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December 13, 2006

Philly.com - Above the Fold?!?

Get this: In today's Philadelphia Inquirer (print edition), there was a banner ad on A1, above the fold. Way above the fold.

Philadelphia Media Holdings' CEO, Brian Tierney, has promised to significantly raise the paper's profile and to pour more resources into philly.com, the site for both the Inquirer and the Daily News.

Here's my advice to PMH: Devise a solid training plan for all staffers, invest in better equipment, hire software engineers before bringing on more journalists and create a new in-house cms.


KCRW Receives $600k Grant: Now, how will it monetize streaming audio?

Fast Company's expert blog features an entry about whether Public Radio can monetize its web content.

KCRW, based in Santa Monica, has a massive web constituency - and I count myself among its regular listeners. Been streaming KCRW online since I moved back to the U.S.

According to FC: KCRW generates more than 1.6 million streaming hours per month via partnerships with Real Networks, AOL Radio, Shoutcast, Windows Media and Apple’s iTunes and QuickTime. In January, nearly one million KCRW podcasts were downloaded, and the station’s own website received more than 470,000 connections to its streaming audio service.

So the question is, as it is for everyone, how to you turn those listeners into revenue? KCRW's problem isn't audience size, but catalyzing all those folks to donate and fund all station operations isn't a sustainable option. Because of the regulations governing public radio, the station can't solicit standard advertising.

Annenberg gave KCRW a $600,000 grant to develop a brand-new business model to support its webcasting and online music service.

It isn't going to be easy, though. Where else might money come from? This is the fundamental problem we're facing in journalism right now. If not from ads, and if not from donations (or at least not completely)...then from where? What do you think?

Seed Newsvine

Strike Out!

This just in: Ongoing strike threat adverted here in Philadelphia. The Newspaper Guild and Philadelphia Media Holdings, which now own the Inquirer and Daily News, have agreed on a new contract.

From the Inquirer (via Will Bunch on Attytood):

... Negotiators for The Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News and their largest labor union initialed a tentative labor agreement late last night, capping months of often acrimonious contract talks.

"It's a very difficult agreement" that will force the union to make tough choices about the future extent of medical coverage for advertising, news, circulation and finance workers and retirees at the papers, union president Henry J. Holcomb warned...

See posts by Steve Volk at the Philadelphia Weekly, Karl Martino at Philly Future. Have a look, too, at the website staffers planned to launch had the strike have gone ahead.

December 11, 2006

PLUSNews launches

Congrats to my journalist friend, Vincent Giolito, who has just launched PLUSNews in France. It's a sort-of wire service carrying only feature stories (all in French) that will service French magazines and newspapers.

In America, plenty of magazines and newspapers accept freelance material for their print products. I think it'd be advantageous for their websites to also solicit and accept freelance multimedia projects. But we all know that content management systems remain problematic -- without standards or even browsers that are compatible with all forms of code, it'll be a while before we see a multimedia wire service...

December 08, 2006

Recent Traveling...

It's been a few weeks since my last entry -- have been very busy working on a handful of interesting projects. I've also been traveling quite a bit.

I can now say, without any hesitation, that I've found the best headphones that exist on the market. (Technically, Dr. Brian found and purchased them for me.) They cancel out noise and bring out pieces of audio tracks I never knew existed.

How this applies to you, the reporter: If you have tape with questionable audio quality and simply must hear through a garbled mess, these headphones will save the day.

For everyone else, you'll rock out to the Stones like never before.

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