Tag Archive: Rupert Murdoch


Tired of screaming talking heads?

Are you just done … with polemics?

Want real news that is more than 24-7-365 bashing of Donald Trump?

How about real-time information, which is 100 percent relevant to at least 54 percent of Americans who constitute the nation’s “investor class”?

Digging deeper one finds that 73 percent of those with bachelor’s degrees and above, and 83 percent of master’s degrees and above, own publicly traded company shares or stock-based mutual funds … many in employer 401K plans or IRAs.

Buy Low, Sell High!

With all of these stats in mind, Almost DailyBrett welcomes you to the best network on television: CNBC.

What ever happened to critics who proclaimed that around-the-clock Wall Street market coverage would never work?

They are the same naysayers who proclaimed that 24/7/365 sports wouldn’t fly when ESPN was launched in 1979.

How did either of these forecasts work out?

Just as ESPN’s proven business model fostered a plethora of imitators (i.e., Fox Sports, CBS Sports, NBC Sports Network), the same is true with CNBC, born in 1989.

Two years later, CNBC’s parent acquired Financial New Network. There was obviously moola to be made from those who care about global markets, particularly their NYSE and NASDAQ investments.

Never-shy-about-about-exploiting-an-opportunity, Rupert Murdoch, debuted CNBC’s major competitor Fox Business in 2007, including raiding CNBC for proven on-air talent (i.e., Maria “The Money Honey” Bartiromo, Neil Cavuto, Liz Claman …).

Fox Business now leads in the Nielsen Ratings for cable business networks, just as Fox News is on top for cable news channels.

Almost DailyBrett believes that competition makes everyone better, and contends that CNBC can take full advantage of the opportunity that comes from adversity.

Can’t Quantify PR?

Working for the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) in the mid-1990s, your author as director of communications was interviewed each month on the chip industry’s book-to-bill ratio … or what is the relationship between the booked orders and the already billed orders.

One always wanted the former to be higher than the latter.

As a director of Corporate Public Relations for LSI Logic, Almost DailyBrett booked our CEO Wilf Corrigan on CNBC whenever we had good news to report, provided the markets were open and trading.

One particular time our stock was trading at $86 per share when the interview began. Three-or-more minutes later (an eternity on television), LSI Logic shares had jumped to $89 per share or x-millions more in market capitalization (number of shares x stock price)

And who says, you cannot quantify effective public relations?

The direction of a company’s shares can head to the north, but to the south as well, thus resulting in the term for a stock being a volatile, “Dow Joneser.”

Recently saw a sell-side analyst explaining on CNBC why he downgraded Nike from a buy to a hold with a lower sales target … the stock sold off during the interview. That is the awesome power of an analyst being interviewed on a financial news network.

Almost DailyBrett contends from years as a loyal viewer that CNBC covers real news: What’s happening with global markets, consumer spending, newest gadgets and gizmos, trade wars, Brexit, Federal Reserve rate hikes or cuts/quantitative tightening or quantitative easing ….

Is CNBC perfect? Far from it. Yours truly rolls his eyes whenever yet another report focuses on East Coast dino-tech legends General Electric (GE) or Itty Bitty Machines (IBM). The former is Sears in drag, and the latter is just a few steps further back on the same bridge to nowhere.

Having said that, there is a healthy consistency that comes from Bob Pisani from the floor of the NYSE and Bertha Coombs from the NASDAQ.

Who can avoid smiling when Jim Cramer is throwing bulls and bears on “Mad Money?” David Faber (a.k.a. “The Brain) is always solid with his reporting.

Carl Quintanilla, Morgan Brennan and John Fortt are especially credible with the coverage of technology to start the day. Wilfred Frost and Sara Eisen put a capper on the trading day by hosting “Closing Bell” with Michael Santoli providing analysis of the just competed trading day.

If you want wall-to-wall about what is wrong with the relationship between Donald and Nancy, there are networks, which can provide you with all the gory details on a 24/7/365 basis. Go for it.

And if you can’t wait for another update on the no talent Kardashian family, CNBC is not your cup of tea … and never will be. Thank the good Lord.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/211052/stock-ownership-down-among-older-higher-income.aspx

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-amount-of-americans-not-saving-for-retirement-is-even-worse-than-you-thought-2017-02-21

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/08/business/economy/stocks-economy.html

https://www.cnbc.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CNBC

https://www.forbes.com/sites/markjoyella/2018/10/02/lou-dobbs-maria-bartiromo-lead-fox-business-to-big-ratings-win/#4e449fd924bf

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2018/12/20/how-fox-news-keeps-on-winning-the-ratings-war/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes.” – President Donald Trump interview With the New York Times

Is there a difference between Journalism as a profession, and Journalism as a business?

And when push comes to shove, which side wins?

According to research firm mediaQuant,  Trump received a record advertising equivalent of $4.96 billion in earned media coverage from legacy/digital pubs/networks during the course of his campaign compared to $3.24 billion for Hillary Clinton.

That’s a $1.72 billion delta in favor of Trump-the-entertainer-turned-president for those scoring at home.

Four years earlier, Barack Obama garnered $1.1 billion in advertising equivalent coverage even with the bully pulpit of the White House. His challenger Mitt Romney generated only $700 million in earned media.

Almost DailyBrett must humbly ask: Does the media have a vested interest in Trump’s presidency, even though the vast majority of reporters, editors, pundits and correspondents detest him?

 

The Journalism as a Profession crowd waxes nostalgic about the Jeffersonian quote: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

And yet Trump is catnip for reporters, editors, pundits and correspondents. They may grind their collective teeth, particularly because of his usurpation of Agenda Setting with his in-your-face comments, immediate rejoinders, and nocturnal tweets.

The Journalism as a Business side reflects the obvious fact that Disney runs ABC News; Comcast operates NBC and MSNBC; Viacom manages CBS; Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox is the patriarch of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News; and CNN is the property of Time Warner.

These elite media are all run by publicly traded companies with corresponding fiduciary obligations to their shareholders: NASDAQ: CMCSA (NBC and MSNBC); NYSE: DIS (ABC), NASDAQ: FOXA (Fox News and Wall Street Journal); NYSE: NYT (New York Times); NYSE: TWX (CNN), and NASDAQ: VIAB (CBS).

Does the Trump outrage du jour feed a greater public interest in news and politics, thus driving up coverage, ratings, impressions and most of all, legal tender?

You bet ya.

Elite Media For Trump in 2020?

“So they (elite media) basically have to let me win. And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, ‘Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump.’ O.K.” – Donald Trump in the same New York Times interview

The talking heads on Meet the Depressed, Deface the Nation, This Week, let alone the partisans on CNN and MSNBC, will categorically deny they have a vested financial interest in Donald Trump’s ascendancy.

Deep down they want to bring him down to a crashing end (similar to Nixon in 1974) and provide wall-to-wall interpretive coverage of the carnage.

The result 43 years ago was Gerald Ford. The outcome this year would be Mike Pence. The “Bleeds It Leads” culture can tolerate virtually anything, except boredom.

Donald Trump provides the legacy and digital media outlets with unprecedented 24-7-365 outrage.  They are pontificating, bloviating and expecting only the worst from the Donald. Consider the projection from the “economist” below:

“If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.” – New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, the day after Trump’s victory.

In 2017, the benchmark S&P 500 finished up 22.46 percent; The Dow Jones, increased 25.08 percent and the tech/life sciences NASDAQ advanced, 27.09 percent.

Want to take along Krugman to Vegas?

More to the point” Wanna bet that all publicly traded media companies, owning America’s elite media, also recorded positive years benefitting their shareholders?

To top it off, their respective corporate tax rates were reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent as of yesterday.

And best of all for elite media, there is little doubt that Trump will continue to be “good copy” for months and years to come.

Is Donald Trump the gift that keeps on giving?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/28/us/politics/trump-interview-mueller-russia-china-north-korea.html

https://www.thestreet.com/story/13896916/1/donald-trump-rode-5-billion-in-free-media-to-the-white-house.html

https://www.mediaquant.net/2016/11/a-media-post-mortem-on-the-2016-presidential-election/

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/12/28/2018-america-new-year-economy-everything-is-awesome-216159

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/fiduciary-responsibility-vs-corporate-social-responsibility/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/has-the-media-reached-the-point-that-it-can-never-cover-trump-fairly/

“I did not defend Roger Ailes nor did I condemn him. I just stated what I knew or did not know. Period.” – Fox News host Greta Van Susteren

“Van Susteren was behaving just as the Roger Ailes Fox News would have her behave, as a loyal knee-jerker who gets out in front of the evidence.” – Erik Wemple, Washington Post media bloggergreta

What happens when you don’t do the bidding of elite media?

What happens when you don’t follow a bully’s pre-ordained script?

What happens when you stick to your guns?

The same thing when a small child doesn’t get his or her way.

Speaking about bullies, everyone knows that former Fox News boss Roger Ailes was tough, boorish and the evidence overwhelmingly points to, a big league sexual harasser as well.

He is now advising Donald Trump’s sinking campaign as it heads to the bottom of the political ocean.

Will Hillary score more than 300 or more than 400 electoral votes? Almost DailyBrett will take the over, thus completing as Charles Krauthammer calls it, “The Clinton Restoration.”

Back to Fox News:

Ailes became a juicy, meaty target for the media elites because of his biggest sin, breaking up the media cartel aligned with not a specific party, but a uniform left-of-center ideology. The masthead of the New York Times and the personas of Dan Rather and Brian Williams all serve as poster children for what the Washington Community wants the nation’s media to be.

Damn Fox News and its No. 1 cable news ratings.

One More Time …

“1/ I never heard of the sexual harassment allegations – no one ever came to me and said anything to me about it – not once;

“2/ I never saw it

“3/ It never happened to me

“and

“4/ I said that Gretchen Carlson was unhappy when she was at Fox News (she told me that a few years back when we both happened to be in London covering the same story but never said it was sexual harassment.)

“What I said above was true when I said it …and it is true now.

“In the meantime, all sorts of motives and intentions have been assigned to me.

“I did not defend Roger Ailes nor did I condemn him. I just stated what I knew or did not know.  Period.”ailesgretchen

Lightning-rod personalities, such as Ailes, need to keep their noses clean and their zippers fastened. The alternative is akin to spreading blood in the water for the thrashing, gnashing carnivorous Schadenfreude-seeking media sharks.

Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson lost her show at the cable network. She later filed a sexual harassment suit against Ailes, and other women followed with their own legal actions. It was time for Ailes to go and Fox News is better for it.

Did the story end there? Of course not.

What did the major personalities at Fox News, particularly those of the feminine persuasion think of Ailes? Wemple said that Greta repeated her consistent assertion in her “fabulous” (Wemple sarcastic adjective) blog.

He then ripped her for repeating what she saw and experienced and what she did not see and experience, nothing more and nothing less.

But what happens when your recollections and statements do not jive with the pre-conceived elite media narrative?

As a former gubernatorial press secretary, trade association and corporate spokesman, who has probably been quoted in print and broadcast hundreds and hundreds of times, the author of Almost DailyBrett has been urged and coaxed by media types to agree and support a certain narrative, which makes for a better story. Sometimes they even ask questions with super-charged words, enticing you to repeat these words on-the-record.

The only problem with this approach is you don’t work for the media. You are obliged to tell the truth as you know it, not to make some reporter, editor, correspondent happy. And if you do not know the answer, you say exactly that.

Some reporters even threatened to ensure my boss, the governor of California, would not be re-elected … even after he was … re-elected in a landslide.

Greta’s consistent comments go against the media grain about Ailes, and quite frankly it pisses them off and some are throwing a fit.

Sorry the notion that everything left-of-center is good and all right-of-center is bad is too simplistic, and reality bites sometimes.

The media monopoly is permanently broken, and Ailes and by extension, Rupert Murdoch, will be forever vilified for that. Deep down inside that may be a bigger sin with the majority of the media than sexual harassment.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2016/08/26/the-crisis-of-morality-at-fox-news/?utm_term=.127d75f67629&wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

http://gretawire.foxnewsinsider.com/2016/07/28/lets-get-something-straight-3/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-bribery-standard/2016/08/25/958e4eb6-6ae8-11e6-ba32-5a4bf5aad4fa_story.html?utm_term=.82cf521da487&wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

http://www.foxnews.com/person/v/greta-van-susteren.html

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/07/six-more-women-allege-ailes-sexual-harassment.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/former-fox-host-gretchen-carlson-settles-sexual-harassment-lawsuit-against-roger-ailes-for-20-million/2016/09/06/f1718310-7434-11e6-be4f-3f42f2e5a49e_story.html?wpisrc=nl_evening&wpmm=1

 

 

 

 

There has been ample criticism about the mere existence of “Fair and Balanced” Fox News since Rupert Murdoch debuted the new network in 1996.

Today, Fox is the undisputed cable leader, easily beating Melba toast CNN and left-oriented MSNBC by wide margins according to the A.C. Nielsen ratings for 50-consecutive quarters.

foxblondes

To provide  balance, Almost DailyBrett needs to point out that all cable news networks, similar to the Big Three networks of ABC, NBC and CBS, are being duly impacted by the greater choices of content associated with Web 2.0 or social, mobile and cloud.

Despite the overall decline, Fox remains numero uno and shows no signs of going away. Fox News president Roger Ailes knows a thing or two about supply and demand.

To the vast majority of center-right Americans, the perception rightly or wrongly was U.S. legacy media (e.g., NYT, Wash Post, Big Three Networks) tilts left of center, reflecting an east of the Hudson River mindset. There was a void to be filled, a different network that would indeed play in Peoria … Fox News.

Media Monopoly Broken

There is little doubt that Fox News leans right during its prime-time hours, particularly Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, less so with Greta Van Susteren. During daytime and early evening news hours, Fox will state ex-cathedra that it is fair and balanced.

The reaction during the past 18 years to the loss of total hegemony, when it comes to a particular philosophy setting the agenda, has been varied from feigned indifference, to charges and allegations, to announced boycotts, to playing along because of Fox’s impressive ratings, to attacking the demographics of the audience, and recently to mocking the hair color of Fox News’ female talent.

Employing the Kübler-Ross model for the five stages of grief, one could conclude that those lamenting the loss of media monopoly, have moved from anger, denial, bargaining, depression, but are still short of total acceptance.

In some respects Fox News is the Israel of American cable television. Fox has occupied a geographic position once commanded by the Dan Rathers, Tom Brokaws and Brian Williams’ of the world, and not only does it refuse to budge … the network is getting stronger.

And now the same crowd that celebrates broken glass ceilings and decries a “War on Women” seems to be resorting to chiding nine (or more) very talented women commentators on Fox, who also happen to be attractive and blonde.

Rock Center with Brian Williams

Come to think of it, what color is Chelsea Clinton’s hair? Yes, the question pertains to the very same Chelsea who “reports” for NBC News for 600K annually. No one seems to complain about the hue of her locks, but of course her mother is running …

Blondes, Brunettes and Redheads

What is it with our society that when we are referring to hair color we are only referencing the fairer gender? Do we care that George Clooney is a brunette, Brad Pitt is blonde and “Die Hard” Bruce Willis is follicly challenged?

Seems silly to even ask the question.

Switching gears, hair color is a differentiator when the subject comes to women. And then comes the viral stereotypical photo of nine Fox blonde women with a thinly veiled charge that each of them is one taco short of a combination.

One blogger wrote (not me): “The women on Fox, whether they be anchors or guests, are quite different from the women found on other news channels. They wear a lot more make-up. They are a lot more, shall we say, blonde.

“This holds true as well for their behavior, especially when interacting with men at Fox News. There’s a very strange dynamic at work between the men and women of Fox News. The women laugh, giggle, and say silly things. The male host condescends and says that the women are wrong.”

Women wear “make-up, laugh, giggle and say silly things”?

Almost DailyBrett did NOT write that and NEVER will write sexist commentary.

The critics seem to suggest that Fox is somehow objectifying attractive, bright, competent and blonde women by hiring them and putting them on the air. What happened to the notion of breaking through patriarchy’s glass ceiling?

Or maybe the issue here goes beyond the loss of a media monopoly. Could these women working for a center-right network telegraph something more significant, the potential loss of women as always reliable and dependable voters?  What would happen if the “gender gap” closes and disappears?

Maybe we should be saluting these women for what’s in-between their ears and not commenting on the color of the locks on their respective heads. And let’s drop the sexist commentary. If a woman is good enough to work for Fox, CNN, MSNBC or even the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams let’s salute them and hope they all make as much as Chelsea.

Heck one of them may be president someday, and even she may draw silly charges based upon her make-up and hair color.

http://my.firedoglake.com/inoljt/tag/fox-news/

http://www.foxnews.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fox_News_Channel

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/01/q2-cable-news-ratings-msnbc-cnn-fox_n_5548836.html

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/q2-2014-cable-news-ratings-fox-news-hits-50th-straight-quarter-at-1/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Ailes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model

 

 

“Isn’t that kind of crazy? … Almost one in 20 bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2011-12 was in communications/journalism. Why? I have no idea. Probably not because of the hot job prospects.” – Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post

How analog can you be?

missouri

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of college students taking Communications, Journalism and related programs (e.g., public relations and advertising) has quadrupled from 1.2 percent in the 1970-71 academic year to 4.7 percent in the 2011-2012 academic year. That result even exceeds the percentage increase of students taking business, 13.7 in 1970-71 to 20 percent in 2011-12, and is headed in the other direction compared to those pursuing education degrees, 21 percent in 1970-71 to 5.9 percent three years ago. Yikes!

Mizz Rampell and others with similar sentiments must be wondering what is wrong with these journalism/communications students. Don’t they know that the Internet is killing legacy media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, radio and television)? For example, the Washington Post published Newsweek since the Earth cooled. The planet is still here, but Newsweek for all intents and purposes is long gone, hanging on in digital format.

Yes, I still have trouble sleeping at night.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is no more. The Rocky Mountain News is deceased. The Oregonian has been reduced to a tab. There is example-after-example of the destructive technological force of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Right, Borders? Ready to say ‘goodbye,’ Barnes and Noble?

Even college newspapers are feeling the Internet pressure as the 137-year old Columbia Daily Spectator of Ivy League Columbia University will go from daily to weekly starting this coming fall.

The trend is unmistakable.

And yet more students are enrolling in professional J-Schools 

As an incoming tenure-track assistant professor at Central Washington University and an incorrigible optimist, your author of Almost DailyBrett salutes the students who defy conventional thinking. Their collective thoughts are not to the past or even the present, but focused squarely on the future.

According to the 11th edition of Public Relations Strategies and Tactics, the projections are for 3 billion Internet users worldwide in 2016, more than 40 percent of the world population. Almost 70 percent of the US population will use smartphones in just three years. We send and receive more than 6 billion text messages each day, and about 2.8 million emails are sent every second.

socialmedia1

These numbers are staggering and the pace is increasing.

Why are all of these people on the Internet? Why have 1.1 billion subscribed to Facebook (founded 10 years ago), making its audience the third largest ‘nation’ in the world?

Twitter has 500 million (2006), posting 340 million ‘tweets’ every day.

LinkedIn (2003) reportedly has 259 million members, using the social media site to network and establish ‘connections’ with hiring managers and sales leads. LinkedIn is the social media site of choice for executive recruiters.

All of these impressive stats point to a world in which the demand for breaking news and information has never been greater. The laws of supply and demand do not go away just because we have a relatively new disruptive technology. In fact, the demand exceeds the supply, particularly online…for now.

$5 billion for the Wall Street Journal? 

Rupert Murdoch may not be a hero in all Journalism schools, but he is nobody’s fool. Okay, he shouldn’t have purchased constantly declining Myspace for $580 million in 2005, but not every Rembrandt is a masterpiece.WSJ

In purchasing the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, Murdoch acquired not only the largest newspaper on the planet, but more importantly the number one brand for news and information about global markets for growing investor classes. The WSJ has also proved that pay-for-online content works as more than 900,000 digitally subscribe to the Journal. We should also not lose sight of the acquisition by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos of the Washington Post for $250 million.

So newspapers are not dead overall, at least the big hitters. Newspapers with globally recognizable mastheads and reputable brands will always be in demand, more so in digital format as the years progress.

And just as important is the advent of digital news services. Ever heard of TMZ (The Thirty-Mile Zone)? Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers (Or should we say, formerly of the Los Angeles Clippers) knows all about TMZ. The digital news service broke the story of his racist tendencies and led to his downfall.

The names Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Mashable, Gawker, POLITICO, Drudge Report, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Daily Kos, Red State, Real Clear Politics, Silicon Valley Watcher may not be household names…yet. Some will succeed. Some will not. Having said that, they all have the mission to meet the insatiable demand for news and information around the world through the magic of binary code or the digital ones-and-zeroes.

digitalnewsservices

And just think they need editors, reporters and correspondents.

They need the information provided by public relations professionals.

They are an increasingly lucrative outlet for advertisements aimed at target audiences.

Maybe these students who are seeking degrees in journalism, public relations, advertising aren’t so crazy after all. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/rampage/wp/2014/04/25/over-the-past-40-years-fewer-english-majors-but-more-journalism- majors/?wpisrc=nl%5Feve

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/2013menu_tables.asp

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/in-defense-of-journalism-education/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/why-newspapers-are-toast/

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/media/story/2012-04-22/college-newspapers/54630566/1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinkedIn

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myspace

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wall_Street_Journal

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/washington-post-closes-sale-to-amazon-founder-jeff-bezos/2013/10/01/fca3b16a-2acf-11e3-97a3-ff2758228523_story.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

woodwardbernstein

All reporters and editors should be treated equally. Right?

In theory, this egalitarian approach is the correct way to go.

As PR flacks increase their 3.6-1 ratio lead over the ever-dwindling number of media types, it makes sense to treat every remaining reporter/editor fairly and justly.

After all, every reporter and editor is always fair and just to your organization, your chief executive and your cause. Right?

And most of all, every media outlet is created equal. Right?

You know the answer to that particular question.

There are two undeniable truths as it applies to the flack/media divide; one is time-tested and the other is relatively new:

1.) The media always needs fresh news and information to thrive and in the majority of cases that manna from Heaven comes from the public relations industry. This uncomfortable media fact is compounded by the competitive need to be first and conversely by the aversion to being “scooped” or worse, “burned” on a story.

2.) The media “gate keepers” no longer make the rules for access to target audiences and therefore can’t exclusively set the agenda. The ones and zeroes of the binary code ended this dominance and put self-publishing tools in the hands of the PR story tellers, and the good ones are using them.

Even though the media is rapidly changing in a mostly kicking-and-screaming fashion, there is still this mostly true axiom: Both flacks and reporters/editors are antagonists. They need each other as the former is a source of news and information and the latter conveys this same news and information to target audiences.

It’s called earned media (public relations) as opposed to advertising (paid media).

This relationship for decades has been unbalanced with the media serving as the “gatekeepers,” vetting news and information, and essentially deciding what is transmitted to the public. And with this hegemony (and inevitably arrogance) comes the notion that the media sets the agenda for the conversation, resulting in the flack “story tellers” gnashing their collective teeth.

If a tree falls in the forest, and the New York Times chooses not to cover it, did it make any sound? Nope.

And what happens when the media agenda and the flack story telling collide? There is friction, anxiety and related unpleasantness.

The flack may be tempted to go “over the head” of the reporter and to complain to her or his editor. Can you think of a better way to do a huge favor for the reporter? Talk about a red badge of courage.

Or the flack may do something more sinister: Leak a juicy story to a reporter/editor competitor, causing a burning sensation. Of course, a PR person would never admit to such a dastardly deed, but I understand this happens from time-to-time.

Sometimes the selective disclosure of material information to one media organization as opposed to another is done on purpose, and the SEC will not impose fines. Heard frequently in the Silicon Valley is, “Let’s give this story to the Journal…” The flacks in question are referring to the Wall Street Journal.

Some may think that print is dead, and for the most part it is. Didn’t the rocket scientists at the New York Times that bought the Boston Globe for $1.1 billion two decades ago, just sell the same newspaper to the owner of the Boston Red Sox for $70 million? Talk about buying high and selling low.

Also consider that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos just purchased the Washington Post for $250 million and Rupert Murdoch bought the Wall Street Journal for $5 billion six years ago. Both of these hombres are super smart, so you know they have no intention of eventually selling these rags for less than 10 cents on the dollar. They instead bought the mastheads, the brands and their respective print and more importantly, digital access points to the political/governmental community (Post) and the investor class (Journal).

WSJ

Therefore it makes sense for public relations professionals to “pre-brief” a supposedly dead media publication, the Journal. In fact, virtually everyone in Silicon Valley pre-briefs the Journal. What does that mean to reporters/editors of other publications? They don’t like it one little bit.

But what are they going to do about it?

About 10 years ago, I was toiling in the trenches as the head of corporate public relations for LSI Logic. We ran a $1 billion custom semiconductor fab (factory) in Gresham, Oregon, just immediately east of Portland. The big gorilla media for that market (at least at the time) was The Oregonian. We were good copy for the Oregonian.

LSI Logic entered into a nanotechnology development agreement with Massachusetts start-up Nantero. In turn, Nantero hired a New York PR firm to help put the firm on the map. The target publication was The New York Times and the heck with anyone else.

During a conference call with Nantero’s CEO on the line, I was asked by a Madison Avenue-type if we would help with the Gray Lady. Our answer was affirmative, but what about the beat reporter for The Oregonian.

“The Oregonian?…Who is the Oregonian?” the New York PR type contemptuously asked.

I reminded her that actual life existed due west of the Hudson River, and that my employer, LSI Logic, was not going to consciously “burn” the beat reporter for The Oregonian. We either brief both reporters with the same embargo or we don’t offer the story at all. She was shocked and appalled by my left-coast thinking.

We did it our way, which I am convinced to this day, was the right way.

Is the moral of this story that PR pros, despite the shifting landscape, should never play favorites with reporters/editors, thus setting up the possibility that someone else will be burned?

The answer is the practice will be…ah…practiced…but there are perils involved, particularly with local reporters who will be part of your daily life conceivably for years to come.

Do you want the benefit of the doubt, when you need the benefit of the doubt?

Caca happens.

And remember the profound words of Tip O’Neill: “All politics is local.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egalitarianism

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21583274-new-wave-press-barons-should-not-allow-newspapers-become-niche-products-keeping

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21583284-tycoons-keen-eye-bargain-are-buying-up-print-newspapers-chasing-paper-profits

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118589043953483378.html

http://www.nantero.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tip_O%27Neill

olbermann

Cats only have nine lives.

Keith Olbermann has used up at least seven of his lives on television, and here comes number eight.

After two decades-plus of suspensions, firings, tantrums and incendiary comments, Olbermann is now preparing for at least his eighth gig on national TV when he returns to ESPN2 to host “Olbermann” starting on August 26.

I can hardly wait.

If Las Vegas assigns an over/under wager for Olbermann making it one year at the Mother Ship, I will gladly take the “under.”

What is it with network and cable television in which they are bound-and-determined to recycle “personalities” that just simply won’t go away?

Apparently, there is some truth about the longevity legend of cockroaches.

The species has lasted 300-million years. They reportedly made it through Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They are survivors, reportedly because of their simple bodies and slower cell cycles.

You don’t want them around, but there they are. If you see one, you know instinctively there must be others. They spread diseases. They are nasty.

The same applies to commentators, particularly on television, who endure, survive, persevere and just plain refuse to be sent out to pasture for the benefit of man and womankind.

Geraldo Rivera will always be the guy who opened up Al Capone’s safe on nationwide television and found…a few empty bottles. And let’s not forget the 1980s era chair-swinging fights when Geraldo invited white supremacists to serve as his guests. He defined “trash” TV with quality programming about “Men in Lace Panties and the Women Who Love Them.”

He will be the guy who exposed the whereabouts of an US military unit in Iraq, violating the rules of an embedded “journalist.”

And yet, Roger Ailes hired him at Fox News. He is still there with the same 1970s-era moustache.

Just as the entire nation was simultaneously chanting “Shut Up Howard” to Howard Cosell on ABC’s Monday Night Football, many are switching the channel when Geraldo comes on the screen.

Lou Dobbs is another one whose time came and went…and yet he has returned to the scene.

His legendary arrogance, boorishness and nightly attacks on undocumented aliens and giving too much airtime and credibility to the “Birther” conspiracy crowd was just too much for CNN. How long did it take the network to show him the door? Too long.

And yet, he is a regular on Fox Business. As a former stock broker he knows the market and maybe that’s where he should concentrate his attention. A little contrition and modesty would not be a bad idea.

Fox News claims to be fair and balanced.

It would not make sense for the cable market leader to hire Olbermann because he is neither fair nor balanced.

Rupert Murdoch terminated Olbermann stating, “I fired him…He’s crazy.”

Is he still crazy after all these years?

If you are scoring at home, Olbermann has been suspended twice (ESPN, 1997; and MSNBC, 2010). He was fired twice (Fox Sports in 2001 and Current TV in 2012).

He wore an armband and gave the Nazi salute wearing a Bill O’Reilly mask at the 2006 Television Critics Association meeting, earning him a rebuke from the Anti-Defamation-League.

He referred to Bristol, Connecticut, the home of ESPN, as a “God forsaken place.”

And now ESPN, based in that same God forsaken place, is rehiring Olbermann? Go figure.

The litany of incidents partially listed above would make even Charlie Sheen blush.

Can public relations counsel influence Keith Olbermann?

Could effective PR help Lindsay Lohan?

There comes a time when the die is cast. Keith Olbermann can’t control Keith Olbermann. What makes anyone think that anyone else can control Keith Olbermann?

Am I rooting against Keith Olbermann? No. Would I hire Keith Olbermann? Hell, no. Will I be surprised to learn about the next in a long line of Olbermann suspensions, firings and tantrums? Of course not.

I just hope that he gets the professional help he so desperately needs.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/2013/07/17/espn-keith-olbermann-msnbc-sportscenter-/2524945/

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/official-olbermann-returns-espn-late-night-talk-article-1.1401205

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Olbermann

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/mythbusters/mythbusters-database/cockroaches-survive-nuclear-explosion.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geraldo_Rivera

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Dobbs

Some of us celebrate our diversity.

For decades we have used the metaphor “melting pot” to describe America.

California Governor Jerry Brown in his first go-around as the state’s chief executive even labeled the Golden State as a “mosaic” to describe the various ethnicities, creeds and orientations that populate the left coast state.

mosaic

And yet a mosaic is a series of pieces, separated by channels of grout. Each one is separate and distinct from the other. We may talk about diversity and mosaics, but in reality aren’t we really just part of the segments that comprise The Segmentation Society?

Can this realization be the root of our inability to come together for a common cause? And when we do (e.g., immediate aftermath of September 11), this camaraderie does not last long.

And if anything aren’t we championing the brilliance of those who make the most hay out of segments…err…demographics? Are you listening David Alexrod?

Barack Obama won a second term putting together a blue-state coalition that included so many  black, yellow, brown, young, secular, single-female mosaic pieces. The other chips of broken china need not apply.

Eight years earlier, George W. Bush won his own second term through the assembly of a red-state coalition that included so many white, brown, older, religious, married-female mosaic pieces. The other pieces were not necessary to complete the Electoral-College puzzle. Are you listening Karl Rove?

For the shrinking-in-influence news media, particularly those on cable television, the lucrative answer to The Segmentation Society has been to turn to the polemics.

The Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2013 report pointed to growing trend toward editorial rather than reportorial content. MSNBC on the left “leads” the way with 85 percent of its 2007-2012 content being opinion or commentary with only 15 percent being straight news. Fox News on the right devotes 55 percent of its airtime on opinion and commentary with 45 percent for hard news. CNN wins or loses (e.g. low Nielsen ratings) this contest with 46 percent opinion and commentary and 54 for news gathering.

oreilly

Amplifying the point, Pew reported that MSNBC owned by Comcast directed only $240 million for news gathering, while Fox News run by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation devotes the cable industry leading $820 million for reporting.

Fox News president Roger Ailes made the correct business decision that conservatives were an underserved segment and wanted a network that met their needs. Enter Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and on occasion, Bill O’Reilly.

MSNBC saw itself as the liberal counterweight to Fox News and bludgeons conservatives by means of the tender mercies of Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews and at one time, the fair and “balanced” Keith Olbermann.

Rachel%20Maddow%2008_grid-4x2

Elections are won picking up segments (demographics) and tossing them into the electoral shopping cart.

Networks reel in the dough as if it was manna from heaven by throwing editorial and commentary red meat to the true believers whether they be aligned with the left or the right. It really doesn’t matter as long as confiscatory advertising rates can be charged

To the public relations community, which according to Pew now has a 3.6 to 1.0 ratio “advantage” over the remaining journalists, the goal is to use conventional and digital means to reach the stakeholders…the targeted segments.

In choreographing a public relations campaign is the goal to identify the segment or to craft the message that appeals to the segment…or both?

Social media outlets with their trusty algorithms allow us to segment ourselves through our key strokes and send related ads to the right side of our Facebook page. Whether we like it or not (most would say “not”), we just pigeonholed ourselves.

And each time we pigeonhole ourselves, we place ourselves into an ever narrower portion of the pie or bar chart. We are individuals after all with our own particular DNA and cell structures.

This is all brings us back to the original point. Should we be celebrating diversity? Should we hold out that we can all come together for common good? Or should we realize that majority rule means using digital tools…the ones and zeroes of binary code…to reach those demographics, mosaic pieces, segments…that are most likely to buy the product or pull the lever?

It seems that train has already left that station, if you don’t mind one more metaphor.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2013/03/18/pew-study-finds-msnbc-the-most-opinionated-cable-news-channel-by-far/

http://stateofthemedia.org/2013/overview-5/

“I will never say in private, what I wouldn’t say in public.” – John Madden

For the past 10,220 days (give or take about three months or so), the sun has risen every morning in the Golden State and likewise the moon has been seen in the heavens in the evening. The birds have chirped. The bees have buzzed. The waves continued to crash on the beaches. Life has gone on…without assistance from the State of California for public broadcasting.

My former boss for eight years California Governor George Deukmejian used his veto pen more than 2,300 times in his two terms. One of those times was the total “zeroing out” of California Public Broadcasting in 1983. The state was broke, about $1.5 billion in the red. On top of that, the governor did not philosophically believe that the government should be in the business of subsidizing media…because subsidies come with strings attached. Sorry, there are no free lunches in life.

220px-George_Deukmejian_Official_Portrait_crop

A news conference was held in Sacramento to announce $1 billion in vetoes in his very first fiscal blueprint that actually balanced that budget. Included in that amount was all of the funding for California Public Broadcasting. The radio reporter for the California Public Broadcasting covering the event opened the budget book, saw the veto, rose from his desk, and stormed out of the Room 1190 (news conference room in the State Capitol in Sacramento). We had a first-rate public relations fire storm on our hands…but it didn’t last long.

Periodically reporters would bring up this issue with us, most not agreeing in the slightest. We would remind them that California was out of money and how the governor believed in a church and state-style separation when it comes to the media and government.

Which brings us to the very emotional subject of NPR, which has Charlie Sheen-style public relations problems that only intensified this week. Liberals love NPR because NPR is liberal. Conservatives detest NPR because NPR is liberal…err…progressive (whatever). But should NPR, which is taking $400 million or 12 percent of its funding from the federal government, be so unbalanced?

Liberals will instantly scream, “Well what about Fox News?” Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch, and receives no federal funding. Want to yell about Rush Limbaugh? The answer is essentially the same.

The biggest public relations blunder made by NPR was to be seen as so far out of the mainstream. They were safe as long as the economy was decent and Democrats were calling the shots in DC, but as we all know things change in politics and they can change quickly. The economy cratered, the federal government is horrifically in the red, and there is a whole posse of red state, Tea Party Republicans, now running the House of Representatives. Americans through their actions time-and-time again have proven that they prefer divided government.

The first blow came last October with the clumsy firing of NPR correspondent Juan Williams (who appears regularly on *gasp* Fox News) saying out loud what many Americans think in the aftermath of 9/11; many are very aware that Muslims are among the passengers on plane flights they are taking.

juanwilliams

And just this week, NPR’s chief fundraiser Ron Schiller was secretly videotaped during a meeting with the Muslim Education Action Center. As Russell Adams of the Wall Street Journal pointed out nobody at NPR, including Schiller, vetted the Muslim Education Action Center. The group does not exist, but served as a front for the secret videotaping.

The result was that Schiller was silent as the two potential $5 million Muslim contributors complained about how other media outlets were controlled by “Zionists” while NPR was not (Does silence constitute agreement?). NPR’s chief fundraiser proceeded to declare that NPR does not need the $400 million in federal support, completely undermining NPR’s lobbying effort. He then completely trashed the Republican Party and the Tea Party movement, labeling them as white, gun-toting “racists”…Did Mr. Schiller not appreciate who is running the House of Representatives and holding the purse strings for NPR?

Specifically, the Washington Post reported that Schiller said in the video about the Tea Party movement:  “They believe in sort of white, middle America, gun-toting – it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.” He also said NPR “would be better off in the long run without federal funding,” a statement most Republicans agree with.

John Madden, who was a football commentator on four major networks for 29 years, said once: “I will never say in private, what I wouldn’t say in public.” That is the best defense possible in the case of an ambush video tape job. And you know this ambush video technique, whether we like it or not, is going to be used again-and-again with technology making possible smaller cameras and more sensitive microphones. Politics is a contact sport indeed.

The net result was that NPR chief executive Vivian Schiller “resigned” Wednesday and the NPR Board accepted her resignation with “regret.” Read: She was pushed out of the job. (She is not related to Ron).

Now the big question is whether the GOP majority in the house will push NPR’s $400 million appropriation out of the budget. If it does, NPR will survive someway, somehow on donations and corporate contributions. Alas, there will be no $5 million donation from the Muslim Education Action Center. And just like California, the sun will rise in the morning across the fruited plain.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/10/AR2011031002032.html?wpisrc=nl_pmheadline

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/09/AR2011030901802.html?wpisrc=nl_pmheadline

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704132204576190344232339766.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/03/09/push-to-defund-public-broadcasting-heats-up/

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/February-federal-budget-apf-1010393433.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=main&asset=&ccode=

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/10/21/juan-williams-npr-fired-truth-muslim-garb-airplane-oreilly-ellen-weiss-bush/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Sheen

http://www.meactrust.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Madden_(American_football)

Johannes Gutenberg got into a fight with Gordon Moore … and lost.

Considering that the lifetimes of these two innovators, visionaries, inventors are separated by more than five centuries, Gutenberg’s loss is obviously figurative — but a defeat nonetheless.

gutenberg

As anyone even remotely familiar with the history of Journalism knows, Gutenberg is regarded as the first European to use moveable type in 1439 and is credited with the invention of the printing press. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Gutenberg

Conversely, Moore, one of the founders of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), is universally hailed in the technology world for “Moore’s Law.” In its simplest form, Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors that can be placed a piece of silicon real estate doubles every 18 months. This “law” has been 100 percent accurate since its inception in 1965 and in some respects has been even conservative. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Moore

Why are these two luminaries from completely different backgrounds and eras joined at the hip when it comes to a discussion of Journalism? The answer is that Gutenberg represents Journalism’s past and Moore, the industry’s future.

Gutenberg’s printing press led to dawn of modern Journalism and even the anachronistic labeling of the profession, known simply (and most likely, always) as “The Press.” Over time, printing presses enveloped the world, morning and evening papers were produced, delivered to doorsteps by an army of news carriers in dilapidated cars, Sting Ray bicycles or sold at downtown newsstands.

This high-cost (in many cases monopolistic) business model worked for decades and led to the development of some of the most famous mastheads on the planet. Even the Gray Lady each day offers, “All the News That’s Fit to Print.”

What happens when the day inevitably arrives that all the news (or at least the lion’s share) is no longer printed? That’s where Moore’s Law enters the equation.

moore

Moore’s Law essentially says that complexity and functionality increases every year-and-one-half. The tyranny and the serendipity of his theory is that each succeeding generation of devices — let alone breakthrough applications — are better, faster, smaller and consume less power.

As a result, the mainframe computer spelled the end to the IBM Selectric with its novel correcting tape. Mini-computers retired the mainframe. PCs and servers vanquished mini-computers. And the PCs started talking to each via millions of miles of fibre-optic networks or even wirelessly. And now Internet content (e.g. news, information, voice, data, video) is being delivered to tablets, cell phones and digital readers. What is the next Killer App? It’s out there.

Clay Shirky, 46, who teaches New Media at NYU, in his Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable takes issue with the kickers and screamers, trying desperately to cling onto a traditional newspaper business model that no-longer works. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_Shirky

“Round and round this goes, with the people committed to saving newspapers demanding to know, ‘If the old model is broken, what will work its place?’ To which the answer is: Nothing. Nothing will work. There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the Internet just broke.”

Essentially Shirky is saying that those who are refusing to confront the digital facts of life are, “demanding to be lied to. There are fewer and fewer people who can convincingly tell such a lie.”

If you apply Shirky’s commentary to those still clinging to the tried-and-true print journalism business model, you would say they are have already passed denial and are situated somewhere between anger and bargaining with depression and acceptance still to come. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisabeth_K%C3%BCbler-Ross

Some of the bargainers will even point to Rupert Murdoch’s $5 billion purchase of the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones news service in 2007 as an example that validates that the old business model lives on. Looking more closely, even this acquisition confirms that digital ones and zeroes are changing Journalism forever. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Murdoch

murdoch

Murdoch bought the globe’s largest newspaper, the industry’s most valued brand and with it, a record 1-million-plus paid Internet subscribers. He also acquired the publication most closely connected with the 95 million Americans constituting the “Investor Class” (and millions more international investors). The impressive growth in day traders and retail investors largely resulted from the invention of the Internet, the availability of online digital investing tools and the dot.com euphoria. Murdoch bought a brand. He bought an Internet savvy audience. And he tapped into the Investor class. He did not buy a printing press and an antiquated business model.

“Society doesn’t need newspapers,” Shirky concluded. “What we need is Journalism…When we shift our attention from ‘save newspapers’ to ‘save society,’ the imperative changes from ‘preserve the current institutions’ to ‘do whatever works.” And what works today isn’t the same as what used to work.”

So what works today? If you look at Journalism through a supply-and-demand prism, you can safely conclude that the demand for fair, complete and objective information is there and quite possibly has never been greater. The question comes down on one of supply; exactly how will this supply be provided to the public?

One answer comes in the form of 24-7-365 news networks, such as CNN, Fox News, BBC and others that can instantaneously cover any flash point in the world.  There is no such thing as the first edition “going to bed at 11 pm.” Another related response comes in the form of specialized around-the-clock broadcast networks, such as CNBC for global financial news, ESPN for sports, E for the Entertainment business, VH1 for music and the list is almost endless.

Some contended that the golden age of radio ended with the proliferation of television in the 1950s and 1960s. Whatever happened to these social critics? Radio is enjoying a renaissance, particularly when you consider that sociological impact of longer commute patterns and the almost kinship between motorists/public transportation riders and their “drive-time” companions.

The Internet has served as the backdrop for a growing array of bloggers, some of them written by very serious journalists weighing-in conclusively on politics, government, business, sports, entertainment and the environment. Their names are famous within their appointed disciplines such as the Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, RedState, The TMZ, Gizmodo, RealClearPolitics, TechCrunch and the Silicon Valley Watcher.

Social media is still in its infancy as LinkedIn debuted in 2003, Facebook, 2004 and Twitter, 2006. Imitators or pioneers with brand new approaches and business plans will inevitably follow. The net result is that the average citizen has an unprecedented ability to self publish. If you don’t believe this contention, then just ask Dan Rather who “retired” as a result of bloggers and the 2004 Rathergate controversy.

The future of Journalism does not just rely on machines that are either plugged into a wall or are battery-powered handheld devices, albeit the trend toward receiving our content electronically – radio, television, PC, hand-held – grows with every passing day.

Satisfying the insatiable and growing public demand for news and information lies with professionals who in the words of another NYU Professor, Jay Rosen, have the authority to say, “I’m there, you’re not, let me tell you about it.”

The “I’m there” reporter can be stationed next to the flood-lit portico at the White House, against the backdrop of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Red Square, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, at centre court at Wimbledon or an average citizen holding a video camera as a BART officer is shooting Oscar Grant on New Year’s night at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland, California.Train Station Shooting

As a result of the effects of Moore’s Law, and not Gutenberg’s printing press, we can all be there. Potentially we can all tell the story. Knowledge is power, and we need this power to go about our daily lives and to be better informed and more productive citizens.

Regardless of the business model, the principles outlined by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel in “Elements of Journalism” still apply. The public needs and expects reports that are dependable, verifiable, measurable and transparent. “Journalism is story telling with a purpose.”

Whether that purposeful story is told via an outdated printing press or via social media is really irrelevant, except to those desperately clinging to the old way of doing business. What is more important is fulfilling the public’s need for accurate information, being there and transmitting the news…most likely by means of 21st Century innovation and a new business model.

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