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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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March 2010

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« Forget Newspapers' Local-Local: Think Location, Location, Location | Main | NYT and CNN: Global Editions Bring Battle Head-to-Head »

March 25, 2009

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Geoffrey Gevalt

Ken,
I respectfully disagree with your comment "has told me that the site sports more than 130 blogs, about half of them staff-done and half-community-generated. ... We need more innovation like that. "

In my mind, newspaper owners have made a series of stupid decisions for the last decade and what should have happened is that someone somewhere should have been less concerned about achieving profit margins of 24 percent and more concerned about protecting their franchise... which is NOT print advertising but is the NEWS product, that is vetted, EDITED material that has some semblance of truth and good reporting.

By mixing staff work with community blogs, news organizations are continuing to erode their franchise -- their reliability, their professionalism.

I really believe that someone somewhere should have the moxie to do this NOW:


  • Put MORE money into local reporting;
  • Drop AP wire services and focus on LOCAL news and content;
  • Do away with the notion that newspapers are "breaking" news and instead tell people what it all means;
  • Create a WEB site that has "breaking" news with more in print as well as audio, video, background materials on big stories;
  • Create a sister WEB site with community commentary that is billed as such;
  • Make the damn papers free;
  • Reduce the ad rates so businesses actually might buy some space;
  • Market the hell out of the product as a necessity;
  • Train and develop editors and writers to tell stories that engage and inform and, yes, entertain;
  • Go after the sons of bitches that are stealing money or doing bad things or wasting public money or are incompetent;
  • And emphasize quality, quality, quality;
  • Make the paper a manageable size; reduce the silly graphics and pictures and make the font more readible;
  • And practice great community journalism where the journalists are connected to and a part of the communities they serve;
  • and make it a goal to be respected again.

I realize I'm in a minority on this. And I realize that I say this in my perch outside the business. But I still think that with backbone, talent, money and some forward thinking, papers can expand market, be more viable AND thrive.
I am watching the industry kill itself, scurrying blindly to the edge of the cliff to jump. I see John S. Knight at the window watching and he is pissed and shocked.

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