By paulgillin | March 17, 2008 - 7:56 am - Posted in Fake News, Paywalls

Gannett CEO’s fine, even if his company isn’t

Gannett Blog tap dances on Gannett CEO Craig Dubow‘s substantial 2007 pay package, pointing out the absurdity of Dubow earning nearly $3 million in 2007 despite turning in the second world stock performance among major newspaper companies. Lots of anonymous angry comments follow Jim Hopkins’ description.

They’re doing something right in Canada

  • The newspaper malaise in the U.S. may be mainly a U.S. phenomenon for now. The Toronto Globe and Mail reports on research by Newspaper Audience Databank that shows that Canada’s two national papers both saw a slight increase in weekday readership last year. The Globe and Mail’s weekday readership increased 3.9 per cent to a shade over 910,000, while The National Post’s weekday readership grew 2% to 538,400. Both papers’ Saturday circulation declined. The story goes on to say that the business picture is holding up somewhat better in Canada than in the U.S., although it’s far from good.
  • Meanwhile, Marketing Charts reports that 61% of Canadians say that they’d rather look at the ads in a newspaper than watch them on TV, according to a national survey by Ipsos Reid for the Canadian Newspaper Association. What’s more, an astronishing number of Canadians read newspapers mainly for the ads, scan pages looking for advertising or consult newspapers looking for holiday sales promotions. What do people know in Canada that those in the lower 48 don’t?

A very funny takeoff at Tribune Co.

Los Angeles Times Pressmens 20 Year Club pointed to this very funny video by WGN Morning News sports anchor Pat Tomasulo spoofing Sam Zell’s exhortation to Tribune Co. staffers that “You Own This Place.” Watch till the end as weatherman Tom Skilling to steals the show.

The uneasy transition to online

Mark CubanBillionaire sports fan Mark Cuban weighs in on newspaper bloggers. Responding to a local newspaper’s protest over the exclusion of its staff blogger from the Dallas Mavericks’ locker room (Cuban owns the Mavs), Cuban criticizes newspaper blogging as “probably the worst marketing and branding move a newspaper can make…By taking on the branding, standard and posting habits of the blogosphere, newspapers have worked their way down to the least common denominator of publishing in what appears to be an effort to troll for page views.”

Cuban says that treating bloggers like mainstream media should be an all-or-nothing proposition. You must either admit or exclude everyone, but don’t play favorites because a blogger has a mainstream media business card. Some 20 commenters largely agree. Cuban’s position has kicked up quite a storm of debate, with some people saying he’s simply trying to get back at a reporter he doesn’t like.

An award-winning newspaper reporter talks about how she made the leap to online media and how other ink-stained wretches can do the same thing. Michele Nicolosi comments, “In the very near future, we will all be online journalists…The outlook for online journalists — those that play well, learn about and care about the online publication as much as we all cared about the paper 15 years ago — is much, much better than it is for people who are dragging their feet, refusing to change the way they work to accommodate the new needs of the online product.”



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