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BRIEFS.

*Buffalo and Guild negotiate: The Buffalo, N.Y., unit of The Newspaper Guild/CWA reported earlier this month that the Buffalo News is projecting a decline of $6.2 million in 2014 revenue and that the company is asking for a laundry list of at least 16 items in contract changes, including the potential for completely outsourcing the classified advertising department. "The company presented a mountain of proposals that will be tough to climb over to reach a fair deal that can be ratified by our members," the Buffalo Guild's president, Henry Davis, was quoted as saying on the group's web site. Cuts in sick days, caps in vacation carryover, a number of changes in editorial work rules and more latitude on disciplinary demotions were just some of the items on the News' list, Local 31026 said. The News is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. of Omaha, Neb., but is operated separately from BH Media, which controls the Omaha World-Herald, Virginia's Richmond Times-Dispatch and 67 other titles.

*New York tabloid ups single-copy price: The New York Daily News will increase its single-copy price 67 percent this week, going from 75 cents to $1.25 for the Monday-Friday editions and that the Saturday paper's price will go to $1.50. The site CapitalNewYork.com first reported the price increase on Thursday. The Daily News had carried the 75-cent price since July 2011 and said then it hadn't raised its street-sale price of 50 cents in "nearly two decades." The paper's main competitor, the New York Post, blasted the Daily News on its front page this morning, with a headline saying, "It's a stickup," over the cartoon image of a stereotypical masked thief carrying a sack emblazoned with a dollar sign. "Buck the News," the headline reads. "Buy the Post." The Post raised its street-sale price from 75 cents to $1 in June 2012, while its Saturday edition went up to $1.25 from $1 and its Sunday edition increased from $1.25 to $1.50.

*Locals seek to keep 2 Salt Lake papers: A Salt Lake City group last week filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court that seeks to reverse the Jan. 1 revision of that city's joint operating agreement between the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News, which shifted the partnership from 50-50 to one that favors the News. The suit is separate from an investigation into the new agreement by the U.S. Justice Department. The group, which includes former Tribune employees, a leading advertiser and a Republican state senator, calls itself Citizens for Two Voices, and is an offshoot of the Utah Newspaper Project, which has been pressuring the Justice Department for an investigation. The suit was filed against the News, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Tribune, owned by Digital First Media of New York City. The suit also says the Tribune has granted the News veto power over any new Tribune ownership.

*Gannett chair gets award: Marge Magner, who has run the board of directors of Gannett Co. Inc. since October 2011, was last week named the inaugural non-executive chairman of the year by the New York Stock Exchange Governance Services as part of its newly launched leadership awards. The award honors the board leader who has "the ability to objectively solve the most difficult boardroom challenges, and the experience to offer independent, sound guidance when the company faces both hurdles and opportunities," NYSE Governance Services said. Magner, who previously was chief operating officer of the financial services business Citigroup Inc., runs the private equity firm Brysam Global Partners LLC, which she co-founded. In other Gannett news, the company said on Thursday that the transaction to transfer the Phoenix TV stations KTVK-TV and KASW-TV to Meredith Corp. and SagamoreHill of Phoenix LLC, closed. The deals were part Gannett's agreement with government regulators in order to acquire broadcaster Belo Corp. last year.

*A.P. expands Middle East video coverage: Continuing to emphasize the arena where it has shown the most revenue growth -- international video news -- The Associated Press of New York City last week said it would begin offering a new video service that covers the Middle East, providing 24 "carefully selected" stories a week in both English and Arabic. "For people in the Middle East it is not just about bombs, bullets and unrest," said Ian Phillips, Middle East director of news for The A.P. "There are more positive stories that can, and should, be told." The videos will run the gamut from "news, human-interest, cultural, economic and technology," the non-profit cooperative said. The A.P., which can trace its roots to 1846, is owned by its members, U.S. daily newspapers. But increasingly over the years, the organization's revenue has come from services that don't directly benefit daily newspapers.

*Zacks affirms its love for Scripps: The stock analysis firm Zacks Investment Research last week affirmed its "strong buy" recommendation for The E.W. Scripps Co., saying that the multimedia company is "in a good position to beat earnings at its next report." Zacks cited Scripps' beating estimates in the two most recent quarters by "at least 25 percent." For the fourth quarter of 2013, Zacks said, Scripps' earnings were 14 cents per share, while the estimate had been 11 cents, and in the first quarter of 2014, the loss estimate was 13 cents per share but the company only lost a penny. Zacks said its analysis suggests that Scripps has a 70-percent chance of beating earnings estimates for the second quarter. Scripps, which owns 13 daily newspapers and 21 TV stations nationwide, saw its shares decline one percent last week, closing on Friday at $19.11.
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Publication:NewsInc
Date:Jun 23, 2014
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