Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

We’re taking a break…

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

We’ll be back to The Medium, The Message soon.

McClatchy papers among 25 predicted to survive

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Business Insider/The Wire looks at the Audit Bureau of Circulations’ top performing newspapers and finds “25 Papers That Have The Best Chance Of Being Around In 10 Years,” among which McClatchy newspapers are well represented.

“The Chicago Sun-Times — home of the much-loved and always popular Roger Ebert,” Business Insider explains — “led the list with a jump of 48.41 percent between March 2010 to March 2011.”

McClatchy’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram is second on the list with a 12.79 percent change in circulation from ’10 to ’11. The Miami Herald weighs in at 15th, where the growth is a meager 3.16 percent, but is growth nevertheless, and across the peninsula, the Bradenton Herald was 20th with a 1.6 percent uptick in circulation.

At 16, with a 3.12 percent increase, is the San Jose Mercury News a former Knight Ridder newspaper that McClatchy acquired in 2006 but sold off (to Media News) because it had no growth potential.

Facebook’s future to be driven by old folks

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Facebook use, already topping 600 million users worldwide, continues to grow, and eMarketer says it will grow primarily with through a boost from older users catching on.

Facebook will have more than 132 million U.S. … users this year – a pretty hefty jump from just shy of 117 million last year,” writes Tom Johansmeyer on Social Times. “By 2013, Facebook’s domestic user base could be as high as 152.1 million. From 2009 through 2013, that represents a compound annual growth rate of 10.3 percent.”

eMarketer says “teens and young adults will continue to form the core of Facebook’s audience, with penetration rates among these groups ranging from 80 percent to 89 percent of internet users by 2013.” But its growth “will be driven primarily by increased Facebook use among older boomers and seniors.”

Says Johansmeyer, “The future of Facebook involves blue hair and bingo.”

Facebook will also continue to be a growing part of the business world. “Marketers are a big part of this evolution,” eMarketer says in the summary of its $695 report. “Whether through brand pages, display ads, viral videos, Facebook Login or the ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons, marketers are finding multiple ways to tap into the Facebook juggernaut. This activity will continue as the audience grows in numbers, demographic diversity and sophistication.”

Tribune moves deeper into e-commerce

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Two of Tribune’s top newspapers have opened online stores as a means of producing revenue, reports the Financial Times (the site requires registration).

The Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune “have opened large shopping sections  on their websites in recent months, offering daily deals in partnership with the online coupon site, Groupon, and discounts on food, travel and entertainment purchases,” the paper said Monday.  Here are the Times’ Shop, and the Tribune’s Chicago Shopping.

“Many papers sell reproductions of their photographs and front pages, along with mugs, T-shirts and other memorabilia. But the Tribune Company’s foray into broader e-commerce marks a first for the industry, said Alan Mutter, a news industry analyst and author of the Newsosaur blog.”

Off topic: the Jake Nelson Raleigh TEACCH Fund

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Care to help kids with autism? Need a year-end tax-deductible contribution? Please consider a contribution to the Jake Nelson Raleigh TEACCH Fund, which we’ve established in memory of our son.

The Jake Fund will provide a stipend to practicum students and interns learning to work with individuals with autism at the Raleigh TEACCH center, which is located in Garner. TEACCH  stands for Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication-related handicapped CHildren.

Chris Nealy, a graduate student in UNC’s School of Social Work from Lumberton, N.C., is the first to receive a stipend from the fund.

“One of the goals of the TEACCH center is to train professionals from different fields — psychology, social work and more — to work with individuals with autism in order to increase the number of professionals available to meet the rising need for services for individuals with autism,” Mary Van Bourgondien, professor and clinical director at the Raleigh TEACCH center, told the Garner Citizen. “This fund enables us to attract students to the field and to partially support the efforts of these trainees.”

Jake, who had Asperger’s syndrome, volunteered with the Raleigh TEACCH center to speak before middle school and high school teachers about how they could help their students who have autism spectrum disorders. He was particularly concerned that they protect autistic kids from bullying.

“After high school graduation, he came back to the high school group to share his college experience and help those younger than him prepare for life after high school,” Van Bourgondien said. “He became confident and realized he had valuable information he could share to enhance the lives of others.”

Contributions to the Jake Nelson Raleigh TEACCH Fund can be sent to the Medical Foundation of North Carolina Inc., 880 MLK Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill, NC 27514-2600. Specify that the donation is for the Jake Nelson Raleigh TEACCH Fund.

The Onion offers slices to local owners

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

The Onion, a satirical newspaper, has announced a national franchising program, allowing local owners to publish and distribute the weekly.

“Franchisees will pay a weekly fee to license Onion content; they’ll sell their own ads, pay to print and distribute the papers, and keep the profits from the ads they sell,” the Columbia Journalism Review says. “In turn, The Onion expands its readership and drives more readers to their ever-expanding website.”

Onion CEO Steve Hannah told the CJR that as its online and television presence expanded its audience, the company’s print revenue declined. It shut down print editions in Los Angeles and San Francisco in May 2009 because of lack of advertising revenue.

“What The Onion does best is produce content,” Hannah told the magazine. “So we said, ‘We’ll produce all the content — we have 100 percent control over the content — and you people know how to run a business in your individual cities better than we do.’”

Hannah said the Onion’s print and web editions complement each other well, and that they have more online readers in cities where the print papers are distributed for free. “They started to see how attractive it would be to bring their print editions to cities where they knew they already had a large online audience, without assuming the risk of operating remotely in a place where they didn’t already have relationships with local advertisers. Hence, the franchise.”

Franchisees would pay a weekly fee for one or more of three  levels of content: the national Onion news, the A.V. Club arts and entertainment news, and local A.V. Club entertainment listings.

The company is first targeting newspapers in cities where the Onion prints now, since they have distribution and sales organizations, and presses in place, then looking to new markets. “The new franchisees who sign on could be other existing newspapers, or — enticingly — individuals looking to get into business with their favorite satirical news source,” the CJR says.

“[W]e love the idea of launching new cities with a couple people who are fresh out of school, or who have been in the print business before,” COO Michael McAvoy said. “All those things sound great to us, as long as they are Onion fans and they want to protect the brand and build a good business.”

Law to regulate commercials’ volume advances

Friday, October 1st, 2010

A law to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt could become reality soon, the Associated Press says. The Senate and House have passed similar bills that only require reconciliation of “minor differences.”

“Correcting sound levels is more complicated than using the remote control,” the AP says. “The television shows and ads come from a variety of sources, from local businesses to syndicators.

“Managing the transition between programs and ads without spoiling the artistic intent of the producers poses technical challenges and may require TV broadcasters to purchase new equipment. To address the issue, an industry organization recently produced guidelines on how to process, measure and transmit audio in a uniform way.”

New rules would be adopted within a year of the law’s signing and enforced a year later.

It’s called the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM.

Dallas, ‘The State’ move to paid online

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Update: Dallas Morning News CEO Jim Moroney says the News & Tech report is “not accurate.”

Two major metropolitan dailies plan to put part of their online coverage behind pay walls, according to News & Technology.

The Dallas Morning News, the A.H. Belo Corp. flagship, in the next six months will wall off staff-written stories as well as content about the Dallas Cowboys. Wire service reports and breaking news stories with fewer than 150 words would be free, and seven-day-a-week print subscribers will continue to get it all without additional charges.

The Providence (R.I.) Journal, another Belo property, is also looking at limiting the amount of website content available to nonsubscribers, N&T said.

The N&T report did not say how much the Dallas paper would charge for website access.

McClatchy’s The State of Columbia, S.C., is making its site require a  membership costing $50 a year or $10 a month. Fans of University of South Carolina sports who agree to pay the $50 fee will receive one week for free, during which time they can opt out if they aren’t satisfied. Print subscribers get access for free.

McClatchy’s KR buy called ‘worst’ move

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Bloomberg is calling the McClatchy Company’s acquisition of the much bigger Knight Ridder newspaper chain the worst of the biggest takeovers made during the last mergers-and-acquisitions boom.

“McClatchy’s purchase of the Knight Ridder Inc. newspaper chain, for $4.1 billion in 2006, ranked the worst of the 100 on Bloomberg’s list, with McClatchy shares underperforming the Bloomberg Advertising Age AdMarket 50 Index by 93 percentage points,” the article says. “Sacramento, California-based McClatchy borrowed cash to buy the chain as newspaper real-estate advertising plunged. Elaine Lintecum, McClatchy’s treasurer, declined to comment.”

The move made McClatchy, which was the nation’s eighth-largest newspaper publisher, the nation’s third-largest chain (once it sold off some Knight Ridder papers), but saddled it with enormous debt just as the industry began its ongoing decline.

More than half of the 100 mergers and acquisitions should never have happened, Bloomberg says.

Nielsen spews nonsense about DVR commercials

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Media Daily News last Thursday posted an article about Nielsen ratings that says more people are using DVRs and are watching more commercials in their recordings. In the comments, readers call the latter claim laughable.

Nielsen says viewers watch between 40 percent and 50 percent of commercials during DVR playback,” Media Daily News says. “These numbers have climbed from previous estimates, where viewers were watching anywhere between 30 percent to 40 percent.”

As Richard Tamborrino, key accounts manager at The Miami Herald, says in his comment, “This contention is absolutely ridiculous…the whole concept of recording programming is for ‘on-demand’ entertainment…You can watch a one-hour drama in 44 minutes, and it’s being done with great regularity.”

Use of DVRs has risen 90 percent since 2007. “DVR penetration among (Nielsen’s) national people markets is at 37 percent, with local people meter markets at 41 percent,” the article says.