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-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com, launched in 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most experienced reporters with scores of regional, state & national journalism-industry awards for nearly 100 breaking news & investigative reporting stories in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut. The first of Frederick's three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker" (842 pages, Xlibris), hits bookstores in July. The second book, "Wrestling ReWind is scheduled for publication in October. The third book, "The Day NASCAR Died: 15th Anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's death in the Daytona 500," is planned for publication in February 2016.
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