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No ‘Playboy Club’ for Salt Lake City

By Michael Hurtig
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

No Playboy Club for Salt Lake City. Last Week, KSL-TV, the Mormon-owned NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, decided not to carry the new prime time drama The Playboy Club. In The Christian Science Monitor, I say why that’s a good sign for the future of TV.

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Weekly Media News Briefing: June 20 – 24

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, June 20th, 2011

WNET Deal to Run New Jersey Public Television Blocked by Assembly. STAR-LEDGER

Cable Subscribers Down 3.8% in 15 Biggest Markets. CABLE + BROADCASTING

Amid Rumors of an Offer for Hulu, The Wall Street Journal Has Examined Who Might Benefit From its Acquisition. The #2 site for internet video streaming features unique, targeted video advertising in addition to a dual-revenue stream model (subscription and ad-supported).

Keith Olbermann Made His Debut on Current TV Monday, Telling Viewers That His Show is to be a “Newscast of Contextualization”. NYTIMES
The show’s first airing also captured its target demographic, with 179,000 viewers.

Cable Network Ad Sales, up by About 15%, are on Track to Match Broadcast. As many would like to declare television’s decline, cable networks are pouring funds into original content and ad sales have seen growth in 2011. THR

The U.S. Media Industry Grew 3.1% in 2010, and is Expected to Grow 3.5% in 2011. BLOOMBERG

The New York Times Reported That High Quality, Original Web Series Are Still Struggling to Find a Large Audience, Despite Growth Trends in Online Video. Sites seeking to curate content and bring only the best original web-exclusive content to viewers may be taking a step forward, but neither productions or new platforms are seeing big numbers. NYTIMES

PricewaterhouseCoopers Predicts Digital Subscriptions Will Provide a Marginal Rebound for Magazines and Newspapers by 2015. Their predictions do not bode well for the US newspaper industry. FORBES

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Detroit Arts Immersion 2011

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

This Month, Students From Juilliard are Travelling to Detroit for Detroit Arts Immersion 2011. This program brings the students together with abused and neglected youth in the city, and will be complemented by student performances. To learn more, visit the Detroit Arts Immersion blog.

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Weekly Media News Briefing: June 13 – 17

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, June 13th, 2011

Magazine’s as a ‘Shoppable Experience’: Hearst Focuses on Bringing Purchase Functionality to its Magazines. NYTIMES

Rupert Murdoch Suggests China Modify its Approach to its Burgeoning Film Market – Lower Barriers to Entry, Help Protect IP Rights. HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Bloomberg LP Files Complaint Against Comcast. The media company wants Bloomberg TV to appear alongside other news networks in Comcast’s channel lineup, citing the FCC channel ‘neighborhooding’ provisions established in the recent Comcast/NBC Universal merger . Issues like this one are likely to become more prominent as different types of media organizations continue to converge, increasingly blurring the line between content producer and distributor. For more on this story: LATIMES

The Movie Industry Will Continue Strong Growth Through 2015, Analysts Predict. THR

Youtube Increases its Number of Advertisers by 100% ADAGE

Comcast and Skype Team Up to Deliver Video Calling via TV. NYTIMES

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CHINA’S MEDIA FUTURE: Six Things to Think About

By Michael Hurtig
Sunday, June 12th, 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.

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Weekly Media News Briefing: June 6 – 10

By Michael Hurtig
Monday, June 6th, 2011

Many Prominent TV Personalities are Moving to the Web, Creating Their Own Shows and Web Portals. NYTIMES

Print Revenue Drops Again, 9.5 Percent in First Quarter of 2011 According to NAA Report. MEDIA BISTRO

NBC Universal Lands U.S. Rights to Broadcast Olympics – Until 2020. TVBYTHENUMBERS

French TV Council Bans Mention of Social Networking Sites on News Programming. The council stated that mentioning site names like Facebook and Twitter during news broadcasts constitutes ‘covert advertising’ and violates the country’s communications policies. BBC

FCC to Release Report on Future of Media on Thursday - According to the Wall Street Journal, the report only contains ‘minor suggestions for rule changes’. WSJ

Apple Relaxes its Magazine Subscription Rules, Allowing Publishers to Sell Subscriptions Intended for iPads, iPhones on Their Own Sites. NYTIMES

Take a Look at Nielsenwire’s Report on American Teens – They watch less tv than the general population, and are spending less time on their home computers. NIELSENWIRE

Columbia’s Journalism School Held a Panel Discussion on the FCC’s Report About the Future of the Media, ‘Information Needs of Communities’. You can read a review of the event here: COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW The FCC report is available on their site: FCC.GOV

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Media News Briefing for Friday, June 3rd

By Michael Hurtig
Friday, June 3rd, 2011

As Copyright Concerns Continue, Youtube Adds Creative Commons. The move to clarify what video can be re-edited and reused by site visitors may be part of a larger initiative by Youtube as it expands into a hub for premium video content from Hollywood movies to high-end user generated video. NYTIMES

Ad Revenue Up for Canadian TV Networks. VARIETY

Many Newspapers With Circulation Under 25,000 Are Charging for Some Online Content. MEDIAPOST

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Media News Briefing for Thursday, June 2nd

By Michael Hurtig
Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Photo: Carmichaellibrary

Google’s Newspaper Digitization Project Coming to An End as it Shifts Focus DIGITALTRENDS

CBS’s Leslie Moonves Expresses Little Confidence in Hulu, Despite its increasing Popularity Online. VARIETY

CISCO: Online Video Viewing Will Double by 2015. LATIMES

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Media News Briefing for Wednesday, June 1st

By Michael Hurtig
Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Major and Mini-Major Movie Studios Continue to Embrace Online Streaming Sites. THR has reported that Hulu has struck a deal with Miramax to stream a large number of popular movies from its catalog. Miramax’s recent, similar deal with Netflix signals that Hulu isn’t bothered by a lack of content exclusivity, which has been key to its business model since its inception in 2007. THR

Jan Wenner, Publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine Speaks Out Against Digital Magazine Subscriptions. He notes that iPad subscriptions and digital magazines are a “small additive” and not the future of the magazine business – at least not the near future. AD AGE, LATIMES

Web Video Stars Sign Deal With Blip.tv. TECHCRUNCH

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Media News Briefing for Tuesday, May 31st

By Michael Hurtig
Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

PBS’ Promotional Model Shifts – Will Now Include More Promotional Breaks, During Programming NYTIMES

U.K.’s Daily Mail On Track for 70 Million Unique Visitors in May, Possibly More Than Nytimes.com YAHOO

Are Cell Phones Carcinogenic? Experts from a World Health Organization agency in Lyon, France, Reveal a New  Study Which Points to Yes. WASHINGTON POST

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