Robert Thomson’s ambitions for the ‘New York Post’
The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.
Robert Thomson, C.E.O. of the new publishing-focused iteration of News Corp., gave The Financial Times an interview yesterday about the company, which officially comes into being after the close of trading today.
Mostly it's fairly straightforward stuff about how the corporation, many of whose properties bring legacies of financial trouble, means to improve things.
Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, which will spin off from his 21st Century Fox entertainment businesses on Friday, are becoming “platforms” from which to launch products for smartphones, digital subscribers and international markets, according to the new News Corp’s chief executive.
Robert Thomson predicted “a year or two – no more – of transformation”, including “astute and acute” cost-cutting, investment in digital initiatives and collaborations between divisions. “These papers are no longer newspapers; they’re platforms,” he told the Financial Times.
He declined to echo Mr Murdoch’s statement last year that print losses would no longer be tolerated and would not detail the scale of planned job cuts from the integration of Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, but said the company’s titles must become more profitable.
That's all fine. But it's the following tidbit that's been getting the most attention: Thomson said there's "a plan for the New York Post to compete nationally with digital news and entertainment brands such as Buzzfeed."
If that sounds familiar, it should: As we reported yesterday, it's the same strategy that's been ratcheting up competition between the Daily News and U.K. interloper Mail Online, the web version of Great Britain's Daily Mail.
“Some of the most successful recent start-ups are basically ersatz tabloid journalism,” Thomson told the FT. “If we can’t do it better than they can, then we’re not as good as we think we are.”
The Post has a lot of catching up to do: In May, its website scored a comparatively measly 6.96 million unique U.S. visitors to nydailynews.com's 14.9 million and Buzzfeed's 18.7 million, according to comScore.
The latest from Thomson is likely to influence assessments of the forthcoming makeover of nypost.com, which is being spearheaded internally by ex-Gawker editor Remy Stern with design help from Hard Candy Shell and development by Alley Interactive, both of which worked on The New Republic web re-boot earlier this year.
Here's a great Charlie Rose interview with Alan Rusbridger and Janine Gibson of The Guardian about the publication's N.S.A. coverage. [Charlie Rose]
In selling The Boston Globe, The New York Times Company will likely receive less than 10 percent of what it paid for the paper 20 years ago. [Reuters]
Another exit at NewsBeast: West Coast bureau chief is headed to Buzzfeed. [Variety]
McKinsey is back at Conde Nast. [New York Post]
Paul Smalera is leaving Reuters for The New York Times. [Talking Biz News]
Quote of the day...
I really don’t care who edits those magazines, if they were all black, or all white, or all women, or all men, or rabbits — I just don’t care. I’m aware that — and I was aware — that putting five white guys on the cover was going to be difficult, but you know, tough shit. That’s my opinion.
On that New Yorker cover, why are Bert and Ernie so happy the Voting Rights Act was gutted? I had no idea they were racist.— ben schwartz (@benschwartzy) June 28, 2013
Sponsored content never gets better than the ChinaWatch pages in the NYT and WP.— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) June 28, 2013
Daily Mail still uses screenshot it stole from me without credit http://t.co/5r3RummPF6 - I remain calm, however. Feet firmly on the ground.— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) June 28, 2013
Alec Baldwin's latest media blow-up:
From our inbox...
Introducing ProPublica: The Magazine:
For readers with iPads and iPhones, there's a new way to check out ProPublica. We're launching ProPublica: The Magazine, a monthly digital publication delivered right to your mobile device for free. Each month we'll curate a selection of our best stories - from short reads to deep-dive investigations to data-driven interactives - revolving around a central theme.
Our first issue, "In the Cross Hairs," includes stories that look at topics ranging from gun rights to the drone war, and features an incredible long-form story rooted in a horrific massacre that took place during Guatemala's civil war. It follows Oscar Alfredo Ramírez Castañeda, who discovers his adoptive father is really the Guatemalan general who killed his family. Our second issue, "Living Apart," collects stories about the role race plays in housing and criminal justice.
As ProPublica president Richard Tofel explained to Nieman Labs' Justin Ellis, "this puts us in (Apple's) Newsstand, that pushes us to people, which we hope is a big plus."
Read the complete announcement here - http://www.propublica.org/atpropublica/item/introducing-propublica-the-magazine. And we hope you'll share it and sign up for ProPublica: The Magazine!
Today’s launch of The Big Roundtable marks what we hope will help propel a movement that changes the ways we think about how people find, read, distribute and share big, compelling true stories.
And – this is key – help sustain the careers of the journalists who do that work by donating to writers whose work they admire.
We believe that readers want to be surprised – to discover stories that no search algorithm, or tastemaker can predict they will love.
We have created The Big Roundtable as a publishing platform that reflects the digital age in which we live – an infinitely more democratic one where readers have a powerful voice in determining what gets read.
The stories you will find at The Big Roundtable today, and in the days, weeks, months and we hope years to come reflect not the tastes of an individual or exclusive group of gatekeepers. Instead they reflect the reaction of a group of readers who liked what they saw and wanted to read more.
We are inviting writers with true stories they need to tell to send those stories our way. While we cannot promise publication, we do promise that if those stories are true and original the opening 1000 words will be read by members of our circle of readers. Those stories that draw an audience will then go to our editor, Mike Hoyt who, working with the author, will work to make those stories as strong as they can be before we make them available to everyone.
There is no bar on reading, and no requirement to pay. Instead, we ask readers to donate what they choose in the knowledge that the donations go to the authors; a 10 percent fee goes to the Big Roundtable to keep the operation staffed and running.
As one friend put it, “You’re Kickstarter for writers.”
We believe that by elevating the audiences’ reaction to stories, we can expand dramatically the kinds of stories that are told, and the freedom with which writers can tell them.
We believe that true stories can be as original, memorable, and surprising as fiction.
The movement starts now, with you.
-The Big Roundtable Team