media brands

Why the Venerable Financial Times Newspaper Brand is on the Block

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 7, 2012 10:51 AM

Last week, educational and consumer (via Penguin) publishing giant Pearson and Bertelsmann combined their book publishing divisions, Random House and Penguin, exponentially increasing their reach and scale in light of prodigious growth from e-books and digital retailers. Now comes word that Pearson's The Financial Times newspaper brand is in play and could be sold for as much as £1bn in a "trophy hunt" by potential buyers following John Fallon’s appointment as head of parent Pearson’s education division, replacing CEO Marjorie Scardino, one of the UK's highest-profile female corporate leaders, who is poised to step down in January after 16 years at the helm.

While Fallon affirmed Pearson’s commitment to the FT, saying it is a "highly valued and very valuable part of Pearson" to the Guardian, analysts predict the £1bn may be hard to forgo. Fallon is said to have no “emotional commitment" to the FT Group, which also own a 50% stake in the Economist and analysts at Deutsche Bank see his ascension as accelerating Pearson's digital transformation, including the "value tied up in non-core assets such as FT."Continue reading...

media brands

NowThis News: Not Your Father's CNN or Mother's Huffington Post

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 11, 2012 12:27 PM

NowThis News is hoping to put the likes of CNN, ABC News, the Washington Post and Huffington Post on notice with a new model of how to report and distribute the news — one, not coincidentally, staffed by a team of newshounds who came from those old school media outlets and who are eager to reinvent their business.

Formerly known as Planet Daily, NowThis News (don't call it NTN) describes its mission as a post-TV, post-newspaper and post-website newsgathering operation, "A brand new video network built from scratch for people who get their news on mobile devices and through social streams."

The startup has emerged from stealth mode with a Tumblr, a Facebook page and Twitter feed — not to mention details on its executive team helmed by former CNN executive Eason Jordan as GM, Ed O'Keefe from ABC News as editor-in-chief and Washington Post vet Katharine Zaleski as managing editor.

“We’re creating NowThis News to meet straight on the inevitable and rapid changes happening in news consumption: digital, mobile, social and video," Kenneth Lerer, Partner of Lerer Ventures, co-founder of NowThis News along with business artner Eric Hippeau, said in a statement.

“It makes no sense for me, at all, to produce what’s already on TV,” said Lerer to AllThingsD. “We’re going to produce short video pieces that will hopefully be very viral and very social, one at a time.” Jordan added, “There’s an abundance of talk. We intend to report the news.”Continue reading...

media brands

CNN Global President Stepping Aside for Fresh Vision

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 27, 2012 03:03 PM

Jim Walton graduated from the University of Maryland in 1981 and took an entry-level job at CNN, the network Ted Turner had founded only a year before. Now, after many titles and many changes, Walton will be going out on top, even as the CNN brand struggles to maintain audience and relevance day to day.

The Time Warner-owned media giant announced Friday that Walton will be stepping down as president of CNN Worldwide at year’s end.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished together over these last 10 years – innovative programming, the development of great talent in front of and behind the cameras, expansion in digital and mobile, significant investment and expansion in international coverage, financial success and, most importantly, great and trusted journalism,” Walton wrote in a note to the staff.

Of course there are also plenty of things he probably won’t miss about the job.Continue reading...

media brands

ESPN Pitching Olympics and US Election Ad Spots

Posted by Dale Buss on July 25, 2012 11:11 AM

It rolls over the television industry every four years like a welcome wave of money, basically no matter what the economy at large is doing. The quadrennial advertising mania created by the coincidence of U.S. elections and the Olympics is upon us, and more outlets than ever are looking for ways to tap into all thatextra cash that will be spent by politicians and Olympics sponsors.

The bonanza is even bigger than before during this election cycle because courts keep upholding the validity of corporate and individual election spending as free speech, so super-PACs will be adding their hundreds of millions of dollars of TV ads to the amounts already due for expenditure by the political parties and candidates themselves.Continue reading...

media brands

Murdoch on News Corp. Split: Not About Chopping "Crushed Wood" Brands

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 28, 2012 11:11 AM

Now that news of the News Corp. is officially moving ahead with splitting its vast global media empire, founder and chairman Rupert Murdoch warned analysts and reporters on a conference call this morning that the plan to divide into two companies “is not a fait accompli. There are a lot of steps to take.”

He also said the impetus, hailed by the markets as a smart business move that will unshackle its challenged newspapers from its more profitable entertainment brands, is  “not a reaction to anything in Britain” such as ongoing investigations into his newspapers’ phone hacking and bribery scandals. COO Chase Carey, who will become CEO of the newspaper and publishing assets that Murdoch has built from his days as a scrappy Australian news magnate, added there were “no changes” in the corporate plan to buy the rest of BSkyB it doesn't currently control.

Murdoch, with his inimitable Aussie turn of phrase, discredited rumors that the publishing unit was the weak ‘orphan’ and emphasized the pending split is not a lack of faith in that business.Continue reading...

media brands

News Corp. Board Approves Company Split [UPDATED]

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 27, 2012 09:13 PM

Following a board meeting this evening in New York, the board of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has approved splitting the company into two publicly traded entities: publishing and entertainment. The Wall Street Journal broke the news, just as it earlier reported that its parent company was contemplating such a move.

According to WSJ the company split would take about a year to approve, dividing assets such as its lucrative FOX broadcast network and TV stations, cable TV channels and 20th Century Fox studio into one company (likely led by Chase Carey, News Corp. deputy chairman, president and COO) and its newspapers, HarperCollins book publishing unit and other publishing assets into another.Continue reading...

media brands

Anthony Bourdain Ready to Shake Up CNN Brand

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 30, 2012 04:07 PM

Gawker asks, "Will CNN ruin Anthony Bourdain?" but maybe we should be asking, "Will Anthony Bourdain ruin CNN?" (Kidding: big fans, Tony!)

Yes, the ratings-challenged cable network that Ted Turner built CNN has wooed the chef-turned-media personality and author Anthony Bourdain from the Travel Channel, where his current programming will run through the end of the year. Beginning early 2013, Bourdain's new weekend program “will be shot on location and examine cultures from around the world through their food and dining and travel rituals.” 

At a time when CNN’s ratings are at historic lows, the hiring of the oft-profane Bourdain is part of a new weekend programming strategy.Continue reading...

media brands

Buzzmedia: More Than Just Kardashian Central

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 23, 2012 04:54 PM

Buzzmedia, the parent company to a host of buzz-worthy websites, pitches itself as the web leader in pop culture and millennial audience reach.

The company boasts 100 million monthly unique visitors to category-leading websites including Buzznet, Celebuzz, AbsolutePunk, GoFugYourself, JustJared, Stereogum, TheSuperficial, WWTDD, SocialiteLife, Idolator, PureVolume plus celebrity sites for Kim Kardashian, Whitney Port, and Kimora Lee Simmons.

Collectively, its stable of digital brands reaches more than 25 million pop culture enthusiasts monthly, with site visitors having grown 50% between March 2010/2011, and overall, is ranked #1 among comScore’s top 100 sites in composition index against P18-34.

We spoke with CEO, Tyler Goldman, who oversees about 200 employees in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and home-base Los Angeles. Goldman has earned his stripes as a digital publisher and entrepreneur, and has a net worth of $20 million to show it.Continue reading...

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