Archive for September, 2009

Publishers collaborate on ads strategy

September 30, 2009

LEADING America publisher, McClatchy, says it will distribute an advertising brochure for advertisers targeting retail shoppers, which has been produced by a rival company.

The publication, called Sunday Select, has been produced by Gannett for the past two years.

Sunday Select goes to household that do not receive a home-delivered newspaper but are in postal code areas that are selected by advertisers.

McClatchy is taking the idea to Sacramento, Kansas City, Tacoma and Columbia.

Its decision follows a move by the MediaNews Group – another major US publisher – to do the exact same thing.

A McClatchy vice-president said he believed it was the “first time I can recall when the newspaper industry and national advertisers have all collaborated on the launch of new product”.

Consumers must “opt-in” for the publication. The material they receive would be very similar in terms of advertiser information to the ads and inserts that go into the newspapers.

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Tasmania gets more papers printed locally

September 28, 2009

Tasmanian residents can now look forward to cheaper and more consistent deliveries of the Australian, Herald Sun, and the Australian Financial Review, with all titles going into local Tasmanian production.

The Australian and Herald Sun are both being printed at the Mercury’s print site. Bill Roe, the Mercury’s circulation manager, said local production would would reduce the cost of the papers, with the Herald Sun going down by 30 cents.

“There’ll also be no problems with fog and aeroplanes,” he said, referring to delays encountered when air freighting newspapers.

While he said they were anticipating some increases in circulation, he said it wouldn’t be that large, as the two titles were already widely available prior to printing them locally.

The Australian Financial Review has also begun printing in Tasmania, at the Examiner’s print site in Launceston.

Award-winning editor takes on new role

September 28, 2009

The Geelong Advertiser has a new editor, Steele Tallon, the former editor of AdelaideNow.

According to The Advertiser, Mr Tallon, also a former deputy editor of the Sunday Mail, will be replacing current editor Peter Judd, who is moving to a national role with News Ltd.

Mr Judd has been editor of the Geelong Advertiser for 14 years, and News Ltd chairman and chief executive John Hartigan told the Advertiser: “He is a remarkable editorial executive and I am delighted that he has agreed to step into a new senior position in our company where his journalistic leadership and thinking can have an even broader impact,” he said.

Mr Tallon told the Geelong Advertiser he was looking forward to his new role.
“My challenge is to expand the lead in innovation established by Peter across all platforms,” he said.

Paul Starick, deputy editor of The Advertiser, will take over as editor of AdelaideNow. Andrew Holman, currently managing editor (news), has been appointed deputy editor of The Advertiser.

Special site launches on Afghan war

September 25, 2009

NEWS Limited websites today launch a multimedia package of exclusive content dedicated to the war in Afghanistan.

To view this exclusive material go here

News Ltd’s national defence writer Ian McPhedran and chief photographer Gary Ramage spent a month living with Australian troops at their forward bases in Oruzgan Province, covering the daily battle against the Taliban, the harsh environment and a deep cultural divide with their Afghan National Army comrades.

The exclusive material includes images of a Taliban rocket attack and an Army Chinook chopper mission that was attacked by mortars, together with interviews with pilots and diggers and rare images of Taliban weapons caches.

The package also features harrowing video and photographs of the war’s smallest victims, Afghan children, being treated at the Kandahar trauma hospital.

Their copy and pictures can be seen at news.com.au, AdelaideNow.com.au, couriermail.com.au, dailytelegraph.com.au, heraldsun.com.au and PerthNow.com.au

And check out the latest in News Digital Media’s online charging strategy in the article below; plus listen to NDM boss Richard Freudenstein on his strategy

News online charging goes to ‘stage 2’

September 25, 2009

A MEMO leaked to the Sydney Morning Herald from rival News Ltd, and published today, confirms News Digital Media is moving forward with a charging model for selected internet content.

The report underscores the thrust of an address at a recent PANPA conference by NDM chief executive Richard Freudenstein, who said research indicated readers were prepared to pay.

(To hear Richard’s address, please go here)

This is not a view shared by Mr Freudenstein’s opposite number at Fairfax Digital, Jack Matthews, who was quoted in today’s Herald report as being skeptical that readers would pay to access news.

However, as Mr Freudenstein stressed at the PANPA Future Forum two weeks ago, the prize was gaining revenue for premium content and context-related services, rather than asking for money to read what was in today’s newspaper.

The Herald report quoted Mr Freudenstein as telling staff in a memo: “News has conducted some audience research here in Australia and in the UK and US, which gives us confidence that, if we get the product and delivery system right, people will happily pay for news content online, on their computer, mobile, e-reader or other device.

“Here in Sydney we are about to move into the second phase of the project.”

Two surveys on the charging subject have been released in the past week. A UK-based one asked readers whether they would pay. And not surprisingly, they said they would not. Actually, 95 percent said that.

More interesting research came from the American Press Institute, which had asked executives attending its conferences this year how they would go about charging for online content.

Of the respondents, 49 percent said they would not even try to do this.

The slim majority prepared to execute a charging model said they would use several different payment methods, such as month/quarterly/yearly subscriptions; pay-per-article; day-passes; and time-on-site charging.

Some 43 percent of those who said they would charge believed they would provide a set of alternative buying methods for readers, rather than inisisting on one model.

Bank funds on horizon for UK daily

September 24, 2009

BRITISH quality paper, The Independent, is losing “tens of millions of Euros a day”, according to its owner Gavin O’Reilly.

But he won’t walk away from the daily or its sister Sunday newspaper, he has told Irish TV.

The Independent was a “central hub” for Independent News and Media’s group of 200 newspapers, said Mr Reilly, who is chief executive of INM.

INM is a 29 percent stakeholder in APN News and Media, which is the largest newspaper publisher in New Zealand and No.3 in the Australian market.

The company is currently in the midst of a protracted negotiation for a new financial structure and is having a battle with director and major shareholder Denis O’Brien, who wants the company to sell of the two Independent newspapers.

The public spat between Mr O’Brien and the INM is different to the battle going on in the Fairfax board room, but it has created a lot of media and general interest in the politics of the company.

The INM share price has fallen some 90 percent in two years.
Mr O’Reilly signalled on Irish broadcaster RTE that it was possible lender banks might invest up to 120 million Euros in the company and become a stakeholder.

He added that Mr O’Brien had initially supported the strategies to carve a future for INM but had seemingly had a change of heart.

Speculation says Walker to go at AGM

September 23, 2009

AUSTRALIAN newspapers are almost united this morning in predicting the resignation of Fairfax Media chairman Ron Walker at the company’s annual general meeting in November.

Finance journalists are predicting he will step down and recommend his deputy, Roger Corbett, as his successor.

Initially, Mr Walker indicated he would retire next year, sparking an outcry from board members John B Fairfax and Nicholas Fairfax, who wanted a changing of the guard.

“I will be meeting with Roger and the major (Fairfax) shareholders on Monday and Tuesday to determine their views on a possible succession program should I not stand for re-election at the annual general meeting,” Fairfax newspapers report Mr Walker as saying in this morning’s editions.

Fairfax’s independent directors, including Mr Corbett, have supported Mr Walker.

Fairfax Media is the 15th largest media company in the world, publishing major newspapers in Australia and New Zealand.

London freebie draws last breath

September 22, 2009

FREE-SHEET, The London Paper, has hit the streets for the last time.

The afternoon paper, established in 2006 in part as a spoiler to the Evening Standard, inspired a third freebie in the city, London Lite.

News Corp’s James Murdoch announced last month that The London Paper would close, stating that while it made a marginal profit it was not core to News International’s business model of paid content and advertising revenue.

It is estimated The London Paper had 1.1 million readers immediately before the decision came down to close it.

Some media commentators in Britain, including former Daily Mirror editor Roy Greenslade, who now writes for The Guardian, believes The London Paper and London Lite should have merged. 

London Lite is the free sheet established by the owner of The London Evening Standard to ward off the News International assualt.

The London Evening Standard continues to rack up fiscal losses under its owner, the former KGB spy and 50-year-old billionaire, Alexander Lebedev, who has given the paper three years to break even.

Publishing on the streets of London has been a complex game with competitors often accusing each other of bogus circulation claims and a fight over distribution contracts in areas such as the London Underground.

Last week, The London Evening Standard printed in New York as part of a tourism promotion to increase ties between the two cities.

A full story on that initiative can be found in this week’s News Now ezine on the PANPA website.

Newspaper of the Year winners announced!

September 11, 2009

THE winners of the PANPA Newspaper of the Year Awards for 2009 were announced at a gala dinner at Sydney’s Masonic Centre last night.

Click here to download the results

Around 300 newspaper executives gathered to celebrate the industry’s finest work of the past 12 months.

The dinner followed the highly successful Future Forum event, which featured a host of local and international speakers, including the CEOs of the World Association of Newspapers, APN News and Media, and News Digital Media.

Photos from the awards will be featured in a special edition of PANPA’s News Now e-zine, out next Monday. Images are also available on request from PANPA.

The PANPA Bulletin newspaper, due out late this month, will feature a 24-page awards liftout showcasing all the winning entries, photos from the awards night, and full coverage of the Future Forum.

Some presentations will be made available on the PANPA website next week.

To contact PANPA about photos, presentations, or any other matter, email panpa@panpa.org.au

Australia’s first 4G wireless broadband to be launched

September 4, 2009

Australia’s first 4G wireless broadband network is set to be launched next year by a subsidiary of Channel 7.

The company implementing the network, Vividwireless, is owned by Kerry Stokes, who also has a majority control in The West Australian newspaper and Channel 7, according to The Australian.

The new network will be capable of providing internet speeds up to 10 times faster than current 3G networks, and will be launched first in Perth with the potential for other states to follow.

Vividwireless chief executive Martin Mercer told The Australian: “Our focus is on wireless broadband because it’s the exploding part of the market and it’s typically neglected by the main players,” he said. “Telstra for example outprices most people from using this technology.”

He said Perth was selected for the initial site because it was currently under-served by broadband infrastructure.