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Posts Tagged ‘Russell Adams’

More Info on New York Times Paywall

FishbowlNY told you last week that the Times will be charging about $20 a month for full access to its website, and now a report from the Wall Street Journal sheds a little more light on the subject.

Russell Adams mostly rehashes what’s already known about the paywall in his piece, but then there’s this:

Times Co. executives say people who arrive through search engines like Google won’t be blocked from viewing the first page of a search result regardless of how many visits they’ve made. The openness of the system has raised questions inside and outside the Times about whether the paper is making it too easy to avoid paying.

Yeah, that little problem of search engines.

The Times can try all it wants, but it’s too late for a paywall. It’s not going to work. The paper should just focus on making the website better and increasing online ad revenue. The Times missed the boat on charging for online access when it first started its website 15 years ago. It’s hard to blame the paper because back in 1996 the Internet was in its infancy and people somehow thought listening to The Wallflowers was an okay thing to do, but the damage is done. No one will pay for online access to the Times, so the paper should just scrap the whole idea.

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News Corp’s Myspace Preps for Huge Layoffs

No matter what Myspace tries it continues to lose a ton of money, and it’s starting to make Rupert Murdoch sweat. In October of last year the site launched a new look which emphasized gaming and music, but nothing seems to be helping. Jessica Vascellaro and Russell Adams of the Wall Street Journal are reporting that Myspace is about to let go of almost half of its staff to help deal with the huge losses. As of November, the News Corp. entity that oversees the site has lost over $150 million, and ad spending was down $70 million.

Chase Carey, News Corporation’s Chief Operating Officer, said the steep drops, “Are not acceptable or sustainable. Our current management did not create these losses, but they know we have to address them.” Apparently the way to do that is to fire people. Let’s hope the execs at least add some blingees to their pink slips.

News Corporation Invests Heavily in Education Technology

Liberal parents might want to start considering home schooling their kids, because when there’s money to be made, News Corporation isn’t far behind. Russell Adams and Jessica Vascellaro team up on an article in the Wall Street Journal about how the media giant recently invested $360 million in Wireless Generation, a Brooklyn-based tech company that specializes in software for teachers. Rupert Murdoch has brought in Joel Klein, the outgoing city school chancellor, to oversee the education venture for News Corporation.

The company’s Chief Operating Officer, Chase Carey, says that the education market has been extremely sluggish to adapt new technologies, so News Corporation will proceed with a great amount of caution.

However, if Murdoch is correct in his statements that the industry is worth almost $500 billion per year, FishbowlNY expects the company won’t hesitate to speed things up. We expect textbooks converting to more New York Post-like titles within the year. “Beginning Mathematics” will become “1 + 1 = Tons o’ Fun” and so on.

The Daily Beast-Newsweek Merger Talks End

Earlier today, Russell Adams of The Wall Street Journal wrote that The Daily Beast has pulled out of talks of a potential merger with Newsweek. The deal would have added “editor of Newsweek” to Tina Brown‘s already cluttered job title list of co-founder/co-owner and editor of The Daily Beast.

Over the last several weeks discussion has focused on the roles of Brown, Daily Beast chairman Barry Diller, and new Newsweek owner Sidney Harman.  Much of the debate centered on what portion of the newly formed company each of these three individuals would control – Brown, Diller, and Harman all were opposed to relinquishing any power.

With hopes of a partnership with The Daily Beast dashed, Harman is now seeking an editor for Newsweek.  The magazine is on pace to lose at least $20 million this year, while The Daily Beast is reportedly set to lose about $10 million in 2010.

The breakdown in talks and struggle between Brown, Diller, and Harman makes many wonder if the effort to protect their own individual interests is really harming the potential growth of both media properties.

UPDATE:  Tina Brown has confirmed the report in a post on The Daily Beast:

“The talks were indeed intriguing, but in the end we have decided not to pursue them further.  The engagement was fun but the pre-nup got too complex.”