Archive for Washington Post

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2008 by Dave Liu

Comcast Interested In Acquisitions For All Business Units — Comcast, a cable operator in Philadelphia, is interested in M&A for all its business units, said Chief Financial Officer Michael Angelakis at a recent conference. Pundits speculated that M&A may grind to a halt as companies grapple with valuations in today’s market, but when Comcast is ready to acquire again, its priorities are likely to be digital video content and technologies, they said. An industry banker said Comcast has to think about what good a cable system will be if all content is delivered ubiquitously over the Internet. He named three privately held potential targets, Brightcove, Veoh Networks and VideoEgg. Brightcove, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is an interesting company gaining attention in the industry, the banker said. It manages, publishes and distributes content, and Comcast currently does not own the technology to do that. Brightcove did not return phone calls for comment. Brightcove has received USD 81m in venture financing. Source: mergermarket.

Wall Street Grows Bearish On Online Ad Market, J.P.Morgan Slashes Outlook For Second Time In Two Months Citing a pronounced weakening in market conditions in recent weeks, the influential Wall Street equities research team at J.P.Morgan has reduced its online advertising forecast for the second time in two months. Emphasizing that it hoped it was the last downgrade it would be making for a while, the analysts issued an advisory to investors attributing the downgrade to “further economic deterioration” that is weakening demand from online advertisers.

MySpace and MTV Networks Tie Up on Videos, Ads; Auto ID of Clips — MySpace is following YouTube in trying to identify uploaded clips and then insert ads in them: it is starting with one media company first, MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA), and will likely add other media companies later. For now, when users upload clips of any MTVN shows including popular clips from Daily Show or Colbert Show, it will identify those clips automatically and insert ads, both video and overlays. The company is using technology from a seven-year old tech TV fingerprinting firm Auditude. Interestingly, Auditude’s CEO is Adam Cahan, former EVP of strategy at MTVN…he joined the startup a year ago. MySpace already uses similar ID technology from Audible Magic, but Auditude takes it a step further as ads can be inserted into the uploaded premium content. YouTube has a similar ID and ad insertion system called Video ID.

AOL BlackVoices Adds Male-Focused Blog — AOL’s BlackVoices channel has started BV Power List, a new blog that offers men tips on how to succeed in all aspects of their lives. A key feature is the editors’ weekly picks of five leading African-American influencers. The first Power List includes Barack Obama, Tyra Banks, Tyler Perry, Magic Johnson and Mellody Hobson.

Global Budgets To Boost Online Advertising — Despite advertisers’ cuts to traditional media budgets and a slowdown in the rate of growth, the total dollars spent on Internet advertising will continue to increase, according to a report from the Rubicon Project to be released today. The report suggests that millions of dollars are being shifted from traditional advertising budgets into online, and that Web advertising has become a global industry that is less subject to any one country’s economy.

Scripps Overhauls Web Ads; BusinessTargets Get Smaller, More Local — EW Scripps, one of the rare newspaper publishers to report negative interactive ad revenues in Q2, is trying a quick turnaround. NYT has an overview of the Cincinnati-based company’s plans, including altering the commission structure for online ads, reducing the reliance on convergent print/web ad sales and expanding its universe of advertisers to smaller and more local marketers. In addition, Scripps is counting on Yahoo’s new APT ad delivery and targeting system to boost revs, which slumped 8 percent in Q2. The company reports Q3 earnings Friday. The four-year goal: If all goes as Rusty Coats, VP for interactive, projects, Scripps will sell enough ads to support the staff and costs of the print and online newsrooms by 2012—all without the job cuts that have become a near daily occurrence in the newspaper industry. In order for online to start producing more revenue, Scripps believes the incentives have to change for online ads.

WaPo Profits Plummet 85.8 Percent; Online Revs Grow 13 Percent — The newspaper business has been suffering for a while, and that’s the part that pulled down The Washington Post (NYSE: WPO) Company’s Q3 earnings, as the more profitable education and cable TV units failed to offset print losses. Year-over-year, net income fell 85.8 percent to $10.3 million ($1.08 per share) from Q307’s $72.5 million ($7.60 per share). The newspaper company also said operating income declined 63.5 percent in the quarter to $40.3 million from $110.5 million from last year on a $59.7 million goodwill impairment charge and $12.5 million in accelerated depreciation at The Washington Post.

Digital Media M&A

Posted in Deals, Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2008 by Dave Liu

Revolution Health, Waterfront Media Plan Merger To Compete With WebMD — Reports of this possibility first surfaced last month and now it’s done … Steve Case’s ambitious Revolution Health Network will merge with Waterfront Media in a deal the parties value at $300 million, according to the New York Times. Revolution’s sites will be absorbed into Waterfront’s Everyday Health Network but will remain. Case will join the board while Benjamin Wolin remains CEO of Waterfront Media, with Revolution as a “major investor” in the expanded Waterfront Media and its 24 sites. Case will continue to head parent company Revolution LLC “and will continue to be involved with health companies.”

Sony Has It All Now: Acquisition Of Bertelsmann’s 50 Percent Stake In Sony BMG Done, BMG Dropped — The second-largest record company in the world is now all Sony’s. As announced in August, Bertelsmann’s 50 percent stake in Sony BMG has been acquired by Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE). The former joint venture is now being renamed Sony Music Entertainment – a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corp. of America. The purchase values the company at nearly $1.8 billion, according to WSJ. Record labels Arista, Columbia, Epic, J, Jive and RCA all fall under the Sony umbrella, which holds contracts with artists such as Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and Usher.

Morningstar Biz News Site Buying Investors Database For $19 Million — Investment research firm Morningstar is buying Fundamental Data Limited, a UK provider of online information about so-called “closed-end funds”, a type of of investment scheme, for £11 million. Fundamental’s products include the web-based dashboard FundWeb and info feeds, offered to investment banks, brokers etc. Morningstar, whose CEO Joe Mansueto later bought Inc and Fast Company magazines, also publishes information to financial professionals, tracking 280,000 investments; its UK site has a tenth of that plus company and executive biographies.

Washington Post Company Buys Foreign Policy Magazine — The Washington Post Company isn’t just an for-profit education company, as it’s still making moves to bolster the media side. Today it announced the acquisition of Foreign Policy magazine, along with its website The bi-monthly glossy, which was originally founded in 1970, will become part of the Slate group, and the plan is for former WaPo foreign affairs editor Susan Glasser to edit the magazine. The magazine claims circulation of 100,000 and it notes that its website is “fast growing,” though no numbers were given out. Terms of the deal weren’t announced, and it’s not clear what Foreign Policy’s financials look like. But it might be a good guess that highbrow, almost-academic, long-form writing on foreign policy might be less exposed to some of the brutal forces impacting the magazine industry.