At the wire
The Federal Communications Commission voted to implement ’Net neutrality rules on Feb. 26, designed to ensure that Internet service providers treat all legal content equally. e move aims to ensure that Internet service providers can’t discriminate against content by blocking or slowing transmission speeds or seeking payments in exchange for faster transmission. New Media Investment Group, parent company of GateHouse Media, inked a deal to acquire Stephens Media LLC for $102.5 million. e transaction is expected to close by the end of March. Stephens Media LLC publishes the Las Vegas Review-Journal as well as seven other daily papers and more than 65 weekly and niche publications. e deal follows New Media Investment Group’s acquisition of Halifax Media Group in November for $280.0 million. The Dallas Morning News’ parent A.H. Belo Corp. partnered with Matter, a San Francisco-based venture capital rm and incubator that supports media startups. e pact will enable A.H. Belo to explore some of the ways technology is being used to enhance customer engagement with journalism, according to Jim Moroney, chairman, president and CEO of A.H. Belo. New York investment firm Wingspan Investment Management increased its stake in Lee Enterprises, and reported that it holds 9.1 percent of the newspaper publisher’s common stock. e rm now owns 4.4 million shares and 540,000 warrants in Lee, according to the publisher’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch. French media group Ouest-France placed an order for a second Commander CL press from Koenig & Bauer AG, following the successful commissioning of a four-high Commander last fall. e new press will be installed in Spring of 2016. The Providence (R.I.) Journal laid o approximately 12 copydesk sta ers as owner GateHouse Media consolidates those jobs into its Center for News and Design in Austin, Texas. e center houses all prepress operations for GateHouse. Previously, GateHouse operations were spread across two regional production hubs, which were shuttered in 2013 in favor of one centralized location. e Center employs some 150 people and produces weekly and daily newspapers in the GateHouse portfolio. Havas Media Group, a unit of global communications and marketing rm Havas, partnered with content marketing platform NewsCred. e deal will provide Havas’ agencies and clients with access to more than 5,000 publishers worldwide, including e Associated Press, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, CNN, e Economist, Reuters and New York Magazine. New York-based start up NewsCred received its second round of funding last January, to the tune of $25 million. The Kansas City (Mo.) Star’s Kansas City Magazine published its last issue on Feb. 22. e McClatchy Co.-owned paper launched the magazine in 1970, and published an edition in the Sunday paper each week.