Thursday, December 25, 2008

Americans Prefer News From Web to Newspapers

From AFP:

The Internet has surpassed newspapers as the main source for national and international news for Americans, according to a new survey.

Television, however, remains the preferred medium for Americans, according to the survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

Seventy percent of the 1,489 people surveyed by Pew said television is their primary source for national and international news.

Forty percent said they get most of their news from the Internet, up from 24 percent in September 2007, and more than the 35 percent who cited newspapers as their main news source.

Only 59 percent of people younger than 30 years old prefer television, Pew said, down from 68 percent in the September 2007 survey.

The latest survey was conducted December 3-7 and released on Tuesday. Pew did not provide the margin of error.

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JibJab -- 2008, a Year in Review

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Tribune Seeks Permission to Fund Union Pensions

From the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago-based Tribune Co., the publisher of the Chicago Tribune, asked a judge for approval to pay pre-bankruptcy and future contributions to union pension plans.

In papers filed Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., the company, which filed for Chapter 11 protection Dec. 8, sought permission to make payments under collective-bargaining agreements.

"I believe that failure to timely pay the unpaid pension contributions would cause unrest and strain relationships with participating union employees and their unions at a time when their dedication and cooperation are most critical," Chandler Bigelow III, Tribune's chief financial officer, said in court papers.

> New York Times may sell Red Sox stake
> New York Times November ad revenue falls 20 percent
> Online Journalism: Donations Accepted Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

After Slow Start, E-Books Turn Page and Find Fans

Could book lovers finally be willing to switch from paper to pixels?

For a decade, consumers mostly ignored electronic book devices, which were often hard to use and offered few popular items to read. But this year, in part because of the popularity of’s wireless Kindle device, the e-book has started to take hold.

The $359 Kindle, which is slim, white and about the size of a trade paperback, was introduced a year ago. Although Amazon will not disclose sales figures, the Kindle has at least lived up to its name by creating broad interest in electronic books. Now it is out of stock and unavailable until February. Analysts credit Oprah Winfrey, who praised the Kindle on her show in October, and blame Amazon for poor holiday planning. [Click for MORE]

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Could Bankrupt Tribune Co. Buy the Union-Tribune?

Could the Tribune Co. convince a bankruptcy judge to let it buy The San Diego Union-Tribune? The odds are against it, a bankruptcy specialist said today, but such a purchase wouldn't be unprecedented. [Click for MORE]

> McClatchy shares close below $1
> Latest layoff victim: California chain's founding publisher
> New Hearst newspapers president: 'Tough decisions' ahead
> 'Columbia Missourian' scales back its print editions
How long can newspapers keep delivering the news?
> Big gains among top 30 newspaper Web sites
> Chadbourne & Parke named counsel to creditors' committee in Tribune Co. Chapter 11
> Is the end near for editorial cartoonists?
> Tim Franklin to step down as editor of The Baltimore Sun Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rivals Washington Post, Baltimore Sun
Join Forces Amid Crisis

The consolidation of the newspaper industry continued Tuesday with the flagship newspaper of The Washington Post Co. (WPO) saying it would share content with its nearby competitor, The Baltimore Sun, which is owned by the now bankrupt Tribune Co.

A joint release from the two newspapers said the agreement, which takes effect Jan. 1, will be primarily focused on daily news coverage of Maryland and sports, and the papers will begin using each other's national, international and feature stories contributed to the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service. [Click for MORE]

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Newspapers to Sell Buildings, But Who's Buying?

With revenue plunging as readers and advertisers flee to the Web, many newspaper companies have turned to selling off their buildings to raise money or save on costs. But now that option may be drying up too, as frozen credit markets make commercial real estate deals scarce.

At least half a dozen newspaper companies have said this year they plan to sell their buildings, some with the intention of leasing back space for their news operations. Others are moving to smaller offices to save money as staffs dwindle and the era of commanding downtown newspaper buildings appears near an end.

The newspapers could hardly have picked a worse time to put their buildings on the block, with the value of commercial real estate deals plummeting from just a year ago. [Click for MORE]

> Newspapers hock their bargain basements

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Can I Hear an Amen?

Russ Stanton, editor of the LA Times, sent email following up on questions ... confirming the much-discussed report [HERE] that its web revenue is now sufficient to meet its entire editorial payroll. “Given where we were five years ago,” he emailed, “I don’t think anyone thought that would ever happen. But that day is here.” [Click for MORE]

> Earlier: LA Times Editor: Are Newspapers a Viable Business?
> Economically Sustainable? I don’t think so
> Franklin to leave Baltimore Sun; Cook to succeed him

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tribune Co. Screws With the Yule Log

This Christmas millions of families will warm themselves around the TV.

The Yule Log - the annual hours-long, commercial free broadcast of a crackling hearth - exploded onto screens 42 years ago. Since then, it's only gotten hotter.

There are logs online for podcast, logs on-demand on cable, even an iLog for your iPhone.

But for purists there is only one: WPIX New York's Yule Log, introduced in 1966.

In 2001 after a 12-year absence, the log smoked the competition, handily winning its time slot. The original log was then picked up by the Tribune Company and aired nationally.

So why then would a young TV executive play with fire by filming a new Yule Log, to debut this Christmas? [Click for MORE]

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