Robert's Feed
Oct 19, 2009

Gannett quarterly profit, ad revenue sink

NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Gannett Co Inc <GCI.N>, the
largest U.S. newspaper publisher, reported a lower quarterly
profit that beat market forecasts on Monday because of cost
cuts, while revenue fell because of a 28 percent drop in
publishing advertising sales.

Gannett’s profit beat reflects painful attempts to slash
expenses during the past year, from furloughing and laying off
workers to slashing pay. Similar moves at other publishers,
such as McClatchy Co <MNI.N>, which reported results last week,
have helped them beat Wall Street’s forecasts.

Oct 16, 2009

Martha Stewart clarifies Kmart comments after jab

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. home decorating expert Martha Stewart issued a statement on Friday expressing her appreciation for long-time retail partner Kmart, one month after saying the quality of her company’s merchandise had been diminished at their stores.

Discount retailer Kmart, and its parent Sears Holding Corp, are controlled by billionaire investor Edward Lampert. Stewart’s long-standing relationship with the store chain is coming to an end just as she is set to begin one with home improvement chain Home Depot Inc in 2010.

Oct 16, 2009

News Corp’s Murdoch says no talks on NBC Universal

NEW YORK (Reuters) – News Corp plans to examine Comcast Corp’s possible deal to take over NBC Universal to see if opportunities present themselves, but it is not involved in any talks, its top executive said.

“Like we do with everything, we will certainly have a look at that deal and see what opportunities are there, but we’re not in any negotiations,” Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch said on Friday.

Oct 16, 2009

Wasserstein’s death leaves media assets in limbo

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The sudden death of star dealmaker Bruce Wasserstein on Wednesday has sparked questions about whether the magazines he nurtured will survive in their current form without him.

Wasserstein, who died at the age of 61, considered journalism his second love after investment banking and counted several well-known media properties among his assets, including New York magazine and The Deal LLC.

Oct 15, 2009

McClatchy quarterly ad revenue falls, shares down

NEW YORK, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Newspaper publisher McClatchy
Co <MNI.N> reported a 28 percent drop in quarterly advertising
revenue and forecast further declines through the end of the
year, sending its shares down as much as 16 percent.

McClatchy, which publishes The Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee
and other papers around the United States, is the first major
newspaper publisher to report results for the latest quarter.

Oct 15, 2009

New York Times scraps plan to sell Boston Globe

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Times Co said it has given up its plan to sell The Boston Globe and related businesses after drastic cuts it imposed on the daily newspaper earlier this year improved its financial position.

The announcement caps a painful odyssey for the 137-year-old Boston Globe that began earlier this year when the Times threatened to close the paper if it could not get its unions to agree to deep cost cuts.

Oct 14, 2009

Thomson Reuters to buy Breakingviews

NEW YORK, Oct 14 (Reuters) – News and financial data
provider Thomson Reuters Corp <TRI.TO><TRI.N> has agreed to buy
privately held Breakingviews, accelerating its push into
business news commentary.

The Breakingviews board has recommended that shareholders
accept the offer, Thomson Reuters said on Wednesday, adding
that the transaction should close within eight weeks.

Oct 14, 2009

Bloomberg to buy BusinessWeek from McGraw-Hill

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Bloomberg LP will buy BusinessWeek magazine from McGraw-Hill Companies as the news and data provider seeks to reach a wider audience than its traditional clients in financial services.

The announcement on Tuesday comes after several rounds of bids by various private equity firms and publishers. Bloomberg was long seen as the most likely winner of the auction.

Oct 13, 2009
via MediaFile

Target makes the scene with a magazine


You know how it is when you take a trip to Target: You’re going to buy just that ONE THING that you need, and you’re going to keep it cheap. As you leave the store, you wonder how you dropped hundreds of dollars on things that you didn’t realize you needed until you walked into the store.Target is hoping to spawn a similar phenomenon on its website, where it has begun offering a magazine newsstand. Rather than starting from scratch, it has signed on Zinio, a digital publishing company that offers magazines and books from more than 350 publishers.Zinio will sell electronic versions of magazines on a page on Target’s website, either as single editions of current and older issues, or as annual subscriptions – usually at a discount. People can read them in a Web browser version or through an application that Zinio offers for download. This is similar to what they’ve done on other websites, like the one operated by Barnes & Noble.Yes, you can already look at online versions of magazines, Zinio Chief Executive Richard Maggiotto said in an interview. This is different, however, he said: “It’s a high-fidelity, robust magazine.” In other words, these titles, ranging from Elle to Woman’s Day to Seventeen, are meant to look — if not feel — like the print magazines they are replacing. Zinio and Target will share the revenue they get from each sale.Maggiotto declined to reveal specific goals, but said that he would be happy to see 1,000 or more new subscriptions (a month) come in during the first year of the Target partnership. So far, he said, Zinio sees about 60 percent of its magazine sales coming from archival or current issue sales, and about 40 percent from subscriptions.This might not be such big news on most other days, but it is coming after some cataclysmic events transpired in the magazine industry. With ad sales suffering, big publishers such as Conde Nast are cutting workers and titles, making some media experts wonder whether the good times are over forever. Digital revenue has failed to make up for print revenue losses, just like in the newspaper world. But every little bit helps, right? Apparently so. Maggiotto would not say who Zinio’s next partners are, but said that “there are 10 more in the queue.”(PS: Apologies to Tom Waits for stealing one of his lyrics for the sake of a headline. It’s from “Nighthawks at the Diner.” The photo is all Reuters)

Oct 11, 2009
via MediaFile

WSJ vs USA Today: Who has the biggest paper?


USA Today and The Wall Street Journal aren’t waiting for Oct. 26, the day North American newspapers report their latest circulation numbers, to begin tussling over which one has the biggest paper.Editor & Publisher made the first move on Friday when Jennifer Saba reported that USA Today was set to report that circulation fell “17% to 1.88 million for the six months ending September 2009, a drop of about 390,000 copies. The decline could also threaten USA Today’s position as the No. 1 newspaper in the country by circulation.” The news came in a memo from USA Today Publisher, David Hunke, to his workers.Spicy stuff, considering that when we write about its owner, Gannett, we say it is the largest U.S. newspaper publisher that publishes USA Today, the largest newspaper by circulation.The Wall Street Journal’s Shira Ovide wrote up the news too, adding this: “After USA Today’s memo, the Journal said it is now the largest U.S. newspaper by weekday circulation.” Andrew Vanacore at The Associated Press, featured the Jornal echoing that statement: “Dow Jones, the Journal’s parent company, declined to give out the newspaper’s circulation figures for the period, but spokesman Robert Christie said, ‘The Journal is now the largest newspaper by circulation.’”We wrote up the story too, going along the same lines. The next day, however, we got this statement from USA Today’s communications vp Ed Cassidy – a bit too late to run it as an update to our old story. Still, it piqued my interest in a big way because it doesn’t go along with the lines of what we reported earlier:

We are confident that even with this latest economic impact, USA TODAY will remain the nation’s number one newpsaper in total print circulation when the ABC statements are released October 26th.

So how do we figure this? It’s hard to conclude when the numbers haven’t come out yet. I suspect that both papers can make the claim to be No. 1 because the Journal is counting copies to subscribers who get only the online edition as adding to the total number of print subscribers. Newspaper publishers argue over whether those copies “count,” but it seems like they should considering that people pay for Web access in the same way that they do for print.Or am I wrong? Should circulation — a key measure for businesses of whether and how much to spend on advertising in newspapers — not count online subscriptions? I’m all ears.(Reuters photo: The Wall Street Journal)