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Mar 12 2006
Knight Ridder Goes to McClatchy
After much handwringing and anticipation, The N.Y. Times (reg. req'd) is reporting that "Knight Ridder, the second-largest newspaper company in the United States, agreed Sunday night to sell itself for about $4.5 billion in cash and stock to the McClatchy Company ... Under the terms of the deal, McClatchy agreed to pay about $67 a share in cash and stock for Knight Ridder, these people said. About 60 percent of the payment will be in cash, while the rest will be in McClatchy shares."

A much smaller entity, McClatchy gets some new Internet assets (i.e., Topix.net and ShopLocal) -- both McClatchy and Knight Riddder are part of Classified Ventures � and Knight Ridder stays with newspaper owners. Had private equity bought it I shudder to think what might have happened � slash and burn. (I may have spoken too soon as McClatchy plans to sell the Knight Ridder "flagships.")

McClatchy's Sacramento Bee (its flagship) has been experimenting with a directory collaboration at Sacramento.com (powered by PremierGuide). While newspaper-directory alliances aren't really viable except in isolated pockets, and Sacramento.com isn't perfect (and it's not the SacBee site), it's much closer to what I believe the newspapers should be doing to compete in local search than what most of them currently are.

It will be interesting to watch the Internet strategy evolve as McClatchy takes the helm of Knight Ridder. (The San Jose Mercury News folks clearly are diappointed by the plans to sell it and other CA newspapers.)

___________

Related: The Newspaper Assn. America reported that Q4 print ad spending was flat, while online ad spending at newspaper sites was strong. According to the NAA, "spending for print ads in newspapers totaled $13.7 billion, up 0.4 percent versus the same period a year earlier, while ad spending online continued its double-digit growth in the fourth quarter, increasing by 32.5 percent from the same period a year ago to $552 million."

Here's the release, which breaks out spending by category.




Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  23:06 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [0]



Mar 12 2006
MySpace Messenger
A new IM product is coming from MySpace (what isn't?). This is according to a post today from Om Malik. Here are the pages on MySpace. AOL is the IM leader, followed by Yahoo! and MSN, with Google a distant fourth. MySpace IM could ramp pretty quickly because the site has such critical mass among the IM demographic. It represents a potentially powerful ad/promotional vehicle for Fox � we'll see.

According to a late 2004 study (now likely outdated), the folks at Pew found that more than four in 10 online Americans IM, for a population then of about 53 million in the U.S. About one-fourth then used IM at work.

Paradoxically there's momentum toward interoperability, but launches like MySpace IM also point to general resistance toward open IM (not withstanding alliances like Yahoo!-MSN) and reflect an effort to maintain a "walled garden" around users. Companies such as Meebo are trying to address (leverage) the proliferation of incompatible IM systems while they're still incompatible. Now they can add MySpace to the list.

Here are some November 2005 data on IM trends/usage from an AOL-commissioned study. The research found that 38 percent of online consumers are sending as many (or more) IMs than e-mails. One-third of IM users send mobile IMs or text messages from their cellphones at least once a week. And, generally, IM usage is trending upward.

Google has merged IM and e-mail and I would expect to see all the majors do so. The distinctions between IM and e-mail are somewhat artificial anyway.

Expect a mobile version of MySpace IM to be rolled out quickly.
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  22:33 | permalink | comments [1] | trackbacks [0]



Mar 12 2006
'Nichification' of Video
This Saul Hansell article from The N.Y. Times (reg. req'd) does a nice survey of some of the trends in online and offline video. The world of niche TV (don't say "long tail") is coming and search engines � if they get their acts together � look to figure prominently in organizing what will be an explosion of video online. Last year we wrote about the transformation of TV from a mass medium into one that would have to rely increasingly on targeting to deliver value to advertisers.

TV (even cable) will be fighting for audiences in the years to come. It's going to be fascinating to watch.

At the upcoming Drilling Down event, we'll be exploring this fragmentation of traditional media audiences. In particular, the following session will address the fragmentation of TV/video:

1,000,001 Channels: But Is Anybody Watching?
TV used to be simple for everyone. But the newly fragmenting world of video search, mobile TV, on-demand cable and IPTV makes the range of potential consumer choices staggering. What are the new technologies that are rapidly turning TV from a mass medium to one that is highly personalized? What is the new consumer �video consumption� model, and what are the implications for networks, content producers and advertisers? Will a million �Wayne�s Worlds� and the potential �Tower of Babel� effect destroy the medium for advertisers or open it up to a range of exciting new possibilities, including some for SMEs?
Blog: Local Media Blog
 
posted by  Greg Sterling at  07:05 | permalink | comments [0] | trackbacks [1]










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