Friday, May 22, 2009

Joan Voight, May 22, 2009, 9:46 AM
  • E! Puts Celebrity Tweeters On News Crawl Broadcasting & Cable

    The TV network E! hopes to benefit from the power of Twitter by running tweets from a number of celebrities during its programming. The "Celebri-Tweets" will appear in the news crawl at the bottom of the screen.

    TV networks have been aggressively exploring the potential of Twitter lately. In addition to encouraging celebrities and executives to tweet, networks have been making official announcements via the service.

    E! will also feature a "Celebri-Tweet" widget on its homepage keeping users up to date on what the celebrity Twitterati are saying in 140 characters or less. Other networks are creating similar widgets and selling against them, collecting relatively easy revenue from user generated content. Read the whole story...

  • Newspapers: Less Liked Than Airlines? BusinessWeek

    The American Customer Satisfaction Index, which tracks customer satisfaction across a wide range of industries, has unsettling news for newspapers. According to its "satisfaction index," in the first quarter '09, newspaper customers' satisfaction rating was lower than airlines and cell phone providers.

    Newspapers also had the steepest "satisfaction" drop of any industry in the quarter, per the survey. That's bad enough, but what's worse is how much newspapers' rating has slipped since the surveys began. It's off 12.5% since the survey's debut in 1994. In contrast, the most-satisfactory segment for the first quarter was the full-service restaurant industry.

    Bloggers responded with a range of possible reasons for the decline in newspapers' scores, including circulation problems and a lack of newsworthy content. "Papers have ceased to be the surrogate for the reader, have seriously diluted their watchdog role and have off-shored circulation complaints, meaning you have a devil of a time even getting a bill for your subscription," says one post. Read the whole story...

  • McClatchy Plans Debt Exchange To Buy Time Reuters

    McClatchy is changing key aspects of its debt agreements in a bid to stay afloat. The publisher of The Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, and more than two dozen other U.S. newspapers is planning to exchange $1.15 billion worth of existing debt for cash and new debt.

    The new debt comes with a higher interest rate of 15.75%, versus about 5%-7%, on existing obligations, but allows the publisher to pay it off several years later. McClatchy also will be able to use its revolving credit line for up to $60 million to pay off some debt, the company says.

    The moves give McClatchy flexibility to pay off more than $2 billion in debt related to its purchase of Knight Ridder in 2006. "Before this, I would have thought they were high on the list of [newspaper publishers] not making it. But they moved down the list a little bit," says Benchmark analyst Edward Atorino. McClatchy's shares have lost more than 90% of their value in the past 12 months. Read the whole story...

  • Local Advertising to Hit Bottom in 2010, Per BIA Mediaweek

    Local advertising media are collectively forecast to decline to $144.4 billion in 2013, down from $155 billion last year, per BIA and its sister company The Kelsey Group. This year, local ad revenue will drop to $141.3 billion and hit bottom at $135.8 billion in 2010, before reversing direction in 2011. The forecast includes newspapers, direct mail, TV, radio, yellow pages, traditional outdoor, cable TV, magazines and digital/online.

    On the plus side, new media presents opportunities for new revenue streams for all the media groups, say the forecasters. New media's share of total ad spend is forecast to grow from $14 billion or 9% to $32.1 billion or 22.2%. Radio and TV Internet revenue are expected to climb from $805 million last year to nearly $1.9 billion in 2013. Read the whole story...

  • Newspapers Book Ads Online Thanks to Yahoo Advertising Age

    Newspapers are reporting success chasing local online advertising with technology and ad inventory from Yahoo. The Yahoo newspaper consortium has reportedly sold nearly $50 million in Yahoo inventory so far, with sales running several million dollars a week.

    About 150 papers started using the new Yahoo platform last fall. Another 350 have signed up since. At Scripps newspapers, the new platform was largely responsible for a 30% increase in online-only ad sales in the first quarter, say company execs. The Yahoo partnership helped the Atlanta Journal Constitution line up fast-food and telecom accounts previously devoted to broadcast and outdoor, according to the paper.

    "Yahoo right now is our largest strategic partner on the sales side and I don't see that changing anytime soon," says Stephen Weis, general manager at the Houston Chronicle. "[With them] we've got the largest sales force on the street in most markets. They've got an incredible scale audience." Read the whole story...

  • Google TV Ads System Hits the Upfront Adweek Media

    For the first time Google TV Ads has begun booking upfront deals with major agencies and advertisers. Deutsch, Saatchi & Saatchi and other agencies, as well as advertisers such as Coldwell Banker are "coming to the table," says Mike Steib, director of Google TV Ads.

    Yesterday Google hosted an event at its offices in New York with more than 100 chief marketing officers of Fortune 500 companies and their agencies. Tens of millions have been committed through the TV spot buying system in the year ahead, say executives. Many of the commitments run for a year starting in September.

    Google TV Ads lets marketers tweak their campaigns daily and allows for automated, same-day buying. "What our customers told us is if the planner can put us into the upfront plan, then the buyers are free to utilize the platform in the way...[that] works best for them," Steib says. So far the Google system works best for straight spot buys. Integrated deals will still be done via traditional means, says Peter Gardiner, Deutsch CMO. Read the whole story...