Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Morning Brief: McClatchy paper announces job cuts; Hearst Magazines to partner with AOL on large ad format

The News & Observer of Raleigh, NC announced it will cut 20 jobs due to continuing declining revenue. The daily newspaper is part of the McClatchy chain.
McClatchy reported first quarter performance last week: a $2 million loss for the quarter, with ad revenue down close to ten percent. The chain has been one of the last to launch a program of mobile and tablet applications; currently the company has 14 apps for the iPhone, but no tablet apps at this time. Their latest iPhone app is for the Fresno Bee.

Hearst Magazines Digital Media, part of Hearst Magazines, announced it will partner with Pictela, an AOL unit, to deploy the IAB Portrait ad unit. (The style guide for ad unit can be downloaded here at the IAB website.)

The new large digital ad unit had previously appeared exclusively on AOL owned website such as StyleList, Moviefone and AOL Travel.

“Pictela has proved to be a highly strategic partner for Hearst, starting when we worked with them last year on the IAB Pushdown units,” said Kristine Welker, chief revenue officer, Hearst Digital Media in the company's announcement. “Pictela continues to create high-quality, innovative ad solutions that drive measurable results, and we’re thrilled to be the first magazine company to offer these premium ad units.”

The rumor that Amazon would launch a tablet to compete more directly with Apple's iPad got some reinforcement yesterday when DigiTimes reported that Amazon has placed an order with Quanda Computers. Quanta, a Taiwan-based compact computer maker, also works with RIM and Sony. has several advantages over others in the field in that, like Apple, it has a successful web-based retail system that is proven, customer-friendly, and well designed. But unlike Apple, Amazon is not in the business of developing its own complimentary software. That is, don't look for an Android version of GarageBand from Amazon in the near future.