Marc...My Words

Marc Wilson

CEO TownNews.com
E-mail: marcus@townnews.com

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The newspaper industry is learning how to better understand the passions of readers to attract and retain subscribers. The New York Times reportedly now earns two-thirds of its revenue from subscriptions. Hearst is targeting having 30 percent of its revenue come from subscribers.

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Remember Knight-Ridder? Pulitzer? Scripps? Freedom? Donrey? Copley? Lindsay-Schwab? Liberty Group Publishing? Journal Communications?  Howard Communications? Media General? Others?

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We've all heard — more than enough — that newspapers sealed their fate when they began giving their content away for free online in the ’90s. Our industry has also endured endless “barn door/horse” analogies about efforts to rein that content back in by instituting paywalls.

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One billion dollars in acquisitions in a three-year period seemed like a lofty goal when New Media Investment Group CEO Mike Reed made the proclamation earlier this year, but it appears the company will hit its mark.

In just the past year, the GateHouse Media parent has shelled out approximately $476 million for Stephens Media LLC and its flagship Las Vegas Review-Journal, Halifax Media, the Providence (R.I.) Journal and, most recently, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch and its Dispatch Printing Co. It’s funded the deals through a mix of new debt, stock sales and operating cash flow.

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When we asked newspapers to talk to us about the steps they’re taking to modernize their newsroom infrastructures, we got a lot of feedback — too much, in fact, to fit into the pages of this issue. But we think that’s a good thing.

Beyond Black and White

John Nate

Senior Color Specialist
Chromaticity Inc.
E-mail: jnate@chromaticity.com
Phone: 616-988-6119

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So, you've spent a fair amount of time setting up your proofing system. You've carefully selected your hardware, software and media. You've set up your workflow correctly, calibrated it carefully and selected the standard that you want your proof to match.

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In my last column, we examined the procedure of properly converting spot colors into accurate process color equivalents within Adobe Illustrator.

This month we will continue our exploration of spot color conversions, this time using Adobe InDesign

Pressman's Toolbox

Frank Bourlon

Executive and Training Director
Newspaper Production and Research Center
E-mail: fbourlon@np-rc.org
Phone: 405-524-7774

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Maintaining a good impression is the only way to achieve the best print quality possible without sacrificing runability.

Good impression is established by first setting the correct distance of the plate and blanket cylinders and the blanket-to-blanket cylinders. These distances are specified by the press manufacturer and shouldn’t be changed without a thorough understanding of print impression.

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Looking for ways to decrease your operating expenses on your press? Here are three areas that deserve your immdiate attention.

Brush your motor

Inspect the brushes on your DC press main drive motors. Whenever I conduct a press condition evaluation I always inspect the condition of the motor brushes. Brushes are often overlooked because their operating lives are so long. But brushes can become so short they can impact print register by causing press speeds to vary erratically. Additionally, if motor brushes become too short, they can damage the commutator on the motor’s arumature. And if the commutator is badly damaged, it can easily cost thousands of dollars to repair.

Viewpoint

Douglas Page

Special to News & Tech
E-mail: dpage435@hotmail.com

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It’s the Hatfields and the McCoys; it’s the Shiites vs. the Sunnis; the Protestants and the Catholics; it’s the friction between iPhone and ‘droid users; it’s Coke vs. Pepsi.

It’s the great American newspaper rivalry between The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

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This just in: North Korean dictator Kim Jung-un is a heartthrob extraordinaire. That’s the word from China’s Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, which reported the news on its website yesterday.

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Read the average blog about the newspaper industry and this business is headed the way of S & H Green Stamps and Kodachrome film — into history’s scrap heap.

Consumers are digital and mobile, says the cry, so it’s time we abandoned the print product, put everything on the Web, throw up a paywall and produce an app

Global Outlook

Jim Chisholm

Media consultant
E-mail: jim@jimchisholm.net
Jim Chisholm is a France-based independent media consultant.

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Publishers have been anticipating resurgence in their fortunes in six months’ time for the last eight years. Suddenly that resurgence may be upon us.

It’s not universal, but time and again these days, I look at yet another set of publisher’s data and see tangible signs of what I call the “point of inflection;” the moment in time when declines in print — revenue and profitability — are being exceeded by the growth of those in digital. I first wrote about this in November 2006. But at long last, this position has changed for a number of publishers, and many more are likely to see a positive future soon.

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n the year 2014, we will see the pace of change accelerate exponentially in this industry.

In terms of products, the rate of mobile-device consumption signals what will be the most rapid transition in the history of media. It’s not simply that the ownership of mobile devices has grown fivefold in the last 10 years, but rather the sheer range of capabilities, applications and patterns of consumption and communication.

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It was the sculptor and typeface designer Eric Gill who said “The artist is not a different kind of person, but every person is a different kind of artist.”

I was reminded of this when I was reading about Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ address to the staff at The Washington Post after he acquired the newspaper. “If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at The Post too.”

This is one of the most defining lines I’ve heard in a long time. Which is why Bezos is rich, and I’m not.