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Posts Tagged ‘Ken Doctor’

Orange County Register Adds the Angels to Its Membership Rewards Program

Ken Doctor, a media expert often quoted in other people’s articles, has gone long-form this week at Nieman Lab about the topic of the Orange County Register‘s ongoing bold experiment. His article is a worthwhile read for anyone closely following the paper’s fortunes.

Next Tuesday, some of the fans sitting inside Angel Stadium of Anaheim for the mighty team’s home opener will be doing so for free, courtesy of the paper’s seven-day subscriber membership rewards program. In this particular case, all at the behest of newspaper president Eric Spitz and CEO Aaron Kushner:

The Register approached the Angels, located 10 minutes away, with the idea of better using the empty seats the Angels couldn’t sell. The Angels found themselves sitting on almost 600,000 empty seats last year over 81 games. Put another 7,000 butts in those seats each night, even without getting paid for the ticket, and the club is pulling in another 10 bucks or so on Chronic Tacos, garlic fries and overpriced Corona.

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Five Takeaways from LA Weekly’s Fabulous LA Times Feature

Timing is everything. Just a few days before this week’s LA Weekly article “Who Will Buy the LA Times?” by Hillel Aron, CNBC broke the news that JPMorgan and Evercore will be handling the sale of the paper and other Tribune Co. assets.

That context gives the piece some extra urgency, and from this excellent bit of work by Aron, we were most struck by the following:

Richest Man in LA vs. Richest Man in the World: Aron references Patrick Soon-Shiong (pictured) in connection with former mayoral candidate Austin Beutner’s effort to put together a stealth group of combined LAT buyers. Surprisingly (at least to us), nowhere in the article does Carlos Slim come up, the man responsible for the relaunch of Larry King and much more. Aron confirms to FishbowlLA that it was not a case of being edited out; “no one ever mentioned Slim,” the writer says.

Two Shades of WSJ: The article characterizes Rupert Murdoch as the man who could potentially outbid everyone, with media expert Ken Doctor telling Aron the Wall Street Journal owner remains the odds-on favorite to acquire the newspaper. Doctor also thinks the two publications’ editorial and ad operations could be streamlined in a number of intriguing ways.

Which is perhaps ironic, because Aron also reminds that Times publisher and Tribune Co. CEO Eddie Hartenstein took a lot of flack internally for his decision to allow the Journal to print at the LAT, bumping the paper’s daily schedule down and “ruining its time-zone advantage over east coast papers.”

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It’s Official: Tribune Company Emerges from Bankruptcy

Reuters reporters Ronald Grover and Liana B. Baker had the scoop last Friday about New Year’s Eve being the day LA Times parent company Tribune Co. would finally, officially emerge from a four-year bankruptcy. This morning at 4:42 a.m. PT, LAT reporters Walter Hamilton and Joe Flint added circumspect confirmation in the paper’s own pages:

The company sought Bankruptcy Court protection in December 2008 after an $8.2 billion leveraged buyout by real estate magnate Sam Zell saddled the company with $12.9 billion in total debt just as advertising revenue was collapsing…

Despite the financial travails of the newspaper industry, Tribune remained profitable throughout the bankruptcy. It built cash reserves of more than $2.5 billion as of November 18, according to a U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing this month.

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Nieman Lab Surveys California’s Shifting Media Landscape

The overriding takeaway from Ken Doctor‘s look at the radical economics of California news gathering is already obvious to anyone doing the gathering. It’s all about digital synergies.

From Russ Stanton‘s jump to a public radio station on a Tony Pierce-led Internet blog blitz, to the confirmation this week that the Bay Citizen is merging with California Watch, print is warming up the deathbed. Doctor also takes the California temperature of Patch, which currently operates 132 hubs across the Golden State:

Many of the sites are lively, with good features, calendars, and lots of local, if episodic, bloggers–even if the sites don’t come close to living up to Patch’s tagline: “Hi there, we’re Patch, your source for local knowledge you can’t live without.”…

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Ken Doctor Chimes in About the Decline of the LAT

6a00d83451c12869e200e54ff456968833-150wi.jpgKen Doctor, former editor, current media expert and blogger wrote a piece after his appearance on KCRW’s “To the Point” program, with the topic, “Newspapers in Big Trouble: Should Americans Care?”

Doctor writes:

Again, it’s easy to just blame Zell, or to decry the loss of Times‘ national and regional reporting, or to blame Old Tribune for its pressure on the Times. All are true, at least to an extent. Still, the newspaper didn’t do what any newspaper business needs to do. Serve an audience, build a market. Connect the dots.

Yes, the L.A. Times is a convenient poster child for what’s going so wrong in journalism, but it’s a poster with a big asterisk affixed to it, one that only history will remember and one that’s scant comfort to the Times staffers losing their jobs and the Times readers’ seeing their paper ebb away.

We read a lot of theories and discussions about the decline of newspapers…none of them in print. Zero.