Block Communications

What happened to the Blade?

It's been coming for some time, but I think we can now say for certain that that Blade has ceased being a newspaper and has become a newsletter for the American Kennel Association that also prints other news if there's space left. "Teen saves family dog from chocking" is not front page news on even the slowest days for any real newspaper. Personally, I hope the Blade's next publisher is a cat person.

Poiry v. Block Communications, Inc.

Block Communications is being sued and because of the backward Federal Court system you have to pay to get access to find out the details. Maybe someone here can shed some light on it. It was filed yesterday and is about:

Nature of Suit: Labor - Labor/Management Relations
Cause: 29:185 Labor/Mgt. Relations (Contracts)
Jurisdiction: Federal Question
Jury Demanded By: Plaintiff

(From Justia)

We can watch the case develop at:
http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-ohndce/case_no-3:2009cv02826/case...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette offers managers buyouts

Last week, we read that the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review overtook the Post-Gazzette for the first time. Today we learn from the Tribune-Review that the Post-Gazzette, Block Communications' Pittsburgh paper, is offering buyouts to 140 mangers. This makes it the third buyout in 13 months.

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette owner Block Communications made a job buyout offer to more than 140 of the newspaper's managers in an attempt to cut costs, company officials said Thursday.

In Pittsburgh, Tribune overtakes Post-Gazette for first time

Block Communications' old media properties are not doing so good. The Blade is reporting a 10k drop in subscriptions while the other paper, the Post-Gazette has been overtaken by the other daily, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
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In fact, the Tribune-Review solidified its standing in Western Pennsylvania last week by overtaking the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for the first time. The Trib topped the P-G in Saturday circulation and is beginning to pull even with Monday-through-Friday editions.

and:

Moody's keeps Block Communications on "higher end of junk rating"

From E & P:
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CHICAGO Moody's Investors Service is keeping its Ba3 rating, a rating on the higher end of the "junk" scale, for Block Communications, publisher of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- despite its newspaper holdings.

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/departments/business/article_dis...

And Fitz and Jen Blog (more info):
http://www.fitzandjen.com/2009/09/moodys-keeps-toledo-blade-parent-on-hi...

Drug company sues Blade's sister paper in Pittsburgh over 'sensational and misleading' articles

Factual inacuracies under JRB's watch? Tell me it ain't so.
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NEW YORK, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Generic drugmaker Mylan Inc has sued the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper over what it called 'sensational and misleading' articles concerning quality controls at one of its main manufacturing plants.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the West Virginia plant last week after an inspection prompted by the newspaper's reporting.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2009/08/19/afx6795635.html

Sale of Lima station complete

LIMA - Lima's Fox station is now officially a part of Block Communications Inc., the parent company of NBC station WLIO.

The sale of TV 67 Inc. - which includes WOHL Fox Channel 25 - to Block Communications was finalized Thursday, said Bruce Opperman, president and general manager of NBC Lima.

http://www.limaohio.com/news/communications_33900___article.html/block_l...

Wachovia media bond analyst recommends Block Communications

Contrary to recent news, an analyst is recommending Block Communications:

Cheen and Hebert upgraded their recommendations on the bonds of two companies. Block Communications, which owns newspapers, cable and TV stations, was upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform. The analysts said the company “will likely rely on its stable cable cash cow to fund losses at its newspaper segment and maintain what is one of the most conservative balance sheets in our coverage universe.”

http://www.rbr.com/media-news/wall-street/12419.html

Allan Block on government regulation and protecting old media

Allan Block rightfully is defensive on the idea forcing Internet providers to open up their bandwidth to competitors, and he probably has the same perspective on "Net Neutrality". But he does make an interesting quote on wanting the government to protect Old Media.

Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications — owner of Buckeye CableSystem in Toledo, Ohio, two newspapers and several TV stations — said after investing in the infrastructure to provide high-speed Internet service, cable shouldn’t be told it can’t control its own pipe.

Block Communications purchase of Lima stations now on hold

This came up a couple of days ago, but I thought I wanted to post this. It is probably bad timing for Keith Wilkowski who was actively involved in the lawsuit. Will he have to devote time again on behalf of Block Communications? Or since he is now running for mayor, will he have to pass this time? Looks like another group wants to purchase the stations, so they filed a complaint with the FCC.
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Block communications downgraded to negative from stable by S & P

On December 10, Standard and Poor's downgraded  its outlook on Block Communications from "Stable" to "Negative" as a result of the mounting newspaper loses. S & P said that the newspaper segment continues to drag down a healthy cable business.

You can read more at:

http://www2.standardandpoors.com/portal/site/sp/en/us/page.topic/ratings...

and http://www.alacrastore.com/storecontent/spcred/689024

Sorry I don't have anything more specific than this (that is free).

Judge lifts injunction in WOHL case

Keith Wilkowski, attorney for Block Communications, is pleased
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Keith Wilkowski, attorney for Block, said he is pleased with the ruling to deny the injunction, but declined to comment further, saying he had not had time to go over the full ruling.

Read the rest at:

http://www.limaohio.com/news/block_28968___article.html/wohl_injunction....

WOHL Owner Sues Rival: Fox Affiliate Cites TV Business Interference-updated

This dates back to July, but an interesting read:

The owner of WOHL filed a lawsuit against the parent company of WLIO to stop the company from interfering with its business relationship with FOX.

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