Media Business

By Noel Sheppard | August 11, 2013 | 8:30 PM EDT

Media mogul Mort Zuckerman wins this weekend’s funniest line on a political talk show.

Asked by the host of PBS's McLaughlin Group why successful billionaires would invest in a dying business such as newspapers, Zuckerman replied, “Because they no longer wish to be billionaires” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):

By Noel Sheppard | August 10, 2013 | 10:25 AM EDT

On April 25, New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter gave new CNN boss Jeff Zucker a “C” for his performance turning the ailing network around.

On August 9, two days before he is hosting CNN’s Reliable Sources, Stelter raised Zucker’s grade:

By Brent Bozell | August 10, 2013 | 8:11 AM EDT

The Washington Post is a legend in the minds of the Washington elite, so its financial decline has caused quiet panic. As NPR media reporter David Folkenflik put it, “You think of stories like the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, these are all stories where The Washington Post led the nation's understanding, the world's understanding of some major issues.”

Outside the liberal media, you wonder how long Post fans can wallow in their Nixon-crumbling polyester “glory days” in the early 1970s. But nostalgia ruled as the Graham family sold the Post to Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon.com. “Now he is being credited as a white knight with deep pockets helping to save one of this country's great newspapers,” oozed NBC reporter Tom Costello.

By Ken Shepherd | August 9, 2013 | 12:29 PM EDT

Imagine the hand-wringing that would ensue among secular journalists were Franklin Graham or Bishop Harry Jackson to write a memoir with a mainstream media religion reporter on board as a credited co-author. Surely much ado would be made about an ostensibly objective journalist assisting a politically engaged, conservative clergyman to write a book the proceeds of which would go into his ministry's coffers. After all, how can you objectively cover such individuals after having helped them raise their public profile and financially benefited their pet cause(s)?

Now contrast that with the silence that's sure to greet Religion News Service reporter David Gibson's services as scribe to Sister Simone Campbell, the left-wing nun who was a convenient unofficial ally and surrogate for liberal Democrats last year as she savaged Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. As a national reporter, Gibson has covered Campbell as part of his beat as a national reporter for RNS.

By Matthew Sheffield | August 8, 2013 | 11:47 PM EDT

Actor Alec Baldwin is famous for his uncontrolled rage and far left political views which is why, if a report from Mediaite is to be believed, he's decided it's time to showcase them for the moonbat audience of MSNBC.

According to the site's Joe Concha, Baldwin will soon be hosting a show each Friday night at 10pm, a comparative deadzone for television. But hey, why not? It's not like Baldwin ever got any viewers on the corny "30 Rock" show that he formerly appeared in opposite Tina Fey. More details below:

By NB Staff | August 7, 2013 | 4:27 PM EDT

"NBC News hired Chelsea Clinton when she had zero journalistic talent, so the idea that NBC News or NBC entertainment isn't going to be friendly to Hillary is just a silly, silly thing," NewsBusters senior editor Tim Graham told The Blaze's Andrew Wilkow in an August 6 interview on Wilkow!. Graham called out  NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd as one prominent journalist dismissive of conservative complaints about the peacock network's decision to air a Hillary Clinton biography miniseries before the 2016 elections. For their part, CNN has likewise promised to air a Hillary Clinton documentary, produced by CNN Worldwide's CNN Films division, which Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus also objects to.

Of course, "there is really a question whether NBC is going to get this thing off the ground," but Priebus was "exactly right" to call out NBC and CNN, Graham added, counseling that it would be wise for Republicans to go further and simply shut out the liberal media altogether from moderating 2016 primary debates. "It's time to get beyond these [liberal network] moderators' attempts to embarrass, to create gaffes, to suggest that the Republicans are far too extreme for the American people," the Media Research Center director of media analysis argued. "That's the sort of tactics they've been using" while, by contrast, "anybody who remembers the kind of debate questions Hillary and Barack got in 2008 knows they don't play the game the same way on the other side." [watch the full segment below]

By Ken Shepherd | August 7, 2013 | 1:00 PM EDT

The Reuters news wire has an interesting little piece today that reveals that Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos not only seems to have agreed to buy the Washington Post for much, much more than its market value, but that agreed to the initial asking price rather than try to haggle it down.

Jennifer Saba has the story:

By Matthew Sheffield | August 7, 2013 | 6:00 AM EDT

Amid the hubub yesterday over the sale of the Washington Post, a decidedly smaller media business item got lost: the sale of Newsweek magazine to the owners of the International Business Times website.

At the present, no details on the terms of the deal were announced. In 2010, Newsweek was sold by the Washington Post to a left-leaning stereo equipment billionaire named Sidney Harman for $1 plus the assumption of outstanding debts, said at the time to number in the tens of millions of dollars. Harman then proceeded to merge the ailing magazine's operations with the general interest news website, the Daily Beast.

By NB Staff | August 6, 2013 | 6:25 PM EDT

 "Try a little editorial balance, that might bring in a few more readers to the [Washington] Post," Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto advised Jeff Bezos in a segment on Cavuto's 4 p.m. Eastern Fox News Channel program Your World. "Last time I checked, that has not hurt Fox News, or the Wall Street Journal, or even USA Today" which are media enterprises which are "all known for hearing all sides or trying to" and as a result are "all making money and all growing," unlike competing newspapers which are solidly liberal.

NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell agreed. Appearing on the August 6 program to discuss Amazon.com's founder buying the money-losing broadsheet for a mere $250 million, Bozell argued [watch the segment below the page break]:

By Noel Sheppard | August 6, 2013 | 10:50 AM EDT

Social media is not only influencing politics. It's also impacting what television programs Americans watch.

A new study released moments ago by Nielsen found that Twitter activity can cause "statistically significant changes in Live TV Ratings":

By Matthew Sheffield | August 3, 2013 | 11:35 AM EDT

The Boston Globe newspaper has been sold by its owner, the New York Times Company, for $70 million in cash to investor John W. Henry. Included in the deal were the Times’s stakes in two other smaller papers, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and Metro Boston, a free tabloid.

The Times had purchased the Globe company in 1993 for $1.1 billion. Adjusted for inflation, the New England Media Group operation sold for just under 4 percent of the original sale price. The all-cash deal did not include an assumption of the company’s pension debts of about $110 million which will remain with the Times Company.

By Randy Hall | July 31, 2013 | 8:45 PM EDT

The bad news just keeps on coming for the openly left-wing liberal MSNBC channel, which is now in fourth place behind Fox News Channel, CNN and HLN after losing 12 percent of its viewers from a year ago. CNN, meanwhile, had another strong month.

Whether it's because of lineup adjustments made by CNN or because Obama-supporting Democrats are tuning out MSNBC, the fact remains that Cable News Network saw double-digit growth in both total day and prime-time ratings in July when compared to the same month in 2012.