Harper's Magazine's turn to huff and puff

Editorial Shake-Up as Harper's Tries to Stabilize in a Downturn
Just before noon last Wednesday, John R. MacArthur, the president, publisher and chief benefactor of Harper's Magazine, joined his editorial staff after its monthly meeting.
 "We are going through a crisis," Mr. MacArthur, who goes by Rick, told them in a crowded conference room, where the business employees had joined them. Bound volumes dating from 1850 reminded everyone of Harper's

News will survive; newspapers may Not

Dont' miss the last two paras.

How a new communications technology disrupted America's newspaper industry in 1845

CHANGE is in the air. A new communications technology threatens a dramatic upheaval in America's newspaper industry, disrupting the business model that has served the industry for years. This "great revolution", warns one editor, will mean that some publications "must submit to destiny, and go out of existence." With many American papers declaring bankruptcy in the past few months, their readers and advertisers

Sad news: Only 39% of netizens seek news

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Devices like Apple's iPad may help newspapers and traditional publishers, but only significant evolution will save them, Google's chief economist, Hal Varian, said in a talk with journalism students at UC Berkeley.
Mr. Varian said he has been studying data on news publishing, ad revenue and circulation figures from the Newspaper Association of America, the Pew Research Center and other sources. His conclusion: Digital distribution will be a boon to newspaper publishers if they can also radically

Scottish papers gasp, as public notices go online

Scottish ministers are under intense pressure to drop plans to allow councils to shift all their public notices online, after opposition parties warned it could destroy the local newspaper industry and damage local democracy.
The Scottish Labour party is expected to win a vote in the Scottish parliament today opposing proposals to lift the legal duty on local councils and other public bodies to publish statutory and public notices in the press.
The measure is expected to save £6m for local authorities, which are facing

Funeral cortege: Print media, phone booths, landlines, phone books ...

The days of the phone book – along with print media, phone booths and landline telephones – are numbered.
Leland Yee, one of San Francisco's state senators, is responsible for much worthwhile immigration and domestic violence legislation, as well as mandatory ski helmets for children. This month he's planning to introduce a bill prohibiting telephone companies from sending customers unsolicited white pages. White pages are residential listings, yellow pages commercial: neither name is protected by copyright so

After Music Cos, now Media Cos' Surrender to Apple

SAN FRANCISCO — With the widely anticipated introduction of a tablet computer at an event here on Wednesday morning, Apple may be giving the media industry a kind of time machine — a chance to undo mistakes of the past
Almost all media companies have run aground in the Internet Age as they gave away their print and video content on the Web and watched paying customers drift away as a result. People who have seen the tablet say

Redundancy drumbeat for edit staff at Guardian

Around 40 editorial staff are understood to have taken voluntary redundancy at Guardian News & Media this week.
GNM, which publishes the Guardain, the Observer and the guardian.co.uk website network which includes MediaGuardian.co.uk, is looking to reduce its headcount in the light of losses that are running at around £100,000 a day.
Voluntary redundancies include

Home delivery of papers? Sweet dreams!

Times Newspapers is curtailing its free home delivery service.
The service won't be abandoned – but if you want it you have to sign up for an entire year (previously it was open ended). Either that or accept a 30p per day (£2 a week) delivery fee. And if you want to keep getting a paper statement, that will be £1 a pop.
The Times Direct Delivery Service was a great deal when it launched in 2008, weeks after the Independent launched a paid-for home delivery service. You could sign up for free home delivery of the

Air America goes off air as media blues spread

It's a tough week for liberals… Barely a day after the Democrats lost a crucial Senate seat, lefty radio station Air America is calling it quits. In an unsigned announcement on its website, the company says it will cease live broadcasts and will soon file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The news comes a month after Michael Bassik, the station's first chief digital officer, resigned. At the time, Air America immediately said that he would not be replaced.
This is part of what Air America has posted to its home page. All other links to the site are

Nasty news from Naspers: More staff to go

Naspers has offered some editorial staff in its print media business Media24 voluntary severance packages as its performance deteriorates further.

According to an internal e-mail sent to staff on Monday the chief executive of FinMedia24, Timothy Spira, told staff the company's performance had necessitated that it reviewed its cost structures to ensure that "we are able to navigate the difficult months ahead and emerge from the current downturn a leaner and more streamlined organisation".

Circulations hit new lows, but journos can hold heads high

Another sad circulation milestone was passed in December. For the first time since the end of the second world war, fewer than 10m national newspapers were sold on any day of the week across Britain. According to the ABC figures for December, the 10 national dailies published from London together sold 9,777,370 copies, down on the same period a year ago, while the 10 Sundays sold 9,526,843 in total.

These figures also confirm the other long–running trend in which

Newspapers have no future: From Hadfield's mouth

Greg Hadfield announced his resignation as head of the Telegraph Media Group's digital development in dramatic fashion yesterday. He stood up at the news rewired conference at City University to make a keynote speech, told a questioner that newspapers had no future and, as a consequence, he was leaving his job.

But TMG this afternoon issued a statement saying that his departure was mutually agreed at the conclusion of his contract. Hadfield said that journalists needed to develop entrepreneurial

When by-lines read, 'By Our Software'

"Peter Kirwan has an interesting article in Wired UK on the emergence of software that automates the collection, evaluation and even reporting of news events. Thomson Reuters, the world's largest news agency, has started moving down this path, courtesy of an intriguing product with the nondescript name NewsScope, a machine-readable news service designed for financial institutions that make their money from automated, event-driven trading.
The latest iteration of NewsScope `scans and automatically extracts criticial pieces of information' from US corporate press releases, eliminating the 'manual processes' that have traditionally kept so many financial journalists in gainful employment.
At Northwestern University, a group of computer science and journalism students have developed a program called Stats Monkey that uses statistical data to generate news reports on baseball games. Stats Monkey identifies the players who change the course of games, alongside specific turning points in the action. The rest of the process involves on-the-fly assembly of templated 'narrative arcs' to describe the action in a format recognizable as a news story.
No doubt Kurt Cagle, editor of XMLToday.org, was engaging in a bit of provocation when he recently suggested that an intelligent agent might win a Pulitzer Prize by 2030 writes Kirwin. 'Of course, it won't be the software that takes home the prize: it'll be the programmers who wrote the code in the first place, something that Joseph Pultizer could never have anticipated."

Two eyes, too much media

This is what Nirmalya Kumar, professor of marketing and co-ordinator of the Aditya Birla India Centre at the London Business School predicts in today's edition of The Economic Times.
Traditional media needs to reinvent itself
There are only two eyes and 24 hours. With all the time spent on smartphones and social networking something has to give in. Unfortunately, it is the traditional media. Expect to see more newspapers, magazines, music companies, advertising agencies, book publishers, book and music stores disappear, restructure, and seek new business models.

Newspaper door delivery R.I.P.

The good 'Times' are over
Barbara Ferguson | Arab News

WASHINGTON: It's not a particularly happy New Year in the nation's capital, where The Washington Times is in big trouble. We were aware that last month it laid off a large proportion of its newsroom staff, even eliminated its popular Sports Page. But today — no copy of the newspaper was delivered to our doorstep.

The official explanation was worse than feared. There would be no more home deliveries of the newspaper, we were told. Distribution would now only be at limited locations so — the only option was to subscribe online to the newspaper.

What? This newspaper is mouthpiece of the Washington conservatives! And, whether you loved the newspaper or hated it, it gave the conservative perspective to issues in our nation's capital which was essential for balance when it comes to understanding, or trying to understand, the thorny issues that drive national politics.

The Washington Times, launched in 1982 by Sun Myung Moon, was one of the more recent additions to the American newspaper industry.

While it mainly relied on subsidies from Moon, which invariably affected its credibility, the paper had come under increasing financial pressure as advertisers move dollars from print to digital media.

What is regrettable is that the problems come not from a bad news reporting, but from the paper's bad management. Now, the continued operation of the newspaper, which is owned by Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, seems to be in serious doubt.

Sources at the Times said they fear major changes and that the Moon family feud that's driving the paper's turmoil could lead to the Times shutting down in the coming months — with some suggesting that Preston Moon, the reverend's son who serves as chairman of News World Communications, the parent company of the Washington Times, may have already made that decision.

But recent cuts — part of a strategic repositioning of the newspaper — fell especially hard as the layoffs claimed Managing Editor David Jones, and Executive Editor John Solomon resigned last month, meaning the newspaper's editorial team is effectively decapitated.

With about 60 percent of its editorial staff gone — not the 40 percent cut initially announced — it would be hard to describe the revamped Times as anything other than a bare-bones publication.

The popular metro and sports sections are gone — and their writers fired. Much of the inside of the news section is filled with wire stories. The conservative commentary section has little staff-written material beyond the editorials. Instead, it features the thoughts outside conservative contributors.

Even by the standards of a struggling newspaper industry, the shrinkage is severe.

The Times has recently run some solid staff-written pieces, but it's clear that the Web is the company's priority, not the free, limited-distribution, Monday-to-Friday print edition.

Some observers here believe the paper, with its relatively modest circulation, may now opt to pursue an online-only strategy to harness its growth in that area, and continue developing the new Washington Times radio network.

The web site, meanwhile, has had its own cutbacks, with the company killing a companion opinion page, theconservatives.com, which observers say: "never really got off the ground."

Morale at the Times has been devastated, with many staffers questioning the paper's survival strategy. Some top correspondents have quit for other jobs, including three who covered the White House for them.

As for us, those who read the paper daily, current subscribers will only be offered subscriptions to The Washington Times digital edition and The Washington Times Weekly. Washington will miss the daily edition of the Washington Times. It is another sad day for the newspaper industry.

Catastrophe for Canada's largest newspaper

OTTAWA — Media giant CanWest Global Communications said on Friday that it would put its newspaper chain — Canada's largest — up for sale as part of a bankruptcy restructuring
The company's newspapers are the dominant dailies in several large Canadian cities, including Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver. CanWest, a broadcaster that became heavily indebted by its move into publishing as well as a deal to acquire several of Canada's leading cable channels, put many of its broadcasting assets under court protection in October.

While the Asper family, which founded and controlled CanWest, is trying to maintain control of its television business, Friday's filing will apparently bring an end to its role as the country's leading publisher.

CanWest said that if no buyer was immediately found for the newspapers, they would be sold to the secured lender. They would effectively acquire the newspapers by exchanging the debt they carry for equity. That group, however, is dominated by Canada's five largest banks. Both business and political reasons suggested that the banks would not be keen to control the country's newspaper business for an extended period.

While Canadian newspapers have been hurt by the rise of the Internet, its impact has not been as severe in Canada as in the United States. Most of CanWest's newspapers are believed to be solidly profitable on an operating basis. The National Post, the money-losing Toronto-based newspaper, was not included in the bankruptcy filing, but lenders intend to purchase it along with the others.

There are no obvious buyers yet, and Canadian tax laws prevent a sale to foreign companies.

Dark, eerie and foreboding: Forbes sells its HQ

Forbes Media has finally sold off its pricey headquarters in New York's Greenwich Village, in a move to get some much-needed liquidity. New York University (NYU) is the buyer. Forbes will still retain a five-year lease, though other financial terms were not disclosed.

The company has owned the building since 1962, and has been trying to sell it since 2007. It hired commercial real estate broker Cushman & Wakefield to manage the process then—with an asking price of $140 million. Three years and housing market crash later, the sale price is estimated as closer to $55 million. Faced with the same issue of dwindling print ad revenues, the New York Times completed a sale-leaseback of its headquarters for about $225 million in March 2009.

Without buyers, magazines face mercy killing

Reed Business Information U.S., which warned in a memo last week that it will start closing some of the mags it was not successful in selling off, has announced the first such closure: Video Business, a 29 year-old mag that has been on the bubble for years now, is closing, starting immediately. Jan 4th was the final print issue and its online operations will be closing down as well. The company is also closing MBT (Manufacturing Business Technology) and Industrial Distribution. The company is now directing VB readers to Variety.com, which recently went behind a paywall.

This comes after a memo Dec 31st by RBI U.S. CEO John Poulin, who explained that the company was having a tough time selling off the magazines in its portfolio that were for sale.

Selling out is not always an option -- Here's why

The Reed Business US sale process is a tough going, according to an internal year-end memo sent out by RBI USA CEO John Poulin, reports PaidContent.org. The parent company tried to sell the global RBI unit last year and that was abandoned after it couldn't find a buyer at the price it wanted. Then earlier this year, it announced a process to only sell certain titles of its U.S. RBI arm.

The company has not been able to sell all of the 50-odd titles on sale together, so it has now shifted the focus to selling off piecemeal. As part of that, it was able to offload—probably for pennies on the dollar, if that—its three media-group titles Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News, and Twice late last year to Newbay Media. Poulin's memo says it is in "advanced discussions to sell a number of titles to separate purchasers". What this also means is a number of them that will not find a buyer will be shut down, and of course, layoffs.

After two brutal years ... expect two more

Not the ideal message to start the new year with, but journalists have to go by facts.
Don't miss the last two paragraphs.

British newspapers, whether they are regional or national, are making a third less than they were a year ago, according to Robert Andrews, whose paidContent website is owned by Guardian Media Group.

The freefall in newspaper advertising might be coming to an end after two brutal years, according to forecasts by Group M. However, that only means advertising declines will be in single digits for regional and national newspapers instead of the double-digit swoons over the past two years.

Douglas McCabe, of Enders Analysis, says the declines in revenue and job losses at newspapers may slow in the new year, but said: "I don't think in 2010 they will say: 'That's it, we're done' or more optimistically enter some fantasy land, where they start adding people."

Instead, he sees 2010 and 2011 as being very tough years for newspapers. The decisions on what to cut will become more difficult "intellectually and emotionally", McCabe said.

However, the problems won't be isolated to newspapers. The next two years will not be great for almost any media you can think of, he added.

Andrews is more optimistic about the fortunes of television companies in 2010 than he is for magazines and newspapers. "TV still has something of an ability to reach a mass audience, despite fragmentation by digital, and broadcasters have been able to sustain their income during the downturn," he said.

In 2010, both Andrews and McCabe said almost every publisher will begin to experiment with online paid content.

McCabe said: "Every effort will be made to generate revenue from online services and run newsrooms of scale – or a scale vaguely resembling – the past." The biggest challenge will be working out the subscription and other paid content models.

Andrews sees a real risk in local and regional newspapers in choosing paywall models as their paid content strategy. "They are already losing a lot of their younger readers. They are stopping reading local news." Building a paywall around local content can hardly be seen as designed to encourage lost readers back, he said.

Apart from paid content strategies, British media are in the very early stages of hyperlocal experiments, some from newspapers and others from journalism start-ups, McCabe said. However, most of these projects operate on a very small cost base and will not generate millions of pounds or create the volume of jobs needed to replace those lost in the last two years.

After 100 years with little change in the job of a journalist, things are moving very quickly. Journalists used to join big newspapers and have their career looked after, McCabe said. That's over, and news staffs of the future will be smaller.

Despite the difficulty he sees for media over the next two years, McCabe says, "This is an exciting time for people who have hunger to make it and to manage their career in a hands-on way."

Merry CHRISTMAS ! . . .Just think How Lucky U R



I will be making a conscious effort to wish everyone

A Merry Christmas this year ...

My way of saying that I am celebrating

The birth Of Jesus Christ.

So, I am asking my email buddies,

If you agree with me,

To please do the same.

And if you'll pass this on to

Your email buddies, and so on...

Maybe we can prevent one more

American tradition from being lost in the sea of

"Political Correctness".

To One and All ! ! ! ! !


Mom's Empty Chair


A  woman's daughter had asked the local  minister
To come and pray  with her  mother.
When the  minister  arrived,
He found  the woman lying in bed with her  head
Propped up on two  pillows.

An  empty chair sat beside her  bed.
The minister assumed  that the  woman

Had been  informed of his  visit.
'I  guess you were expecting me, he  said.

'No,  who are you?' said the  mother.
The minister told  her his name and then  remarked,
'I  saw the empty chair and I figured you  knew
I was going to show  up..'

'Oh  yeah, the chair,' said the bedridden  woman.
'Would you mind  closing the  door?
Puzzled,  the minister shut the  door.
'I have never told  anyone  this,
Not even my  daughter,' said the  woman.

'But  all of my life I have  never
Known how to  pray.
At church I used to  hear the pastor talk  about  prayer,
But it went right over my  head.'

I  abandoned any attempt at  prayer,'
The old woman  continued,  '
Until one day  four years ago, my best friend  said to  me,
Prayer is just a simple  matter
Of having a  conversation with  Jesus.
Here is what I  suggest.
'Sit down in a  chair;
Place an empty chair  in front of  you,
And in  faith see Jesus on the  chair.

It's  not spooky because he  promised,
'I will be with  you  always'.
'Then just  speak to him in the same  way
You're doing with me  right  now.'

'So,  I tried it and I've liked it so  much
That I do it a couple  of hours every  day.
I'm  careful though. If my daughter saw me  talking
To an empty chair,  she'd either have a  nervous  breakdown
Or send me off to the  funny  farm.'

The  minister was deeply moved by the story  and
Encouraged the old woman  to continue on the  journey.
Then he prayed with  her, anointed  her
With  oil,
And returned  to the  church..

Two  nights later the daughter  called
To tell the minister  that her  mama
Had died that  afternoon.
Did she die in  peace?' he  asked.

Yes,  when I left the house about two  o'clock,
She called me over  to her  bedside,
Told me she  loved me and kissed me on the  cheek.
When I got back from  the store an hour  later,
I  found her.

But  there was something strange about her  death.
Apparently, just  before Mom  died,
She leaned  over and rested her head on the  chair
Beside the bed. What  do you make of  that?'

The  minister wiped a tear from his eye and  said,
'I wish we could all  go like  that.'

Just  send this to four people or  more,
And do not break this,  please.

Prayer  is one of the best free gifts we  receive.

I  asked God for water, He gave me an  ocean.*
I asked God for a  flower, He gave me a  garden.*
I asked God for a  friend, He gave me all of  YOU...
If God brings you to  it, He will bring you  through it.

Happy  moments, praise  God.
Difficult moments, seek  God.
Quiet moments, worship  God
Painful moments, trust  God.
Every moment, thank  God.

Pass  this message to as many friends as you'd like.
Except you and  me.

Retirement and Pension plans

Planning to study in UK? Call us today!!

Want to have an international degree?
Call today!!
We assess your eligibility. Aspiring candidates can approach us. We can help you to be prepared on time. Our dedicated team is with you to assist.
We provide comprehensive student's counselling, selection of suitable course and colleges.
Visa guidance
Pre departure and arrival information guidance.


Lekshmi Kaladharan
Jr Manager HR
Eric International, Cochin.
Phone : 0484-2533959

Paper is passe: A message in it for newspapers

Spare a thought for the humble hardback this Christmas. It seems the traditional giftwrapped tome is being trumped by downloads, after Amazon customers bought more e-books than printed books for the first time on Christmas Day.

As people rushed to fill their freshly unwrapped e-readers – one of the top-selling gadgets this festive season – the online retailer said sales at its electronic book store quickly overtook orders for physical books. Its own e-reader, the Kindle, is now the most popular gift in Amazon's history.

British publishers have also been exploring the market for electronic versions of books in the hope of enjoying strong sales when e-book stores and reading devices achieve critical mass in the coming years.

The Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury made the 2009 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack available as an e-book for the first time this year, while Penguin has been selling a range of its classics in electronic form with extra features such as contemporary recipes.