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Media Companies

Bill Maher Sees Dead Cable People

SteveDoocyPicPer a guest column in this week’s Hollywood Reporter, the host of Real Time has a bad, sick-sense feeling about the possible takeover of Time Warner by News Corp. What’s good for the Doocy, the acerbic TV host imagines, will not be good for the Maher:

There’s a terrible price to pay for this. (I mean besides the terrible price I personally will pay when Rupert takes over HBO and my show becomes Paste-Eating Time With Steve Doocy.)

Maher may have it wrong. It seems to FishbowlNY that the more likely Fox News morning show host to be gifted with some extra Friday Real Time would be Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

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Forbes Chief Product Officer Lays Out Battle Plan

Following Friday’s announcement of a majority-stake deal with Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media Investments, Forbes Media chief product officer Lewis DVorkin has outlined what’s in the works for the rest of the year.

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It starts, right after Labor Day, with a new vertical – ForbesLife:

On September 2, we’ll launch a luxury vertical with a simple, highly visual navigational construct. Visitors will find it easy to move around the site, marketers can engage with an audiences in new ways. We’re bringing on 150 contributors to cover the breadth of the luxury category.

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Forbes Media Sells Majority Stake to Hong Kong Investor Group

In the past six years, Forbes has expanded its international publishing reach from nine licensed local editions to 36. Content is now consumed in 63 countries, in 21 different languages.

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Today, the company solidified its international reach with the announcement that a majority stake has been sold to a group of Asian investors. From today’s release:

The newly formed Hong Kong-based investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments (“IWM”) is composed of international investors. The group is led by Integrated Asset Management (Asia) Limited (“IAM”).

IAM, which was founded by Tak Cheung Yam, is a Hong Kong-based investment company primarily engaged in public and private equity investments, with expertise in telecommunications, finance and technology. Another significant investor in IWM, Wayne Hsieh is the co-founder of ASUSTeK Computer Inc., one of the world’s leading PC vendors and the No.1 motherboard manufacturer in the world. He is based in Singapore.

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Norm Pearlstine Chats with the Observer

The transcribed Q&A is relatively brief. But when the interviewee is Time Inc. executive vice president and chief content officer Norm Pearlstine, much of it can be mulled.

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In answering Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke‘s second question, Pearlstine paints a wonderfully accurate and vivid picture. It’s something we too have noticed – in this case, truly, as non-media critics – at the neighborhood supermarket checkout line:

“If you stand at a checkout counter, you’ll see people on their tablets, on their cellphones. Traditional media has to respond to that…”

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News Corp Might Bid on Tribune Newspapers

Tribune logo GThe big media rumor of the week is that News Corp. is putting together a bid for Tribune Publishing. According to Poynter’s Rick Edmonds, News Corp would be interested in buying the company, but only after it is spun off from Tribune, a move that is expected to happen in the next few months.

Tribune Publishing publishes several newspapers, including heavyweights like The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun and The Sun-Sentinel.

News Corp buying the publisher, according to Edmonds, would make sense for a few reasons. Murdoch has always been a big fan of the LA Times and his desire to own it has been chronicled in the past; News Corp was spun off with plenty of cash, cash that investors will want to see do something; and relating to that last point — Tribune Publishing would be easy for News Corp to afford.

Would Rupert Murdoch really buy more newspapers even though print is clearly on the decline? It doesn’t seem to make much sense. But if there’s one person we wouldn’t count out, it’s Murdoch.

Niche Media Sold to Greengale Publishing

niche media logo GNiche Media — publisher of regional magazines like Aspen PeakGotham, Hamptons, Los Angeles Confidential, Ocean Drive and more — has been acquired by Greengale Publishing from Greenspun Media Group.

Greengale Publishing is owned by Jane Greenspan Gale and her husband, Jeff Gale. Greenspun Media is a family company, held by Greenspan Gale and her siblings.

Niche Media was founded in 1998 by Jason Binn, currently the CEO and founder of DuJour Media. In 2006, Binn sold Niche to Greenspun.

“These magazines are stronger and more relevant than ever,” Greenspan Gale said in a statement. “They deliver beautiful and inspiring editorial content while playing an important role in their communities and in the marketing plans for brands who seek to reach our audience.”

As part of the deal, Katherine Nicholls was named CEO of Niche Media. She previously served as president and COO.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Vice Moves Brooklyn Headquarters

ViceTwitterAvatarVice is on the move. The media company is about to take up residence in a 60,000-square-foot building located on South Second Street at Kent Avenue.

The Wall Street Journal reports that if Vice hires an additional 525 Brooklynites, it will receive $6.5 million in state tax breaks. Not bad for a company that issues statements like this:

Brooklyn is our home and we’re already hard at work developing a freaky, space-age utopia that will give today’s creative visionaries a place to produce astonishing stories and leave their indelible thumbprint on the annals of history.

Sigh.

Bloomberg Media Sets Timetable for Politics, Business Sites

BloombergLPPromoThere was a two-hour town hall meeting at Bloomberg L.P. last week. And as Joe Pompeo recounts in his very informative Capital New York piece, some important details were shared about the media group by Bloomberg Businessweek EIC Josh Tyrangiel:

Employees were informed that the first in a planned suite of “digital-led multi-platform brands,” a politics site being developed by high-profile political journalists and Game Change authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, both poached by Bloomberg in May with annual salaries reported to be north of $1 million, will debut on October 6 – 30 days before the 2014 Midterms — in tandem with a daily half-hour television show hosted by the duo that will air in Bloomberg TV’s 5 p.m. time slot as well as streaming online…

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Time Inc. to Staffers: Please Don’t Stream USA vs. Belgium

FIFAWorldCupLogoIf this is Tuesday, it must be…

Capital New York’s Nicole Levy got her hands on a memo from Time Inc. CTO Colin Bodell. Apparently, the strain put on the company’s Intranet last Thursday by in-house streaming of the USA vs. Germany FIFA World Cup game has him asking, as a favor, that employees please not do that again:

While we understand that everyone wants to support the national team, please do not stream the game over the Internet to your local workstation. There are conference rooms and pantries located throughout the building that have televisions where the game can be viewed. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

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Time Inc. Senior Digital VP: ‘We are Not a Magazine Company’

M. Scott Havens, who recently joined Time Inc. as its new senior VP of digital, has big plans for the company. In an interview with The Guardian, Havens made it clear that in order for the company to flourish, it was going to have to think outside the box. Way outside.

“We are not a magazine company,” he explained. “We are a media company with a portfolio.” Time Inc. staffers, please note this change when talking to relatives about your career.

Havens had a good reason for tossing aside the “magazine” label. He wants Time Inc. employees to think in terms of innovation, and — despite how much we love magazines — the word just doesn’t inspire.

“We want to build the next LinkedIn, the next Gilt, the next Facebook,” Havens added. “We have got really smart people and we need to let them use their brains.”

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