Articles of the Day


Tribune Q2 Revs Fall 5.7 Percent; Takes Huge Loss On Writedown; Interactive Down — Privately held Tribune isn’t bucking any industry trends… The Sam Zell-owned company has reported Q2 revenue of $1.1 billion, down 5.7 percent from $1.17 billion in the year ago quarter. The company took a $3.8 billion, after-tax, non-cash charge, associated with the 2000 acquisition of Times Mirror—the charge is in keeping with writedowns across the industry, associated with acquisitions in the past few years. Op cash flow fell 2 percent to $221 million. Publishing revenue was particularly hard hit, falling 11 percent to $701 million. All the usual ad categories were hit hard, as were interactive revenues, which fell 4 percent, or $2 million (meaning a total of $48 million). Weakness in online classifieds contributed to the decline. The broadcasting business managed to hold up, growing 4 percent to $409 million—that’s pretty solid compared to the horrendous results at some broadcasters this quarter.

Aiming At BtoB, NYTimes.com Rolls Out Business, Tech Sub-sections; Handful Of Hires — NYTimes.com has been quietly rolling out a series of sub-sections this month, in hopes of attracting more B-to-B advertisers. By mid-September, new sub-sections will be added to the toolbars of both the Business and Technology channels, including Green Business and Enterprise Technology, respectively. Others will be added throughout the rest of the year. The rollout is also designed to blunt the challenge from WSJ, as the News Corp.-owned paper has expanded its coverage to go head-to-head with NYT on general news. I spoke with NYTimes.com GM Vivian Schiller about the new sub-sections and how they fit in with its goals to have more targeted content and ads during an increasingly difficult time for the newspaper business. To support the expansion, Schiller says the paper has hired a handful of reporters from WSJ, Dow Jones, WaPo, The Economist, Financial Times, and others, with more to come.

eBay Negotiating Minority Stake in South Korea’s GMarket — eBay is in talks to acquire a minority stake in GMarket, a South Korean online auctioneer. The talks are with Interpark Corp., the Korean portal that owns 37 percent of the company. A spokesperson from eBay told AP that there was no certainty a deal would be reached or that it would be approved by South Korean regulators—eBay already owns a South Korean competitor, the aptly named Internet Auction. No deal terms have been announced, although shares of NASDAQ-listed GMarket shot up over 14 percent on the news. In 2006, Yahoo took a 10 percent stake in GMarket, so they’re a beneficiary of this as well.

Google Shuts Feedburner Ad Net; Publishers Offered AdSense For Feeds Instead — RSS distributor FeedBurner has shut down its FeedBurner Ad Network, according to a report on Search Roundtable. Calls to Feedburner and Google, which bought the company for about $100 in June 2007, weren’t returned. A note attributed to Matt S. (possibly Matt Shobe, Feedburner’s co-founder and CDO) on the Feedburner Help Group said that no new applications for FAN publishers are being accepted. The note also encouraged publishers to seek similar options through AdSense, touting the new AdSense for Feeds product, which is powered by FeedBurner.

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