Monday, May 17, 2010

Morning Brief: Friday afternoon staff meetings rarely mean good news; can Facebook ads sell magazines?

The Guardian reports that the Sunday Times editor, John Witherow, has told his staff that they will soon be launching an iPhone app -- yippee. He also told them that, essentially, print is dead -- boo.
At a staff meeting late Friday -- you know staff meetings late in the day on a Friday are going to to bad -- that things were not looking good due to declining newspaper advertising. He also confirmed a report that the paper's budget may be cut 10 percent, and that the Murdoch owned paper would join others by constructing a paywall. (That is sure to turn things around.)

This story has gotten a lot of play online, so I'll include it here, though I am obviously skeptical: Synapse, a Time Inc. division, will be working with Alvenda, a company that builds e-commerce applications, to introduce a system that will allow Facebook users to buy magazines online.

I don't know why The Atlantic seems to think this is such a game changer, since I've not seen any proof that Facebook users are dying to buy magazines, or newspapers, or anything else for that matter.

Another player in all this is Next Issue Media, the company created by Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., and Time Inc. late last year. One question I had at the time was could a company that was created by a consortium move fast enough to compete in the ever changing world of New Media. Their site may give us a clue: their last press release posted was their formation release dated December 8, 2009.

(By the way, the Synapse company involved here is not to be confused with Synapse Multimedia, which I featured on this site.)

CFE Media LLC, one of the new companies being created out of the ashes of the old Reed Business Information has a new website up -- well, sort of. Jim Langhenry's group, made up of books he once served as publisher on, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting Specifying Engineer, has a web page up.

Apparently, CFE Media will be working with GCN Publishing on its web efforts since the new page is a subdomain of the GCN site. (This may have been required as the new owners work to secure the old URLs from Reed.)