Date

Fri - 22.09.2017


Business

News Corporation announced yesterday that James Murdoch, once seen as the logical heir to his father Rupert's media empire, has stepped down as News International chairman.

Although James Murdoch will remain deputy COO of News Corp, the company announced in a press release that he has "relinquished his position" at its subsidiary News International, which publishes the Sun and the Times of London.

Instead, James Murdoch will move to New York, where, according his father, he will "continue to assume a variety of essential corporate leadership mandates, with particular focus on important pay-TV businesses and broader international operations."

James Murdoch steps down as News International continues to deal with the consequences of the phone-hacking scandal that led to the closure of the News of the World last summer. Murdoch himself was twice called before the UK parliament's media select committee to answer questions about his involvement in the scandal.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-03-01 16:19

While most news publications seem to be facing financially touch times, the Economist is sailing on remarkably smooth waters. The publication has posted record profits over the last four years, Reuters reported, and contrary to the trend at most papers, its circulation kept growing during the second half of 2011.

As the Editors Weblog noted last November, more than 100,000 of the Economist's subscribers are digital readers - a notable achievement in convincing online readers to pay, although still dwarfed by the 1.49 million print readers.

But what is perhaps most remarkable about the magazine's growth is its rapid speed. Reuters noted that it took 161 years for the Economist to break the 1 million subscribers milestone, in 2004 (the paper was founded in 1843). Andrew Rashbass, Chief Executive of the Economist Group, told Reuters that he expected the Economist to reach 2 million readers within five years.

How has the magazine succeeded in maintaining such an impressive growth? Simply put, by having solid revenue model and offering content that is seemingly non-commercial by nature but for which people are willing to pay.

Author

Teemu Henriksson

Date

2012-02-20 09:35

AOL can be proud of The Huffington Post. The ever-expanding blogging and news aggregation platform opened up in France last month, and is soon set to launch in Spain and Italy as well.

But not all of AOL's media properties are such model children. In 2007 AOL founder Tim Armstrong co-founded the hyperlocal news network Patch, but the $145 million AOL has put into the company after purchasing it in 2009 has not yet been recuperated. In fact, according to Reuters, RBC Capital Markets analyst Ross Sandler estimates that Patch has made a total loss of $150 million. Business Insider estimated Patch's losses last December somewhere around $100 million.

Media analyist Ken Doctor, quoted by Reuters, assess the situation: "Patch is underperforming. It is halfway from where it needs to be in terms of revenue and user experience".

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-10 16:41

By Brian Veseling

On 8 February, the same day that The Washington Post announced its fifth round of newsroom buyouts in the past several years, the Forbes website posted a long profile of Washington Post Chairman and CEO Donald E. Graham by Jeff Bercovici titled "Nice Guy, Finishing Last: How Don Graham Fumbled the Washington Post Co." that highlights a number of challenges and setbacks the company has suffered in recent years.

Among these are missed opportunities with Facebook and Politico, as well as major losses sustained from Newsweek (reportedly $40 million in the two years before the company sold it) and recent problems relating to its Kaplan education unit.

As all of these areas have suffered, so has the company's best known product, its namesake newspaper, which has seen circulation fall by 40% since 1995 (to just over 500,000).

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.editorsweblog.org

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-10 11:50

The rumours from All Things D have been confirmed. The media and technology network GigaOM has announced that it is buying ContentNext Media, owner of the digital media blog paidContent, from Guardian News & Media for an undisclosed amount.

As part of the deal, a GNM representative will sit on GigaOM's board of directors as an observer, and will become a minority shareholder in the company.

Staci Kramer will continue as editor of paidContent, and executive editor of ContentNext Media, Ernie Sander, will become executive editor of paidContent's and GigaOM's combined online operations. GigaOM's managing editor Nicole Solis has been made vice president of editorial operations.

GNM bought ContentNext in July 2008 in order to build market presence in the US, writes paidContent. However, GNM has been looking for a buyer for the site since last November as it focuses on building up its own US site, guardiannews.com.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-09 14:33

The Daily celebrates its first birthday today. When News Corp launched its tablet-only daily news publication on February 2, 2011, many in the industry had high hopes.

"News Corp. is redefining the news experience with The Daily. We think it is terrific and iPad users are really going to embrace it," said Steve Jobs, Apple's late CEO, at the time.

One year on, Josh Sternberg at Digiday has published an article about how The Daily has faired so far. At first, the answer seems to be that The Daily's first year has been bumpier than expected.

"There's been no shortage of critics of The Daily," writes Sternberg, "It's too expensive. It lacks a voice. The technology, at least initially, was wonky. It had several staff shakeups. And most of all, it hasn't proven itself a viable as a standalone business."

Rupert Murdoch said last February that The Daily needed 500,000 subscribers to make it 'viable'. It currently has a fraction of that: 100,000 paid subscribers and 250,000 monthly readers, according to Sternberg's article.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-02-02 13:12

"No comment".

Business executives had become more and more adept at hiding behind this phrase, argues David Carr of The New York Times in an article published on Sunday. Not only that, but major figures in business are often obscured by "communications" teams that are anything but communicative. But now, suggests Carr, "Twitter has the potential to cut past all that clutter".

Carr writes that thanks to Twitter "there's a chance to get a glimpse into the thinking of otherwise unapproachable executives, and sometimes even have a real dialogue with them".

He uses Rupert Murdoch as an example. The News Corp executive joined the microblogging platform at the very end of last year, and has since made the headlines several times with Tweets that Carr calls "devoid of nuance, partisan in the extreme and prone to crankiness, all consistent with the Rupert Murdoch we have come to know".

Murdoch has used the platform to take sides on divisive issues. He voiced his strong support of SOPA and attacked President Obama for not supporting it, tweeting: "So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery."

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-31 15:37

Last July Johnston Press appointed Ashley Highfield, previously head of technology at the BBC and then director of Microsoft's UK consumer and online business, as its new CEO.

The appointment raised two questions. One: why did Johnston Press hire a boss with no newspaper experience? Two: Why would Highfield want to head Johnston Press, which has seen its share price drop from 480p to 5p over the last five years?

Both of these points have been raised by Raymond Snoddy who has published a long interview with Highfield in In Publishing's bi-monthly magazine.

The answer to the first question seems obvious: Johnston Press was investing in a Digital First Future. Other news publishers have done the same; in November Time Warner Inc. hired Laura Lang, formerly of the digital advertising company Digitas, as its CEO.

In his interview with Snoddy, Highfield is clear that Johnston's future is as a diversified media company: "yes I have absolutely no previous newspaper experience but the board had already made the decision that the future of Johnston Press lay in moving the organisation beyond print and that was explained to me in the first sentence".

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-26 18:20

Sometimes a story's too long to be an article, too short to be a book. What can publishers do? Increasingly, the answer has been to publish e-singles.

The concept has been around for a while. Almost a year ago, the New York Times published an article about the Atavist, an app launched in January 2011 as a platform for long-form stories, enhanced with high-quality photography, videos and audio features.

Atavist co-founder Evan Ratliff described the gap his project filled in the market: "in the digital realm, there is infinite space, but somehow this hasn't resulted in a flowering of long-form content." Fellow founder Nicholas Thompson added, "the Web is good at creating short and snappy bits of information, but not so much when it comes to long-form, edited, fact-and-spell-checked work"

Other publishers had also been trying to appeal to the same niche. Amazon is credited with starting the trend, with the release of Kindle singles in January 2011. Byliner launched in April as a publisher and social network for producing and selling long articles/non-fiction stories. Traditional publishers including Penguin and Random House are also in on the trend.

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-25 17:42

by Emma Heald

The future of the newspaper is in magazines, believes Jacek Utko, design director for Bonnier Business Press, which publishes newspapers in eight Central European countries. This is a trend that news organisations should embrace rather than fight, he added, speaking at the 5th Arab Free Press Forum in Tunis.

Print is still a highly relevant medium, Utko said, and publishers are increasingly realizing this as they have been disappointed by tablets as audience- and revenue-generators.

However, the print model at many news organisations - publishing website content the following day and charging for it - does not make sense, Utko claims. It is necessary to offer more than that if you want people to willingly pay for the product.

For more on this story please see our sister publication www.editorsweblog.org

Author

Hannah Vinter

Date

2012-01-25 15:22

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