What happens to the CJ in the increasingly likely event Gannett adds the Los Angeles Times and 40-plus other titles?

By Jim Hopkins
Boulevard Publisher

To paraphrase a famous misquote, what’s good for Gannett is good for its Courier-Journal subsidiary here in Louisville. That was the gist of Gannett’s argument in favor of its $815 million offer last spring for Tribune Publishing — now called Tronc, the parent company of The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, seven other big dailies, and 160 smaller weekly and monthly niche titles and their more than 7,000 employees.

CJ August 29 2016
Today’s front page.

“As one company,” Gannett said April 25 in disclosing its surprise offer, “Gannett and Tribune would have the financial stability to continue maintaining journalistic excellence, independence, high standards and integrity for years to come.”

The immediate path to that goal would be the $50 million Gannett predicted the two companies would save if they consolidated overlapping functions, which means eliminating jobs in areas like finance, marketing and production, and through greater purchasing power for things like newsprint and technology.

Today, with the Tronc deal looking more likely than ever — a published report last week said the two companies are now just haggling over a considerably sweetened final price — it makes sense to turn to the possible impact on the CJ.

The Louisville paper is a much smaller operation than it was 10 years ago, before the newspaper industry cratered during the financial collapse. It’s no longer Kentucky’s dominant statewide paper, and its influence even in Louisville has diminished as other news outlets have started from scratch (Insider Louisville) or bulked up (WDRB and, just last month, LEO Weekly’s parent).

Gannett logoBut the CJ is still a local player. And it’s also Continue reading “What happens to the CJ in the increasingly likely event Gannett adds the Los Angeles Times and 40-plus other titles?”

Courier-Journal owner Gannett Co. says it isn’t imposing an editorial agenda on the Louisville newspaper

Gannett Co. is increasingly coordinating news coverage between The Courier-Journal and its approximately 100 other daily newspapers via what it calls the USA Today Network. But the company’s chief content officer — equivalent to a super-editor — tells Nieman Lab it isn’t imposing a top-down editorial agenda.

Joanne Lipman

“A really important part of the network is empowering journalists in any newsroom to come up with an idea,” says Joanne Lipman, a former Wall Street Journal editor who’s been leading the network since January. “We can support them on any idea that they might have.” She offered an example:

“A reporter at one of our smaller properties in Florida came up with a really Continue reading “Courier-Journal owner Gannett Co. says it isn’t imposing an editorial agenda on the Louisville newspaper”

Among media at Olympic trials in Omaha, WAVE stood alone. (But in the Instagram age, does it even matter?)

WAVE screen grab
Connie Leonard reported live last night from Omaha, with in-studio anchors Scott Reynolds, left, and Shannon Cogan.

WAVE’s solo was hardly surprising, of course, because the station is an affiliate of longtime exclusive Olympics broadcaster NBC, which paid $4.4 billion in 2011 for rights to the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 games.

The station was in Omaha to cover 21-year-old University of Louisville swimmer Kelsi Worrell, who made the U.S. swim team last night after beating her own personal best time last night, to win the final of the 100 meter butterfly in 56.48 seconds.

WAVE is owned by Raycom Media of Montgomery, Ala. The summer games start Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro; latest news.

The Omaha coverage — including this broadcast story — was a reminder of how much the city’s once-dominant media outlet, The Courier-Journal, has retreated as newspapers across corporate parent Gannett continue losing readers and advertising. The CJ apparently covered last night’s final by watching WAVE. “It’s a dream come true,” the paper said Worrell told NBC.

But in the age of Twitter and Instagram, more newsmakers bypass conventional media altogether. Worrall celebrated on both platforms moments ago.