The newspaper industry had a lot of bad knocks this year. Advertising revenue continued to decline, when just about every other media sector — like local broadcast TV, for example — rebounded beautifully. For newspaper companies the term “moderating ad revenue declines” has become the new flat.
Under the ownership of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the Wall Street Journal has made no bones that the New York Times is enemy No.1. But that hit list doesn’t stop at the Gray Lady. From time to time, the Journal pivots to set USA Today in its crosshairs — and its latest actions mark a move in that direction.
“My favorite 3D movie of all time is Jackass 3D,” Viacom’s Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said on Wednesday at Reuters Global Media Summit. The movie, which grossed $116 million in the United States, according to Box Office Mojo was “relatively low cost” and “significantly profitable,” Dauman said. “You’ll see more of that coming.”
Time Warner Chief Executive Jeffrey Bewkes stopped in at the Reuters Global Media Summit and shared his vision for a future where people will get all their entertainment needs on every device, like smart phones, tablets and computers– but said it must be easy for consumers.
Media executives love to go on about their love of the Apple’s iPad. But the tablet isn’t suited for everything. Walt Disney’s Anne Sweeney relayed her recent experience catching up on an ABC TV show using the popular tablet.
The news divisions at the big networks have been in a world of hurt lately as advertisers seek out younger consumers and viewers. This has lead to big cutbacks in staffing and resources over the years as the networks strive to keep profit margins from deteroirating even further.
I’ve always been thankful that my grandparents were good at playing the real estate game. Among their unlikely coups was buying a house in the 1960’s in Edgartown, the tony enclave on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, whose exclusive address had no correspondence to their income level. If they hadn’t bought it, there’s no way that my journalist’s salary would have been able to scoop up property like that. In the more than three decades that I’ve been going there, I’ve become a regular reader of the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette, the enormous broadsheet newspaper that has resisted the cost-cutting size reductions that many other newspapers in the United States have sustained.
It’s not hard to see why newspaper companies, saddled with plunging circulation and big iron presses , are so ecstatic over tablet devices. They bring a form of hope that hasn’t crossed this industry’s path since newspapers dominated classified advertising in the 1980s and 1990s making them fat with revenue and profits. Tablet computers, like Apple’s iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, just might spark renewed interest in wilted newspapers among consumers and help ease the legacy costs of paper and ink.
Add Orb TV to the list of devices that is attempting to bring the web to the TV. The Oakland, Calif.-based company launched the product on Thursday — a hockey puck shaped object (pictured on the left) that promises to deliver all sorts of content available on the Internet straight to your TV.