Articles about "Jeff Bezos"


Earns Gannett

Gannett spins off, Murdoch and Time Warner square off

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Gannett will split publishing, broadcast assets: Its acquistion of broadcast companies and the 73 percent of Cars.com it didn’t own make this “the right time for a separation,” CEO Gracia Martore says in a statement. Robert J. Dickey will run the publishing company, which be called Gannett and will hold USA Today and 81 dailies, plus the U.K.’s Newsquest. (Poynter) | Just yesterday, Ken Doctor asked whether Gannett would be the next big media company to split its assets. (Nieman) | Rick Edmonds explained the rash of splits last week. Newspaper groups can “theoretically do better with management whose exclusive focus is on the particular challenges of that industry,” he wrote. (Poynter)
  2. Let us now observe Rupert Murdoch’s mating dance: Time Warner’s “unyielding stance has at least some analysts wondering if an acquisition really is inevitable,” Jonathan Mahler writes.
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Former Washington Post owner offers art collection to employees

The Washington Post

Graham Holdings Company will sell its art collection at reduced prices to Washington Post employees, Philip Kennicott reports. Graham Holdings is the new name of the company that sold the Post to Jeff Bezos last year.

Proceeds from the sale will go to TheDream.US, “a scholarship fund founded by Donald Graham to help undocumented students,” Kennicott writes.

Graham Holdings is moving out of the Washington Post building next month to a space with “very few walls,” GraHoCo spokesperson Rima Calderon tells Kennicott.

The collection “is much like the family: Unflashy and deeply local in its focus,” Kennicott writes.

Artists associated with the Washington Color school—Sam Gilliam, Jacob Kainen, Gene Davis, Thomas Downing, among others—are well represented, as are national figures such as Alex Katz, whose work was originally in the Newsweek corporate collection in New York.

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The Day in Digital: Inside the New York Times CMS and the impending Amazon phone

Content management systems are so in this season. Luke Vnenchak has a fascinating look inside Scoop, The New York Times’s “homegrown digital and (soon-to-be) print CMS.”

Jeff Bezos is expected to announce an Amazon smartphone today. How can the company compete with Apple, Android and Samsung? Quartz’s Dan Frommer has some thoughts on the strategy.

The Atlantic’s in good shape, for lots of reasons. Here’s another one, from a Jeff Sonderman tweet during American Press Institute’s summit on video:

Media critics weren’t critical enough of Aaron Kushner’s print-centric strategy at the Orange County Register, Clay Shirky writes, helping to poison the minds of young people who need to understand that print is in a death spiral from which it can’t recover.… Read more

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David Streitfeld on Amazon: ‘They don’t care if they’re liked’

Around 1998, David Streitfeld gave Jeff Bezos a quick tour of The Washington Post. It really wasn’t a big deal.

“It was a newspaper,” Streitfeld told Poynter. “There wasn’t much to see.”

David Streitfeld looks through books in his basement. (Submitted photo.)

After he ushered Bezos around the newsroom, the two attended a lunch with editors of the Post.

“The editors there thought Amazon was cute, interesting, a frill — not something transformative,” Streitfeld said. “The notion that the Post would one day be owned by the guy with the goofy laugh sitting in front of them was literally inconceivable.”

Streitfeld, though, already knew that Amazon had that potential to be transformative, at least for the publishing industry. He covered the book beat for the Post at the time (in that role, he identified Joe Klein as the author of “Primary Colors”) and discovered Amazon early in his reporting.… Read more

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Want to break your own media news? Don’t tell anyone in the newsroom anything!

The news that Jill Abramson was being replaced as New York Times executive editor “was tightly held within the gossipy confines of the Times newsroom,” Erik Wemple reports in The Washington Post. “It was only after the meeting among top editors had convened that the New York Times communications department informed the paper’s own reporters that a management change was underway, according to a source at the paper. That was about a half-hour before the official announcement.”

Nevertheless, news of Abramson’s ouster hit Politico with the same timestamp as the Times Co. email announcing the change.

Dylan Byers, the Politico reporter who reported the Abramson news, didn’t want to disclose his sources when reached by email. But the Times kept an admirably deathlike grip on the news, considering its large population of individuals who are among the least likely people on this planet to sit on juicy gossip: journalists.… Read more

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That time Jeff Bezos did a Taco Bell commercial

Jeff Bezos was interested in mobile technology long before he owned The Washington Post, according to a 2001 Taco Bell commercial zipping around social media Thursday.

“PDAs, handhelds, I’ve seen these — what do we have that’s new?” the Amazon founder asks during a “meeting,” before he’s introduced to the new Taco Bell Chicken Quesadilla. “Interesting!” Bezos says. “Can I get a demo?”

The fun begins at the 6:41 mark:

(Via Margarita Noriega)Read more

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Local reporting is suffering from a ‘gradual erosion’

The Washington Post | Association of Alternative Newsmedia

Local reporting is suffering from a “gradual erosion,” Paul Farhi writes in a piece bouncing off Pew’s new State of the News Media report. The economics of digital publishing are especially brutal to local news, Farhi writes:

In drawing readers and viewers from a relatively small pond, local news outlets struggle to attract enough traffic to generate ad dollars sufficient to support the cost of gathering the news in the first place. Conversely, sites that report and comment on national and international events draw from a worldwide audience, making it relatively easier to aggregate a large audience and the ad dollars that come with it.

Publishers that cover national and international news account for 60 percent of new jobs in digital publishing, Farhi writes, while newspapers continue to cut jobs, usually from their local staffs.… Read more

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NAA’s new chairman says newspaper biz should have collaborated sooner

NetNewsCheck | NAA | Financial Times

At the Newspaper Association of America’s mediaXchange conference Tuesday, Robert Dickey, the president of Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing division, said U.S. papers should have collaborated more before the meteor hit:

As they looked forward, the publishers also took a step back when asked what advice they would’ve offered to their predecessors in the industry 15 years ago.

“At the time when we had the cash flow, we should have been much more aggressive about a product development mentality around digital,” Dickey says, noting he would’ve begged for more collaboration across the industry.

“If you look at what we’re competing against, had the industry gotten together those ideas should’ve been ours,” he says.

NAA announced Monday that Dickey had been elected its chairman.… Read more

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In a wide-ranging Playboy interview with Jeff Bercovici, Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton talked about why he respected Steve Jobs, hates liberals and isn’t particularly interested in wearable computing. He also talked about some media competitors:

PLAYBOY: If you’re Jeff Bezos, what do you do with The Washington Post?

DENTON: Obviously you apply the Amazon recommendation engine. The interesting move would be to see whether you could take an entire newspaper-reading population and wean them off print. The price of Kindles is coming down. How much would it cost to bundle a Kindle with your subscription to The Washington Post? Discontinue the print and, as a gift, give everybody a Washington Post reader that can also buy books for them. That’s what I’d do. That’s what Bezos would do if he were ballsy.

Jeff Bercovici, Playboy (via Kinja)

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On Oct. 31, 2008, the Washington Post building is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Washington Post, Guild reach tentative agreement

Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild News Co-Chair Fredrick Kunkle says in a Facebook post that The Washington Post and its union members “have reached tentative agreement on a new contract.” All Guild members will get a raise under the proposed agreement.

Among the deal points: Departing employees will still get two weeks’ pay for each year they’ve worked at the Post, and a guarantee that laid-off employees can either return to work “when economic conditions improve —or, as is more often the case, negotiate a fair buyout that allows a person time to recover after permanently giving up his or her job.”

The Guild thanks “Post’s management—and particularly its new owner, Jeffrey Bezos–for reaching a fair agreement.”

Full posting:… Read more

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