• Cable Stocks Get Thumped
    Concerns over a potential slowdown in global economic growth and declining U.S. consumer confidence thumped the Dow Jones Industrial Average Tuesday, pummeling several industry sectors, including cable. On the cable side, the biggest declines were in the programming sector, led by a trio of Liberty Media tracking stocks -- Liberty Capital, down 6.3% ($2.82) to $41.85 per share; Liberty Interactive, down 6% (68 cents) to $10.71 each and Liberty Starz, down 3% ($1.63) to $52.35 each. Other big decliners were Discovery Communications, down 5.3% ($1.98) to $35.46; Viacom, down 4.6% ($1.73) to $36.10; Scripps Networks Interactive, down 4.2% ...
  • Local Stations Solid For 2010
    Right now is a good time to be running a station group. After years of being stuck in neutral, automotive advertising is revving along, up as much as 60% year over year. Core business -- from local mom-and-pops, retail, restaurants -- is also cooking again. And the fall's political season looks to be so big that it will likely surpass the record amounts spent by candidates in 2008's presidential season. The second half's earnings numbers will shine even brighter when compared to their dim counterparts in 2009. Meredith Local Media President Paul Karpowicz forecasts Meredith revenue to climb up ...
  • Disney Revives Radio Serial
    Disney helped the musical thrive again with its "High School Musical" film series. Now it's trying to bring back an even older format with a radio serial. Next week ,Radio Disney is launching a 20-episode series, "My Dream," that follows a 14-year-old girl as she tries to pursue a dream of becoming a singer and songwriter. Her parents, older brother, best friend and music teacher also are featured in the little plays. A new episode debuts each weekday at 9:25 a.m. on Radio Disney. Listeners who miss them can hear the 90-second episodes later on the station's site or ...
  • Former WaPo Blogger Weigel Joins MSNBC
    It didn't take Dave Weigel long to land on his feet after he resigned last week from The Washington Post. MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has welcomed him as new "MSNBC contributor." Weigel's segment was about an interview he did with Rick Barber, the man running for a congressional seat in Alabama and compared taxes to slavery. Keith Olbermann announced on Monday's "Countdown" that Weigel would sign on as a contributor to the program. The position will be both paid and exclusive to the network. Olbermann welcomed Weigel saying, "and you thought last week was fun, wait until you see what ...
  • Larry King Ends Talk Show After 25 Years
    Larry King, who has interviewed presidents and Hollywood royalty on CNN for a quarter of a century, said he will end his nightly talk show to spend more time with his wife and children. "Larry King Live," which has suffered from shrinking viewership, will sign off in the fourth quarter, the 76-year-old host said yesterday in a statement posted on CNN's website. The show airs weeknights at 9 p.m. New York time. King, whose first guest was New York Governor Mario Cuomo, plans to appear in CNN specials on national and international affairs. His ratings are off 40 percent this ...
  • News Corp. Sells Beliefnet
    News Corp. said Friday it has sold Beliefnet, a Web site it purchased three years ago that caters to a community seeking spiritual content based on a large number of religions and even atheism. News Corp. had been operating Beliefnet as a subsidiary of Fox Digital Media and Fox Entertainment Group. Advertisers at the site have included the major film studios, as well as ABC, CBS, NBC, HBO, TLC, TNT, Discovery Channel and Harpo Productions. Beliefnet was acquired by BN Media, which also cut jobs as part of the purchase. Beliefnet says it is "the largest multifaith inspiration ...
  • Most Traditional Media Sites Had A Weak Spring Break
    After a strong March, consumer magazines online went into a spring swoon this April. Many destinations reporting to min's exclusive digital box scores recorded drops in audience and activity. But the bigger picture indicates that major media brand executives should note a general fragmentation away from their sites. In most cases, especially in the teen and entertainment news categories, sites without offline presence are growing faster than traditional media brands online. In other words, per publishing consultant Ben Elowitz, old media (up 5% in traffic in 2009) is losing ground to the "dot.com" upstarts (up 10%). Still, many ...
  • MSNBC Touts Web Redesign
    The big idea behind just about every site redesign revolves around "less is more" minimalism. But it looks like MSNBC.com's redo actually means it: The new site, which just went fully live, promises to do an end with clicking on stories and on ads. By introducing a single-page-only format, the company hopes to sell large, customizable ads to marketers as it tries to build a larger audience. It is also promising to reduce the use "standalone" slideshows, something that has become a staple of many news sites to drive pageview counts. Of course, it hasn't completely abandoned clicking; ...
  • Why TV Advertisers Are Spending More for Less This Season
    After forking over price increases of 7% to 10% for ad time on broadcast TV in the recent upfront market, advertisers are likely to blanch at a disquieting fact: They are paying more for less. Buyers are projecting noticeable declines in household commercial ratings across the prime-time grid for the coming fall season, per Advertising Age's annual survey of ratings estimates from media-buying firms. The projections suggest significant audience erosion. For the recently completed 2009-2010 season, for example, ad buyers had projected a 14.1 household C3 rating for ABC's popular "Dancing With the Stars," a 13.1 for CBS' widely ...
  • Amazon Adds Video, Audio To Kindle Apps
    Amazon has introduced audio and video into its eReading Kindle Apps for Apple's iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The new features, which currently are only available via Amazon.com, are not however compatible with Amazon's own device, the Kindle, reports the UK's Telegraph. The first books to receive special editions with new content include travel guides or books about bird song. London by Rick Steves, for instance, will have a walking guide to the city The move indicates that Amazon is not prepared to concede ground to Apple's iBooks software in the burgeoning digital books market, but it ...
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