Robert's Feed
Nov 24, 2009

Washington Post closing remaining U.S. bureaus

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Washington Post is closing its last U.S. bureaus outside the nation’s capital as the money-losing newspaper retrenches to focus on politics and local news.

“At a time of limited resources and increased competitive pressure, it’s necessary to concentrate our journalistic firepower on our central mission of covering Washington and the news, trends and ideas that shape both the region and the country’s politics, policies and government,” the newspaper’s top editor, Marcus Brauchli, wrote in a memo to employees that was obtained by Reuters.

Nov 24, 2009

Murdoch courts trouble if he blocks Google on news

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Rupert Murdoch has spent months complaining that Google is ruining the newspaper business, and now he wants to do something about it.

But, his proposal is a gamble, and one that could hurt News Corp instead of helping it.

Nov 19, 2009

BusinessWeek lays off up to 130 workers, AP cuts 90

NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Reuters) – BusinessWeek will lay off up
to 130 workers, about a third of its staff as Bloomberg LP
prepares to take over the magazine from McGraw-Hill Companies
Inc <MHP.N>, two sources at the magazine said on Thursday.

News of the job cuts comes on the same day The Associated
Press said it is laying off 90 news department workers, or
about 3 percent of its worldwide news staff, and capped a grim
week for journalists whose jobs at many U.S. news outlets have
been drying up in recent years.

Nov 19, 2009

Harbinger cuts New York Times stake again

NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Hedge fund Harbinger Capital
Partners cut its stake again in The New York Times Co <NYT.N>,
almost two years after it bought a big stake in a bid to shake
up the newspaper publisher.

Harbinger owns 14.64 percent of the Times Co’s publicly
traded shares, according to a filing with the Securities and
Exchange Commission on Thursday. In September, the hedge fund
reported a 16.38 percent stake.

Nov 17, 2009

Bloomberg hires Time editor for BusinessWeek

NEW YORK, Nov 17 (Reuters) – Bloomberg LP said on Tuesday
that Time magazine Deputy Managing Editor Josh Tyrangiel will
edit BusinessWeek after it buys the weekly business magazine
from McGraw-Hill Companies Inc <MHP.N>.

Tyrangiel, 37, will report to Bloomberg’s chief content
officer Norm Pearlstine, who knew Tyrangiel from Time Warner
Inc’s <TWX.N> Time magazine, where he was editor-in-chief.

Nov 12, 2009

Playboy in talks with Iconix to sell itself: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Playboy Enterprises Inc is in preliminary talks to sell itself to Iconix Brand Group, people familiar with the matter said.

At this point, the goal of Iconix, which owns and licenses clothing brands such as Candies, Joe Boxer, and Rocawear, is to bring in a publishing partner to buy Playboy’s namesake magazine while it would keep the brand licensing part of the company, one of the sources said.

Nov 10, 2009

Eager fans greet “Call of Duty” video game launch

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Activision Blizzard Inc’s hugely anticipated “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2″ video game went on sale on Tuesday, welcomed by eager fans who lined up hours in advance of the release.

The first-person shooter game is set to be one of the biggest and fastest-selling titles in history, challenging records set by blockbuster releases from the “Grand Theft Auto” series.

Nov 6, 2009

U.S. government likely to keep media rules strict

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Newspaper publishers and other struggling media companies want the U.S. government to help them survive the toughest times they have ever known, mainly by easing rules on how big they can get.

They will be lucky if they get any aid at all.

The Federal Communications Commission held meetings this week with policy experts and consumer groups to see if it should change rules that define how many people newspapers, television and radio stations can reach and that limit their size to protect free speech and allow for healthy competition.

Nov 5, 2009
via MediaFile

Talking with Thomson Reuters chief about print


Covering Thomson Reuters Corp for almost two years has taught me that people like to cast my company in a recurring role in media deal parlor games. Now that the company’s arch-rival Bloomberg LP will buy BusinessWeek magazine from McGraw-Hill, lots of my pals in the media world are wondering: Will Thomson Reuters buy a mainstream news or business news magazine? Or newspaper? Why not Forbes? Why not the Financial Times?Keep in mind that Thomson Reuters likes to remind people when they ask these questions that Thomson Corp, before buying Reuters, got out of its Canadian newspaper empire for a reason. (See below)I asked our chief executive, Tom Glocer, a question along these lines on a Thursday phone call he had with reporters to discuss the company’s third-quarter financial results.Here is what he said:

Thomson did a remarkable job, far earlier than any other company I know, of seeing what was coming and transitioning their business out of print for the most part… I don’t see any particular time or reason at this juncture why we should go the other way.

Later on Thursday, when I interviewed Glocer, we returned to this theme. (I can’t help it, I’m a print guy.) I used the Financial Times, owned by Pearson Plc and beloved of its CEO, Dame Marjorie Scardino, as a sample target:Here is Glocer’s reply:

When I came to London, Marjorie was famous for saying she would never sell the FT, or it would go “over my dead body.” There were many years in which the FT had fallen on harder times when people held that up as well: Marjorie has to go before the FT.