It’s official – the Commercial Appeal has a new owner

It’s now official – the Commercial Appeal has a new owner, based in Wisconsin.

As we and others have reported for months, the CA’s longtime owner – the E.W. Scripps Co. – has decided to spin off all its newspaper properties, combining them with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s owner Journal Communications to form a new public company, Journal Media Group.

Shareholders of both companies today approved that transaction, a related piece of which includes Scripps and Journal also merging their broadcast and digital properties, separate from the newspaper company. Those transactions are expected to close early in the second quarter.

The new newspaper company will have about 3,600 employees, operate in 14 markets and be headquartered in Milwaukee.

Scripps shareholders didn’t have to reach too much to vote “yes” on the deal. The company is giving them a $60 million special dividend. The newspaper division has also been an albatross on Scripps’s neck for some time now.

In the fourth quarter, Scripps’ newspaper unit saw its profit tumble to almost half of what it was a year earlier. Things were worse in the third quarter, when the division reported a profit margin of less than 1 percent.

Upcoming tribute concerts for Memphis music legends

A few tribute concerts to late Memphis music icons are in the works.

Coming up April 22 is “Press/Play: A celebration of John Fry and John Hampton,” happening April 22 at the Levitt Shell in honor of Fry, the founder of Ardent Studios, and Ardent engineer and producer Hampton.

They died within days of each other in December.

Exactly one month later, meanwhile, on May 22 at the Hi-Tone, a Chris Bell tribute concert will be held. Bell was the guitarist and songsmith, along with Alex Chilton, who helped launch the legendary power pop act Big Star.

For that, a band led by Ardent’s Adam Hill will perform songs from Bell’s solo record “I am the cosmos” plus Big Star’s first record “#1 record.” Guests will include Van Duren, Richard Rosebrough and more.

231,440 Tennesseans enroll in health coverage through health insurance marketplace

According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 231,440 Tennesseans enrolled in or renewed coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace as of February 22.

The agency also says that even though open enrollment has ended, there’s a new time-limited special enrollment period for this year’s tax-filing season.

Between March 15 and April 30, uninsured Tennesseans who are subject to the fine for not having health coverage because they didn’t understand how it would affect them have another chance to enroll in a plan for 2015. Families or individuals who meet certain income requirements or other circumstances may also qualify for low cost coverage through Tennessee’s TennCare program, which has year-round enrollment.

For question about health coverage or to schedule a free appointment with an enrollment assister, visit www.getcoveredtenn.org or call the hotline at (844) 644-5443.

Memphis International Airport Operations Return to Normal

Operations at Memphis International Airport have largely returned to normal, although crews will have some minor clean-up work today as the snow and ice that turned the Memphis area into a winter wonderland on Thursday continue to melt.

As of 9:30 this morning only six flights at Memphis International were cancelled and four flights were delayed, according to flight tracking firm FlightAware. FlightAware said airborne aircraft are experiencing average delays of 39 minutes at Memphis International.

Friday conditions at Memphis International were a vast improvement over Thursday, when 35 flights had been cancelled by midday.

Airport officials said flyers should check with their airlines for flight information.

 

 

Memphis Airport Dealing With Snow, Cancellations

Around 35 flights originating at Memphis International Airport have been cancelled, according to FlightAware, a company that tracks flight operations data.
By 11 a.m. flights to Chicago, Orlando, Houston, Charlotte and Denver had been cancelled. FlightAware was showing cancellations to Washington, D.C., Dallas/Fort worth, Houston, Newark and Charlotte after 11 a.m. Passengers should check with their respective airlines frequently today, as airlines will have the most updated scheduling information.
Just after 7 this morning, traffic at Memphis International was “limited” as airlines chose to wait the winter storm out or were unable to arrive from other cities with weather-related woes.
Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority crews worked overnight to keep runways open but flights were still cancelled as of 7 a.m., when large swaths of the Memphis area were still receiving snow.
Many airlines did not send flights Wednesday night as the storm bore down on the area. Those flights would have been first to leave Memphis International this morning, but airlines did not want the planes to accumulate ice overnight because de-icing in these conditions can be difficult.

“While our job is to keep the runways clear, that’s only one piece of the puzzle,” said Airport Authority spokesman Glen Thomas. “You also have to take into consideration the conditions in the air and also the weather conditions in the other city. Our crews continue to work diligently to keep operations up and running.”

On Twitter, the airport posted a picture of a FedEx plane taking off in the snow with the hash tag “dedicated.”

Speaking of FedEx, I bet the FedEx Express Global Operations Control Center, or GOC as most employees refer to it, was buzzing with activity last night and today.

Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, the GOC is the nerve center for FedEx Express’ global supply chain system, responsible for everything from monitoring weather conditions around the world to how much time pilots have spent in the air and what flight crews were served for lunch.

This place was fascinating. It has a massive video wall featuring 36 40-inch LED screens displaying real-time information on global weather patterns and the locations of hundreds of FedEx Express jets.

Check out this story I wrote on the GOC last year.

 

Dansette

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