Earlier this week, New York Times media columnist David Carr asked the question that is on the minds of moguls everywhere: Is Google a media company?
AOL cut more than 900 jobs around the world today — 20 percent of its staff — and India took a pretty tough cut from the axe: 400 jobs, according to several sources, and 300 contractors, according to another source. The nice thing for Reuters is that we have a big bureau in Bangalore, not too far from AOL, and plenty of our people know other people there and were able to get important details about the job cuts.
Another high-level AOL executive is heading for the exit door after the company shifted its content strategy again with the $315 million acquisitionof the Huffington Post. David Eun (pictured left), the ex-Googler recruited by AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong to be president of AOL media and studios, is leaving. Eun is a causality of the Huff Po purchase that put the charismatic high profile founder Arianna Huffington in charge of AOL’s content.
Time Inc’s Sports Illustrated unveiled the details of another subscription plan for the Samsung Galaxy tablet computer and Android based smartphones — the print version of its parent Time Warner Inc’s “TV everywhere” idea currently touted by Chief Executive Jeffrey Bewkes. Like TV Everywhere, magazines everywhere charges one price for access to content across print and digital platforms.
Warren Buffett has always had a sweet spot in his heart for newspapers. Until he didn’t. In recent years, Buffet — once a paper boy, now a newspaper owner — has been quite vocal about the prospects of the industry. For instance in 2009 during a Berkshire Hathaway gathering in Omaha he told investors that the newspaper industry had the possibility of “unending losses” and that Berkshire would not buy most newspapers in the U.S. at any price.
It’s almost time again for the Super Bowl, which means this is when all the talk starts about those famous, and famously expensive, commercials. Just how expensive? Kantar Media came out with a study today that shows Anheuser-Busch InBev, Pepsi, Walt Disney, General Motors, Coca-Cola have combined to spend nearly $600 million on Super Bowl ads over the last 10 years. For those of you bad with numbers, that’s more than half-a-billion dollars. Keep in mind, General Motors wasn’t even part of the game for 2009 or 2010.
Tech nerds and gadget geeks over the age of 35 should have no trouble recalling the company Ziff Davis — a former publishing powerhouse home to such magazines as Computer World, PC Week and Red Herring. Ziff’s glory days were in the 1980s and 1990s and it scaled dizzying heights as its magazines groaned under the strain of advertising. Media observers would weigh issues of say Computer World for sport not unlike putting the September issue of fashion mags on the scales.
Innovation doesn’t know what day it is. It’s also true that we never seem to predict the most interesting things which actually do happen. Oh sure — years of speculation preceded Apple’s iPad announcement last January. But did anyone actually figure on the iPad?