Reuters blog archive
Earlier this week I brought you the brewing circulation tussle between USA Today and The Wall Street Journal, and which paper will be able to claim to be the largest one in terms of circulation. You can read that here, but for the recap, here are the main points:
Editor & Publisher reports: USA Today was set to report that circulation fell "17% to 1.88 million for the six months ending September 2009, a drop of about 390,000 copies. The decline could also threaten USA Today's position as the No. 1 newspaper in the country by circulation."
The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press report that the Journal would be the largest paper by circulation, according to the Journal.
USA Today responds, "We are confident that even with this latest economic impact, USA TODAY will remain the nation's number one newspaper in total print circulation when the ABC statements are released October 26th."
As I wrote at the time, it seems that the Journal is counting print and online subscriptions together, and why not? Both are made up of paying subscribers. USA Today, of course, is counting printed newspapers.
We won't know until their circulation numbers are published on October 26 what the final, comparable figures would be. But today, the Journal revealed its latest numbers:
Circulation was 2,024,269 as of the six-month period ending in September 2009, compared with 2,011,999 in the same period a year ago. Individually paid circulation, a number that advertisers like to watch, grew to 1,437,853. That's impressive, having any growth at all.
Editor & Publisher made the first move on Friday when Jennifer Saba reported that USA Today was set to report that circulation fell "17% to 1.88 million for the six months ending September 2009, a drop of about 390,000 copies. The decline could also threaten USA Today's position as the No. 1 newspaper in the country by circulation." The news came in a memo from USA Today Publisher, David Hunke, to his workers.
Lest anyone doubt the thrust of Rupert Murdoch's speech on Thursday (or was it Friday? I'm losing track of time zones) at the World Media Summit in Beijing, it was all about paying for news -- as in: You're going to pay for news, and if you think it shouldn't cost you anything, you're a "flat-earther" and a "kleptomaniac."
For those of you accustomed to the News Corp CEO's occasional verbal ramblings and hints of ghosts of suggestions, this was a departure. He has gone on the record in great detail about his thoughts regarding paid news, but this is the first time that I recall him using fightin' words like "flat-earther."
Attendees at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York City asked both executives on Tuesday if they were interested in bidding for rights to broadcast the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Both answered the question in ways that sound different until you realize that they actually sound... the same.
Oracle Corp's (ORCL.O) acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc. (JAVA.O) could be delayed by up to four months if the European Commission's antitrust authority decide to launch an investigation into the $7.4bn deal. US authorities cleared the sale last week, but the EC is concerned over Oracle gaining ownership of the MySQL database product, sources familiar with the situation tell Reuters.
For this and the rest of the latest deals news from Reuters, click here.
And here's a round-up of other deals news reported in the press on Wednesday:
MySpace is looking to buy Web music service iLike for around $20 million according to several blogs. iLike co-founder Hadi Partovi declined to comment when we asked him and MySpace's PR team also declined to share details.
All Things Digital has the latest details of the deal which they say is around $13.5 million in cash, with a $6 million earn out for the founders which include Hadi's twin brother Ali who is CEO. Official confirmation of an agreement is being held up by "thorny tax issues" according to All Things Digital's sources.
Lots of news in online video world, some potentially significant.
And some we can only wait and see about.
Rupert Murdoch used News Corp's fiscal fourth quarter conference call on Wednesday to say he wants to be paid ANYTIME his news is read online. Perhaps he was just in a cranky mood, but most of the reporters listening to the call thinks he's going beyond what he's said many times before on the topic.
By most accounts, the 88 percent revenue share Yahoo will collect from its advertising partnership with Microsoft is a pretty darn good number. Obviously, 90 percent is even better. And that's exactly the share of revenue that Microsoft will pay Yahoo in the second half of their 10-year deal, according to a regulatory filing.******The filing casts more light on the details of the partnership. It also seemed to give a lift to Yahoo, whose stock rose slightly in early trade.******Here are five other key points from the filing ...*** *** At least 400 Yahoo staffers will join Microsoft. The two companies will select an extra 150 employees to help with Yahoo's transition to Microsoft's search technology.
*** A definitive agreement is due to be signed by October 27, or they head for an arbitration panel.
*** Microsoft is paying Yahoo about $50 million a year during the first three years of the deal to help with transition costs.
*** The deal is limited to web sites, applications and "other online digital properties designed for use and consumption on personal computers." But Yahoo can receive Microsoft mapping and mobile search if it wants.
*** Yahoo can kill the deal if the Yahoo and Microsoft's share of the U.S. query market falls below a certain level. Either party can terminate the deal due to repeated material breaches of the agreement.
***If you want more information on these provisions, or others, have a look here.******Keep an eye on:***
What's the Wall Street Journal's policy when it comes to story embargoes? PaidContent has the latest rundown (paidContent.org)
Google is doing a little wheeling and dealing. It is buying On2 Technologies, and has sold its Google Radio Automation business (Reuters)
Sirius XM Radio's stock has been on a run this week. Seems that investors are looking past what will likely be quarterly loss and focussing instead on new initiatives like "cash for clunkers" (Reuters)
*** Looking for a less expensive digital book reader? Sony's hoping to please (Reuters)
That question has got louder and louder from investors and Wall Street analysts concerned that YouTube owner Google is racking huge profit-hindering costs to be the free online video platform for the world. It seems Google's top guys don't know the answer either -- or if they do, they're choosing not to share it with reporters on Thursday.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt told a media briefing at Sun Valley that he believes YouTube, which his company spent $1.65 billion to acquire three years ago, will come good thanks to its recent launch of new advertising formats such as pay-to-promote and pre-roll ads. "We're optimisic that YouTube will be a strong revenue business for us because of these products," he told reporters.