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March 17, 2010

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Public Policy

Businesses are one step closer to pension relief
The U.S. Senate included pension funding relief in jobs/tax extenders legislation it approved last week. The American Workers, State and Business Tax Relief Act, HR 4213, will give newspapers and other businesses with defined benefit pension funds more time to make up pension funding targets as required by existing law. Businesses will be allowed to choose to amortize shortfalls over nine years by making interest-only payments for the first two years and spreading out shortfall payments over seven years. Alternatively, they can choose to amortize those shortfalls over 15 years. MORE

New report focuses on advertising sales structures
Newspaper advertising sales organizations must make significant changes in how they go to market in order to meet advertiser needs in today's multichannel world. While most agree that it is critical to organize around customer needs, strategies used to serve those customers vary widely. "Structuring for Tomorrow's Sales," a new NAA report, examines the sales organizations of The Dallas Morning News, Gannett Co., the Houston Chronicle and The Virginian-Pilot to help newspapers navigate their own changes. MORE


Meet advertisers at mediaXchange 'Power Dinners'
Tickets ($65 each) for "Power Dinners" with advertisers are available to mediaXchange attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. From one course to the next, advertisers rotate to different tables – a format that enables you to maximize your advertising contacts in a fun social atmosphere. These dinners traditionally sell out, so reserve your seat now when registering for the conference. See you April 11-14 in Orlando!

Member to Member

Join the NAA discussion on LinkedIn
Our new LinkedIn Community includes five groups, each focused on a discipline-specific topic: digital, revenue, research, audience/circulation and production/operations/IT. The LinkedIn groups are available to any employee of an NAA-member company and select employees of associate-member companies. Register now to join the NAA LinkedIn Group and begin participating in the discussions. You’ll be asked to sign in to your existing account (or to create a new account if you don’t have one) and submit a request to join the NAA group.


Foundation program supports student journalism
In the NAA Foundation's Student/Newspaper Partnership Grants program, middle and high schools team up with their local newspapers to launch or revitalize print or online student publications. Grants cover equipment, software, adviser training and printing. Deadline to apply for the upcoming school year is April 15.

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Retail Roundup
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"Hometrends," a new line at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., offers a full range of affordable décor solutions for cost-conscious customers. … OfficeMax's new private-label ENGAGE line features high-tech products such as the "Optical Mouse," which works on various surfaces and comes in wired and wireless versions. … Pop icon Madonna and Iconix Brand Group's MC Icon have inked a licensing agreement with Macy's for a "Material Girl" junior collection to launch in August. … A new report from Interbrand ranks Wal-Mart Stores Inc. as the most valuable retail brand, followed by Target Corp., Best Buy Co. Inc., Home Depot Inc., Walgreen Co., CVS Caremark Corp., Sam's Club, Dell Inc., Coach and Inc. … Frito-Lay is raising brand awareness for Lay's Chips with "The Happiness Exhibit," where consumers can upload their own photos to Flickr. Selected images will appear in upcoming issues of People magazine and on Lay's packaging.

Consumer spending perks up economy
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A string of surprisingly strong corporate earnings reports and economic data shows that U.S. consumers have emerged from a long hibernation to start spending again on everything from new TVs and restaurant meals to spring outfits. The Commerce Department reported that retail sales increased a seasonally-adjusted 0.3 percent in February from a month earlier, despite winter storms across a large swath of the country that analysts thought would keep shoppers home bound. More

Shopping aisles at cutting edge of consumer research, tech
Advertising Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cameras could be monitoring the time it takes to you browse the aisle and put that box of Mac 'N Cheese in your cart. The purchase itself might have been driven by one of Kraft's "mom cues" designed to tug your heartstrings in the store. Or your motivation may have been an idea from its iFood Assistant that you downloaded in the store. Researchers might later examine your purchase data and household information and pair it with economic models to determine that the store is only getting 10 percent of your package-dinner dollar — and look for ways to build that up. More

What the rich are buying now
Forbes Woman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Take a stroll down Madison Avenue past glittering store windows where $5,000 ostrich handbags and $150,000 drop diamond earrings are on display. You may find yourself wondering if people—men, women, anyone—are really buying this stuff. Apparently they are. More


Smartphones will shake up paid content debate
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Media companies longing to bring a paid-for culture to the Internet might just get what they want if they pay more attention to the smartphone revolution that is changing the way people access the Web. More

Mobile apps that outperform Web sites
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Since the great app rush began, Web companies have scurried to build mobile apps. In some cases, they have realized that their services are better suited to cellphone screens than computers. More

iPad strategies for publishers
News After Newspapers    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
iPad is not a linear, incremental development. It's not a simple next step after everything that has preceded it (even iPhone); it's a new direction that will have unpredictable impacts on digital behavior. More

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The future of content navigation
Monday Note    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Let's forget business models and monetization — just for a brief moment. Instead, we'll focus on one key issue: the interface, the way you access, browse, spot, save relevant information. The interface is pivotal. A good one will allow you to rope in your readers/viewers, and make them loyal to your brand, your contents. More

Foursquare, Gowalla and the future of geo-location
The Telegraph    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The mobile phone in your pocket is now about so much more than mere conversation. E-mail, the Web and maps have become basic parts of any new mobile, and those technologies are starting to come together. More

NPR's new iPad site may be 'ideally suited for audio'
Poynter Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In anticipation of the coming iPad, NPR is preparing a touch-friendly version of its Web site tailored for the device, similar in concept to iPhone-friendly sites that offer different navigation and font sizes for its small screen. NPR also is developing an app for the device, joining a growing list of news organizations. Both will be ready in time for the iPad's launch on April 3. More


Google makes its local shopping move
ZDNet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare
on LinkedinE-mail article
It took awhile, but Google has made its big move as a local shopping inventory gatekeeper. The company said that it will offer inventory checks on local stores to see if products are available. The program has already enlisted some key retailers, including Sears, Best Buy, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn and West Elm. Rest assured that local merchants, which increasingly rely on Google to send business their way, will follow suit. More

Facebook location sharing could impact local advertising
Lost Remote    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Facebook will begin allowing location-based status updates as early as next month, according to Nick Bilton's report on the Bits Blog. The plan, apparently, is to unveil the feature at f8, the company's annual developer's conference. More

Radio's reach: 239 million every week
Radio World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Electronic ratings continue to suggest that radio's total reach is broader than thought previously. That's a conclusion from Arbitron, which issued a summary of its latest quarterly RADAR statistics about national radio listening. Approximately 239 million people age 12 and above listen during a typical week, Arbitron said. That number was 235 million at this time two years ago. The RADAR estimates began to include PPM data from certain markets shortly before that. More

Webwindows: How to boost traffic with newspaper advertising
PR Interactive    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent research commissioned by Google and conducted by Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo has thrown up some interesting facts related to newspaper advertising. According to the report, consumers often research products and services on the Internet after they see them advertised in the newspapers. The study indicates that two-thirds of the people turn to the Internet for more information for the products advertised in the newspaper. Then again, 70 percent of the people from this group actually do make purchases following the research. More

America's great escape ticket
CNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on
LinkedinE-mail article
Consumers are spending more and more time consuming entertainment — Americans spend an average of four hours each day watching video. But how they're spending their entertainment dollars is shifting. The choices are nearly infinite, so now it's all about value and convenience. More

ABC News plans paywall by June
paidContent via The Guardian    Share    Share on
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ABC News Digital executives are currently putting together a formal paywall strategy with expectations of having some concrete ideas for ways to charge consumers by the summer, said Paul Slavin, the unit's senior vice-president, in an interview with paidContent. More


Facebook: a place to share articles on the weekend
The World Editors Forum    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent survey of Facebook user habits by DanZarrella found that users are more likely to share articles with friends over the weekend than the week, even though less news is typically published during this time. More

Survey: Readers don't want to pay for news online
The Associated Press via Yahoo! News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Getting people to pay for news online at this point would be "like trying to force butterflies back into their cocoons," a new consumer survey suggests. That was one of several bleak headlines in the Project for Excellence in Journalism's annual assessment of the state of the news industry. More

Business Models

Do marketers still need news brands?
Advertising Age    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. print newspaper industry long received about 80 percent of its revenue from advertising, with circulation making up the rest. As ad revenue has declined 20 percent-25 percent since the recession, ad revenue now contributes close to 75 percent of total income. Publishers facing the heavy fog of uncertainty are budgeting largely flat in a recovery year, a sign they see permanent downturn in their fortunes. More

Will paid content put publishing back in the black?
eMarketer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The success of's Kindle e-reader and online e-bookstore has spawned a paid e-publishing content marketplace that has grown rapidly in the past two years and shows no sign of slowing. Competition from other device-makers such as Apple promises to further stimulate what is already one of the most dynamic areas of the digital content ecosystem. More

Newspaper Club launches startup for papers on demand
Graphic Arts Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Unused presstime at daily newspapers may find new customers from an unlikely source: bloggists who would like to see their postings committed to print. Newspaper Club, a U.K. startup, has launched a business printing newspapers on demand, buying low-cost press time during off hours and reprinting material for customers, much of it originating as blogs and other online material. More

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