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Thursday, Feb 07

Morning Media Newsfeed 02.07.13

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Magazines React to Post Office Cutbacks: The Friday Evening Post? (NYT / Media Decoder)
The magazine industry, which has already been hurt by advertising declines and the loss of readers, spent Wednesday afternoon reeling from the latest news that they no longer would be able to get magazines delivered on Saturdays. Magazine publishers were especially surprised at how quickly the new policy is expected to take effect. Postal Service officials plan to stop delivering mail on Saturdays as early as Aug. 5. The Washington Post / WonkBlog The U.S. Postal Service announced Wednesday that it would stop delivering mail on Saturdays in an effort to save $2 billion per year and shore up its finances. Politically speaking, this is a bold move. In the past, Congress has moved to prevent USPS from cutting back delivery to five days a week. So why is the Postal Service going ahead with the plan anyway? Adweek The change, effective Aug. 5, will particularly impact Time, which changed its delivery date in 2007 for the very purpose of being a weekend read; and titles like The Economist and The Week, whose readers pay a premium in part with the expectation that they'll get the magazine by the weekend. Poynter / MediaWire Saturday delivery is a "reader experience issue," the Week's president, Steven Kotok, told Poynter by phone. The Week closes its issues late on Wednesday night and delivers them to postal centers Thursday morning, with the expectation that 90 percent of its subscribers will have their copies by Saturday at the latest. If that overflow day moves to Monday, "it's essentially two not-great options that we have to weigh," Kotok said. Ad Age / Media The Postal Service's move has been expected, however, so some publishers have already been exploring alternate delivery methods. Bloomberg Businessweek, for example, has been using newspaper carriers in major markets including San Francisco, Chicago, Washington and New York. But delivery by newspaper carriers is easier in cities than in suburban areas, where readers don't necessarily want their weekly issues thrown on the lawn. USA Today Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said one less day delivering letters, magazines, catalogs, ads and other mail would save $2 billion annually. "It's an important part of our strategy to return to financial stability," he said.

News Corp. Posts Higher 2Q Earnings, Revenue (HuffPost / AP)
Media conglomerate News Corp. cut its forecast for annual earnings Wednesday, saying underperformance at several businesses including its Fox broadcast network would offset a gain in earnings in the most recent quarter. The company said operating income for the current fiscal year, which runs through June, would now grow by "mid to high single-digit" percentages, down from the "high single- to low double-digit" percentages it predicted in November. NYT / Media Decoder In a conference call with analysts, Chase Carey, News Corporation's president and chief operating officer, said the company would complete its separation into two companies by the end of fiscal 2013. Fox Group will include the company's cable channels, 20th Century Fox studio and Fox Broadcasting. The company's newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, its Harper Collins book publishing unit and a suite of Australian pay-TV assets will make up a new, slimmed-down company called News Corporation. Forbes / Mixed Media Quarter after quarter, analysts have asked News Corp. executives about reports that the media conglomerate intended to start its own national sports network to compete with ESPN, and the executives have duly played it coy. That changed Wednesday afternoon. THR Also during the conference call, Carey listed FX and the National Geographic Channel as bright spots during the quarter and added that "Fox News continues to be a juggernaut." He praised the new FX period drama The Americans and expressed confidence in the film studio's upcoming release, A Good Day to Die Hard.

Study: Fox News Once Again Most Trusted and Least Trusted TV News Organization (TVNewser)
Public Policy Polling has released its annual poll on TV news, and the results are in line with the last few years of polling... with some changes. Once again, Fox News Channel is by far the most trusted TV news outlet, according to respondents. It is also by far the least trusted TV news outlet, with a plurality of people naming it to both groups. HuffPost Other news outlets are not entirely better off. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they trust MSNBC, while 44 percent said they do not. When it comes to CNN, 38 percent of voters said they trust the network, but 43 percent said they trust the cable network the least.

The Woman(!) Behind GoDaddy's Tasteless, Effective Super Bowl Ads (Forbes / Mixed Media)
You might be surprised -- I know I was -- to learn that the person behind all these testosterone-laced campaigns is a woman: Barb Rechterman, GoDaddy's longtime senior executive vice president and chief marketing officer. She took a few minutes to chat with me about why GoDaddy spends so much to make a splash at the Super Bowl, the accusations that its marketing is sexist, and why that gross makeout session was actually pretty good advertising. NYT / Media Decoder Given that Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest day of the year for advertising as well as for football, Madison Avenue waits each year after the game with bated breath for the results of the myriad analyses, polls and surveys of consumer responses to the commercials. What follows is a roundup of some of the information and data released on Monday and Tuesday, after the conclusion of Super Bowl XLVII.

ABC's Jim Avila to the White House (FishbowlDC)
ABC News president Ben Sherwood has announced that Matthew Dowd and Jim Avila will assume expanded roles at the network. Dowd will be an analyst, an on-air special correspondent and senior strategic advisor on Sherwood's team. Avila will join Jonathan Karl at the White House. Former senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper recently left ABC for CNN.

Lisa Schwarzbaum Departs Entertainment Weekly After 21 Years (FishbowlNY)
Lisa Schwarzbaum, who has been with Entertainment Weekly since 1991, is one of the biggest names to emerge from the list of Time Inc. cuts. Schwarzbaum decided to take a buyout and move on to "expand the kind of writing (and kind of living) that I do," according to an internal memo.

Cable TV Revenue Helps Spur Time Warner Profit (NYT / Media Decoder)
The cable television business helped propel Time Warner to a 51-percent increase in net income and offset weakness in magazine publishing and movies in the three months that ended Dec. 31.

Katie Posts Best Week to Date (Variety)
Katie Couric's chat with Manti Te'o two weeks ago produced her syndicated talker Katie's largest audience to date as the series also claimed its top-rated week. Nielsen estimates that an average audience of 3.79 million viewers tuned in Jan. 24 for Couric's interview with the former Notre Dame football player and his parents to discuss the bizarre online hoax story surrounding the star athlete.

Washington Post Co. to Sell Everett Herald (The Washington Post)
The Washington Post Co. has signed an agreement to sell the Everett, Wash., Herald, a daily newspaper it has owned since 1978, to Black Press of Canada and its U.S. subsidiary Sound Publishing for an undisclosed amount. The sale will include the Herald's print and online products, although for the time being The Post Co. will retain two pieces of real estate assessed at about $10 million.

Barbara Walters Plans View Return (USA Today / AP)
Barbara Walters isn't "scratching too much" from chickenpox, but she says she won't be back at The View for three more weeks. Walters phoned into the ABC talk show Wednesday. Calling from her home, she reported that she's weak but not in any pain.

Another Blog Post That Won't Make Any Money (Reuters / MediaFile)
Evangelists have long held up the Web as the savior of the news business, the future of TV and the ideal for the self-expression business. They could be right. But all that digital triumphalism ignores Web media's basic economic dilemma: we're simply producing far too much of it than is economically justified.

Time Inc.'s All You to Test Sales Outside Walmart (Adweek)
Now, at a time when even the affluent are looking for bargains at Groupon, Gilt Groupe and the like, All You is planning to test sales outside retail giant Walmart for the first time. The test is expected to take place on a regional basis, as early as June.

The U.S. News College Rankings Just Failed PR 101 (PRNewser)
From Lance Armstrong to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, 2013 is turning out to be the year of holding cheaters accountable. We're glad to welcome a few newbies to the group: U.S. News & World Report and the five (or more) colleges that "misreported" admissions data for the publication's inexplicably revered college rankings.

At 50, New York Review of Books Celebrates the Longevity of a Magazine, and a Mission (Capital New York)
The first issue of The New York Review of Books came off the presses, famously, in February 1963, during the third month of a printers' strike that had shut down seven New York City newspapers, including The New York Times and its formidable book-review section. It's a story that says as much about how different the New York literary scene was 50 years ago. That the demand for high-minded literary discourse had reached such a level, and that publishing houses were so eager to have a place to buy advertising for new books that they completely covered the (out-of-state) printing costs.

Naomi Campbell and Her Supermodel Castmates Dish About Their New Face (FishbowlNY)
We were more than a little disappointed to learn that we missed Dan Stevens, aka Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey, when he lunched with producer Paula Wagner at Table One on Monday. (Doesn't he know Wednesday is the day for lunch at Michael's?) Luckily, Wednesday's oh-so-fabulous lunch with the cast of Oxygen's new "supermodel competition" series The Face more than made up for it. While in town to promote the new series, which premieres Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. on Oxygen, supermodels Naomi Campbell, Karolina Kurkova, Coco Rocha and renowned photographer Nigel Barker decided to make "Lunch" their sole joint appearance on their whirlwind media tour.

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