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Press Mentions

  • Ad Age/Nat Ives: It's Back: 25 MORE Media People You Should Follow on Twitter
    25 media types worth following on Twitter.
  • Ad Age: Why So Many Media Companies Stumble Globally
    The few news brands that have succeeded, to greater or lesser degrees, arguably include CNN, Bloomberg, People, Thomson Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Financial Times and The Economist. Other contenders are the Associated Press, the BBC, ABC, NBC, maybe CBS, National Public Radio, News Corp. and the top U.K. dailies, said Ken Doctor, the newspaper veteran who's now an analyst at Outsell. "If a news-media organization sees itself as covering the wider world, sees it as its foundation, that in and of itself differentiates it from all the local media -- newspapers, TV, radio -- out there," he said. "If, in addition, it has substantial reporting and editing resources, then it can play. The tough part is the part we're in: Who wins the race to ubiquity and can make it pay off?"
  • NYT: If The Globe Were Sold, What Price?
    “The best guesstimate of the real price: a buck. The best of an announced price: between $50 and $100 million,” he wrote in an e-mail message. The devil will be in the details of the obligations that a buyer would assume, he said, adding that “a buck essentially represents a gentleman’s agreement: I take a liability, headache and a distraction off your hands.” He said that the Times Company could hang on to some pension liabilities or other obligations in exchange for a higher purchase price, a number that would give the appearance that it was getting something for the more than $1 billion it paid 16 years ago. He added that no bank would be interested in financing a deal given how other deals have blown up, so “the owner’s own money is immediately at risk.”
  • Economist: It isn’t just newspapers: much of the established news industry is being blown away. Yet news is thriving
    Ken Doctor of Outsell, a research firm, reckons that the Kindle appeals to baby-boomers who would otherwise read a paper magazine or newspaper. The young prefer their iPhones and their aggregators. Indeed, the top four magazines on Kindle, according to Amazon’s website, are the New Yorker, Newsweek, Time and Reader’s Digest. Not much of a youth market there.
  • Forbes: San Diego News Shoot-Out
    "The Union-Tribune is cratering. That opens a hole in the market and the opportunity for some unconventional business models."
  • BizTimes.com: Journal Sentinel faces daunting choices
    “There’s no strategy – this is panic. What we’re likely to see this year (around the country) and what we’ll see in Milwaukee too is (publishers asking) how much they need to cut back and how much they can do to still hold their place in the market. For publishers, it’s about ‘How do we stay alive and stay profitable until we can get to some sort of breathing period?’ (Economic) recovery will not bring back their old business, but it will give them some breathing room.”
  • AP: Threat to shut Boston Globe shows no paper is saf
    The threat to close the paper "sends a very clear message to all employees and unions of surviving newspapers — that this is not business as usual. This is uncharted territory....Newspapers all "have a sword over their heads," said Doctor. If the industry wants to survive, he said, "everyone has to give some blood."
  • Guardian: Seattle mourns the last day of its venerable Post Intelligencer
    "There's a lot less reporting happening, on a national scale. For the 1,500 or so daily newspapers, it's just a matter of getting smaller and smaller."
  • Seattle Times: Seattle's oldest newspaper goes to press for the final time
    "They're bringing the full force of their national relationships and content to bear on Seattle. They [Hearst] could sustain this experiment indefinitely. If it makes a million or loses a million, that's nothing to a company like Hearst."
  • AP: Hearst hopes Web-only Seattle P-I will turn profit
    "It [online-only PI] definitely can make money. They have a head start in terms of the brand and (Web) traffic. They have to run like hell to create a new identity."

What's On My Netvibes

  • Steve Goldstein
    Fellow KR alumnus Steve Goldstein understands the research/info needs of end-use enterprise customers, and he's built a company that is helping satisfy them.
  • Peter Krasilovsky
    Centered on e-commerce of all kinds from Yellow Pages through classifieds and new ad models.
  • Mark Potts
    Mark Potts is an experienced journalist, observer of Internet journalism and an alumnus of the Backfence experiment.
  • John Blossom
    Thoughtful views on a wide-ranging mix of media change.
  • Jay Rosen
    Jay Rosen is a provocateur in the best sense, an NYU journalism professor deeply committed to keeping the press accountable and vibrant in the digital age.
  • David Meerman Scott
    David Scott understands web marketing of digital content. Check out his site and his new book, "Cashing In With Content"
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July 02, 2008

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Call It Frightsizing:

» Frightsizing potential from Random Mumblings
Rightsizing sounds better to corp execs than "panicking," says Ken Doctor, writing about the announcement this week of deep cuts at the L.A. Times. He says a more descriptive term would be "frightsizing." He didn't coin the term, but he... [Read More]

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journalism 101

"Rightsizing" goes along with the BS spin that some publishers, editors and news organization managers are spouting regarding the benefit of cutting out sections and shrinking the news hole.

They believe, apparently, that readers are best served by steadily removing the elements that many readers want.

Yes, dear reader, we're making our paper a better paper by eliminating the business section! getting rid of sports writers based in our readers' favorite university towns! firing the movie critic! cutting out classical music coverage! getting rid of the book editor, and running wire reviews in the travel section!

For the "young people," we're giving you more of the celebrity coverage you like. Oh, wait, you split to the Internet long ago.

For the 40+ generation, we're giving you more of the celebrity coverage you like. Oh, wait, that just pisses you off and makes you go away.

Sadly, too many of the publishers, editors and other folks in charge of newsrooms everywhere are clueless when it comes to understanding what they ought to do to "save" newspapers.

So they shoot in the dark, bandying words like "hyperlocal" (before regional/local sections were cut out, local news was way more hyperlocal) and "rightsizing", and reorganizing the newsroom so that print, online and television folks work together.

Long ago, newspapers demonstrated their poor management skills and lack of foresight by pushing "convergence," and by duplicating their print content online, both of which served to devalue the print paper.

Sadly, the cluelessness marches on.

Believe it or not, but some of the people who are overseeing the destruction of their newsrooms and newspapers are continuing to be financially rewarded for their bad decisions (with bonuses, etc.) and are sure to leave with phat retirement packages.

How does that make sense?

Wendy Contos

A professor I had in graduate school used to call it "Stupidsizing."

Big Tuna

I'd like to put to rest the whole "owners were greedy because they got 20% margins when X amount of the S&P doesn't have a margin like that...." argument.

Business 101 explains that margins are not the most important thing regarding stock price....Growth is! If you have a lot of growth, i.e., Google, investors will settle for much lower margins.

If you have 0 to negative growth, i.e., newspaper, investors will demand higher margins to offset that lack of growth.

ed

Add unanticipated gasoline cost increases to your list. Delivering the legacy product costs more than three times than it did 3 years ago, thanks to hikes at the gas pumps. But it could be worse, as many papers already drew in their circulation routes to concentrate delivery within their core zone, on which they set their ad rates.

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