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Posts Tagged ‘Larry Kramer’

USA Today’s Digital Platforms Exceed 1 Billion Page Views

USA today logo GFor all the ridicule USA Today gets, someone is apparently a fan. According to a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, in January, USA Today received over one billion page views across its digital platforms.

“Our total of 1.1 billion pages views over mobile, tablet and desktop was a 36.7 percent jump over last January and 17.6 percent over last month,” wrote the paper’s publisher, Larry Kramer. “This is a huge milestone on our journey to the top of the digital news and information world.”

Nice work, USA Today.

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You’ll Just Have to Guess if USA Today is Considering a Paywall

USA today logo GUSA Today might be considering a paywall for its website. We can’t tell you for sure because Larry Kramer — president and publisher of USA Today — is being pretty vague about the whole thing.

Here’s a collection of quotes about the paywall from Kramer, via The New York Post and Poynter:

  • “We’re going to look at it.”
  • “People are exploring it”
  • “The question is, if we do it, what is the best way to do it.”
  • “No plan exists.”
  • “We’re studying it.”

To recap: USA Today is schizophrenic.

Tom Brokaw, Randi Zuckerberg and David Zinczenko’s Next Chapter

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As any self-respecting power luncher knows, December is no time to slack off and dip into the egg nog. Quite the contrary. The noontime hour during the holidays may be reserved for a little shopping for those that still go the brick and mortar route, but the regulars at Michael’s know that now is the time to get real business done, score some valuable face time and plot your next big move. As one mogul told me today, “I’ll celebrate in January. Now is the best time to get in there when the competition isn’t looking.” Consider yourself warned.

Judging from the interesting combinations of folks at the tables around the dining room today, I’d say there are plenty of movers and shakers whose New Year’s resolutions involve making some changes to the resume and fattening up that portfolio (even if the tax man is going to come looking for a bigger piece of the action come 2013). There were so many suits in the lounge eagerly awaiting to be seated when I showed up that I thought there was some kind of Wall Street holiday hoo-ha going on.  The appearance of Mark Zuckerberg‘s sister Randi Zuckerberg with AOL’s Jolie Hunt caused a bit of stir, and I spotted more than a handful of mavens “in transition” who have seemingly aligned themselves with some interesting power players in hopes for a brighter new year. Here’s hoping.

I was invited to join ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong and David Zinczenko for a dishy lunch. While Joe and I waited for Dave to arrive, I noticed that the Mayor’s omnipresent, tri-colored western boot that doubles as a centerpiece when he’s in the house had been replaced by a bigger, bronze version. The Mayor tells me that he decided to keep the red, white and blue version at home for safe keeping. It’s signed by music men Jimmy Buffet, Willie Nelson, Fats Domino and Elton John (on the day Joe hosted a lunch for Elton in celebration of the Broadway debut of Billy Elliot in this very dining room), as well as Laura Bush who happened to spy it on Joe’s table during a visit a while back and whipped out a Sharpie before Joe knew what hit him.

Diane Clehane, David Zinczenko and Joe Armstrong

I couldn’t wait to catch up with Dave when he arrived. His headline-making departure from Rodale a few weeks ago after his incredibly successful tenure at the top has gotten plenty of coverage. Just this week Women’s Wear Daily and AdAge weighed in, with the latter speculating on “Rodale’s Rocky Road” in the face of Dave’s exit. As you undoubtedly know, Dave was the high-profile  face and voice of the Men’s Health brand, with regular appearances on the Today show and scores of other shows from Ellen to Oprah. His much imitated Eat This, Not That bestsellers became their own franchise for Rodale, cementing the company’s place in pop culture as long as Dave kept churning out different versions.

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Larry Kramer: No Plans For a ‘USA Today’ Paywall

USA Today publisher Larry Kramer says that the company has no plans to institute a paywall at the national paper’s website, even as the company continues to examine future revenue models. Kramer made the comments during a conversation with Washington Post CEO Don Graham at the Business Insider Ignition conference in New York.

“I don’t want to charge [online] for USA Today right now, I don’t think it is the right thing to do, and there is so much national news out there,” Kramer said. “I think we would lose more than we would gain.”

Kramer also talked about efforts he has taken to change the business and culture of the Gannett paper since taking over as publisher in May.

“The best of our work had been in the newspaper, and I had to change the structure of the staff so they were producing for the digital platform first, and then the newspaper,” Kramer said.

He also mentioned the innovative strategy the paper was taken with its sports coverage.

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The New USA Today is Here

Well, here it is. The all new USA Today. What do you think? Like we said yesterday, it’s certainly more colorful. We’re still not fans of that big blue blob as the new logo, but Larry Kramer — publisher of the paper —  had something to say about that.

“Our new logo will be as dynamic as the news itself — we’ll use it as a platform to express our editorial spirit,” wrote Kramer in a note to readers on the front page.

Here’s hoping that editorial spirit gets a little more interesting.

USA TODAY Breathes New LIFE Into Its Entertainment Coverage

Is USA TODAY going to continue to let the Daily Mail stomp all over its Google Analytics?
Not without a fight.

Timed to coincide with the newspaper’s September 15/30th anniversary, a new print edition will arrive Friday, followed this weekend by the beta Web version. Smartly, the publication is waiting until later this fall for the official Internet-side redesign launch, so that it can in part garner and factor in reader response.

From today’s announcement:

The new look of USA TODAY is designed to take “visual storytelling to the next level” by displaying more color, photos and infographics. The States page will contain photos for the first time, while the Weather page will sport a cleaner look.

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David Callaway, MarketWatch Editor, Named USA Today EIC

David Callaway, MarketWatch’s top editor since 2003, is leaving to become the editor-in-chief of USA Today. Callaway had been with MarketWatch since 1999. Prior to that he was a columnist with the Boston Herald.

At the paper, Callaway will rejoin Larry Kramer, who founded MarketWatch and was recently named president of Gannett USA Today.

“David is a distinguished journalist with a deep understanding of digital news and we are thrilled to have him join the USA Today team,” said Kramer, in a press release. “He has successfully run a newsroom that produced regular television, radio, digital and mobile news products. Here, he will also lead a multi-platform newsroom that will provide our readers with the outstanding content they have come to expect from us.”

Larry Kramer Named Publisher of USA Today

Larry Kramer, the founder of Marketwatch, has been named the President and Publisher of USA Today. Kramer most recently worked as a consultant and an adjunct professor at Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Communications.

“As a journalist and media executive for many years, I have always had tremendous respect for USA Today and the reputation it has built as a trusted source for the day’s news and information,” said Kramer in a press release. “As an entrepreneur, I have also admired its strong legacy of innovation. I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to work with this talented team to reinvigorate USA Today’s mission and lay the groundwork for its next 30 years as a leading, multi-platform media brand and content powerhouse.”

Kramer’s appointment is effective immediately.

Why the Associated Press or The Wall Street Journal Should Have Won the Breaking News Pulitzer

Much speculation has been given to the fact that no news organization won the “Breaking News” Pulitzer prize this year, particularly because Pulitzer administrator Sig Gissler indicated that there was no winner because none of the entries were good enough.

Some agreed with him that breaking news is now a lost art. Other felt that Twitter really deserved the prize, if that was possible. Larry Kramer wrote that “if the newspaper industry gives up on breaking news, they should just close their doors.”

Now Joel Achenbach argues at The Washington Post that it’s not the fault of the news organizations that no one won, but of the Pulitzer Prize’s own flawed rule system. Both the Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal can claim they were robbed of the breaking news Pulitzer, because both did “tremendous work on the gulf oil spill, which was the biggest breaking news story of the year.” Writes Achenbach:

Now, you might argue that the spill was not truly “breaking” news, except for the first couple of days. You would be mistaken. It was ALL breaking, for three months, every day different from the last.

So why didn’t they win? Achenbach suggests it’s time for a rule change.

I suspect the real problem is that the breaking news category stipulates that the work be “local.” Why make that stipulation? There’s already a separate category for Local News.

Kerry Kennedy & Jackie Author Come Face To Face

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— DIANE CLEHANE

Sometimes it seems as if all roads lead to Michael’s — well, at least on Wednesdays. Today, the planets aligned to bring together folks with some interesting six-degrees-of-separation connections. I was talking to ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong who introduced me to Greg Lawrence, author of Jackie as Editor: The Literary Life of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (St. Martins). Greg interviewed over 125 writers and editors who worked with Jackie during her 19 years at Viking Press. (The excerpt that ran in Vanity Fair recently was dishy and full of colorful details of Jackie’s life as a working girl. The paperback edition comes out this summer.) Turns out Greg worked with Jackie on three books, including one with his former wife, ballerina Gelsey Kirkland. Their memoir, Dancing on My Grave, caused quite an uproar at the time for its revelations. “It was quite scandalous,” recalled Greg, smiling at the memory.

That got me thinking. Since Greg knew one of the most famous members of the Kennedy family pretty well, I asked if he thought Caroline Kennedy was really behind the campaign that got The History Channel to drop their plans to air The Kennedys mini-series. “Oh, definitely,” he told me. “Caroline is very sensitive about these things,  and since she has a documentary with ABC and a book with Hyperion planned on her own about Jackie, she was able to stop it.”

Before he could say more, Kerry Kennedy walked up to say hello to Joe (a longtime friend of the Kennedy family) unaware there was a journalist in her midst who had delved into the life of a Kennedy for fun and profit. When Joe introduced Kerry to Greg and told her about his book, I observed what appeared to be a cautiously cordial response. It must be surreal to see your relative on the cover of a book someone is holding only to find out the author of that book is the person you’re talking to, although I’m guessing  it’s not all that unusual if you’re a Kennedy.  We were saved from any further awkwardness when Henry Schleiff (who knows everyone) grabbed Kerry for a big hug and pulled her aside for a little chat.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Kerry Kennedy, presiding over a table of casually clad diners

2. Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer, having what looked to be a very intense conversation with uber agent Wayne Kabak

3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong with director Susan Stroman, Ed Victor and his lovely wife, Carol

4. Hudson News CEO James S. Cohen with a doppelganger power lunch pal

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