Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 5, 2010 02:10 PM
It’s official, Newsweek is for sale—and not just at the newsstand, but the whole operation.
The current affairs weekly magazine has been struggling for some time, and in the past year it has tried to reduce costs through employee buyouts, and boost readership through a redesign and a new editorial focus, along with a reduction in its rate base, all to no avail.
Its ad sales were down 20% in the first quarter and 26% overall last year. Its owner of almost 50 years, The Washington Post, today announced that the ailing title no longer fits within its holdings, which also includes Kaplan tests and a cable operator.
"Despite heroic efforts on the part of Newsweek's management and staff, we expect it to still lose money in 2010. We are exploring all options to fix that problem. Newsweek is a lively, important magazine and website, and in the current climate, it might be a better fit elsewhere," chairman Donald Graham said in a statement published on the Newsweek.com home page.
The sale of the venerable brand is a harbinger of the generally besieged print media industry, as readers continue to jump ship to the web and mobile, and ad sales remain lethargic.
Newsweek also faces a branding dilemma: are the words "news" and "week" an anachronism in this age of always-on, streaming news on the Web?Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on May 5, 2010 11:55 AM
BP stops one oil leak, with two to go, as all eyes are on dome-cap plan to contain spill. Bud Light will replace Coors Light as the official beer of the NFL, and blames US weather for falling sales of Becks, Budweiser, Stella Artois, and other beers. The Washington Post Co. is selling Newsweek (and looks for buyers on its home page). Other brands in the headlines:
AOL (sorry: Aol.) expands local blog network.
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres apologizes to Apple for mocking the iPhone.
Facebook scrambles to fix security hole that exposes live chats.
Ford targets Fiestas at millennials.
Gillette Venus provides dating tips to Russians.Continue reading...
Posted by Sara Zucker on December 15, 2009 10:23 AM
Disney isn't known for its culturally diverse set of princesses, but that is changing with the release of The Princess and the Frog.
The movie's heroine, Tiana, is clearly different than her blonde-haired predecessors. Not only is Tiana Disney's first black princess, but she is also the starring personality in a major film that brings the dream of living happily ever after to children and adults of all races. It's taken until 2009, but finally the dream -- albeit an innocent and animated one -- is becoming more accessible. And Disney's brand stands to benefit from expanding its sense of humanity.
All brands, from McDonald's to Wal-Mart, want to secure brand loyalty from consumers at the earliest age possible. For many Americans, Disney is synonymous with childhood. And now, Disney is increasing the number of people who will feel that connection in the future.Continue reading...
Posted by Stephanie Startz on November 25, 2009 07:14 AM
Facebook takes steps toward going public, creating dual-class stock. [NY Times]
GM will decide if it will shutter Saab next week. [NY Times]
Sprint finalizes purchase of Virgin Mobile USA. [WaPo]
McDonald's to "green" its operations in Germany. [NPR, Warc]
Eager to raise capital, Heinz sells its UK private-label frozen dessert units. [Times of London]
Choosing to report from Washington D.C., Washington Post closes its bureaus in other US cities. [NY Times]
"Cheap and cheerful" dominates holiday advertising. [NY Times]
(More headlines: Lindsay Lohan, Audi boosts US ops.)Continue reading...
Posted by Stephanie Startz on October 2, 2009 09:34 AM
Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, Chicago and Tokyo make final pitches for 2016 Summer Games before International Olympic Committee. [NY Times] UPDATE: Chicago and Tokyo are eliminated first, Rio is picked.
Starbucks asks consumers to realign expectations with Via. [WSJ]
Do iPhone complaints, network problems, hurt AT&T's brand? [CNET]
Will revelations about CBS Late Night host David Letterman's affair, extortion help or hinder ratings, brand? [NY Times]
In bid for NBC Universal, Comcast strives to become media empire. [NY Times]
In a surprise move, the London Evening Standard goes free of charge. [Telegraph]
(More headlines: WaPo and Bloomberg, Joop! loses trademark ruling.)Continue reading...
close of business
Posted by Stephanie Startz on September 17, 2009 06:10 PM
Thanks Abercrombie, and I'ma let you finish. But, Beyonce has one of the best "fierce" perfumes of all time! Abercrombie sues Cody over potential trademark infringement after signing the "Sasha Fierce" singer. [BBC]
The Washington Post sets a deadline to merge print and online operations: January 1, 2010. [paidContent]
But not soon enough. Squatters steal "WorldWideWilbon.com" out from under WaPo sports writer Michael Wilbon's new online feature. [paidContent, Recovering Journalist]
"The Office" becomes a board game in the style of Clue. The game's release coincides with the debut of the show's sixth season. [Brand Freak]
The recently debuted Bing was the fastest growing search engine during August. [Mashable]
What's eating Verizon Wireless? Lack of exciting smartphones. [Wired]
Posted by Stephanie Startz on September 17, 2009 03:56 PM
Did the Washington Post kill a story at the bequest of advertisers to be less "depressing?" Intrigue has heightened that the august newspaper may be sacrificing ethics, and its reputation, for the sake of profitability.
Matt Mendelsohn, a freelancer for the Washington Post Magazine, says that publisher Katherine Weymouth had made it clear that "advertisers wanted happier stories, not 'depressing' ones." Mendelsohn submitted a piece about a 26-year-old double amputee that was headed for print until his editors, sensing a change in the business climate, killed the piece.Continue reading...