How much are those front-page Times ads?

January 6, 2009

Don’t ask The New York Times how much its new front-page display ads cost. The paper won’t say. That didn’t stop the New York Post from asking ad buyers. Here’s the answer based on anonymous sources:

Tax breaks (not bailouts) for newspapers

January 2, 2009

I ran a story on New Year’s Eve about the opportunities and perils that could face struggling newspapers if they end up surviving because of government help. I opened the story with the tale of Connecticut state lawmakers and a state commissioner who are trying to find someone to buy two Journal Register-owned dailies and several weeklies that are going to be shut down in January if they can’t be saved. From there, I explored the ramifications of government aid to newspapers.

Viacom, Time Warner Cable help get people out of the house

December 31, 2008

Viacom and Time Warner Cable are doing their best to make sure that television addicts around the country get a chance to go outside and stretch their legs come New Year’s Day. Of course, the reason they’re doing their part for physical fitness has little to do with ensuring the health of their viewers.******As Reuters reports, Viacom — the company run by financially challenged media mogul Sumner Redstone — provides programming to cable networks like Time Warner Cable for a fee. Now we’re at a time when Viacom and Time Warner Cable are renegotiating the fee, a regular occurrence. Equally regular are the disputes that arise as the negotiators try to determine what a fair price is.******The ultimate loser turns out to be you, the faithful TV watcher, because the last resort of companies like Viacom is to pull their programs off the air. The idea is that sends watchers into paroxysms of rage, usually directed at the cable company that they give all their money to every month. Eventually, the idea goes, the cable company cries Uncle! and agrees to pay more money to bring you the programming. Yes, your bill goes up too, as it always does.******Here’s a sample of what will stop being broadcast on Jan. 1: Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Hills.******And here’s a sample of the pre-packaged righteous indignation that you hear at times like this from the companies:***

Viacom: Time Warner Cable has dismissed our efforts at a fair compromise… As a result, we are sorry to say that for Time Warner Cable customers our networks will go dark as of 12:01 on January 1st.

Washington Post, Baltimore Sun will share content

December 23, 2008

The Washington Post and The Sun in nearby Baltimore will share some of their journalism, at least the stuff that they don’t try to kill each other to get first as they compete across the hedgerows and parkways of suburban Maryland. Here are some details from the release, sent out on Tuesday:

Newspapers hock their bargain basements

December 23, 2008

Good newspaper reporters have a knack for timing. They spot trends and tell readers about them before anyone else does. Their publishers have a knack for timing too — the bad kind.

from Summit Notebook:

WSJ reporters get, dig change

December 4, 2008

We and the rest of the media world that covered News Corp and Rupert Murdoch's acquisition of Dow Jones & Co had no shortage of reporters at The Wall Street Journal telling us how bad life was going to get. Among the complaints was the paper's increasing focus on politics and non-business news. Wasn't this "diluting the brand" as they say in mediaspeak?

Redstone’s last picture show

December 4, 2008

Media mogul Sumner Redstone appears to be sticking with his decision to not sell more shares in Viacom and CBS. Here’s the Financial Times:

Wikipedia wants non-geeks for posts

December 3, 2008

Here’s a blog entry from our San Francisco technology reporter David Lawsky:

from Summit Notebook:

Karmazin does it for love, not $

December 3, 2008

Sirius XM Chief Executive Mel Karmazin is a serial monogamist when it comes to stocks. No matter where he's worked, from Viacom to Sirius, he only buys stocks in those companies, he told the Reuters Media Summit in New York on Wednesday.

from Summit Notebook:

Tiger Woods, please come back!

December 3, 2008

The Professional Golfers' Association, like everyone else who's world depends on business, is teeing off into what executives like to call headwinds. While the PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem seemed pretty confident about the state of play at the Reuters Media Summit in New York, he didn't shy away from being perfectly clear about life without legendary pro Tiger Woods -- now out with a bum knee.