Communication Matters - our blog on trends and events


The Newspaper Company Is Dead.   Long Live the News Media Company.

It's been a great, even noble run, but as 2011 looms, it's time to acknowledge what has been evolving for some time: The newspaper company is dead.

The same could be said for the magazine publishing company. As for news broadcasting companies, they have been turning over in their graves for some time.

Sure, newsprint continues to be a prime media platform. The Wall Street Journal is not going to stop buying ink by the barrel anytime soon. But the rise of mobile communications, social media and consumers' desire to be engaged in public discourse are triggering the creation of new, expanded and more exciting media companies. Witness Newsweek's recently announced merger with the Daily Beast, which saved the failing Newsweek brand.

Blog posts. Podcasts. Mobile apps. Online video. Print coverage. These are all part of emerging new media companies, creating more opportunities than ever to interact with journalists. Organizations seeking to maximize the impact of their media relations efforts ignore this diversification to their detriment.

Here are three approaches to guide your communications during this ongoing media transformation.

Think about communicating on video, print and other platforms. The media certainly are. Some of the most significant changes are taking place among wire services. Bloomberg News has grown its online video service, Bloomberg TV, into the second-ranked business video channel by viewership, behind only CNBC. Thomson Reuters has launched Reuters Insider, a Web-based video service populated with reports from Reuters and its 150 media partners.

AOL, the longtime Internet portal, is swiftly becoming one of the nation's most dynamic and innovative media companies.  It recently launched "You've Got," a video designed to help the Web portal become the "morning television show of the Web."

The Washington Post Co., the New York Times Co. and Gannett Inc. are creating a new Internet news service called Ongo, set to launch this year. Expect the service to utilize multiple platforms to reach new readers.

At the Associated Press, the word "writer" is being eliminated from bylines, given that videographers, photographers and sources other than writers are providing so much of its content.

Expand your list of target media. A new hierarchy among national media is emerging.  Just follow the talent to identify the new genre of vibrant media companies. Top-name journalists from the New York Times, Washington Post and others are moving to Yahoo News, Gawker, the Daily Beast and the Huffington Post.  Soon, the Huffington Post's business department will have more reporters than most daily newspapers.

Bloomberg has completed its integration of BusinessWeek and is hiring top talent from traditional news organizations to expand coverage of cities and governments across the country.

Meanwhile, dislocated journalists are latching on to other media, elevating the coverage quality at numerous online publications such as

Consider your local connections. Community-based media are becoming increasingly local, and interactive.  Blogs, citizen journalists and social media such as Facebook and Twitter are expanding and accelerating millions of community conversations. Competition from hyperlocal news sources is spurring increased use of local tips and tweets to provide news and comment on the day's most interesting information. Google News and other aggregators with powerful search engines extend the potential reach of news posted everywhere, particularly in local media.

Washington-based TBD launched this year with an integrated approach to community coverage. The TV station/website is designed to produce "original journalism, highlight news and information from other media outlets and blogs and engage our audience in a dialogue on news and culture in the Washington area."

Other media are watching this experiment with great interest.

Yes, newspaper companies are dead. And for the media, as well as the organizations they cover, that is the good news.
If you'd like to learn more about this subject, please contact David Hertz at
216-241-2145 or


comments powered by Disqus