Feb 15, 2013
The New York Times Co.’s zero, in fact, is actually a milestone number. It’s the first increase, however meager, in overall revenues since 2006, when it managed a 1.8 percent increase in revenues…..Overall, the zero plateau provides at least the illusion of a resting point. A point from which to figure out how to find growth, or at least how not to go negative again. That’s the company Mark Thompson has inherited; his job: find life above zero.Read More »
Feb 8, 2013
Rationalizing the old printing business is one significant part of what’s going on in Columbus. Let’s look, though, at the deeper and wider newsonomics of the press-led innovation. The three-around change both supported the Dispatch’s new emerging, reader-focused business model and offered editor Ben Marrison the opportunity to reimagine the daily.Read More »
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 »
Jan 24, 2013
The Tribune Company owns eight newspapers, six of them metros. Two — the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune — are in top 10 of U.S. dailies; five — adding in the Orlando Sentinel, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and Baltimore Sun — are in the top 40, while the Hartford Courant ranks 60th. Their likely sale will be the single largest sale of metro newspapers in the U.S. since McClatchy bought Knight-Ridder in 2006.Read More »
Jan 11, 2013
How much do top-echelon journalists need media brands? How much do brands need top-echelon journalists? The timing of pay initiatives from Andrew Sullivan and from The Daily Beast will provide a great picture into those questions. One way we’ll see how that contest goes is in comparing the sign-up-for-pay rates for both. Sullivan’s The Dish make up about 10 percent of The Daily Beast’s uniques, and plainly has enough brand throw-weight to stand on its own. He’s already pulled in more than one percent of his unique visitors as subscribers — 12,000. They are paying on average $8 more than his minimum annual price of $19.99. The Daily Beast — essentially a digital magazine — will have a hard time charging much more than that, given how print magazines are priced. Of course, as a brand, it must maintain much more overhead than Sullivan’s merry band. Ultimately, this comparison will help us understand the real current value of prime office space, brands, marketing, audience development and technology departments, sales staffs — and top editors (the David Remnicks and Tina Browns).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 »
Dec 16, 2012
Dominate the Emerging Mobile World: UCLA’s Arvli Ward, long-time director of student media, has an ambitious, ahead-of-the-curve strategy — and he’s implementing it. His plan is to dominate the campus-related mobile space. “We want students to use 15 of our apps before they graduate,” he says. Ward has created an app farm, powered by 10 to 15 paid students and 40 to 60 interns. In less than a year, they’ve created 85 apps; Ward says his goal is three a week, starting in January.Read More »
Dec 3, 2012
So Thomson’s ascension is no surprise (“Nine Questions as Murdoch Splits The News Corp. Baby”). Sure, he’s an editor — but he’s a News Corp. editor, and has been for a decade. Robert Thomson has been well schooled in the College of Murdoch. He’s a strategic news executive with a good sense of how emerging editorial and business models mesh, or sometimes collide, in the digital age. Further in the U.S. and Australia, News Corp. has put innovative and strategic business leaders in place as Dow Jones and News Limited move forward — so he has a bench in place. In the U.K., the business questions are more profound, as are concerns about the economy and the deepening business model gloom of the U.K. press overall.Read More »
Dec 3, 2012
Why did The Daily fail? I think the short answer is that it missed the first law of media: Make it interesting. The Daily was attractive, even sometimes stunning, in its visual appeal, but too empty-headed to attract a daily readership. If you are going to call something The Daily, you better figure out how to make it a must-read, and that means differentiated content, a reason for you and me to stop reading something else and start reading The Daily. I called it (“The Newsonomics of Mr. Murdoch’s The Daily”) an attempt to create a USA Today for the tablet century, and it failed as that publication attempts its own renewal. Chalk it up as an expensive R & D lesson for News Corp, though its Wall Street Journal tablet learnings are far more to the point of its future. One other note: On business model, The Daily’s Demise reminds us that if far easier to launch a large digital/All-Access circulation business if you start with a print publication — and an installed base of paying customers — than from scratch. We can extrapolate a lot from that learning, but that’s for 2013.Read More »
Nov 30, 2012
The newsonomics of native, indigenous, and immigrant content promises a revenue evolution for both national publishers and regional ones. At a time when pricing pressure on display ads remains relentless — and even Google’s paid search rates have hit a bad patch, causing recent investor concern — this new commercial content offers a way forward to re-invigorate advertising.
Let’s start definitionally. Jay Lauf, Atlantic Media Co. vice president/group publisher and graduate of Wired (back into the days when it defined much of early Web lexicography), defines native content as content that “is native to the web.” It is “linkable, sharable, findable, able to be Facebook-liked and tweeted.” What it’s not: ad units.Read More »