from the past to the future
Judy Woodruff, the anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour for nearly 10 years, retired at the end of 2022. Many are sad to see her go. Her on-air personality was warm and earnest, and she presented her liberal perspective softly. But throughout her tenure, NewsHour viewership remained stuck at around a million households, this during an historic epoch of high news consumption. Nor did the program’s digital audience grow much at all. The NewsHour as currently positioned could be generated by Artificial Intelligence – and nobody would notice. You don’t believe me? Read this! Plus, the usual update on the most interesting developments in media since we were last together
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
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…
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
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…
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 lessons in product positioning and advertising sales from the sudden shakeout in digital media
When the circus came to town
– bad things happen when the status quo rules
Not Much Has Changed Since I’ve Been Gone. Except for Just One Thing.
Giant digital news networks are rising – will any newspaper company be among them?
The elementary mistake that destroyed one of the largest newspaper companies in the country
The challenge of managing agents of change. Or, Justine should know
To create a successful new product, you may not need an Elon Musk, but you do need someone with a strong personality. How do you manage them? How do you insert them effectively into your company?
It’s tough being the boss
Digital First Media and McClatchy, the second and third-largest newspaper holding companies, are going south fast. What happened?
10 slides in 2 minutes
In just 10 slides and 2 minutes we show why newspapers capitulated to digital and what can be learned from it
Tener el martillo sin la una. To have the hammer without the nail.
There’s no Silicon Valley in Europe. Over the pond they take a different approach to technology development. It’s top-down versus […]
The Sayonara Strategy: How Newspapers Will Fade Away
In 2018, more daily newspapers, by now out of cash and ideas, will be published only on Sundays, with news updates on online editions during the rest of the week
Cox, Tribune and a story of self-disruption
In the disruptive digital world, only cannibals survive It’s now fashionable to trot out the Harvard Business School thesis on […]
Digital First Media – the end of the beginning
This is a great time to be in the news business – if you’re not a newspaper. Andreessen Horowitz just […]
Owning Your Own Destruction
Business synergy is a myth – chasing it is fruitless An established company is always tempted to position a new […]
Success Can Be Fatal
Any business leader worried about the future must build a culture that welcomes it For newspapers, the Internet offered one […]
Keeping Your Head Straight
It’s never the technology that’s important. It’s the market and economic forces driving it that matter the most Newspaper companies […]
Hubris Is Blinding
A simple rule of basic management: Under-estimate your own market position and over-estimate the competition Newspaper companies don’t have an […]