The owner of the New Orleans Saints, Jim Benson (along with a group of investors), has offered to buy The Times Picayune, but has been rebuffed by Steven Newhouse, who heads the paper's parent Advance.net. Andrew Beaujon puts the offer in the context of the New Orleans paper's recent controversial decision to move from daily to three-times-weekly publication, reporting that U.S. Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana also urged Advance to sell. Vitter writes of Advance's plan to concentrate on its website: "You have a terribly inadequate digital platform which has actually gotten worse since your announcement. …
Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide for 10 years, has resigned from the company, "saying the company needs new leadership at a time its flagship U.S. network is suffering through some of its poorest ratings ever," writes David Bauder. Walton will stay on through the end of the year during the search for a successor.
Time Out London may (or may not -- a final decision is still pending) become a free magazine, with its "print edition containing fewer listings and more content, such as features and reviews, funded by advertising," writes Nick Batten. We were concerned about the fate of our local version, Time Out New York, but couldn't find any current news stories about whether the London move could affect other editions. Consider this info,though, from Wikipedia: "While the London edition is solely owned by the Time Out Group, other editions are partly or wholly owned by other entities. For instance …
The New York Times is dropping its app for BlackBerry users, instructing them to use instead the paper's mobile website, "which will become the focus of its electronic-publishing efforts" for mobile phones, writes Hugo Miller. iPhone users and those whose mobile devices are build on Android software can still access the Times through dedicated apps.
Dish Network has quietly implemented a series of three changes to DVRs with AutoHop commercial-skipping technology -- a move that may help boost the satcaster's legal defense in its current suits with broadcasters trying to stop AutoHop use. "While the changes may seem minor, they seem to represent a calculated strategy on Dish's behalf to shift responsibility to viewers for the recording and ad-skipping rather than let them passively receive these features," writes Andrew Wallenstein and Ted Johnson. "That fine-tuning could become noteworthy to a judge assessing the legality of AutoHop considering a similar case that has been …
Barry Diller's remarks about the fate of Newsweek
during an IAC earnings call quickly turned into the media version of telephone, with various outlets reporting differing permutations of his plan for the pub. Or, as Mediabistro's Chris O'Shea put it,
"To summarize: Diller said something that could maybe possibly probably indicate Newsweek
will soon be a digital only publication. Or not." The media storm reached Newsweek
's offices, reportsForbes'
Jeff Bercovici, and editor in chief Tina Brown put out an internal memo, titled "Scaremongering," reassuring Newsweekians that Diller had actually just "made the uncontroversial, industry-wide observation …
CNBC is beginning production on the first of seven reality shows in development that signal a new direction in its prime-time programming. "The network’s daytime identity has always been clear: business news and talk," writes Brian Stelter. "But its prime-time identity has been more muddled, with a mix of repeats, documentaries and low-rated talk shows." The network hopes to address that issue by airing reality shows with a common thread of "money" -- among them "Fakes and Forgeries," about art investigators -- beginning in Q1 of 2013, according to Stelter.
Random House and TV producer and distributor Freemantle Media will team up to launch Random House Television, which will develop TV shows based on the publisher's books or developed by Random House authors. Both companies are part of Bertelsmann AG. "Jeffrey Levine, formerly of Spring Creek Productions, has been hired as head of TV and will report to Random House Studio [the company's entertainment divison] president Peter Gethers," writes Laura Hazard Owen.
The TV marketplace is seriously flawed and "rules set in the 1990s may need to be changed," said Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) at a cable regulation hearing, according to Todd Shields. The main problems discussed there: whether or not to rewrite the carriage law, the high cost of cable bills, and programming blackouts due to fee disputes between programmers and distributors. "Consumers should get refunds when they lose channels," said Rockefeller. Check out this post for a clearly written overview of what's been happening in the cable world.
Top business magazines -- Fast Company, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes
-- are all outperforming the magazine industry as a whole, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures. While the overall magazine business posted drops in both ad revenue and ad pages -- 3.6% and 8.8% respectively -- Fast Company
ruled the newsstand "with a 24.8% increase in ad revenue to $26.5 million and a 19.5% increase in ad pages to 294.76," writes
Talking Biz News. The other three business pubs mentioned above also posted impressive increases. Another way to measure a magazine's strength is digital savvy: "brand …