• Will Microsoft Deal Help Newspapers?
    One rumor: Microsoft Corp. wants to undercut Google so badly in Internet search that it might pay newspapers to withhold their content from Google. However, there are conflicting reports on its veracity. Those familiar with Microsoft's discussions with Google say Microsoft is unlikely to fund a Google boycott. That contradicts other unnamed people who told the Financial Times and other newspapers that News Corp. is discussing a plan that would block Google from indexing its content in return for an unspecified payment from Microsoft. The question is: How does Microsoft's Bing let users know it has material ...
  • Lachlan Murdoch Eyes Nielsen Titles
    Lachlan Murdoch is making a joint offer for a group of trade magazines, including Adweek, Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, and related exhibitions. Illyria, his investment company, is bidding with Pluribus Capital Management, a new entity that includes James Finkelstein, the publisher of The Hill and Who's Who, Matthew Doull, a nephew of Conrad Black and former publisher of Wired, and George Green, former publisher of Hearst International. The titles are facing online competition from such sites as Sharon Waxman at The Wrap, one of two prominent blogs that have emerged to challenge The Hollywood Reporter.
  • Alec Baldwin To End Acting Career
    Actor Alec Baldwin says he has lost interest in acting and considers his film career a failure. In the December issue of "Men's Journal" he says he has "time to do something else." Some believe he is hinting at a possible political career. An Emmy-winner for the NBC comedy "30 Rock," Baldwin, will also co-host the 2010 Oscar ceremony. Baldwin began a television acting career in the 1980s and has filmed many movies, including "The Cooler" and upcoming "It's Complicated" with Meryl Streep. Baldwin told "Playboy" he will be "done" with his career in 2012 and retire ...
  • Univision Launches New Ad Network
    Univision is kicking off its own mini ad network, though it hopes to replicate the ad network model in the less-cluttered Spanish-language market. It has formed Univision Partner Group, a collection of Spanish-language Web sites from the U.S., Latin American and Spain. Univision will be able to sell advertising across these partner sites, such as the entertainment-oriented Caracoltv.com. The pitch to advertisers is that vertical networks offer more targeted, well-lit content environments.
  • Hulu Wrestles With Charging For Content
    Hulu's 1,700-title catalog of TV shows and movies attracts nearly 40 million viewers-people who sit through a couple of commercials per sitcom (vs. eight or more on TV) in exchange for the luxury of being able to watch a show for free, just one day after it airs on network TV. That may be coming to an end. NBC, Fox and ABC, the broadcasters that control Hulu, are mulling the idea of charging for at least some content. Hulu is expected to start testing subscription tiers for its programs in the new year, according to sources. ...
  • TV Stations Open News Meetings To Bloggers
    News meetings aren't just open to staffers -- they have swung open the doors wide: to the public. At WITI Milwaukee, a story meeting that usually has six or eight people pitch ideas, might have 60 or 80 at its daily 1:45 confab. That's because WITI opens up the editorial meeting to the public through live blogging and a live video stream, along with a Web program that lets users contribute ideas. WGAL Lancaster, Pa., is also a proponent of the open-door policy. The station opens its daily 9:15 a.m. meeting to the public via the Web in ...
  • Next Up: Tweetable Advertisements
    Publishers of editorial content have included tags that let readers retweet, Digg or add stories to their Facebook page. Soon, that same functionality will apply to ads. Federated Media has announced a deal with TweetMeme that will let marketers attach a retweet button to their ads. Digg, which has run Diggable ads on its homepage since August, is planning to export those ads to other Web properties in 2010. AdMob, the mobile ad network currently being acquired by Google, is in the process of adding hooks to video ads that would let users share an ad they like on ...
  • Who Will Replace Oprah?
    Will it be Ellen DeGeneres, Dr. Phil or Dr. Oz? Or someone completely different? In two years, the closure of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" makes room for a new queen (or king) of daytime television. That's when her 7 million daily viewers will look elsewhere for their TV kicks. "You haven't had a time period like this open up in 25 years," said Larry Gerbrandt, an analyst for the firm Media Valuation Partners in Los Angeles. "It really gives the players a chance to reshuffle the deck." The two shows closest to Winfrey's in the ratings ...
  • Future Programming: No More TV Remote
    Nifty new gadgets to control TV are on the horizon. According to Xbox LIVE General Manager Marc Whitten, Project Natal could replace the TV remote, as well as automatically schedule content according to the people in the room. Such technology is necessary, he believes, as the range and number of sources for video entertainment continue to increase. "I don't believe we are currently in the golden age of the television or the golden age of the game console or the golden age of the Internet," Whitten says. "Frankly, five years from now, I don't know that you'll be ...
  • Bank Approves Sale of Questex Media
    A U.S. bankruptcy court in Delaware has approved the sale of Questex Media Group Holdings to a group of the company's senior lenders. The sale, Questex said, brings the company to the final step in the process of restructuring its balance sheet, claiming it expects to emerge from bankruptcy shortly. Questex's business operations will continue as usual during the process. Questex employs roughly 400 people worldwide and owns 23 trade pubs, which include Travel Agent, and more than 150 digital media properties, in addition to trade conferences. No layoffs are planned in the restructuring, says Questex.
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