Saturday, March 14, 2015

Standard Times to Join Journal Media Group April 1

E. W. Scripps will spin off the Standard Times and its other newspapers into Journal Media Group on April 1, 2015.  Yahoo Finance reported:

On the closing date, Scripps and Journal will simultaneously spin off and merge their newspaper operations to form Journal Media Group and immediately thereafter merge their broadcast operations, making Scripps the fifth-largest independent TV station owner. 
I've long been a fan of the Standard Times.  It's been hard to see a once great local paper get squeezed into something lesser, but that is the way of the digital and corporate world.  An E.W. Scripps SEC filing showed the company's latest circulation numbers (which include print and E-edition):

1996 - 32,000 Daily paid,  39,000 Sunday
2000 - 29,000 Daily paid,  35,000 Sunday
2008 - 24,000 Daily paid,  28,000 Sunday
2012 - 18,000 Daily paid,  22,000 Sunday
2014 - 16,000 Daily paid,  18,000 Sunday
It appears the paywall, implemented May 1, 2013, did not turn around declining readership.

Failure of a theory requires its modification, thus the spinoff. With no debt and "free of substantially all pension obligations" the Standard Times may be able to hold on to what it has under JMG.

I wish they'd chosen a date other than April Fool's Day for the closing.

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