Posted by Barry Silverstein on November 10, 2011 02:27 PM
Across the U.S., newspapers continue to find themselves in dire straits. Bleeding red ink as they lose print subscribers, most cannot compete with the multitude of online news sources available to their readers. According to the Newspaper Association of America, from 2000 to 2009 the total circulation of daily newspapers dropped from 55,773,000 to 46,278,000, while the total circulation of Sunday newspapers fell from 59,421,000 to 46,850,000.
Yet one newspaper is bucking the downward trend. The Deseret News, in Salt Lake City, Utah, has just announced that its Sunday circulation grew 24 percent in 2011, and that its Salt Lake City market area readership increased 26 percent over the past year. In addition, the paper's online market share between January 2010 and September 2011, by page views and visits, far exceeds that of its three leading local competitors, according to data from Hitwise supplied by the Deseret News.
How has this small brand managed to thrive in an industry that is moribund at best?Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 7, 2011 10:21 AM
PBS NewsHour is about to lose $2 million from its budget. The New York Times reports that Chevron is going to pull its sponsorship of the show, which has lasted for four years.
"We constantly review which media we use to reach our target audience given our yearly budget and specific goals," Brent Tippen, a Chevron spokesman, told the Times. "We hope that we will be able to partner with them again at some point in the future."
The San Francisco Chronicle notes that the relationship had gotten some bad publicity in September when PBS ombudsman Michael Getler wrote about an online piece critiquing Chevron's sponsorship video (from its "We Agree" campaign, at top) that had the company claiming that every single last penny of its profits “went into bringing profits to the world.”
The Chronicle reports that Chevron claims that bad PR didn’t have anything to do with the ending of its sponsorship.
NewsHour approached a foundation earlier in the year for sponsorship dollars but was rebuffed, the Times reports. Still, Jim Lehrer, one of the longtime anchors of the show who now only helms it one night a week since stepping down as anchor in May, is confident the show will come up with the cash by year’s end, the paper reports.
At the end of October, Chevron announced that its quarterly earnings more than doubled with the company’s profit rising to $7.8 billion, according to Reuters.
Posted by Dale Buss on October 10, 2011 12:55 PM
The way much of America sees things, political polarization is a bad thing. Washington politicians still believe that the citizenry want nothing as much as bipartisanship in the nation's capital. Centrist efforts such as No Labels base their entire appeal on a lack of extremes. Even Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign was built largely on a promise of overcoming the nation's political divisions.
But polarization has remained and, no doubt, grown in the fertile soil of economic tribulation lately. And that has been a very good thing for at least one prominent media brand: Fox News. The leading cable news network and one of its most prominent hosts, Sean Hannity, are celebrating the 15-year anniversary of the birth of Fox News and its association with the once-obscure radio talk-show host.
Fox News is flattening the competition from CNN and MSNBC more convincingly than ever, ratings-wise. And the success of Fox News' stalwart appeal to its right-leaning viewers recently prompted MSNBC to stop all pretense and throw its marketing toward its own, but left-leaning, viewership base. MSNBC lately has been doing better in the ratings. Meanwhile, CNN, still nominally trying to occupy the mushy middle, has struggled.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 23, 2011 01:50 PM
A new HD-only television channel is debuting in early October and it is aimed primarily at guys who have a little extra cash. Even better: a lot of extra cash.
Discovery Communications’ Velocity hits the US market on Oct. 4 and it will be crammed full with lots of football- and auto-related original programming. The channel will be available to Discovery's HD-available footprint of 40 million US homes at launch.
One of Velocity’s partners is the famed NFL Films, which is producing two new series for the channel: NFL Single Coverage, which highlights individual battles within NFL games, and Greatest NFL Rivalries, which focuses on specific games between legendary rivals.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 9, 2011 12:29 PM
Plum TV appears to be dying on the vine — and on the Vineyard, as the lifestyle channel geared at America's playgrounds of the wealthy is in the pits of despair.
Luxury-lifestyle maven Jerry Powers just resigned as CEO of the company, citing mismanagement that hemorrhaged "millions" of dollars being the final straw.
“You’ve got a board with billionaires looking over employees whose checks might not clear,” he commented to the Miami Herald, adding that “after I started, the board gave us $4 million. But they didn’t tell me about the $6.7 million in unpaid bills. The board put in another $5 million this year, and that ran out two weeks ago. On Thursday (Sept. 1), the board refused more funding.”
Powers took over the reins at Plum 10 months ago, the company’s third CEO since Plum co-founder Tom Scott, who parlayed his fortune as the founder of Nantucket Nectars beverage brand into starting the Plum media company aimed at America's idle rich.Continue reading...
Posted by Anthony Zumpano on September 7, 2011 11:57 AM
When FOX canceled fugitive-finder America’s Most Wanted in May, it terminated one of the best-known brands associated with the network. The show premiered in 1988, a year before The Simpsons started, four years before The Cosby Show ended, and six years before notorious Boston gangster Whitey Bulger — featured on the program 16 times — went on the lam.
After more than 1,100 episodes (and about as many captured criminals), and despite an average of 5 million viewers during its most recent season, FOX axed AMW (though periodic specials — the first one on Oct. 29 — will continue to air on the network), and this time it appeared that a grassroots “save our show” campaign would not be as successful as the previous one, in 1996, when the network briefly ended the show’s run.
Crime-victim advocate and host John Walsh vowed that another network would pick up AMW, and his prediction rang true when it was announced that the 25th season of the show would run on basic cable. Not a cable channel known for criminal justice programming like truTV or even a “real life” channel such as Biography, however, but Lifetime, home to not-very-law-and-orderly shows like Project Runway and Dance Moms.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 30, 2011 12:00 PM
The great hurricane of last weekend has left a mess in its wake. We're not talking about Irene -- this is all about the media coverage of the storm as Irene pulled a veni, vidi, vici act that was unparalleled in the annals of weather examination. And the mess it left? An unresolvable controversy over whether the hurricane coverage was all too much, or whether you never can have enough.
George Will dubbed it "synthetic hysteria," and Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast made no bones. "Someone has to say it: cable news was utterly swept away by the notion that Irene would turn out to be Armageddon," Kurtz concluded. The Washington Post's former media critic wrote that "the tsunami of hype on this story was relentless, a Category 5 performance that was driven in large measure by ratings" because TV producers were afraid to switch away from 24x7 coverage of Irene. "Does anyone seriously believe the hurricane would have drawn the same level of coverage if it had been bearing down on, say, Ft. Lauderdale?" Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 8, 2011 10:00 AM
When it launched in 1983, it was known as The Nashville Network or The National Network or, simply, as TNN. It’s come a long way.
Since the summer of 2003, Spike TV (which subsequently dropped the "TV" part of its monkier) has been solely focused on landing the 18-34 year-old male demographic through the broadcasting of action sports and adventure programming such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its latest hit show, Deadliest Warrior.
Now the word is that the Viacom/MTV Networks-owned Spike is planning to rebrand again and go after both men and women in the 18-42 year-old set.Continue reading...