In DC media, newspapers sink, niche outlets swim

February 11, 2009

The interests of the paranoid and the preservers of the free press are converging: Mainstream media’s coverage of Washington, D.C., has shrunk to the point where big stories are being left uncovered. Meanwhile, more “niche” media outlets are moving in, but catering to the interests of the wealthy few.

Who needs press releases anyway?

February 11, 2009

BGC Partners apparently does not. The self-described global full-service inter-dealer broker of financial instruments issued this announcement on Tuesday (via press release on the PRNewswire press release service, of course):

Bold steps for helping newspapers (seriously)

February 10, 2009

Another good reason to read lots of newspapers: You end up coming across all sorts of crazy ways to save the newspaper business. One of the most interesting that we’ve found so far comes from The Dallas Morning News, where Lazard executive John Chachas lays out some bold steps that the U.S. government could take to help save the press. (No, we’re not talking about financial support or “bailouts”.)

Warning: Reporting on reporting is hazardous to your health

February 10, 2009

Covering the decline of the U.S. newspaper business is the extreme sport of journalism. Ask American Journalism Review, which is pleading for funds to help it survive. Here’s an excerpt from a letter I got in the mail this morning (haha. Letter. Paper.):

More Wall Street women, swimsuit-style

February 6, 2009

We made our share of waves when we reported last year that Playboy was recruiting women laid off from banking and finance jobs to pose nude in the adult entertainment magazine. The photos and accompanying article were supposed to hit in February, though we hear that it’s been pushed back to May.

Murdoch wants newspapers, just not The New York Times

February 6, 2009

Michael Wolff, author of the recently published Rupert Murdoch tell-all, “The Man Who Owns the News,” says that the News Corp chief executive would love to buy The New York Times. The only thing standing in his way is the Ochs-Sulzberger family which controls the Times. If they’re anything like the Bancrofts, former controllers of Dow Jones/Wall Street Journal, only an insane amount of money might persuade them to let go of the prized but struggling newspaper publisher.

Writing for your life at The New York Times

February 5, 2009

Who can blame a print reporter for wanting to get up to speed in the new media world, particularly at The New York Times? With ad revenue down and the future in doubt, it might seem worthwhile for reporters to keep themselves marketable. The union that represents the NYT’s reporters approves, but it suspects that some are making too many concessions. Here are excerpts from the memo:

AH Belo’s bonus bummer

February 5, 2009

Found on Romenesko on Wednesday: The Dallas Observer reports that AH Belo Corp paid out manager bonuses at the same time that the newspaper publisher said it would get rid of 500 employees. An accident of timing, especially as other U.S. newspaper publishers cut bonuses?  Here’s AH Belo Executive Vice President and Dallas Morning News chief Jim Moroney, quoted in an interview with the Observer:

New York Times *still* thinks about charging

February 4, 2009

Editors think it’s the kiss of death to include words like “still” in headlines and “continued” in first paragraphs. It’s like admitting to readers that you didn’t have anything new to report. So why do I say that The New York Times is still thinking about making people pay to get news on its website? Because Times Executive Editor Bill Keller told readers on Tuesday that the Times is still thinking about doing this — and that made for a lot of news.

Write this down: News Corp

February 2, 2009

News Corp is many things to many people. Its latest incarnation? Pinata.

Everyone is taking a whack at Rupert Murdoch’s international media empire these days as its stock languishes and it gets ready to report second-quarter financial results on Thursday. Newspaper advertising revenue is falling, the movie season hasn’t looked so hot so far, MySpace is unlikely to friend Facebook, the euro and the pound are hurting European operations, DVDs are dying and cable networks revenue doesn’t look like it will be able to compensate.