MediaFile

Monday media highlights

Here are some of the day’s stories on the media industry:

‘Tonight Show’ Audience a Decade Younger (NYT)
“In Mr. O’Brien’s first month as host, the median age of “Tonight Show” viewers has fallen by a decade — to 45 from 55, a startling shift in such a short time. This audience composition means advertisers can now address almost exclusively young viewers on “Tonight,” and NBC is already contemplating a shift in how it sells the show,” writes Bill Carter.

Springer’s daily Welt dreams of going international – again (Reuters)

“German publisher Axel Springer plans to launch an international weekly edition of its flagship daily, Die Welt, in a 48-page tabloid format starting February 2010. Springer is still mulling distribution options but the paper will likely be available from airlines,” writes Nicola Leske.

Just the Messenger: Mediaite.com Focuses on Celebrity of Journalism (WP)
On the newly launched website, Howard Kurtz writes: “Mediaite paints with a colorful palette, even if its hues will appeal mainly to journalists and those who obsess over them. By hiring bloggers who worked for Mediabistro and the Huffington Post, Abrams has put together a sassy critique of media missteps and foibles, an overall take not driven mainly by ideology.”

Cubs sale finalized for TribCo (Crain’s)
“Tribune Co. has finalized a deal to sell the Chicago Cubs to a bidding group led by bond salesman Thomas Ricketts. Documents describing the fully financed deal were sent to Major League Baseball over the weekend, a source familiar with the negotiations said Monday. The value of the deal is between $850 million and $900 million, the source said.”

Food Network magazine is media’s next wave (MarketWatch)
“Hearst executives are very pleased with the magazine’s progress. The company started out by printing 300,000 copies last fall. Hearst now projects the publication’s rate base, the circulation figure that publishers promise to advertisers, will climb to 900,000 later this year and to 1.1 million in 2010,” writes Jon Friedman.

Wednesday media highlights

News about the media industry:

Netflix looks to future but still going strong with DVD rentals (USA Today)
“Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings doesn’t think his 58 distribution centers are in immediate danger of becoming obsolete, but he knows that day will come. He believes DVD rentals have four to nine years to keep growing, despite inroads in Internet delivery of movies to set-top TV boxes and other video-on-demand options,” writes Jefferson Graham.

Is the bell tolling for Clear Channel? (San Antonio Express-News)
David Hendricks writes: “Analysts believe Clear Channel, now with about $22 billion in total debts, will have trouble making scheduled payments later this year. The company, already down to about 800 stations from its peak of about 1,200 stations, either will have to start selling stations itself or go into bankruptcy, where lenders will put stations up for sale.”

Foes No More, Ad Agencies Unite With Internet Firms (NYT)
Eric Pfanner writes: “With consumers spending more and more time online, analysts say Internet companies and ad agencies have no choice but to work together to develop ways to make money from digital media.”

Tuesday media wrapup

News about the media industry:

Google Makes a Case That It Isn’t So Big (NYT)
“Google has begun this public-relations offensive because it is in the midst of a treacherous rite of passage for powerful technology companies — regulators are intensely scrutinizing its every move, as they once did with AT&T, I.B.M., Intel and Microsoft,” writes Miguel Helft.
> Graphic about Google share of all ads and online ads (Lost Remote)

Media and cable now the riskiest sector (Reuters)
“Default risk for the media and cable sector has risen from its already high levels a year ago, CreditSights said. Rising leverage, along with a protracted decline in advertising revenues that was accelerated by the U.S. recession, are behind the higher risk,” writes Dena Aubin.

Sun-Times seeks more time to reorganize (Crain’s)
“Lawyers for Sun-Times Media are asking for three more months to come up with an exit strategy, a request they considered “neither surprising nor remarkable.” The publisher currently has until July 29 to submit a reorganization plan,” writes Lorene Yue.

Who needs press releases anyway?

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):

In compliance with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent guidance regarding “notice-and-access” news releases, the company plans to discontinue issuance of full-text financial news releases via a wire service and will issue only advisory press releases notifying investors when new and material information is available on its websites.

This came out a few hours after General Motors used its website to disclose news that some people might think material: It is cutting 10,000 jobs. There was no press release issued through the normal distribution services.

SanFran gives five-year plan in 6-hour YouTube videos

At least San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has the good grace to look a little bit sheepish when he offers San Franciscans the opportunity to watch him talk city politics for SIX HOURS on YouTube video.

The mayor of the liberal, tech-friendly California city has broken the ‘state of the city’ speech into a handful of roughly 40-minute YouTube video segments which offers “the opportunity for you to spend one minute with me, one hour — as much as five or six hours if you choose,” he says in the intro.

Known for his support of gay marriage, Newsom delves into nearly every other issue, including a five-year plan.

Less news=good news, AP study says

brazilians-online.jpgWhat the world needs now is a little less news.

A new study by the Associated Press and “ethnographic research firm” Context-Based Research Group says people aged 18-34 are overloaded with facts and updates and have trouble connecting with more in-depth stories. At the same time, they yearn for quality and in-depth reporting while having difficulty getting immediate access to that content.

The study, which surveyed young adults in Britain, India and the United States, also helped the AP and Context develop a new model for news consumption after discovering that younger generations get their news in a dramatically different fashion from their elders.

Namely:

Participants in this study almost always consumed news as part of another set of activities and therefore were unable to give their full attention to the news. This is very different from previous news consumption models where people sat down to watch the evening news or read the morning paper. Multitasking prevented participants from becoming completely engaged with a news story and therefore interaction with the news was limited to headlines and news updates