Newstand mag sales decline dramatically both sides of the border

The Audit Bureau of Canada 44 per cent of Canadian magazines experienced double digit sales declines for the first six months of the year; there were 18 of 62 English and French magazines that showed an increase. Ditto for the US; both countries showed approximate six per cent decline in newstand mag sales so far this year.

Globe and Mail, August 12 2008

MSM/NM continue to struggle for accommodation over Olympics, Edwards

The tape delay by NBC of the Olympic opening, together with the reluctance of MSM to pick up the National Enquirer story on John Edwards has generated the usual NM versus MSM hype. A more thoughtful column by David Carr of the New York Times points out that some afterthought to both events show that consumers of news are actually far ahead of the theorists of news in how they use both to get what they want, without picking one over the other.

New York Times, August 11 2008

Harper’s new communications director gets wary approval

Hill Times gives a modified ok to the new charm offensive coming from the Prime Minister’s office. Remains to be seen whether the new approach can overcome the┬ádamage┬ádone to date.

Hill Times, August 11 2008

Levant wins Human Rights case

I’ve never had a big regard for Ezra Levant, particularly in his “Stockaholic” days as Director of Communications for Stockwell Day’s Reform/Alliance party. However, he has some points worth taking seriously in his recent win over publishing the Danish Mohamed cartoons, particularly the financial/media chill that can encourage people to settle quietly (and cheaply) rather than fight their cause. However, HRC’s have done some cutting edge work, such as ensuring that women can’t be fired for being pregnant, or that the boss can’t verbally/sexually abuse you just because he/she’s the boss. And there is a limit on HRC’s: their decisions have to be able to be withstood by the courts and the Charter. Still, give Ezra his day; he’s spent some time, money, idealism and passion defending free speech and we should say thanks.

National Post, August 7 2008

The last big thing

Remember satellite radio? How it was going to revolutionize radio as we know it, and kill off “terresterial” radio? Well, it still has to make a nickel of profit. The recent US merger of Sirius and XM allows for cost-cutting, but does anybody really want it? With the auto industry in decline, satellite’s major market, it confirms the caution that every new technology promises to be the best, killing all “old” competition, but the market always sorts it out.

New York Times, August 7 2008

National Post for sale?

There’s been a lot of Globe and Mail speculation about, including potential buyer Liberal Senator Gerry Grafstein. It would be nice to have a different point of view from the Post; right now we have two national newspapers, both business-oriented and right of centre. Given the Post’s ten year record of losing money every year (estimated at $10 million), a change of editorial perspective might actually help it compete in the marketplace. Today’s Lawrence Marting column.

Globe and Mail, August 7 2008

Taking out the trash

The federal government’s attempt to bury some negative news by releasing it at 6 p.m. Friday of a long weekend has instead drawn more attention to it (the Saturday Globe ran it on the front page). It’s an old trick, but it’s never worked. Twenty five years ago the Alberta government tried the same thing, putting out an 11 page news release on the glories of its long term care system, putting a large fee increase at the very end. Same result: front page on the next day’s Edmonton Journal. National Post’s Don Martin takes a look in today’s National Post.

That’s why media covering this or any other government should be at their most vigilant after filing deadlines have passed.

National Post August 6 2008


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