Date

Sun - 21.01.2018


March 2009

Google is collaborating with Sony Music, EMI, Warner Music and Universal Music to offer users in the Chinese market about 350,000 free MP3 downloads Media Guardian reported yesterday. The catalogue will be expanded to 1.1 million songs in the coming months.

Google has partnered with Chinese music site Top100.cn, which may help it compete with Chinese search site Baidu, which has a 76.9 percent share of the Chinese market, compared to Google's 16.6 percent share. A large amount of traffic on Baidu is from illegal music sharing.

Under 1 percent of legal music downloads worldwide came from China in 2008, according to data from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Media Guardian reported.

Although only about 15 percent of the Chinese population has Internet access, the country has the largest single internet population.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-31 23:19

Tribune Co. today announced the joint operation of the Hartford Courant and Hartford television stations WTIC-TV and WTXX-TV, beginning later this year, a press release posted by Fox Business announced. The media combination will be headed by Richard Graziano, senior vice president and general manager of WTIC-TV and WTXX-TV. He has been made Courant publisher, effective immediately.

"This is the future of media," Randy Michaels, Tribune's chief operating officer, stated in the press release. "Whether in print, over the air, or online - the delivery mechanism isn't as important as the unique, rich nature of the content provided. Bringing these media properties together will enable us to bring more resources to our news coverage, improving and expanding what we can offer readers, viewers and advertisers in the area."

WTIC-TV and WTXX-TV will broadcast from a yet to be built studio in the Courant's newsroom. Construction is set to get under way during the summer. WTIC-TV will also offer a larger news output, with an additional two half-hour segments at noon and at 6 p.m.

The Courant, the oldest continually published newspaper in the United States, has a readership of more than 800,000 every week across its print and online publications. Meanwhile, WTIC-TV and WTXX-TV are Hartford-only stations that source their own local news from the city.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-31 20:17

Unable to compete with the likes of Wikipedia, Microsoft will close down both its MSN Encarta reference Web sites and its Encarta software, paidContent reported yesterday.

MSN Encarta Web sites around the world will be shuttered on Oct. 31, except for Encarta Japan, which will be closed Dec. 31. Microsoft will also stop selling Microsoft Student and Encarta Premium software by June, the company announced on its Web site.

What Microsoft offered online was no match for the growing Wikipedia, which offers 2.7 million articles in English, according to paidContent. Discontinuing Encarta is congruent with Microsoft's decision to cut costs. With that intent, the company has discontinued several products, including its train simulator game.

"The decision to exit the Encarta business is one piece of a broader strategy to continue to evolve our product offerings to address the next wave of people's search and research needs," a Microsoft spokeswoman said, according to paidContent. "We will continue to evaluate online reference business opportunities and will consider how Encarta and key learnings acquired over the past nearly 20 years of developing it can inform and strengthen our future educational solutions."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-31 17:57

Sun-Times Media Group Inc. today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to "reestablish itself as a self-sustaining, profitable operation. That is worth fighting for, said Chairman Jeremy Halbreich, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The news group, which owns the Chicago paper and other suburban dailies and weeklies, filed for bankruptcy "with the aim of reorganising operations, setting a tax liability and making the company fit for a buyer," the Sun-Times article stated. The company owes the U.S. Internal Revenue Service US$608 million in taxes and penalties incurred by former owner Conrad Black, currently in prison for corporate theft. However, the STMG does not have bank debt.

Halbreich told the Sun-Times he aims to keep "as many jobs as possible," while protecting the company's news operations, in both print and online.

The entire STMG company is worth about $4 million, based on its stock, and as of Nov. 7, the company's assets totalled $479 million, and liabilities were at $801 million, according to the bankruptcy documents.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-31 17:27

British Culture Secretary Andy Burnham will hold a day-long conference on how newspapers can survive in a digital age, UPI reported. Scheduled for April, the conference will bring together both government and industry representatives.

Burnham's approach to rescuing the industry involved the revocation of restrictions on newspaper mergers and government advertising in newspapers. He also suggested government support in the industry transition "into the digital age."
Burnham also put forward that the British Broadcasting System should seek involvement with private media groups forming, "public-private partnerships."

"The BBC could provide sound and images to the Web site of the local newspaper," he said, according to UPI. In return, "newspapers can provide information for BBC Web sites" and could "work together providing a service under the trusted banner of the local paper."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-31 17:15

The Huffington Post has revealed plans to fund an investigative journalism unit, AFP reported. With an initial budget of US$1.75 million, Ariana Huffington, founder huffingtonpost.com, said the unit is an attempt to prevent the media's role in democracy becoming a victim of the newspaper industry's financial crisis.

"As the newspaper industry continues to contract, one of the most commonly voiced fears is that serious investigative journalism will be among the victims of the scaleback... All who recognise the indispensable role good journalism plays in our democracy are looking for ways to preserve it during this transitional period for the media," Huffington told AFP.

"The pieces developed by the Fund will range from long-form investigations to short breaking news stories and will be presented in a variety of media, including text, audio and video." Huffington plans to make all the fund's output freely available to outlets, recognising the "open source spirit of the Web."

The project will be based in Washington under Nick Penniman, who founded The American News Project. Current funding is expected to be enough to support 10 investigative reporters, and Huffington has said she aims to use journalists who have been laid off to work with freelancers on stories focusing on the U.S. economy.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-31 11:12

A recent Pew survey shows that online journalists are more optimistic about their careers than those in more traditional media fields, yet they are concerned about the quality of journalism online even more than they are concerned about finding a profitable business model. Findings published on the Pew Research Center's site were collected in a survey of members of the Online News Association (ONA).

Many professionals believe the Internet is "changing the fundamental values of journalism," and taking it in the wrong direction. However, the majority of those surveyed were reticent to disapprove of the progress of online media, and confident that the news form would find a way of generating revenue, despite disappointing trends in advertising returns.

An overall sense of compromise in the realm of standards, values and accuracy with regard to journalism was reported by those surveyed.

About two-thirds of the online journalists said they believed the future business model for online content rests with advertising, predicting that most revenue would come from ads in three years. Twenty-five percent, however, believed a new revenue model would be relied on, the study stated.

Pew's study was the first to target members of the ten-year-old ONA, the largest association of online media professionals. Almost 300 people were surveyed.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-31 10:23

Although Internet sales increased significantly by 10.6 percent between 2007 and 2008, the economic recession is flattening growth, according to the Internet Advertising Revenue Report released Monday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, The New York Times reported.

Cable television spending also rose by 7.8 percent, while non-Internet media revenue slid by 2.4 percent. Internet revenue dipped during Q1 and Q2 for the first time in four years and online advertising in 2008 grew much less than it did compared to the same time a year ago. On the other hand, digital video revenue more than doubled in 2008 from 2007, according to the report.

Although sponsorship advertising fell in Q4, online advertising from consumer-packaged good companies increased from $925 million in 2007 to $1.5 billion in 2008, The New York Times reported. This increase is "something that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. People didn't think this would be the right space to be selling grocery-type products," said Peter S. Fader, a marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-31 10:22

Los Angeles area free Spanish language daily Hoy will now be published weekly, Newspaper Innovation reported. The paper, which was launched in August 2004, will continue to publish online, as well as its weekend edition Fin de Semana.

The New York edition of Hoy shut down at the end of 2008, leaving the Chicago edition, which boasts a circulation of 62,000 during the week and 300,000 for Fin de Semana, the only remaining Hoy that continues to publish daily. The decision comes following reports that decreases in advertising revenues are having an effect on ethnic media.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-31 10:20

The Florida Communications Group (FCG) branch of Media General Inc. has laid of 53 employees at its various publications, including the Tampa Tribune, Editor & Publisher reported. The layoffs were reported to be mostly from operations, not the newsroom.

A three-day furlough has also been implemented by the FCG. The days, which are in addition to the 10 that were instated at the beginning of the year, will be taken between April and June.

The Tribune has reported that the FCG's publications are "under review" for potential closure following the shutting down of the group's publications, Skirt and Flair. Twelve vacant positions will also disappear and some news bureaux risk closing their doors. In a memo, FCG President John Schueler told employees that "Tampa Bay's economy is not recovering" and explained, "therefore we will need to further reduce our operating costs."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-31 10:19

Some newspapers in Europe have been able to make money from readers, making them less dependant on advertising in a recession-pummelled economy, The New York Times reported Saturday. German publisher Axel Springer, for example, recently logged the highest yearly profit in its history.

CEO Mathias Dopfner told The Times that Axel-published Bild is not intimidated by the digital revolution and is looking for acquisition targets in Germany, Eastern Europe and perhaps in the United States. European publishers have dealt with the crisis by getting rid of unreliable advertisers, leaning more heavily on readers, creating launching new Web sites and strengthening Internet divisions.

Oslo-based publishing company Schibsted's VG Nett, which is affiliated with newspaper Verdens Gang, has a current profit margin above 30 percent, The Times reported. VG Nett doesn't rely solely on content. For example, it has a weight loss club that charges150,000 members up to 599 kroner (almost US$90) a year, as well as runs a social network that charges users to upgrade their profiles. News content is free.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-31 00:58

The International Herald Tribune on Monday relaunched its Web site under the new Web address global.nytimes.com, and added "The Global Edition of The New York Times" under its masthead, emphasising its link to its parent company, Times Co. Global.nytimes.com will aim to combine "the international voice of the IHT with the worldwide breadth of reporting of The Times and the digital expertise of NYTimes.com," the company announced in a press release posted by MarketWatch.

The International Herald Tribune is the global edition of The New York Times. IHT.com now automatically redirects to global.nytimes.com and NYTimes.com users can set the Global Edition site as their preferred home page. The collaboration also features a new service, "Today's Headlines Global Edition," a twice daily e-mail service for both European and Asian morning editions.

The new format and Web site collaboration will make use of its bureaux around the world to be updated 24 hours a day, add business news from Reuters and allow for new avenues of revenue, according to the press release. The IHT's print edition has also been redesigned, and now uses a Cheltenham typeface.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-30 20:48

Prominent Spanish daily newspaper, El País on Monday announced it will increase its cover price by 9.1 percent to €1.20 for its Monday to Saturday editions, Reuters reported.

Media group Prisa, which publishes the left leaning newspaper, left the price of the Sunday edition unchanged at €2.20. The move marks an attempt to offset the financial impact of the global recession and the subsequent decline in advertising revenue for newspapers.

"The increase will allow us to guarantee readers the news quality they demand and undertake future projects under a difficult backdrop given the world economic crisis and falls in advertising," the paper's front page announced, according to Reuters.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-30 20:45

Both The New York Times Co. and The Washington Post Co. have announced cost-cutting strategies that include layoffs, pay-cuts and buyouts, Bloomberg reported.

The Times Co. said it will cut a total of 100 positions on the business side of the company as well as implement salary cuts of up to 5 percent for the rest of the year. The Times Co.'s pay cuts will affect non-union employees of The New York Times, Boston Globe and the papers' Web sites, along with corporate executives.

An article posted by SFN partner site, the Editors Weblog, reports that employees have been offered 10 extra holiday days this year in exchange for the pay cut, which blurs the lines between what the company calls cutbacks, and what could be seen as forced unpaid leave.

According to a memo issued by Publisher Arthur Sulzberger and CEO Janet Robinson, the salaries could be restored next year depending on "the state of our business," Bloomberg reported. Other divisions of The Times Co. will impose salary reductions of 2.5 percent for non-union workers, in exchange for five additional days off.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-30 16:04

AOL's programming unit Media Glow has hired five newspaper journalists and one senior editor to work for its sports blog FanHouse, paidContent reported Sunday.

The staff additions are seen as a strategic move by the company, which seeks to capitalise on the lack of news coverage in areas that have been affected by newspaper closures and layoffs.

AOL programming SVP Marty Moe told paidContent writer David Kaplan that AOL doesn't "take any joy in the turmoil currently happening at newspapers, but we do see an increased role for FanHouse, as well as other channels." Reports say that FanHouse could hire more writers, as the site gets ready to cover the baseball season in the United States.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-30 14:10

While ethnic orientated newspapers have continued to increase readership bases as mainstream papers suffered circulation declines, these papers serving immigrant and minority groups in the United States are now having to make similar staff cuts and closures as their larger counterparts, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

Newspapers that immigrant communities rely upon to stay informed and navigate American life have continually shown lasting readership strength as more immigrants arrive in the United States and older non-English speaking readers prefer print over the Internet.

However, the ongoing recession has caused a severe drop in advertising, especially for immigrant-owned small businesses that advertise with ethnic newspapers. The advertising downturn could have a marked affect on immigrant assimilation and participation in the United States, according to the AP.

"Ethnic newspapers are the lifeline for many immigrant communities," David Lee, a San Francisco State University professor who heads the nonprofit Chinese for Affirmative Action, told the AP. "The trend of ethnic papers closing or cutting back editorial content or circulation could have very negative effects on voter or civic participation in those communities."

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-30 14:05

More than 500,000 copies of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News were distributed for free at more than 18,000 retail locations throughout Michigan on Monday, the Detroit Media Partnership announced in a press release.

The editions showcase the newspapers' new looks, which include reader-friendly condensed news formats, more local news and information in "at-a-glance formats," the release, posted by Fox Business, stated. The newspapers' Web sites attract a weekly audience of 2.1 million people combined. The Detroit media partnership is also the advertising sales agent for several Detroit publications.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-30 14:04

The state-owned Iranian newspaper Khorshid will close due to government plans to cut costs, according to the country's official news agency, IRNA, AFP reported Monday.

The newspaper closes months before the country's presidential elections, scheduled for June 12, which has put an end to criticism that the "pro-government" newspaper would be an advantage in the election campaign of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has yet to make his candidacy official, according to the AFP report, posted by Asia One.

In his Persian New Year message, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on government to reduce costs is response to the global recession. The closure of Khorshid, which launched last October, is the result of government's attempts at financial cutbacks, he said.

A wave of closures in the media, including newspapers and online news sites, has marked Ahmadinejad's presidential term.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-30 14:02

As advertising revenues fall globally, music Web sites that allow free listening but not downloading are facing challenges from labels that demand a share of advertising revenues, advance royalties and investment stakes, The Financial Times reported Sunday. The crisis has prompted beleaguered sites to seek out new and more affordable licensing terms.

SpiralFrog and Ruckus are examples of two casualties. Similarly, Yahoo recently stopped showing popular music videos in the UK because of exorbitant royalties. Apple's iTunes will reportedly face the same predicament next month, according to the FT.

One of the biggest Web sites, Imeem, is axing jobs in a cost-cutting move. It is also tweaking its business model by encouraging users to "buy songs or ringtones for mobile phones," and by adding concert tickets, the FT reported.

Other Web sites like Last.fm and and Spotify have adopted alternate revenue generating schemes. Labels are now hoping for a collaboration with MySpace that could boost revenues, according to the FT.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-30 14:00

Ink manufacturer US Ink has offered up a solution for newspapers and and their economic woes - flavoured advertising. The company, which sells ink to newspapers, has turned its clients towards advertising that allows the consumer to sample the product advertised via a flavored strip, the Hackensack Record reported Thursday.

Although not a new idea, the unique form of mass media advertising allows newspapers to tap a consumer base only available to physical distribution channels and could boost advertising revenue that has followed consumers online.

"You're really bringing taste marketing to mass media," US Ink Marketing Manager Todd Wheeler told the Record, in an article posted by TwinCities.com.

Sample based advertising currently reaches consumers mainly through expensive and narrow in-store product samples. This approach reaches between 200 and 300 consumers per day. Wheeler believes flavoured strips attached to newspaper advertising could reach anywhere from 10,000 to hundreds of thousands of consumers. He also stressed the value of the advertising at 30 cents per flavoured strip against a dollar per in-store sample, the Record reported.

The flavoured advertising strip is a product called "Taste-It Notes." Manufactured by First Flavor, the strip is sealed inside a pouch leaving it fresh and hygienic until opened by the consumer.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-27 14:10

Micro-blogging site Twitter is proposing enhanced versions of the site for a fee to various businesses and corporations, Reuters reported Thursday.


Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter, told Reuters that "if these services are valuable to companies, we think they may want to pay for them." Twitter's strategy to generate revenue from the site has been much anticipated and comes in light of recent findings that many companies are opting for Twitter as a communication tool over other networking sites.

According to Nielson Online, Twitter boasted over seven million hits in February, compared to only 475,000 for the same time last year.

The company decided to accelerate it revenue-seeking schedule, formulating a profit-making plan prior to 2010, the original date set for seeking remuneration for the site, Reuters reported.

Recently, Twitter has partnered with Federated Media and unveiled the project "Exec Tweets" which collects tweets from corporate executives.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-27 13:43

Capitalising on its coverage of popular topics like Jade Goody's battle with cancer, the Web site of UK red top The Sun attracted more than 27 million users in February, making it the most popular UK Web site. Sun Online beat out the Web sites of the Guardian, Telegraph, Mail Online and Times Online, Media Guardian reported.

Although page views fell by 2 million compared to January's record number of 344 million, Sun Online Web sites like DreamTeamFC, Sun Bingo, Page3.com and the News of the World Web site contributed to Sun Online retaining its place as the newspaper Web site with the most individual page views.

Telegraph.co.uk reportedly was ahead of guardian.co.uk, with a 1 percent increase from January and a 113 percent increase over last year, according to the latest numbers from the Audit Bureau of Circulations electronics figures, Media Guardian reported.

Guardian.co.uk, Times Online, Mail Online and Independent.co.uk slipped slightly since January but recorded year-over-year increases. In February, that guardian.co.uk network saw the most unique users in the United Kingdom in February.

Mirror Group Digital claimed the highest proportion of UK users in January at 52 percent, which makes the Mirror's sites valuable to advertisers, according to Media Guardian.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-27 13:42

A $3.5 million study, released by the Council for Research Excellence on Thursday, found TV to be the most dominant medium in terms of advertising and consumption, with the average American being exposed to five hours and nine minutes of TV everyday, The New York Times reported. The study found computer usage has surpassed radio as the second most used media, with print sitting in fourth. On total the survey revealed adults as exposed to screens for around 8.5 hours a day.

During the eight and a half hours of daily television, Internet and mobile video, the average American is subject to 61 minutes of advertising and promotions.

Researchers at Ball State University's Center for Media Design, who administered the study for the Council, paid for by the Nielsen Company, analysed real life actions of the participants, shadowing 350 subjects, all over 18 years old, recording each member's behaviour every 10 seconds. Ultimately the researchers registered a total of 952 days of behaviour, The New York Times reported.

The researchers discovered that media variation was almost the same across every age group. Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer at Turner Broadcasting, labelled the results as "amazingly consistent across the age groups."

However, 45-to-54-year-olds, spend on average an additional hour in front of a screen each day, according to the study.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-27 13:42

Free Italian afternoon daily 24 Minuti will stop publishing on April 1 due to "current market conditions," Newspaper Innovation reported Thursday.

Giancarlo Cerutti, chairman of the Il Sole 24 Ore Group, which owns the paper, said the market has given the company no alternative.

Metro, Italy's oldest free daily, will follow suit by closing down its Venice, Verona and Padova editions.

24 Minuti launched editions in Rome and Milan in 2006 and counted an unaudited circulation of 450,000. Italy has five surviving dailies, which make up a total free circulation of 4 million, according to Newspaper Innovation.

Author

Leah McBride Mensching

Date

2009-03-27 13:41


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