GateHouse Will Be Replacing Projo’s Website with Template Running in Arkansas, Nebraska and …

Saturday, September 17, 2016


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All New, is the same as more than the older sites of hundreds of GateHouse sites

Coming soon to Rhode Island, the Providence Journal’s website will be replaced with a new template that is now operational in Worcester and Fall River, MA; Nebraska City, NB; and Hope, AK.

The new website design is being rolled out across most of GateHouse Media's websites. The company is the owner of 620 community and business publications, including 125 daily newspapers across the country. The Providence Journal is the only publication the company owns in Rhode Island. 

Yes, it will be the same website with a lot of the same content in areas such national politics, entertainment, news, etc.

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More buyouts

The design is billed as "An all-new," but in fact it is the same as hundreds of GateHouse publications

As GateHouse struggles financially, the new web version looks to utilize as much of the same content across sites in all of their markets across the country. In August, it was reported that GateHouse was offering buyouts to staff. As the Boston Business Journal reported, “A month after a letter came out offering buyouts to employees, GateHouse Media New England has about 40 fewer employees this week versus last, with many longtime journalists and photographers among those laid off, according to sources.”

In Providence art writer Channing Gray and Sports columnist Jim Donaldson were two of the better known writers who took the buyout. Katherine Gregg, the longtime State House reporter had put in her papers for a buyout, but withdrew them and is now a general assignment reporter for the newsroom. She is no longer reporting on politics. This past weekend she wrote on a five-year-old girl being being bitten by a dog — the article was published two days before the state’s political primaries.

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Downgrades to the parent company's stock

Financial Struggles

For GateHouse, the plight of political coverage in Rhode Island may not be the first priority. In late August, Citi’s analyst issued a downgrade on the company’s stock and lowered its rating to the parent company from “neutral” to “Sell.” Last week, the Yahoo reported that Zack's had hit the GateHouse parent company with is worst stock ranking -- a Zacks Rank #5 -- strong sell recommendation to investors.


Related Slideshow: Why the Last 60 Days May Have Been the Worst Ever for Newspapers

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Pew's Forecast is Dismal

"Though the industry has been struggling for some time, 2015 was perhaps the worst year for newspapers since the Great Recession and its immediate aftermath. Daily circulation fell by 7%, the most since 2010, while advertising revenue at publicly traded newspaper companies fell by 8%, the most since 2009. At the same time, newsroom staffing fell by 10% in 2014, the last year for which data were available. Coming amid a wave of consolidation, this accelerating decline suggests the industry may be past its point of no return," said Michael Barthel, research associate, Pew Research. June 16, 2016

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Collapse of Print

Mary Meeker's annual digital study finds that time with print has now declined to just 4 percent of consumer's time -- less than 10 percent of the time consumers spend with digital. Her report "2016 Internet Trend Report," was released June 1, 2016.

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Macy's Cuts

"In a large metro market, Macy’s ROP – or run of press, the ads running with the newspaper pages – would generate $1 million to $1.5 million in ad revenue a year. Now, with that number cut 40-60%, depending on the market, a publisher would see a drop of as much as $900,000. Figure that’s the equivalent of at least 10 newsroom jobs. In fact, at some companies, these cutbacks will mean a fairly commensurate cut in newsroom jobs, unless digital ad growth can offset the print losses," reports Ken Doctor in Politico on June 9, 2016.

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Newspaper Cuts

Employment Changes:

In The Newspaper Industry

   1993 to 2007: -79,000

   2007 to 2016: -168,200

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Other Print Cuts

68% of job loss occurred since 2007

 In The Magazine Industry

   1993 to 2007: -300

   2007 to 2016: -48,400

99% of job loss occurred since 2007

 In The Book Industry

   1993 to 2007: 700

   2007 to 2016: -20,700

100% of job loss occurred since 2007

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Loss of Readership

Newspaper readers are declining for all age groups -- especially the young. They aren't starting to read papers, accroding to the Center for Media Research, July 4, 2016.

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More Digital Staff Now

"Few industries have been affected by the digital or information age as much as newspapers and other traditional publishing industries (books, magazines, etc.). In June 1990, there were nearly 458,000 people employed in the newspaper publishing industry; by March 2016, that figure had fallen to about 183,000, a decline of almost 60 percent. Over the same period, employment in Internet publishing and broadcasting rose from about 30,000 to nearly 198,000." according to a U.S. Department of Labor report issued in June. 

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Even Brexit Hits Hard

"Economic uncertainty arising from the June 23 referendum will impact advertising across all media sectors, including TV and the Internet, Enders Analysis, a leading London research firm, said in a report emailed to clients on Friday. But print is likely to be the worst hit, adding to the woes of a sector that is already facing serious financial challenges…Enders is projecting that print advertising income on Fleet Street will decline by between 20 and 25 percent in 2016 and 2017," writes Alex Spence from Politico.


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