Tuesday, November 15, 2005

"Big dogs eat first and they eat till they're full" Mark Niblick

Marv Dyson is a great broadcaster, a gentleman, a wit and gets my vote for best dressed. Media scribe Robert Feder headlines Marv in today's column...

"With the recent infusion of $17 million from the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Fund, Dyson's Urban Radio Communications is poised to double the number of properties it owns and become the nation's second-largest African-American-owned radio company.
Dyson, who turns 68 later this month, formed the company with Kevin Wagner, whom Dyson hired out of high school (and the Altgeld Gardens public housing complex) as an account exec at WGCI."

Read Dyson keeps busy building new empire here. Congrats to Marv, cheers to Robert.

All that's fit to drink

Fred Winston and I have been talking about food and wine almost every week for decades. We will begin to share as we opine on wine in a new collaborative blog Your Wine Cellar set to debut this weekend. First up - wine for your Thanksgiving table. We intend to share our finds, the best wines for your wallet. Link here later this week.

Over at Slate, Daniel Gross offers up his view of the noise about a Knight Ridder sale. In reviewing the suspects he writes...

"Financial buyers—leveraged buyout and private equity firms that are less concerned with synergies and more concerned with balance sheets—likewise wouldn't seem to have much interest in Knight Ridder. The notion behind an LBO is that you take on lots of debt, buy a company that has reliable cash flow at an attractive valuation, use cash flow to pay off debt, and then sell it several years later. And here, newspaper companies present two problems. The cash flow of newspapers is not reliable and may decline over time. Second, in order for the original investors to cash out, financial buyers have to sell the company to someone else down the road. Assuming trends continue, who would want to pay a premium for a bunch of newspapers in five years' time?"

Good call Daniel. Read the entire column here

Invited to participate in the Sphere beta - still in stealth - thanks guys.

Bravo! Can't say enough good stuff about the new Peter Morville book Ambient Findability - highly recommended

Writing over at TheDeal, Richard Morgan...

"Memo to media moguls: Get over it.

Get over your need for control. Get over the fear and fealty you've instilled in your subordinates for all those years. And get over the top-down decision-making process that has characterized mass media companies since they first arose in the 19th century.
It's not that a new media order wants you out of the way. It's just that you and others atop the intellectual-property food chain are about to see that chain inverted. In fact, if you're really worth your Gulfstream G-200, you're leading the inversion. You're already out there, a la News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, snapping up online assets that you and your peers didn't know existed (and which may not have existed) a few short years ago.
Why you're so keen on acquiring these assets is obvious. You're desperately trying to keep pace with the online migration of readers, viewers and listeners who were once yours, all yours. If you fail, then you'll be left behind as an old-media company stuck with a decaying model that at some point will no longer sustain your business. "How long will the tinkering continue? Perhaps until a generational shift produces managers with sensibilities of a kind Murdoch himself described in his speech to the newspaper editors."

"Like many of you in this room," the 74-year-old said, "I'm a digital immigrant. I wasn't weaned on the Web, nor coddled on a computer. Instead, I grew up in a highly centralized world where news and information were tightly controlled by a few editors, who deemed to tell us what we could and should know. My two young daughters, on the other hand, will be digital natives." And it is to these digital natives that, more sooner than later, moguls like Murdoch are destined to bow." You may find the entire writing here