Tag Archives: Business weeklies

ACBJ institutes pay freeze, cuts salaries by 5 percent

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

American City Business Journals, the owners of 40 business weekly newspapers across the country, announced Wednesday a 5 percent pay cut for employees making more than $35,000 a year and a freeze on existing salaries, according to an internal memo obtained by Talking Biz News.

In the memo, chairman Ray Shaw stated, “The start of 2009 has been the softest stretch that ACBJ has had during the 20 years I have been involved with the company. While there’s no question that we will remain profitable and rebound from this downturn, it is important that we take steps to cushion the impact of the slowdown as much as possible without harming the quality of our publications, online activities and other services.”

The freeze in pay will take effect on June 1. Each employee affected by a salary reduction will be given two additional paid personal days to be taken by the end of 2009

Later in the memo, Shaw stated, “We are temporarily modifying our policy regarding unpaid sabbatical leaves. Employees with five or more years at ACBJ may apply for a maximum two months leave, with one week each month being charged to vacation. Recommendations are to be made to publishers or unit operating heads with final approval from Charlotte. Certain management members will be excluded from such leaves.

“No open positions will be filled without my permission.

“Please contact your publisher or unit operating head if you have any questions about these matters.

“I thank all of you for what you contribute to make our company the exceptional place it is. We will emerge from this rough patch stronger than ever.”

Building a business newspaper

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Dennis Curran, the editor and publisher of the Wyoming Business Report, reflects back on how the monthly paper has grown as it turns nine years old.

Curran writes, “We started with just one staff person – me — and an office in a basement — mine — and some help from a sister business newspaper in Colorado, the Northern Colorado Business Report. We came out quarterly then, and I recall our top stories were about ranch sales and the Wyoming Business Council surviving a legislative attempt to cut its funding.

“Today the Business Report is published monthly, and we have a free daily e-newsletter that provides subscribers with the day’s top breaking news stories and is available on our Web site. Did I mention that our eDaily is free?

“We’ve moved out of the basement to offices in Cheyenne, Casper and Lander, but our staff is still pretty lean — there are only six of us to write and edit the news and sell advertising — and we still relay on our sister paper in Fort Collins for billing, circulation, human resources, layout, production and help with our special events.”

Read more here.

Dallas Business Journal eliminating two positions

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The Dallas Business Journal is eliminating two positions and restructuring the work associated with others, according to a stiory on its Web site.

The story states, “One of the positions is administrative, which is being eliminated due to the recent implementation of Salesforce.com software, used in the advertising and billing departments.

“The Dallas Business Journal is also eliminating a special section writer position because of current economic conditions. Staff reporters will continue to write for the special sections associated with the industries they cover, in addition to regular news coverage. Newsroom positions that may be added when the economy improves would focus on the priority of breaking news.”

Read more here.

Seattle-area biz paper prints last issue, changes name to cover new area

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The Eastside Business Journal, a business newspaper that covered the area east of Seattle, has printed its last issue and will fold into the Bellevue Business Journal, which covers a smaller territory.

Publisher Joe Kennedy writes, “I’ve been fortunate to meet many great people and was able to forge partnerships with organizations such as the Chambers of Commerce in Bothell, Issaquah, Sammamish and Woodinville.

“Unfortunately as a very small organization, we weren’t doing a very good job at covering any area very well. There are so many great businesses and organizations to promote all over the Eastside, but I’ve just been spread too thin and haven’t been able to get them all covered.

“It does feel good to know that Eastside Business newspaper has been able to help promote many, many great businesses and organizations all over the Eastside throughout the years. Still the same, during these times of opportunity, the facts have to be faced. Most of our advertisers prefer to focus on the Bellevue audience and demographics, and I just haven’t been able to generate the needed support from other cities to make it worth the cost of distribution, postage, printing, extra hours, etc.”

Read more here.

It's a blizzard! It's a blizzard! We're all going to die!

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The Denver Business Journal is advising its readers to look for this week’s content online because delivery of the paper will be delayed due to the blizzard conditions in the area.

A story on the paper’s site stated, “Subscribers who normally receive their copy of the Journal in Friday’s mail instead will likely receive it Saturday or Monday, said Circulation Director Jan Wambolt.

“Meanwhile, DenverBusinessJournal.com on Friday will make available all of the articles, columns and features in the newspaper, but only to paid subscribers who have registered at the website.

“Registering ‘unlocks’ the newspaper so you can read it online.

“If you’re a subscriber but you’re not already registered, go to the home page and click on ‘register’ in the upper-right corner.”

Read more here.

SABEW names 2008 Best in Business winners

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The New York Times, Washington Post and Minneapolis Star-Tribune were named Tuesday as the best business sections in the country among newspapers with more than 325,000 daily circulation for 2008 by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

The Detroit Free Press, Rocky Mountain News and Kansas City Star were named the best business sections among newspapers with circulation from 225,000 to 325,000.

The Miami Herald, Grand Rapids Press and Seattle Post-Intelligencer were named the newspapers with the best business sections with circulation from 125,000 to 225,000.

The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass., were named the best business sections among newspapers with circulation below 125,000.

The Indianapolis Business Journal, Cincinnati Business Courier and Philadelphia Business Journal were named the best weekly business newspapers.

Bloomberg Markets won among business magazines with below 500,000 circulation, while BusinessWeek won among business magazines with above 500,000 circulation.

Web site winners were Crain’s Chicago Business for up to 500,000 average monthly unique visitors, Bloomberg News for 500,000 to 2.5 million average monthly unique visitors, and BusinessWeek.com, BNET.com and the St. Petersburg Times for more than 2.5 million average monthly unique visitors.

See all of the winners here.

Crain's publications cut pay, staff

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Jaclyn Trop of the Detroit News writes Thursday that Crain’s has cut positions at its business newspapers and the remaining staff members have received a 10 percent pay cut.

Trop writes, “‘Change is never easy, but aggressive cost-cutting is necessary in this difficult financial environment,’ Crain Communications Chairman Keith Crain wrote Tuesday in a memo to staff. He added that, ‘by taking these measures now we’ll position ourselves to weather the economic crisis.’

“None of the job cuts will come from Crain’s Detroit office, said Mary Kramer, publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business. A spokeswoman for the company, Colleen Robar, declined to say how many jobs will be eliminated companywide, but one industry report put the total at 150.

“The family owned, privately held publisher has more than 1,000 employees in 16 offices worldwide, Robar said.”

Read more here.

Hartford Biz Journal names new editor

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John Ferraro has been named the new editor of the Hartford Business Journal. He most recently was an investigative reporter at the Hartford Courant.

A story on the paper’s Web site states, “Prior to his work at the Courant, Ferraro, 46, was an editor and reporter at the New Haven Register for seven years. He previously worked as a reporter at The Hour in Norwalk and the Naugatuck Daily News. He is a 1985 graduate of Southern Connecticut State University.

“Ferraro said he plans to build on the strong relationship the Hartford Business Journal has with its audience, with an emphasis on making HartfordBusiness.com a must visit for timely business news.

“‘We’re developing a Web site that provides our audience with a sense of community and gives them a chance to interact with people who share the same types of interests and are facing the same types of challenges,’ he said. ‘The media landscape in Connecticut is changing dramatically and the Hartford Business Journal is better positioned to provide a complete and relevant multimedia experience than any other news outlet in the state.’”

Read more here.

Crain's closes FinancialWeek.com, two Europe print publications

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TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE

The following message from Keith Crain, chairman of Crain Communications, was sent to staff members at Crain’s publications:

“Today, we had to take the difficult step to close Business Insurance Europe in London and Automotive News Europe in Munich.  We will continue to serve European readers through news, special issues, events and digital coverage from their parent publications:  Business Insurance and Automotive News. The U.S.-based titles will now become even stronger global brands.

“In addition, the Web site financialweek.com will be suspended.  The print publication Financial Week closed in December and we tried to make a go of an online-only news operation this quarter.    Unfortunately, advertising is just not there in this vertical market to make it viable so we are shutting the New York-based Web site.

“These three titles, and RCR Wireless News which we closed earlier this week,  were staffed with smart, hardworking people.  It saddens us that the economic collapse has dried up business for these titles and forced these actions.  During times like these, we truly appreciate your continued efforts.”

The print version of Financial Week had closed at the beginning of the year.

Dolan Media reports 10 percent increase in profits

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Dolan Media, the parent company of a number of business newspapers, reported fourth-quarter profits that rose 10 percent due to help from the economic turmoil, which drives its foreclosure information business.

Danielle Ulman, a reporter for the Daily Record in Baltimore, one of the papers it owns, writes, “Dolan said despite the government’s ‘well-intentioned’ actions, foreclosures would continue to grow, allowing the company’s business to grow. The company does not have plans for any acquisitions in 2009.

“Dolan’s two divisions, business information and professional services, both brought in revenue for the quarter. In the business information division — the side that publishes nearly 60 business and legal newspapers — public notice revenue grew by 8.6 percent for the quarter to $10.1 million, with much of that growth coming from the acquisition of The Mecklenburg Times in Charlotte, N.C.

“Circulation revenue fell 5.3 percent to $3.2 million, the result of decreased bulk renewals of publications at several law firms.

“On the professional services side of the company, which provides specialized services to the legal profession, revenue grew 105 percent to $37 million for the quarter. Dolan subsidiary American Processing Company LLC, a leading provider of mortgage default processing services in the country, provided a boost to the company with $19.5 million in revenues.”

Read more here. Dolan Media owns the Long Island Business News, Mississippi Business Journal, the Colorado Springs Business Journal, the Idaho Business Review and the Daily Journal of Commerce in Portland, Ore., among others.