Gannett Considering Acquisition Offer


New Jersey’s news media market could experience a major shakeup if the owner of the Asbury Park Press, The (Bergen) Record, six other daily publications and several NJ weeklies is sold.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Gannett is a takover target by MNG Enterprises Inc., a hedge fund back company better known as Digital First Media, that owns the Boston Herald, the Denver Post about 200 newspapers throughout the country.  MNG offered Gannett $12 per share ($1.3 billion), a 23% premium over the publishers Friday closing price of $9.75.  MNG already owns 7.5% of Gannett.   At 11:08 this morning, Gannett traded at $11.51. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: January 14th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments »

Opinion: End Corporate Welfare For Newspapers

By Art Gallagher


Click for larger view

New Jersey’s “legacy media” is so desperate to remain dependent on government subsidies in the form of mandated legal advertisements that their trade association, the New Jersey Press Association, offered to cut the advertising rates for taxpayer funded ads in half so long as they could increase the fees for legal ads paid for by private parties.

The newspaper industry was caught off guard earlier this week when legislation to allow New Jersey’s governments to publish meeting dates, proposed ordinances, zoning applications, sheriff sales, etc., online rather than in daily or weekly newspapers was introduced and fast tracked for approval before the end of the year.  Since then they papers been editorializing to rally their readers to put pressure on the legislature to scrap the bill and save their revenue.  Their arguments have been unseemly; Governor Chris Christie is pushing the bill as revenge on newspapers for their coverage of the Bridgegate scandal, that the elimination of legal ads would lead to less transparency and chicanery on the part of government officials who might not publish the ads as the law requires and that municipal and county governments publishing their own legal notices on the web won’t lead to savings.

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Posted: December 15th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Legislature, Monmouth County News, New Jersey, News | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Anatomy of a Media Fabricated News Story – Gannett Style

Tommy DeSeno1By Tom DeSeno

This morning (March 2nd 2016) people in the shore area in the central part of New Jersey woke up to an editorial in the Asbury Park Press, the only daily newspaper that serves two large counties, viciously attacking Governor Christie and demanding his resignation.

“Wow” the people of Monmouth and Ocean counties must have thought.   “This editorial staff must have really put a great deal of independent thought into this, to be this hard on the Governor,” they must have thought.

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Posted: March 2nd, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Chris Christie, Media, NJ Media, Tommy DeSeno | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Shake Up At The Asbury Park Press

Hollis Towns, APP's Editor of the Future.  Photo via facebook

Hollis Towns, APP’s Editor of the Future. Photo via facebook

Editors and writers at the Asbury Park Press are vying to keep their jobs in Executive Editor Hollis R. Towns’ “Newsroom of the Future.”

Gannett, the owner of the paper, announced on August 5 that it is separating into two publicly held companies.  APP will be part of a  publishing company that will be debt free and own the company’s newspapers including USA Today and 81 local daily newspapers and their affiliated websites.  The more profitable broadcasting  and digital divisions will be folded into a company that will assume the existing debt and consists of the 46 television stations the company owns or services as well as the websites Cars.com and CareerBuider.com.  The publishing company will retain the Gannett name.

The following day, Towns announced on app.com and the paper’s front page that he, along with the executive editors of four other of Gannett properties were charged with creating the “newsroom of the future.”  There will be fewer editors and more reporters who will hang out in coffee shops and delis hunting for stories that they will be able to post to app.com without a gatekeeper reviewing their work.  And there will be public events like the Sleep Con event they hosted with an advertiser earlier this month where readers could pay $10 to learn how to sleep better by buying a mattress from the advertiser.

What Towns didn’t announce publicly was that current Asbury Park Press employees had to apply to keep their jobs.  “To be hired into the Newsroom of the Future” is how is was spun in Neptune.

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Posted: August 24th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Monmouth County, Neptune Nudniks | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Depressing scene at Brookdale Job Fair

By Art Gallagher
[email protected]

Hundreds of middle-aged people looking for work at Brookdale this morning. April 4, 2014

Hundreds of middle-aged people looking for work at Brookdale this morning. April 4, 2014

When I was readying to leave the house this morning,  my wife asked if I was working on a story.  “No, I’m looking for a job,” I replied.  Her head snapped up in surprise. In all the years she’s known me I’ve never said those words.  I’ve always been the owner, or early in our relationship, an unmanageable top producing salesman.

The truth is I wasn’t sure what I was doing when I headed into the job fair at Brookdale Community College this morning.  I met a NJ.com reporter who got the ax yesterday, effective in September, in the overflowing parking lot outside of Collins Arena.  “Working a story or looking for a job?” I asked him.  “A little of both,” he replied before getting called away to cover a fatal car accident in Howell.

I was doing a little of both too. I’m having more fun building this business, MMM, than I had in building any of the others I’ve built or help build, but the revenue is not coming fast enough.  If the big media companies are contracting, there’s no harm in taking a look at what is out there, especially if I can make a story out of it and meet potential advertisers.

“Ha, you’re here looking for advertisers,” a recruiter from Town Square Media said to me when I introduced myself and asked her what an Integrated Sales Person was. She got me, but if Town Square wants to buy MMM, give me a radio show, blog and a fat check, I’ll listen.  An Integrated Sales Person sells ad for websites, radio shows and other mediums, I found out.  I’m now looking for one of those.  The recruiter either wasn’t aggressive or quickly sized me up as not a good fit. Probably both.

The Asbury Park Press’s recruiter was telling visitors to their booth that they weren’t hiring until they finish their across the street move in Neptune. Why were they there? Gannett would have to write a really big check and give me more authority than any corporate nudnik would consider in order to get me to fix that mess.

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Posted: April 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Art Gallagher, Asbury Park Press, Brookdale Community College, Economy, Education, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Layoffs At Asbury Park Press

Nudniks Tout $1500 Prize, Don’t Report Layoffs

No news. Empty newsstands stored in the Asbury Park Press's empty parking lot in Neptune. July, 12 2013

No news. Empty newsstands stored in the Asbury Park Press’s empty parking lot in Neptune. July, 12 2013

Between 13 and 40 people were laid-off at the Asbury Park Press last week, as part of a nationwide RIF in parent company Gannett’s newspaper division.

Gannett, a publically traded company, is not saying how many employees they have cut loose. The Gannet Blog, which first reported the story which was picked up by the Associated Press, estimates that 200 newspaper employees have been let go from the Asbury Park Press, The Burlington Free Press in Vermont, The Arizona Republic in Phoenix and The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.

The Asbury Park Sun was the first New Jersey news outlet to report the story.

The Asbury Park Press Neptune Nudniks have yet to find the story newsworthy, preferring instead to report how they won a $1500 prize from the Associated Press Media Editors for their Superstom Sandy coverage.

“We are honored by the great recognition the journalism community has given to the entire staff of the Asbury Park Press and APP.com for their unflagging
dedication during such a terrible storm, which affected each of us in some way,” said Hollis R. Towns, executive editor/vice president for news at the Press.
“Our team worked tirelessly before, during and after the storm to ensure the community received the most accurate, useful information as quickly as

In the same article, the Nudniks touted a prize they received yesterday from the National Association of Black Journalists for their “Gripped by Violence” report on shootings in Asbury Park.

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Posted: August 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park Sun, NJ Media | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Ho Lee Fuk, Howie Felterbush!

Gannett’s USAToday Gets Pranked While Reporting Zimmerman Verdict

'Howie Felterbush's' facebook avatar. The photo is actually of photographer Terry Richardson, according to TinEye.com

‘Howie Felterbush’s’ facebook avatar. The photo is actually of photographer Terry Richardson and two friends, according to TinEye.com

Newspaper/website conglomerate Gannett has more problems than the Asbury Park Press Editorial Board Neptune Nudniks.

The editors of the USA Today, the flagship paper of the Nudnik’s parent company, Gannett, were pranked over the weekend while covering the George Zimmerman verdict.

Deadspin caught the prank and saved it with a screen grab:

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Posted: July 15th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Gannett, Media, NJ Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Asbury Park Press Building Up For Sale

Gannett has listed The Asbury Park Press headquarters in Neptune for sale.  The price of the 24,000 square foot facility is not disclosed.

APP explained that the move is part of its “ongoing strategic transformation” and that they plan to lease space in the Monmouth/Ocean area.

“We’re excited about the opportunity this presents,” said President and Publisher Tom Donovan. “We are beginning the search for new space where we will continue to pursue great journalism and work for the greater good of our communities while positioning ourselves for an increasingly digital and mobile world. We remain deeply committed to serving the vital Monmouth and Ocean County communities. “

All righty then.  Good thing they are continuing to pursue great journalism.  I hope they get there soon.

Posted: January 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Monmouth County | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Patrick Murray: “New Jersey voters are probably a little more savvy than reporters”

Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray is a “go to guy” for journalists looking for expert opinions and analysis on New Jersey politics.

Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Matt Katz called Murray to ask him why Christie’s approval numbers are so high when many voters used the pejoratives “bully” and “arrogant” when asked to use one word to describe the Governor and when Jersey mainstream media pundits so frequently criticise Christie’s manners.  Katz mentioned The Star Ledger’s Tom Moran, Inquirer opinion writers, and the Courier-Post editorial board.  He could have included most of the Statehouse press corp, save Gannett’s Bob Ingle and the Capitol Quckies crew.

Murray’s answer was Christieesque in its refreshing honesty: “Part of the issue is, voters of New Jersey are probably a little more savvy than reporters.”

Who talks to more reporters and voters in New Jersey than Murray?  His is an expert opinion.

“Ouch,” wrote Katz, who often writes critically of Christie.

Credit Katz for including Murray’s quote in his article.  If you start seeing Ben Dworkin’s name in The Star Ledger more than Murray’s, you’ll know Chrisite was right when he called famously called Moran, the editorial page editor, “the thinnest skinned guy and America.”


Posted: July 30th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Media, NJ Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

APP.com’s traffic ranking plunges 25%

Traffic rankings for APP.com, the Asbury Park Press’s website are down 25% in the month since the Gannett owned media outlet started charging for reading content on its website, according to the web information company, Alexa.

Posted: June 20th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Media, NJ Media | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments »