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AllThingsD Parting Ways With Dow Jones (Fortune)
The team behind influential tech site AllThingsD is severing ties with founding owner Dow Jones, a subsidiary of News Corp. Fortune reported last month that AllThingsD co-executive editors Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg had hired investment bank Code Advisors to find outside investors, as they continued to negotiate with Dow Jones about either ending or extending a partnership agreement that was set to expire on Dec. 31. In the end, however, they were not able to work out a deal. Not only does that mean the AllThingsD team will no longer share content and certain advertising functions with Dow Jones, but also that Mossberg will leave his Wall Street Journal column after 20 years (he has been with the paper for a total of four decades). Dow Jones also will retain the AllThingsD brand. All of this becomes effective at year-end. AllThingsD First things first: We’re keeping the Steelcase hot-seat red chairs. Forever. In fact, we own quite a few now. And we’ll still be scooping and reviewing all things digital right here, at this Web address, for a few more months. So, while we appreciate the teary farewells we’ve been receiving across the Web, they’re premature — not by just months, but by many, many years. GigaOM The decision leaves All Things Digital — which was wholly owned by Dow Jones — in limbo while it tries to find a new media partner or buyer. NYT Dow Jones confirmed on Thursday evening that the company would part ways with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the end of the year when their contracts expire. Gerard Baker, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, said in a statement that the Journal was increasing its bet on technology coverage even without Swisher and Mossberg, its most prominent stars. FishbowlNY The separation of AllThingsD and Dow Jones also means the end of Mossberg’s tenure at The Wall Street Journal. He had been with the paper since 1970. TheWrap Swisher and Mossberg launched AllThingsD in 2003, and it quickly became a must-read tech site. Its annual “D” conference is a Who’s Who of Silicon Valley that makes millions of dollars annually for the journalists and Dow Jones. The conference brand had expanded into a media version and to Asia in recent years.
Posts Tagged ‘Kara Swisher’
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It’s official: AllThingsD and Dow Jones are done. According to a statement just released by Gerard Baker, editor of Dow Jones and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal, AllThingsD and Dow Jones will not sign a contract extension. In the memo, the move is billed as “a mutual separation.”
We first heard rumblings that Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg — the founders of AllThingsD — were trying to find investors that might be interested in buying a stake in the site late last month. To that end, Fortune is reporting that there are talks underway with Comcast and NBC Universal.
The separation of AllThingsD and Dow Jones also means the end of Mossberg’s tenure at The Wall Street Journal. He had been with the paper since 1970.
Read Baker’s full memo below.
AllThingsD, the tech news site, is rumored to be working its way away from Dow Jones, the News Corp. subsidiary that owns the site. Fortune reports that AllThingsD’s contract expires on December 31, so Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg — the founders of AllThingsD — are busy trying to find investors that might be interested in buying a stake in the site.
The asking price is rumored to be somewhere between $10 million and $15 million for a 25 percent or 30 percent chunk of the company. Swisher and Mossberg are looking at media companies, and so far three proposals have been submitted; one of which is from NBCUniversal. Other companies that were discussed include Bloomberg, The Washington Post Company and Condé Nast.
As for now, this is just speculation. Swisher and Mossberg could leave to start a new site and AllThingsD could end up remaining under the News Corp. umbrella. Either way, a source told Fortune that Rupert Murdoch “will probably make the final call on what happens.”
He will be starting in two weeks.
Del Rey, most recently a reporter at Advertising Age, will cover companies such as Amazon, Groupon, eBay and the online payments business, “as well the escalation of the Internet of Things and the continued mashup of the offline and online worlds.”
Del Rey has been a business reporter since 2007, when he joined Inc. magazine covering startups. He was on AdAge’s digital media team, covering everything from the Yahoos and AOL Goliaths to the BuzzFeed and Gawker Media Davids.
Head over to AllThingsD to read the full memo.
Bloomberg News, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal each won multiple Gerald Loeb Awards, which recognize excellence in business journalism. Matthew Winkler, Bloomberg News’ Editor-in-Chief, said of grabbing multiple wins, “As there is no greater measure of respect than to be honored by our peers, we are grateful to be recognized with seven Loeb finalists and three Loeb winners, all of them advancing the public interest.”
The awards were presented last night. Below are the winners, congrats to all.
- David Evans- “Profiting From Fallen Soldiers” (News Service Category)
- Daniel Golden, John Hechingerand John Lauerman – “Education Inc.” (Beat Reporting)
- Amanda Bennett and Charles R. Babcock – “End of Life Warning at $618,616 Makes Me Wonder Was It Worth It” (Magazines)
Yesterday, TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington widely announced via blog post that he is returning to startup investing in many of the companies TechCrunch is known to cover. As he states himself, “there will be financial conflicts of interests in a lot of my stories.”
And he is not at all sorry about it! “I think that this will all be fine,” he writes, with a remarkable amount of confidence, as long as he promises to disclose his conflicts as he writes about them.
Business Insider asked AOL if it is corporate policy that journalists are allowed to invest in the companies and industries they write about. The answer: No, they are not allowed to do that, unless they are named Michael Arrington. From AOL’s statement:
Michael Arrington operates from a unique position. He was an investor in technology companies and start-ups before he started TechCrunch, and his extensive knowledge of, and involvement with Silicon Valley is one of the very things that has made TechCrunch a must-read site.
Is this whole ethical overhaul making you feel a little uncomfortable? This is what Arrington said about his potential detractors: “Other tech press will make hay out of this because they don’t like the fact that we are, simply, a lot better than them.”
Ouch! We bet none of his inferior competitors would dare criticize him now!
Shortly afterwards, we received a follow-up in which Patricia Chui, Editor-in-Chief of Moviefone, issued an apology of sorts to freelancers, where she attempted to clarify that “we have not been asking freelancers (i.e., any of you) to become unpaid bloggers.” (Except, of course, that she had.)
That was fast! But considering all of the bad publicity HuffPo has gotten for unpaid bloggers, and its effort to refashion itself as an outlet based on traditional journalism, Chui’s email was incredibly ill-advised.
Apparently it was not the first time Chui had made a serious gaffe.
The Apple iPad news reader app Zite has been making some powerful enemies.
Kara Swisher reports that a round-up of scary media giants including The Washington Post, AP, Gannett, Getty Images, Time, Dow Jones, and many other organizations issued a cease-and-desist letter today to Zite, a content aggregator, citing a ton of copyright violations.
“The Zite application is plainly unlawful,” said the letter to Zite CEO Ali Davar.
“It’s a bummer that they did this, but we expected it,” Davar told Swisher, sounding less terrified than we would have thought. Yeah, it does seem like sort of a bummer.
Davar said Zite, which aggregates personalized content by getting cues from user interest, would comply with the cease-and-desist letter by shifting the content from its “reading” mode to a Web one, which actually points to publisher sites.
It’s time to take stock of what is left standing at AOL after the massive cleaning taking place in light of the merger with Huffington Post.
Pre-merger, if you compared AOL and Huffington Post section by section, there was a considerable amount of overlap between the two sites. Post-merger, it’s up to Arianna Huffington to decide which sections stay and which sections go, based on whether the AOL version or the Huffington Post version is more profitable or promising.
The site slashing has begun. Forbes reports:
All told, some 30 brands will be “integrated” into other properties… Among those to be absorbed are Politics Daily (folded into HuffPost Politics), Walletpop (folded into Daily Finance), Urlesque (folded into HuffPost Comedy), Luxist (folded into Stylelist) and TV Squad (folded into AOL TV).
But all the merger casualties are not just on the AOL side; as Kara Swisher notes, “It goes both ways, though–the Huffington Post’s travel site will be closed in favor of AOL’s stronger offering in that arena.” Other popular AOL brands, such as its PopEater celebrity site and its StyleList fashion site, will keep their names but no longer exist as separate destination sites.
It looks like last week’s layoffs were only the tip of ice berg for AOL. As predicted, the company said today that it was looking to trim its workforce by one-third as it prepares to spin off from its parent company, Time Warner, next month.
Reports say AOL is looking for up to 2,500 volunteers through a voluntary buyout program that will run from December 4 until December 11. If more cuts are needed after the buyout offer period ends, then there will be layoffs as AOL seeks to trim $300 million from its annual operating expenses.
As a consolation, CEO Tim Armstrong is giving up his 2009 bonus. It’s an expensive promise, since his bonus is expected to be within the $1.5 million to $4 million range. A nice gesture, but still of little comfort to thousands of employees whose jobs are on the line.
Update: Kara Swisher of All Things Digital reports that those AOL employees offered a voluntary buyout package are facing a difficult decision: AOL is offering “those who ‘volunteer’ to leave the company now a departure package that ranges from three to nine months of pay, compared to one to four months for employees laid off in the first quarter of next year.”
AOL To Reduce Work Force By One-Third –Wall Street Journal
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