Off the Top

This subsection of the Need to Know newsletter offers a different take on the top story of the day.

The Tampa Bay Times bought and folded the Tampa Tribune, making Tampa a one-newspaper city

You might have heard: The Tampa Tribune was sold by Media General in 2012 to a Los Angeles-based private equity investment group for $9.5 million (Tampa Bay Times) But did you know: The Tampa Bay Times bought the Tampa Tribune on Tuesday for an undisclosed price and folded the Tribune, ending a 29-year competition between the […]

Tribune’s second largest shareholder wants the company to explore a sale, whether that’s to Gannett or another buyer

You might have heard: Gannett offered $815 million in cash to buy Tribune Publishing, an acquisition that some say is likely to be successful But did you know: Oaktree Capital Group LLC, Tribune’s second-largest shareholder, wants Tribune Publishing to explore a sale, possibly helping Gannett’s bid to buy Tribune for $815 million. Reuters reports that […]

Google is testing a feature that would let publishers, marketers and other organizations publish directly to search results

You might have heard: HBO show “Silicon Valley” published fake news articles related to the show’s fictitious characters to Google this week to promote its season premiere (Silicon Valley Business Journal) But did you know: Google is experimenting with a new feature that would allow marketers, publishers, politicians and other organizations to publish content directly to […]

Facebook is paying some media companies as much as $250,000 for 20 live streams

You might have heard: Facebook live video is drawing news organizations and other media companies in with big audience numbers, but the opportunities for revenue remain unclear But did you know: With more social media competition, more social networks are willing to pay for good content, BuzzFeed’s Alex Kantrowitz reports. Facebook, in particular, is seeing […]

With a bid more than 60 percent higher than Tribune’s trading value, Gannett will likely succeed in acquiring Tribune Publishing

You might have heard: Gannett offered $815 million in cash to buy Tribune Publishing, and Gannett CEO Robert Dickey says, “Given the substantial value represented by our offer … we are confident that Tribune’s non-management stockholders will support our proposal” (CNN Money) But did you know: Though Tribune management was surprised by Gannett’s takeover bid, […]

For distributed content strategies to be successful, publishers will need consistent ways to measure their audiences

You might have heard: Some publishers, including BuzzFeed and The Washington Post, are going all in on distributed content strategies, following their audiences to the places they spend the most time online But did you know: Some publishers are jumping onto distributed content strategies with the idea that the business model will follow. But in […]

Facebook will include time spent reading as a factor in news feed ranking

You might have heard: Facebook’s algorithm is largely a mystery to publishers, but the company has been using feedback from user surveys to select stories to show in the news feed But did you know: Facebook is adding a new factor to its algorithm: It will now take into account how long users spend reading […]

Twitter has a big influence on news organizations, but it only drives 1.5% of traffic for the typical news organization

You might have heard: Nearly 9 in 10 Twitter users say they use Twitter for news But did you know: According to a new analysis from, Twitter may not be as important as news organizations think it is. Taking data from its 200 client websites over two weeks in January, analyzed how much […]

Publishers can now create bots for Facebook Messenger

You might have heard: At Facebook’s F8 keynote on Tuesday, the important announcement for publishers included better bookmarking, a new sharing tool for text, and more streaming options (Nieman Lab) But did you know: Facebook announced at F8 on Tuesday that its Messenger platform is now open for publishers, marketers and anyone else to build […]

The next location for Jim Brady’s local news experiment will be Baltimore, Chicago or Pittsburgh

You might have heard: With an investment from Gannett, Billy Penn’s parent company Spirited Media will expand into new cities But did you know: Spirited Media, the company that owns and operates Billy Penn, is narrowing in on Baltimore, Chicago or Pittsburgh as the location for the company’s next local news franchise. Spirited Media CEO Jim […]