Media update:  Business Times editor,  Delmarva mum on radio sale,  Fike out at Adams


Osborne named editor of the Business Times


Peter Osborne has joined  Delaware Business Times as Today Media fills a long-vacant editor’s post.

Osborne was part of the staff that created Business Monday in the News Journal in the early 1990s. He also served as  banking reporter.  He joined the paper after serving as the editor of the Dallas and Southern Connecticut Business Journals

After leaving the News Journal in 1992, Osborne went on to work in communications and business development for MBNA America and Bank of America over a 16-year period.  He returned from Texas to Delaware after rebuilding the Baylor (university)  Line Foundation and its quarterly business magazine.

“We are especially pleased to have an editor with Peter’s business experience join Delaware Business Times,” said Today Media CEO and Delaware Business Times Publisher Rob Martinelli. “He brings extraordinary credibility from the days when the News Journal had a substantial and active business section. Peter was one of the reasons readers looked forward to that coverage.”


The nearly five-year-old Delaware Business Times is printed every other week. It also operates a website,  five-day-a-week newsletter, a book of lists and an  event business.

No formal announcement on Delmarva Broadcasting sale

Normally, sales of radio stations get a formal announcement along with reassurances that things will not change drastically.

Brokers like the publicity and the transaction always end up in the public view, thanks to regulatory filings.

As far as can be determined, no formal announcement has been made regarding the pending sale of Delmarva Broadcasting for a reported $18.5 million by Lancaster newspaper owner Steinman Communications to  Forever Media.

But  Radio+Television  Business Report,  one of a number of  outlets that cover the industry, says the language in the filings seems to indicate that layoffs and severance packages could be in the works.

That’s not good news for WDEL’s award-winning news operation, which is one of the largest in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Delmarva officials privately acknowledged over the years that the news operation is an expensive proposition in a. mid-sized market, but saw it as an essential element to their community mission.

David Fike  out at APG Chesapeake

Fike. Adams Publishing Group photo).

David Fike, who presided over Chesapeake Publishing’s Eastern Shore operation during two different periods of ownership, is out. The cluster includes the Cecil Whig in Elkton and the Newark Post.

Parent company Adams Publishing Group announced Paul  Hagood was named interim publisher and chief revenue officer.

In January, Adams had earlier announced a regional president and named Fike chief revenue officer and publisher of the Star Democrat in Easton, MD.

Adams has been snapping up small and mid-sized papers around the county and now has about 100 properties and related websites. It reassembled much of the old Chesapeake  Publishing that under Whitcom Partners  ownership included papers in uncontested areas on the Western Shore of Maryland. Whitcom had sold the papers to the Washington Post Co. for a hefty sum. 

In 2014, Minnesota-based Adams purchased Chesapeake and a number of  properties in Minnesota, Wisconsin  and Ohio from former owner American Consolidated Media (ACM).

ACM had been under the ownership of banks after an Australian radio station group  could not meet debt payments arising from its  purchase of ACM.

Fike and ACM closed the Whig’s printing plant and corporate operations  in Elkton. Employment dropped from 100 or more to fewer than 20, with the Whig building now housing a brewery  as well as an electrical equipment company. The Whig  occupies a portion of the structure.

To date, privately held Adams has been not been making big cuts in operations.The Post has   stepped up its coverage in  Newark, but refrained from expanding into the sprawling suburban area around the college town.

Adams comes with deep pockets, with interests that include radio stations, billboard companies and  a recreational vehicle empire  that operates under the Good Sam and Camping World names. Company patriarch Stephen Adams also owns wineries in France and California.

A daily USA page

Following the decision by The News Journal and other Gannett dailies to discontinue the four to six-page USA section, the newspaper now has a daily  USA Today page.

The change has produced less duplication of content or a story ending up running a couple of days in a row. Some of the duplication is due to the process of assembling the print edition outside of Delaware. Reports indicate that Des Moines, Iowa could be the home of much of the pagination work for the NJ.

Largely gone is the once formidable copy desk that ferreted out and occasionally introduced errors, but often made reporters’ writing look better.

The paper is still sent back via digital file and printed at the NJ site on Basin Road, New Castle. The plant also prints Gannett papers that are trucked to the York, PA area.