All posts by Peter M. Winter

Peter is a traditional media veteran and a digital media pioneer. He is an active angel investor and occasional consultant. He advises established companies on cultural regeneration and also consults to digital start-ups, helping them incorporate management process without sacrificing speed. He holds five technology patents. Peter is an award-winning public speaker and writer. His new book, "The Cannibal in the Room," will be published soon — it is the ultimate insider account of the battle to find a digital future for newspapers when the Internet came to town. He blogs on media and leadership here at blastofwinter.com and publishes his unconventional ideas about management on his LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/in/peter-winter-92b69033/ His collection of short stories can be found at medium.com/peter-winters-life-of-fiction

Without advertising, your media product is toast – and other heretical thoughts

There are many who claim that the business of media advertising is dying, that it is impossible for publishers to compete with Google and Facebook, that subscription revenues are all publishers should rely upon. Let’s unpack these assertions and expose the naiveté behind them. Plus, the latest update of the most important recent developments across the world of media

This is a Stick-Up

Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal has adroitly managed the transition to digital. The London Times, not so much. His other newspapers around the world? Not at all. So, he’s leading the charge to hold Google and Facebook to ransom. Plus, as always, the latest update of interesting recent developments around the world of media…

Living in LaLa Land

The herd is almost always wrong. It seeks safety in numbers because it is lazy, and terrified of an original idea. Independence could get you killed. That’s why conventional thinking can cripple an established business. This examination of the editorial process inside news companies is a call for change based on new product and market thinking. Plus, the latest update on new developments across the world of media

The Age of the Skim

Back in the days of monopoly distribution, selling the news was a fantastic business. Local media outlets, with captive customers and competitive insulation, enjoyed profit margins as high as 25% or even higher. The internet dismantled their monopoly advantage. Now, offering general news like that is a shitty business. In a world where diversion is just a click or a swipe away, user engagement with general news products is irregular, with short, shallow usage sessions and erratic visit frequency. Smartphones have given birth to the Age of the Skim, which has made the engagement problem even worse. How to build audience by transforming skimmers into engaged customers with a predictable consumption habit is the singular challenge faced by media outlets today. The second challenge? Learning how to sell them, of course.

Plus, the fall 2021 update of the most interesting current developments in media…

Where’s the beef?

Five insights guaranteed to shortcut the path to profitability of any news start-up – they’re the basis of the playbook both Axios Local and 6AM City are using to fuel the rapid growth of their local offerings. Plus, the usual summary of the latest developments in digital media, from another epic Murdoch fail to Nextdoor’s public offering to the surprising resurgence of Yelp to a heartfelt memoriam for one of the last great newspaper editors…

My Spring 2021 $0.02 worth…

Everything happening in media right now, including the post-Trump slump in audiences, how CNN got lost, the big revenue challenge of newyorktimes.com, dialing up headlines for more clicks, the Washington Post technology strategy, the rebound in advertising, a confused Congress holds another hearing on social media, and how the newly-independent sovereign writer poses a threat to the companies they used to work for…

Small is Beautiful and Product is Everything

Everything that’s going on in the news business right now, from attempts to make Google and Facebook pay for linking to publisher websites, to the arrival of newsletter products in local markets, to the rise of the role of the news product manager, to subscription tax credits to support newspapers…in France, naturellement

Starting up

As local newspapers continue their fall to extinction, digital news start-ups are emerging to fill the market gap. But do they understand how the market for news has changed? And do they understand the process of building a start-up business in the digital age?

Rubbernecking

how the mad pursuit of user engagement forced social media companies to take responsibility for what is published on their platforms – and backed Facebook into a corner

Culture Clash

Predictable profitability is fatal without leadership committed to continuously challenging the assumptions on which it is based. You can’t do that if you don’t know how to build an open-minded and competitive culture

Breaking the stranglehold on the news

Newspapers are dying and digital news companies are struggling because their newsrooms either refuse to listen to the markets they serve — or don’t know how to. In the age of data, they’re flying blind. It’s time for a new generation of news product specialists…

The luckiest guy on the planet

the story behind the bankruptcy of one of America’s largest newspaper companies — and why other newspaper companies are zombies, too

How well do you know your market?

The content management system is important. But the customer management system is critical

OK Boomer

Hey, there, millennial media person! Do you know what Customer Lifetime Value is and why it’s so important?

Putting Humpty Dumpty together again

How to unpack the newspaper content bundle and reconstitute it as a local network of vertical news products. If newspapers don’t do this, someone else will

Pravda, the U.S.A. edition

Fox News Channel hosts are brazen in their allegiance to Trump and his agenda. It’s as if they work for Pravda, the mouthpiece of the politburo. But behind their pretense of objectivity, mainstream media is no less biased

Bucking the herd, again

In 2018, digital publishers struggled again to make their advertising sales number. The problem is not the market share of Google and Facebook. The problem is the product, and the way it is sold. Here’s what to do about that…

Between a rock and a hard place

Traditional news monopolies had no incentive to invest in the art and science of creating user demand. So when the Internet arrived, users grabbed the chance to go to more interesting places. Can they be persuaded to come back?

Why is local news so boring?

There is an art to telling a story. Even a local news story can be rendered in an attractive way. So why isn’t it?

The horse has bolted

Without access to your personal data, digital media companies cannot give you what you want – or make a buck

Shakeout?

the lessons in product positioning and advertising sales from the sudden shakeout in digital media

Bite the hand that feeds you

– why traditional media companies must set their digital ventures free

Why is marketing so important?

– because without an audience, you’re talking to yourself

You Gotta Pick Your Shots

Why digital advertising has failed to deliver on its original promise