Browsing articles tagged with " newspaper"

Future of Media Preview: A Q&A with Globe & Mail’s Steve Ladurantaye

Feb 15, 2013   //   by admin   //   Blog, Future of Media 2013, Media blog  //  2 Comments

 

The Future of Media event is under a month away, and we want to whet your appetite for the insightful analysis from media leaders from across North America. We first told you about BuzzFeed’s Jonathan Perelman and his views on content marketing. Now you can learn more about the intersection of advertising and journalism from Steve Ladurantaye, media reporter for Canada’s Globe & Mail newspaper, who will also appear at our March 14 event in Toronto.

Ladurantaye covers print media, publishing, broadcasting, but also touches on issues related to sports and entertainment businesses. As he describes his work day, he spends “a lot of time reading financials and talking to executives about what they are doing to salvage their businesses in some of the toughest conditions the industry has ever seen.”

We chatted with him about the role of branded content in journalism, emerging business models for newspaper and where he sees the Globe & Mail in five years.

Since we’re talking about branded content at Future of Media, tell us what you think about the rise in brand journalism, both in Canada and abroad? Is this good for journalists? The media field?

Anything that helps replace the money papers are losing on the print advertising side is good for journalists, provided we’re not crossing any ethical lines as we blur editorial and advertising. And that’s where the biggest misconceptions lie – branded content isn’t the same as advertorial. For as long as there have been trade magazines and papers, there have been special sections that run off of an editorial calendar so that the ad department can sell around the content.
Steve Ladurantaye
But the advertiser has no say in the actual content, except maybe in a very broad sense (i.e. they’ll buy ad space as long as the stories are about a certain industry). So would a newspaper necessarily be all that interested in writing a series on the sustainable fibreglass Christmas tree industry? Probably not – but if an advertiser wants to underwrite that I’m sure there are some interesting stories to tell.

And while that’s all happening, the rest of the journalism gets to keep happening in the rest of the paper. Ideal situation? I’m not sure. But I personally prefer it to letting that money walk out the door permanently.

Your newspaper recently featured a piece about brand journalism. “Businesses that do it properly can create a huge competitive advantage, while increasing their credibility and relevancy in the marketplace.” Do you agree?

Sure. But first of all let’s call brand journalism what it is – it’s just PR with a fancy name. Think of how awesome it is for NASA to be its own broadcaster when it launches a piece of machinery to Mars and starts bossing it around. Is it good for the brand? I’m sure the positivity of it all casts a warm glow on the companies that do it well.

But I still think there’s something to be said for getting that same exposure from an outside source that is able to broaden the story, put it in context and package it in a way that makes it understandable. And this probably goes without saying – but in terms of the broader public discourse I’m not sure anyone would want to see a world where the main source of corporate news is the corporations themselves.

The media industry is still in turmoil. Paywalls are coming up to try to drive digital revenue. Social media managers are scrambling to ensure content goes viral. What do you see as a prescription for success for a print media outlet in Canada? What would you recommend to a publisher looking for advice?

If I was in a position to give publishers advice I’d be making a lot more money than the typical reporter, I suspect. But the one thing that I hear from a lot of people who spend their time thinking about this sort of thing is that the only advantage media companies have over their competitors at this point is staff – there are simply few other sources in any given community that can match the reporting firepower of the local newspaper.

Lots of other functions can be outsourced and centralized, but the true competitive advantage of companies who rely on content to make money are the people who generate that content. I think in the coming years we’ll see that owning and operating everything else – distribution, printing, HR, office management – will increasingly be seen as expensive luxuries.

Where do you see a publication like the Globe in five years from now? How will it look, how will it be consumed by readers?

I don’t think anyone knows that answer to that. The only thing we can do – and I’m speaking in generic terms here and not about any one paper – is make sure we’re investing the money that we are making now to build something that is going to start making money for us down the road.

What’s that going to be? Considering the pace of change and the way it’s accelerating – I think maybe we should start investing in news androids we can program to visit each subscriber’s house every morning. They could make them coffee and give them massages while reading them the day’s news. That would totally save journalism.

For our Q&A with Jonathan Perelman of BuzzFeed, also appearing at Future of Media on March 14, go here.

Report: Mayor Bloomberg considering Financial Times acquisition

Dec 11, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

by Andrew Moran (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the midst of purchasing the Financial Times? A new report came out Monday that suggested the billionaire media mogul is considering buying the print news outlet.

“Michael R. Bloomberg is weighing the wisdom of buying The Financial Times Group, which includes the paper and a half interest in The Economist, according to three people close to Mr. Bloomberg who spoke on the condition of anonymity to divulge private conversations,” wrote reporters Michael Barbaro and Amy Chozick. “Mr. Bloomberg has long adored The Economist, and his affinity for the paper, at least as a reader, has deepened lately.”

The New York Times reported that the “stars are aligning” for the sale of the Financial Times and that Bloomberg L.P., majority owned by Mayor Bloomberg, is seriously interested in acquiring it.

Pearsons chief executive Marjorie Scardino, who is leaving at the end of the year, has said that the newspaper has not put up a for sale sign – chief executive Rona Fairhead is also leaving in April. The mayor or his staff have reportedly declined to comment on the stories.

Although Bloomberg News generates revenue through online content, Bloomberg heading a print publication is still possible because it would purchase a well-respected daily content generator. It was noted that Reuters is a likely bidder for the financial newspaper.

The news outlet also reported that Daniel Doctoroff, a confidant of Bloomberg and the chief executive of the company, has said that he is rather skeptical on a deal that would involve purchasing a print newspaper. It should be noted that others close to Bloomberg have urged him to make a large digital acquisition, such as LinkedIn.

During a visit to the Financial Times headquarters in London, he was asked if he would purchase the newspaper, in which the mayor responded, “I buy it every day.”

At a book party held by the Bloomberg Family Foundation this past spring, he recalled a conversation he once had regarding newspapers and billionaires.“Someone said the only people buying newspapers these days are billionaires with egos,” said Bloomberg. “And then he looked at me and said, ‘Like you, Mike.’”

This article was previously published in Digital Journal [Link]

Photo via Center for American Progress

Toronto Star to introduce paywall in early 2013

Oct 29, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  1 Comment

by Andrew Moran (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Toronto Star publisher John Cruickshank announced Monday plans to introduce a paywall structure in 2013. Complete details of the proposed plan have not been released, but it is in line with other Toronto outlets, such as the Globe and Mail.

What other news organization in Toronto is going to enforce a paywall? That is the question on the mind of many Torontonians, who have been used to reading the news on the Internet for free for many, many years.

Readers who headed on over to the TheStar.com on Monday morning may have been surprised (or not surprised depending on your aptitude on the business of media) to learn that the Toronto Star is going to implement a paywall, a measure that offers its visitors a paid-subscription for full access to its content.

“This move will provide a new source of revenue for the Star that will help support our ability to provide readers of both our print and online editions with the best and most comprehensive package of news and information in Canada,” wrote Cruickshank in the announcement. “Under the plan, most print subscribers to the Toronto Star will receive free full access to thestar.com’s content, wherever and however they want.”

Full aspects of the subscription have yet to be released, including the costs, how to register and what features readers can access.The purpose of the subscription is to generate another tool of revenues, while also providing more news stories, video content and podcasts of news from across the Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere in Canada and around the world.

“These additional revenues will strengthen our ability to invest in quality journalism, both in print and online, and provide the high quality of news, information and opinion that our readers throughout the Greater Toronto Area and across Canada have come to expect from the Star,” added Cruickshank. “They will also allow the Star to bolster its long-standing focus on delivering accurate local, national and international news that matters to our readers.”

The Toronto Star joins the likes of the Globe and Mail and National Post of Toronto outlets adding a paywall. In the United States, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times have performed the same thing. If the Star is looking to make extra revenue, the New York Times posted its third quarter numbers, which include an 85 percent drop in profits.

Some of its readers have already commented that they will not pay for something that they can receive for free elsewhere. Google News offers hundreds of news agencies that provide the news of the day at no cost, such as the Associated Press and Reuters.

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]

Pew report: 23% of Americans read print newspapers, number continues to decline

Oct 15, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments


by David Silverberg

The number of Americans who say they read print newspapers continues to plummet, according to a new poll from Pew Research Center. Just 23 percent of Americans said they read a newspaper yesterday, while a year ago the figure was 41 percent.

Many news lovers prefer an outlet’s website to its offline format. Pew writes “55 percent of regular New York Times readers say they read the paper mostly on a computer or mobile device, as do 48 percent of regular USA Today and 44% of Wall Street Journal readers.”

Social media plays a role in discovering news, it was reported. Around 19% of the public says they saw news or news headlines on social networking sites yesterday, up from 9% two years ago.

When looking at Americans who say they regularly read a daily newspaper, 38 percent said they do, although this percentage also has declined, from 54 percent in 2004.

An interesting sidebar is the number of Americans who admit to regularly enjoying following the news. Currently, 43 percent say they enjoy following the news a lot, a decline compared with 45 percent two years ago and 52 percent in 2008, 2006 and 2004.

Journal Register Co. files for Chapter 11

Sep 5, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  1 Comment

by David Silverberg

The Journal Register Company will seek protection under Chapter 11 “and will seek to implement a prompt sale,” according to Digital First Media head John Paton. The U.S. newspaper company, known for its Digital First strategy, has already attracted interest from an investment group affiliated with Alden Global Capital.

“I am pleased to tell you the Company has a signed stalking horse bid for Journal Register Company from 21st CMH Acquisition Co., an affiliate of funds managed by Alden Global Capital LLC,” Paton wrote on his blog.

A stalking horse bid is an initial bid on a bankrupt company’s assets from an interested buyer chosen by the bankrupt company.

Should staff be worried? Paton says no, it’s business as usual. “Journal Register Company’s filing will have no impact on the day-to-day operation of Journal Register Company, Digital First Media or MediaNews Group during the sale process. They will continue to operate their business and roll out new initiatives,” he writes.

So why file for Chapter 11? Paton explains how the company exited the 2009 restructuring with approximately $225 million in debt. Print ad revenue has slumped 19 percent rom 2009 to 2011, and print advertising represents more than half of the of Journal Register’s revenues.

Digital revenues have soared, growing 235 percent between 2009 and 2011. But it’s not enough to make up for the print ad loss, Paton writes.

“And while I get this news may make some of you nervous, don’t let it. Concentrate on the job at hand and we will work through this,” he concludes.

When Journal Register last filed for bankruptcy in 2009, James W. Hall, the CEO at the time, promised it would emerge “stronger, leaner and more financially viable in the current environment,” Poynter writes.

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