Thursday, November 11, 2010

Morning Brief: People in the news; Next issue Media announces intention to launch Android digital storefront

Comings and goings:

A. H. Belo Corporation announced this morning that Douglas G. Carlston, resigned from the board of directors. Carlston, who had served as a Class I Director of the Company since December 2007, was to have his term expire at the company's annual meeting of shareholders in 2012.

Joyce Parente is moving from Men's Heath, where she was associate publisher of marketing, to Rolling Stone, where she will hold the same position.

No surprise, but it still sucks: is cutting staff. About a year after the merger with Bloomberg, the former McGraw-Hill title will be shedding staff including editors Phil Mintz and Will Andrews. Good luck guys.

Speaking of newspaper layoffs, The Herald (Everett, Washington), citing "flagging advertising revenue" has laid off ten employees and reduced the work hours of another five. “It starts with a difficult economy,” said Allen Funk, president and publisher of The Daily Herald. “The economy is forcing a lot of advertisers to cut back.”

In a sign of the declining value of winning a Pulitzer Prize, the The Journal News in the Lower Hudson Valley (N.Y.) has laid off cartoonist Matt Davies. Davies won his award in 2004. According to the Washington Post's Michael Cavna, this isn't the first time the Gannett paper has laid off its award-winning cartoonist -- it did it just last year before reversing its decision. One would think that two times will be enough.

In an interesting move, Peter Kafka from the WSJ is reporting that Next Issue Media said that they will be opening a digital magazine storefront early next year, but that the initial version will only be available for the Android platform.

While everyone, including paidContent thinks this is a move being made because "Apple holds too many cards in the sales relationship, the reality is that we already know what the tablet market will look like early next year: a few new Android tablets struggling to take off, and Apple's iPad already well established with over 20 million units sold.

One last thing to consider: there are those that announce products, and those that deliver products. This was an announcement -- almost as good as vaporware. And though I have no Next Issue Media will be creating a digital storefront, I think we are still at the announcement phase. Meaning this was more a shot across Apple's bow than a real voiced preference for the Android platform. Expect all this to get worked out by the Spring.

Apple released its Mac OS update yesterday as rumored, but its update for iTunes went missing. Both updates are crucial before the company can release its long anticipated iOS update that will bring multitasking, folders and AirPlay to the iPad.

One element that went missing was AirPrint which seems to be running into legal troubles.

If an update to iTunes is released today then we are probably on schedule to have an iOS update on Friday -- otherwise, it would arrive next week.