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Media Roundup: Boston Globe Faces Closure, Amazon to Unveil a Large Screen Kindle and More

Boston Globe faces closure -- Three hours before deadline, the Boston Globe unions issued a proposal that would cut $10 million from the paper's budget. The proposed cuts included slashing 20 categories of employee benefits and a 3.5 percent pay cut. The union also offered furloughs, cuts in health care and unpaid holidays. The proposal was denied by executives, and management has filed for a 60-day shutdown notice. The two sides were involved in overnight negotiations and six of the seven unions are said to have tentatively agreed to new cuts. [Source: Boston Globe]

Amazon to unveil a large screen Kindle -- Amazon.com has scheduled a press conference on Wednesday where it is expected that the company will announce a large screen version of its Kindle e-reader device. The new device will be optimized for magazines, newspapers and university textbooks. Newspaper and magazine publishers offer subscriptions to current Kindle customers, but the device's small screen is more fit for novels than for the graphic displays of a newspaper or magazine page. Amazon is facing increasing pressure from publishers such as Hearst and News Corp. that have said they plan on releasing their own e-reader devices in the near future. [Source: Business Insider]
EW Scripps reports $221 million loss -- EW Scripps reported a 20 percent drop in first quarter revenues across its newspaper and broadcast properties. The company also reported a 26.5 percent drop in online revenue and a 88 percent drop in newspaper profits. On a positive note, Scripps reported a 30 percent jump in "pure-play" online advertising. "Pure-play" refers to sales that were not tied to any print/online sales combination. The Cincinnati-based publisher was behind the recent closing of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colorado. [Source: MediaWeek]

USA Today to offer front page ad -- Following in the footsteps of The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, the country's largest newspaper will expand the choice of front page advertising space. Currently the paper offers only a small strip on its section fronts. The Gannet-owned newspaper has long sold ad space on its first page, but has recently upped the choices to advertisers. The company has promised that the new formats will be highly distinguishable from editorial content. Currently, a front page ad sells for just shy of $100,000. [Source: MediaWeek]

iPhone out sold by Blackberry -- Despite garnering a large portion of the media coverage for cell phones, the Apple's iPhone was outsold by Research in Motion's Blackberry Curve. The Curve had the benefit of being part of a buy-one-get-one-free offer at Verizon retailers. Smartphones made up 23 percent of sales in the first quarter with RIM claiming three of the top five slots. With future plans of many media publishers leaning increasingly on mobile distribution, the more smartphones in use can equal additional revenue opportunities for struggling publishers. [Source: Business Insider]

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