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The Media Merry-Go-Round

10 Mar

Who’s on, who’s off, who’s moved on and where to?

Been getting a bit of whiplash lately trying to keep track of the moves in the Boise media market. After checking in with some of the newsies, have a bit of a rundown for you.

First the print folk….

A weekly to The Weekly Zach Hagadone (known to many entrepreneurs in town as the last tech reporter standing) has left the Idaho Business Review. Zach’s keeping the weekly vibe by moving cross town to the Boise Weekly where he starts this week and ‘will be working on business and news related coverage.’ Great snag by the BW. On another note from alt-weekly, a sad farewell to the Idaho Arts Quarterly. Blame the damn economy again for this loss after eight years of showcasing the Idaho arts community.

On to TV…

There have been more ‘goings’ than ‘comings’ over at KTVB recently – and it’s been made more obvious by the fact that two very familiar faces to Boiseans signed off the air in the past few months.

Most recently, reporter and Boise native Ysabel Bilbao chose to leave at the end of her contract with the station. Word is she’ll be sticking around town, nothing confirmed yet on where she’ll land.

And at the end of 2009, long-time senior reporter (I say senior for most of the market, not just her station) Alyson Outen bid goodbye to KTVB after a decade. Alyson is still in the communications field working as the PIO for the Idaho Digital Learning Academy.

Lots of changes over at KTRV… new crew, new anchor lineups AND new show as 12 jumps into the 1opm news battle. (Thanks to News Director Kelly Cross for the rundown)

Fox12 NewsEdge@Ten launched January 11. It’s produced by Joe Decker and anchored by Stacey Skrysak. Stacey comes to Boise after a long stint as a morning show anchor and reporter in Traverse City, Michigan. (she’s a Duck too!)

There’s a new anchor lineup for Fox 12 News at Nine. From Kelly… “Joining long-time treasure valley weathercaster Steve Liebenthal will be Adam Bartelmay and Kiaora Bohlool — both experienced and energetic anchors.  Adam, like Stacey comes from Traverse City, Michigan, and

Kiaora will be here early next month.  She reported for eight-plus years in Salt Lake City, and most recently anchored the evening newscasts for a station in Bend, Oregon.  In addition, Nate Kuester has transitioned from morning anchor to Sports Director.  He’ll be focusing on local sports stories and will appear primarily in the News at Nine, and will also be a regular contributor on the NewsEdge@Ten.”

And finally for Fox 12 This Morning – a new lineup and look. Familiar Fox faces Allison Warren and David Sleater are teaming up weekdays from 6-8am.  (And a welcome to fairly new reporters Bri Eggers and Matt Loveless)

Over at KIVI….the new face on the desk is Sports Director Amanda Maynard who made the jump from Butte.

Changes behind the scenes (and – with the whole brand) at KBOI-TV (formerly known as KBCI). Kendra Martinez, the former Executive Producer at KIVI, has joined the newsroom management team as Managing Editor. She joins fairly recent News Director hire Julie Weindel – who brings impressive experience with her to the newsroom from award-winning stops leading newsrooms in Ohio.

Pay for Access – in New York and Boise

27 Jan

As media outlets continue to grapple with how to commoditize their online content – a Boise-based publication is jumping into the pay for access pool.  The Idaho Business Review launched a new site today (UPDATE: take a moment to read an updated post from 1/28 that details what is offered to subscribers vs. online browsers.) that along with featuring a new look, will have a new price tag:

‘For readers, the most significant change is that most online original content will now be reserved for registered subscribers to the Idaho Business Review. Online registration and subscription information is available at the top of the home page of the new Web site by clicking on the “Manage Acct” or “Subscribe” links. Customers may also call 1-800-451-9998 or e-mail subscriptions@dolanmedia.com for more information. Idaho Business Review e-mail news updates will continue to be delivered daily, free to all. Breaking news, online polls, stock information, a networking calendar and blogs will be prominently featured on the new site.’

The pay for access discussion turns my stomach. In that way where it doesn’t feel right, although I empathize with the situation online versions of traditional subscription-based media find themselves in. Their business model is changing and to pay the people who report and create the content they need to find ways to maintain or increase revenues. But information is everywhere – and restricting what’s already been let out of the bag when people can just find it elsewhere, or those who are paying for access can share it freely, doesn’t seem to work.

From what I’ve seen (correct me if you have positive examples) no one has figured out how to make it work yet. The current situation at Newsday“Only 35 users have signed up to access Newday’s web site since they put up their $5 a week paywall three months ago. 35 people — “as in a decent-sized elementary-school class,” John Koblin at the New York Observer reports.”

They New York Times is taking a slightly different approach – committing to going to a ‘metered model’ in January 2011 with users charged a fee after a certain amount of page views a month on the site. With how technology in media seem to change in nano-seconds it will be interesting to see the state of the universe one year from now. And if allowing a small bite will entice a someone to go for a larger piece of the cake.

Will the IBR strategy work? I don’t know. Either way, I feel it will be a blow to my home media market where great business coverage is becoming more difficult to find as budgets shrink, reporters focused on business and tech are let go and not replaced, and generalists abound. It’s a product of our new landscape – both the economy and how we consume the fire hose of information at our fingertips. I am a subscriber to the IBR and frequently post links and share content because they are a great resource. So I’ll have full access still (I assume!) But what I believe will suffer is their role as a leader in this community in business coverage. Eyeballs to their site by non-subscribers will most likely decrease. And with it will be their position as a daily resource keeping tabs on the business landscape – driving online conversations – and influencing opinion and discussions of what is relevant.

– Jess

PRSA: Opening Session w/Arianna Huffington

8 Nov

(Live blogging from the PRSA International Conference in San Diego)

3,000 public relations practitioners – including 1,000 PR students – are packed into the Opening General Session in San Diego for the PRSA International Conference with PRSA Chair & CEO Mike Cherenson and Arianna Huffington, founder of Huffington Post (7million visitors/month) and best-selling author and co-host “Left, Right & Center”

arianna-huffingtonSeries of quotes / statements from Arianna…

‘There’s a level of gullibility in the public and you have to be careful how you exploit it’ – joking about those who believe she cultivated her accent.

‘No matter who you are – no doubt that the people you are communicating to absorb news differently now.’

You consume old media sitting on the couch – you consume new media galloping on the horse – (will.i.am statement via Arianna Huffington)

‘The great thing about the current state of communication is that things can be course corrected almost as fast as they are disseminated.’

We are all so used to massive streams of information there now must be drama for something to stand out (aka ‘Balloon Boy). All information must be framed in a dramatic way to draw attention to the core issue you are communicating.

How can we use the reality that people respond to drama to put the spotlight on issues that need to be addressed?

We all have the capacity for empathy… touching people’s hearts is so much more important than touching people’s minds. It’s the most powerful way to get people to act.

It’s about listening – not just talking. When you listen it is amazing how much wisdom is out there. Creating the circumstances where you listen is just as much important as anything else.

(Arianna called out PRSA in a great way at the end – because she was only speaking to the crowd and not given the chance to engage and hear from us back. Great point.)

We are no longer living in the ‘either / or’ world – the new economy is the linked economy. People who get that will change our profession. It’s not just about proprietery content anymore.

Promiscuity may not be good in relationships but it’s very good online

– Jess