"Trifles make perfection and perfection is no trifle." Michelangelo
The State of the News Media 2007, the annual report by the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ is a part of the Pew Research Center) mentions seven new major trends...
- News organizations need to do more to think through the implications of this new era of shrinking ambitions.
- The evidence is mounting that the news industry must become more aggressive about developing a new economic model.
- The key question is whether the investment community sees the news business as a declining industry or an emerging one in transition.
- There are growing questions about whether the dominant ownership model of the last generation, the public corporation, is suited to the transition newsrooms must now make.
- The Argument Culture is giving way to something new, The Answer Culture.
- Blogging is on the brink of a new phase that will probably include scandal, profitability for some, and a splintering into elites and non-elites over standards and ethics.
- While journalists are becoming more serious about the Web, no clear models of how to do journalism online really exists yet, and some qualities are still only marginally explored.
Fish stinks at the head first: From the Overview text of the PEJ report...
"The character of the next era, far from inevitable, will likely depend heavily on the quality of leadership in the newsroom and boardroom. If history is a guide, (be it Adolph Ochs, Ted Turner, or Google) it will require renegades and risk-takers to break from the conventional path and create new directions."
Renegades and risk-takers are exactly what we need.
Sam Zell may just be the perfect guy to buy Tribune. Thomas S. Mulligan has done a good job of reporting on the possible Zell-Tribune hookup via LAT - Zell's past may hint at plan for Tribune here. (Mulligan mentions the Barron's article wherein Zell claimed to have pocketed $1.3 billion on his $70 mil investment in Randy Michaels' Jacor. Should Sam prevail would he spin off Trib's broadcasting assets to Randy? Might be a good fit for the broadcast portfolio of Oak Hill Capital Partners. Plus Randy's deep understanding of radio, his passion for talk, and his rare appreciation for big stations with lots of moving parts would be serious advantages for WGN. And...what a great first move back into the radio biz.)
Hot, very hot: Proof positive you don't need a big marketing budget to have a big hit. Behold. Twitter. Related: Twitter blog.
The smell of burning cash: Ogg & Barnes calculate the burn rate and time left for the pay radio guys. XM $129.8 mil per month/10.8 months. Sirius $123 mil per month/8.4 months. Read their analysis here.
Bonus 2: SXSW Web Awards Finalists