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  • Available for public speaking around media transformation and opportunity. Please inquire for schedule and rates.

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 05, 2009

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BobH

One interesting note here is that Hearst is obviously doing this on the cheap: cutting salaries and benefits, hiring the young and lowest-paid while essentially forcing out their veteran, knowledgeable reporters and columnists.

So sure, the new site may have the P-I name, and it will have plenty of unpaid bloggers, aggregation, links, Twitter feeds, etc., but anyone looking for P-I news coverage is likely to be very disappointed.

Alain Saffel

Everyone speculates on what they think is going to happen, but not on whether it should.

It's precisely during these turbulent times that we need more journalists, not less. We need more people doing investigative journalism. That is what the public would like to see. They would also like to understand what's going on.

It's tough for reporters to do that when they're barely keeping up with their regular beats.

People also need to get over the idea that somehow information should be free. Says who? The old adage "you get what you pay for" is apropos.

I've been a journalist and I am a blogger. I know that most bloggers out there won't go and do what journalists do. Why? Pay. There aren't many bloggers out there who are going to sit in a dull city council meeting to let you know that your road is going to be ripped up next spring, etc.

I don't buy into the utopia that blogging will triumph over all. It plays a role, but it's not the answer.

Geoffrey Gevalt

Ken,

Really interesting piece. And frightening. Your numbers, while you qualify them, paint a more disturbing trend other than the loss of jobs -- the loss of edited material created by trained professionals. The American Public is, I'm afraid, getting less and less informed and the whole issue of reporters versus bloggers is quite complex. How does one easily discern the difference? How does one easily determine whether the writer/blogger knows what she or he is talking about?

The newspapers' franchise has been credibilitiy or, some would argue, degrees of credibility. As newspapers make their mad scramble to the edge of the cliff, they continue to erode what they had. Can the P-I or the Monitor or the others maintain that credibility? I'm not sure they can if, at the same time, they are getting rid of 87 percent of their newsstaff. At that point they become just a slightly better or more thorough community news nonprofit.

And will people pay? So far, that hasn't been the case. Will people realize the importance of credible news information to the point they will donate to a nonprofit site that gives them the material they want? Frankly, I think that's our best hope. Or a ProPublica model where someone with a lot of money who believes in the importance of the First Amendment decides this is a worthwhile use of his or her money.

Fact is, the George Soroses of the world could do far more for American Democracy by giving to nonprofit credible news sites than by donating to political campaigns.

But I veer off topic. Nice post. Thanks for the morning coffee, so to speak.

geoff

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