Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Old Media turns Combative against New Media

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"There are not enough Indians in the world to defeat the Seventh Cavalry."
George Armstrong Custer

Old media turns combative against new media
By Kenneth Li

http://www.reuters.com/article/internetNews/idUSN084 7652320070508?pageNumber=3

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Leading media executives took a combative tone against Internet companies on Tuesday, suggesting that Big Media increasingly considers new content distributors like Google Inc. to be more foe than friend.

At a panel discussion on the second day of the 56th annual National Cable & Telecommunications Association conference, top executives said talk of the demise of traditional media in the digital age was overblown.

While new distribution technologies like the Internet and mobile phones are siphoning television audiences, media companies argued that the Web also brings new revenue streams.

But the discussion quickly moved to criticism of the perception that traditional media businesses are dead, and to the rampant copyright offenses enabled by new digital technologies.

"The Googles of the world, they are the Custer of the modern world. We are the Sioux nation," Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Richard Parsons said, referring to the Civil War American general George Custer who was defeated by Native Americans in a battle dubbed "Custer's Last Stand".

"They will lose this war if they go to war," Parsons added, "The notion that the new kids on the block have taken over is a false notion."

Time Warner defended its discussions on copyright protection with Internet search leader Google Inc., which another panel member, Viacom Inc., has sued.

Viacom, owner of the MTV and Comedy Central networks, is seeking more than $1 billion from Google and its online video site YouTube, accusing them in a lawsuit of "massive intentional copyright infringement."

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said on the panel his company had discussed working with Google and YouTube earlier than other major media companies, by virtue of the popularity of its programs on the Web and their resonance with young viewers.

Dauman said Viacom had little choice after failing to reach an agreement, as video clips of its shows were uploaded by YouTube users without its permission.

"So, it was only reluctantly after trying for a long period of time, to reach a deal that we found that we could not tolerate having our content taken, when we've got Brian and Dick and others compensating us for it," Dauman said, referring to Comcast Corp. Chief Executive Brian Roberts and Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons.

"We were forced into it," he added.

Google, whose advances in applying its Internet paid search technology to the television industry, radio and print has spooked traditional media companies, owns a 5 percent stake in Time Warner's AOL Internet unit.

"We're in a world where we're a partner with everybody and we're fighting everybody," News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin said on the panel.

Despite the attention from Wall Street, the media industry and the press, executives said the percentage of overall sales contributed by digital businesses remained small and they should be mindful of destroying existing lucrative businesses.

"The amount of money we get from those (Internet companies) are a fraction of those we get from the cable industry," Chernin said. "We have to be careful not to disaggregate."

News Corp. is likely in a position to know how enemies today could turn into friends tomorrow.

A source familiar with the matter said News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media, which oversees its popular Internet social network MySpace, had reached a preliminary deal to buy photo sharing site Photobucket for an estimated $250 million.

MySpace last month blocked traffic coming from Photobucket after the photo service began running ads on photos displayed on MySpace sites. MySpace said it had violated its service terms.

"You'll see more acquisitions," Chernin said. "This is a world where the big get bigger. You'll see increased consolidation."

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    Bill Gates: Reading to Go 'Completely Online'

    "Heard on the Web" Media Intelligence:
    Courtesy of BoSacks and The Precision Media Group
    America's Oldest e-newsletter est.1993
    Precision Media Group

    "Be an explorer...read, surf the internet, visit customers, enjoy arts, watch children play...do anything to prevent yourself from becoming a prisoner of your knowledge, experience, and current view of the world."

     Charles Thompson

     

    Media to move to Web, Gates says
     

    By Benjamin J. Romano
    Seattle Times technology reporter

     

    Microsoft thinks the advertising business model for traditional media - venues where advertisers still channel most of their spending - will fall apart faster in the coming five years.

    Meanwhile, it's positioning itself as a prime location for the kind of interactive, targeted advertising that is defining the Web and other digital media.

    Chairman Bill Gates spelled out his vision of the future of media Tuesday, in front of about 1,000 advertising professionals in Seattle for Microsoft's Strategic Account Summit of its top advertising customers.

    "We're saying newspapers will go online, and there will be massive innovation that comes out of that," Gates said. "We're saying that TV, the biggest ad market in the world, will completely go online and have the kind of targeting interaction that you only get out on the Web today.

    "As dramatic as things happening on the Web are, that's actually what all advertising ... will be in the future."

    Gates painted a grim picture of the transition for traditional media.

    "I have a lot of friends in the newspaper industry and, of course, this is a tough, wrenching change for them, because the number of people who actually buy, subscribe to the newspaper and read it has started an inexorable decline," he said.

    With that decline, Gates said, advertisers are shifting their budgets to new areas.

    They will spend about $445.5 billion globally in 2007, according to ZenithOptimedia's most recent quarterly forecast. Of that, online is expected to get 7 percent of the pie compared with newspapers' 28.3 percent.

    By 2009, online is forecast to grow to 8.7 percent, while newspapers dip to 27 percent.

    Not everyone agrees on the pace of the transition to digital media and the demise of traditional forms.

    "The timeline between now and when that happens I think is questionable," said David Cohen, executive vice president at Universal McCann. His agency is an arm of the McCann Worldwide ad agency, which counts Microsoft among its blue-chip clients.

    "I know that the newspaper industry is definitely going through an evolution, but ... there's still a tremendous amount of circulation in some of these markets," Cohen said.

    Microsoft is developing an array of advertising inventory and media content to connect advertisers with consumers and claim more of the growing online ad market.

    The company is also producing the tools and platforms - such as MSN, the Xbox game console, mobile devices and its new online video technology, Silverlight - to create and distribute the ads themselves.

    "There are very few companies that have such a wide range of digital assets that you can run messaging across all those platforms," said Cohen, who works with clients including Johnson & Johnson, Intel, Bacardi and the U.S. Army.

    He said Microsoft's challenge is to link all of those platforms to give advertisers a comprehensive profile of a consumer - her preferences, what ads she viewed in the last month and which ones she acted on.

    "That's the code that they're trying to crack, and if they do, they'll be unmatched," Cohen said.

    It makes Microsoft's rivalry with Google for online advertising more interesting, he said.

    Google dominates the search-advertising industry by drawing so many more people to its search engine.

    "Google is obviously a great, fierce competitor," Cohen said. "They're doing lots of stuff right, but I think you can argue that they don't have nearly the range of assets that a Microsoft brings to the party."

    Gates gave other specific examples of old media facing withering competition from new technologies.

    He said IPTV, the underlying technology for TV over the Internet, makes traditional broadcasting obsolete, supplanting the model in which one show goes to many viewers who may or may not be interested.

    The IPTV model presents opportunities for advertisers to tailor messages to viewers.

    "In this environment, the ads will be targeted, not just targeted to the neighborhood level ... but we'll actually know who the viewers of that show are," Gates said.

    In a nod to how key the advertising effort is to Microsoft, Gates plans to focus on online services, search and advertising for the remainder of his 15 months working full time at the company. He plans to transition to full-time work at his philanthropy in summer 2008.

    In another nod, the company gave each of the summit's attendees a Zune digital music player and a copy of Office 2007.

     
     
    Bill Gates: Reading to go 'completely online'
    Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog
    http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/115076.asp

    Bill Gates offered his take on the future of media and advertising during his address this morning at Microsoft's Strategic Account Summit online advertising conference in Seattle. It's not a new subject for the Microsoft chairman, but he went into a considerable amount of detail, more than I can remember him saying on the topic in the past. Some of his comments:

    Gates at SAS
    Bill Gates speaks in Seattle Tuesday morning. (ANDY ROGERS / SEATTLE P-I)

    On the printed page vs. the screen: "Reading is going to go completely online. We believe that as we get the smaller form factor, the screen has gotten good enough. Why is reading online better? It's up to date, you can navigate, you can follow links. The ads in the online reading are completely targeted as opposed to just being run-of-print, where many of the readers will find them completely irrelevant. The ads can be in new and richer formats. In fact the only drawbacks of the digital form are the things associated with the device: how big is it, heavy is it, how many hours of power does it have, how much do I have to spend to buy it? But those are things that once you achieve that threshold, in terms of the convenience and the cost, then you see a dramatic change in behavior. Today, for people who read newspapers and magazines, even the most avid PC user probably still does quite a bit of reading on print. As the device moves down in size and simplicity, that will change, and so somewhere in the next five-year period we'll hit that transition point, and things will be even more dramatic than they are today."

    On television: "This is a subject I think about a lot, because it was actually about a little over 10 years ago that Microsoft first got involved in this idea of changing TV from being a simply broadcast medium to being a targeted medium (through its IPTV initiative). ... In order to have this be targeted, you cannot send it over the airwaves. There's just not enough capacity to broadcast thousands and thousands of different video feeds. And that's where the Internet comes in. The Internet is now cheap enough that the idea of having every household in America watching a different video feed has become practical. There's some infrastructure improvement that that implies. Actually, that's very much under way. ... It's a dramatic change in TV. ... Broadcast infrastructure over these next five years will not be viewed as competitive. The end-user experience and the creativity, the new content that will emerge using the capabilities of this environment will be so much dramatically better that broadcast TV will not be competitive. And in this environment, the ads will be targeted, not just targeted to the neighborhood level, but targeted to the viewer. ... We'll actually not just know the household that that viewing is taking place in, we'll actually know who the viewers of that show are, and so it's a very rich environment."

    On printed newspapers: "The media itself will be quite, quite different. Who can create this media, who can distribute it? How do you find what you're interested in? I have a lot of friends in the newspaper industry, and of course, this is a tough, wrenching change for them, because the number of people who actually buy, subscribe to the newspaper and read it has started an inexorable decline. In fact, when we look at it by age group, it's quite dramatic how different that is. People have found some combination of TV and the Internet as the way that they can get their news, even the local news that historically was only available in that print form."

    On print newspaper advertising: "For many years, even as readership started to go down, the value of print advertising maintained itself, because the dollars per user sort of offset these subscription declines. Now it's getting to the point where people are shifting budgets into the new areas. That's a very tough challenge. It means they need to take a lot of their skills, a lot of their expertise and move it into that Internet world. But it's a very different world, it's not a world where you have a single person who can deliver things like the classified ads. You have many people competing. So it's fascinating to look at job markets within a city, or the nationwide job markets and look to the degree it's new people who have done that well or it's traditional media people who have come in. One thing we can say for sure: It's a far richer experience for the person who wants to list and find that job and far more competitive in terms of the rate of innovation that those things are going to take place. The Internet is like a lot of things -- the only sure winner, with the breakthroughs, are the consumers themselves."

    On printed Yellow Pages listings: "The Yellow Pages are going to be used less and less. When you go to this service that's going to take our technology and Tellme technology that we acquired, when you say something like "plumber," the presentation you get will be far better than something you get in the Yellow Pages. After all, we know your location, and so we can cluster around that. We can take the information and show you the names, and you can expand the information easily. These things always take time, but Yellow Page usage among people, say, below 50, will drop to zero -- near zero -- over the next five years."

    Posted by Todd Bishop at May 8, 2007 10:20 a.m.

    Precision Media Group

    "Heard on the Web" Media Intelligence: Courtesy of The Precision Media Group.
    Print, Publishing and Media Consultants

     Contact - Robert M. Sacks 518-329-7994 PO Box 53, Copake NY 12516
     
     
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    BoSacks Speaks Out: Paid Circ Is What Matters says Ad Chief to Publishers

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    BoSacks Speaks Out: Paid Circ Is What Matters

    Well, here you have it. Right out of the very mouths that feeds us. Please read this article and think about our pursuit of metric changes. And while you're mulling it over . . . I have these two statements for you from the article below:

    " . . . our business decisions, like yours, are driven by facts and results,"

    Publishers of newspapers and magazines have tried to shift advertisers' focus to overall audience from the established metric, paying subscribers and newsstand buyers.

    Get that? . . . The advertisers want facts and results . . They want paying buyers and paid subscribers . . . not fluff, not subterfuge, and surely not smoke and mirrors.

    So it seems that we need to look deeply within ourselves and our current business models to deliver what is increasingly becoming the demand and mantra of advertisers and media buyers: Accountability
    -30-

    "Bush, Congress, the mayor - each of them are symptoms of a bigger problem, that we don't have accountability for disasters or challenges of this scale. That's all the public wants in trying times - accountability."
    Michael Chertoff

    Macy's Ad Chief to Newspapers: Paid Circ Is What Matters
    At NAA: Readership May Be Up, but Macy's Wants to Target
    NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- When the latest round of newspaper circulation reports again revealed that paid circulation was continuing to fall, industry advocates pointed out that newspaper readership -- including websites and pass-along copies -- is growing. But Macy's ad chief told newspaper executives today that paid circulation still matters more.

    Winning ad dollars, says Macy's Anne MacDonald, requires one thing above all: 'You need to be winning in the marketplace.'

    That's because the brand wants to reach its target customer repeatedly and through a platform that matters to her, said Anne MacDonald, president-CMO, Macy's corporate marketing, during a talk at the annual Newspaper Association of America conference. "What we try and do is make sure that we talk to her on a continuous basis," she said.

    Not swayed by emotion
    Earlier Ms. MacDonald told the crowd she is an "absolute newspaper junkie" and wants to see the business regain its footing. "But our business decisions, like yours, are driven by facts and results," she said. "And they can't be driven by emotion or personal predilection."

    Winning ad dollars, she said, requires one thing above all: "You need to be winning in the marketplace."

    Publishers of newspapers and magazines have tried to shift advertisers' focus to overall audience from the established metric, paying subscribers and newsstand buyers. Part of the drive reflects growing research suggesting that eyeballs are eyeballs -- as they are in other media -- regardless if anyone paid 50 cents, a dollar or $5 for a publication. But it also dovetails with the reality that free readership, particularly online, is the one circulation measure showing growth.

    The perspective from Macy's is particularly important because its parent, Federated Department Stores, buys more than $1 billion in measured media each year, including around $830 million worth of newspaper space. But Federated and Macy's are increasingly looking at national TV and magazines over its stores' traditional homes such as spot TV and newspapers.

    Leveraging content online
    Ms. MacDonald agreed that newspapers' online plays are important, to the point that publishers' frantic recent efforts aren't close to sufficient. "You need to be much, much more aggressive in leveraging your content online," she said.

    But turning around paid circulation declines will require an advertiser's approach, Ms. MacDonald said. "Newspaper will need to think more like brands and more like marketers," she said. "Show the consumer the value in your reports and your columnists."

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Macy's to Newspapers: Engage Audiences

    By Seth Sutel, AP Business Writer
    Macy's Chief Marketing Officer Delivers Tough Love Speech to Newspapers

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The chief marketing officer of Macy's department stores delivered tough talk to the newspaper industry Tuesday, telling a publishing conference why her company is moving ad dollars to other media such as TV, magazines and the Internet. Anne MacDonald, a self-proclaimed newspaper "junkie" who keeps stacks of them around her home and reads several each day, told publishers they need to do more to win back business from Macy's, which is part of Federated Department Stores Inc.

    With Macy's now a national brand following Federated's acquisition of May Department Stores, the chain is turning increasingly to media with a national reach such as fashion magazines, television and Web sites, she said.

    Newspapers are still effective at delivering local messages, she said, but need to do more to engage Macy's shoppers -- primarily women aged 18- 54.

    "In order for your newspapers to be winning our advertising dollars, you need to be winning in the marketplace, and that's not currently the case," MacDonald said in a keynote talk at the conference held by the Newspaper Association of America.

    Analysts and investors have long been concerned about the decline in ad spending by department stores, and in particular Macy's, as they become national brands and less likely to use local media such as newspapers. Also, newspapers have been struggling with declining circulation and ad dollars as more people get their news online.

    Among MacDonald's several suggestions for change was for newspapers to collaborate more effectively across regions and with each other in selling advertising, which would allow national companies such as Macy's to reach a broader audience.

    As it is, individual ad buyers for Macy's stores deal with individual newspapers on advertising plans. "That's not productive for either of us," MacDonald said.

    She pointed to her own industry, department stores, which had to undergo significant changes over the past several years to adapt to competition from online stores, television shopping channels, big box retailers and discounting clubs.

    Macy's, she said, is seeking to establish itself as a more upscale, fashionable brand and drive foot traffic even when there aren't promotions, and is still trying to understand how customers are changing the ways they shop. "Like us, you must change the way you think," she said.

    MacDonald pointed to the example of her two favorite sections of her hometown newspaper, The New York Times. Every week she pulls out the science and dining sections and reads them first.

    If the Times were to somehow deliver those sections to her wrapped on the outside, she would be impressed that the publisher had learned something about her reading habits, she said.

    She also issued a plea to publishers to collaborate with advertisers on research to better understand the rapidly evolving habits of their customers. The idea was immediately embraced by Jack Sweeney, publisher of the Houston Chronicle, who asked MacDonald how to find out what questions they needed answered.

    Mark Contreras, senior vice president for newspapers at E.W. Scripps Co., called MacDonald's remarks a "very thoughtful call to action for newspapers to pay very close attention to. .. . We have the wherewithal to meet many of their needs."

    Original Source Link


    Responses to all Articles and Bo-Rants are greatly encouraged and may be included in " BoSacks Readers Speak Out"

    "Heard on the Web" Media Intelligence: Courtesy of The Precision Media Group.
    Print, Publishing and Media Consultants Contact - Robert M. Sacks 518-329-7994 PO Box 53, Copake NY 12516


    Publishing Links and News
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  • Contact Information
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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    Precision Media Group | PO Box 53 | Copake | NY | 12516

    New York mag is to journalism what The Eagles were to rock

    Adam's Apple
    Adam Moss is America's most celebrated editor. So why is New York magazine such a bore?
    By John Cook
    http://www.radaronline.com/features/2007/05/adam_moss_new_york_magazine_1.php


    ADULT CONTEMPORARY Much like The Eagles, New York magazine is solid, respectable, and often lameThe most successful album in the history of recorded music is a greatest hits compilation by The Eagles. It has been purchased 29 million times since its release in 1976. This fact has long been a cause of consternation to people who care about rock music. It's not so much that The Eagles were an execrable band (which they were), or that they outsold worthier competitors like Michael Jackson or Led Zeppelin (which they did). It's that The Eagles should have been the best rock band ever, but instead opted to remain a slick and empty confection. All the elements were there—exquisite harmonies, some truly beautiful songs, gifted musicians—but somehow the expensive ingredients all collapsed into a flaccid soufflĂ© of radio-ready pabulum. Notwithstanding their success, The Eagles are now generally remembered as either the worst good band or the best awful band of their era.

    Why can't I remember anything I've read in 'New York' over the past two years? Because all too often it's a magazine without elbows—or a spine, or a pulse.Which brings us to New York magazine, the title that swept the National Magazine Awards last Tuesday in five categories, including general excellence and design. Despite all its recent accolades, New York is to journalism what The Eagles were to rock: a technically flawless assemblage of expertly crafted elements that look, on paper (as it were), as though they ought to translate into a superb magazine, and yet somehow still manage to suck.

    Superficially, of course, there is much in New York to justify its current ascendancy, which is now so clearly entrenched that former Newsweek chief Mark Whitaker joked at the NMA ceremony that editor Adam Moss had replaced the New Yorker's David Remnick in the top slot of the city's rigidly delineated media hierarchy. Moss, who took charge of the magazine three years ago after a long stint at the New York Times Magazine, has proven himself a brilliant technician. The New York that he redesigned is a precision-machined and conceptually refined Platonic ideal of magazine-ness.

    Each issue is beautifully laid out, from the cool, sepia-toned headshots illustrating Intelligencer to the playful schematics and illustrated sidebars in the feature well to the arresting product shots that open the Strategist (yeah, the antique doorknobs are $200, but they still look great) to the Boy Scout Handbook-style instructions on basic culinary tasks in the food section. With the exception of Jim Cramer, the writing is generally crisp and felicitous, and the editorial voice of the magazine—as expressed in coverlines, headlines, captions, etc.—is, while relentlessly white and privileged, clever enough.

    So why can't I remember anything I've read in New York over the past two years? Because all too often it's a magazine without elbows—or for that matter, a spine, balls, or a pulse. Good stories are pointy things that lodge in the brain. But to open New York is to sluice the same robotically calibrated sensibility over the same well-worn neural pathways week after week. The collective judgment of the NMA panel notwithstanding, New York is frosty, astringent, soulless, and so risk-averse as to leave the reader desperate for the dressed-up tabloid stories of its glory days. Reading it is like eating a bowl of ice shavings prepared by Jean-George Vongerichten. (Full disclosure: I once met with Moss to discuss potential employment at New York, I've pitched its editors and been rejected, the editor in chief of Radar used to work there, and my wife has written in its pages.)


    MOSS GATHERING The editor collects all five of his 2007 National Magazine AwardsWas anyone surprised, for instance, by anything that appeared in April's "Sex and Love" issue? That Katie Roiphe, whose career rests on her ability to spin her own sexual experiences into what she takes to be transgressively counterintuitive polemic, would reveal that going through a divorce actually makes one "jangly" and "productive" and that the kid will turn out just fine? That the "sexually frustrated dad" who submitted a "sex diary" didn't screw his wife while she was menstruating, or that the gay 38-year-old magazine editor's diary included a sexual dream about a coastal estate in Maine that he termed "a real-estate fantasy"? (The term "real-estate porn" had heretofore been deployed as a metaphor to describe New York's voyeuristic and obsessive approach to the beat; now it has become a reality. Also, expect an "Is the coast of Maine the new Hamptons?" story this summer). Did anyone even blink when Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell's head popped up in the background of a photo (on page 51—check for yourself) taken at Ariel Levy and Amy Norquist's wedding that accompanied Levy's piece on the fact that lesbians now marry, and that their marriage ceremonies tend to differ in substantive ways from the marriage ceremonies of heterosexual couples?

    The Mossian feature must be about something other than what it appears to be about—it must say something meaningful about The Way We Live Now.You can't always see it, but Gladwell's head is tucked away somewhere, Waldo-like, in each page of New York. Though he writes for the the New Yorker's momentarily deposed David Remnick, Gladwell is a principal practitioner of the style of maddening posturing that has increasingly infected New York's stories. The magazine earned its stripes in the '60s by pioneering a new genre of rollicking, narrative-driven, first-person journalism. But New York, in its current version seems constitutionally incapable of telling a good story. The Mossian feature must be, as per Gladwell, about something other than what it appears to be about—it must say something meaningful about The Way We Live Now, to borrow a preposterously pretentious phrase that Moss bestowed on the front-of-the-book section of the New York Times Magazine during his tenure there. So Adam Sternbergh's account of the development of the High Line in last week's issue is not actually about the development of the High Line—which would have been sufficient. It's actually a treatise about how New York commodifies its own self-generated nostalgia, or some such.

    Likewise, David Amsden's profile of Mets third baseman David Wright isn't really about David Wright but about his "mechanized" persona of "pure packaged Americana," as telegraphed in the subheadline of the article: "David Wright is the perfect New York sports star—almost too perfect." And Steve Fishman's 2005 profile of Ilario Pantano, the Marine lieutenant charged with murdering two Iraqis, was as much about how a hunky Horace Mann grad and Goldman Sachs trader wound up doing something so vulgar as serving in Iraq as it was about his case.

    Of course, despite the magazine's meta-version to narrative stories, good features frequently slip through the cracks. While New York has access to some of the finest magazine writers in the country, their efforts are undercut by a prim editorial voice that is more concerned with analyzing what it all means than with who did what and why. In its high-minded effort to avoid anything resembling gossip or impudence, the magazine regularly manages to turn even the most juicy tales of power, sex, and violence into uptight, cerebral dispatches that seem more suited to the New Republic than New York. After Ron Perelman's public, bilious split with Ellen Barkin, featured on a March 2006 cover, New York couldn't resist the impulse to elevate the irresistible tabloid tale into a dreary sociological exegesis, politely headlined "Divorce: How the Rich Call it Quits."

    Moss's devotion to this overthought, pre-packaged style, says a former colleague, is so complete that writers can seem like obstructions to his grand designs. "Adam would talk about the need to 'writer-proof' stories," the source said. "Define the story in such a way that the writer won't ruin it for us."

    That's the attitude of an editor who is so intolerant of risk that he views the very engines of his magazine as potential saboteurs. New York takes no chances, climbs out on no limbs, plants no flags. It is the only magazine, with the possible exception of Christianity Today, in which you will find photographs of clothed (!) virgins illustrating an issue purportedly devoted to sex, to cite just one missed opportunity for mixing it up.

    Tina Brown, the trailblazing editor of Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, and Talk, certainly has her own well-chronicled faults as a magazine editor, but she famously remarked—correctly—that "an act of bad taste in every magazine is very important on a regular basis," an axiom that also explains the difference between Robert Plant and Don Henley. One thing that Moss's New York cannot be accused of is bad taste. It is never exercised, never angry, rarely funny, and never, ever profane. According to New York lore, founding editor Clay Felker's vision for the magazine amounted to something along the lines of a more lively, energetic, crass—in a word, Jewish—version of the New Yorker, which at the time was a paragon of WASPy propriety. In 1965, when New York was still a Sunday supplement to the New York Herald Tribune, Felker assigned Tom Wolfe a hit piece on New Yorker editor William Shawn that attacked the magazine as "the land of the walking dead" and tossed in several transparent and mocking falsehoods, including an assertion that Shawn was one of the intended victims of Leopold and Loeb, for good measure. That biting, obnoxious ethic is long gone, and Moss's New York is much closer in spirit to Shawn's New Yorker: Timid, bloodless, and respectable.
    New York's most egregious sin is that it's aimed at such a narrow sliver of the city. It's become the bible of the ultra-entitled New Yorker, the kind of person who would actually spend $200 on a doorknob described in the magazine as a bargain.New York's most egregious sin is that it's aimed at such a narrow sliver of the city. It's become the bible of the ultra-entitled New Yorker, the kind of person who would actually spend $200 on a doorknob described in the magazine as a bargain. The Plate-U coffee table featured in the Strategist a few weeks ago, described with words "thriftiness can be elegant," can be had for $1,800, or the balance of a month's salary after taxes for a family that earns New York's median household income of $43,393. There's nothing wrong, of course, with pitching a magazine at ludicrously wealthy people desperately trying to fill the holes in their lives with grapefruit-and-vodka-pedicures. But New York is, after all, a city and not a colony of hedge-fund managers. A magazine that purports to capture the life of a teeming and mixed-up metropolis ought to at least occasionally acknowledge the fact that very few people who live there are served by a chart detailing the caloric content of a $250 nine-course tasting menu at Per Se.

    Felker's New York was in many ways just as unapologetically elitist as Moss's, but, in addition to throwing in the occasional ghetto story as a sop to liberal guilt, its coverage of New York's social, political, and economic elites was muscular and often daring. "Clay's chronicles of life in the city were not about the remoteness of power and status and prestige but about the immediacy of those things, even the intimacy, and the excitement, the buzz, of power gained and power lost," wrote Michael Wolff in New York on the occasion of the magazine's 35th birthday. "By bringing the large and powerful down to size, you could, of course, begin to see yourself in those roles—and shortly we were all role-playing." Where Felker saw a barfight, Moss sees a playground.

    I noticed a curious thing about the "Sex and Love" issue that helps explain much of what ails New York: The central characters—not just the writers, but the people being written about—were all people likely to run into one another at a book party. The sex diaries featured both a publishing assistant and a magazine editor. Katie Roiphe, a New York City writer, wrote about her own life. Ariel Levy, a celebrated New York writer—and occasional Radar contributor—wrote about her wedding. Caroline Leavitt, a New Jersey (close enough) writer, wrote about the break-up of her marriage. These are people who are ostensibly supposed to take journalism's reflective surfaces and turn them outward to the world. But Moss asked his writers to turn them inward.

    Macy's to Publishers: Engage Audiences

    Macy's to Newspapers: Engage Audiences
    Tuesday May 8, 1:31 pm ET
    By Seth Sutel, AP Business Writer
    Macy's Chief Marketing Officer Delivers Tough Love Speech to Newspapers

    NEW YORK (AP) -- The chief marketing officer of Macy's department stores delivered tough talk to the newspaper industry Tuesday, telling a publishing conference why her company is moving ad dollars to other media such as TV, magazines and the Internet.
    Anne MacDonald, a self-proclaimed newspaper "junkie" who keeps stacks of them around her home and reads several each day, told publishers they need to do more to win back business from Macy's, which is part of Federated Department Stores Inc.

    With Macy's now a national brand following Federated's acquisition of May Department Stores, the chain is turning increasingly to media with a national reach such as fashion magazines, television and Web sites, she said.

    Newspapers are still effective at delivering local messages, she said, but need to do more to engage Macy's shoppers -- primarily women aged 18-54.

    "In order for your newspapers to be winning our advertising dollars, you need to be winning in the marketplace, and that's not currently the case," MacDonald said in a keynote talk at the conference held by the Newspaper Association of America.

    Analysts and investors have long been concerned about the decline in ad spending by department stores, and in particular Macy's, as they become national brands and less likely to use local media such as newspapers. Also, newspapers have been struggling with declining circulation and ad dollars as more people get their news online.

    Among MacDonald's several suggestions for change was for newspapers to collaborate more effectively across regions and with each other in selling advertising, which would allow national companies such as Macy's to reach a broader audience.

    As it is, individual ad buyers for Macy's stores deal with individual newspapers on advertising plans. "That's not productive for either of us," MacDonald said.

    She pointed to her own industry, department stores, which had to undergo significant changes over the past several years to adapt to competition from online stores, television shopping channels, big box retailers and discounting clubs.

    Macy's, she said, is seeking to establish itself as a more upscale, fashionable brand and drive foot traffic even when there aren't promotions, and is still trying to understand how customers are changing the ways they shop. "Like us, you must change the way you think," she said.

    MacDonald pointed to the example of her two favorite sections of her hometown newspaper, The New York Times. Every week she pulls out the science and dining sections and reads them first.

    If the Times were to somehow deliver those sections to her wrapped on the outside, she would be impressed that the publisher had learned something about her reading habits, she said.

    She also issued a plea to publishers to collaborate with advertisers on research to better understand the rapidly evolving habits of their customers. The idea was immediately embraced by Jack Sweeney, publisher of the Houston Chronicle, who asked MacDonald how to find out what questions they needed answered.

    Mark Contreras, senior vice president for newspapers at E.W. Scripps Co., called MacDonald's remarks a "very thoughtful call to action for newspapers to pay very close attention to. ... We have the wherewithal to meet many of their needs."

    Old media turns combative against new media

    Old media turns combative against new media
    Tue May 8, 2007 7:40PM EDT
    By Kenneth Li

    LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Leading media executives took a combative tone against Internet companies on Tuesday, suggesting that Big Media increasingly considers new content distributors like Google Inc. to be more foe than friend.

    At a panel discussion on the second day of the 56th annual National Cable & Telecommunications Association conference, top executives said talk of the demise of traditional media in the digital age was overblown.

    While new distribution technologies like the Internet and mobile phones are siphoning television audiences, media companies argued that the Web also brings new revenue streams.

    But the discussion quickly moved to criticism of the perception that traditional media businesses are dead, and to the rampant copyright offenses enabled by new digital technologies.

    "The Googles of the world, they are the Custer of the modern world. We are the Sioux nation," Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Richard Parsons said, referring to the Civil War American general George Custer who was defeated by Native Americans in a battle dubbed "Custer's Last Stand".

    "They will lose this war if they go to war," Parsons added, "The notion that the new kids on the block have taken over is a false notion."

    Time Warner defended its discussions on copyright protection with Internet search leader Google Inc., which another panel member, Viacom Inc., has sued.

    Viacom, owner of the MTV and Comedy Central networks, is seeking more than $1 billion from Google and its online video site YouTube, accusing them in a lawsuit of "massive intentional copyright infringement."

    Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said on the panel his company had discussed working with Google and YouTube earlier than other major media companies, by virtue of the popularity of its programs on the Web and their resonance with young viewers.

    Dauman said Viacom had little choice after failing to reach an agreement, as video clips of its shows were uploaded by YouTube users without its permission.

    "So, it was only reluctantly after trying for a long period of time, to reach a deal that we found that we could not tolerate having our content taken, when we've got Brian and Dick and others compensating us for it," Dauman said, referring to Comcast Corp. Chief Executive Brian Roberts and Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons.

    "We were forced into it," he added.

    Google, whose advances in applying its Internet paid search technology to the television industry, radio and print has spooked traditional media companies, owns a 5 percent stake in Time Warner's AOL Internet unit.

    "We're in a world where we're a partner with everybody and we're fighting everybody," News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin said on the panel.

    Despite the attention from Wall Street, the media industry and the press, executives said the percentage of overall sales contributed by digital businesses remained small and they should be mindful of destroying existing lucrative businesses.

    "The amount of money we get from those (Internet companies) are a fraction of those we get from the cable industry," Chernin said. "We have to be careful not to disaggregate."

    News Corp. is likely in a position to know how enemies today could turn into friends tomorrow.

    A source familiar with the matter said News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Media, which oversees its popular Internet social network MySpace, had reached a preliminary deal to buy photo sharing site Photobucket for an estimated $250 million.

    MySpace last month blocked traffic coming from Photobucket after the photo service began running ads on photos displayed on MySpace sites. MySpace said it had violated its service terms.

    "You'll see more acquisitions," Chernin said. "This is a world where the big get bigger. You'll see increased consolidation."

    USPS May Revise Slim-Jim Specs

    USPS May Revise Slim-Jim Specs
    May 8, 2007 6:11 PM , By Jim Tierney


    Catalogers considering switching to a slim-jim format to save on postage costs might want to put those plans on hold. The U.S. Postal Service will begin to test a variety of booklets—which by postal definition includes slim-jims. The result could be revised specifications for such mail pieces.

    USPS spokesperson Dave Partenheimer tells MULTICHANNEL MERCHANT that the Postal Service has been contemplating revising its standards for folded self-mailers and booklets, which fall under the “letter mail” category, for some time. “We do have current plans to conduct testing of a variety of booklets within the next few months,” he says. “Based on the results of the tests, we may find that we need to make some revisions to standards.”

    What’s more, Partenheimer says, the USPS wants to “get the word out” that requirements might change, “so mailers don’t risk spending money on converting to the wrong letter booklet specifications.”

    Don Landis, vice president of postal affairs for Menomonee Falls, WI-based printer Arandell Corp., says the USPS recently discovered that many supervisors were running slim-jims on flat sorters rather than letter sorters.

    “Some slim-jims were causing the letter sorters to jam; however, some slim-jims sorted just fine,” Landis says. “The USPS is now testing various types of slim-jims, different piece weights, cover weights, and sizes. The test is supposed to last a couple of months. I do think there will be new specs for slim-jims to qualify for the letter rate.”

    Dimensions for slim-jim catalogs are roughly 6-1/8" × 11-1/2" and 1/4" thick. To qualify for conventional letter-size rates, the catalog must weigh 3 oz. or less. In addition to these rates, there is a subclass referred to by the U.S. Postal Service as Heavy Letters for catalogs weighing more than 3 oz. and up to 3.5 oz. that are placed in envelopes. If a book weighs more than 3.3 oz. and up to 3.5 oz., it will qualify for a hybrid rate that is still significantly below the rates for flats. Any book over 3.5 oz., even if it is enveloped, will be considered a flat.

    Under the postal rates that go into effect on May 14, you could save roughly $0.10 per book in postage by switching from a standard-size catalog, which is considered a flat, that weighs less than 3.0 oz. to a slim-jim.

    See no evil, hear no evil and say no evil

    See no evil, hear no evil and say no evil
    May 9th, 2007


    That was the first thing that came to my mind as my colleague Mark Dolan at the Department of Journalism (University of Mississippi) commented on the major disconnect which exists between the most journalism faculty’s published research and what goes on in real life newsrooms and television stations.

    We were debating how many times we ever heard an editor or publisher refer to an article in Journalism Quarterly or Journalism Monographs (two major publications in journalism education that help faculty get tenured if they publish in them) when they meet with you or talk to you about the business.

    It never happens.

    The opposite is true with almost any other profession. Doctors refer to the New England Journal of Medicine every time they talk about their research, so do scientists when they refer to Nature magazine. And then come the journalists. We try to debate and analyze the most obscure things that bring our industry no benefit.

    I still remember that day in 1985 when I presented my first research on the survival rate of magazines and the looks I received from my academic colleagues. They thought I am the anti Christ. Writing about things that are not historical in nature, which do not analyze the nature of content of the coverage of some war in some magazine, or some women’s issues in some non-women’s magazines—the list goes on and on. From my early career days, I promised myself to make all my research relevant to the industry I love and teach about. From that summer of ‘85, I started directing all my work to the industry rather than my colleagues. All my books, all my articles, my web site and now my blog aim to answer ‘what is in it for me, the reader, the publisher, the editor and the art director’. The industry needs academia to be on the forefront of the future—to be learning from our past, not living in it.

    When I read some of my colleagues’ writings and discoveries for things that have been taking place for years, I can’t help but to wonder why our industry leaders do not use our research in their works and daily discussions. We can’t continue this disconnect with the industry. Yes, we are academia, but we should be in the service of our students first and the industry second. It can be done without having to sacrifice one on the alter of the other.

    Our magazines, newspapers, the entire media field is screaming for help. Do not bury your heads in the sand and pretend that it does not matter to you. You and your relevant research are needed now more than ever.

    Journalism's Future: A "Panorama of Possibilities,"

    Journalism's Future: A "Panorama of Possibilities," Concludes Overholser in New Study
    by David Burton
    http://southwestregionnewsservice.blogspot.com/2007/05/journalisms-future-panorama-of.html

    Downward trends in circulation have many people talking about the future of journalism. There is plenty of finger pointing but change seems hard to find.

    Even revenue from classifieds is moving downward as more Americans sell items via ebay or Craigslist. You can read the comments of Craigslist founder in Editor & Publisher about this change and what he sees as the failure of American newspapers.

    Along those same lines, a member of the journalism faculty at the University of Missouri recently wrote about the future of journalism. Here is a release that announced her work during the fall of 2006.


    Journalism will survive only if it adapts to the times, writes Geneva Overholser in a new report titled "On Behalf of Journalism: A Manifesto for Change." The report was released in the fall by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

    "The story of American journalism is undergoing a dramatic rewrite," says Overholser, a nationally known reporter and editor who formerly worked for The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Des Moines Register before joining the faculty of the Missouri School of Journalism. "The pace of change makes many anxious, and denunciations are lobbed from all sides - and from within. It's easy to overlook the promise of the many possibilities that lie before us."

    Overholser holds the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting at the School and works out of its Washington, D.C. bureau at the National Press Club.

    The Overholser report, a project of the Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands, in partnership with the Annenberg Public Policy Center, is the result of more than a year's worth of research and interviews. The project grew out of a June 2005 conference in Philadelphia that brought together 40 journalists, scholars and news executives to discuss the role of the press in a democracy and what might be done to enhance it.

    In the process, topics such as the growing financial pressures on newspapers, the benefits of public vs. private ownership, credentialing of journalists, the role of government in a free press and new forms of media were discussed. At the conclusion of the conference, Overholser conducted additional analysis of media problems and potential solutions before writing the report.

    She also created a list of "action steps" - recommendations designed to keep the nation's media vigorous and independent, while recognizing a dramatically different information landscape.

    "We are not lacking for ways to deliver information," Overholser concludes. "What we are lacking, increasingly, is the particular kind of information that keeps free people free...The first step toward solving this challenge is understanding its magnitude. Then will come necessary actions from many different constituencies. We intend to pursue these solutions vigorously, in the fine company of others working on behalf of journalism."