media brands

Gannett Is Making Its Local Newspapers Into Hybrids with USA Today

Posted by Dale Buss on December 11, 2013 06:03 PM

Gannett and other newspaper publishers continue to scramble to try to keep ahead of their own demise. The latest gambit for the publisher of USA Today is to insert condensed editions of the national newspaper into more of its local newspapers.

The company launched its "Butterfly" initiative in October, adding USA Today inserts to its newspapers in Indianapolis, Rochester, Fort Myers, Fla., and Appleton, Wis. Now 31 more Gannett newspapers will see inserts of 10 to 22 pages of USA Today business, news and lifestyle content.

"This is another step in the reinvention of news that Gannett is uniquely positioned to lead," Gannett President and CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. "We are bringing the power of these brands together to delight and engage consumers like no one else can." Continue reading...

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media brands

Rolling Stone Goes Country with Plans for New Website

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2013 01:29 PM

Rolling Stone is taking a page from Donny & Marie Osmond. The publication that has covered and helped create rock music as we know it will debut a website next year that is all about country music.

The site, Rolling Stone Country, will be open for the public at some point in the second quarter. To get things started, Rolling Stone’s owner, Wenner Media, is opening an office in Nashville that will have 10 or 15 editorial staffers, Ad Age reports. And to help promote the site, Rolling Stone will publish its first-ever country-themed issue.

The venture is being pushed by Gus Wenner, the director of and the son of Jann Wenner, the man who borrowed $7,500 from his family and his soon-to-be wife’s family in order to launch Rolling Stone back in 1967. "There's a really big void in the digital coverage of country music as far as giving it the serious attention it deserves," the younger Wenner said, according to Ad Age. "I saw some similarities (to NASCAR) and thought it could be an opportunity for Rolling Stone."Continue reading...

media brands

Print Success Finds Some, Not Others as Battle for Circulation, Ad Dollars Continues

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 3, 2013 07:22 PM

Tina Brown, once the editor of venerable print brands like Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Talk, and Newsweek, doesn’t even read magazines anymore. “The habit has gone,” she told reporters in India last month.

The “habit” is apparently gone for a lot of other folks, too. Everywhere you turn, consumers are looking deeply into their screens rather than into the pages of a magazine or newspaper. Advertisers have noticed and are moving more of their dollars into the digital world. New York magazine’s ad pages are down 9.2 percent so far this year, according to Ad Age

That’s part of the reason the title announced Monday that it would be printing half as many issues next year—ramping down from 42 issues to 29—printing every two weeks while its website,, will start publishing more content. The move will save the company $3.5 million in manufacturing costs—savings that will be recycled back into the magazine and website to product better content.

The announcement came fittingly on Cyber Monday.Continue reading...

media brands

News Team, Assemble: Yahoo Anchors Ad Aspirations to Katie Couric and Staff

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 25, 2013 05:03 PM

It’s a bold move for Marissa Mayer—and a big bet on video—as the Yahoo CEO confirmed today that TV news mainstay Katie Couric will be joining Yahoo as its "global news anchor." 

“I’ve always respected Katie for her thoughtful, charismatic approach to journalism,” Mayer wrote on Tumblr. “From pivotal coverage of natural disasters and historic elections to the Royal Wedding and the Olympic Games, groundbreaking interviews with heads of state and leading tastemakers, her experience is unmatched. Katie is dynamic, savvy and has a way of connecting with viewers that I really admire.”

It’s no secret that things for Katie on her eponymous ABC talk fest have not panned out as either had hoped, but the former co-anchor of NBC's Today show and first female anchor of the CBS Evening News brings the perfect complement of skills, awareness and style to the search giant as consumers continue to migrate to the Internet for TV-style reporting and programming.

Couric will tape features for the Yahoo homepage, but will continue to host her syndicated daytime talk show, Katie. Couric joins a carefully procured team of journalists that have come together over the last several months, including Editor-in-Chief Megan Liberman, former New York Times tech columnist David Pogue, and designated political analyst Matt Bai.Continue reading...

media brands

96-Year-Old Forbes Media Heads to the Auction Block

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 18, 2013 01:47 PM

Forbes Media is the latest victim of a dying print industry.

Perhaps best known for ranking wealthy individuals worldwide, Forbes is on the block for an estimated $400 million to $500 million in a sale being handled by Deutsche Bank. Former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes, who serves as editor-in-chief told employees on Friday that they’d received numerous inquiries about a sale. 

The venerable, 96-year-old brand, founded by financial newspaper columnist B.C. Forbes in 1917, has been confronted by declining ad sales and dwindling profits as print-based media brands struggle to transform content, platform and purpose in a world wired 24/7.

B.C. Forbes was succeeded by his son, Malcolm, who was known for his expensive tastes including hot air balloons, Faberge eggs, Victorian art, real-estate and a motorcycle collection—all of which was sold off along the way, including Forbes’ longtime headquarters, which was sold to New York University in 2010. Forbes began making changes to its privately-held structure in 2006 to augment its digital presence by selling a 45 percent stake to Elevation Partners, the private equity firm co-founded and backed by U2 frontman Bono and Roger McNamee for close to $240 million.Continue reading...

media brands

Fusion Woos Millennial Latinos Through Their First Language: Social Media

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 4, 2013 11:02 AM

Spanish-language media giant Univision and Disney/ABC Television launched their joint venture, Fusion, last week—an English language cable channel that targets Millennial Latinos. 

Univision has traditionally eschewed English-language programming, but as demographics shift from an aging population of foreign-born, Spanish-dominant Hispanics to US-born Latinos that have grown up speaking English, traditional Spanish programming fails to resonate, especially with younger viewers. That group, which watches over 26 hours of linear TV weekly and is very active on social media is Fusion's bread and butter. 

"We are winking at Hispanic, it is not overtly Hispanic," Catherine Sullivan, SVP of ad sales for ABC News, told Ad Age. "If you are not Hispanic, you won't feel like the network isn't for me."

It’s a crowded field already, with El Rey launching soon, Mun2, which was acquired by Telemundo in 2001, and Nuvo TV. And marketers that have struck out trying to target younger age groups through traditional Spanish-language networks are salivating at the new opportunities that Fusion and others are creating. "The millennial Latino is not being served by telenovelas, soccer—this isn't relevant to most millennials," Nuvo TV CEO Michael Schwimmer said.Continue reading...

media brands

NBC's Today Show Gets a Very Orange Update in Bid to Reclaim No. 1 Spot

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 17, 2013 01:49 PM

The Today Show officially unveiled its new studio look and logo on Monday, finalizing the aesthetic trimmings in its strategy to regain the No. 1 morning news slot.

After being knocked off its 16-year perch by Good Morning America, NBC took several big steps to revamp the morning talk show, especially since it delivers the bulk of profits for the studio's news division. In the course of a month, Studio 1A recieved a complete overhaul—the first update in seven years—that has resulted in a more consistent usage of Today's signature orange hue, as well as a 360-degree rotating anchor desk, LED touchscreens and a roomy sofa area. 

Weatherman Al Roker was particularly pleased with his new, larger weather screens. "I love it!" he said. "I think it's America's new living room." Roker will be joined by current co-hosts Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie, as well as new host Carson Daly.Continue reading...

media brands

Time Warner Submits to CBS Demands, Ending Blackout Just in Time for NFL

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 3, 2013 11:51 AM

CBS and Time Warner Cable have been engaged in a long-running spat over transmission costs, resulting in a month-long CBS blackout in three major cable markets, New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. Finally, and just in time for the start of the NFL season, the broadcaster and cable company have reached a deal, and it looks as if CBS is the victor. 

According to Bloomberg, TWC will pay “a significant increase for the right to transmit CBS signals, though still below $2 per subscriber per month.”

"CBS is the winner,” said cable and telecommunications analyst Craig Moffett of Moffett Research, according to Reuters. “Content owners always win these negotiations, it's just a matter of how much they won. They have all the leverage. Consumers don't get mad and trade in their channel when these fights drag on. They go looking for a different satellite or telephone company." CBS was coming from a particular position of power since it is currently the top-rated network on TV.Continue reading...

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