The Yankees’ World Series Win, Explained In Media Terms

yankeesCongrats to the New York Yankees, who clinched their 27th World Series last night by defeating the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 7 to 3. The Yankees’ dominance of Major League Baseball is the stuff of legends. But let’s look at their success in a way that is both relevant to our media coverage AND a shameless attempt for getting linked across the Internet: let’s compare the payroll differential between the Yankees and the Phillies as if they were media outlets. Fair? Balanced? I think so!

Baseball: New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Allow me to restate the sincerest of congratulations to the NY Yankees, World Series champs! They won the game not in the press box or in the sports pages, but where it mattered — on the field of the brand new billion-dollar stadium built with tremendous tax breaks from New York City. However, its worth noting that the metaphorical playing field was not nearly as level as the literal one: The Yankee’s team payroll for 2009 comes in at a league-leading $201 million. By comparison, the Philadelphia Phillies’ overall team payroll for 2009 comes in around $113 million, or roughly 56% of the Yankees’ salaries.


Yankees team payroll, 2009: $201 million.
Phillies team payroll, 2009: $113 million. (56.2% of Yankees)

Magazines: Vogue vs. Self

Where does that stand in media terms? Let’s start with magazines. Who are the Yankees of the magazine world, based on year-to-date revenues booked up to the third quarter of 2009? How about Vogue? Much loved, often reviled, Vogue comes in at around $213 million. Who would be the Phillies in this equation? Self! Yup, so far this year, Self has booked revenue of $120 million, or 56.3% of its Condé Nast sister’s. So Vogue versus Self — who ya got?


Vogue year-to-date revenues, 2009: $213 million.
year-to-date revenues, 2009: $120 million. (56.3% of Vogue)

Social Media: Facebook vs. MySpace

Moving on, let’s look at social media properties, as measured by monthly unique visitors according to Quantcast. In this case, the Yankees=Facebook: Facebook totally dominates the social media realm (and seems on pace to soon take over the world, but I digress.) Judging by Quantcast, Facebook enjoys roughly 100 million unique visitors a month. The Phillies’ equivalent? MySpace gets roughly 56 million uniques a month. Never has the comparison between the Yankees and Phillies been clearer.


Facebook monthly visitorship: 100 million unique visitors/month.
MySpace monthly visitorship: 56 million unique visitors/month. (56 % of Facebook)

Cable TV: Fox News vs. ABC Family

Finally, let’s move on to television. I’d love to use cable news as the metaphor, but finding reliable data for revenue and costs for cable news networks is an arduous task. Fox News is the perfect metaphor for the Yanks here — I mean, they are dominating the ratings with a thier primetime lineup is a modern day murderer’s row, and yes, they are equally loved and hated — but neither MSNBC nor CNN measure up to even be considered the lame Phillies-esque competitor. So who can it be?  Basic cable ratings can give us a hint: last week, an average of 2 MM household tuned into the self-described fair and balanced news channel. Which network had 56% of those viewers? ABC’s Family Channel enjoyed 1.13 million viewers. So – Yankee vs. Phillies is the same as Fox News vs. ABC Family — Perfect!


Fox News average viewership last week: 2 million.
ABC Family average viewership last week: 1.13 million. (56.5% of Fox News)

So in conclusion — the Yankees deserve credit for winning the World Series, but let’s not pretend that they didn’t have an enormous advantage. Beating the Phillies is akin to choosing Vogue over Self, watching Fox News over ABC Family, or being on Facebook instead of MySpace. It sort of begs the question: how come the Yankees don’t win every year?

Oprah Giving Up Syndicated Talk Show, Moving to Oprah Winfrey Network In 2011: Nikki Finke

The industry has been betting that the daytime diva would extend The Oprah Winfrey Show for at least another year or two because of the huge cash license fees which stations have long paid her. But people around Oprah are telling me that won't happen. They say that Discovery Communications chief David Zaslav has demanded that Oprah "move it or lose it" -- move her talk show to OWN, or risk losing the Oprah Winfrey Network altogether. I've learned that in coming days Winfrey and Discovery will issue a press release announcing OWN's on-air launch for the start of 2011. And, in several weeks, Oprah will tell the public that she's ending her syndicated Chicago-based daytime talk show when her current deal runs out and moving it to OWN headquarters in Los Angeles probably as soon as mid-2011.

Mediaite Office Hours, Featuring Jake Tapper, “Martin Eisenstadt” And More

mediaitelogoWe’re back with a live Mediaite Office Hours today, coming to you from’s studio at 3pmET. We’ll be joined by ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper, the team behind “Martin Eisenstadt” and more.

Do you have a question, comment or complaint about anything concerning Mediaite? Well if you do, today is a real chance to make your voice heard. We will be holding our Mediaite Office Hours at 3pmET.

Tapper, who has been a guest with us before, will discuss the elections this week, the White House vs. Fox News situation, reporting from the White House, and, sadly, his Phillies loss last night. Follow him on Twitter here. Dan Mirvish and Eitan Gorlin are the authors of the new book, “I Am Martin Eisenstadt,” the hoax McCain pundit that rose to fame after he convinced MSNBC and others he was the source behind the Palin-doesn’t-know-Africa-is-a-continent rumor.

Glynnis MacNicol, Steve Krakauer and Rachel Sklar host the live-streamed call-in show, and others in the Mediaite team, like, Colby Hall and our fantastic interns, will appear periodically, as well as special guests.

Our call-in number is (347) 632-8956. Also, we’re using Skype now, so you can video chat in to our username – Mediaite. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Watch us live here on this page at 3pmET, or check it out at

As for the schedule, we’ll talk to Tapper first than Gorlin and Mirvish.

See you at 3pm!

Dobrow Weighs in on Whether He Needs Tons of Useful Stuff

It turns out that the clean-livin' print genre has gone the way of the manatee. A handful of titles still sit upon the shelf, tantalizing lard lads with the promises of stress mitigation and ear-poppingly great sex. Nonetheless, only Men's Health offers workable advice for both healthy-living dudes and Chocodile enthusiasts hoping to maintain some basic semblance of fitness.

Does Your Mom Edit Your Blog? Google Wants to Know.

momDo a Google news search, for say, “Will Ferrell,” and you’ll see that the search giant has started labeling news items from blogs as… news items from blogs. Why?

Turns out Google (GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt isn’t quite sure himself.

But posed with that question during a Boston news conference yesterday, he did use the opportunity to expound on the difference between pro bloggers and amateur ones. Or at least, his vision of the difference.

From Nieman Journalism Lab blogger Zachary Seward’s transcription of his exchange with Schmidt:

Me: A very small question. Google News very recently added a label for blogs, to differentiate from non-blogs. It seemed weird in 2009 to make that distinction. I wondered, did you have any input on that or —?

Eric Schmidt: I was not directly involved in that. There seems to be a difference between blogs and traditional news. It’s sometimes hard to distinguish because many people in the traditional news are also bloggers.

Me: Or they use a blog platform.

Schmidt: Or they use a blog platform. So we’re trying to find that line. And it’s hard to articulate what that difference is.

Me: How would describe that line if it’s not based on the tech behind the publishing platform?

Schmidt: No, it’s not the technology. My guess is — again, I’m speculating, which is always a mistake — it has a lot to do with the infrastructure around the writer. So a blog that’s associated with a major, legitimate organization — of which, I think, the majority, if not everyone, in the room is associated with — would be, I think, treated differently than an individual blogger who’s using his or her right of free expression to say whatever he thinks. So the presence of an editor, as an example. You know, an editor that’s not your mom.

As Seward points out, Schmidt’s wrong about the way Google News categorizes. As best as I can tell, it basically lumps all blogs, including this one, which I like to think of as reasonably professional, in its “blog” category. And no, despite her occasional appearances on this site, Kara Swisher’s mother is not an editor here.

Anyway, the real question for me, isn’t “how does Google refer to my work in its search results”, but “how does Google determine where to put my my work in its search results”? Schmidt and company can call it whatever they want — just send those eyeballs my way.

[image credit: kevindooley]

Playboy CEO: TV Biz Is Changed ‘For Good’; Focused On Licensing, Gaming And VOD

Playboy Shadow

Layoffs, an executive team reorg and other cost-cutting helped Playboy (NYSE: PLA) narrow its Q3 losses—but the company’s media businesses still aren’t fully turned around. So that means more layoffs. CEO Scott Flanders said the company had to reduce overhead expenses in “support and corporate”—though he hinted that Playboy might actually be adding to its “creative teams,” since the content they produce is what would ultimately add to the bottom line.

But Flanders admitted that online porn sites had “probably changed [Playboy’s] TV business for good.” So the company is still pinning most of its hopes for growth on international licensing: clothing, fragrances and flashy entertainment complexes.

Flanders and new President Alex Vaickus talked up Playboy’s fragrance deal with Coty, saying that the new colognes it launched (complete with an expensive TV campaign) had become “market leaders” in Italy and and Germany. But Playboy thinks it can make more money on licensing in the U.S., too—including the launch of a branded boutique hotel in South Beach, Miami, early next year.

Digital: Q3 revenue to Playboy’s subscription site was down by 20 percent; Vaickus said it was because the company spent the quarter relaunching its free site. The “lack of attention to traffic and conversions” led to the decline, but he said October analytics were showing a turnaround. Flanders said the company was working on a plan to leverage its “million-plus” Facebook fans, as well as mobile and online game initiatives. (Playboy is launching an MMO that lets players “manage” virtual Playmates, with Irish game developer Jolt Interactive).

TV: Playboy saw a $2 million decrease in domestic TV revs; Flanders said the continued shift to VOD was driving the decline, but that “overall subscriber numbers remained stable.” He said the company would “consolidate some networks” but in a way that still gave distributors and viewers access to enough content—with one specific network designed to feed web-based content to the TV, for example. He added that negotiations with cable and satellite providers to get premium positioning for the Playboy Channel (like HBO or Showtime) as opposed to just an adult service, were on track to improve revenues. Meanwhile, its reality shows like Girls Next Door and Kendra were doing so well on E!, that the company is launching another spin-off this quarter.

Print: Playboy will continue publishing 10 issues per year. This year the company combined its July/August issues; in 2010, it will combine Jan/Feb. It also plans to lower its production volume from 2.6 million to 1.5 million; the change will “lower ad and circulation revenues, but save us millions in production costs,” Vaickus said. Still, the company is expecting a 38 percent decline in ad pages for Q4—and while reducing circulation and frequency will help save costs—it won’t get the mag to breaking even or profitability. So Vaickus said the company is still “looking for another option.” (A potential sale or JV?)


Chicago Community Trust Doles Out $500,000 For Local Journalism

Local journalism in Chicago is getting a big shot in the arm.

The Chicago Community Trust on Thursday announced 12 winners of grants totaling $500,000 for innovative efforts to cover local journalism. The recipients of the Community News Matters Awards were chosen from 86 applicants who together asked for $5.7 million.

"The response to this program demonstrates without a doubt that the Chicago region is loaded with talented people and smart organizations determined to find new ways to serve the public's information needs in these times of enormous change in the media landscape," said Terry Mazany, president and chief executive officer of the Trust, in a press release. "The Chicago area has become a real laboratory for development of the future for community news and information."

See the full list of recipients and how much they got:

Community News Matters -