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In July 2014, Scripps announced it would merge with Journal Communications, folding the two companies’ broadcast operations into Scripps, to be controlled by the Scripps family, and spinning off the newspapers as Journal Media Group. The revamped Scripps would include 34 stations in 27 markets, 4,000 employees and average annual revenue around $800 million.
Scripps had also been a newspaper syndicate, but it shut its Scripps Howard News Service in 2013 after 96 years of operation. 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 tested a paywall in 2014 with one of its local TV stations, WCPO in Cincinnati, at a price of $79.99.
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.
The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism is a nonprofit investigative news organization affiliated with the University of Iowa. The center was launched in spring 2010 by University of Iowa professor Stephen Berry and doctoral student Robert Gutsche Jr. It was initially staffed by students and interns working for free, though its leaders have plans…