Posts Tagged ‘rupert murdoch’

Arianna Huffington, Steve Case and Jay Rosen walked into a bar…

Posted by andreaitis on March 2, 2010

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 19:  Arianna Huffington a...

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“I didn’t kill newspapers, darling.”

Arianna Huffington knows a good soundbite when she says one.  Perhaps that’s why The Huffington Post co-founder quoted her own 2009 Webby Awards acceptance speech at the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ conference in San Francisco yesterday.  Ariantrepreneur (my new nickname for her) was at the4A’s conference to speak about their theme,  Transformation 2010.   Here’s a description of the conference from 4A’s site.  To help, I’ve highlighted in this lovely hue some of my favorite jargon-y phrases:

It’s time for a transformation. Not just of words, but of actions. Of the ways of thinking that influence how brands communicate with consumers. About moving the mindset from disruption to partnership. Of even changing the ways that agencies conduct business and think of their products and deliverables.

Transformation 2010 is not just the amalgamation of the 4A’s Media and Leadership Conferences. It’s a unique opportunity to get everyone—managers, creatives, media, digital, production—into the same room at the same time to discuss the pressing matters of the day. Collaborate with and ask questions of one another. Listen to leaders who have first-hand experience in transforming their own businesses to meet the emerging needs of a new era. Be a part of the bigger picture, the solutions to the time-consuming age-old questions of monetization and evolution.

via American Association of Advertising Agencies

Well.  You might expect a conference of ad agency types to have better, clearer, less trite copy.   What’s it actually mean, what’s the conference about?  A reasonable question.  Arianna provided some perspective by revisiting her famous five words:  “I didn’t kill newspapers, darling.”  In that she captured the ever-growing gap between traditional media and digital media, and the need for various bridges to help consumers, content creators and advertisers walk (or even run)  from single-minded media to social multimedia.

Arianna was there to help.  Knowing she was speaking before the national trade association of the advertising agency business, Arianna worked the room with a tried but true formula:  List + Alliteration. While she may have tossed off the old line, she unveiled some new ones as well:  the 4E’s.

She charted the “4E’s” — engagement, enthusiasm, empathy and energy — needed to tap into the zeitgeist of the digital era that’s transforming the content business.

“This is the era of engagement,” Ms. Huffington said, then quoted musician’s assessment of the news climate, where consumers used to get news on the couch, and are now getting news on a “galloping horse.”

via Arianna Huffington Preaches 4E’s of Web Content at 4A’s — Advertising Age

The second I heard the 4E’s I recalled a similar list from my AOL days.   Back when Steve Case and Bob Pittman held company meetings dressed as the Blues Brothers and, yes, threw the requisite beer bashes on the lawn, Steve Case also talked about the 5C’s.  This from a 2004 interview:

When I was trying to popularize the concept of the Internet — ten or 15 years ago — I came up with this concept of “the 5 Cs.” Services needed to have content, context, community, commerce, and connectivity. After that, when I was trying to think of what the key management principles were to build into the culture, I started talking about the Ps. The P’s were things like passion, perseverance, perspective and people. I think the people aspect is really the most important one.

via Steve Case interview, 2004 — Academy of Achievement

I don’t remember much talk about the 4P’s, but the 5C’s were the backbone of many strategic discussions at AOL.  Steve came up with this list in the early 1990s, and many of the words he selected are still relevant today.  Looking at the 5C’s, 4P’s and 4E’s together, we can group them pretty easily.

Product: Content, Context, Perspective

Interaction: Community, Engagement

Audience: People, Empathy

Drive: Passion, Perseverance, Energy, Enthusiasm

Revenue: Commerce, Connectivity (Rupert Murdoch would add Content here as well)

These all add up to a social, digital media experience.  While it is now mainstream, it is definitely not new.   Different words in different times, but Steve Case was undoubtedly the godfather of social media.  From Q-Link to AIM to AOL Chat… message boards, Member Directory, Hometown, AOL Journals and AOL Live… Steve Case and AOL paved the way for MySpace, Facebook, Skype, Flickr, Twitter, ChatRoulette and so many more.   Arianna calls this the “Era of Engagement,” and she’s right.  But this era dawned years ago with Steve Case and the 5C’s.  It often seems his contributions are overshadowed by finger-pointing over  the failed AOL Time Warner merger.  Were there flaws and mistakes in his leadership?  Of course.  Make no mistake, though:  Steve Case and AOL forever changed the way people communicate.

I should note that while I enjoy mocking jargon, I’m not entirely opposed to it.  When we first started working on True/Slant we came up with our own jargon-y phrase for the news experience we wanted to create:  Open  Social  News  Exchange.   It wasn’t really a list, there was no alliteration and the initials didn’t create a cute name (OSNE?  Uh, no.).  Still, each word meant something to us.   We also talked about what’s most important to us, jargon aside:   authenticity,  credibility, transparency, intimacy, knowledge.   These words are filters not just for our contributors, but also for marketers and our real-time advertorials,  T/S Ad Slants.   To us, true engagement means breaking down walls between news providers and news consumers, but it doesn’t stop there.  It also means breaking down the wall between  marketers and consumers.   In this scenario the sixth C — credibility — is crucial.  That’s where NYU professor Jay Rosen comes in.  I found his post on Twitter today: Eight key terms for determining legitimacy in journalism.

Veracity, accuracy, transparency, intellectual honesty, currency, inquiry, utility.  That’s where I would start in attempting to define legitimacy in journalism. Providers of news, information and commentary who devote themselves to those seven things are solid citizens of Legit-a-land.

I have to add one more, but you will probably hate me for it because it will strike you as jargon, and all journalists claim to hate jargon (but “lede” is okay, right?) Anyway, my eighth pillar of legitimacy is polyphonicity. I know: awful term! It means “more than one sound.”

Journalism to be fully legitimate needs to present a plurality of voices, not just one.  I don’t mean to invoke the gods of balance. They are false gods. I mean to suggest that journalism isn’t a monologue. More than one person speaks in it. More than one angle is taken on the object.

via Eight key terms for determining legitimacy in journalism — Jay Rosen

I have to say, Rosen nailed it right down to polyphonicity.   He’s applying these eight terms to legitimacy in  journalism, but I think they go beyond.   They are really 8 commandments for good citizenship in a social media world.  These are the values that will make for productive social exchanges around news or any other subject.

As I thought today about  Steve Case with his 5C’s and 4P’s as America first went online, Arianna with her 4E’s at the 4A’s, and Jay Rosen with his 8 Commandments for credibility, I got dizzy (hah) and then I embraced the polyphonicity.    Plurality of voices, dialogue vs monologue, intimacy of engagement, this platform that is above all the great equalizer…

“I didn’t kill newspapers, darling.”


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Rupert Murdoch angry at 'content kleptomaniacs' and crazy like a fox

Posted by andreaitis on November 9, 2009

Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual M...

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Two pieces of news from the Murdoch empire:

1. New York Post circulation continues its downward death spiral.

Nearly every paper in America has lost circulation, but The Post more than most — down almost 30 percent in 2.5 years, to 508,000 in the most recent reporting period, against 544,000 for The Daily News. The slide accelerated after The Post’s price returned to 50 cents last year. And this year, The Daily News has surged far ahead in online readership.

[New York Post editor] Mr. Allan, who called it “a joyous occasion” when The Post took the lead, now takes a more subdued view of the competition, saying in an e-mail exchange that “whether we are a little in front or a little behind has no impact on our forward business plan.”

Sober Mood at New York Post as Circulation Spirals Lower – New York Times

2. Rupert Murdoch suggests he will remove News Corp. websites from Google and other search engines.  At least, that’s what the headlines are blaring.   Are they jumping the gun?  I think so.

If you listen to the first five minutes of Murdoch’s interview with Sky News political editor David Speers, you hear the following:

–  Speers delivers a classic and very public introductory suck-up,  referring to his interview subject (and big-time boss) as “the world’s most powerful media owner.”

–  Rupert Murdoch says users should not have had free content, that “we’ve been asleep.”  He sees the paywall as long overdue, but says we’ll be surprised by how minimal some of the fees will be.

–  He wants a different kind of audience – not drive-by consumers but loyal and engaged users with high-frequency habits.  Or, at least, users who will open their wallets.

“What’s the point of having someone come occasionally, who likes a headline they see in Google?… The fact is, there’s not enough advertising in the world to go around to make all the websites profitable. We’d rather have fewer people coming to our website, but paying.”

– At this point, Speers raises the Google index question.  When he asks Murdoch why he hasn’t removed News Corp. sites from Google’s search index, Murdoch replies “Well, I think we will.  But that’s when we start charging…”

BUT Murdoch doesn’t stop there.  He goes on, indicating that perhaps he didn’t fully understand Speers’ question.  They clearly were not communicating on the same, uh,  Google wavelength.

“…We do it already with the Wall Street Journal. We have a wall but it’s not right to the ceiling. You can get usually the first paragraph of any story, but then if you’re not a paying subscriber of there’s immediately… a paragraph and a subscription form.”

Does that sound like he doesn’t want News Corp. content to appear in Google or Microsoft search results?  Nope.

Speers follows up, asking  if this is the model we should expect to see.  Murdoch’s clear as mud answer: “Maybe, maybe.” He mumbles something about the Fair Use Doctrine and taking it slowly.

So all those headlines shouting about Murdoch pulling his sites out of Google?  Not quite accurate.

When you take another  look at the comment from New York Post editor Col Allan, it all starts to make a bit of sense: “…whether we are a little in front or a little behind has no impact on our forward business plan.”

It seems Rupert Murdoch is saying size doesn’t matter.  It’s quality of audience, not quantity. The only quantity he wants is the dollars from subscribers, in both micro and macro payments.  Perhaps he’d rather build audiences that are meaningful, loyal and consistent because these are audiences that can be sold and targeted to an advertiser.

Will he pull all of his sites out of Google?  I doubt it.  When he refers to “content kleptomaniacs”  I’d venture he means not the initial link, but the pay-off link to the full story that is currently not providing a pay-out to the content creator or publisher.

Rupert Murdoch is bold and brash.  He is not stupid.   He is approaching the digital news  problem the same way he approached his move into television:   just because this is the way it’s being done doesn’t mean it’s the way it has to be done.

Remember when ABC, NBC and CBS were the only three networks?   Remember when CNN and MSNBC were the only dominant news players on cable?

I worked at Fox while Rupert Murdoch was transforming it.   I remember when he announced he was going to start a new cable news channel.  I walked through that studio as it was being built.  Murdoch is a challenger, even when the status has barely reached the quo.   I’m not counting him out just yet, and neither should you.

Watch the first five minutes of his interview with David Speers and you’ll see what I mean.

[youtubevid id=”M7GkJqRv3BI”]

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What do user-generated porn sites and Rupert Murdoch have in common?

Posted by andreaitis on August 6, 2009

originally posted to Flickr at http://www.flic...

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Repeat three times and click your heels:  Free-to-fee.  Free-to-fee.  Free-to-fee.  

That’s what user-generated porn sites and Rupert Murdoch have in common.  They both want to start charging for content that up to now has been free to consumers online.  Murdoch made a bold declaration yesterday, emphatically stating that he would start charging users to access all of his news websites by the end of next summer.

Can’t be any clearer:
1. Charging for ALL of his news websites
2. By end of next summer

Stung by a collapse in advertising revenue as the recession shredded Fleet Street’s traditional business model, Murdoch declared that the era of a free-for-all in online news was over.

“Quality journalism is not cheap,” said Murdoch. “The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites.”

Rupert Murdoch plans charge for all news websites by next summer | Media | The Guardian

Turns out the user-generated porn industry is struggling with the exact same issue.   Traffic is high.  Revenues are low.  Content is free. Long-term viability is in question.   Perhaps it’s not much of a surprise that they’re reaching the same conclusion.

“Tube sites”–adult content Web sites that mimic YouTube in hosting everything from professionally made videos to user-generated clips–have quickly risen in popularity since they came onto the scene a few years ago, and rank among the highest traffic-getters globally. Some, like Youporn and Pornhub, attract more views than the Web sites of The New York Times or Apple ( AAPL – news – people ). But like YouTube and other video-sharing sites, tube porn sites have struggled with profitability and piracy.

“Tube sites have become part of the adult landscape now,” says Steven Hirsch, co-chairman of prominent adult movie studio Vivid Entertainment.  “But when all of this adult content is free, how do we get people to go from free to pay? ”

via The Challenge Of User-Generated Porn –

I don’t think anyone anticipated the intersection of porn and news in quite this way.   Although, knowing Murdoch, perhaps it’s to be expected.   We should’ve seen it coming in the fine print of his British tabloid The Sun.
See for yourself.  It’s all laid bare on The Sun’s Page 3.

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MySpace'd Out: DeWolfe and Anderson Exit

Posted by andreaitis on April 23, 2009


Image by Oxfam America via Flickr

I’ts official.  Tom, my oldest friend on MySpace, is leaving.  Of course, he’s everyone’s oldest friend on My Space so I shouldn’t take it personally.  Still, this is a significant moment.  A company that was transformative in  social media is changing hands, and Om Malik is right: it is the end of a social networking era.

It’s also a beginning. The timing is, perhaps, most interesting.  On the heels of Facebook’s worst-received redesign and the upswing in Twitter, the playing field is leveling out.  The next move for each company will determine who will get the momentum.  Long-term vision will determine who will keep it.

The clock has been ticking on MySpace and its executives. Earlier this year COO Amit Kapur and two other long time MySpace employees left the company because their they couldn’t get the contracts they wanted. Their exit was spun by the News Corp. After reading various accounts of DeWolfe’s exit, you can see they left Chris out to dry — something I find particularly distasteful.

Regardless, of his exit, there is a strategy in place that could turn MySpace into decent-enough money maker: MySpace Music. By looking to social network’s musical roots, MySpace executives realized that they could build the MTV of the broadband generation. Combining text, audio, video, and social abilities with its audience, MySpace can thrive as a niche-yet lucrative musical destination. A lot has to go right for that to happen.

With MySpace Changes, a Social Networking Era Ends

[poll id=”7″]

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the boys are back in town

Posted by andreaitis on October 2, 2008

steve dunleavy

dunleavy's pompadour flashback

so, i crashed steve dunleavy’s retirement party.  to be more exact, i instigated and led the crashing of the party.   my a current affair friends and i showed up and waltzed in as if we belonged.  which, of course, we did.

we had heard it was a closed party with tight security, only for the select few new york post staffers.  how can that be, we thought?  that was the most un-dunleavy of parties ever.  so in true tabloid form we showed up uninvited and managed to get ourselves inside.

and there, inside the bourbon street grille, it was like a tabloid time warp: rupert murdoch, maury povich and connie chung,  cristina’s court executive producer (and recent emmy winner) peter brennan, star magazine executive editor barry levine,  tabloid baby burt kearns, and so many more.

dunleavy was in his element.  drink in one hand, cigarette in another, more like the dunleavy we all remember so well.  and i did what i was unable to do when i saw him in penn station: i kissed his cheek, gave him a hug,  and wished him well.   he was happy, the center of attention, holding court and telling stories as the cigarette smoke swirled up and away, as that long tonight faded into tomorrow.

dunleavy: so you think you can dance (he does and he can).  watch part of the video tribute…

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steve dunleavy

Posted by andreaitis on September 30, 2008

nobody does tabloid better than steve dunleavy.   he’s equally aussie and new yorker, an old-school street reporter who would dig his heels into a story, kick it around and then polish it up with clever phrasing and pure passion.  he always imagined ending his career while out on a story (or a bar stool), but that’s not the way this story goes.  his health is failing, and so tomorrow night he closes up shop with a party in his honor.

i met steve in the very early days of fox television’s a current affair.  i was young – still in college – and i worked with him for close to 10 years.   everyone has an opinion of dunleavy and, more likely, a colorful story.  let’s be clear: most of those stories are true.  i certainly have my share, one of which involves his perpetually loose tooth and the airplane glue he was going to use to keep it in place until i reminded him that  he was a fire-breathing cigarette smoker and the glue — yeah, flammable.

another time i showed up on a sunday for a shoot and could not find him anywhere.  the crew was there, it was time to go and still…no dunleavy.  i checked the lobby, the corner deli, even called across the road (translation: the racing club bar, our other office).  still no steve.  by now the crew is loaded up and waiting in the car and we’re running late.  finally, i spin around in the office in exasperation and…there he is.  sitting upright, asleep in a chair.  he was there the entire time and i simply didn’t see him.  i woke him up and off we went.  a typical sunday shoot.

i remember him savagely hacking away at his typewriter, the way he could rattle off a standup in a single take, and his sheer joy at landing a story and beating the competition.   i remember him spending a couple of days with robert downey jr.  to “teach” him how to be a tabloid reporter for his role in natural born killers.  it was pretty funny, watching dunleavy trying to act like he was not acting like a tabloid reporter.  and robert downey jr. nailed it, too.  there’s a lot of exaggerated steve in his performance.

some strange things have happened to me lately.  i recently spoke with a couple of friends about dunleavy.  a few days later, i was rushing through penn station to catch a train.  out of the corner of my eye i see something, a familiar flash.  thirty seconds earlier or later and i wouldn’t have seen him, but it’s steve dunleavy walking toward the escalator that leads up to the street.   still … it wasn’t quite dunleavy.  the man i saw looked the same — grey pants, blue sportcoat with brass buttons, crisp white shirt and blue and red striped tie — except, he was not the same.  he moved slowly, carefully, a cross between a shuffle and a glide.   his skin sallow, his face and eyes…vacant.  it was literally like seeing a ghost.  i watched him go, but did not move to say hello.  i didn’t want to see him that way, to have that in my memory of him.  i wanted to remember the man who would do a quick soft shoe or salsa dance, who had a big hacking laugh, who could zero in on the heart of a story and charm his way into any interview.

when i worked with dunleavy, we did stories on elvis, oj, leona helmsley, colombian drug lord pablo escobar…and we even helped free a wrongly convicted teenager.  he was hard-working and loyal to a fault.  in fact, rupert murdoch may be the only person he was completely faithful to in his entire life.

so steve dunleavy deserves a party, a send-off in style while he is here to enjoy it.  it will be as much for everyone else as it is for him.  steve dunleavy was many things, to be sure…but i knew him to be generous, kind and respectful. and the next time i see him i may still pause, but i will give him a kiss on the cheek and we will reminisce about the first time i met him and how i really screwed up and almost got fired.

which is a story for another time.

dunleavy on objectivity vs. fairness:

dunleavy on the elements of a story:

dunleavy does rhyming slang:

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