Member News (8/9/18): Retirements, new general managers, lawsuits, rumored sales and more

By | 2018-08-13T12:33:59+00:00 August 10th, 2018|
BH production manager retires after more than 50 years in the business

Robert “Bob” Rogers, vice president of operations for BH media who oversaw the production of a dozen newspapers over his more than 50 year career, retired last week.

Rogers spent a large portion of his production career with the Richmond Times-Dispatch and other BH and Media General Inc. publications.

“I’ve had some exciting times making the daily miracle happen,” Rogers said.

News Virginian names new general manager

The News Virginian in Waynesboro has named a new general manager.

Peter Lynch, who previously worked as digital sales manager for the Winchester Star and the Daily News Record for five years, is now the News Virginian’s general manager, Daily Progress publisher Peter Yates announced last week.

“We are pleased to welcome someone with Pete’s talent and experience to The News Virginian,” Yates said. “His long career in working with community newspapers will help us to further strengthen our connection to our readers and advertisers in the region.”

Read more here.

Radio station to read three Hampton Roads newspapers for blind and disabled listeners

A radio station in the Hampton Roads area will broadcast weekly readings of three area newspapers for individuals that are legally blind or disabled.

“The WHRO Voice,” will read the Wednesday editions of the Virginian-Pilot, Daily Press and the Virginia Gazette.

Read more here.

Roanoke Times files lawsuit against former reporter over Twitter account

BH Media, on behalf of the Roanoke Times, has filed a lawsuit in a U.S. District Court against a former reporter over access to a Twitter account.

The lawsuit is against former Virginia Tech beat reporter, Andy Bitter, who left the paper earlier this year to work for a sport news startup, The Athletic. When Bitter left the Times, he took the Twitter account and followers with him.

The suit will determine whether or not Bitter owns the handle “@AndyBitterVT” and the more than 27,000 individuals that follow the account, or if the account and followers are property of the Times.

The suit argues states that Bitter inherited the account from a previous reporter and that it should therefore be given back to the paper.

BH is claiming more than $5,000 in damages, an amount that would allow for a legal injunction.

“The information he obtained as a result of his intentional, unauthorized access to the Account was valuable to a direct competitor of BH Media,” the lawsuit said. “And BH Media has incurred well in excess of $5,000 in damages in its investigation alone, setting aside any loss of readers, subscribers, or potential readers or subscribes and exclusive of attorneys’ fees in preparing this Action.”

BH estimated that it would take $150,000 and seven years to build a new Twitter account with the same amount of followers.

The suit has the potential to be the first of its kind and set a precedent in an age where reporters build their brands using social media platforms like Twitter.

Read more here.

Tronc said to be weighing the idea of selling newspapers

Tronc Inc., who owns the Virginian-Pilot, Inside Business, Style Weekly, the Daily Press and the Virginia Gazette, as well as larger metropolitan papers across the country, is reported to be considering selling off its newspapers holdings to a private equity form, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Tronc purchased the Pilot, as well as Inside Business, in late May for $34 million. The company also recently purchased the L.A. Times.

Last month, Tronc laid off more than half of the staff at the New York Daily News to save costs.

Read more.