HOUSTON/REDDICK FL - Entrepreneur and veteran local news executive Rick Iler has acquired legacy TV News insider website NewsBlues. The announcement was made jointly today by Iler and NewsBlues Founder Mike James. Terms were not disclosed.
Iler plans to continue publishing the daily newsletter, without interruption, even as he works to refresh the platform.
"This is really a dream come true for me. NewsBlues has been a staple of broadcast news for nearly 20 years and I have been reading it since the beginning. Having the opportunity to continue a great media broadcast tradition is an honor," said Iler.
James, The Surly Editor®, is thrilled. "I am thrilled to welcome Rick Iler to NewsBlues, and excited by the changes he has planned," he said. James will continue to publish NewsBlues during the logistical and editorial transition. His final newsletter will be on Friday, May 26th, after which he will retire.
"We have offered our readers a front row seat to the unprecedented corporatization of media and the government-approved dismantling of television's obligation to serve the American public," said James, who has edited the daily newsletter since its beginning. "We have watched the unhealthy transformation of TV news: the steady shift to shallow tabloid content; the casting aside of older, experienced talent; the headlong pursuit of younger demographics; the drive to build newsrooms on ethnically-balanced quotas and newscasts on research-driven formulas; the abandonment of investigative journalism out of fear of litigation; the proliferation of 24-hour cable news and its need to fill time with opinion; the politicalization of news and the loss of balance; and the increasingly intense focus on the bottom line and the never-ending push to 'do more with less.'"
"We are clearly aware that NewsBlues has flourished on the bones of a failing industry. But we are heartened by the fact that without NewsBlues, much of what we report on daily would have been buried beneath the white noise of corporate spin and management double talk," said James.
Iler says his vision for the future is to refresh the site while staying true to its iconic, subversive brand. "I am very excited for some of the changes people will see in the near future with NewsBlues. It will have some of the old mixed in with a new aggressive look, style and feel. I think people are going to love it."
By the end of October 1998, NewsBlues was averaging 100,000 unique visitors a day. In early 1999, NewsBlues began circulating a free daily email newsletter for TV news professionals, which continued through the summer of 2002. At a time when the internet was a frontier town of pirates and unpaid preachers, long before social media platforms arrived on the scene, NewsBlues erected a paywall and became one of the first online companies to charge for content.
On Monday, July 15, 2002, the first online edition of the Daily NewsBluezette was published. It has continued on a daily basis for nearly 15 years.
Beyond enjoying its surly editorial spirit, NewsBlues users have access to the NewsBlues Sourcebook, the most detailed and current industry database available; This Week's Looker, a satirical look at the beautiful people of television news, and Mrs. B's Grammar Yammer, a popular daily column about the craftsmanship of language and the written word in a world of tweets and hashtags.
About Rick Iler
Rick Iler is an entrepreneur and media investor after a 30 year career as an award winning news executive. He started in Amarillo, TX in the production department and eventually worked his way into news. Rick has been a news director in New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas and Missouri. During that time he was also an adjunct professor at many colleges and universities. He left broadcasting in 2008 for a new career in the corporate Learning and Development sector where he has been a director, vice president and executive vice president. Rick now lives in Houston, TX with his 13 your old daughter. He enjoys spending time with his three grown sons and 4 grandchildren.