Longer-term needs for Tronc remain digital growth and strategic M&A

By Trey Williams

The best-case scenario for Tronc Inc. in its potential acquisition of Chicago Sun-Times owner Wrapports Holdings LLC is that it gets a good price and the deal improves cash flow.

Tronc TRNC, +1.83% , which publishes the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun and the Orlando Sentinel, announced on Monday that it had entered into a nonbinding agreement to acquire Wrapports. Wrapports said that it would entertain other offers but that if no other viable buyers expressed substantial interest within 15 days it would finalize its sale to Tronc.

“It’s a head scratcher,” said Singular Research analyst Robert Maltbie. “We’re in the dark because we don’t know the valuation of this company. I like it if it’s accretive to [Tronc’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization], if they’re getting it for a great price, and it helps maintain cash flow so the company doesn’t go under.”

But even then, this would likely be nothing more than a Band-Aid for Tronc, according to Doug Llewellyn, chief operating officer of the digital publishing platform Purch.

Read the full article here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/if-chicago-tribune-and-la-times-publisher-tronc-buys-sun-times-parent-its-only-step-1-2017-05-18

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By Ross Benes

Relying on ad tech vendors is a hard habit for publishers to quit.

Because vendors eat into publishers’ revenue and slow down their pages, pubs are eager to purge them to have more control over their own tech stacks. But even if a publisher has a strong internal tech team that is capable of building its own products to replace third parties, a lot of vendors stay embedded in publishers’ stacks because pubs don’t want to pay engineers to monitor and tweak these products, and they want somewhere to turn for a quick fix whenever there is a malfunction.

“Sometimes I need a neck to throttle when something breaks,” said a publisher head of product requesting anonymity, when asked why his company outsources some of its ad tech.

When deciding whether to build ad tech themselves, publishers make decisions based off their core competencies. A rep from a comScore top 100 pub with a strong video focus said it built products to replace video vendor Brightcove and native-ad vendor Sharethrough because native and video are major parts of this pub’s business model, and the investment would pay off in the long run since the publisher only expects video and native to grow. But the publisher declined to build its own ad server for display inventory.

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There are also ad tech vendors whose products benefit from economies of scale that wouldn’t be possible if a single pub were to go in alone. Purch has a tech team that built its own server-to-server product that it uses to sell all of its programmatic inventory server-side, which is rare among publishers. But it keeps around bad-ad detectors like Ad Lightning and Media Trust because those vendors offer sophisticated detection since they learn from the billions of impressions they analyze across multiple clients, said Purch CTO John Potter.

Read the full article here: https://digiday.com/media/publisher-vendor-habit/

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Paul Wagenseil, cyber editor at Tom’s Guide, discusses the latest WannaCry Ransomware attack and offers advice.

“This is a cyber criminal effort, entirely for financial gain,” said Wagenseil. “You pay [the ransom to release your data] to a BitCoin address, no one knows where that address is.”

Wagenseil says that hospitals and small businesses will be the most vulnerable to the attack, since they don’t always have the capacity to update their security systems. So, what can you do?

Keep your system updated with the latest patch level and have a certain awareness of fishing attacks.

Check it out here: http://www.wnyc.org/story/wannacry-randsomeware-and-what-do/

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By Eric Sherman

Time and Meredith tried and tried to merge, but the marriage wasn’t to be. Greg Mason, CEO of digital media company Purch, tells host Alex Sherman the problem is magazine companies just aren’t very good businesses. That makes it difficult to find a price where banks are willing to provide financing and both sides want to strike a deal. Legacy publishing companies with big brand names should turn to technology developed by digital media companies…perhaps like his own.

To listen to the podcast please click here

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Doug Llewellyn is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Purch, a New York City-based digital publishing and marketplace platform that helps more than 100 million users make better buying decisions. Purch is now relaunching Business.com, a platform that allows Purch to develop an ecosystem for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The new Business.com provides entrepreneurial expertise, products and services, all of which are crucial for SMBs to navigate complex buying decisions and gain a competitive advantage.I had the opportunity to hear from Doug and learn what value Business.com is bringing to growing businesses.

To read the article, please click here

 

 

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