Explaining Southern California's economy

It's game over for the New York Times

New York Times' Quarterly Profits Falls 58 Percent

Ramin Talaie/Getty Images

The New York Times logo is seen on the headquarters in New York City. How much longer does the newspaper of record have left?

And for pretty much all the other newspapers, as well. I'm not sure if I totally buy that argument-from-armageddon — local papers may be able to make a go of it, while big national dailies could be in trouble. But you can get very worried about the Grey Lady's future if you run through Eric Jackson's brief yet decimating PowerPoint at Forbes

Here's the presentation. It's worth flipping through the full deck.

The real issue continues to be one of structural decline and a profound disruption of the business model of newspapers. The idea that the brand — the New York Times, for example — can simply migrate to the web and keep on keepin' on is now being aggressively questioned. Yes, we could have a "New York Times" online that does what the print product did for O! those many years. But the revenue won't support the business of the New York Times Company. 

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Taylor Hackford versus the Internet pirates

64th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards - Show

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for DGA

DGA President Taylor Hackford and host Kelsey Grammer speak onstage during the 64th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards held at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland on January 28, 2012 in Hollywood, California.

Directors Guild of America President Taylor Hackford went on "The Patt Morrison Show" on Wednesday to offer withering opposition to the opponents of SOPA and PIPA, the two pieces of federal legislation that are intended to halt the scourge of online copyright piracy and, if you believe Hackford, to preserve the gainful employment of many thousands of entertainment industry workers who make far less money than he does ($50,000 a year, on average).

You certainly can't begrudge Hackford his defense of the "artists" against the Internet ruffians. He's made some fine films, including "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Ray" (we'll forgive him "Against All Odds" and the improbable ballet-tap Cold War mashup "White Nights"). He's on his second go-round as the DGA prez. That said, he could have done a better job of dealing with Patt's question during the segment about the Hollywood business model.

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Hollywood is shocked — Shocked! — that it lost SOPA battle

SOPA/PIPA protest, Wikipedia

Wikipedia blacked out its whole website to join the SOPA/PIPA protest

SOPA/PIPA Protest, Mozilla

Mozilla puts a note on its homepage.

SOPA/PIPA Protest, MoveOn.Org

Political website Moveon.org participates.

SOPA/PIPA Protest, Minecraft

Minecraft's website sports a colorful protest page.

SOPA/PIPA Protest, Imgur

Imgur.com also shuts down.

SOPA/PIPA Protest, PostSecret

Postsecret.com also joins the protest with an interactive webpage. The faint light illuminating the center of the screen follows your cursor, leaving other sections dark.

SOPA/PIPA Protest, Reddit

Popular site Reddit.com also shut down in protest.

SOPA/PIPA Protest, Wordpress

SOPA/PIPA Protest, Wired

Wired.com had a creative take on censoring, only blacking out certain words and photos.

SOPA/PIPA Protest, Google

Google made changes to its homepage to support the SOPA/PIPA protest.

SOPA/PIPA Protest, BoingBoing

L.A.-based website Boing Boing is down for the day.

SOPA/PIPA Protest, Craigslist

Craigslist updated its homepage to this message protesting SOPA/PIPA.

SOPA/PIPA Protest, Destructoid

Destructoid.com

SOPA/PIPA Protest, failblog

Failblog.org

SOPA/PIPA Protest, Flickr

Flickr is letting users participate by darkening their uploaded photos.


At The Wrap, Sharon Waxman lays into Hollywood for not being able to convince Congress that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was a worthy undertaking:

The messaging industry never had control of the message.

The tech guys found a simple, shareable idea -- the Stop Online Piracy Act is Censorship -- made it viral, and made it stick.

Hollywood had Chris Dodd and a press release. Silicon Valley had Facebook.

That's pretty well put. But of course it doesn't really get to the root of the issue, which is that California's two leviathan businesses — entertainment and tech — are running away from each other way faster than they're running together. And when it comes to the race for future economic viability and the hearts and minds of consumers, only tech is running in the right direction. 

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Protecting your reputation — and your business model

Mercer 16018

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

I went on AirTalk today with guest host David Lazarus to discuss how people can do personal, micro-crisis PR, fixing their online reputations.

I'd already written about the "crisis" in crisis PR, as well as how Toyota was laid low, during its Great Recall, by Twitter. So the topic was in my wheelhouse.

Online reputation management has become a serious business. We were joined by Michael Fertik, the CEO of Reputation.com, a startup that has defined itself as a leader in the space. So much so that when Fertik informed us that the company had attracted $67 million to date, through four rounds of venture funding, I was taken aback. I thought the company had raised more!

We covered the various ways in which a person might deal with negative information about themselves online. A caller issued perhaps the ultimate challenge when she revealed that her ex-husband has posted a sex-tape from happier times (Fertik said it would take a few thousand to deal with that). Reputation.com has a fairly broad scale of fees, ranging from a basic $100/year plan right on up to ReputationDefender15000, which runs...$15,000 a year!

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