Digital First Media

Last updated
MNG Enterprises, Inc.
Digital First Media
Closely held
Traded as Grey Market :  MNGE
Headquarters,
U.S.
Areas served
New York
Pennsylvania
Ohio
Michigan
Minnesota
Colorado
California
Key people
Steve Rossi (CEO & President)
Michael Koren (CFO)
Guy Gilmore (EVP, Eastern Region)
Mac Tully (EVP, Central Region)
Sharon Ryan (EVP, Western Region) [1]
Owner Alden Global Capital
Number of employees
10,000+
Website www.digitalfirstmedia.com

MNG Enterprises, Inc., doing business as Digital First Media and MediaNews Group, is a Denver, Colorado-based newspaper publisher owned by Alden Global Capital.

A trade name, trading name, or business name is a pseudonym frequently used by companies to operate under a name different from their registered, legal name. The term for this type of alternative name is a "fictitious" business name. Registering the fictitious name with the relevant government body is often required.

Denver State capital and consolidated city-county in Colorado

Denver, officially the City and County of Denver, is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Denver downtown district is immediately east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River, approximately 12 mi (19 km) east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is named after James W. Denver, a governor of the Kansas Territory, and it is nicknamed the Mile High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile above sea level. The 105th meridian west of Greenwich, the longitudinal reference for the Mountain Time Zone, passes directly through Denver Union Station.

Colorado State of the United States of America

Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census.

Contents

History

The MediaNews Group logo, which still appears on print newspapers. Medianewsgroup.png
The MediaNews Group logo, which still appears on print newspapers.

MediaNews Group was founded by Richard Scudder and William Dean Singleton. Both had experience in the American newspaper industry. Scudder ran the Newark (New Jersey) News, a newspaper founded by his grandfather. [2] Singleton had begun his career as a reporter when he was 15, for a small-town Texas newspaper and subsequently became the president of Albritton Communications, a newspaper conglomerate in Texas. [3]

Richard Betts Scudder was an American newspaper pioneer, newspaper publisher, journalist, and co-founder of the MediaNews Group, the second largest newspaper company in the United States. He served as MediaNews' chairman from 1985 until 2009.

William Dean Singleton is an American newspaper executive. He is the founder and executive board chairman of MediaNews Group, the fourth-largest newspaper company in the United States in terms of circulation, with 53 daily papers totaling 2.7 million subscriptions daily and 3 million on Sunday. He is also a former chairman of the board of directors of the Associated Press. Additionally, he has been publisher of a number of MediaNews' dailies, including the Denver Post, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Detroit News. He is a cattle rancher, owning several ranches.

Allbritton Communications

The Allbritton Communications Company was an American media company. Based in Arlington, Virginia, Allbritton was the leading subsidiary of Perpetual Corporation, a private holding company owned by the family of company founder and former Riggs Bank president Joe L. Allbritton. Joe’s son, Robert L. Allbritton, was the Chairman and CEO of Allbritton Communications from 2001 to 2014. He is currently the owner of Capitol News Company, the parent company of political newspaper and website Politico.

Based in Denver, Colorado, Scudder and Singleton purchased their first newspaper in 1983. They incorporated MediaNews Group in 1985, with Singleton as CEO and Scudder as chairman. [4] The company began to purchase small local newspapers that were undergoing financial troubles. In 1987, the company made its first major acquisition: the Denver Post. Ultimately, it became one of the largest newspaper companies in the United States. It operated 56 daily newspapers in 12 states, with combined daily and Sunday circulation of about 2.4 million and 2.7 million, respectively. [5] [6] The company owned KTVA, a CBS affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska, from March 2000 to October 2012, and radio stations in Texas.

Newspaper Scheduled publication containing news of events, articles, features, editorials, and advertising

A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background.

KTVA Television station in Alaska

KTVA, virtual channel 11, is a CBS-affiliated television station licensed to Anchorage, Alaska, United States. The station is owned by Denali Media Holdings, a subsidiary of local cable provider GCI. KTVA's studios are based at the former headquarters of the Anchorage Daily News on Northway Drive in Anchorage, and its transmitter is located in Spenard—covering the Anchorage bowl and much of the adjacent Matanuska-Susitna Valley.

CBS is an American English language commercial broadcast television and radio network that is a flagship property of CBS Corporation. The company is headquartered at the CBS Building in New York City with major production facilities and operations in New York City and Los Angeles.

Singleton was a pioneer in "clustering": developing groups of newspapers that centralized a variety of functions, including production, ad sales, business operations and, in some cases, editorial. For example, the Alameda Newspaper Group in suburban San Francisco in the mid-1990s had a central newsroom in Pleasanton, California, that did all the copy editing, layout and page makeup for five daily papers. [7] Upon acquiring the diverse group of papers, Singleton consolidated several news sections (such as sports and features) to one local office away from the metropolitan area, having a few reporters do the job of many people.

San Francisco Consolidated city-county in California, US

San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a city in, and the cultural, commercial, and financial center of, Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 883,305 residents as of 2018. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.

In August 2006, the company took out around $350 million in loans to purchase four newspapers from McClatchy Company. Among those providing the loan was the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. [8] It came out of bankruptcy in March 2010 under the majority ownership of its lenders. [9] The MediaNews creditors then removed Media News president Jody Lodovic and its chairman, William Dean Singleton, was reassigned to the position of “executive chairman of the board." The Singleton-Lodovic appointees to the MediaNews board were replaced by new directors representing the stockholders group led by Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund firm which has acquired a large, though not controlling, stake. Several interim executive positions were also filled by people related to Alden or its parent, Smith Management LLC. [10] MediaNews became managed by Journal Register's Digital First Media. [11]

Alden Global Capital is an American hedge fund based in New York City, U.S. It was founded in 2007 by Randall D. Smith. Its managing director is Heath Freeman. It owns 50.1% of Digital First Media, which in turns owns more than 50 daily newspapers throughout the United States.

21st Century Media was an American media company. It is the successor of Ingersoll Publications and Journal Register Company.

As of 2012, the combined newspapers and online media outlets managed by the company had 66.6 million readers. [12] In 2017, the company was ranked third-largest among the newspaper groups in the country. [13] Alden Global Capital has been accused of "strip mining" its newspaper holdings. [14] [15] [ better source needed ] In October 2017, the company's CEO, Steve Rossi, stepped down from his position. [13] In February 2018, Digital First Media put in a $11.9 million winning bid to purchase the Boston Herald. [16]

In March 2016, a bankruptcy judge approved the sale of Freedom Communications and its two major newspapers, the Orange County Register and the Riverside Press-Enterprise to Digital First Media. The papers were integrated into Digital First Media's Los Angeles Newspaper Group, which was renamed the Southern California News Group on the same day. [17] [18]

In November 2018, DFM announced plans to lay off 107 staff from its Colorado Springs, Colorado financial services operations, as it outsources the work to Genpact starting December 28. [19] [20]

In January 2019, Digital First Media acquired 7.5% of Gannett's public stock, [21] and made an unsolicited bid to acquire Gannett for $1.36 billion. On February 4, 2019 Gannett's board "unanimously rejected" the offer, [22] saying "that MNG does not have a realistic plan to acquire Gannett". [23] On February 11, 2019, Gannett issued a press release accusing Digital First Media of engaging in a proxy fight. [24] On March 26, 2019 The New York Post wrote "A proxy battle remains at full boil, with Gannett" [25]

Newspapers

Daily newspapers

Daily newspapers owned by MediaNews, alphabetically by state and hometown, include: [26]

Weekly newspapers

Some of the weeklies owned by the company: [27]

Former Newspapers

Other properties

Other MediaNews properties include:

Former properties

Controversy

MediaNews Group is known as a cost-cutter in the newspaper publishing industry. The company has a reputation for buying smaller daily newspapers in a single area (examples include Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area) and consolidating their operations, including sharing staff writers and printing facilities. As a result of the cost-cutting, some former employees say that the newspapers are focused on making a profit to the detriment of good journalism. [29]

Former owner William Dean Singleton was quick to point out MediaNews's commitment to print journalism, not diversification into other media. The Berkshire Eagle editor David E. Scribner, two years after MediaNews bought his newspaper, said the staff respected Singleton despite layoffs because of his hands-on leadership and "traditional emphasis on good writing." [30]

However, in recent years similar criticism has been aimed at the new organizational structure under Digital First Media. The Denver Post editorial staff and others have criticized the owners of hedge fund group, Alden Global Capital. Alden has a reputation for cutting costs by reducing the number of journalists working on its newspapers, and March 2018, The Washington Post called Alden "one of the most ruthless of the corporate strip-miners seemingly intent on destroying local journalism." [31] [32] Alden has additionally received critical coverage from its editorial staff of the Denver Post and described Alden Global Capital as "vulture capitalists" after multiple staff layoffs. [33]

Pension fund controversy

The company has been criticized for investing its employee pensions in funds managed by its parent company, Alden Global Capital. [34]

Antitrust allegations

On July 14, 2006, San Francisco businessman and real estate investor Clint Reilly filed a lawsuit against MediaNews Group and San Francisco Chronicle parent Hearst Communications, alleging that the two companies have been conspiring to control advertising rates, a violation of antitrust laws. In November 2006, Reilly's attorney presented to U.S. District Judge Susan Illston a letter from Hearst senior vice president James Asher to MediaNews President Jody Lodovic that said the two companies agreed to "offer national advertising and internet advertising sales for their San Francisco Bay Area newspapers on a joint basis, and to consolidate the San Francisco Bay Area distribution networks of such newspapers ...." Illston, suggesting she had been misled by the companies when they said they had not been collaborating, issued a 14-page ruling [35] forbidding Hearst and MediaNews from working together on national advertising sales or distribution.

On December 21, 2006, the San Francisco Bay Guardian and nonprofit Media Alliance filed suit to make the details of Reilly's lawsuit—and MediaNews and the Chronicle's response—public. [36] As a result of the filing, many documents in the case were voluntarily disclosed by the defendants. The judge allowed redacted versions of two more documents to be released. She kept 17 others under seal. One of the documents unsealed was the deposition of Hearst's Asher, who says that as of September 2006, his company had recorded cumulative losses of $330 million on its investment in the Chronicle, [37] which it acquired in mid-2000. He said Hearst proposed selling the Chronicle to MediaNews, but MediaNews didn't offer enough money. Asher also said Hearst and MediaNews have discussed working together for years. Although the trial was scheduled to start Monday, April 30, 2007 in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, [38] the parties announced Wednesday, April 25, 2007 that a settlement had been reached. [39]

Related Research Articles

Hearst Communications American multinational mass media conglomerate group

Hearst Communications, often referred to simply as Hearst, is an American mass media and business information conglomerate based in New York City.

Gannett United States newspaper company

Gannett Co., Inc. is a publicly traded American mass media holding company headquartered in McLean, Virginia in Greater Washington DC. It is the largest U.S. newspaper publisher as measured by total daily circulation.

<i>The Mercury News</i> daily newspaper in San Jose, California, United States

The Mercury News is a morning daily newspaper published in San Jose, California, the largest city in Silicon Valley. It is published by the Bay Area News Group, a subsidiary of Digital First Media. As of March 2013, it was the fifth largest daily newspaper in the United States, with a daily circulation of 611,194. As of 2018, the paper has a circulation of 324,500 daily and 415,200 on Sundays.

Knight Ridder American media company

Knight Ridder was an American media company, specializing in newspaper and Internet publishing. Until it was bought by McClatchy on June 27, 2006, it was the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States, with 32 daily newspapers sold. Its headquarters were located in San Jose, California.

<i>Oakland Tribune</i> California newspaper

The Oakland Tribune is a weekly newspaper published in Oakland, California, by the Bay Area News Group (BANG), a subsidiary of MediaNews Group. From 2010 to 2016, it was published as an edition of the BANG flagship newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News.

<i>The Denver Post</i> American daily newspaper in Denver, Colorado

The Denver Post is a daily newspaper and website that has been published in the Denver, Colorado, area since 1892. As of March 2016, it has an average weekday circulation of 134,537 and Sunday circulation of 253,261. Its 2012–2013 circulation (416,676) made it the 9th highest in the US. The Denver Post receives roughly six million monthly unique visitors generating more than 13 million page views, according to comScore.

The Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970 was an Act of the United States Congress, signed by President Richard Nixon, authorizing the formation of joint operating agreements among competing newspaper operations within the same market area. It exempted newspapers from certain provisions of antitrust laws. Its drafters argued that this would allow the survival of multiple daily newspapers in a given urban market where circulation was declining. This exemption stemmed from the observation that the alternative is usually for at least one of the newspapers, generally the one published in the evening, to cease operations altogether.

The Daily Breeze is a 57,000-circulation daily newspaper published in Torrance, California. It serves the South Bay cities of Los Angeles County. Its slogan is "LAX to LA Harbor".

<i>East Bay Times</i> California newspaper

The East Bay Times is a daily broadsheet newspaper based in Walnut Creek, California, United States owned by the Bay Area News Group (BANG), as subsidiary of Digital First Media, that serves Contra Costa and Alameda counties, in the eastern part of the San Francisco Bay Area. It was founded as the Contra Costa Times, and took its current name in 2016 when it was merged with other sister papers in the East Bay region.

The Trentonian is a daily newspaper serving Trenton, New Jersey, USA, and the surrounding Mercer County community. The paper has a daily circulation of slightly more than 20,000 and a Sunday circulation of less than 18,000.

Swift Communications Inc. is an American digital marketing and newspaper publishing company based in Carson City, Nevada. Swift's primary markets are resort town tabloid newspapers and websites as well as agricultural publications. Swift Communications pioneered digital paywalls for newspaper websites, now an industry norm, long before its peers.

<i>Midland Reporter-Telegram</i> daily newspaper in Midland, Texas

The Midland Reporter-Telegram is a daily newspaper in Midland, Texas. It is located in the heart of the vast 54-county Permian Basin of West Texas, a geological region which produces 70 percent of the oil in Texas. The newspaper's special coverage includes the "Permian Basin Oil Report", a weekly section devoted to news of the gas and oil industry, and Mywesttexasjobs.com, a weekly employment magazine that is free to the community and has a wide distribution throughout the Permian Basin.

The San Mateo County Times was a daily newspaper published by the MediaNews Group. The paper is distributed throughout San Mateo County, Monday through Saturday. Before being sold in 1996, it had been published for over 100 years as the San Mateo Times, originally published by Amphlett Publishing.

<i>The San Francisco Examiner</i> newspaper in San Francisco, California

The San Francisco Examiner is a daily newspaper distributed in and around San Francisco, California, and published since 1863.

The Longmont Daily Times-Call, known under different combinations of these names, is a daily newspaper published for Longmont, Colorado, United States. It carries local, regional, national and world news and republishes most of its stories from sister publications owned by its parent company. It is part of the MediaNews Group, owned by Digital First Media, which is owned by Alden Global Capital out of New York City. Editorial offices are no longer in Longmont, and in 2017 are located in the Daily Camera offices at 2500 55th St. Suite 210, Boulder, CO 80301.

California Newspapers Partnership is a publisher of more than two dozen daily newspapers and several weekly newspapers in the United States state of California. The partnership is managed as a subsidiary of MediaNews Group, its majority owner. The minority partner is Stephens Media, with roughly a one-quarter ownership stake.

References

  1. "digitalfirstmedia.com Leadership" . Retrieved Dec 14, 2016.
  2. Cook, Timothy (15 August 2005). Governing With the News, Second Edition: The News Media as a Political Institution (Studies in Communication, Media, and Public Opinion). University of Chicago Press. ISBN   978-0226115016.
  3. Charles, Rivers. America’s Most Influential Editors: The History of the Newspaper Publishers Who Changed American Journalism and Politics.
  4. Hevesi, Dennis (2012-11-15). "Richard B. Scudder, Co-Founder of MediaNews Group, Dies at 99". New York Times . Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  5. http://www.medianewsgroup.com/about/ Blurb from the corporate website
  6. http://www.medianewsgroup.com/about/ MediaNews Group About Page
  7. "ALAMEDA: FIVE NEWSPAPERS PAGINATE 2300 PAGES PER WEEK". The Cole Papers. Feb 6, 1994. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
  8. ""Gates Foundation Makes MediaNews Loan", Toronto Star. August 22, 2006.
  9. McCarty, Dawn; Bensinger, Greg (2010-01-22). "Affiliated Media Files for Bankruptcy to Restructure (Update2)". BusinessWeek. Bloomberg. Retrieved 2011-02-22.
  10. Langeveld, Martin (2011-01-20). "The shakeup at MediaNews: Why it could be the leadup to a massive newspaper consolidation". Nieman Journalism Lab. The Nieman Foundation for Journalism (Harvard University). Retrieved 2011-02-22.
  11. Buttry, Steve (2011-09-07). "Journal Register's Digital First Media will manage MediaNews". The Buttry Diary. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  12. Carey, Pete (May 4, 2012). "Digital First Media's chief says newspapers have key advantages in the struggle for readers and advertising". San Jose Mercury News .
  13. 1 2 Doctor, Ken (2017-10-23). "Digital First Media's CEO steps down; what may lie ahead for the company?". TheStreet. Retrieved 2018-02-03.
  14. "Petition | Alden". aldenexposed.com. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  15. "DFM Workers". DFM Workers. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
  16. Chesto, Jon (2018-02-13). "Digital First Media wins bidding for Herald with $12m package". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  17. Hebbard, D.B. (2016-03-21). "Bankruptcy judge approves Digital First Media purchase of Freedom Communications assets". Talking New Media. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  18. Roderick, Kevin (2016-03-21). "Memo: LA News Group now So Cal News Group". LA Observed. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  19. Roberts, Michael (2018-11-01). "How 107 Digital First Media Layoffs Will Impact Denver Post, 96 Sister Papers". Westword. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  20. Heilman, Wayne (2018-10-30). "Owner of The Denver Post laying off 107 at Colorado Springs service center". Colorado Springs Gazette. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  21. Edwards, Christian. "Digital First Media is reportedly planning to make an offer to buy USA Today publisher Gannett". Business Insider. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  22. "Gannett Comments on MNG Enterprises, Inc.'s Continued Failure to Produce a Financing Commitment". Business Wire . March 20, 2019. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  23. Arbel, Tali. "Gannett rejects $1.36 billion buyout offer from Digital First Media". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  24. Hayes, Dade; Hayes, Dade (2019-02-11). "Gannett Rebuffs Board Maneuver By Digital First Media In Proxy Fight, Blasts Takeover Proposal As "Deficient"". Deadline. Retrieved 2019-03-11.
  25. Kelly, Keith (March 26, 2019). "Showdown between Gannett and MNG Enterprises set for May 16". New York Post . Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  26. MediaNews Group. "Daily newspapers". Our newspapers. Denver, Colorado. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  27. MediaNews Group. "Non-daily newspapers". Our newspapers. Denver, Colorado. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  28. http://www.timescall.com/ci_17152929
  29. Menn, Joseph (March 22, 2006). "There Are Two Sides to This Publisher's Story". Los Angeles Times.
  30. Elfland, Mike. "Sentinel & Enterprise Sale Set," Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Mass.), January 8, 1997.
  31. Ember, Sydney (12 April 2018). "Colorado Group Pushes to Buy Embattled Denver Post From New York Hedge Fund" . Retrieved 12 April 2018 via NYTimes.com.
  32. Silber, Tony. "Job on the Line, Denver Post Editor Hears Nothing from Company Owner". forbes.com. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  33. Ember, Sydney (2018-04-07). "Denver Post Rebels Against Its Hedge-Fund Ownership". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  34. O'Connell, Jonathan (2019-04-17). "The hedge fund trying to buy Gannett faces federal probe after investing newspaper workers' pensions in its own funds". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2019-05-17. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  35. U.S. District Court Order Re: Second Application for Temporary Restraining Order, November 28, 2006.
  36. Williamson, Kate (December 22, 2006). "Weekly, Nonprofit Sue to Open Records". San Francisco Examiner.
  37. Said, Carolyn (February 1, 2007). "Hearst, MediaNews Talks Included Possible Sale of Chronicle". San Francisco Chronicle.
  38. "MediaNews, Hearst Trial Set to Proceed". San Francisco Examiner. February 9, 2007.
  39. Egelko, Bob (2007-04-25). "Hearst, MediaNews Group settle Reilly suit". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-05-30.