USA Today’s newsstand price goes from a buck to $2 on Monday. Here’s publisher Larry Kramer’s memo:
From: USA TODAY Publisher
Date: Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 2:33 PM
Subject: USA TODAY Price Increase – effective Monday 9/30/13
We have always strived to keep the cover price of USA TODAY low. Since 2008, despite rising costs and other national newspapers raising their prices, USA TODAY has remained at $1.00, providing our readers exceptional value. However, effective Monday, September 30, 2013, the cover price for USA TODAY will be $2.00.
This change will allow us to continue to invest in the resources necessary to deliver USA TODAY’s award winning content. This increase still positions USA TODAY as a value to readers and we will be priced competitively with other national newspapers.
We anticipate this price increase will bring a minimal drop in print sales, as we continue to evolve how we distribute USA TODAY. As consumers habits have shifted, we have gradually been decreasing the number of racks on the street, while giving consumers additional options to purchase our print edition. In the last quarter alone, we have added more than 1,000 retail sales locations.
Thanks to the hard work from all of you, our total audience is bigger than ever and we expect those numbers to continue to rise in the future.
Eleanor Clift writes in her farewell column:
“I pride myself on being a survivor, and in the 50 years since I first wandered into Newsweek, I’ve seen a lot of change and made a lot of adjustments. The magazine that I knew is long since gone. But while I lament what has been lost, I recognize that not to change is to die, and that Newsweek, a storied brand, has another life to live, this one without me.”
Rebound? Basketball? Nope. “It was human error,” Fort Bliss public affairs specialist Virginia Reza tells Romenesko readers. Will the Fort Bliss Bugle — a 20,000-circulation weekly for soldiers and their families — run a correction? No, she says, “we’re going to let this go by and let people have their fun with it.” And they are – especially on the U.S. Army W.T.F! Facebook page.
In mid-August, the Chicago Tribune announced that it was partnering with longtime media columnist Robert Feder. “Editorially speaking, he’ll do whatever he wants,” said Tribune digital czar Bill Adee.
And he is — to the dismay of Tribune’s spokesman, who calls Feder’s post about Tribune newspaper budget cuts “grossly inaccurate.” Gary Weitman is also unhappy with Feder for not calling for comment before reporting that CEO Peter Liguori ordered $100 million in cuts.
Feder wrote: “The cuts will start to be put into effect Dec. 1, sources said, and are expected to affect all areas of operation, including the newsrooms.”
Here’s what spokesman Weitman says:
The original [Feder] blog post (on which the L.A. Times story is based) is grossly inaccurate. No targets for expense reductions have been set. No deadlines have been set.
We’re in the process, as we are every year at this time, of conducting budget reviews at all of our businesses. Everything is on the table, as it is every year. We’re always trying to improve our business model in ways that allow us to operate as efficiently as possible, while at the same time directing as many resources as we can to producing great content for our readers, viewers and digital users.
We’re trying to determine how to put our publishing businesses on the best possible footing for the long term, to make them a strong as possible. This is the normal budget process that we go through annually.
By the way, Mr. Feder never bothered to call or email me for comment before writing his original blog post. I thought that was standard operating procedure for most journalists.
Feder tells Romenesko readers:
I stand by my sources who were present at the meeting when the budget goals were announced. This is not the first time a Tribune Co. spokesman has questioned my reporting on the company. Once again we’ll see who’s right. I’m confident that my track record speaks for itself.
GateHouse Media has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy. CEO Michael Reed says in a memo that “with the challenges facing our industry and the impending maturity of our secured debt next year, we needed to be proactive in exploring options to restructure our debt, recapitalize and position ourselves for future growth.”
He adds: “Our prepackaged plan provides for full payment of our obligations to employees, customers, and vendors. Essentially, from an operational standpoint, it’s business as usual.
Reed tells employees: “We don’t believe you will notice any change in day-to-day operations.” GateHouse publishes about 100 dailies and 200 weeklies.
Read Reed’s memo after the jump. Read More
Tribune Co. confirms it’s started a budget review process, but says a report that CEO Peter Liguori has ordered $100 million in cuts is incorrect. “No targets for expense reduction have been issued,” says spokesman Gary Weitman. “We’re in the process, as we are every year at this time, of looking at the budgets for all of our businesses. Everything is on the table. We’re looking at how to put our publishing businesses on the best possible footing for the long term.”
* Tribune newspapers prepare for cost-cutting (latimes.com)
* Tribune boss orders $100 million in cuts (robertfeder.com)
Also this morning:
* Star-Ledger reaches a tentative deal with its unions and avoids a shutdown. (nj.com) | Earlier: Star-Ledger publisher again threatens to close the paper. (jimromenesko.com)
* Dean Starkman: Bonuses for newspaper company execs are not only irresponsible, they’re a strategic mistake. (golocalprov.com)
* A Baltimore City Paper reporter testifies against a man he’s covered for seven years. “I was very surprised to get a call from a federal prosecutor and not at all happy about it,” says Edward Ericson Jr. (baltimoresun.com)
* Seymour Hersh: “Get rid of 90 percent of the editors that now exist.” (theguardian.com)
* Texas Tribune expects to bring in $1.2 million this year from conferences and events – up from $800,000 in 2012. (niemanlab.org)
* CNN: Newt Gingrich isn’t violating network rules by failing to disclose his PAC’s financial relationship with politicians discussed on “Crossfire.” (mediamatters.org)
* New York Times Co. projects a 3 percent decline in print and digital advertising revenue in Q3, but says overall revenue will be up because of stronger circulation. (wsj.com)
* The NSA listened in on Washington Post humor columnist Art Buchwald. (washingtonpost.com)
* Toledo Blade parent sues to get the names of Toledo Free Press investors. (toledofreepress.com)
* “It’s either mad or genius to start a print publication in 2013.” (wsj.com)
* Long-form sports journalism is hot, says an SB Nation editor. (shermanreport.com)