the content," said Lisa Hurm, vice president and general manager of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "We needed a content strategy that appeals to people who really wanted to know what the news of the day was."

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Broadcasting from a newspaper rack 2/27/18

By Jane Nicholes, SNPA Correspondent

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser was the recipient of the Mega-Innovation Award presented Tuesday afternoon at the Key Executives Mega-Conference.

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