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Archive for October, 2002

One guy who doesn’t like media monopolies

by henrycopeland
Thursday, October 24th, 2002

According to an oft-told anecdote, “President Clinton once blocked an attempt to allow television stations to buy daily newspapers in the same city because, he said, if the so-and-so who owned the anti-Clinton Little Rock Democrat-Gazette had owned the leading TV station in Little Rock, too, Clinton would never have become President.” From Nicholas Lemann’s profile of Michael Powell in Ocober 7, 2002 edition of The New Yorker.

NYTimes bullies WPost into selling IHT

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2002

The New York Times Company played hardball in pushing the Washington Post Company to sell its 50% share of the International Herald Tribune, an internal Post memo said today.

The Herald Tribune, co-owned by the two newspaper groups, lost $10 million in 2001 and is set to lose $7.8 million in 2002, a source told me. Although the international paper’s circulation is 263,000, a record high, the IHT has been hurt by a collapse in travel and mobile phone advertising.

The New York Times has taken an increasingly aggressive stance internationally, partnering earlier this year with Le Monde to publish its own news in English in the French daily newspaper’s pages.

The two companies have been negotiating in recent weeks about the IHT’s future.

The Post memo said, ”If the Post did not sell, the Times said it would start its own international edition anyway, intending to sell as many copies as allowed under the IHT partnership agreement. The Times also said it would block any cash infusion into the IHT.”

”The Post was prepared to sustain the IHT’s modest operating losses until further efficiencies could be achieved and business conditions improved. But the Times made clear that staying the course was not an option. So it was not possible to remain in partnership with an unwilling partner.”

”This decision was made with great reluctance and sadness, and little choice,” the Post memo said.

In its own internal memo, the Times said, “We have been extremely proud of The Times’s role in the IHT partnership, which began in 1967. Over the past 35 years, the IHT has earned its reputation as the premier international newspaper for opinion leaders and decision makers. During this time, The Washington Post has been an exceptionally good partner. Now, as we await the closing of this transaction, we are anxiously looking forward to working even more closely with our IHT news and business colleagues as we continue bringing quality journalism to its readers around the world.”

The deal was for less than $75 million, a source told Reuters.

The IHT is based in Paris, France and employs 250 there.

Washingtonpost.com Q3 ad revenues up 50% versus last year

by henrycopeland
Monday, October 21st, 2002

The Washington Post Company reports Q3 numbers: “Revenue generated by the company’s online publishing activities, primarily washingtonpost.com, totaled $9.1 million for the third quarter of 2002, versus $7.7 million for 2001; online revenue totaled $25.3 million for the first nine months of 2002, versus $23.1 million for 2001. Local and national online advertising revenues grew 51 percent and 50 percent for the third quarter and first nine months of 2002, respectively. Revenue at the Jobs section of washingtonpost.com increased 11 percent in the third quarter of 2002 but was down 6 percent for the first nine months of 2002.”

Pierce: blogs need to ‘provide a freaking service’

by henrycopeland
Monday, October 21st, 2002

Photo-essayist and bon vivant Tony Pierce spent yesterday trying to track down the text of a $56,000 Sean Penn anti-war ad in the Washington Post. Problem: the WPost doesn’t cover its own ads; the NYTimes certainly doesn’t cover the Post’s ads; A-bloggers and e-Pundits are watching foliage or baseball. Tony writes “bloggers are missing their windows of opportunity. people have plenty of ways to get to their news and columns from more famous writers who editoralize. what the kids want today are links to things that no one else is linking to. tell them something they dont know.” And “im trying to make this glorified science fair project actually provide a freaking service.”

… two fortune cookies and one ad

by henrycopeland
Sunday, October 20th, 2002

Alan Feuer: “At least one Chinese restaurant in Manhattan is sending out delivery orders in cartons adorned not with the traditional “Thank You, Enjoy,” but with something a bit more jarring: an advertisement for Cingular Wireless, a purveyor of cellular phone service.”

Bigvid vs. the vidlog

by henrycopeland
Friday, October 18th, 2002

Erik D’Amato writes Glenn Reynolds: “For most people, news is primarily about sights and sounds: 9/11, men walking on the moon, the white Bronco inching down the freeway, the white van circling DC. And in the background, a bit of yakking, a lot of it unscripted. Why should we think Big Video Media will be able to compete with cheap video over the wire any better than Big Print Media have have been able to keep up with cheap written oped over the wire?” Erik, who once edited me and later succeeded me as editor of the Budapest Business Journal, better start blogging soon.

Tina talks Web

by henrycopeland
Friday, October 18th, 2002

Commenting on a spate of magazine launches, Tina Brown says: “If I was to do Talk again, I would do it on the Web.” (Via Nick Denton.)

eBay revenue up 73% over Q3 2001

by henrycopeland
Friday, October 18th, 2002

Revenues for eBay increased 73% in Q3 2002 versus Q3 2001. Total transaction volume increased 93%. Five categories exceed $1 billion in volume in 2002.

Excerpts from eBay’s press release:

Online net transaction revenues in Q3-02 increased 73% year over year to a record $263.6 million, driven by 52% year-over-year transaction revenue growth in the U.S. and 163% year-over-year transaction growth internationally. On an overall consolidated basis, Q3-02 net revenues increased 49% over the $194.4 million generated in Q3-01, reflecting the expected 40% year-over-year decrease in third party advertising revenues.”

Listings ‘ eBay hosted a record 160 million listings during the quarter, representing a 47% year-over-year increase from the 109 million reported in Q3-01.

Registered Users ‘ Cumulative confirmed registered users at the end of Q3-02 totaled a record 54.9 million, a sequential increase of 5.2 million users and a 46% increase over the 37.6 million users reported at the end of Q3-01.

Based on Q3-02 annualized GMS, eBay now has five categories that generate more than $1 billion in worldwide GMS: eBay Motors at $3.8 billion, Computers at $1.6 billion, Consumer Electronics at $1.4 billion, Books/Movies/Music at $1.2 billion and Sports at $1.0 billion.

Nearly 37,000 sellers on eBay.com and 14,000 sellers internationally, are currently taking advantage of the enhanced merchandising capabilities of eBay Stores.

During Q3-02, PayPal users generated $1.79 billion in Total Payment Volume, representing a 93% increase from the $925 million generated in Q3-01. PayPal net revenues totaled $59.3 million, representing a 98% increase from Q3-01.

The release can be accessed from this page.

Big papers’ Q3 digital revenues up 27-32% versus last year

by henrycopeland
Thursday, October 17th, 2002

“Revenues for New York Times Digital increased 26.8 percent in the third quarter to $18.2 million from $14.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenues improved as a result of stronger online advertising, especially in the technology, finance and travel categories. Advertising renewal rates were strong and new advertising formats continued to attract increasing advertiser interest. Overall online classified advertising rose with particular strength in real estate and autos. Operating profit was $2.8 million in the third quarter compared with $0.8 million in the year-ago quarter, primarily resulting from an increase in revenues.” Also, see color here.

And at Tribune Company, parent to the LATimes, Chicago Tribune and others, digital revenues were up 32% over the same quarter last year. “Third quarter revenue growth was due primarily to higher classified revenues: recruitment was up 31 percent, auto rose 30 percent and real estate increased 37 percent,” the company said in a press release. Print classifieds continued to slump, down 3 percent versus last year. “Help wanted revenue for the group was down 20 percent.” (Via LAExaminer.)

Paid listings and the little guy

by henrycopeland
Thursday, October 17th, 2002

Andrea Orr: “Take out the contribution from Overture and Yahoo’s other advertising revenue was flat to down. Yahoo said that the addition of paid listings helped it attract a host of small and medium-sized businesses that don’t have the budget to buy expensive banner ads. Even as the rates go up, paid listings remain comparatively cheap.”

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