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Archives: September 2009

Bloomberg “Most Aggressive” Bidder For BusinessWeek

businessweek cover.jpgAlthough BusinessWeek‘s media columnist Jon Fine has already departed for his six-month sabbatical, his publication is still closely tracking its own sale.

Bids for the business magazine were due yesterday to BusinessWeek‘s owner McGraw-Hill, and at least four parties have submitted revised bids, according to Tom Lowry, who has taken over Fine’s “On Media” column:

“Among those submitting revised bids were financial data giant Bloomberg LP, private equity firm Open Gate Capital, and investment firm ZelnickMedia LLC. At least one other bidder, which BusinessWeek was not able to identify, also submitted a bid.”

Although details of the bids are unknown, Lowry said Bloomberg has been “the most aggressive in its pursuit of BusinessWeek.” According to Lowry, Bloomberg’s chief content officer Norm Pearlstine met with various members of the BusinessWeek editorial team last week, including editor-in-chief Stephen Adler, executive editors Ellen Pollock and John Byrne and Ciro Scotti, BusinessWeek‘s managing editor. These meetings discussed topics like the possibility of integrating content from Bloomberg into the magazine and adding more editorial pages to the book, which “suggests Bloomberg might be looking at tinkering with BusinessWeek‘s traditional 60-40 mix of editorial pages to ad pages,” Lowry said.

Right now, it’s all speculation. The sales process is just at the beginning, but we’re bound to learn more as it progresses. But a successful media company like Bloomberg taking over the reins of a struggling pub like BusinessWeek certainly seems promising, even if the editorial mix of the mag may change in the future. If BusinessWeek survives in any form, and jobs are saved, it’s better than the fate suffered by other magazines, like Portfolio.

BusinessWeek Accepts Revised Bids From Potential BuyersBusinessWeek

Earlier: Getting The Skinny On The BusinessWeek Deal As Bid Deadline Looms

FBLA’s Top 5 Stories Yesterday

Rainey: Lawyers and Kings and Yaroslasky – Oh My

LAT’s James Rainey‘s column today is about organizations and a politician who have hired seasoned journalists to write about them. No not exactly like a flack…but kind of like a flack. Kind of like a private security officer is the the police.

Rainey writes:

What do the Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and California trial lawyers have in common?

All think the news media no longer cover the universe — or their corner of it — adequately and all have hired journalists of their own.

Sorry I couldn’t provide a snappier punch line. But the latest journalism innovation — in a season of unending innovation — is no joke: Those who once were merely subjects of news coverage increasingly will be looking for ways to write the story themselves.

Of course Los Angeles would be the city where a new inventive way to get one even more publicity would be hatched. Is this the future? Every starlet needs their own stylist, publicist and journalist?

Conan Walks Us Through His Fall

Back from a truly gnarly crack on the skull, Conan O’Brien explains what happened to his television audience.

Try to watch it without getting a headache.

Andy Cobb and FBLA Mashup

This is the always hilarious Andy Cobb‘s new video about Senator David Vitter. And yes, there is a cameo by your FBLA editor in there. Watch and see!

Previously on FBLA:

  • Andy Cobb Takes on Mouthpiece Theater

  • The FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning Glance

    Rather’s CBS Suit Dismissed|Gannett Says Thirds Q Results Will Surpass Expectations|Advanstar Restructures|NPR CEO Vivian Schiller

    Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

    TVNewser: Dan Rather‘s $70 million lawsuit against former employer CBS Corp. has been dismissed. And in other CBS news, check out this profile of “60 Minutes” correspondent Byron Pitts, who reveals he was functionally illiterate until he was 12.

    Associated Press: Gannett‘s shares jumped 18 percent in premarket trading today after the media company announced that its third quarter earnings were likely to surpass expectations. Gannett will publish its earnings October 19.

    Folio: Advanstar Communications announced a restructuring, cutting its debts by $385 million.

    More: A profile of Vivian Schiller, president and CEO of National Public Radio. “We have a lot of women in senior leadership,” Schiller said of NPR. “I was the first female CEO. But our head of news is a woman, our general counsel is a woman, our new senior vice president of administration and finance is a woman, our head of communication is a woman. The spirit of Cokie [Roberts] and Linda [Wertheimer] and Nina [Totenberg] and Susan [Stamberg[ very much pervades it.”

    Remembering Dominick Dunne

    ddunne.jpgIn its November issue, Vanity Fair, where Dominick Dunne contributed countless articles since the mid-1980′s, has a detailed tribute to the tireless journalist and chronicler of Hollywood life and high profile court cases, written by executive online editor Michael Hogan, who first met Dunne while working as the assistant to editor Wayne Lawson.

    Wrote Hogan:

    “What makes his accomplishments all the more astonishing is how low he was just three decades ago. Before he became one of the most instantly recognizable magazine writers in the world, Dominick Dunne’s only claim to fame was his epic, humiliating failure.”

    The must-read article highlights Dunne’s work throughout his life, particularly his propensity to identify with the victims of horrible crimes as he covered the trials of Claus von Bulow, the Menendez brothers and O.J. Simpson — an affect arising out of his experience with the murder of his own daughter Dominique, whose killer John Sweeney was convicted of a lesser charge of manslaughter:

    “Dominick’s article about John Sweeney’s case was published in the March 1984 issue of Vanity Fair under the title ‘Justice.’ Even today, you can feel the rage pulsating behind his carefully chosen words.”

    Hogan also talks of Dunne’s various feuds with family and friends over the years, from his own brother John to the Kennedy family, who seemed to haunt Dunne even to the day of his death last month.

    “Dominick died on August 26, but fate had prepared one last humbling joke for him. The night before, Ted Kennedy had beaten him to the punch. The man who, in Dominick’s estimation, had ‘lived recklessly, performed brilliantly in Congress, and often failed miserably in life’ was all anybody could talk about.

    Even in death, Dominick was being tormented by the family he resented most. It was the kind of story that would have amused the hell out of him–if only it had happened to someone else.”

    Read more: Our Man DominickVanity Fair

    Earlier: Vanity Fair Columnist, Prolific Author Dominick Dies

    Study: Newspapers Are Retaining Readers Despite Price Increases

    papers2.jpgIn an effort to survive their recent economic struggles, newspapers across the country have increased home delivery and single copy prices.

    But a recent study by the Newspaper Association of America has revealed that despite increased prices, fewer subscribers are canceling their subscriptions.

    According to data from the the NAA’s 2009 Circulation Facts, Figures and Logic study, the percentage of subscribers who have canceled their subscriptions fell to 31.8 percent last year, compared to 54.5 percent several years ago in 2000.

    NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm attributed this lack of churn to newspapers’ focus on retaining readers in prime markets in order to give advertisers the most for their money. The study’s data also revealed that readers were drawn in through new business models and multi-platform content, the NAA said.

    Well, at least the industry is doing something right. And readers are staying loyal and sticking by their papers even as sub prices rise. It’s heartening news.

    Related: Grim Revenue Number For Papers As Publishers Meet Secretly

    (Photo via flickr)

    CNN’s iPhone App Debacle Raises Questions About Embargoes

    cnnmobile101.pngCNN launched a new $1.99 iPhone app today.

    That, in itself, might be some pretty interesting news, what with a cable news channel charging for an application that is similar to what other news organizations are giving out for free. The idea raises questions about the future of paid content: Is there an audience for this? Will people buy it? Who will launch the next paid app?

    But beyond that, this announcement has been clouded by other journalistic questions, namely the use of embargoes and their necessity. Our sister blog PRNewser reports that Reuters reporter Robert MacMillan was upset by the fact that a rival reporter at Associated Press member paper The OC Register broke an embargo that would have kept CNN’s announcement under wraps until midnight.

    “PS, we were going to hold this until midnight because it was embargoed,” MacMillan wrote. “That embargo has been broken, so bombs away.”

    Should CNN have embargoed this news? As news of the embargo break hit Twitter last night, Silicon Alley Insider editor Dan Frommer noted how unremarkable this sort of announcement had become. “‘Company X has an iPhone app’ is the new ‘Company X has a website,’ he said.

    All Things Digital columnist Peter Kafka agreed, advising his fellow reporters to stop accepting embargoes for iPhone apps.

    Do you think he’s right? There are thousands of apps with new ones, paid and unpaid, announced by media companies every day. Just yesterday, the AP launched one of its own, charging $28.99 for access to its 2009 Stylebook. And today, another release arrived in our inbox announcing the second iPhone app created by Rodale‘s Women’s Health magazine, a free app called “Your Slim-Down Shopping List.”

    Some of these apps are innovative ways to possibly create new revenue streams for struggling companies, but is every little announcement newsworthy? Or better yet, embargo-worthy? What do you think?

    PRNewser: Reuters Reporter Upset As AP Breaks CNN iPhone App Embargo

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