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For now, local news is still a huge revenue driver for stations, but it’s not as profitable as it once was.
Broadcast executives counter that only by having increased scale will companies be able to invest in the kind of news-gathering facilities and reporting resources that support coverage of local news and stem viewer loss.
C., since Sinclair acquired the station in 2014 is a prime example.
Sinclair counters that it has invested nearly million in facilities upgrades during the past few years in its recent acquisitions of Fisher Communications and Allbritton Communications (home of WJLA).
Last year, the industry saw the most deals for the largest amount of money since the 2008 financial crisis, with 70 daily newspapers being sold for a combined 7 million, according to mergers-and-acquisitions adviser Dirks, Van Essen & Murray. bought 15 dailies, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Tribune snapped up the San Diego Union-Tribune; and Warren Buffett's newspaper chain acquired the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
With the additions of bricks from Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field, the limestone exterior walls of Tribune Tower are now covered with 150 historically significant items from other buildings, structures and landmarks.
For the owners of big-city dailies like the Chicago Tribune and Denver Post, buying smaller publications and slashing costs has become a way to buy time while figuring out how to make more money online.
“No one station could afford to have a reporter and photographer there full-time,” Sook says.
have been decoupled from their broadcast and TV operations."The case for consolidation has gotten stronger than ever," said Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst for the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism school.
"It is one of the ways that newspapers are repositioning themselves against the digital competition."Some major newspapers can afford to remain solo, especially if they're fortunate enough to have a national brand like the New York Times or to be owned by a billionaire, such as the Washington Post.
But that also means a reduction in newsroom producers and editors, particularly in markets that are not heavily unionized.
The talent agent notes that nowadays he’s placing promising on-air reporters as young as 25 in large markets; the old hierarchy of paying dues by working in smaller markets is becoming compressed for those with multimedia skills.
Sinclair has a well-earned reputation for slashing costs and newsroom head count at stations it acquires.