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Posts Tagged ‘TechCrunch’

Diller Likes AOL While National Journal’s Latest Hire Talks Decline, Plus Other News of the Day

- Well the Wall Street Journal is sure enjoying a recent jump in its advertising revenue, and it wants to make it clear that the New York Times isn’t matching it. According to a company memo obtained by Romenesko, the WSJ‘s print and online revenue jumped 17%, while its digital advertising revenue skyrocketed up 29% in the first quarter of 2011. How’s NYT‘s? According to the memo, “for the same three month period the New York Times has forecast total print and online revenue for its calendar third quarter to fall 2 to 3% compared with a year before. Total print advertising revenue is expected to be down 5%. Total digital advertising revenue is projected to rise 14%.” Does this mean the WSJ is winning?

- AOL has one fan in IAC CEO Barry Diller. Of course this fan was speaking at AOL’s recent acquisition, TechCrunch’s conference when he spoke of AOL. “For the first time in more than ten years … which in an internet company of such size is an eternity … real things are happening,” said Diller, according to paidContent. “There is a real direction, a real plan, it is under a real leader. It is independent, it’s got a real chance.” What are Diller’s thoughts on Yahoo, however? He didn’t want to talk about it.

- The media watchdog group Free Press has filed a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission to stop the practice of paid publicists supporting products on television news casts, when the news station presents the person as a consumer advocate. This move by the Free Press has come on the heels of Los Angeles Times columnist James Rainey calling out the FCC for not doing something about this practice. “The agency hopes the threat of public embarrassment will keep hucksters in check,” wrote Rainey. “Judging from my reporting on toy woman Werner, I’m not so sure. Several PR professionals told me they see secretly paid promotions only growing…. Television stations won licenses from the FCC with promises to uphold a trust to serve the public interest. Critical in that trust is helping the audience understand where content comes from.” Wonder how the FCC will react to that.

- It’s a continuing theme of this nightly roundup, but National Journal picked up another hire today. Boston.com’s editor David Beard will join the publication as its deputy editor-in-chief and online editor. But Beard had some thoughts about what he does and the old media world as he left. “I thought about the first Times owner…and how much he really dreamed up new ideas and thought like an entrepreneur — as opposed to a manager of an extant company,” said Beard to Nieman Journalism Lab. “I didn’t want to live my life managing decline.” That’s a sad, but poignant statement.

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AOL Reportedly in Talks to Purchase TechCrunch

AOL might be looking to add another huge blog to its new list of sites. GigaOm reports that the media company is close to purchasing TechCrunch, the famed technology blog started by Michael Arrington in 2005. According to the report, the announcement could come very soon.

“The deal is at a sensitive stage and might fall apart yet, but I don’t think so,” wrote GigaOm’s Om Malik. “Sources familiar with both entities says that the announcement is likely to come onstage at Disrupt, TechCrunch’s flagship conference currently underway in San Francisco.”

The two sides would not comment on the reported deal, according to Malik. When reading all about Arrington’s daily schedule last week, I wondered how long could he keep this up. Who knows what the deal will look like, but I’m not sure you can separate Arrington from TechCrunch and still have as valuable of a blog. I guess I’m wondering, does this mean Arrington will join the AOL workforce? If Arrington does join, what a pickup for AOL.

Saudi Arabia to Require Licenses for Bloggers

American journalists and bloggers might often complain about the lack of order to the Web, but feel lucky we don’t have to sign up for a government license just to express our opinions online. That’s what Saudi Arabian bloggers will soon have to do, reports TechCrunch.

Saudi Information and Culture Ministry spokesman Abdul Rahman Al-Hazza announced that bloggers, web publishers and other online media will need to register with the government, if they want to publish online. It’s a shocking restriction that will hinder the amount of information flowing out of the Middle Eastern country.

Of course, even though it’s illegal to publicly protest in Saudi Arabia, you can’t keep a good online writer down. People have expressed their disgust of the rule on Twitter, using the hashtag #haza3. The new rule hasn’t gone into effect, but hopefully Saudi Arabia will soon learn it’s not worth the time or effort to silence those working bloggers out there.