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media triage

Jeff Bezos Buys The Washington Post, Stuns Media World

Posted by Dale Buss on August 5, 2013 06:06 PM

Jeff Bezos revolutionized the internet, e-commerce and bookselling (and then all retail) when he founded Amazon.com. Now he may want to do the same with newspapers, becoming the latest non-news-media figure to invest in a fading American print icon by buying The Washington Post.

It's difficult to believe that the e-tailing magnate will be able to do anything better with the Post than it already has in the traditional world of newsprint and ink, since that business model has become even more decrepit than the brick-and-mortar retail stores supplanted by Amazon's huge digital impact.

Another death knell for newspapers and their traditional ownership was sounded just a few days ago when Boston Red Sox owner and billionaire John Henry rescued the Boston Globe and other local print properties from the hands of the New York Times Co. by buying the once-proud publisher for a measly $70 million. There also remain rumors that the conservative industrialist Koch Brothers, along with several other non-media moguls, harbor a desire to buy Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.Continue reading...

media triage

Tribune Becomes Latest Media Empire to Throw its Newspapers in a Corner

Posted by Dale Buss on July 10, 2013 03:17 PM

Put another brick in the wall for the once-glorious American newspaper business: Tribune Co. is following the route of other publishers and spinning off its newspapers from its far more promising broadcast business.

Tribune—owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Orlando Sentinel and five other newspapers—plans to separate its publishing business from its more profitable broadcast business sometime in the near future. The move will leave the broadcast company to retain the Tribune name and its ownership of 42 local TV stations, superstation WGN America, an equity stake in the TV Food Network and digital and real estate assets.

"Each will be a stronger company when separated from the other," Tribune CEO Peter Liguouri wrote in a memo to employees, according to Reuters. The spinoff "will also allow us to maintain flexibility as we continue considering all our strategic alternatives for maximizing shareholder value."Continue reading...

let's make a deal

Tribune Co. Turns Its Attention to Broadcast with $2.7 Billion Station Acquisition

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 1, 2013 02:56 PM

The print newspaper business may be hurting, but that won't stop the Tribune Company, which came out of bankruptcy last December and is trying to unload its suffering papers, from agreeing to pay over $2.7 billion for 19 local TV stations, according to The New York Times. The purchase brings its total up to 42 stations across America, making it the nation's largest station operator

The stations are coming from Local TV Holdings, a company owned by investment firm Oak Hill Capital Partners. As the Times notes, the Tribune is keeping up with the Joneses with this deal. Less than a month ago, Gannett Company agreed to buy 20 local television stations from Belo Corporation for around $1.5 billion. Sinclair, another of the largest station owners in the US, has also spent about around $1 billion in the last year and a half to add to its station count as well.Continue reading...

media brands

Conservatives Bust Out In Media Moves

Posted by Dale Buss on March 14, 2013 05:53 PM

Run for the hills, mainstream liberal news media: The conservatives are coming!

While much of the national press corps is preoccupied with their coverage of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., this week, an affair that is sure to be filled with dramatic internecine warfare and juicy Palinisms, the known media landscape may be shifting a bit beneath the feet of traditional news media.

That's because monied conservatives are attempting to bust out in greater magnitude with a message—and products—that they still believe will grow in popularity during a time of national stagnation and frustration.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

LAPD Confidential: Dorner Case Evokes Hollywood's Perpetual Police Dramas

Posted by Abe Sauer on February 13, 2013 02:12 PM

Just as infamous murder suspect and police officer Chris Doran was scribbling his now famous manifesto against the Los Angeles Police Department, Hollywood was releasing Gangster Squad. About the LAPD's battle against crime boss Mickey Cohen, the film is just the latest in La-LA land's collection that put a sheen on the efficacy of the department's iconic corruption.

Ironically enough, the real life "gangster squad" that the film was based on was formed by the LAPD in 1946 to preserve Los Angeles' image as, in Gangster Squad author Paul Liberman's own words, "a sun-washed Garden of Eden." Unfortunately, it's the exact same LAPD that has been—more than any other American city's authorities—a scourge to the image of its home. A locked-in vicious cycle of LAPD mythologizing was maybe best captured in yesterday's image of the LA Times homepage announcing the Dorner shootout alongside numerous banner ads for the "raw" LAPD TV drama Southland.

"No city's image is more closely bound to its police department than Los Angeles to the LAPD," John Buntin, author of L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City, told brandchannelBuntin's book chronicles the LAPD of the Mickey Cohen "Gangster Squad" years and its transition to its Dragnet era and eventually the disaster of the Watts riots.Continue reading...

breaking news

[UPDATE] On L.A. Times Site, Police Drama Briefly Unfolds Next to Ad for TNT Cop Show

Posted by Dale Buss on February 12, 2013 09:07 PM

As news broke on Tuesday afternoon that the authorities had begun closing in on suspected gunman Christopher Dorner, who has for days been the subject of an intense manhunt, the Los Angeles Times found itself hosting a collision of art and reality on the front page of its website.

For a time, the newspaper's coverage was wrapped inside a dominant ad for the TNT police drama "Southland," with images (above) of actor-officers with their guns drawn. Several minutes after the news began unfolding, The Times took the ad down (below). 

The Times explained to brandchannel through a spokesman: "Given the heightened interest and anxiety around this breaking news, The Times and TNT determined that it would be in the best interest of our readers and Southland viewers to temporarily take the ad off the latimes.com homepage."Continue reading...

red carpet

IBM Brings Big Data to the Red Carpet at the Oscars

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 27, 2012 05:26 PM

The University of Southern California's Annenberg Innovation Lab has conducted a groundbreaking social sentiment analysis of the 2012 Academy Awards race. The project, in collaboration with IBM and the Los Angeles Times, illustrates how organizations and brands — from media & entertainment, retailing, sports, and politics — can apply advanced analytics tools in order to learn and report on new trends.

brand news

Brands to Watch: J&J, Pulitzers, S&P and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on April 18, 2011 06:15 PM

Brands to Watch

AIG sells railcar sideline business.

BP's one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster is no cause for celebration.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg can't put the Winklevoss twins behind him just yet.

J&J faces hurdles on Wall Street.

Los Angeles Times and New York Times lead this year's Pulitzer Prize winners.

New York's Metropolitan Opera announces free summer outdoor series.

S&P surprises by putting a negative outlook on the US.

Wal-Mart aims to bolster social and mobile presence by acquiring Kosmix.

Zillow files for $51.8 million IPO.

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