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David Carr, Times Critic and Champion of Media, Dies at 58
February 13, 2015

David Carr, who wriggled away from the demon of drug addiction to become an unlikely name-brand media columnist at The New York Times, and the star of a documentary about the newspaper, died on Thursday in Manhattan. He was 58.

Mr. Carr collapsed in the Times newsroom, where he was found shortly before 9 p.m. He was taken to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Earlier in the evening, he moderated a panel discussion about the film "Citizenfour" with its principal subject, Edward J. Snowden; the film's director, Laura Poitras; and Glenn Greenwald, a journalist.

Can First Look Media Make Headlines That Aren't About Itself?
December 4, 2014

When a crusading but conflict-averse billionaire bankrolls several of journalism's most prominent mavericks to create a hard-nosed investigative news organization, it's a recipe for turmoil. eBay founder Pierre Omidyar's differences with First Look Media staff have been all over the press. Two top hires are out the door. Sarah Ellison asks whether First Look Media can make headlines that aren't about itself.

Vice Has Many Media Giants Salivating, but Its Terms Will Be Rich
June 25, 2014

Mr. Murdoch's 21st Century Fox owns a small stake in Vice, and he was visiting Brooklyn to meet with Vice's chief executive, Shane Smith. Among the topics at hand was a rumor that Vice was negotiating to collaborate with, and perhaps sell a large stake to, one of Fox's competitors, Time Warner.

Fox is discussing a deal with Vice, too. So is Disney. Any agreement is likely to value Vice, which started as a free magazine in Montreal in 1994, at $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion. A partnership could take many shapes.

1. Destroy the Village. 2. Save it.
May 2, 2014

Are we living in the golden age of digital media? It certainly looks that way to Ken Lerer. Venture capitalists like him have poured close to $100 million into digital content businesses since the beginning of 2013, by my calculations. Corporate investors have thrown in about the same amount, bolstered by the $70 million Rupert Murdoch put into Vice Media last August. Then there’s Pierre Omidyar’s down payment of $50 million on a bigger pledge of $250 million for his would-be new media chain, First Look Media, putting him in a class by himself. 


What Can We Learn from Getty’s New Free, Embed Model?
March 10, 2014

Getty Images made an interesting content-usage model announcement last week. After years of playing whack-a-mole with everyone who's ever stolen one of their images, Getty decided to embrace the free model for a portion of their library. You'll find additional details on this here and here.

As a wise man once said, you can significantly reduce piracy if you make your content available at a reasonable price and in a convenient format.

Buffett Imitator Buys Maxim Magazine, Sticking Toe In Publishing Waters
March 3, 2014

Warren Buffett has been buying up small and mid-sized newspapers for the past couple years,  quietly building a publishing business. Now, one of Mr. Buffett's most faithful imitators is taking the plunge into publishing too.

But Sardar Biglari's foray into the media business has a decidedly different flavor. Mr. Biglari, the chairman of Biglari Holdings, announced last night that he'd acquired Maxim, the lowest-common-denominator men's magazine famous for its cheesecake pictorials and poorly sourced album reviews.

Mag Bag: Magazine Circs Drop Again
February 7, 2014

The total circulation of U.S. consumer magazines declined 1.7% from 323.8 million in the second half of 2012 to 318.7 million in the second half of 2013, including both print and digital replica editions.
 
The drop was mostly due to substantial decreases in newsstand sales, which fell 11% from 25.4 million to 22.6 million, while paid subscriptions slipped 1% from 264.9 million to 262.8 million, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, formerly known as the Audit Bureau of Circulations. These drops were partially offset by growth in digital circulation, which soared 37%

News Corp's $540 Million Bet on American Classrooms
August 29, 2013

In the middle of Brooklyn's high-end Dumbo neighborhood, 20 inner-city children sit around two wooden tables at what appears to be a small summer camp. Tablet computers are scattered across the tables, punctuated by plates of corn chips and bowls of salsa. The kids are restless on this sweltering July afternoon, fidgeting in their chairs and asking the handful of twenty-somethings if they can play Temple Run or maybe just head home for the day.

The Last Temptation of Tina Brown
August 5, 2013

On Nov. 12, 2010, Tina Brown gathered the staff of her Web site The Daily Beast in the third-floor conference room at its Chelsea offices with its commanding views of the Hudson. Brimming with the fervor she has brought to all her endeavors, she delivered some surprising news: the Web site would merge with Newsweek, a once-proud but struggling magazine brand.

2012 M&A Market Shows Dramatic Increase in Number and Value of Deals
January 7, 2013

Burgeoning innovation, rising corporate investment and a year-end rush to beat the tax man drove robust mergers and acquisitions in 2012 for the media, information, marketing and technology sectors. M&A surged to 1,351 transactions for the year, or 50% more than in 2011, at a total value of nearly $75 billion, according to The Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc.