As New 'Digital First' CEO Takes Over At Media News, First Course Of Business Was Dropping Righthaven

from the a-good-first-impression dept

In the newspaper business, one of the few brightspots that we've seen has been the efforts of the Journal Register, which, under CEO John Paton, took a strong "digital first" position, and showed that they meant it by embracing some really great moves that bucked industry trends. So it was great to see that rumors from a few weeks ago that Paton was going to head up the larger newspaper chain MediaNews came true.

Even better? It appears that one of Paton's first acts of business was to end Media News' deal with Righthaven. In true "digital first," mode, Paton made this clear in a tweet to Dan Gillmor:
Media News has already terminated their relationship with RightsHaven.
In a later interview, Paton said doing a deal with Righthaven was a "dumb idea from the start."

This is quite a shift for Media News, which was previously run by Dean Singleton (who also was chair of the Associated Press), who was a big fan of "cracking down" on the internet. He was the one who brought in Righthaven, and was a huge proponent of putting up paywalls, because he thought it added more value to newspapers. Paton, who has spoken out against paywalls in the past, has said that he's not yet up-to-speed on Media News's paywalls to know what to do about them, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the company reverse course soon enough.

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 9 Sep 2011 @ 3:10pm

    Someone in the business willing to try something different?!
    This isn't a really late April Fools is it?

    It is nice to seem "common sense" win out sometimes.
    Hopefully being bold and ignoring the "best advice" given to his competitors will pay off well for him.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Hephaestus (profile), 9 Sep 2011 @ 7:39pm


      "It is nice to seem "common sense" win out sometimes."

      It is not common sense. It is finally trying something new, now that they have no choice. Where ever communications technology and the internet are common place, newspapers are failing. People are finding what interests them, they are finding this from around the world. In effect the local market was removed, and a global market has occurred. Removing the need for the local papers to parrot each other.

      The inefficiencies in the market have been removed, in both the distribution of news, and advertising.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    AdamR (profile), 9 Sep 2011 @ 3:46pm

    Where does this leave Rightheaven lawsuits based off media news partnership? Also if its determined that Rightheaven had no standing is Medianews on the hook..?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2011 @ 4:26pm

    I read this story last night on Ars or Wired I believe. It warmed my heart a little bit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    hmm (profile), 10 Sep 2011 @ 9:37am


    If righthaven goes bankrupt that will land Stephens Media right in the shitter and no mistake.

    The courts have already shown they know Stephens Media/Righthaven was a cheap scam to rip off old ladies/vulnerable adults/the recently bereaved etc....and this would put the nail in the coffin as they expose their "getaway scot free" plan to the world.......

    What would be awesome would be if the instant righthaven says its bankrupt, the court forces stephens media into bankruptcy and appoints administrators to "oversee" their finances....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    hmm (profile), 10 Sep 2011 @ 9:40am

    What I'm suprised at is..

    Stephens Media has pissed off HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of people trying to steal money from them.

    Surely they must know there must be at least one or two gun-toting basketcases in that crowd (its a mathematical certainty given the number of lawsuits) that will come after them with a loaded shotgun or two for revenge......

    Stephens Media/Righthaven people are going to end up with bodyguards and looking over their shoulders for a very long time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wayne, 10 Sep 2011 @ 7:34pm

    Has anyone told Sherman?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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