Monday Evening Edition 10/12/09

BREAKING — NY TIMES REPORTERS TO PAY: If they want to check out competing newspapers, they’ll have to buy their own copies. Or grab a copy of the News or Post that a colleague bought to read on the ride in. Here’s today’s memo, via the NY Observer:

Folks,

You all know how tight budgets have become. They are getting tighter. Because of that we have decided to cut all subscriptions to newspapers and magazines that come in from the news dealer. If you wish to read any of the tabloids or out of town papers, either purchase your own or share with co-workers who purchase them to read on their way to work.

Please note, too, that any subscriptions you have regularly purchased and expensed may not be reimbursed anymore. Please check with me before you pay for anything. Most periodicals, including the tabloids and other daily newspapers, are available online through Ebsco masterfile which you can get to through the Research Dept’s web page.

Sorry about this but the money we spent on these papers can be put to better use like paying freelancers. As always, thanks for your cooperation and understanding.

EMAIL’S HISTORY: Even though we’re still buried under its daily barrage, “its reign is over,” pushed aside by Twitter, Facebook and others, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Email was better suited to the way we used to use the Internet — logging off and on, checking our messages in bursts. Now, we are always connected …

“Why wait for a response to an email …  You don’t need to ask a friend whether she has left work, if she has updated her public ‘status’ … telling the world so.

“Email, stuck in the era of attachments, seems boring compared to services like Google Wave, currently in test phase, which allows users to share photos by dragging and dropping them from a desktop into a Wave, and to enter comments in near real time.”

Email continues to grow. But other services, outlined in the WSJ article, “are growing far faster” and they’re making our communications “much faster.”

WHAT WE HAVE LOST: Poynter’s Rick Edmonds figures we’re down $1.6 billion in editorial spending at newspapers, with newspapers going from a $60 billion industry in 2006 to a $37 billion industry at the start of 2010.

“It would take roughly 1,600 MinnPosts or Voice of San Diegos to replace the spending on journalism newspapers have cut.”

Edmonds concedes his figures are “back-of-the-envelope calculations” and he invites feedback. He’ll follow-up later in the week. [Poynter]

Amanda Ernst, editor of MediaBistro's Fishbowl NY

Amanda Ernst, editor of MediaBistro's Fishbowl NY

STARTING OVER: Financial adviser tells Media Bistro editor to change her lifestyle since she’s now working for peanuts. With video link to Today Show segment. [Gawker]

MEN GO FIRST: Crossing the digital divide. [Ad Age]

RULES OF THUMB: Newspapers aren’t changing them fast enough. [Editor & Publisher]

GERMAN FREEDOM LOST: Last free daily folds. [Newspaper Innovation]

CREATIVE DESTRUCTION: Don’t look for a letup, says “The Curse of the Mogel: What’s Wrong with the World’s Leading Media Companies,” a new book coming out on Thursday. The Wall Street Journal reports:

For media, this is the best of times and the worst. The best because the cost to publish news, make a video or distribute a song has never been lower. But also the worst because it’s hard to find a company, new or old media, that has emerged with a sustainable business model. Consumers are left wondering how much longer their favorite sources of news and entertainment will be around. …

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We should keep in mind that people are consuming more media than ever, all day and in real time through many new outlets. Content creators from musicians to authors can sidestep the middlemen who were once required to package and deliver the content. This means that as consumers, we have unprecedented choice in many areas.

Media companies also have options. They can become more efficient, find new revenue streams from their most engaged consumers, and add new services.

Still, no one knows which brands will survive in a world where the traditional advantages are the new disadvantages and where so many new-media companies don’t survive the pace of change they helped accelerate. The challenge for all media—old and new—is the same, even if the difficulty level is higher than ever before: Focus on what makes each brand different and more valuable than the ever-increasing number of alternatives that technology makes inevitable.

CHARITY CASES: In the UK, a benevolent fund for “those involved in the news trade who have fallen on hard times.” NewstrAid:

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