Life after Google: Schmidt eyes talk show shtick

GERMANY/What do you do after ten years running one of the world’s most successful and feared companies?

If you’re Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, it seems the role of television talk-show host holds some appeal. The 55-year-old Schmidt, who in April will hand over day-to-day control of Google to co-founder Larry Page, has been working on developing a show that would feature him as the host, according to the New York Post’s Page Six.

The article does not say exactly what type of talk-show Schmidt wants to emcee.

Will Schmidt, who has toiled in the tech industry for decades, cast himself as a feel-good self-help guru a la Dr Phil, or might he see a model of inspiration in Jerry Springer’s tireless work chronicling the everyday dramas and disputes of regular Joes?

If the morning crowd is Schmidt’s cup of tea, his timing may be perfect, following the recent news that Regis Philbin plans to retire.

But Schmidt may have something with a bit more gravitas in mind, given that he’s been working with Liza McGuirk, the executive producer of CNN’s “Parker Spitzer” program, according to the Post.

Break out the suspenders — CNN is hiring!

larry king 3CNN is hiring! And not just for the 9:00 pm time slot (for those of you who wear suspenders). The network just carpet-bombed Reuters employees’ in-boxes with a subject line that almost got the missive sent to the spam filter: “NEW OPPORTUNITY!”  A media company on a hiring binge is a very good thing indeed. More from the email:

Join the fastest growing global newsgathering organization! CNN Wires is expanding and we have the headcount to prove it!!

HIRING NEEDS for Newsdesk Editors, Editor/Copy Editor, and Supervising Editor!!!

AOL and its Content Strategy

AOL turned 25 today, prompting Chief Executive Tim Armstrong to make the rounds with co-founder Steve Case to celebrate the milestone. AOL has a colorful and much chronicled history, which we won’t go into detail here. What is most interesting to this reporter is  not AOL’s  past but rather its plan to pitch itself forward  as a content company just at the point when traditional media — we’re  looking at you newspapers –  are undergoing wrenching operational changes.

All of this is to say that content, especially good local content, is expensive to produce even when the plug has been pulled from the printing presses.

Yet AOL executives believe there is a vein to mine and have been snapping up professional journalists while casting wide nets to capture “citizen reporters” eager to get their names out by covering the goings-on and activities at the neighborhood level. AOL is hiring expensive professionals to complement inexpensive user-generated content tied to search engine optimization. Ad dollars, the company hopes, should follow thanks to its technology platforms that AOL believes can maximize ad revenue.

Look out: US online advertising seen down 5 percent

From the bearish forecast department: Screen Digest, a media research firm, issued an outlook today predicting a 5 percent decline in online advertising in 2009. Folks, we’re not talking about newspapers or network television or radio here. We’re talking about the Web.

Screen Digest put out the forecast in response to the IAB’s recent report on 2008, which showed Web advertising rose 10 percent. But the number that turned heads over at Screen Digest was IAB’s fourth quarter figure, which put online growth at a mere 2.6 percent.

Here’s what Screen Digest says:

Following the fourth quarter 2008 tipping-point, Screen Digest has revised its 2009-2010 forecasts for online advertising in the US. We now predict that all categories and subcategories except video will decline in 2009. Banner advertising (-8.8 per cent) will not be fully compensated by the double digit growth of online video, so that the Display category will be down 3.6 per cent. Search will shrink by two per cent and non-Display categories such as Classifieds will experience double digit falls. Overall, the total internet advertising market will shrink by five per cent (-4.8) in 2009 and only stabilize (+0.4 per cent) in 2010.

Media is dizzy for inauguration

It’s inauguration day – and that means media will be going all out. From wires to newspapers to TV and radio, correspondents will be covering every possible angle of the event. And they won’t have a problem finding an audience.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that this could be the most widely viewed inauguration in U.S. history, surpassing the 42 million who watched Ronald Reagan’s first swearing in.

Like everything surrounding the 2008 presidential campaign, the inauguration of Barack Obama dawns with broadcast media swinging for the fences. Not only are the usual suspects bringing their A teams, but cablers as diverse as BET, TV One, Al Jazeera and ESPN are offering live coverage of Obama’s swearing-in. MTV will focus on inaugural coverage in the evening.

Time Warner: It’s the hits, stupid

Far be it for us to be the umpteenth person to assail Wired editor Chris Anderson’s much quoted and yet much maligned book, The Long Tail, but Time Warner would rather keep churning out more “Dark Knights” and “Harry Potters” than fiddling down its long tail, thank you very much

The Long Tail, as you may recall, argues that thanks to the digitization of content and much lower cost of distribution, content producers will see more of their sales and profits being generated by niche content i.e. the long tail of their sales graph.

But Time Warner, by many measures the world’s largest media company, says that while it is seeing more niche content sales, it would rather the humongous profits you can make with a super hit like “The Dark Knight.”

Sanjay Gupta: He is a doctor AND he plays one on TV!

The Obama administration looks like it’s getting a 3-for-1 deal in CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta if it really turns out to be true that he will be tapped for the new U.S. surgeon general: He’s a celebrity, a journalist AND a doctor!

Here’s Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post with the scoop:

President-elect Barack Obama has offered the job of surgeon general to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the neurosurgeon and correspondent for CNN and CBS, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

Gupta has told administration officials that he wants the job, and the final vetting process is under way. He has asked for a few days to figure out the financial and logistical details of moving his family from Atlanta to Washington but is expected to accept the offer.

No election hangover at Time Warner

Today’s a key day for Time Warner. Despite all the worries about a downturn in advertising and consumer spending, the media company managed to post higher-than-expected results. What helped? The summer blockbuster “The Dark Knight” for certain, as well as CNN.

Strength at CNN shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise given the closely followed U.S. presidential election. But some of the numbers are nonetheless pretty impressive: for example, yesterday saw 27 million unique visitors and 276 million page views. Compare that to normal traffic of about 35 million page views.

Here at MediaFile, we just wish we could have demonstrated all of this noteworthy news with a Magic Wall or Hologram.

CNN: The most trusted name in t-shirts

It’s a tough time for the news business, so Time Warner’s venerable CNN is looking for a new revenue stream: custom-made t-shirts . Click on a tiny icon next to the site’s top news stories, and you can add the headline to an attractive “high quality American Apparel t-shirt” for the low price of $15.99. The Web 2.0 goodness doesn’t stop there: You can also share your t-shirt on Facebook or submit photos to CNN’s iReport citizen journalism site.

There’s more! ‘s Andy Baio discovered that with some rudimentary URL hacking, you can create a shirt — at least online — that displays whatever message you choose (it doesn’t seem to be possible to order up the shirt itself). This presents mischievous blogger-types with the opportunity to poke fun at various scandals and controversies.

Here’s one that’ll never see the light of day:


Submit your own CNN T-shirt headline in the comments section.

(Photo: Screenshot of CNN’s t-shirt site)