Not every newspaper faces declining advertising. Several weekly and monthly community papers appear to be thriving, fattening up on real estate advertising and launching new editions.
Core Media Group Inc. has launched weekly newspapers in Burbank and La Canada Flintridge, adding to its stable of weekly and twice-weekly publications in Arcadia, Monrovia, Sierra Madre, Pasadena and Glendale.
Core Media also is drawing up plans for a weekly newspaper in Eagle Rock, one of the county's most crowded local newspaper markets. That area is served by Eastern Group Publications' Northeast Sun, the independently owned Eagle Rock Post and Highland Park News, Wave Newspaper Group's News Herald & Journal, and the independently owned monthly Boulevard Sentinel.
One of the larger county publishers with 10 local papers, Eastern Group, acknowledged the importance of northeast Los Angeles by moving its headquarters from Commerce to Highland Park. Northeast L.A. has a booming retail climate that is loyal to local papers, according to Jonathan Sanchez, Eastern Group's vice president.
And the Boulevard Sentinel marked a milestone on its eighth anniversary in May by publishing its first-ever issue in color and its largest issue at 24 pages. Publisher Tom Topping said local real-estate agents are demanding full-color photos of California bungalows that now fetch $500,000.
Johnathan Gorman, vice president of business development for privately owned Core Media, said he is optimistic about the future of small, community newspapers. "Publishing news in a weekly basis is a lot different from having to do a daily. People are always going to want to have a local newspaper," he said.
Nielsen Fights Back
Nielsen Media Research Inc., the company that provides ratings and demographic information for television audiences, is mounting a public-relations counteroffensive to charges that its new local people meter system undercounts minority audiences.
Nielsen executives recently met with African-American and Latino leaders to discuss the people meters, which collect real-time data about television audiences.
The people meters came to Los Angeles last summer as a replacement for the former diary system. Critics of the people meter system say that African-American and Hispanic households tend to view shows together so the new meters undercount true viewership.
Nielsen denied the charge and supplied early ratings for KMEX (Channel 34), KVEA (Channel 52) and two other local Spanish language stations showing that in aggregate their viewership was up 5.5 percent in the 8-11 p.m. time slot in May compared with the same period last year.
So far, Nielsen hasn't appeared to make much headway. A spokesperson for Don't Count Us Out, a coalition of Nielsen critics, said that based on the initial data it's too early to conclude the system is working.
News on the Move
With the flip of a switch, all-news station KFWB-AM (980) abandoned its venerable but musty headquarters in Hollywood in favor of modern digs in the Miracle Mile area.
The station has signed off from its home of 30 years at Columbia Square and switched over to broadcasting the news from KFWB's new studios at 5670 Wilshire Blvd. Back at Columbia Square, a group of KFWB employees celebrated with champagne.
The Wilshire studios already house KLSX-FM (97.1), KTWV-FM (94.7) and KRTH (101.1). All three stations are owned by Viacom Inc.'s Infinity Broadcasting division, which spent $12 million to renovate the Wilshire building for broadcasting.
KFWB and sister news station KNX-AM (1070) also are owned by Infinity. KNX is scheduled to move to the Wilshire facility in mid-August. The news stations moves were delayed for a few weeks by slowness in getting new broadcasting equipment, said Pat Duffy, vice president and market manager for Infinity in Los Angeles
A Veterinary Life
A lifestyle magazine for vets? That's the idea behind a new Venice-based publication for animal doctors.
Vetz Magazine published its first issue in June, a 58-page glossy with articles about office computer systems and microchips that identify pets. But Vetz also delves into effective communication, time management and personal well-being that aren't unique to veterinarians.
Published by the Main Street Publishing Group, the initial press run of the quarterly was 19,000, and there are plans to produce eight issues a year and ramp up the circulation to 30,000 later this year even though there are only 57,000 practicing veterinarians nationwide.
Did Los Angeles African-American leaders intervene to save the job of a veteran local sports broadcaster?
That's the question being raised on a Web site that tracks news programs in Los Angeles. According to Ron Fineman's On the Record site, which dishes news and gossip about local broadcasting personalities, the leader of an African-American group persuaded KCBS (Channel 2) not to drop Jim Hill as sports director of the Viacom Inc.-owned station.
Fineman wrote that Danny Bakewell, the publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel and leader of the Brotherhood Crusade, persuaded KCBS to keep Hill, who is black, in the job he has held since 1992. The site did not say what KCBS had planned to do with Hill.
Hill and KCBS spokesman Mike Nelson did not return calls for comment. Bakewell declined to comment.
*Staff reporter James Nash can be reached at (323) 549-5225, ext. 230, or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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