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GateHouse to buy Schurz publishing division

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Human_Paraquat, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. crimsonace

    crimsonace Well-Known Member

    This is very much true. Essentially, if you can really cover a team well, preps sell. If you can't, they don't because the audience is very, very narrow (basically, people read about their school and their favorite college team's high-profile recruits).

    And in Bloomington, yes, the H-T had staffers assigned to all 3 high schools in the county (the two in Bloomington and the suburban school in neighboring Ellettsville) and covered them like a blanket. Their HS coverage was second to none. Add in the coverage from the neighboring communities in other Schurz papers, and they *owned* HS coverage in an area where it is a REALLY big deal.
  2. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Props to the Springfield (Ill.) news editor for walking away with class ... and for the rest of the newsroom's show of support:

    Former Press Herald editor resigns top job in Illinois to spare layoffs
    Liut likes this.
  3. Liut

    Liut Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting, Coco.

    In what I think is good news, Quincy (Illinois) Media, Inc. (QMI … owner of the Herald-Whig) is purchasing the Hannibal Courier-Post from GateHouse. Deal should be completed sometime this summer.
    I Should Coco likes this.
  4. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    A very nice gesture. Good luck to Ms. Muhs. This article is behind a paywall but when I googled another article I learned that Springfield is down to five reporters.

    And I will post on this separately but in the first quarter revenues at Gatehouse publishing were down eight per cent. They had been declining four-five percent. The company's cash flow did not cover the dividend as the company had a pretax operating loss of 11 million dollars.

    Profits were down even though the paper in the past fifteen months through March 31 also bought Akron, Eugene, Pueblo, Palm Springs, Austin, Oklahoma City and probably some other properties I don't remember. They issued over 110 million dollars of equity and borrowed another 70 million but profits still declined.

    The company can cut the dividend, which is $1.52 a share, to conserve cash but that will tank the stock price. Things are not going well, except for the Fortress Investment Group, which continues to pull eight figures a year out for management services.
  5. Liut

    Liut Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info, Lancey.
  6. Monday Morning Sportswriter

    Monday Morning Sportswriter Well-Known Member

    Gatehouse recently purchased a newspaper for which I once was the managing editor.

    Daily circulation was about 17,000. My FTE count was 26. We hired reporters away from bigger papers and matched their salaries. I asked for $5,000 more than what I knew the last guy got. They gave me $8,000.

    My guess, they’ll have a staff of eight a year from now.
  7. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Heartbreaking isn’t it? Those papers are the glue of America. When we lose those, we’re all a little more beholden to the national media. Never good.
  8. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Where do Quincy and Hannibal print? I am sure that one of the motivations is to combine printing in one plant which will probably be bad news for the production workers.

    On a totally irrelevant note what a great historic name the Quincy Herald-Whig is. According to Wikipedia the Quincy Whig started in 1838. That paper would have been in the middle of the political battles of the 1850. The Quincy Herald was founded in 1835 so I would guess they were the Democratic/Jacksonian paper in town.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    Liut likes this.
  9. Liut

    Liut Well-Known Member

    Herald-Whig prints itself and, to your good point above, I'm sure Hannibal will go there. My understanding is GateHouse shutdown its Hannibal printing operation a while back and the Courier-Post is printed in Columbia, as well as several other GateHouse papers.
  10. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    Gatehouse is running out of cash. When they went on their buying binge they seemed to buy everything everywhere and worried little about regional clusters. I wonder if selling Hannibal is part of a strategy to consolidate into clusters and raise some additional capital by selling outliers.
  11. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Well-Known Member

  12. Della9250

    Della9250 Well-Known Member

    But look on the bright side -- when they send someone to deal with your paper's IT situation and they mess with your computer and then end up leaving without finishing yours, and several others, corporate IT will take at least three hours (and counting) to get with you so you can actually use your computer to do your job.
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