Reuters blog archive
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.
That's not just for newspapers and websites, but also for his TV news channels, like Fox, and by implication, Sky, when viewed online, Murdoch said. However, when asked if he will be charging for celebrity photos from newspapers such as The Sun or News of The World, it was by no means clear he's figured out how to make visitors pay to view these other than by watching ads.
He said he's prepared to be first among his competitors to do this and considering introducing a paid-content plan for News Corp web sites in the company's current fiscal year that ends in June 2010.
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.
When it comes to wiretapping in the UK, the key question for Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp, is what did he know and when did he know it?
Murdoch's News of the World is caught up in new allegations that its journalists intercepted mobile phone voicemails of Hollywood celebrities and athletes. British police have said they are not re-opening a 2005 investigation, which saw the firing of then News of World editor Andy Coulson.
Nearly every powerful media and technology executive you can think of will be camping out in the idyllic and affluent ski resort town of Sun Valley this week. They have aimed their Gulfstreams squarely at Idaho so they can show up at the 27th edition of Allen & Co's media and technology conference, which investment banker Herb Allen holds every summer here.
That means nearly every media reporter you can think of will be hovering among the hedgerows and parking lots (and in the bar, naturally), waiting to get a few precious seconds with super-wattage movie executives from DreamWorks's Jeffrey Katzenberg to Paramount's Brad Grey, technology heavyweights such as Michael Dell and Bill Gates, media kingpins Philippe Dauman and Rupert Murdoch and fresh-faced startup darlings like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter's Evan Williams and Ning's Gina Bianchini.
Starting today Disney content will go live on Hulu, consumating a deal that was struck earlier this year to join the two-year venture with NBC Universal, News Corp and Providence Equity Partners.
The first few shows include popular fare from ABC such as Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty. This means Hulu is going from strength to strength in locking down its leadership as the place for watching TV on the Web.
News about the media industry:
Netflix looks to future but still going strong with DVD rentals (USA Today)
"Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings doesn't think his 58 distribution centers are in immediate danger of becoming obsolete, but he knows that day will come. He believes DVD rentals have four to nine years to keep growing, despite inroads in Internet delivery of movies to set-top TV boxes and other video-on-demand options," writes Jefferson Graham.
Is the bell tolling for Clear Channel? (San Antonio Express-News)
David Hendricks writes: "Analysts believe Clear Channel, now with about $22 billion in total debts, will have trouble making scheduled payments later this year. The company, already down to about 800 stations from its peak of about 1,200 stations, either will have to start selling stations itself or go into bankruptcy, where lenders will put stations up for sale."
News Corp Chief Executive showed up for his latest interview on the Fox Business Network (which he owns) on Monday. Here is a transcript of some of his remarks. He covered a lot of ground, from tonight's union concession vote at The Boston Globe to the future of newspapers and the inclusion of software on computers sold in China that will block access to certain websites. We are providing excerpts -- we trimmed for length, most notably excising his comments on healthcare and taxes (We know it's the Internet, but we had to shorten it up a bit. You can see or read the whole thing here.
On FOX Interactive possibly looking at job cuts:
"It's too early to talk about job cuts. ... We've put new management in there, they've been there three weeks and they're making a close examination of it and they'll no doubt set some new directions, strengthen other very strong parts of it, and you know, the advertising is at least double what Facebook has and it's in pretty good shape. But there will be, I'm sure, changes with the new management."
News Corp publicized in a government filing on Thursday an effort by investor Kenneth Steiner to force the media conglomerate to change the way it counts shareholder votes. Steiner outlined the proposal in a letter to News Corp that asked that his proposal be included. Here is what he said: