Apple, Google and Facebook zero in on news

With Apple, Facebook and Google promoting powerful news-delivery platforms, the best days may be in the rearview mirror for the dedicated news apps produced by media companies and a host of independent players.  Leveraging their enormous audiences, vast troves of user data and state-of-the-art targeting algorithms, the Silicon Valley behemoths have created master applications to deliver

Retail ad spending is speeding to mobile

There are few industries where mobile is having as big an impact as the disruption it is bringing to retailing. This should make publishers nervous. Very nervous.  Though the rising popularity of mobile commerce may be great for consumers and could be pretty good for merchants, the phenomenon poses a sharp challenge to newspaper publishers, who rely on retailers to generate half of the roughly

1 of 4 news start-ups flamed out

In 2009, David Boraks wrote an inspiring guest post here about the launch of his hyper-local news site in Davidson County, NC. Last week, he reluctantly shut it down, saying, “Alas, we haven’t turned it into a sustainable business.” He is far from alone. One of every four news startups has failed, according to a survey I conducted of the 141 ventures listed in an online directory published by

Why publishers had to partner with Facebook

The natural order of the universe was disrupted yesterday when BuzzFeed, NBC News, the New York Times and a number of other prominent media companies shockingly ceded to Facebook the marketing and monetization of portions of their valuable content.  The move, which represents a further step in the transfer of power from the media tribe to the technology tribe, means that some of the biggest

The LAT and U-T merger: Double trouble?

The pending purchase of the San Diego U-T by the Los Angeles Times represents a synergy not of strength but of tsoris.   Tsoris, for the uninitiated, is the Yiddish word for trouble. And woe – unlike readership and revenues – has been plentiful at both of these newspapers in the last decade.   As illustrated in the graphic below, the upcoming merger combines a faltering pair of former

4 new media platforms demanding attention

As if the web, mobile and social media were not enough to worry about, four new digital platforms are emerging to challenge the legacy publishers and broadcasters struggling to preserve the audiences and ad dollars that made them mighty.  To dispense with any further suspense, the emerging technologies are Next-Gen Messaging Platforms, Wearable Technology, the Internet of Things and Automated

Made in NYC: New business models for new media

Tattoos, tight jeans and three-day beards are “in,” while meaningless page clicks, paywalls and backfill banner ads are “out.”  That's the state of the art among the hustling, bustling start-up companies who are innovating the new business models for digital publishing in New York.  In a two-day tour that I organized last week for 50 senior global media executives on behalf of the