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Articles by Ken Doctor

Ken Doctor is a news industry analyst and the author of Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get (St. Martin’s Press). He also runs the book’s companion website, newsonomics.com. He is an analyst for the research firm Outsell and a regular consultant and speaker. He spent 21 years with Knight Ridder in a variety of roles, including as managing editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and as a vice president of Knight Ridder Digital.
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Former Denver Post owner Dean Singleton is upset that the paper he built “has been totally gutted of news coverage…It is breaking my heart.” Meanwhile, the current owners plan still another round of cuts — and consider killing editorial pages entirely.
Digital First Media’s financials — revealed here — show how the company has ridden its deep cuts to nearly $160 million in profits and the highest margins in the business.
As much of Tronc’s turbulence looks to be clearing, new questions are emerging about who will next lead the big metro chain.
“To whom will we now turn to enliven the continuing conflagration that is the American newspaper industry?”
What are the first challenges the new ownership faces? What happens to the Tribune name? And could Chicago see two locally owned daily newspapers?
This is a golden age of American protest. It’s time to stand up and fight the vulture owners hollowing out local news.
The Cambridge Analytica story is a reminder of the value of a trusted, direct connection between publisher and consumer. Building more of them is the news industry’s best strategy available.
Even without the L.A. Times, it still controls a lot of important newspapers. Will it sell them to Gannett, Murdoch, local individuals in each city — or to yet another private equity firm looking to strip papers for parts?
Three possibilities: Tronc merges with Gannett, Ferro tries to take the company private, or — maybe — Tronc begins to act more like a normal company.
Plus: Digital First’s owner gets sued for alleged bad behavior, The Athletic looks to get huge, and Advance newspapers start poking at paywalls.