• 'NY Observer' To Beef Up Staff, Go National
    In a bid to go national, 25-year-old weekly newspaper New York Observer will be expanding its full-time editorial staff and considering a nationally focused Web site. Currently there are 21 newsroom staffers; Elizabeth Spiers, the newspaper's editor-in-chief since February, is reportedly looking to add editorial talent in such beats as technology, politics and pop culture.
  • Will E-Books Create A Universal Format?
    "Digital music is now mainstream, thanks in part to the MP3. Will the e-book market be next to produce a one-size-fits-all format—a format that is universally readable, freely sharable, and with a reasonably good reproduction quality?" That's the question from Bill Rosenblatt, who concludes: "Not bloody likely." (yes, he's posting on the U.K. version of Paid Content; U.S. writers might be more likely to say "Absofrickinglutely, no.") Rosenblatt dissects what would happen if each of the players in the e-book market dominate, noting that the competition for market share probably won't lead to e-books with "all three attributes: ease of …
  • 'Dwell' Gets New Editor -- And More 'New Yorky' Feel
    Dwell magazine promoted from within for its new editor and creative director, Amanda Dameron and Alejandro Chavetta, previously executive editor and art director, respectively.  The pub is based in San Francisco, but Dameron has been moved to New York, an interior design capital, "because it was really critical to me that the world know that we take New York very seriously,” says Dwell Media president Michela O’Connor Abrams in this post, which also delineates more plans for the pub.  
  • Lohan Lifts 'Playboy' Briefly, But Hefner Hurts Long-Term
    Playboys ad pages for the January/February 2012 issue shot up 55% to 49.2 pages over the previous year thanks to Lindsay Lohan gracing both the cover and an interior spread, but Jim Edwards writes that such celebrity-driven spikes won’t save the magazine in the long run.  Playboy’s print circulation is in “free fall,” he writes.  But even with the current rate base of 1.5 million rate, it “ought to be able to sell a lot more than 50 pages of advertising.” The central problem? “Founder Hugh Hefner, who should have retired gracefully long ago” and who is "increasingly out of …
  • 'Chicago Sun-Times' Set For Purchase
    Chicago-based technology holding company Merrick Ventures is among the group expected to buy Sun-Times Media for $20 million, according to a story written by three reporters at the Chicago Tribune. Why the purchase now, when newspaper fortunes are plummeting? "The Sun-Times emerged from bankruptcy with little debt, and the paper has dramatically reduced costs... by, among other things, slashing its workforce and outsourcing its printing operations to Tribune's Freedom Center," the reporters write.
  • 'Bubbling Family Rift,' Labor Troubles At 'NY Times'
    Conflicts between several pivotal unions and New York Times management are heating up  -- and negotiations are expected to slow with the surprise departure last week of CEO Janet Robinson, writes Keith Kelly.  One possible candidate for Robinson's job may be Sulzberger cousin Michael Golden, former head of the New York Times package of regional newspapers sold this week. "A Golden resurgence suggests greater family discord was behind Robinson’s exit last week," writes Kelly. Kelly gets a good quote from analyst Douglas Arthur, managing director at Evercore Partners:"I believe it’s fair to speculate that the quick Robinson exit could suggest …
  • The End Of Photoshopping?
    Procter & Gamble's killing of a Cover Girl mascara ad that used photoshopping to make lashes look thicker than they really were is "the latest in a series of baby steps that U.S. and international advertising regulators have taken to ban the use of  Photoshop in advertising when it is misleading to consumers," writes Jim Edwards.  P&G agreed to stop using the ad even though it disclosed that images were enhanced.
  • Complaining About The High Cost Of Cable TV Sports
    "The customers who get the rawest deal of all with the pay TV bundle are the folks who have no interest in sports," writes Brad Tuttle in this consumery take on the issue of current cable TV pricing versus and the a la carte model. In fact, the headline says it all: "You're Paying $100 A Year To Watch Sports on TV -- Even If You Don't Watch." "The 'unbundling' of pay TV may not happen the way all customers want, however," Tuttle notes. "Cable and satellite TV providers are interested in a la carte models not because they would …
  • Making Big Bang' In Product Placement Remembrance
    Proof that a sometimes a quirky plot point will help viewers keep a product fresh in their memories: this Nielsen chart that ranks the most-remembered such placements this year, with number one going to a moment that does live on for us:  "Sheldon [the character with Aspergian-like phobias] uses hand sanitizer [Purell] after he puts a live snake in a desk drawer" on "The Big Bang Theory." Indeed, that show had the most slots -- three -- of the 10 such moments on the list. So, is another lesson here that it pays to show science geeks using your products? …
  • 'NY Times' Newsroom Will Cut 100 Jobs
    In its first round of job cuts since 2008, The New York Times said it plans to eliminate 100 newsroom jobs out of about 1,250 by the end of the year -- first through voluntary buyouts, then by layoffs if not enough staffers volunteer to take the plunge. More budget cuts in the edtorial, op-ed and business side are also expected, Editor Bill Keller informed the newsroom staff in the memo announcing the news.
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