Author archives: John Crouch

GateHouse Media earns APME Innovator of the Year award

17.09.2018 John Crouch Awards

Tyson Bird, left, and Mara Corbitt, right, accepted the APME’s Innovator of the Year award at the 2018 News Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas. They are joined by Bill Church, middle, Gatehouse Media’s senior vice president of news.

GateHouse Media’s news innovation team, de//space, recently won the Associated Press Media Editor‘s Innovator of the Year award at the 2018 News Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas. The award recognizes cutting-edge work that enhances the viability and mission of news organizations and which can be successfully adopted by others. Attendees of the conference had the chance to select one of three finalists.

De//space designers Mara Corbett and Tyson Bird described building two solutions, Architect and Narrative, as scalable solutions for long-form journalism and native advertising content. The two designed and coded the platforms, which allow even the smallest newspaper sites to present editorial projects that showcase journalism with impact.

A few facts from the GateHouse presentation that captured editors’ attention:

• 32 editorial projects have used Architect to date
• On average, readers spend about three times as long on editorial projects than on a regular story template
• 16 native campaigns have used Narrative, with twice the click-through rate

Conference attendees also saw examples of the elegant design and learned some of the back-end functionality that allows people to track analytics and campaigns. The open-source code makes these platforms available to help the entire industry, which positions Gatehouse Media as a leader in marrying technology and content to benefit our audience.

For more information, visit de//space.

Patrick Dorsey named Austin American-Statesman publisher

Patrick Dorsey

Patrick Dorsey has been named publisher of the Austin American-Statesman, replacing Susie Biehle, who recently announced her retirement. Dorsey will continue in his role as regional vice president of GateHouse Media’s Coastal Publishing Group, which includes the Statesman and more than a dozen newspapers across Florida and Alabama.

“Patrick is one of the strongest publishers in GateHouse. He is a passionate advocate for journalism and an effective champion for his staff,” said Bernie Szachara, president of GateHouse U.S. Newspaper Operations. “He is a strong community leader and a strategic executive who embraces changing business models, which is so critical today.”

Dorsey, a 25-year veteran in the media industry, has spent the last six years as publisher of the Herald-Tribune Media Group in Sarasota, Florida, including the past three as regional vice president of GateHouse Media’s Coastal Publishing Group. During his tenure, the newspaper won numerous national awards including a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times. Previously, he served as president and publisher of the Tallahassee Democrat for seven years and held various senior-level positions in finance for Gannett for 15 years.

“I am very excited to join the team in Austin. I am committed to delivering quality local journalism across all platforms and providing local marketing solutions to our business partners,” Dorsey said. “To be part of such an iconic, award-winning newspaper is an honor and a privilege.”

GateHouse Florida announces launch of ‘Inside Florida Politics’

GateHouse Florida, a group of major Florida newspapers owned by GateHouse Media, recently announced the creation of a statewide digital political reporting network called Inside Florida Politics anchored by a weekly audio podcast “Inside Florida Politics.”

Combining the reporting of The Palm Beach Post, Sarasota Herald Tribune, Florida Times-Union, Daytona Beach News-Journal, Lakeland Ledger, Gainesville Sun, Ocala Star-Banner, St Augustine Record, Leesburg Daily Commercial, Panama City News Herald and Northwest Florida Daily News, Inside Florida Politics will offer ongoing, in-depth political coverage for the state of Florida.

This lively podcast will be hosted by longtime Palm Beach Post political reporter George Bennett who will be joined each week by Sarasota Herald-Tribune political editor Zac Anderson and legendary State House Insider, John Kennedy in Tallahassee.

“This is an all-star lineup of the best political reporters in the business,” said Patrick Dorsey, president of the Coastal Group for GateHouse Florida. “We have digitally connected all of our newsrooms in Florida to bring our readers and listeners the most up-to-date political analysis in the state.”

“Inside Florida Politics connects each newsroom studio, so our reporters and editors can collaborate to bring on-the-scene reporting to the show,” said Rob Connelly, director of digital audio for GateHouse Media. “Our small, high-end broadcast studios connect together, across hundreds of miles to create this state-of-the-art program each week.”

The “Inside Florida Politics” podcast is released each Thursday and will be featured on every GateHouse Florida newspaper website and available on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tunein, Spotify and Amazon Alexa.

GateHouse papers join in support of free press

GateHouse Media publications joined The Boston Globe and hundreds of other newspapers across the country Aug. 16, 2018, by running editorials in support of journalists and denouncing the rhetoric of President Donald Trump, who has called the media industry “the enemy of the people” and repeatedly labeled negative coverage of his administration as “fake news.”

Read each paper’s editorial below:

Van Buren County Democrat, Clinton, Arkansas

North Little Rock Times, North Little Rock, Arkansas

Login Cabin Democrat, Conway, Arkansas

The Record, Stockton, California

Daily Press, Victorville, California

Daytona Beach News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Florida

Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Florida

Panama City News Herald, Panama City, Florida

West Palm Beach News, West Palm Beach, Florida

Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Florida

The Gainesville Sun, Gainesville, Florida

Ocala StarBanner, Ocala, Florida

The Ledger, Lakeland, Florida

Savannah Morning News, Savannah, Georgia

The Augusta Chronicle, Augusta. Georgia

The News and Farmer, Louisville, Georgia

Journal Star, Peoria, Illinois

The State Journal-Register, Springfield, Illinois

Rockford Register Star, Rockford, Illinois

Galesburg Register-Mail, Galesburg, Illinois

Daily Ledger, Canton, Illinois

Ames Tribune, Ames, Iowa

Topeka Capital-Joural, Topeka, Kansas

Butler County Times-Gazette, El Dorado, Kansas

Garden City Telegram, Garden City, Kansas

The Hays Daily News, Hays. Kansas

Hutchinson News, Hutchinson, Kansas

Salina Journal, Salina, Kansas

The Newton-Kansan, Newton, Kansas

Wellington Daily News, Wellington, Kansas

The Courier, Houma, Louisiana

Thibodaux Daily Comet, Thibodaux, Louisiana

MetroWest Daily News, Framingham, Massachusetts

TheTelegram & Gazette, Worcester, Massachusetts  

The Fairhaven-Acushnet, New Bedford, Massachusetts

Milford Daily News, Milford, Massachusetts

Herald News, Fall River, Massachusetts

Nantucket Inquirer & Mirror, Nantucket, Massachusetts

Wicked Local weekly groups, Massachusetts

Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Massachusetts

The Enterprise, Brockton, Massachusetts

Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Massachusetts

Provincetown Banner, Provincetown, Massachusetts

Sturgis Journal, Sturgis, Michigan

Holland Sentinel, Holland, Michigan

Cheboygan Daily Tribune, Cheboygan, Michigan

Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch, Sleepy Eye, Minnesota

Columbia Tribune, Columbia, Missouri

The Examiner, Independence, Missouri

Portsmouth Herald, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Foster’s Daily Democrat, Dover, New Hampshire

Burlington County News, Burlington, New Jersey

Monroe County Post, Canandaigua, New York

The Chronicle-Express, Penn Yan, New York

Times Herald-Record, Middletown, New York

The Herkimer Times Telegram, Herkimer, New York

StarNews Media, Wilmington, North Carolina

Fayetteville Observer, Fayetteville, North Carolina

Gaston Gazette  Gastonia, North Carolina

The Hendersonville Times-News, Hendersonville, North Carolina

The Shelby Star, Shelby, North Carolina

Herald Tribune, Fayetteville, North Carolina

The Dispatch, Columbus, Ohio

The Daily Record, Wooster, Ohio

Times-Gazette, Ashland, Ohio

Record-Courier, Kent, Ohio

The Daily Jefferson, Cambridge, Ohio

The Alliance Review, Alliance, Ohio

The Repository, Canton, Ohio

The Independent, Massillon, Ohio

Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, Ohio

Shawnee News-Star, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Beaver County Times, Beaver, Pennsylvania

Ellwood City Ledger, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania

Erie Time-News, Erie, Pennsylvania

Bucks County Courier-Times, Levittown, Pennsylvania

The Intelligencer, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Providence Journal, Providence, Rhode Island

Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Spartanburg, South Carolina

Sherman/Denison Herald Democrat, Sherman, Texas

Austin American Statesman, Austin, Texas

The Progress-Index, Petersburg, Virginia

Tuscaloosa News wins top awards in APA contest

27.07.2018 John Crouch Awards

From an original story by Tuscaloosa News staff.

The Tuscaloosa News won first place in the General Excellence category in Division A of the Alabama Press Association’s 2018 Better Newspaper Contest.

The News also won first place in the Best Public Service and Freedom of Information-First Amendment categories and the Story of the Year award in the annual contest.

Overall, The News won 34 awards, including 14 first-place, nine second-place and 11 third-place awards. The contest recognized work done in 2017. Division A includes the state’s largest newspapers and media organizations.

Sixty-two newspapers submitted 2,129 entries in the contest, which was judged by the Virginia Press Association.

In the APA’s Better Advertising Contest, The News captured 12 awards, including third place in the Advertising Sweepstakes category for overall performance, and in a new segment, the APA Better Magazine Contest, Tuscaloosa magazine, a quarterly publication produced by The Tuscaloosa News, won six awards, including a tie for first place in the Magazine of the Year category.

The awards were presented Saturday night during the APA summer convention in Orange Beach.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the effort our employees give every day, and being recognized by your peers is certainly gratifying,” said News Publisher Jim Rainey.

“But the greater reward is the support we continue to receive from this community, our readers and advertisers.”

The General Excellence award is based on points awarded for issues submitted in that category, and awards won in eight general categories for news, sports and photo coverage, single-event category winners and advertising and magazine contest awards.

The News’ special section, “Should Your Kid Play Football?,” won the Best Public Service award. The section, spearheaded by Executive Sports Editor Tommy Deas and published in October, took an in-depth look at the dangers of the sport in light of evidence linking it to traumatic brain injury, but also the positive impact it has on participants, its importance in society and other benefits.

“To Play or Not to Play,” Deas’ lead story for the section, was named Story of the Year, which the judges award to the top story among all stories submitted in all divisions of the contest.

The FOI-First Amendment Award went to staff writer Stephanie Taylor for her comprehensive report on how law enforcement and the University of Alabama handled an allegation of sexual assault made by a UA student. Taylor combed through voluminous records, most of which had to be obtained by a court order, and her efforts revealed that crucial information was omitted from a story about the controversial case by a national media outlet.

The News also won first-place awards for:

• Best Newspaper Website (

• Best Local Economic Coverage

• Best Use of Photographs/Editorial Content

• Best Layout and Design

• Best Business Story or Column for “Farmers Assess Disaster’s Toll,” staff writer Ed Enoch’s story on the financial impact of an extended drought on Alabama farmers

• Best Sports News In-Depth Coverage for “Should Your Kid Play Football?”

• Best Use of Graphics or Illustrations for “Concussion awareness has shot through the roof”

• Best Headline for “Alabama says no Moore” by City Editor Ken Roberts for a story on the results of the state’s special Senate election

• Best One-Time Special Section – Newsprint or Glossy for “Should Your Kid Play Football?”

• Best Niche Publication – Newsprint or Glossy for “Running Wild,” The News’ college football preview magazine

The News won second-place awards for:

• Best Lifestyle/Family Pages

• Best Sports Coverage

• Best Production and Printing

• Best Sports Single Event Story for “Byrne Introduced as Tide AD” by staff writer Ben Jones and Aaron Suttles

• Best Local Sports Column for “Remembering a dad who took pride in being a father” by staff writer Joey Chandler

• Best Use of Graphics or Illustrations for “A future without football?”

• Best Headline for “Glazed and enthused” by Ken Roberts for a story on the Krispy-Kreme Challenge charity run

• Best One-Time Special Section – Newsprint or Glossy for “Ten: A Decade of Dominance,” a retrospective on Nick Saban’s 10 years as the University of Alabama football coach

• Best Use of Social Media for The News’ Twitter feed

The News won third-place awards for:

• Best Local News Coverage

• Best Editorial Page or Section

• Best Spot News Story for “A larger than life legacy,” staff writer Mark Hughes Cobb’s story on the death of Jack Warner

• Best Editorial for “A courageous response sends a strong message” about a man’s reaction after his sister was murdered

• Best Human Interest Column by Joey Chandler

• Best Editorial Column or Commentary for “Roy Moore was not the only loser on Tuesday” by Tommy Stevenson

• Best Spot News Photo for “Claybrook Fire” by Erin Nelson

• Best Photo Essay for “Honor Flight” by Photo Editor Gary Cosby Jr.

• Best One-Time Special Section – Newsprint or Glossy for “A Driving Force,” a look at the 20-year anniversary of production at Mercedes-Benz’ Tuscaloosa plant

• Best Niche Publication – Newsprint or Glossy for “2018 Photo Calendar”

• Best Creative Use of Multimedia for “Your Guide to Tuscaloosa Regional Softball” by Tommy Deas and Molly Walsh

In the APA advertising contest, The News won first-place awards for:

• Best In-Paper Promotion of Newspaper for “Amazing Teachers”

• Best Classified Display Ad for “Another Broken Egg”

• Best One-Time Special Section – Newsprint or Glossy for “Mercedes”

Second-place awards in advertising went to:

• Best Single Ad Over Half-Page – Color for “Tuscaloosa Tire”

• Best In-Paper Promotion of Newspaper for “Impact”

• Best Presentation of Online Advertising

• Best Innovative Online Advertising – Single Ad for “Piggly Wiggly”

• Online Revenue Builder for “Amazing Teachers”

Third-place awards in advertising went to:

• Advertising Sweepstakes

• Best Classified Page or Section for “Career Expo 2017”

• Best Single Ad Half-Page and Under – Color for “Ervin’s”

• Best Signature Page for “Martin Luther King”

In the APA magazine contest, Tuscaloosa magazine won first-place awards for:

• Magazine of the Year (tie with Vestavia Hills magazine)

• Best Photo Essay for “Dressing the Part” by Gary Cosby Jr.

• Best Single Ad for “Get Beach Ready” for the Locker Room

The magazine won a second-place award for:

• Best Photo Essay for “Healing Hands” by Gary Cosby Jr.

The magazine won third-place awards for:

• Best Personality Profile for “Fuller Goldsmith” by staff writer Drew Taylor

• Best Business Feature for “Sold!” by magazine Editor Becky Hopf

The News was also recently honored with 33 awards in the annual Alabama Associated Press Media Editors newspaper contest, including nine first-place, 12 second-place and nine third-place awards. The paper also won the Freedom of Information, Newswriting Sweepstakes and Sportswriting Sweepstakes awards.

Read the original story here.

GateHouse Media acquires Southern Kitchen from Cox Media Group

GateHouse Media and Cox Media Group recently announced that the operations of Cox’s Southern Kitchen, the Atlanta-based Southern food and lifestyle brand, have been acquired by GateHouse.

“We believe GateHouse Media is a great fit for Southern Kitchen — the GateHouse leadership team believes in the vision for the business, values the great work accomplished by our team and is excited about the opportunities ahead. Southern Kitchen is in good hands with GateHouse Media,” said Cox Media Group President Kim Guthrie.

GateHouse Media purchased The Palm Beach Post, Palm Beach Daily News and Austin American-Statesman newspapers from Cox earlier this year.

“We’re pleased to announce another acquisition with Cox Media Group,” said Kirk Davis, CEO of GateHouse Media. “Southern Kitchen is a natural addition to our portfolio. It enhances the outstanding food and entertainment coverage featured in our local properties and will contribute to our growing food events business. We also see Southern Kitchen as a great platform for further developing our ecommerce capabilities.”

Cox Media launched Southern Kitchen in 2017 as a destination for the stories, recipes and heritage of food in today’s South. The site celebrates cooking and entertaining with a Southern flair and features an e-commerce store with curated products from national and niche brands and local artisans across the region.

Monroe News honored by Michigan Press Association

14.05.2018 John Crouch Awards

From an original story by Monroe News staff.

The Monroe News recently won seven awards in the Michigan Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.

The contest featured 2,967 entries by 100 Michigan newspapers and was judged by members of the Missouri Press Association.

The Monroe News was in Class B for papers with circulations between 11,001 and 20,000. The contest was for work published Aug. 1, 2016 to July 31, 2017.

Monroe Magazine’s summer edition 2017 took first place in the special section category. Judges recognized the layout of the magazine, which was done by Holly Laginess, photographs by Tom Hawley and stories by reporters Danielle Portteus and Pam Meade. That issue featured stories on Indian Creek Zoo in Lambertville, the corner of flowers maintained by Paul Livernois in Monroe, Frank Connolly’s jewelry designs and a Bedford Township’s couple’s backyard and home.

“Beautifully laid out magazine,” the judge said. “Vibrant photos played particularly well. Absolutely loaded with info.”

Sports editor Niles Kruger was presented with two awards, first and second place, in sports writing. His piece “Next Stop, Ford Field,” about Whiteford’s football team reaching the state championship took first place. The second place entry, “Levicki carries load” about Ida’s Nick Levicki, was recognized as “a very close second. Great game story,” the judge said.

Hawley’s photo story “Courage with a Smile” about Elyse (Elly) Wickenheiser’s cancer battle took second place.

“Photos here did a nice job to telling an overall story and it was strongly edited to clearly focus on the subject,” the judge said. “Each photo had a good emotional pull.”

Portteus took third place in the spot news category for her work covering the fire at BridgePoint Church in Temperance.

Sports reporter Ryan Loren received an honorable mention in the sports feature category for his piece “Living his dreams” about Milan baseball player Denver Jackson.

Staff received an honorable mention for best newspaper design for “Trump wins.”

“The centerpiece on the presidential election is a unique way to present an event that everyone else had,” the judge said. “Overall, the News does a great job using photos throughout the paper.”

Read the original story here.

GateHouse Media completes acquisition of the Akron Beacon Journal, sale of GateHouse Media Alaska Holdings assets

GateHouse Media recently announced that it has completed its acquisition of substantially all of the publishing and related assets of the Akron Beacon Journal from Black Press Ltd. for $16 million on May 11, 2018. In a separate transaction, Gatehouse has completed its sale of substantially all of the publishing and related assets of GateHouse Media Alaska Holdings Inc. to Black Press.

The Akron Beacon Journal has been the newspaper of record in Greater Akron for more than 175 years. It has a daily circulation of more than 68,000 and also offers the leading digital source of news for the local market, It has received the Pulitzer Prize four times and annually receives many accolades for its journalism. Akron is located in northeast Ohio and is the fifth-largest city in the state and is the county seat of Summit County. It has a low cost of living and strong retail sales, with both per capita income and median home values higher than the state average.

Original release at New Media.

Tony Bernados named president of Augusta Chronicle, Chronicle Media

From an original story by Augusta Chronicle staff.

Tony Bernados was recently named the new president of The Augusta Chronicle and Chronicle Media.

“We are excited to have Tony return to Augusta to lead our diverse media portfolio. He brings experience, a deep commitment to community and is well suited to lead The Chronicle team as we evolve and transform our products and services,” said Mike Traynor, Gatehouse Media Georgia Group publisher. “In his new position, Tony will be responsible for all facets of the day-to-day operations of The Chronicle and its portfolio of assets.”

Bernados will start in his new position June 5.

“Tony knows this business and he knows this community,” said Chronicle publisher William S. Morris III. “He’s done a great job in the past and he is poised to be a strong leader for our future.”

Bernados, a 19-year veteran of the media industry, has spent the last two years as president and publisher of Gatehouse Media’s St. Augustine Florida Record and 12 years with Augusta-based Morris Communications in key advertising and revenue roles. Prior to joining Morris, Bernados held executive positions with Scripps Howard, Evening Post Publishing Company and Block Communications.

“Like many before me, I am committed to delivering quality local journalism across all platforms and providing top of the line marketing solutions to serve the needs of the community. To be part of a brand that has been reporting news and providing information for 233 years is both an honor and a privilege,” Bernados said. “I am extremely excited to return to the CSRA and serve a community that has been so good to me and my family over the years.”

In St. Augustine, Bernados has served as campaign chair for the United Way and is on the board of directors for the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce and St. Johns Volunteers. He also is a Flagler College School of Business Advisor and a member of the Rotary Club of St. Augustine.

Bernados and his wife Donna have three children: Ethan, Gavin and William J.

Read the original story here.

Paul Gaier named publisher of Peoria Journal Star

From an original story by Journal Star staff.

Paul Gaier was recently named the new president and publisher of the Peoria Journal Star and

“I am excited to work with such a talented group of media professionals. Our focus will be to serve the greater Peoria community with an eye toward growing our franchise while working with local businesses to thrive,” said Gaier, who was previously publisher of the Rockford Register Star, which he will continue to oversee in his new role as president of GateHouse’s Illinois operation. GateHouse Media has 33 publications in Illinois, including 14 daily newspapers.

Gaier led the Rockford market for the past several years of growth. Under his leadership, the Register Star was named one of 10 newspapers that “Do It Right” by Editor & Publisher magazine in 2017. He has been with GateHouse Media since 2012, when he joined the Peoria Journal Star as director of advertising.

Gaier, who had roles with the United Way, the Economic Development Council and Leadership Council in Rockford, plans to be engaged in the Peoria community. “I want to play a role in helping to make Peoria a better place to live,” he said.

He said he is extremely committed to the Journal Star’s role as the community’s watchdog. “I grew up in the newspaper business and lived with it my whole life,” he said. “I’m committed to our role in supporting the First Amendment.”

Gaier is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and minor in marketing.

Read the original story here.

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