Thursday media highlights

July 9, 2009

Here are some of the day’s top stories in the media industry:

New York Times Asks Subscribers: Is It Wrong to Charge for Online Content? (Poynter)
Bill Mitchell writes: “The New York Times is testing a price point of $5 a month for access to nytimes.com, with a 50 percent discount for print subscribers. The Times e-mailed a survey to print subscribers Thursday afternoon inviting their reaction to that pricing plan and asking a range of questions about online pricing.”

Murdoch papers paid £1m to gag phone-hacking victims (Guardian)
“The payments secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public figures to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data, including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills,” writes Nick Davies.
UK police won’t reopen Murdoch paper phonetap case (Reuters)

A is for abattoir; Z is for ZULU: All in the Handbook of Journalism (Reuters)
Dean Wright writes: “The handbook is the guidance Reuters journalists live by — and we’re proud of it. Until now, it hasn’t been freely available to the public. In the early 1990s, a printed handbook was published and in 2006 the Reuters Foundation published a relatively short PDF online that gave some basic guidance to reporters. But it’s only now that we’re putting the full handbook online.”

As Gannett’s Newspapers Suffer, Digital Side Sees Growth, More Hiring And Acquisitions (paidContent)
“As Gannett continues to be roiled with huge debt problems, an absent CEO, and hundreds more layoffs across its community newspapers, its digital division appears to be a sea of calm. In fact [...] things are going just fine on their respective ends,” writes David Kaplan.

Analyst Admits to Being ‘Dead Wrong’ After Disney’s ‘Up’ Is Big Earner (NYT)
“Dead wrong” is how Richard Greenfield of Pali Research put his related analysis in a research note. “The recent success of Pixar’s ‘Up’ (well ahead of our forecasts) has renewed investor confidence in Disney’s creative capabilities,” he added. “Up” has so far sold $265.9 million in tickets in North America and $35.4 million overseas, where it has only begun to arrive in theaters,” writes Brooks Barnes.

TiVo, Best Buy Form Alliance To Boost DVRs Available In Stores (WSJ)
David B. Wilkerson writes: “Best Buy also will use TiVo’s platform to market directly to consumers, offering tips and other information to help customers get more out of the two-way possibilities TV now offers. The company said it will ‘substantially increase the levels of marketing and merchandising of retail TiVo DVR devices, as well as other devices that may feature the TiVo user interface and platform in the future.’”

In other news:

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