Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Morning Brief: Time Out Chicago sold back to PE, will shut down print edition, begin layoffs; editor at The Sun charged with making illegal payments to public officials

Yesterday was not a good day for print media. First came word that the Washington Examiner, the right-wing tabloid owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz would be moving from a daily compact newspaper format to a weekly print magazine design. Late in the afternoon word leaked out, first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, that Time Out Chicago would cease publishing a print edition.

According to Robert Feder, who writes on media at Time Out Chicago, the paper has been sold back to its original owners, and the decision has been made to cease publication of the 55,000-circulation weekly. Joe Mansueto, the Morningstar CEO who owned 95 percent of Time Out Chicago Partners, sold back his ownership to Oakley Capital Investments, a London private equity firm that controls Time Out North America.

The ownership move will result in a new management team being brought in and layoffs of staffs will commence at the publication.

Oakley has been pursuing a digital-only strategy at most of its Time Out properties, with only New York and London still printing a weekly publication.

It is a rare weekday where no major media app updates are released, but this morning appears to be one of those days.

Is it even news anymore when another Murdoch editor is accused of illegal activity? Probably not, but for what it's worth, The Guardian is reporting Geoff Webster, the deputy editor of The Sun, has been accused of making illegal payments of £8,000 to two public officials.

The payments occurred between July of 2010 and August of 2011.

"We have concluded, following a careful review of the evidence, that Geoff Webster, who at the time of the alleged offending was deputy editor of the Sun newspaper, should be charged with two offences of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977," said a representative of the Metropolitan police.