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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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December 16, 2008

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Jason Breed

Ken,

just came across this today. I've been on the periphery of this business for a while and it seems to me that there is more broke with the industry than just the delivery model. It seems to go much deeper into the inner workings of journalists, editors and general news gathering.

Seems that a news room is still us vs them mentality when it comes to outside news contributions. Yes they can comment and upload pictures of the day, but is that of any real interest? The model by which reporters are measured and held accountable for seems really broken when you look at what reporters produce compared to how a paper makes money. Also the proliferation of aggregate news sources produces mee-too news that is not much different than what you can get on nightly news casts or CNN for that matter.

Until someone really begins to look very differently at those models, I think modifying distribution channels is only putting a bandaid on the result while leaving open wounds all over the problem areas.

I don't have an answer yet however we are trying out a few things. Will keep in touch should we see any results.

Suzanne Yada

Great post, and gives newspapers across the nation something to think about.

Dennis

Great post, Ken. As a Dearborn, MI resident with friends at both newspapers, I wondered how all this would play out. IMO, the fate of these decisions depends on the key people moving this forward -- must have a solid strategy with LOTS of flexibility -- and the marketing plan (again, flexible).

Also, the players must realize the value of interactivity, and allow readers even more opportunities to convey thoughts, opinions, and especially current news on a very local level.

The "dailiness" is indeed additive, so it stands to reason that updates every, say, 15 minutes will be addictive as well. With no paper costs, reader-generated content becomes a very real option, and is an effective way to keep people coming back.

If your daughter, Suzy, wins the spelling bee -- news considered too insignificant for a print version -- you are in a prime position to submit the info to the web version, and will have an easier time promoting the story to interested parties (Aunt Mabel in Saskatoon) via a link: the initial stage of viral marketing. Does that make sense?

Done properly this is a positive. One question: after the change, is it possible to move back closer to the old print model if circumstances allow?

Peace,

Dennis

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