Daytona Beach News-Journal raises daily price of newspaper to 75 cents

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The Daytona Beach News-Journal raised the price of its daily newspaper by a quarter, from .50 cents to .75 cents, effective today. An announcements was posted with sales racks throughout Southeast Volusia with this morning's delivery.

The announcement was addressed "attention customers" and stated: Effective Monday, November 24th, the Daytona Beach News-Journal daily edition price will increase to $.75. This increase does not include the Sunday edition."

There was no mention of the price increase in the Sunday or Monday newspaper editions.

The News-Journal was put up for sale earlier this year after losing a series of appeals of a $129 million civil verdict in federal court to its minority partner, Cox Enterprises of Atlanta over the worth of its stocks. Cox wanted out because the Daytona Beach newspaper spent $13 million in naming rights for the News-Journal Center, a $29 million lively arts facility on Beach Street. The News-Journal is owned by the Davidson family, which built the News-Journal Center, with the help of public funds to house its Seaside Music Theater operations.

An outside receiver, James Hopson, was brought in at Cox's request through the court at a daily salary of $2,000 plus expenses to prepare it for ownership change. The News-Journal is responsible for Hopson's salary and compensation. Among the cost cutting:

# The News-Journal closed its New Smyrna Beach-Canal Street bureau in June, ceasing publication of its regional supplement, The Daily Journal. The News-Journal also closed its bureaus in DeLand, Deltona and Bunnell and let go of 99 employees.

# Near summer's end, the paper cut 41 more jobs and the following day announced 23 others, including positions at its Pennysaver operations. News-Journal Corp. announced its workforce was down to 587.

Cox wanted Hopson retained by the court to have direct oversight over all of the News-Journal's fiscal matters after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for a second time earlier this year denied the News-Journal's challenge of the $129 million judgment in Cox's favor.

Circuit Judge Robert Antoon said the News-Journal "willfully violated" his court order not to provide funding for any of the Davidson family's pet cultural projects after litigation commenced, including $780,000 for the Seaside Music Theater.

SMT fell more than $130,000 in rent to the News-Journal Center and the Seaside operation has since folded. The center was acquired this fall by Daytona State College for less than $5 million.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com, launched in 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among Florida's most experienced reporters specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting and winner of multiple state, regional & national journalism awards in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut. The first of his three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker" (842 pages, Xlibris), hits bookstores this Fall. 
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