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Posts Tagged ‘Bennett Zier’

Air America Launches New Web Site

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Air America Media took another step towards becoming more than just a progressive radio network with the relaunch of its Web site this week.

Air America is upping its multimedia offerings with blogs that offer original and aggregated news content 24/7, streaming multimedia and OnDemand content, a clip library and social media tidbits like interactive chats with Air America show hosts and producers. The site now has six new channels: News, Politics, Economy, Entertainment, Lifestyle and Green, as well as a channel called “Really?” for the weirder news stories of the day.

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Mediabistro Course

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Air America Media Celebrates New Web Site In Style

09.23.09 Launch Party 056.jpgIt’s not often that we find ourselves at media events eating Chinese take out in someone’s living room. But that’s exactly what we experienced Wednesday night as Air America Media celebrated the upcoming launch of its new Web site.

Newly engaged chief digital officer Michael Bassik (right), CEO Bennett Zier and chairman Charlie Kireker welcomed guests to the sprawling apartment located just north of Soho on Broadway and introduced the site’s editor-in-chief, Beau Friedlander, who talked about the venture, which the company hopes will become the homepage for progressive Democrats.

Air America’s on-air talent were also in attendance, including Ron Reagan, Lionel, Montel Williams and Ana Marie Cox. We also chatted with The Onion‘s Baratunde Thurston, blogger Maegan Carberry and Deanna Zandt. And happily, unlike one unlucky partygoer (or building resident) we avoided getting trapped in the elevator. We took the stairs.

More pictures after the jump.

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What’s Next In Multi-Platform Content: 4 Questions for Air America’s Bennett Zier

bennett.jpgNewspapers are dying, magazines are closing and more journalists are finding themselves without paying gigs every day. Everyone is wondering: what does the future hold for the media? We brought the questions to the front lines, asking leaders in the field to tell us: what’s next?

Bennett Zier, the CEO of left-leaning Air America Media, knows multi-platform content and niche branding is the key to any media company’s survival today. He is quick to wave off any definition of Air America as simply a radio network.

“We’re a progressive Web site that has its own radio network, and a radio network that has a Web site,” he said.

FishbowlNY: Speaking on a media panel last week, you said that content providers need to find a target market for their content and that they should strive to become the “est” of something. What is Air America’s “est”?

Bennett Zier: We are the most left of center-est or we’re the left-est. Air America is a very well known brand and a brand that speaks to content that is left of center and progressive for listeners, viewers and readers. From our research we know that Air America has become synonymous with progressive media.

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Web Journalists To Debate Business Model At Upcoming Mediabistro Panel

keyboard.jpgNext week, mediabistro will be hosting a panel that will discuss how social media is changing the face of journalism, whether an online business model is on the horizon and what that business model may look like.

We suspect this panel, moderated by BusinessWeek media columnist Jon Fine, will be similar to last week’s Reuters <a href="panel or this week’s Gotham Media panel about the media in crisis. However, while Reuters and Gotham Media offered insight from “old media” editors like Lawrence Ingrassia from The New York Times, the Financial TimesChrystia Freeland and Andrew Edgecliff-Johnson and Air America‘s Bennett Zier, next week’s panel will have a distinctive point of view from panelists with vast online experience including NYU journalism professor and blogger Jay Rosen, Mediaite.com Editor at Large Rachel Sklar, blogger Maeghan Carberry and former Star-Ledger staffer Matt Romanoski, who helped found NewJerseyNewsroom.com.

In the hopes of learning a little bit more about what this panel will focus on, we picked moderator Fine’s brain for a bit. “There isn’t an answer,” Fine said of the ever elusive online business model question for media companies. “But if you can get people to pay for something you’re in good shape.”

Expect panelists to wrestle with this conundrum, offer suggestions and advice and describe their own experiences. It all goes down July 16.

(Photo via flickr)

Leaders From Air America, FT Say Future Of Media Is A World Of Niches

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From left: Dezenhall, Klein, Edgecliff-Johnson, Heyward and Zier talk the future of media

Another day, another panel talking about why the media is in crisis and what can be done to fix it.

Today’s panel at the Samsung Experience in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle hosted by Gotham Media Ventures — called “Media in Crisis: Is There A Way Out? — brought us no closer to a solution, but was more focused on particular problems and solutions than some of the other panels we have been to recently.

Moderated by Eric Dezenhall, founder of crisis management firm Dezenhall Resources, the panel included Financial Times Media Editor Andrew Edgecliff-Johnson, Newspaper National Network CEO Jason Klein, Air America CEO Bennett Zier and Andrew Heyward, senior advisor at MarketSpace LLC and former president of CBS News.

The panelists focused in on the main problems that are plaguing journalism today: the changing advertising market, media bias versus niche markets and rapidly changing technology.

Bias and emerging niche markets particularly fascinated the panelists, who all agreed that there is a future for niche publications — although they mourned the loss of unbiased news coverage and local reporting of large local newspapers.

“News has become a spectator sport,” Zier said, noting that every outlet strives to be the “est” — as in “youngest, oldest, blackest, hippest.” And that’s not a bad thing. “There is so much noise right now, you absolutely have to differentiate yourself,” he added.

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“Air America Is Turning Into A Multimedia Co.”: CEO

airamerica.pngAir America Media announced this week that it is launching its own in-house network sales division, which will represent all of the company’s shows and products — including radio, video and online content — directly to media agencies and buyers.

The new business structure means Air America is taking over work once done by Westwood One radio network to create direct relationships with advertising agencies in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, Air America Media CEO Bennett Zier told FishbowlNY. Previously, Air America dealt with some advertisers directly but let Westwood One handle relationships with agencies.

“Agencies are sophisticated in their planning and their creative approach in making strategies for their clients, which will hopefully become our clients,” Zier said. “Because Air America is a particular type of company, and a left of center company, there are certain companies that want to advertise with us, and we want to be able to facilitate that and work with them more directly.”

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Lunch: Charlie Rose, Joe Scarborough, and the Summer Die-Hards

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— DIANE CLEHANE

With the dog days of summer upon us, the usual suspects at Michael’s are soldiering on over their Cobb salads until it’s time to take off those last few weeks of the month to the Hamptons, Nantucket or some other sun-filled spot far from the madding crowd. In the meantime, the random celebrity sighting is keeping things interesting. Word of illusionist JB Benn‘s sleight of hand tricks that kept the crowd bedazzled last week must have gotten around the magician’s union because my spies told me that David Blaine walked in without a reservation yesterday and was bending quarters for everybody’s amusement. Just thought you’d like to know.

I was lunching today with publishing powerhouse turned Internet entrepreneur Joni Evans, whose five-month old site Wowowow.com is going great guns. Joni, who is wow’s CEO, launched the site with pals Liz Smith, Peggy Noonan, Mary Wells and Lesley Stahl for “self-assured women who are a bit too old to care what everybody thinks.” This month, Joni kicked off “The Book Party” with Judith Martin (Miss Manners) reading a collection of the classics. “It’s been incredibly well-received,” she says, and plans are in the works to expand the vertical in all sorts of interesting ways. And that’s not all — Joni tells me in the not-so-distant future the site will introduce a new fashion maven into the mix to cover style and a health vertical ‘Medicine Ball.’ The site’s content is popping up on MSN.com, Fox.com and Yahoo’s Shine. For more dish about Joni and her newfound career, check out her interview with me for our “So What Do You Do?” series coming next month …

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Charlie Rose and an unidentifed young blonde gal

2. Peter Brown

3. Jonathan Tisch and John Sykes

4. Michael Fuchs and Peggy Siegal

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