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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

8/10/2017: Times-Union Sale; Air Traffic Controllers; APR Energy; 5 & Dime's 'The Call'


  Today on “First Coast Connect,” we discussed the surprise announcement Wednesday that Morris Communications is selling the Florida Times-Union, St. Augustine Record and other newspapers to GateHouse Media with the Poynter Institute media business analyst Rick Edmonds and WJCT business analyst and former Times-Union editor John Burr (01:14). Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America, Selena Shilad, told us why her organization opposes the proposal to privatize the nation’s air traffic controllers (27:07). APR Energy CEO John Campion talked about his Jacksonville-based company’s providing portable power facilities to South Australia (37:00), and we heard about “The Call,” the latest production from the 5 & Dime Theatre Company with founder Lee Hamby and star Erin Salem (45:56). 


Times-Union Sale

Morris Communications announced Wednesday it’s selling Morris Publishing Group, including The Florida Times-Union and The St. Augustine Record, to GateHouse Media.GateHouse Media is a division of New Media Investment Group, a publicly traded company (NEWM) on the New York Stock Exchange. It is one of the largest newspaper companies in the country, owning more than 130 daily newspapers and more than 500 non-daily publications.

Air Traffic Controllers

A bill moving through the House of Representatives seeks to privatize the nation’s air traffic controllers. It’s supported by the White House and commercial airlines, but many rural communities fear they may lose service if air traffic controllers are eliminated at smaller airports.

APR Energy

The Jacksonville-based firm APR Energy has signed a contract to provide portable power facilities to an area of South Australia suffering blackouts, where the company is in the midst of an international trade dispute. APR Energy specializes in prefabricated power plants that get remote areas up and running on an electrical grid until permanent plants can be established. APR Energy has joined others including Tesla CEO Elon Musk who are offering solutions to South Australia.

5 & Dime’s ‘The Call’

When Annie and Peter decide to adopt, they come to set their sights on a child from Africa. But when the reality of their choice sinks in, it opens a well of uncertainty that speaks to their very identity as white Americans. Politically charged and sharp, “The Call” is a startling portrait of cultural divide, casting global issues into the heart of an American home. It opens at the 5 & Dime Theater on Friday.

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.