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Hearst U.S. Digital Biz ‘Solidly Profitable For The First Time’ In ‘11
January 4, 2012

In a New Year letter to employees, Hearst president David Carey reiterated that the company’s target this year is to reach over 1 million paid digital subscribers per month. The full letter:

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to 2012! I hope your holiday season was happy and that you either enjoyed some personal time off or found the Hearst offices peaceful and productive at a relatively quieter pace. And now, we’re recharged and back in the exciting world of magazines UNBOUND.

Audit Group Accepts Circulation Practice of The Journal in Europe
January 4, 2012

Audit Bureau of Circulations in Britain said the agreements between the Wall Street Journal newspaper and corporate sponsors to host seminars where bulk copies were sold for as little as 1 euro cent were consistent with the organization’s rules. "The payment arrangements underlying this contract were complex and at times circuitous but A.B.C. has found no clear evidence that these copies should be regarded as not compliant,” the audit bureau said in a statement. Dow Jones & Company, which publishes the European, Asian and American editions of The Wall Street Journal, that it had discontinued such complex bulk-distribution agreements.

Profile: Talking with Johnson Publishing chairman Linda Johnson Rice
January 4, 2012

Linda Johnson Rice is chairman of the multimedia company that publishes Ebony, a lifestyle and general-interest magazine for African-Americans, and Jet, a newsmagazine.
Her father founded Johnson Publishing in 1942 with Negro Digest. Rice grew up in the publishing world after being adopted by John and Eunice Johnson. As a young girl, she traveled with her mother to fashion shows in Paris and Milan, being exposed to the finer things in life, as well as a strong work ethic.
Rice, 53, is divorced and has a daughter.

Branded Content Advertising Spend At All Time High
January 4, 2012

According to the 2011 Spending Study conducted by the Custom Content Council in partnership with ContentWise, the total spend on branded content rebounded significantly in 2011 to $1,914,000 among the 100 top US corporate marketers, the highest level ever. Further cementing growth in 2012, says the report, 16% of marketers reported that their companies are shifting aggressively from traditional marketing into branded content. The biggest driver of growth from 2010 to 2011 was in publication budgets, which increased by 68%. According to the study, 26% of the overall marketing spend was allocated to branded content and 30% of respondents

Report: Wii U to have app store and tablet e-reader
January 3, 2012

Nintendo's Wii U will have its own app store, according to reports, with its tablet controller able to function as an e-reader capable of displaying books, magazines, newspapers and strategy guides for the company’s games. The app store claim comes from The Daily, which reports that the Wii U store will "go far beyond" Nintendo's previous offerings such as the 3DS eShop. Some apps will run on the TV screen, while some will be designed for the tablet controller itself. Meanwhile, Forget The Box cites a Los Angeles-based software developer who claims Nintendo has approached his employer to offer

Zoinks! Everyone Fooled by Fake @Wendy_Deng
January 3, 2012

Looks like some people are still in a holiday-induced daze. An account that had been given the Twitter verified seal of approval as Wendy Deng, wife to News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch, has been declared a fake. But not before news outlets around the world reported on “her” wacky tweets over the past few days.

Tricky Dick, Spamazon, and 10 Other Media Failures of 2011
January 3, 2012

Now that just about everyone else is done publishing their annual feel-good "Best Of" lists, it's time for Dead Tree Edition to remind us what a crappy year we just stumbled through.  Here’s a look back at some of the media world’s unsung losers and overlooked failures of 2011:

Spamazon: Amazon, once known for its uncanny ability to send emails promoting just the right products to the right person, decided to enter the deal-of-the-day business. But it turns out the big web retailer is better at algorithms than maps.

Qatar fund eyes board seat at Lagardere
January 3, 2012

Qatar's sovereign wealth fund may seek a supervisory board seat and strategic partnership with Lagardere, potentially deepening its ties with the French media-to-aerospace conglomerate in which it is the biggest shareholder.

Qatar Holdings said in a letter published on Tuesday by French stock market regulator AMF it may raise its stake, but would not seek to take over the company.

Lagardere is effectively insulated from takeover by a governance structure, known as a commandite. This gives broad powers to chief executive Arnaud Lagardere.

Why Best Buy is Going out of Business...Gradually
January 3, 2012

Electronics retailer Best Buy is headed for the exits.  I can’t say when exactly, but my guess is that it’s only a matter of time, maybe a few more years.

Consider a few key metrics.  Despite the disappearance of competitors including Circuit City, the company is losing market share. Its last earnings announcement disappointed investors.  In 2011, the company’s stock has lost 40% of its value.  Forward P/E is a mere 6.23 (industry average is 10.20).  Its market cap down to less than $9 billion.  Its average analyst rating, according to The Street.com, is a B-.

Rupert Murdoch takes to Twitter
January 3, 2012

LONDON Rupert Murdoch has begun the new year by setting up in a new field of communications hes started tweeting. The media mogul, who is recovering from perhaps his most difficult year in the business, is posting on Twitter under the handle rupertmurdoch, spokeswoman Daisy Dunlop at News International confirmed Monday. The account was opened over the New Years holiday, but many doubted its authenticity because Murdoch, 80, has generally tried to stay out of the spotlight as his media empire comes under increased scrutiny because of widespread phone hacking at his U.K. newspapers. Murdoch faced harsh questioning in

Bidding heats up for AllRecipes: Are Amazon, AOL and Random House stirring in the kitchen?
December 31, 2011

Share this: It’s no secret that AllRecipes.com — the wildly popular online recipe site — is on the auction block. In fact, Reader’s Digest — which gobbled up AllRecipes for $66 million in 2006 — has publicly said that it plans to unload the property. The auction process is now coming to an end, and The New York Post has the scoop on some potential suitors for the Seattle company. According to the Post, Random House is part of a “bidding war” that could push the price above $200 million. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that AllRecipes — which

iPad 3 Could Face Google Nexus Rival Tablet; Rumored Upgrades
December 30, 2011

As Apple gears up to release its most anticipated tablet yet, Android competitors are getting ready to rival the iPad 3, with Google plotting the latest aspiring iPad-killer. … Google has already measured up to Apple in its latest iPhone rival, the Nexus, but according to an Italian newspaper, Google's CEO Eric Schmidt is planning for a new tablet to knock out the iPad 3 in May.

Vance Publishing names vice president
December 29, 2011

Coral Beach LENEXA, Kan. — Shawn Etheridge has joined Vance Publishing Corp. as vice president and publishing director. He will have responsibility for several of the company’s leading brands, including The Packer. Etheridge is based at the Lenexa offices of Vance Publishing, which is the headquarters for The Packer. He oversees the company’s produce division, which includes Red Book Credit Services, Greenbook Data Services, Doane Advisory Services, AgProfessional, AgriTalk, Produce Retailer, The Grower, and Citrus & Vegetable. “While the brands are unique and targeted to their respective markets, they serve overlapping audiences within the agriculture community and share many

Equip a Sales Team with iPads and Close New Clients Faster
December 29, 2011

If you're seeking a way to improve your sales team that's servicing referrals from a joint venture marketing partner and want to increase their productivity while meeting with new clients than consider equipping them with an Apple Pad. The iPad will allow your sales team members to have access to more information as well as be able to actively input customer information and requirements into your companies database while away from their desks. This will not only help increase their efficiency, it will allow your company to represent a business that is serious about providing customers with top level

IAB's Rothenberg: Digital, Brand Ads Breakthrough In 2012
December 29, 2011

The rise in popularity of tablets will bring back a focus on creativity, rather than technology, when it comes to online advertising, according to IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg. He believes 2012 will become a breakthrough year for ad creativity and digital content. Rothenberg calls the movement a "cultural breakthrough," meaning the ads will go direct to the tablet, rather than start on TV or print in magazines and be repositioned to fit on a tablet. These ads, designed for consumption on

BMW to showcase its magazine app at Delhi Auto Expo
December 29, 2011

The BMW Magazine app – winner of multiple awards, including the renowned ‘red dot: best of the best’ is now available at Auto Expo 2012. The BMW Magazine app opens up a comprehensive multimedia brand experience to readers, above and beyond the printed version. The company says that photo series, videos and sound files integrated into the layout along with a ‘Find the Pair’ game offer clear added value over the print magazine. Thanks to a clever navigation system, you can tap, turn, tilt and swipe your way through this lively mix of themes. Plus, there are exciting video

Herbert Nipson dies at 95; helped broaden Ebony magazine's audience
December 29, 2011

The journalist, who rose to become executive editor, helped the magazine move beyond its urban base to cover issues relevant to rural blacks and to branch out into sports, entertainment and the arts. When Herbert Nipson joined Ebony magazine's editorial staff in 1949, the publication, founded just four years earlier in Chicago, had a target readership of urban African Americans, and its stories reflected that sensibility. But as the civil rights movement surged to the forefront of American consciousness, Nipson helped push the magazine to a broader audience, covering issues important to rural African Americans and branching out into

The Rising Star Group and The H.Y.P.E Magazine Announce Partnership
December 29, 2011

- Atlanta, GA - (TRSG), A Private Entertainment Digital Creative Agency, and The H.Y.P.E Magazine, #1 Digital publication and source for music, fashion trends, new products and services, entertainment, events and cultural topics relevant to their daily lives, both personal and professional. and The H.Y.P.E Magazine officially announce their partnership. Founded in 2010, (TRSG) specializes in increasing digital sales, securing Internet media opportunities, digital promotions, and brand management. TRSG’s past clientele and affiliations include Patchwerk Recording Studios, Mizay Entertainment/Sony Music Affiliate, VH1, MTV, BET, Interscope, Maybach Music Group, G-Unit Records, The Rap Snack Brand, and many more.Established in 2002,

Amazon: We Sold Over 4 Million Kindle Devices This Month; Gifting Of E-Books Up 175 Percent
December 29, 2011

Amazon has just released new data regarding its Kindle sales for the holiday season. According to the e-commerce giant, Amazon customers purchased millions of Kindle Fires and millions of Kindle e-readers. And 2011 was the best holiday ever for the Kindle family, as customers purchased over 1 million Kindle devices each week. … Gifting of Kindle books was up 175 percent between this Black Friday and Christmas Day compared to the same period in 2010 and Christmas Day was the biggest day ever for Kindle book downloads.

Who's that billionaire behind deal to buy 5 Florida newspapers from New York Times?
December 29, 2011

Wake up and good morning. So the mainstream media has reported that the New York Times company just sold its 16 regional newspapers to a Florida business called Halifax Media Holdings, the owner of the Daytona Beach-News Journal. Those papers include five in Florida, from the Sarasota Herald Tribune and Lakeland Ledger to the Ocala Star Banner, Gainesville Sun and the tiny Winter Haven News Chief. Let's look a bit closer at the deal. The New York Times sold 16 newspapers countrywide for $143 million. On average, that's less than $10 million apiece -- a price called "incredibly low"