Detailing the Details


This post is by Trudy Lieberman from CJR


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Media coverage of health reform lately has centered on the legislative horse race, as we knew it would. The press has gone wild covering nearly every twist and turn in the chase to get bills passed by the full House and Senate before the August recess—even to the point of a stakeout during deliberations of the Senate Finance Committee. Will...

Mort Zuckerman Sells Shares To Invest In Daily News


This post is by The Huffington Post News Team from Media on HuffingtonPost.com


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Media and property mogul Mortimer Zuckerman is taking money out of real estate to invest it in his newspaper. The Boston Properties Inc. chairman disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this past week that he will sell one million shares in the company, reaping some $50 million. Some of that money will go toward new printing presses for Mr. Zuckerman's New York tabloid, the Daily News, Mr. Zuckerman said in an interview Friday.


News Near You: YouTube Serves Up Local News


This post is by The Huffington Post News Team from Media on HuffingtonPost.com


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YouTube, which already boasts of being "the biggest news platform in the world," has created a News Near You feature that senses a user's location and serves up a list of relevant videos. In time, it could essentially engineer a local newscast on the fly. It is already distributing hometown video from dozens of sources, and it wants to add thousands more.


CBS: Name Your Price for a Super Bowl Spot


This post is by Advertising Age - MediaWorks from Advertising Age - MediaWorks


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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Want a Super Bowl ad? Well, just name your price -- and then see if CBS will go for it. In a sign of how the current economy is giving rise to different ad-sales methods, CBS is taking an "under the radar" approach to selling ad time for its broadcast of Super Bowl XLIV from Miami, according to people familiar with the negotiations.


Ten Cheapest Magazine Subscriptions


This post is by The Huffington Post News Team from Media on HuffingtonPost.com


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[Many] magazines have been offering all-but-complimentary subs for years.

That's partly because cheap introductory rates attract subscribers who might later renew for more. But they're also, perhaps more important, a way to keep expanding paid circulation -- which helps magazines attract more advertisers and make those advertisers pay more.

Here are the 10 best introductory subscription prices.


Tina Brown On Legendary 1999 Talk Magazine Launch Party: “It Seems Like That Happened In The 18th Century”


This post is by The Huffington Post News Team from Media on HuffingtonPost.com


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Rather than the culmination of a century of press power, the Talk party was the end of an era, a literal fin de siècle. Flush with cash from the go-go '90s and engorged by spending from the dot-com era, mainstream media companies seemed poised on the brink of something extraordinary. But that brink ended up being a cliff.

"It seems like that happened in the 18th century," said Ms. Brown by phone last Friday.


Rahm Emanuel Called Media CEOs Personally To Lobby For Obama Airtime


This post is by The Huffington Post News Team from Media on HuffingtonPost.com


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Rather than calling ABC, the White House chief of staff phoned Bob Iger, chief executive of parent company Disney. Instead of contacting NBC, Emanuel went to Jeffrey Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric. He also spoke with Les Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, the company spun off from Viacom.


Updated: SpinVox Gets Emergency Funds


This post is by Robert Andrews from paidContent


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Under-fire UK voice-to-text firm SpinVox, which we revealed last week was finalising a new funding injection, has secured new funds thought to be £5.5 million, as suppliers and staff complain of unpaid bills and expenses.

The company told paidContent:UK: “Existing investors from the last round of funding have made available more funds to allow the company to continue its growth.” It did not quantify the sum, which tops up its earlier $200 million funding. We amended the original figure in this report, now believing the amount to be far more. It’s understood recent negative press surrounding the company’s part-machine/part-human voicemail transcription service, and of its finances, made the new funds “touch-and-go”. But the arrival of the cash coincided with staff receiving their salaries on Friday, within a programmed six-day-late window that is hoped to be a temporary measure.

Some of the cash seems set to be swallowed up quickly. Financial Mail reports three suppliers are owed a total £320,000, with one filing three county court complaints, a call centre operator filing in the High Court and SpinVox avoiding a winding up petition by paying an outstanding £20,000 bill. SpinVox tells paidContent:UK: “We remain in ongoing discussion with our suppliers.” And some staff continue to claim expenses have not been paid since April. Up to 70 percent of staff last month accepted an offer to receive July and August salaries in stock rather than cash, as we first revealed on July 13.

The company raised $100 million in March 2008 from GLG (SEO: 066570) Partners, Goldman Sachs, BlueMountain and Toscafund Asset Management. CEO Christina Domecq, in a two-part interview with paidContent:UK, said company finances are being pressured by its suppliers paying it late and by demands of a strong growth phase following Latin America client wins which will take SpinVox cashflow-positive within 90 days.

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Need to Boost C3 Ratings? Here Are Five Tips


This post is by Advertising Age - MediaWorks from Advertising Age - MediaWorks


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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In October 2007, the executive team at the National Geographic Channel huddled together to figure out how their cable outlet was faring under a new ratings metric that measured how many people watched the commercials, not the programs they ran against. They were far from happy with what they saw.


The 10 Cheapest Magazine Subscription Offers Today


This post is by Advertising Age - MediaWorks from Advertising Age - MediaWorks


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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Many magazines have been offering all-but-complimentary subscriptions for years. That's partly because cheap introductory rates attract subscribers who might later renew for more. But they're also, perhaps more important, a way to keep expanding paid circulation -- which helps magazines attract more advertisers and make those advertisers pay more. With magazine ad pages falling the way they are right now, though, magazines charging their readers a lot are looking pretty smart.


Sun-Times sags in Chi-town showdown


This post is by Newsosaur from Reflections of a Newsosaur


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Like a pair of proud but over-the-hill prizefighters, the Sun-Times and Tribune are slugging it out in a deadly duel to determine who will remain standing as the sole daily in Chicago.Both newspapers are operating under Chapter 11 protection and both have seen far better days in terms of circulation and advertising sales. But it’s hardly a fair fight. With an overwhelming advantage in weight,

PBS Chief: Public TV Funding Faring Much Better Under Obama


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PASADENA, Calif. — PBS chief Paula Kerger (KUR'-gur) says budget numbers tell the tale of how public TV is faring under the Obama administration, compared to that of former President George W. Bush.

Kerger said that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's $430 million budget for this year was left intact by President Barack Obama, in contrast to the Bush administration's repeated bids to reduce or eliminate the federal subsidy. Kerger says Congress countered Bush's actions.

The president and CEO of PBS told the Television Critics Association on Sunday, "I guess that says something," adding that she's hoping for $450 million next year.

Federal money makes up about 15 percent of public broadcasting's funding, with other sources including corporations and viewers.


Yahoo Talks Up Future Search Features Despite Microsoft Deal; 400 New Job Cuts On The Way?


This post is by Joseph Tartakoff from paidContent


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One question for Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) in the wake of the announcement of its search deal with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is how much its search engine will continue to be able to maintain an independent identity. Yahoo is licensing its search technology to Microsoft, but it will still control the look of its pages, flexibility that executives emphasized in an interview with us last week. And in interviews over the last few days, Yahoo executives have given the impression that Yahoo’s search engine will continue to add unique features even once it is being powered by Bing.

Yahoo Labs chief Prabhakar Raghavan tells Reuters that the company is considering adding some real-time search options to its search engine that would let people search for Tweets and also group the results by various categories—like where they were sent from. “In terms of satisfying user intent, the hard work and in some sense the bigger growth opportunities for differentiation are not the back-end of crawling and indexing, but really surfacing and assembling content the right way to satisfy user intent,” he says.

And Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz says that Bing’s logo won’t even appear on Yahoo search results pages—and instead will be called attention to via some text. She compares her company’s new relationship with Microsoft to Intel’s with PC-makers. “The whole experience of what happens when a user comes to Yahoo is still Yahoo’s business,” she tells the NYT. She goes on to say, “We have more patents in search than anyone and we keep our patents. We are only licensing technology—it’s our technology.”

The company is also going ahead with its plans to test a new look for it search results page that will include some elements of its home page redesign. A screenshot surfaced over the week-end showing one design that the company is considering.

Of course, considering that Yahoo has said it made the search deal with Microsoft to concentrate on its other assets, it’s questionable how much the company will want to continue to invest in its search initiatives in the long-run. As many as 400 Yahoo employees could lose their jobs because of the partnership, the NYT says. Others will be transferred to Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Yahoo is also busily trying to convince Wall Street that the market overreacted in sending the company’s stock down following the deal announcement. Bartz acknowledges that she erred by not taking “enough time to explain Yahoo’s future” and also says she “didn’t help by talking about ‘boatloads of cash.’”

At least one fan: Investor and Yahoo director Carl Icahn, who calls the partnership an “excellent deal” in an interview with BusinessWeek.


Will Viral Video Kill the Music Video?


This post is by Chris Albrecht from NewTeeVee


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The first video ever shown on MTV was for the The Buggles’ song Video Killed the Radio Star. Given how successful amateur videos have been lately at boosting record sales, an appropriate song for the modern age might be Viral Videos Killed the Music Video Star. Of course if there were such a song, a video of it would be found on YouTube, and it would probably be made by someone who had nothing to do with the song other than liking it.

Historically, music videos were promotional vehicles that ran on outlets like MTV. Big budgets were spent on lavish productions that would ideally captivate watchers, prodding them into buying the accompanying single/album. But while music videos have proven enormously popular on YouTube, earlier this year the video-sharing giant got embroiled in skirmishes with the record labels and rights holders over costs. The end result of that bickering is Vevo, a forthcoming satellite site founded by YouTube and Universal Music that will showcase — and monetize — music video traffic.

But what if plain ole users prove more adept than the pros?

There were two instances recently that illustrated the power of viral videos to move music sales. The more famous example is the JK Wedding Entrance Dance, which featured bridesmaids and groomsmen dancing down the aisle to the Chris Brown song Forever. The wedding party video has been watched more than 12 million times on YouTube. More importantly, the rights holder put a link both in the video and on the YouTube page that gives people the option to purchase the song from Amazon and iTunes.

YouTube didn’t share any hard statistics, but the company revealed on its Biz Blog that the click-through rate for the song was twice that of other click-to-buy overlays on the site. Additionally, the JK video had a halo effect and increased the click-through rate on the official Chris Brown video by some 2.5 times. And Forever, which at the time of the JK clip’s release was over a year old, zoomed back up the music sales charts, hitting No. 4 on iTunes Singles and No. 3 on Amazon’s best-selling MP3 list.

Another example came from, of all places, a fish tank. Granted it was Kuroshio Sea, the second-largest fish tank in the world. Canadian filmmaker Jon Rawlinson shot the sea creatures in it going about their day and set the video to the song Please Don’t Go by the band Barcelona. The result was a quiet, beautiful, Zen-like experience that has been watched more than a million times on YouTube since July 15, and nearly 600,000 times on Vimeo. The band Barcelona was so taken with the clip that they posted their own video response to it. And though they wouldn’t disclose any hard numbers either, Barcelona credited the video with boosting their album sales and concert attendance.

What both of these clips highlight is how a low-fi, homemade video can be a marketer’s best friend. The only problem for the music labels is that recreating such levels of success will be darn near impossible. These videos attracted views in part because they were random surprises and in part because they weren’t trying to sell anything. They were just ways to celebrate music that people genuinely enjoyed. The lesson here is that if the labels free their iron grip on copyright claims and let the music play, there’s gold (records) in them viral hills.


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YouTube No Longer “Glaring Exception” in “Pool” Lineup


This post is by Liz Gannes from NewTeeVee


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“The Pool,” the industry consortium taking a long view on online video ad formats, has filled in a notable gap in its lineup by signing up the largest video-sharing site, YouTube, reports MediaWeek.

The Pool, which was formed by Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi around the start of this year, includes video hosts Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo, CBS Interactive and Hulu and advertisers Allstate, Capital One Financial, General Mills, U.S. Cellular and DineEquity’s Applebee’s. The group has set a long-term agenda for standardizing video ad formats and will now also look at short-form video monetization specifically. Besides YouTube, other new partners include Denny’s, Walgreens and Wal-Mart. But while The Pool is winning key partners, others such as MTV Networks have reportedly decided to sit out, and some are impatient with the initiative’s timeline — the first report on ad formats isn’t due till next February.

YouTube’s lack of participation in The Pool had previously been called a “glaring exception.” But it seems the video giant and the consortium have figured out they have something to gain from one another. From MediaWeek:

“Getting YouTube involved like this is a great opportunity to expose them to those advertisers that they are more than UGC and that they are starting to get their act together,” said Tracey Scheppach, senior vp, video innovation director, Starcom MediaVest Group, who’s serving as point person on The Pool. Plus, YouTube’s participation is equally crucial to the endeavor’s potential impact. “Considering how much short-form video they have, it’s incredibly important to me,” she added.

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DigitalSports Youth Sports Media Site Sold To Vantage Learning


This post is by Rafat Ali from paidContent


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DigitalSports, a Columbia, Maryland-based online sports service for high school and college sports, has been acquired by Vantage Learning, the online educational assessment and instructional programs firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the deal was confirmed by Baltimore Sun. DS was founded in 2006 and in 2007 received its first round of funding from Novak Biddle Venture Partners and True Ventures. This continues the consolidation in youth sports sites: in the last year Takkle was acquired by Alloy, College Fanz bought Victory Sports Network, MaxxAthlete bought three sites lats year, ESPN (NYSE: DIS) bought girls-focused basketball site Hoopgurlz and high school sports site Student Sports, among others.