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Posts Tagged ‘Romenesko’

Cablevision Exec Responds to Low Subscriber Numbers

cablevision_logo_med.gifThere has been much egg on the face of Cablevision after its pay wall plan for was revealed earlier this week to have only 35 subscribers.

Tad Smith, Cablevision’s president for local media, reached out to Romenesko in an email declaring that the success of the pay wall initiative isn’t measured by the company in the number of people who subscribed to the $260-a-year service, but by “the change in unique visitors compared year over year in the New York metro area (our target audience).” And those unique visitors, according to Cablevision, have only decreased two percent in December 2009 compared to the same month last year. The slight decrease may be due in part to the fact that many of’s readers are Cablevision subscribers, and therefore get to read the site for free anyway.

Still, using a newspaper only to increase your subscriber sales isn’t anything to crow about, says Slate‘s Marion Maneker:

“Either way, Smith seems to be declaring that Cablevision’s $632 million acquisition of Newsday was simply to add another freebie to Cablevision’s subscription bundle. This was every analyst’s worst fear when it was announced that the Dolans had the winning bid for Newsday. Instead of expanding the subscription base for the newspaper and increasing advertising inventory for the cable business (buy a local ad on Cablevision and get a newspaper and Web ad as value-add), they paid a premium for some local content.”

So Cablevision is using Newsday not just as a newspaper, but as a way to sweeten the deal for Internet subscribers to choose their service. But that’s not to say that Newsday would be better off had Rupert Murdoch had purchased the paper in 2008. Whose to say the site wouldn’t be behind a pay wall in that scenario?

Read More: Newsday exec: We don’t measure success by how many people sign up to pay $260/year for our website –Romenesko

Cablevision Exec Defends Newsday Web Strategy –Slate

Previously: Newsday’s Pay Wall Experiment Yields Disappointing Results

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McCain and the Press: Be Careful What You Wish For

mccain_press_blog_20080206045206.jpgIt’s no secret that John McCain has been demonizing the press of late: it’s an old trick that often works in the candidates advantage, however McCain, once the favorite son of the media may have taken it a step too far. Yesterday, during a conference call McCain campaign brain Steve Schmidt roundly criticized the NYT for being, among other things, a “pro-Obama advocacy organization,” also, Politico is “in the tank” for Obama. Of course, recent relations between the New York Times and McCain have been tenuous at best since the Times did their front page work-up about McCain, which included some sketchily sourced claims of extra-marital affairs. Still, Politico‘s Ben Smith reports that the conference call, ostensibly called because top campaign aids are tired of being labeled “liars,” was “so rife with simple, often inexplicable misstatements of fact, that it may have had the opposite effect: to deepen the perception, dangerous to McCain, that he and his aides have little regard for factual accuracy.”

Even better! What if the press begins to question why they are covering McCain at all! At least that’s what Jay Rosen seems to be suggesting in a blistering letter posted on Romenesko today.

Read more

Britney Spears Given Priority At AP: Print Journalists Die A Little Inside

britcar.jpegFrom Romenesko via LA Observed: AP’s LA Assistant Bureau Chief Frank Baker tells his staff that “Now and for the foreseeable future, virtually everything involving Britney is a big deal.”

He tries to qualify it, saying “that doesn’t mean every rumor makes it on the wire. But it does mean that we want to pay attention to what others are reporting and seek to confirm those stories that WE feel warrant the wire. And when we determine that we’ll write something, we must expedite it.”

We hear the memo went on to tell reporters to be glad they weren’t on the ever-dwindling staff of the Orange County Register, remind them to fill their sacks with heavy resolve and just keep moving.

Hollywood Newsrooms: Too Tidy To Be True


Over at Romenesko, journos are weighing in on the best Hollywood newsrooms following Peter Hartlaub’s piece in the San Francisco Chronicle on the too-tidy newsroom in Zodiac.

Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

The Slap Maxwell Story

Lou Grant

Notice how they never complain about Robert Redford playing a reporter?