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Friday, March 15, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Give Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) points for timing: the 2013 Conservative Political Action Committee is shaping up to be a libertarian victory lap. Riding high a week after his 13-hour filibuster against the Obama administration’s drone policy, Paul was greeted with wild applause and is seen as a lock to win the conference’s annual straw poll. The halls of the massive convention center and hotel were packed with 'Stand with Rand' stickers and signs. Elsewhere the libertarian-leaning Tea Party News Network is a major sponsor of the program, providing complimentary wi-fi for all attendees. More moderate 2016 contenders like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell weren’t invited. Sen. Marco Rubio was greeted tepidly in advance of Paul’s address. The libertarian domination of CPAC follows years of growing support at the annual conference starting from the final years of the George W. Bush administration, forming a schism in the Republican Party the GOP has yet to repair. And after the defeat of Mitt Romney, who won the nomination on the support of establishment conservatives, the insurgent and fiercely independent groups have claimed this CPAC as their time to shine." (Time)


"When the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church were sequestered in the conclave to choose a new pope, they were instructed to give up their cell phones. No texting! Revealing the secrets behind the election of the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, they and their attendants were told, would lead to excommunication. Jammers were also installed in the Sistine Chapel to prevent electronic communication. For an institution that has suffered its share of leaks, the Vatican maintained its storied traditionsas it voted for a pope for the second time in the 21st century. But while the announcement that a new pope had been chosen was made via a cloud of white smoke -- a tradition that has continued since the election of Pope Benedict XV in 1914, and a symbol of the cardinals' cloistered proceedings -- the introduction to the world of Argentinean Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis was made on live TV and Internet, via Twitter and Facebook, and by the countless smartphone and tablet photos snapped in St. Peter's Square. In a statement, Twitter said there were more than 7 million Tweets about the papacy yesterday, with more than 130,000 Tweets per minute once the announcement 'We have a pope' was made. Instagram photos from Vatican City poured onto the Internet. Even the Vatican chimney (from which white smoke was anticipated) was captured on streaming live video via the 'Smoke Cam,' to be viewed by the expectant faithful. The Vatican's new-media efforts include a Pope app. The Vatican also resumed Pontifax, the Twitter account for the pope (suspended when Benedict resigned) with a new tweet to its 1.8 million followers: 'HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM.' ('We have a new pope -- Francis.') Latin is no dead language if it becomes a hashtag (#habemuspapam). Bergoglio himself is no stranger to social media. As Cardinal of Buenos Aires he has had a Facebook page since 2008." (CNet)




""What will news companies look like in 2018? How will they operate differently?
That future is coming into focus. While many publishers’ vision is still quite blurry, it’s the Financial Times that is clearest-eyed about its roadmap and its future. The FT’s clarity first struck me when I sat down for an introductory talk with FT.com managing director Rob Grimshaw in London in fall 2009. His office, just off Southwark Bridge, offered a view of the Thames that forced you to think about the long history of newspapering in that city, a business then in a deep, deep recession along with the rest of the global economy. Today, Grimshaw is headquartered in New York City. The U.S. is the home to the greatest number of FT subscribers and is its biggest market for growth, Grimshaw told me when we talked last week. At a time when so much of the news industry seems in flux, the FT has managed a steady-as-she-goes transition into the digital age arguably better than anyone else. While it occupies an enviable global business news niche, the ingredients of its relative success are ones that can be mixed and matched into all kinds of recipes — metro, regional, or local; daily or weekly; newspaper or magazine. It’s not otherworldly magic that’s happening at the FT. It’s just ahead-of-the-pack thinking that has given it a headstart — and now gives it the ability to build second and third generations of its digital business. It is now where fast followers will be in two to five years. Make no mistake: The FT hasn’t quite cracked the code yet. It’s profitable, but not by that much. In 2012, the FT Group, which includes the FT, Mergermarket, and 50 percent of The Economist, registered an 11 percent profit margin or £49 million. It is reducing and re-skilling its staff. Further, it’s been subject to new 'for sale' rumors, though John Fallon, the new CEO of parent company Pearson, has recently denied that likelihood. Fallon’s recent take on how 2013 will turn is painfully familiar to all in the business: 'We expect the FT Group to benefit from continued growth in digital and subscription revenues in 2013, but advertising to remain weak and volatile with profits reflecting further actions to accelerate the shift from print to digital.' All that said, given its digital transition, I believe it is far more likely to successfully cross over to the new age than other publishers." (Newsonomics)


""I’ve spoken about my influences here on the blog before, and I’ve mentioned it in my TEDx talk too — one of my biggest early writing influences was Sassy Magazine. My classmate’s cousin would send down her well thumbed, slightly tattered copies in care packages alongside mixtapes featuring artists I’d never heard of at the time, like Bjork and Radiohead. Picture me as a young, Trinidadian teenager, discovering songs like Human Behavior and Creep at the same time as I was reading the words of Jane Pratt and her contributors. I just saw Jane Pratt speak at SXSW, and she was so right about one point she made — her magazine did have GREAT pass along rates. Her magazine, Sassy, taught me that I could write the same way I talked, and that people would love me for my voice if I did. Sassy gave me the courage to speak my own truth, quietly and clearly (shoutout to the Desiderata). Sassy showed me I could keep it 100% on paper and in real life – I didn’t have to put on an artificial voice to find a place in the writing world. Sassy gave me journalistic goals to aspire to. Sassy and Jane magazine made me start to read magazines with a different eye. I started thinking that I could grow up to be just like Mitzi Miller, or Christina Kelly or Jauretsi Saizarbitoria. I started reading other magazines with the same eye, too. Why couldn’t I grow up to be Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, if my writing and my critical eye was sharp enough? Audacious thinking for a girl growing up in Trinidad. I didn’t know anyone who was doing this kind of thing in my real life, but the seed was planted. I realized that a future in writing was remote but still, somehow, a possibility. And when I started writing poems under a pen name for the Sunday Guardian’s teen section — and getting letters in response — that cemented it. I’d found my life’s path." (Afrobella)

"Maxim, the lad mag that doles out advice and ribald humor that is especially appreciated in military circles, is on the market. The magazine’s parent company, Alpha Media Group, announced Friday that its board of directors had decided to sell or find new investors because it had 'made the successful transition from a magazine property to a multichannel brand.' In a news release, Alpha Media also said its investors were pleased with how Maxim had expanded its reach among 18- to 34-year-old men across media platforms. 'Young men are an elusive target in today’s fragmented media environment, and Maxim has emerged as the leading multiplatform brand with an inherent strength in reaching this key demographic,' Ben Madden, the magazine’s president, said in a statement. In 2007, Felix Dennis, the British media mogul, sold Maxim along with Stuff and Blender to Quadrangle Capital Partners II. In 2009, Quadrangle walked away from its investment and ownership of Maxim was inherited by six private equity firms who were debtors on the deal. During the transition period, Maxim held its total circulation at about 2.5 million, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, and it remained extremely popular with members of the military. But, like many magazines, its newsstand sales dropped precipitously, to 161,499 in December 2012, from 433,567 in December 2007. In 2012 Its advertising pages dipped 22.2 percent from the previous year, according to the Publisher’s Information Bureau." (David Carr)

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