Date

Mon - 28.07.2014


May 2009

News Corp. posted a 70 percent drop in net income to rest at $300 million, and a 16 percent drop in revenue to $7.37 billion, for the last quarter, the Los Angeles Times reported. The only increase in revenue was seen in the area of cable television, which was up by 11 percent, with its operating income up by 30 percent.

The company's newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, experienced revenue drops of 28 percent with operating income falling from $216 million to $7 million.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-07 11:20

Although federal, state and local governments should not give financial help, such as subsidies, to newspapers, government aid could come in the form of tax breaks or allowing them to operate as non-profits, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry proposed to a U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications yesterday, Reuters reported.

Sen. Kerry told Reuters he thought "there are definitely come things we can do to encourage, to help the situation without stepping over any line." Kerry's statement is in contrast to U.S. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' recent statement about government aid of newspapers.

Kerry offered an open invitation to newspapers, televised news stations and online news sources, of which Google Inc. was one, to enter into a discussion about how they could work together to save the future of newspapers and print journalism, Reuters reported in an article posted by the Guardian.

Other members of the subcommittee agreed with Kerry, saying it is important to preserve "the core societal function that is served by an independent and diverse news media," Reuters reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-07 11:18

MTV plans to share ad revenue with social networking sites Facebook and Twitter when it integrates content from the sites into its new show, "What You're Watching With Alexa Chung," paidContent reported.

The revenue split marks a first for both social media networks, whose platforms are often used in marketing schemes, but until now, have not received compensation for the services, and extensive market, they provide.

MTV, whose audience consists mostly of 12-to 24-year-olds, plans on airing live Facebook updates and Tweets throughout the show. If the marketing plan proves a success, it could signal a new revenue-generating model for the sites, which have yet to find a functional way to make a profit off of their content, according to paidContent.

Sean Moran, head of ad sales at MTV, said the new show is a "joint venture" with Facebook and Twitter, AdAge reported. Ad sales deals are being negotiated, and are expected to lead to revenue sharing between MTV and the social networking sites, he said.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-06 14:00

The Boston Globe's largest union and the New York Times Co. have reached a "tentative deal" Reuters reported today. The Boston Newspaper Guild's Web site reports that talks led to a potential deal at just after 3 a.m this morning.

The Newspaper Guild is among the Globe's biggest unions and the only one of the seven unions to have not agreed on cutbacks. The Times Co. is asking for US$20 million in savings, half from the Newspaper Guild.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-06 13:50

RD Selecciones, the Spanish language edition of Readers Digest, will end its 37-year run in the United States when the Readers Digest Association shuts it down this June, Media Week reported. RD Selecciones U.S. will be survived by the 17 other editions still being published around the world.

A spokesman for Readers Digest said the U.S. edition "was not showing signs of having potential for continued viability financially." The magazine suffered from declining ad revenue and frequent changes in management. All four staff members who worked on the U.S. edition will lose their jobs.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-06 13:44

Telecom Italia Media SpA has managed to reduce its first quarter loss by 43 percent from a year earlier through its cost cutting moves and the sale of its pay-per-view division, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The first quarter loss came in at €16.6 million, down from the €29 million loss for 2007.

The media company anticipates advertising revenue to continue to decline through 2009, with the La7 channel showing the only improvement in ad income. However the company predicts 2009 to be an improvement on 2008 with a strong showing from its digital terrestrial TV.

Telecom Italia Media hopes to break even in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by 2010 under its 2009-2011 business plan released in September. The scheme looks to continuing cutting costs and increase revenue in the digital market with the growth of digital terrestrial television, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-06 09:36

Independent UK media business CN Group is looking to close its printing plant in Barrow and relocate it to Carlisle, a move that is hoped to save £1.5m in a year and create an additional four positions at the Carlisle plant, the BBC reported Tuesday.

The closure of the plant that prints the North West Evening Mail will cost 31 jobs in Barrow and will threaten five jobs at the CN Group published Hexham Courant and one at the Carlisle plant.

Employee Tony Pritchard questioned the closure's effect on the quality of the newspaper's content, pointing out that the earlier deadline of the Carlisle printing plant would mean the paper would miss stories that arrived after 0800 BST. The Barrow plant has a final deadline of 1245 BST, according to the BBC.

The publishing company, however, said the move would have limited effect on content.

Chief Executive Robin Burgess said: "The original and proposed changes have been done in such a way to ensure all the group's titles are still being published and there is a minimal effect on content," the BBC reported.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-06 08:50

The New York Times has enforced a second price hike within the last 12 months as it attempts to counter the industry wide decline in advertising revenue. The weekday and Sunday editions have been given a 33 percent price rise from US$1.50 to $2. This hike comes just 11 months after the Times last increased its price, The Associated Press reported.

The price of the Sunday edition will be up $1, to $6 for the national edition and $5 for the New York edition.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-06 08:47

While the developed world's newspaper industry has suffered on the back of the global recession and consequential advertising decline, the developing world has continued to support newspapers as literacy levels rise and access to technology remains limited, the Daily Dispatch Online reported today.

Addressing a 50 person audience Sunday, on World Press Freedom Day in Grahamstown, South Africa, Print Media South Africa Chairman Prakash Desai expressed his confidence in the ongoing importance and relevance of newspapers, predicting any major effects from the growth of online media will not occur in the near future. He said this was especially true for developing countries.

Of a population of 48 million, only three million South Africans have access to new technology and the Internet. Desai emphasised this was the situation of billions of others living in developing countries around the world.

"The quality of print journalism is far superior to any blog, Web or TV journalism. They do not match the print contribution ... this will ensure they (print) are here for eternity," he told more than 50 people at the Albany Museum, the Daily Dispatch reported.

Desai blamed issues of "bad debt" for the current financial woes western newspapers are suffering.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-05 16:44

The newspaper division of media conglomerate E.W. Scripps Co. reveled an 88 percent decline in profits to US$2.9 million on Monday, Editor & Publisher reported.

Revenue from the newspaper fell 21.7 percent to $2.4 million and advertising income declined 30 percent to $85.8 million.

Advertising suffered across the board. Local markets declined 25 percent to $26.6 million, national advertising fell 25.7 percent to $6 million and classifieds had the largest fall with a drop of 37.7 percent to $26.6 million, E&P reported.

Online revenue declined 26.5 percent, to sit at $7.3 million. However, neglecting online attachment to print, "pure-play" online advertising was up 30 percent to $3.4 million.

Circulation revenue showed a slight increase on year-to-year analysis, with $30.6 million for the first economic quarter of 2009.

"In the first quarter we made a series of tough decisions intended to improve our financial position through the current economic downturn and beyond into what we believe will be a restructured environment for local media," Rich Boehne, president and CEO of Scripps, said in a statement, according to E&P. "The most difficult decision, but also the one that eliminated significant financial risk, was the shutdown of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-05 15:47

In a Monday briefing, U.S. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters he didn't know what "government can do about it" in response to questions about struggling newspapers, Politico reported.

While stressing President Barack Obama's commitment to "a strong free press," Gibbs called the problems facing the newspaper industry a "tricky area (for the government) to get into."

The press secretary took the occasion to turn the tables on journalists who had called into question Obama's pledge to cut spending saying, "you guys didn't think $100 million meant a lot a few weeks ago...but looking at some of the balance sheets, $100 million seems to mean a lot."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-05 15:31

The UK Press Association is planning to close its Birmingham offices in order to cut back on the cost of rent, a decision that has led to journalists being asked to work from home, Press Gazette reported today.

The association, which may close its Manchester and Cardiff offices when their leases expire, explained the decision by pointing out that it was not logical to pay for office space while its journalists spent most of their time reporting outside the office.

The journalists' home offices will be equipped with the necessary equipment and phone and Internet connections, which will be paid for by the company.

Press Association editor Jonathan Grun commented that journalists can file their stories back to the newsdesk from "just about anywhere" and said that it was important for the company to "make sure our editorial budget is being used in the best possible way," according to Press Gazette.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-05 15:27

Platinum Equity will buy the San Diego News Tribune from parent company Copley Press Inc., after eight months of being on the market, The Associated Press reported. The Copley family will leave the newspaper industry upon completion of the sale.

Platinum intends to keep Karin Winner on as editor of the paper, but also plans to assemble a team of new recruits, including David H. Black of Black Press Ltd., which several Canadian newspapers and has begun to enter into the American market. This is the first newspaper acquisition for Platinum.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-05 15:02

After implementing an experimental mixture of online and print formats, accompanied by a limited delivery schedule, the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News have seen a rise in readership of their e-edition, as well as less subscription cancellations than expected, Poynter Online reported.

An assessment of the Detroit papers' experiment reveals some heartening results, including an approximate 6,300 readers who choose to pay more to have the paper mailed to their homes on days that have been cut from the delivery schedule, about 30,000 visits per day to the papers' e-editions and a mere 50 percent of the projected subscription losses that actually took place - with new subscriptions being filled at impressive rates.

These optimistic findings could prove valuable as newspapers struggle to decide how to maintain profitability while providing both print and online news sources. In an interview with Poynter's Bill Mitchell, the Detroit Media Partnership's Janet Hasson pointed out that attention to advertisers was crucial to the success of the transition from print to online content, saying the Detroit papers "will achieve the savings we projected (from reduced newsprint and delivery costs) and we will achieve the circulation that we're committed to...but advertising is the wild card."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-04 16:48

The New York Times Co. did not follow through with threats to notify federal authorities of plans to close the Boston Globe, as an agreement has been reached with six of the Globe's seven unions. The Times Co. and the Boston Newspaper Guild will begin negotiating once more, but no time has been set for an agreement, the Washington Post reported today. The Times Co. is asking for US$20 million in savings, half from the Newspaper Guild.

At just before midnight last night, the original deadline, the Times Co. announced it would file the 60-day shutdown plan, under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification law. However, union negotiations went on until 8 a.m. today, when most of the unions reached deals.
The concessions would come primarily from the Newspaper Guild at $10 million, as it is the paper's largest union, representing 600 newsroom employees. Mailers are being asked to give up $5 million, drivers $2.5 million and the pressmen $2.2 million. The company has also sought to eliminate job security measures for staff, removing seniority based redundancy rules and lifetime job guarantees, according to the Washington Post.

Negotiation were recently strained when a Times Co. accounting error was uncovered, requiring an additional $4 million in concessions from the Newspaper Guild.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-04 16:10

Amazon is set to launch its enlarged, Kindle e-reader on Wednesday, All Things Digital reported today.

The electronic reader is being hailed as the potential savior of newspapers, and will provide a format that will convince reader of the economic value of online based reporting. With consumers paying for online subscriptions via the Kindle, newspaper companies could make massive savings on print and distribution

The larger Kindle is rumored to be the size of a standard piece of paper and would adopt a format similar to that of a traditional newspaper. The e-reader would also facilitate advertising, Philly.com reported. The enlarged Kindle follows a collaboration announced earlier this year between Gannett Co. and Plastic Logic Ltd. to release a newspaper based e-reader early in 2010.

The first generation of the newspaper targeted Kindle will likely be available only in black and white. However, reports suggest Apple is set to release a larger equivalent of the iPod touch later this year, which will display colour, video and will access the Internet, according to Philly.com

The present 6-inch model Kindle offers subscriptions to 58 newspapers and magazines.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-04 15:09

Job advertising across Australia fell 7.5 percent for the month of April on a month to month basis, with 136,770 positions offered, Dow Jones reported today.

The data, recorded and reported by ANZ Group, found a monthly 8.1 percent decline in online job advertising, totalling a 49.2 percent annual decrease. Although job advertising in newspapers rose 3.1 percent over last month, the print industry is looking at a 58.9 percent overall annual decline in job advertising.

Warren Hogan, head of ANZ economics, said the number of jobs advertised across Australia has continued to decline. He blamed the decrease on the broad decline in online advertising in general, according to the Dow Jones article, posted by The Australian.

However, newspapers in Tasmania and the Northern Territories both registered strong growths in advertising and New South Wales newspapers saw a 6.9 percent ad increase.

Employment advertising has declined every month for the past 12, and now sits at half the amount it was a year earlier, Dow Jones reported. These advertising figures are expected to be a precursor for the diminution of Australian employment over the next 12 months. Economists expect a 0.2 percent rise in unemployment for April, from 5.7 to 5.9 percent.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-04 15:06

When asked if he would consider investing in newspapers, Warren Buffet replied that due to newspapers "possibility of going to just unending losses" he "would not buy them at any price," The Wall Street Journal reported.

While Buffet seemed confident in his share of the Washington Post Co., due to its strong cable business, he didn't deny that its newspaper branch is struggling.

Buffet attributed the problems facing the newspaper industry to the fact that daily printed editions have become less popular among readers who consult sources such as the Internet for their news, and are therefore, less interesting to advertisers as well, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"Twenty, thirty years ago, they were a product that had pricing power that was essential," said Buffett, according to the Economic Times. "They have lost that essential nature."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-04 14:52

Allentown, Pennsylvania's The Morning Call plans to cut 10 percent of its staff- approximately 70 positions, Philly.com reported.

In an e-mail to staffers, of which 50 should be immediately affected by the layoffs, publisher Time Kennedy wrote that "the traditional newspaper business model is broken" and stated that the industry must build the foundation for a new model.

Kennedy also lamented the "painfully ironic" fact that the cutbacks and financial troubles come at a time when the paper's readership is showing signs of growth.


Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-04 14:47

Dublin-based newspaper group Independent News & Media suffered a significant loss in 2008 and is likely to miss debt payments later this year if it cannot reach an agreement with creditors, the BBC reported Thursday.

After a €248 million profit for 2007, the industry and economic crises left the publisher with a loss of €161 million before taxes for 2008. Revenue declined 11.8 percent to €1.48 billion.

The first economic quarter for 2009 does not look any better, and the company stated it will look to sell a number of "non core assets" in order to finance debt. INM said it has been unable to refinance €200 million worth of debt obligation due later this year and that there is a "strong likelihood" that if it is unable to reach agreements with creditors, it could default on payments, according to the BBC.

The company has requested a debt "standstill" with its banks and bondholders as it attempts to finance debt repayments in future.

The publisher'ss flagship newspaper, the Independent in London, has been forced into major cost cutting measures including the reduction of 90 editorial positions and relocation to the Daily Mail offices in West London.

The company's global publishing portfolio includes more than 200 newspapers and magazines in 22 countries. INM's new CEO, Gavin O'Reilly, is also president of the World Association of Newspapers' executive committee and board.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-03 15:39

The Washington Post Co. is the most recent newspaper company to reveal a significant loss for the first economic quarter of 2009, with an $18.7 million deficit, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The company's newspapers and magazines continue to suffer amid the recession and consequent advertising decline, with the newspaper division reporting a 22 percent revenue decline. Flagship paper the Washington Post saw an advertising decline of 33 percent, while online advertising fell 8 percent.

The magazine division, including its major title Newsweek, had a revenue decline of 14 percent.

The Washington Post newspaper has taken elaborate cost cutting measures. In March it said it would present buyouts to newspaper staff and amalgamate the business section with other parts of the newspaper, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Distinct from rival newspapers, the Washington Post relies less on print advertising, sourcing much revenue from its Kaplan education enterprise. However this investment has also suffered amid the rotten economic climate, with a profit drop of 76 percent, citing increased costs of marketing and advertising, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In 2008 the Washington Post Co. saw a $29.3 million profit, at $4.08 a share. The companies share price has halved in the last twelve months to now sit at $2.04

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-03 13:46

More than 60 percent of users who sign up for Twitter stop using the service just a month after joining, according to research from Nielsen Online, AFP reported.

The audience retention rate for the micro-blogging site is at about 40 percent, said David Martin, vice president for primary research at Nielsen Online. Although the site's unique audience was up more than 100 percent in March, the real battle will be to keep users.

"Twitter has enjoyed a nice ride over the last few months, but it will not be able to sustain its meteoric rise without establishing a higher level of user loyalty," he said, according to the AFP article, posted by The Australian. "A retention rate of 40 percent will limit a site's growth to about a 10 percent reach figure."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-01 23:36

As the global economy began to spiral last year, press freedom also declined for the first time in every region of the world, according to a new study from Freedom House, out today.

Press freedom continued to decrease for the seventh year in a row in 2008, and Italy, Israel and Hong Kong dropped from the study's category of "Free" to "Partly Free." There were twice as many press freedom losses as there were gains last year, with East Asia being a point of "particular concern," according to the study.

"The journalism profession today is up against the ropes and fighting to stay alive, as pressures from governments, other powerful actors and the global economic crisis take an enormous toll," said Jennifer Windsor, Freedom House executive director. "The press is democracy's first defense and its vulnerability has enormous implications for democracy if journalists are not able to carry out their traditional watchdog role."

Even countries where it was hoped that growing Internet and new media usage would aid press freedom growth were disappointed, with the study concluding freedom of the media "remained stagnant in 2008," the study states.

According to the report, findings by region showed that:

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-01 23:06

The overall pick-up rate of French free dailies was at 95 percent in the first quarter, with Metro and 20 Minutes in Paris boasting 99 percent, according to a recent audit by French auditing firm OJD, Newspaper Innovation reported.

Matin Plus and Direct Matin proved somewhat less likely to be picked up; however, the audit found that less than 5 percent of copies of these free dailies were not taken by readers. The audit includes more than 24 free dailies, including various local editions. The results are available on the OJD Web site.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-05-01 18:26


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