Law 6 – It’s a Pro-Am World
The audience is talking back, engaging with each other and creating content.
Feb 1, 2013
Aaron Kushner is the anti-Advance….Kushner and his 2100 Trust ownership group have taken a industry-contrarian approach since he took over the Orange County Register on July 25 — not even six months ago. It’s addition by addition. Addition of costs in the short run, aimed at the addition of both revenues and profits in the longer term. If there were a Pulitzer for getting the most done in six months, Aaron Kushner should win it.
Many publishers find themselves somewhere between the thinking of Advance (although they are hesitant to drop days for fear of sending the business into a fast death spiral) and 2100 Trust. The prevailing strategy across the country: Keep seven days of print, but also keep trimming, trimming, trimming.
Kushner’s Orange County play is watchable enough. It becomes even more intriguing if 2100 Trust should win in the upcoming Tribune Company auction. On that bid, Kushner restated his interest when we talked Tuesday, though with caveats. One big caveat is whether the Tribune sells off the Register’s neighboring L.A. Times separately, or as part a package of its eight papers.Read More »
Dec 21, 2012
Today, though, most of the reporting power, much of the brand power, and thepolitical power still resides in big companies and their leadership. We may well get our strongest display of that early in 2013: In Washington, the FCC cross-ownership debate may move to center stage in January. And around the same time, we’ll probably see the Tribune newspaper auction. As new Tribune CEO Peter Liguori, a broadcast exec, remakes the company as a TV/video shop (WGN America, here we come!), some of the most influential American nameplates — the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Baltimore Sun, among them — will all hit the market at one time. Though 2012 has been a time of unprecedented change, it may prove to be prologue to the year to come.Read More »
Aug 24, 2012
Both CNN and The New York Times fill in numerous of the other’s weaknesses. At this digital moment when “mobile” and the tablet are tossing old habits up in the air and forcing consumers to re-form new ones, it’s a great time for both the Times and CNN to double down on their native advantages, and make their products no-brainer top-three places to go in the news everywhere-and-anywhere world.
For CNN, a partnership could be part of a strategy to reclaim its mojo after seeing TV ratings drop to 21-year lows. For the Times, having turned small corners in the last year, it’s a way to increase its sense of momentum, separating itself from the pack of other top news sources.
The timing is near-perfect. Mark Thompson, after all, comes to the Times as a broadcaster. With a 33-year TV career, he knows TV, and he knows the Times is just beginning to escape its print roots. Scaling the wall of video/TV, where huge revenues still exist, is one of his daunting challenges. He is one of the few people who could have taken the job who brings both a broadcast background and one of airtight news credibility, given the BBC’s standards. He is the perfect person to imagine a strong video/TV presence for the next-gen Times. The Times is looking currently at what a major investment in video would look like; how does it climb the incremental mountain with the next generations of TimesCasts?Read More »
Mar 22, 2012
The 39-minute Daisey piece did what dozens of previous stories on Foxconn’s massive manufacturing of our Apple (and other) wonders hadn’t accomplished: It captured listeners’ imaginations. Why? Daisey turned our portable pleasures to guilty ones. Then, within two weeks, The New York Times began publishing a series on Apple, China, job creation, and Foxconn. Where Daisey made Americans care anew, the Times did what it does best: It hammered at the Foxconn record, detailing it with exhaustive reporting and all the data it could uncover.Read More »
Mar 2, 2012
What percent of print ad loss is made up by digital ad gain? This is the crossover metric driving much of John Paton’s Digital First Media/Journal Register Company strategy. With print advertising down now more than 50 percent in 10 years in the U.S., and even diving more quickly now in some parts of Europe, replacement ad revenue is at the top of the crossover list. In 2011, Journal Register made up about 95 percent of its print ad revenue loss. It intends to hit the crossover mark — making more in digital revenues than it is losing in print revenues — this year.Read More »