Buyouts, refinancing at Gannett

Gannett has accepted some 500 buyout opt-ins from employees, Poynter reported Nov. 12. The company had offered the buyouts in October.

buyouts in October. The buyouts involve some 60 editors, 19 photojournalists, seven managing editors, three executive editors and 124 reporters, says Poynter, which got a copy of a listing of the job titles of people chosen for buyouts.

Some 600 people had wanted a buyout, Poynter said.

Gannett announced Nov. 17 that it had refinanced $500 million in debt.

Layoffs at Tulsa World

The Tulsa World has cut at least 10 journalists, Poynter reported in September.

The cuts followed layoffs at other Lee Enterprise papers, Poynter says.

The Tulsa World had cut seven people from its design desk earlier in September, Poynter says.

Iowa-based Lee bought 30 dailies, The Buffalo News and more than 49 paid weekly publications from BH Media, completing the sale in 2020.

Poynter provides a running list of layoffs around the country.

Lee was also in the news after a radio story on Floyd Press (Virginia) employee Ashley Spinks. Spinks said she was fired after the story, WCTF reports.

Sen. Cantwell releases report on local journalism

Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) has released a report titled “Local Journalism: America’s Most Trusted News Sources Threatened.”

The report outlines how changes in the information marketplace and the dominance of online platforms pose an existential threat to local news publishers, says the News Media Alliance. The report notes the vital importance of high-quality journalism to our communities and calls for the restoration of local journalism, including through Congressional action, says the Alliance.

The publication of the report came ahead of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s hearing on Oct. 28 examining Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The heads of Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet/Google testified at the hearing.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) announced that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg were scheduled to appear voluntarily before the committee on Nov. 17. The hearing focus was the “platforms’ censorship and suppression of New York Post articles,” says a release from Graham.

Plain Dealer’s Friday section retooled

The Plain Dealer’s Friday entertainment section has been retooled, the paper said. Starting Oct. 23, it’s been published as a broadsheet section. It’s now dubbed “In the CLE.”

The section had been a magazine-sized tabloid for more than a half century. It started as The Plain Dealer Action Tab in 1966 and was renamed Friday in 1976, says the paper.

Among “In the CLE” offerings are arts news and features, movie reviews, TV picks and coverage of musical acts to hear locally and online, says the paper.

Dallas Morning News journalists vote for union; Fort Worth may follow

Journalists at The Dallas Morning News and Al Día have won the right to negotiate as a group for a union contract, the paper reported Oct. 16.

The National Relations Labor Board said newsroom staff voted 84 to 28 in favor of union representation. NLRB must formally certify the results.

“We are disappointed with the unofficial results of the union vote,” said The News' Publisher Grant Moise in a statement. “We felt strongly that the best way to move forward is without a third party being inserted into our newspaper’s culture. We respect the rights of these employees and will proceed forward in good faith negotiations.”

A. H. Belo owns the paper.

The vote was to form the Dallas News Guild under the Communications Workers of America.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram agrees to recognize union

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has agreed to voluntarily recognize a union for newsroom staff, the paper reported Nov. 2.

Management’s agreeing to recognize the unionizing effort means there is no need for a vote on the issue.

More than 80% of non-management staff signed union authorization cards, the organizing committee said.

The Fort Worth NewsGuild will be part of The NewsGuildCommunications Workers of America.

McClatchy owns the paper

It’s the second major paper in Texas to go for a union recently. Newsroom staff at The Dallas Morning News opted in October to unionize.

New York Times Co. launches Pivotal ad platform

The New York Times Company’s advertising team has unveiled Pivotal, a platform built for marketers seeking brand relevance and consumer insight on “the most important topics today,” says the Times.

Backed by the Times’s audience data and research, Pivotal delivers guidance and recommendations for brands to shape creative work and marketing strategies.

The team conducted multilayered research, interviewed journalists, experts, readers and adults across the U.S. and tapped into The New York Times’s first-party data to outline recommendations around six key territories: race, climate, sex, gender, tech and money.

“Pivotal offers marketers insight on the role their brands can play in our lives. In the near future, we’ll introduce a variety of ways brands can engage with our experts and our insights,” says the Times.

Uberall works with Gannett, acquires SweetIQ

Uberall has been chosen by Gannett and its digital marketing subsidiary ReachLocal to become their premier provider of presence management solutions, said a press release from Uberall.

As part of the agreement, Uberall will acquire Gannett’s SweetIQ subsidiary. Providing local digital marketing services, the SweetIQ team will join Uberall and become part of a new Montreal hub, the company’s seventh location outside its Berlin headquarters.

“We’re thrilled that Gannett selected our ‘Near Me’ brand experience platform as their presence management solution,” said Florian Hubner, co-founder and CEO of Uberall. “We also want to welcome SweetIQ’s staff to Uberall and look forward to providing even better service and support to our North American partners going forward.”

Vox Media launches Concert Ad Manager

Vox Media has launched Concert Ad Manager, a self-service tool giving brands, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, the ability to build and deploy ad campaigns at scale, across premium publishers within the Concert and Concert Local marketplaces, says Vox.

Concert Local is a centralized advertising marketplace bringing together a collection of local media brands, built in partnership with the Google News Initiative.

Advertisers can access inventory across the Concert marketplace including publishers like NBC Universal, Penske Media and Quartz along with Vox Media’s 13 topically diverse networks, says Vox. Brands will also have access to ad inventory across the Concert Local marketplace, which includes dozens of local media brands like Advance Local, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, Dallas Morning News, Star Tribune, Tampa Bay Times and Texas Monthly.

Hartford council slams Alden Global Capital

The Hartford City Council (Connecticut) has thumbed up a resolution pushing Alden Global Capital, the parent of the Hartford Courant, to refrain from more layoffs, which have “decimated” the staff, and to have the paper go back to local ownership, the paper reported in September.

The strongly worded resolution, according to the paper, was proposed by councilwoman Marilyn E. Rossetti.

State Sen. Saud Anwar called into the meeting that dealt with the resolution and said that the Courant is the longest continuously published paper in the U.S. and “a gold standard for what can be trusted.”

Mayor Ben Florsheim of Middletown also called into the meeting. He said Alden Global Capital “sounds like a villainous company from a Disney movie.”

Layoffs at Meredith, Bloomberg Industry Group

Meredith Corporation cut 180 workers, the Des Moines Register reported Sept. 18.

The layoffs hit 130 staff members from its local media group, owner of 17 television stations, the paper said. The other layoffs are at Des Moines-based Meredith’s national media group, which publishes People, Better Homes & Gardens and other titles.

Bloomberg Industry Group, meanwhile, publisher of Bloomberg Law, Bloomberg Tax and Bloomberg Government, informed employees that it’s cutting 21, Talking Biz News reported Sept. 15. The layoffs mostly involved the business side, said Talking Biz News.

Staff cut at Hearst as O to lower frequency

Beginning in mid-February of next year, 59 employees will be cut at Hearst Magazines, according to a WARN notice filed with the New York State Labor Department.

The move comes as Hearst’s O, The Oprah Magazine goes from 12 issues to four in 2021.

In a video released in the summer, Winfrey talked about the future of the magazine. “There’s been a lot of chatter and a lot of speculation about O The Magazine ending,” she said. “I want you to know it’s not ending. It’s evolving because after 20 years of covers I think it’s time. I also think it’s a good thing because none of us were meant to stay the same. We evolve with the times. So, yes, we are ending the monthly print edition with this year’s December issue,” she said.