Bill Baker's Blog

Perspectives on the Media from New York Public Television

Media News Briefing for Monday, May 2nd

Michael Hurtig | May 2nd, 2011

The Increased Convenience of On-Demand Viewing Could Threaten More Than Television Ad Dollars. More people are watching their favorite television programming on demand than ever – with a 35% increase in 2010. NYTIMES

Twitter Surpasses the Speed of News Networks to Deliver News of Bin Laden’s Death, Triggered by a Twitter Post From the White House’s Communications Director. PEJ

Just How Many Tuned in For the Royal Wedding? Paid Content’s report on the topic, which combines everything from pageviews to postings, shows just how difficult media measurement has become. PAIDCONTENT

Youtube Continues its Push Into Original Content Production LATIMES

HBO Go is Now Streaming on a Variety of New Platforms. An important move for the Time Warner unit at a time when the online streaming video space is proving a hotspot for many. ENGADGET

Media News Briefing for Friday, April 29th

Michael Hurtig | April 29th, 2011

The UK’s Guardian Newspaper Has Shut Down a Number of Local News Sites Launched in 2010. This mirrors one of the news media myths outlined by Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism – that hyperlocal is the future for news. Paidcontent notes that the for the Guardian, these local sites were ‘unsustainable’. PAIDCONTENT

The Federal Government Has Proposed New Guidelines For Marketing Fast Food to Children NYTIMES

AOL News’ Original Content Coming to an End as it is Merged With the Huffington Post. All content will be produced by the Huffington Post. AD WEEK

Media News Briefing for Thursday, April 28th

Michael Hurtig | April 28th, 2011

Viacom’s Second Quarter Earnings Are Up By 54%. ASSOCIATED PRESS Despite a drop in revenue, results from legacy media companies across the board are proof that TV is still very much the place to be for advertisers. In 2010, advertisers spent 69 Billion on TV advertising, the largest amount for any medium.

Is DirecTV Moving Into the Online Space? According to a report from the L.A. Times, the satellite TV company is considering offering on-demand services to its subscribers. LATIMES

The Project for Excellence in Journalism Looks at How Trump’s Birth Certificate Demands, Which Generated a High Level of Media Coverage, Jumpstart the 2012 Race PEJ

Media News Briefing for Wednesday, April 27th

Michael Hurtig | April 27th, 2011

How the NY Times’ Cascade Tracks News Items on Twitter. The video above shows how it all works. MASHABLE

China’s State Media Policy Shifts as Photo of Jet is Published. NYTIMES

TV Advertising Momentum Continues, Film Sales May Show A Weak Quarter. THR

AOL’s Hyperlocal News Sites Seeking 8,000 New Bloggers. FORBES

As Newspaper Sales Continue to Decline, the McClatchy Company Considers Going the Way of the Digital Subscription. NYTIMES

Media News Briefing for Tuesday, April 26th

Michael Hurtig | April 26th, 2011

As Many Expected, Netflix is Going Full Steam Ahead With Original Programming THR

Using Social Media to Report News? Storify, a new site, aims to help journalists sift through information across social media, a major source of hot news. NYTIMES

A New Nielsen Report Shows Old and New Media Site Use Converging, Mobile Video is Up. Of note among the findings in Nielsen’s Latest Audience Trends Release is an overlap between visits to network/broadcast media sites and social media/blogs. NIELSENWIRE

Media News Briefing for Monday, April 25th

Michael Hurtig | April 25th, 2011

Photo: Takoma Bibelot

Broadcasters Don’t Want to Give Up Spectrum. As the FCC puts pressure on broadcasters to free up spectrum for sale to and use by wireless broadband providers, broadcasters are pushing back. NYTIMES Meanwhile, new surveys continue to reveal that people aren’t yet ready to ‘cut their cords’, affirming that formats like Google and Apple TV have not yet made the grade with television lovers in the US.

Netflix – The Largest Entertainment Subscription Company in the US’? THR

Byliner., a New Internet Publication, Aims to Create a Home for Long-Form Journalists Online NIEMANLAB

Media News Briefing for Wednesday, April 20th

Michael Hurtig | April 20th, 2011

As the All-Out War on Content Farms Continues, Demand Media Reasserts its Claims of Quality Content. In March we wrote about the common assumption by many media critics that content like that on ehow.com was somehow degrading the quality of the overall media sphere, comparing the rise of Demand Media to the fall of quality papers like the New York Times. Google has since this time ‘tweaked’ its algorithm to eliminate search results that include low-quality content, and Demand claims that the effects of this change have not had the devastating effect to its website traffic that were originally expected by critics of the company’s business practices. Most web content creators can tell you that no matter the content, to a certain extent, you have to ‘be a slave to the algorithm’ by using the right language to remain relevant to Google’s algorithm. While this remains a threat to writers’ abilities to maintain a quality writing style and honest voice, as some publications move to subscription-supported models, the idea of writing for an algorithm may become less relevant.

What Does Premium Video On Demand Mean for the Future of Television and Movies? The Hollywood Reporter is looking at Direct TV’s upcoming launch HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Study Finds That One Third of US Households May Opt-Out of Cable


Michael Hurtig | April 20th, 2011

My presentation at CEIBS, April 2011

China already has more internet users (450 million) than America has people, even though just one-third of China is online. What will happen when the other two-thirds (890 million people more) get an internet connection?

This April, I went to Beijing to find out.

My hosts were the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), and I was a presenter and attendee at the China Media Industry Forum. I gave a talk on the American media landscape, represented IESE Business School at the forum, and uncovered some remarkable trends and facts about the future of media in China:

1. Relaxed ownership rules?

The buzz in Beijing’s investor community is that the government will relax media ownership rules. Coupled with China’s booming $40 billion advertising industry (poised to overtake Japan’s as the global #2 after the US) the relaxed rules could significantly strengthen China’s ability to reach viewers, sell ads, and drive markets.

2. Microblogging is everywhere.
The public in general and the business community in particular are using microblogs to get past the state media’s official version of events. While microblogging can be an avenue to more insight and a unique, first-hand point of view, it seems that just about everyone in China is blogging, or about to be. That means information overload and anxiety about whose info to trust. But the consensus is that media with microblogging is better than without it.

3. A Chinese alternative to Bloomberg and Reuters.
Imagine investors around the world using data terminals, just like the Bloomberg models preferred on Wall Street, but made by CCTC-2, the financial news arm of China’s state media. That’s exactly what Guo Zhenxi, head of CCTC-2, hopes will someday happen. The newly launched TV station has captured 75% of China’s business community after just months on the air, and has ambitious plans to go multiplatform. They’ve got a long way to go before they’re anything like Bloomberg or Reuters, but this new company is worth watching.

4. No success without greater transparency.
I was amazed and pleased to hear outspoken criticism of China’s controlling stance towards its media. At the forum, advocates for business ethics called for greater transparency in business information, and announced a project to compile a “social responsibility index,” which will rank Chinese companies by how ethical and sustainable their practices are. Unless the government allows business and business media to be open and honest, say advocates, China has no real chance to compete and win in a global arena.

5. How to be a journalist in China’s new media landscape.
When an audience of aspiring reporters asked how to break into and succeed in journalism, Liu Shui, Editor in Chief of Phoenix New Media, gave a reply you’d hear in any country: expect low pay and steep competition, and be prepared to muster near fanatical devotion to success. The biggest asset for any aspiring journalist, according to Shui, is a broad education and a wide reading list that includes books as well as blogs. Shui’s reply and the sheer number of people in the room made it feel just like a gathering of journalistic hopefuls in the US and Europe, and that can only be a good thing for China.

6. China’s Coming Entertainment Boom.
Opening the door even a little to private entrepreneurship in media could unleash the wealth of talent and showmanship I saw on display during my time in Beijing. The two-day Media Industry Conference was slick and captivating, and the technology in use was no different than what you might find at a media conference in the US. If the 2008 Olympic opening ceremony is any indication of how big the Chinese can think, and if their decade long dash to global #1 in manufacturing is any indication of their tenacity and follow-through, it’s wise to be on the lookout for Beijing’s answer to Hollywood. It may be coming sooner than you think.

In general, I was highly impressed by the conference, and by my hosts. CEIBS ranks near the top of Chinese business schools, and, based on my experience at the forum, it’s one of the best business schools anywhere.

Media News Briefing for Tuesday, April 19th

Michael Hurtig | April 19th, 2011

ProPublica Wins Pulitzer for Web-Only Series ProPublica, the investigative journalism site, garnered its first Pulitzer. The Pulitzer press release noted that the prize was “Awarded to Sheri Fink of ProPublica, in collaboration with The New York Times Magazine, for a story that chronicles the urgent life-and-death decisions made by one hospital’s exhausted doctors when they were cut off by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina.”JOURNALISM.CO.UK

The European Union is Examining Mobile Operators’ Internet Restriction Policies NYTIMES

Former Shareholders of the Tribune Company Allege Fraud, Press for Litigation Against the Company’s CEO and Chairman, Sam Zell WSJ

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