The small, family-owned company, which completed the sale of its TV assets in April, has agreements to sell its remaining newspaper assets to GateHouse Media and Ogden Newspapers.
The acquisition expands Raycom Media’s reach and presence in Florida with $68.5 million buy. It also owns Fox affiliates WFLX in West Palm Beach and WPGX in Panama City. Heartland Media steps in to buy the last of Calkins’ stations, WAAY Huntsville, Ala., for $13.5 milllion.
Calkins Digital will develop apps for Capitol Broadcasting’s WRAL Raleigh, N.C., and Schurz Communications’ newspapers on Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV devices, the company said on Sunday. WRAL’s Amazon Fire TV app has already debuted, and the rest will debut for both companies this spring.
Raycom will buy Calkins’ WWSB Sarasota and WTXL Tallahassee, both Florida, while Raycom duopoly partner American Spirit Media will buy WAAY Huntsville, Ala., which will presumably be operated in tandem with Raycom’s Huntsville NBC affiliate, WAFF. “We came to this decision reluctantly and after a long period of deliberation,” Calkins CEO Mark Contreras says in a memo to employees.
Graham Media’s KPRC (NBC) in Houston is looking for a news assignment editor. ABC Television’s O&O KFSN in Fresno, Calif., needs a promotion and digital brand manager. Hearst Television’s KCCI (CBS) in Des Moines, Iowa, wants an assistant creative services director. Calkins Media is searching for a digital video publishing director in Levittown, Pa. To see all job openings, visit our Media Job Center by clicking here.
Guy Tasaka, chief digital officer and VP at Calkins Media, has been honored as the Local Media Association’s Innovator of the Year, the organization said Friday. Tasaka has pioneered the role of OTT at the local media level, where he has also developed a robust digital video platform for Calkins’ newspapers and broadcast stations.
Calkins Media and its Chief Digital Officer Guy Tasaka have retooled its Amazon Fire OTT app to allow for more monetization and discovery opportunities. It has also overhauled its mobile app at WWSB Tampa, Fla., resulting in a 900% increase in video views. The revamped version has since been rolled out at Calkins’ WAAY Huntsville, Ala., and WTXL Tallahassee, Fla.
Guy Tasaka, Calkins’ chief digital officer, is one of the principal architects of a strategy for his company that sees a post-newspaper and television future where well-made online video is an indispensible part of the content mix. Tasaka says dismissive broadcasters shouldn’t underestimate the better-staffed newsrooms of newspapers and the ability to train reporters on video.
A year ago, Calkins Media generated zero revenue from online video at its two newspapers in Bucks County, Pa. Today, it is bringing in $40,000 per month and area cable operators are eyeing its two daily newscasts as the nucleus of a potential hyperlocal news channel. “Digital video should be on every publisher’s radar screen,” says Mike Jameson, president-GM of Calkins Media’s Philadelphia Region. “It’s growing, it’s not hard to get into, and it can be monetized.”
The former president of Cowles California Media will take over leadership of Southern Broadcast Corp.’s ABC affiliate in Huntsville-Decatur-Florence, Ala., next month.
The GM of WWSB Sarsota adds oversight of the company’s other two stations to his portfolio.
The former GM of station in Atlanta, Norfolk and Tampa is tapped to lead the Calkins Media ABC affiliate.