Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hearst to start charging for some Web content

It took awhile, but some newspapers are beginning to realize that they'd better figure out a way to make money off their Web offerings or they'll be out of business soon. Hearst announced that it will start charging for some online content. How much? That depends on the local newspaper executives, Hearst says. It only makes sense.

Friday, February 27, 2009

An obit for the Rocky Mountain News . . . and maybe for newspapers

One of the better columnists -- Mike Littwin -- writes an obituary for his newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News. It's not maudalin or sappy or even all that sad. It also sums up the feelings of lots of "newspapermen," as he calls them. I hope he's not writing the obituary for all newspapers; his reference to "suits" just seeming to watch newspapers die as they cut and hack up the product without seemingly any plan other than to just cut content (again, why should I buy the paper?)  looks way too familiar.

Starting today, Denver is a one newspaper town.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Online advertising appears ready to decline this year

In a big surprise, it looks like online advertising will decline this year, not continue to increase. It reflects the weakness in advertising in general since non-online advertising is also expected to decline. But it should make some who are saying that "advertising is fleeing print and broadcast for online" think a bit if that's true.  I'm still waiting proof that online advertising works for non-specific sales. Image advertising? I don't see how that works online.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

EXTRA, EXTRA -- A post that's not about the sad state of media economics

For a change of pace, here's some comment that's not economic gloom and doom -- instead it's criticism of the media in handling race matters this month. The blog, on the New Republic site, criticises handling of both Eric Holder's confrontational speech and the New York Post's controversial cartoon, which led to Rupert Murdoch's apology. It's a good change of subject.

The post says that the media, in general, blew both stories by letting overcoverage of the Post story overshadow the tough speech by our new attorney general. My personal problems in the media virtually always come when I think stories are underplayed or ignored, especially when they're overshadowed by what Kovach and Rosensteil call "info-tainment."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A balanced look at media business plans

There's been so much written about media business plans lately that I've grown weary of even posting to them. However, Advertising Age (long one of my favorite places) weighs in with a nice, balanced look at the world we live in now. It presents a balance in arguments for various models, and includes some details on the successful Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that successfully charges for online access, adding to this nagging sense I have that newspapers really blew it by not charging for online.