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As of the end of 2009, about 57 percent of Scripps’ revenue came from its newspapers. Scripps’ largest newspaper is the Commercial Appeal in Memphis. The company’s United Media division syndicates columns and comic strips like Dilbert and Peanuts.
Scripps has closed several newspapers in recent years, the largest of which was Denver’s Rocky Mountain News, which the company owned from 1926 until its closing in 2009. That closing, combined with the threat of other major metro newspapers’ closing, fed concern over whether newspapers as a medium were dying. The company also shut down the Cincinnati Post and Albuquerque (N.M.) Tribune in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
Demand Media, Inc., founded in 2006, is an online media company that quickly grew to prominence by algorithmically assigning and publishing stories based on user-demand signals, such as search and social media trends. It typically pays authors a low sum of money for these posts, often about $15 per contribution, and assigns posts only when it…