Home Social Justice Changing news industry strikes close to home

Changing news industry strikes close to home

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It is no secret the media and news industry is evolving. The recent selling of The Athens NEWS is a clear example of this change.

When it was announced Adams Publishing Group (APG) Media of Ohio LLC purchased the bi weekly free newspaper last week, many worried this would lead to consolidation with The Athens Messenger because APG Media of Ohio owns it as well.

According to APG Media of Ohio President Monica Nieporte, this is not the case.

“We intend for the two publications to speak to two separate audiences. The (Athens) NEWS will further differentiate its content as an alternative publication that is more focused on the Ohio University campus community while The (Athens) Messenger will continue to serve as the mainstream daily news publication in the market,” Nieporte said.

The Athens NEWS will continue to be headquartered in its Court Street office, and The Athens Messenger from its Johnson Road plant facility. The publisher, Jane Means, and the editor, Terry Smith, will remain on staff at The Athens NEWS as well.

Bruce Mitchell, one of the owners of The Athens News, said he thinks this is a great expanding opportunity.

The (Athens) NEWS has great leadership, a wonderful group of managers, and a talented staff of writers, designers and advertising consultants. After 37 years, Guy and I can step away knowing the paper’s long-term future is secure,” Mitchell said.

The Athens NEWS owners, Mitchell and Guy Philips, called the sale “a great fit that will ensure both editorial independence and long-term job security for a great staff.”

Tribune Publishing Co., owner of Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, is looking to buy newspapers and ensure long-term job security as well. In July, CEO Jack Griffin announced his intent to expand the company by buying smaller newspapers in or near his existing markets.

In an article for Advertising Age, Griffin said, “We think there are more of these opportunities around the country that are geographically adjacent to where we run big papers and big brands, and that over time we can achieve similar kinds of consolidation and acquisition opportunities that are going to add meaningfully to our footprint and our revenue and our profit.”

The trend of media companies buying newspapers does not always lead to long-term job security. According to a New York Times article, Digital First Media, a struggling collection of 76 daily newspapers including The Los Angeles Daily News and The Denver Post, had one of its former divisions file for bankruptcy two times in the last five years, and closed down a project that resulted in the layoff of more than 50 employees.

Digital First Media has recently put itself up for sale, Chief Executive John Paton said, because of “the need to consolidate to rapidly compete in a digital world.”

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