Some famous newspaper titles are going on sale next year. Meanwhile, as analyst Ken Doctor reports, regulators will re-examine rules that limit cross-ownership of media platforms.
CNN, struggling to find an identity and rebuild its audience, has turned to an old-time TV stalwart. Jeffrey Zucker, the former CEO of NBC, is expected to be formally named CNN President shortly.
There are fresh rumors that Rupert Murdoch wants to buy the flagship newspapers of America’s second and third biggest cities. This would give him a giant footprint in the country’s three biggest markets — but it still doesn’t make business sense.
There’s trouble in Tinseltown. Movie theater attendance hit a 16-year low in 2011, dropping 4 percent from 2010. The slowing turnstiles have led some analysts to lower their ratings for shares of publicly traded theater chains, sending the stocks down sharply. But don’t expect things to improve much soon. BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield released his predictions fro 2012 yesterday (see here for the LA Times’ right up, and here for Greenfield’s registration-required blog post) and he offered little cheer for the traditional movie business. “We believe consumers are tiring of expensive, premium-priced movie experiences, particularly when combined with an increasingly unsatisfying exhibition experience,” Greenfield wrote.”We expect movie attendance to fall yet again in 2012; more importantly we believe attendance is now in a secular decline in the U.S.” At the same time, Greenfield expects video piracy to explode over the next few years as TVs, “rapidly become IP-enabled or ‘smart’ directly or indirectly with apps that facilitate piracy.” He also thinks SOPA is a fool’s errand that will do nothing to change consumer behavior. Good times.
Yahoo’s generating news today. The LA Times hears it made an unsolicited bid for Hulu. Meanwhile TechCrunch rumors that, prior to its shareholder meeting this week, investors are highly displeased with the company’s performance, and Yahoo may be seeking a new CEO. We’ve heard that one before. Wags opine Hulu could serve multiple purposes if its chief Jason Kilar took the reins from Carol Bartz. Hulu might make a good fit for Yahoo. Yahoo is focused on selling branding advertising these days, and it’s not beholden to any single media conglomerate. That could help Hulu with content negotiations, though limit some cross-media campaign opportunities. Meanwhile, it’s been a while since I looked at Yahoo’s potential social strategies.