Archive for September 2009


September 28, 2009

FRANKLIN, TN (September 23, 2009) – Publishing Group of America today announced the appointment of Steven B. Smith as senior vice president of publisher relations. Bob Brolund, COO of PGA, which publishes American Profile, Relish, and Spry magazines, announced the appointment.

Smith, 54, joins PGA with 33 years of newspaper experience, the most recent as vice president, Northern California community newspapers, for the California Newspapers Partnership, a joint venture of MediaNews Group, Gannett and Stephens Media.

“Steve has a keen understanding of the issues faced today by our 1,700 newspaper partners,” Brolund said. “He is well suited to lead PGA’s efforts to strengthen relations and increase services to our publishing partners.”

Prior to his position with CNP, Smith held group management positions with CNHI, Thomson Newspapers, and Media General.

“I am thrilled to be joining PGA and look forward to working closely with our newspaper partners across the country,” Smith said. “PGA products and services provide tremendous value to our customers and their readers. Our team will work hard to support them and to offer multi-platform solutions for their content and customer-relation needs.”

In addition to high-quality magazines, PGA supports its partner newspapers with syndicated content and event marketing, such as the Relish cooking shows. The company has grown its newspaper base steadily since founding in 2000 and now reaches 60 million people monthly via 1,700 newspapers.

About Publishing Group of America
Franklin, TN-based Publishing Group of America publishes American Profile, Relish and Spry magazines. American Profile debuted in April 2000 as the second largest publishing launch in U.S. history; it now has a circulation of 10 million. Relish debuted in February 2006 as the largest advertising-supported food magazine, with a circulation of 6.8 million via newspapers, and has grown to 15 million effective January 2008. Spry launched in September 2008 with a circulation of 9 million. The company publishes a series of cookbooks (“Hometown Recipes”) and custom publications, and operates Hometown Content, a syndicated news service for print and web, and Hometown Promotions, an integrated marketing service.

Contact: Fred Pfaff at Fred Pfaff Inc., 212-572-8353,


Obit – June Blanton

September 22, 2009

Graveside services for June Blanton, 84, of Paris, Missouri, formerly of Shelbina, will be held  this morning, September 23, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. at the Shelbina Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Greening-Eagan-Hayes Funeral Home in Shelbina. Ken Harland will officiate
with burial at the cemetery.
Mrs. Blanton died Monday, September 21, 2009 at approximately 8:00 a.m. at the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia., Missouri.
She was born June 9, 1925, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the daughter of Hugh H. Maxey and Louise F. Faires Maxey. On September 25, 1964, she was united in marriage to Carter Blanton. He preceded her in death on October 4, 1996.
June is survived by three step-children: Becky Vanlandingham and husband Linden of Paris, MO, Jackie Maddox and husband Rob of Houston, TX, and Robb Roy Blanton of Fort Myers, FL; four step-grandchildren, and several step-great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by one sister, Calvinell Davis.
June was a Methodist by faith. She was well-read and kept current on the daily news. She especially enjoyed spending time with her dog, Choo Choo.
June was co-owner with her husband of The Shelbina Democrat, Monroe County Appeal, Madison Times and Monroe City News.
Memorials may be made to the Shelbina American Legion Building Fund.

Most newspapers now actively considering paid access options for Web content

September 14, 2009

Wide variety of approaches being considered

RESTON, Va. — Nearly 60 percent of newspapers are considering initiating paid access for currently open/free news and information Web site content, according to initial results from a new survey on paid content revenue initiatives released today at The American Press Institute’s Newsmedia Economic Action Plan Conference.

The paid content survey, conducted by ITZBelden in partnership with API, was launched in August. Invitations to participate were sent to 1,350 U.S. and 30 Canadian newspapers. The 118 responses in the initial report represent a wide cross section of large, mid-size, small and very small markets.

Among the findings: • 90 percent of the respondent newspapers currently do not charge for content. • Only 3 percent currently have a paid-only site. • Nearly 25 percent expect to implement a paid strategy in the next six months.

The responses paint a picture of an industry that is actively engaged in a conversation about many new directions it can take with monetizing content. When given 15 different options of which pay models to implement, respondents indicated they were seriously considering 11 of them. “Much of the public debate seems to assume that newspapers are going to be charging for subscriptions online after putting their content behind a pay wall, but the internal conversations really go far beyond this,” said ITZ Publishing CEO Greg Swanson. “Companies are talking about paid content strategies as diverse as new partnerships with niche players, content delivery on new devices, packaging content for the greatest appeal to certain audiences, and creating new revenue platforms for which content is a key part.”

Among the challenges news organizations face is a consistent problem with the way unique visitors to their Web sites are calculated – a fact that came through in the paid content survey responses and is reflected in additional ITZBelden research. This can result in a serious lack of understanding of audience behavior and can limit the effectiveness of any business plan that includes paid access.

A link to the slides from today’s presentation is available at There is no cost to participate in the survey, and newspapers that have not yet responded can still do so through September 30, according to Swanson.

Participants will receive an executive summary of the survey results, highlighting what approaches newsmedia organizations are taking to issues like paid access, site registration, electronic editions and tracking original content across the Web. Newspapers that contribute their own detailed benchmarking data will also receive a copy of the aggregated database of all survey participants.

In addition to current revenue strategies and practices of newspaper Web sites, the final paid content survey report will analyze the impact of various content strategies on the bottom line, including benchmarking data that will allow peer-to-peer comparisons in various market sizes across the industry. API and ITZBelden also plan to provide quarterly updates, so the industry has the most up-to-date information from which to make its decisions. For additional information on participating in the paid content survey, please contact Greg Swanson at / (503) 241-3650 or Greg Harmon at / (415) 566-4348. The Newsmedia Economic Action Plan Conference, an invitation-only event for API corporate members, continues through Tuesday. ——————————————————————————————
About The American Press Institute
The American Press Institute ( is an independent educational center based in Reston, Va. API provides skills-based training and leadership development in the newsmedia industry, offering seminars, onsite programs and consulting for newspaper professionals and organizations. About Belden Interactive Belden Interactive, based in San Francisco, specializes in audience research for Internet companies, with a focus on the news and information industry.

For more information, visit, or call (415) 566-4348. About ITZ Publishing ITZ Publishing, based in Portland, Ore., provides a leading voice nationwide in Internet revenue development for media companies. ITZ has also been retained by Journalism Online LLC to provide benchmarking studies to affiliates and help maximize online revenue opportunities. For more information, visit, or call (503) 241-3650 or (800) 647-6917.

Gannett consolidating ad production at 2 sites

September 9, 2009

Gannett Co. Inc. said it will consolidate ad production of its 83 U.S. Community Publishing newspapers at two new ad production centers to be located at the Des Moines (Iowa) Register and Indianapolis Star.

The transition, to begin this fall, will concentrate the bulk of U.S. Community Publishing’s ad production and prepress activities at the two newspapers. The full rollout will be completed in 2011.

Gannett will use DPS Inc.’s AdTracker enterprise edition software to underpin the centers. Sixty Gannett papers already use the software, according to Scott Waschitz, DPS’ vice president of development and client services.

Documents posted on the Web site said undisclosed staff reductions will occur as a result of the consolidation, but both The Register and The Star reported they expect to add employees once the new centers are fully operational.
The creation of the ad production centers mirrors what Gannett did in 2007 when it opened two regional toning centers — also based in Des Moines and Indianapolis — to process images groupwide.

Freedom Communications to enter bankruptcy

September 1, 2009

Freedom Communications Inc., the owner of The Sedalia Democrat and flagship
Orange County Register in California, is expected to declare bankruptcy this week, according to people familiar with the situation.

The company, majority owned for more than 70 years by the Hoiles family, has reached agreements with its lenders to restructure its debts under Chapter 11, according to these people.

With annual revenue of about $700 million, Freedom owns more than 30 daily papers and eight TV stations.