Posts Tagged ‘Miami Herald’

McClatchy papers among 25 predicted to survive

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Business Insider/The Wire looks at the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ top performing newspapers and finds “25 Papers That Have The Best Chance Of Being Around In 10 Years,” among which McClatchy newspapers are well represented.

“The Chicago Sun-Times — home of the much-loved and always popular Roger Ebert,” Business Insider explains — “led the list with a jump of 48.41 percent between March 2010 to March 2011.”

McClatchy’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram is second on the list with a 12.79 percent change in circulation from ’10 to ’11. The Miami Herald weighs in at 15th, where the growth is a meager 3.16 percent, but is growth nevertheless, and across the peninsula, the Bradenton Herald was 20th with a 1.6 percent uptick in circulation.

At 16, with a 3.12 percent increase, is the San Jose Mercury News a former Knight Ridder newspaper that McClatchy acquired in 2006 but sold off (to Media News) because it had no growth potential.

Sinking McClatchy tosses people overboard

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

McClatchy newspapers continue to spiral downward, this week announcing a new round of job elimination, including 20 positions at The News & Observer in Raleigh, “about two dozen” at the Kansas City Star, about 50 — including 35 vacant positions — at the Miami Herald, and eight at the Bellingham Herald in Washington.

Jobs will be eliminated through a combination of buyouts, layoffs and open positions left vacant. At The N&O, reportedly, a 50-year veteran of the Business office is among those being laid off.

The company is also closing two suburban papers in Kansas City and one in Missouri.

And, the company announced Tuesday that its employee stock purchase program is ending because of lack of participation. Fewer than 5 percent of eligible employees are buying stock, which is available at a discounted price through the program, Heather Fagundes, vice president, Human Resources, said in a memo to employees.

McClatchy stock closed at $2.83 Tuesday. It once sold for $77 and, at one point, for as little as 35 cents a share.

McClatchy announced last month that it  lost $1.96 million in the first quarter of the year on an 11 percent drop in advertising revenue.

Elsewhere, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said today that U.S. employers had announced plans to cut 12 percent fewer jobs in April than they had in March.

Miami Herald video grows as others cut back

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Many U.S. newspapers are posting less online video as they lay people off, according to a study of 100 U.S. newspapers undertaken by the Associated Press. Not too long ago, video was touted as a way to boost traffic and revenue, Beet.TV says.

Kevin Roach, the AP’s director of U.S. broadcast news, conducted the study and would not give Beet.TV numbers, but said newspapers’ video operations are often the first to be cut when savings are ordered from above.

But the Miami Herald is one paper doing a lot with video, and Beet.TV links to a Poynter report that explains how the McClatchy newspaper is succeeding where others have given up.

“Last year, MiamiHerald.com saw about a 25 percent growth in video traffic, making it the second-biggest traffic driver behind articles,” the Poynter report says.

The Herald has learned that, as Roach suggest, breaking news works best and that videos they were posting of editorial board meetings and of news makers speaking out on specific topics don’t get a lot of viewers.

The Herald and its Spanish-language El Nuevo Herald have two full-time news videographers and two photographers who spend part of their time on video, and they’ve joined with local TV stations to share content and cross-promote material, Poynter says.

The Herald and El Nuevo Herald also collaborated with WPBT2, one of South Florida’s PBS affiliates, to produce an hour-long documentary about last year’s earthquake in Haiti.

The Miami paper’s video group produces about 40 percent of what’s on the site and the rest comes from outside vendors, such as CineSport and The AP.

Market analyst: newspapers going down

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Don’t let recent good news from newspaper publishers fool you, the stock market analysis website Seeking Alpha warns. The industry is dying.

The site keys on the relatively rosy picture pushed by McClatchy last month, saying “publishers across the board got a big boost when The McClatchy Company announced that its advertising revenue rose during the fourth quarter. What’s more, CEO Gary Pruitt said he expects these improvements to continue this year.

“As the third-largest newspaper publishing company in the United States, McClatchy’s news caused some bullish activity in the industry. But the fact remains that we’re talking about newspapers here. So even though McClatchy publishes more than 70 of them – including The Miami Herald and The Charlotte Observer – they’re still just … well, newspapers.”

And, in fact, since the first of the year, McClatchy’s Kansas City Star has announced layoffs, while at  The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., buyouts have been mentioned by management amid rumors of furloughs and layoffs. At Gannett, one-week furloughs in the first quarter are already policy at most of its papers, while some of its papers in New Jersey face much more drastic measures.

Elsewhere, the Washington Post said this week it returned to profitability in 2010 and expected to remain profitable in 2011.

Seeking Alpha leads the reader through the familiar decline of newspapers, concluding that “a daily paper simply can’t compete with the up-to-the-second Internet in terms of news. Plus, there’s the added incentive that the Internet is free, leaving publishers scrambling to find a way to successfully monetize their online product.”

Online advertising revenue presents a glimmer of hope,  including a 13.9 percent gain in the second quarter of 2010 – the first quarterly gain since 2008, and a rise in McClatchy’s online revenue for the quarter that boosted its stock price.

“But even if this trend continues, it’s still not enough to combat the rapid decline of printed ad revenue,” Seeking Alpha says. “The numbers have been in a freefall for 14 consecutive quarters … with no end in sight.

“The bottom line is that newspaper publishers are going down. They won’t all bite the dust, of course. But it will take a few more years of closings, mergers and tinkering with online advertising before the real winners emerge. So don’t let McClatchy’s bounce fool you – this is one industry to dodge.”

McClatchy to reap $230M in sale

Friday, May 7th, 2010

The McClatchy Company is about to pocket $230 million from a man interested in a sure-fire advertising vehicle.

But, Mark Siffin isn’t advertising in the company’s newspapers. He wants land McClatchy owns so he can build a parking garage and erect a pair of 20-story-tall electronic billboards on top of it, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

Siffin will pay $230 million for 10 acres owned by McClatchy’s Miami Herald. He plans to build the garage and a retail center next door. He has already paid McClatchy $16 million toward the purchase, which included an extension on the contract to close in 2011.

Siffin still has to get a city commission to approve a new ordinance allowing the electronic billboards. Some residents oppose them.

Regardless, McClatchy gets to sell land it has been trying to unload for some time at a good price; the same lot was under contract for $190 million in 2005, the height of the real estate market, according to the Journal.

You’d think $230 million could save a lot of journalists’ jobs, but you wouldn’t want to bet on it.

McClatchy planning to become hub for local sites

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

McClatchy newspapers are bringing other local Web sites and blogs onto their home sites in “blog networks,” starting at the Sacramento Bee and coming soon to the Charlotte Observer and Miami Herald.

“The Bee has been working on the concept for about a year,” says the Sacramento Business Journal. “Editors and multimedia managers collected and reviewed sites, ranking them based on quality of content and frequency of posts.”

The Bee’s effort is called “Sacramento Connect” and so far features about a dozen blogs.

“We see that that’s the direction that the Web is going and we really want to be a part of that,” Sean McMahon, The Bee’s digital product development manager, told the Business Journal. “We have a trusted position in the area, and we thought it was time to embrace all these independent voices and bring them in and try to promote them.”

The thinking is traffic to all the sites would improve, the Business Journal says.

“At least two other McClatchy Co. newspapers” — The Observer and The Herald — are developing similar networks, the report says.

In Raleigh, The News & Observer has made similar attempts to become a local portal.  Its Triangle.com includes a section called “Share” for local blogs and forums meant to be produced locally through the site.

Miami Herald puts tip jar back under the counter

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

The Miami Herald announced over the weekend it was ending a program begun in December in which it asked readers to donate to the newspaper.

“After evaluating two months of response, we’ve decided to end the program,” Elissa Vanaver, a company vice president and assistant to the publisher, said in the newspaper’s report. She would not say how much money the effort had raised.

Shortly after initiating the program, in which credit card forms linked at the bottom of articles on MiamiHerald.com and ElNuevoHerald.com enabled donations,  Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal said it had “elicited an encouraging steam of gifts, ranging from $2 to $55.”

Vanaver said when the program was launched in December and again this past weekend that The Herald has no plans to charge for content online. The newspaper does charge $2.99 for mobile applications that deliver sports content, its report said.

McClatchy accepts $6M to delay land deal

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

The McClatchy Co.  is pocketing $6 million this week by allowing a suitor to delay closing on a deal to buy land adjacent to the company’s Miami Herald, the Sacramento Business Journal said Wednesday.

Citisquare Group LLC previously paid a $10 million non-refundable deposit and, under the new agreement, if it fails to close the purchase by January 31, 2011, will have to pony up another $7 million.

Citisquare had until December 31, 2009, to close the transaction on 10 acres next to the newspaper plant.

The publisher will release a new look at the land’s value in its 4th quarter earnings report January 27, the Business Journal said.

McClatchy waits for Miami land deal to close

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

The firm set to buy land adjacent to McClatchy Company’s Miami Herald has asked for another extension of the closing date.

Citisquare Group LLC had until the end of December to close the 10-acre deal, according to the Sacramento Business Journal, but asked to extend their time to January 19 in exchange for increasing the fee they’ll pay should the deal not go through. McClatchy could collect $7 million if the deal fails; the previous fail-tab was $6 million.

Citisquare could extend the closing deadline to the end of January 2011 for an additional $6 million nonrefundable deposit on or before January 19 of this year.

McClatchy has already banked a $10 million nonrefundable deposit that the company says  it put toward debt.

Miami paper collecting readers’ donations

Monday, December 21st, 2009

The Miami Herald is deriving revenue by soliciting donations on its Web site, say Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal. Credit card forms linked at the bottom of articles on MiamiHerald.com and ElNuevoHerald.com since last week enable donations to the McClatchy Newspapers properties.

“The first few days of this experiment have elicited an encouraging steam of gifts, ranging from $2 to $55,” Gyllenhaal wrote in Sunday’s paper. “They’ve also provoked an array of reactions, here and across the country, since this has drawn attention as the first effort of its kind.”

He does not provide any further information about the amount raised.

“We think of this as a way to try something new at a time when The Herald has dozens of experiments under way,” he said. “We hope it helps us explore how readers view this whole equation. It also responds to the small but steady group of readers who, like the caller the other day, have asked how they can contribute.”