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The business of media

Tuesday, Mar 6, 2018

* SJ-R executive editor Angie Muhs

As you may have read, in mid-January, the Department of Commerce opted to levy a tariff on Canadian newsprint, which is widely used in the industry. In some cases, that’s adding as much as 10 percent to the cost of newsprint, which is, of course, one of our company’s big expenses.

As if times weren’t tough enough in that industry.

* Robert Feder

The Chicago Tribune unveiled plans [yesterday] for a sweeping reorganization of its newsroom, aimed at becoming what publisher and editor-in-chief Bruce Dold called “more nimble, more entrepreneurial, more responsive to our readers’ current interests and permanent passions.”

Dold outlined the changes, including the addition of a second managing editor and expansion of the newspaper’s “audience insight team,” in an email to the staff.

“We have to change the way we work and challenge our assumptions about how we create stories and relate to our readers,” Dold wrote. “We must put the audience at the center of what we do. A strategic goal for this newsroom is to produce digital journalism so meaningful, habit-forming and essential that people are willing to buy digital subscriptions.”

* Crain’s media reporter…


* Sign of the times?…

* And

It appears programming on Chicago’s iconic rock station “The Loop” will come to an end as fast as news broke that the radio station was sold to a Christian broadcaster.

According to a letter to employees from Marv Nyren, vice president of Cumulus-Chicago, WLUP’s programming will end Tuesday, just hours after reports first surfaced on the sale.

According to the Chicago Tribune and a recent filing with the Federal Communications Commission, the Educational Media Foundation has agreed to buy WLUP-97.9 FM from Merlin Media for $21.5 million, planning to covert the legendary station into a “non-commercial educational station.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - RNUG - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:12 pm:

    I can’t speak to the others, but the SJ-R has it’s share of self-inflicted wounds. Trying to shove out new products, and when they can’t stand on their own, making them part of the subscription and using that to try to justify a rate increase on the people who didn’t want the added product in the first place.

    It’s not the same quality papers I grew up reading 50 some years ago. The only thing that has kept me reading the SJ-R the last few years has been the habit of getting up in the morning, reading the obits (important for us old folks), and doing the crossword and sudoku puzzles to start the brain working. When they omitted the puzzles yesterday (accidentally I assume) from their “new, improved” design, I was ready to cancel. Decided to give them a week on the new version.

    Don’t anger Grumpy Old Men …

  2. - City Zen - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:14 pm:

    Let the Batterman fly.

  3. - Saluki - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:14 pm:

    Radio is dying.

  4. - Rod - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:15 pm:

    Well Rich the Tribune story continues the path to its complete destruction as a newspaper. I read Dold’s memo and this jumped out: “In this plan, there are far fewer titles and classifications, and the new job descriptions spell out skills needed to succeed in a digital newsroom.” Yet more downsizing, and fewer journalist specialists covering even larger areas. Welcome to the brave new world of contemporary journalism.

  5. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    The Sox flag flies cause WGN-Am is carrying their games. We believe this follows the loss of the Cubs in a bidding war and the Cubs win the World Series.

  6. - City Zen - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    If WLUP is changing format, who else will play “Panama” 5 times a day forever?

  7. - Iggy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    = who else will play “Panama” 5 times a day forever?=

    Between Hairnation and Ozzy’s boneyard, I’m sure you can hear it at least 3 times a day.

  8. - paddyrollingstone - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:28 pm:

    I don’t listen the Loop much, only when XRT has commercials on or when NPR is boring but still sad to see it go.

  9. - rcg - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    “more nimble, more entrepreneurial, more responsive to our readers’ current interests and permanent passions.”

    I always thought news was just news..not articles about my current interest or passion.

  10. - A guy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:42 pm:

    The White Sox Flag;
    Some sort of order has indeed been restored.
    The new Trib format? Will have to get back to you on that.
    WLUP The Loop. A good run. RIP.

  11. - Reality Check - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    LA Times staff just organized a union. Tribune employees should do the same.

  12. - go sox - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 3:57 pm:

    sinclair (indirectly) acquiring wgn. christian broadcasting moves in and does away with the loop. purported radio and print “news” with statewide exposure funded by proft, et al. the tribune (notwithstanding), sun-times, statehouse reporters, all diminishing. if sources of “news” represent means of acquiring new knowledge for most americans and an essential means of keeping our democracy strong through an informed and engaged citizenry, we’re all in trouble. it’s only gonna get worse.

  13. - Downstate - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    ——”LA Times staff just organized a union. Tribune employees should do the same.”

    Yes!! That’s exactly what they should do. If only buggy whip manufacturing employees had thought to do that, their jobs would still exist today /s/

  14. - Amalia - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    so many Loop memories. sorry to see yet another rock station go down. typing that makes me feel like my parents bemoaning the loss of 40s music radio stations. yes, weird listening to the Sox on WGN radio.

  15. - Colin O'Scopy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    I can say with all honesty, I will not miss Mancow Muller.

  16. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 4:56 pm:

    I only hope the troncies job reup process includes the Ed board and Page 2 columnist spots.

  17. - Flyer - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 5:03 pm:

    It’s about time

  18. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 5:20 pm:

    Sox flag?

    @FakeStatehouseChick - We’re being reorganized, the building is being sold. There. Are. No. Rules.

    #FlyTheLogo #SeeWhatIDidThere #Simple

    @FakeStatehouseChick - there are rules I guess, but we’re reorganizing and building is still being sold. I’m a moutza or whatever #SouthSide

  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Mar 6, 18 @ 9:23 pm:

    I’m not sure what to mKe of the Tribune announcement.

    Are they going fullblown tabloid to try to chase page clicks?

    They could stop by dropping their Madigan obsession.

    People are much, much more interested in what is going on in Chicago than what is going on in Springfield. Much more interested in what is going on at their local school board or park district or local school council, because it has more of an impact on their daily lives.

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