Sunday, March 04, 2007

Photo: mixed chairs
by IHP

Killer pic, thanks!

"I have said for 20 years that our success is not an entitlement and now it's proving to be a reality. Let's be smarter about how we are spending our time, money and resources. Let's get back to the core. Push for innovation and do the things necessary to once again differentiate Starbucks from all others." Howard Schultz

The quotation is taken from Howard's Valentine email to Starbucks CEO Jim Donald. Becoming "the only brand that comes to mind when you think about coffee" is the mission and Howard's writing is a much needed wakeup call. Bravo Howard! The entire message is here. (Thanks to Mike Neiss of Tom Peters for the tip)

Sir Tim Berners-Lee: "The Web's next most important application is likely being dreamed up somewhere by someone, 'quite likely a woman,' Berners-Lee said, who is frustrated by something and will not have to ask if he or she can use existing architecture before building that application." Read Sir Tim Berners-Lee Gives Congress Vision of the Future via the K.C. Jones writing for Information Week here.

Pay for play: The Copyright Royalty Board announces new rates for internet radio. Kurt Hanson does his usual fine job of framing the news with a practical real-world perspective, to wit:

"Clear Channel's total corporate obligation for November 2006 based on comScore Arbitron ratings and assuming 13 songs per hour, would be about $500,000... but if that's for streaming, let's say, 500 stations, it would only be a royalty obligation of about $1,000 per station per month in 2006. Are those stations selling enough online spots and website banners and sponsorships to make that affordable? I'm not sure."

Read Kurt's entire writing including links to his previous coverage of the subject at RAIN here. Bravo Kurt! It would be a shame to lose Pandora. Mike over at Techdirt offers up his take...
"The industry continues to think that it needs to do this because it wants to own all distribution and promotional avenues in order to be able to continue to take its large cut. However, that's no reason for the Copyright Royalty Board to put in place these artificial barriers that only serve to protect the recording industry's outdated understanding of its own business model." Bravo Mike! Well said. Read Mike's post with comments here.

That dog don't hunt: A flurry of emails over the weekend about my "support" of Mel and the pay radio merger. Nope, can't say I support his argument (what little we now know about it fails to pass the laugh test). My position has not changed. I like and respect Mel, however, my odds remain 6 to 5 against the merger and 6 to 5 against either company surviving (operating as they are), an earlier more detailed post here. While Mel is busy trying to sell his "not-a-monoply" merger he would be well served to hedge his bet and also get pay radio seriously and deeply involved with Kurt Hanson, et al in the significant issues related to streaming.

"Talk is cheap, whiskey cost money" Joe L. Floyd. My former boss and partner had it right as does BW's Jon Fine in his latest writing Old Media's New Math, Why bloated deals could sink under their own weight, here. Wanted: greater fools; immediate openings.

The account you don't want if you're selling offline media: "We're actually pretty confident that by 2010, the majority of our media mix will shift to digital" Mich Mathews, the SVP of Microsoft's central marketing group on where his nearly one billion dollars in domestic ad spend is headed. David Goetzl writing at Media Daily News has the story here.

McNew: "Our website has a new look. But the real change is in the approach, not the appearance" writes editor Ken Paulson of USA Today. My sense is the new look and feel is a fine jump in exactly the right direction. Kudos! Jeff Jarvis has some back story here. The Staci Kramer take via paidContent here. Steve Rubel offers up his pov on the "social network" aspects of the new design here. Don Dodge says "92% don't like it" here.

"World news hot; why is Couric cold?" McPaper inventor Al Neuharth and his pov on the anchor war - put Katie into a soft feature role - here. Eric Deggans offers up his "Anchor ABCs": Lesson 1 - A big name can't do it all. Lesson 2 - Reinventing the evening news is tougher than it looks. Lesson 3 - Charisma won't help much. Lesson 4 - Gender may matter after all. Lesson 5 - The evening news and its anchors are here to stay awhile. Read Eric's article in the St Pete Times here.

Congrats & cheers: Dunia Shive
promoted to Belo president and COO. Andy Jonesco recruited by BSkyB to lead digital strategy. Bob Michaels opens shop "radio ratings consultant for programming and sales" - jump to Bob Michaels' MediaSense here.

For we can fly: WLS' Bill Leff asked the question "Are you smarter than a fifth dimension?" Hosting last week's Roe Conn afternoon drive show, Leff challenged listeners to answer a series of questions, he was assisted by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. Bravo!

Doing the right thing: Barbara Ehrenreich, the writer becomes the advocate. United Professionals is "a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for white collar workers." The main site here, the blog here. (Thanks to C-SPAN for the tip).

And the hits just keep on comin: The legendary radio guru George Wilson is alive and well and playing music for you on the web here. (Thanks to Claude Hall for the tip).

Make something amazing happen this week!