• How City Business Journals Keep Plugging Along
    American City Business Journals CEO Whitney Shaw explains why his chain of business papers is avoiding the trauma that daily newspapers are suffering. "If daily newspapers have pneumonia or worse this year, ACBJ has a cold. We're still fundamentally very healthy," he says. Shaw outlines the key reasons: Staffing is lean, the company doesn't own printing presses and has no debt, and "we don't have expensive retiree pensions." And while advertising revenue is off from a year ago, it's nowhere near the decline that the publicly owned daily newspapers have continue to report, he says. Paid circulation ...
  • Lee Clow Steps Down on Apple Account, Retirement Next?
    Lee Clow is resigning from his position as chief creative officer of TBWA/Media Arts Lab, which handles Apple, TBWA's longtime client. By relinquishing the creative lead on the account that has distinguished his storied career, Clow, 66, appears to be moving toward retirement. Duncan Milner, executive creative director on Apple and a TBWA alum since 1990, will fill Clow's role at Media Arts. Clow will remain chairman and global director of Media Arts Lab and chief creative of the TBWA network. Media Arts Lab was founded in 2006 to serve Apple.
  • Marc Cherry, ABC in New 'Housewives' Deal
    As part of a new two-year deal that Marc Cherry has signed with ABC Studios, he will remain executive producer of "Desperate Housewives" for an eighth and ninth season, until 2013. Whether or not "Housewives" continues until then depends on the show's core cast members, who are only committed through the 2010-11 season, the show's seventh. Cherry had originally hinted that he might end the show sooner, after seven seasons. Also signing a two-year extension with ABC Studios is Cherry's top "Housewives" lieutenant, Bob Daily, who will also now remain with the show through those potential eighth and ...
  • Jay Leno's Role in Gannett Stock Downgrade
    Wells Fargo Securities downgraded shares of Gannett Oct. 29 from "market perform" to "underperform." Why? Along with the familiar problems of a weak ad recovery and a decline in circulation, analysts also point to the negative impact of the "Jay Leno" show on Gannett's local TV affiliates. Wells senior analysts John Janedis and Jaime Morris say they expect Gannett's broadcasting revenue will slow due to the weak ratings of the Jay Leno show, which now precedes news programming. Gannett's local NBC affiliates typically enjoy strong news ratings in their respective markets. They lowered broadcast segment revenue estimates ...
  • Epix To Launch Today Light on Distribution
    Movie channel Epix, owned by Paramount, Lions Gate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, debuts today (Oct. 30) with a Madonna concert and other exclusive content -- but distribution is lagging. The channel's only distribution pact so far is with Verizon's FiOS TV service, making it available to 2.5 million households. Epix expected to announce additional distribution deals before and after the premium movie channel launched. "Negotiations are continuing, but are complex. Along with packaging and pricing, the talks involve the use of technology, like the Internet and mobile devices," says Epix CEO Mark Greenberg. Sources say Epix is in advanced discussions ...
  • Amid Tensions, 'Boston Globe' Publisher to Retire
    After three years as The Boston Globe publisher, Steven Ainsley, 56, will retire in December. He's spent a total of 27 years with the New York Times Co., owner of the Globe. Christopher Mayer, 47, the Globe's senior VP for circulation/operations will replace him. Ainsley has overseen the Globe during perhaps the most difficult stretch of its 137-year history. Earlier this year, it was losing more than $1 million a week, say insiders. Tensions have flared this year between Times Co. executives, including Ainsley, and Globe employees, who accused the company of mishandling labor negotiations. Mayer faces ...
  • Prius App Users Co-create Times Square Billboards
    In August, Toyota released a free Prius Experience app for the iPhone. This week, the app's interactive element is jumping from the small screen of the iPhone to the big screen. Digital billboards from Reuters and NASDAQ in New York's Times Square are putting content that users create within the Prius Experience app on display. One of the options in the app is to "draw shapes to interact with the Prius." Users are given instructions to use their finger to draw an image on the screen. When done, they see their drawing populate the digital plane of the app. ...
  • 'TV Guide' Fishes for Revenue With SpongeBob Issue
    TV Guide is introducing a special-interest publication devoted to the cartoon character SpongeBob today (Oct. 29), the first of at least six single-topic special interest pubs planned for the year ahead. The 96-page "Ultimate Guide to SpongeBob SquarePants," marks the 10th anniversary of the Nickelodeon show and has a planned distribution of 600,000. Features include four different covers, free video downloads on iTunes and a sneak peek of a new episode airing Nov. 7. TV Guide is working on co-sponsorships for upcoming SIPs, but the SpongeBob issue is ad-free, with a $6.99 cover price, compared to $3.99 ...
  • News Corp., CBS Seek Cable-TV Fees
    News Corp. and CBS Corp. are pushing cable operators to start paying monthly fees to carry their broadcast TV stations. The broadcasters see a potential new stream of revenue by following the path of cable channels, which gather billions of dollars in fees paid by the cable TV operators. News Corp., which owns the Fox network, is demanding cable operator Time Warner Cable make cash payments of as much as $1 per household per month. Their current contract expires at the end of this year. It's a stand0ff that pits one of the most-watched U.S. networks against one ...
  • 'Newsday' Puts Stories Behind New Pay Wall
    As promised, Newsday launched its new pay wall site Oct. 28, which only allows full access for print subscribers of the newspaper and customers of its Cablevision sibling, Optimum Online. All stories, photos and video are accessible only to subscribers. Others get a headline and brief summary. Non-subscribers can pay $5 per week to get full online access. How did it go? The site is clearly doing its best to make sure online readers know what they are missing. Some of the free summaries have a cliffhanger-like ending if you do not subscribe. A summary about a gas station ...
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