Tag Archives: The Times

Should men’s mags ‘upscale’?

Media Week recently asked four key media players (as in key people, not software) whether they agreed with reports that many publishers are now upscaling men’s mags to attract a more affluent reader and advertiser.

Three said ‘No’, while one said ‘Yes’. I’m still undecided. ‘Yes’, because more lower end readers are getting their fix online (hence the popularity of Dennis’ Monkeymag and IPC’s Nuts.co.uk and NME.com). But then I also say ‘No’ because there’ll always be an audience for men’s mags in the lower end. They perhaps just need to make them less embarrassing to read in public. The Sun, which is still going strong, is a perfect example.

So, if by upscale, we mean put less pics of bikni clad women on the cover a la GQ and Esquire, then I say ‘Yes – kinda’. I blogged about men’s mags upscaling a while back (and probably contradict myself).

Still on the topic of lads mags, great article by the Mirror’s Brian Reade today which pointed out the irony in Michael Gove MP blaming lads mags like Nuts, Zoo and Loaded for objectifying women. Brian wondered why Gove missed The Sun off the list, given that Page 3 was also a big offender. Surely nothing to do with Gove being a columnist for the Times, The Sun’s sister paper?

The tart newspaper – how does it make money?

Londoners may have seen the tart newspaper, a ‘satirical’ freesheet with a student feel.

The dreadful name no doubt puts off its intended audience (just who is that intended audience?) but what about advertisers. We’ve yet to see any advertising in the paper, which is worrying given that we assume this would be its main stream of income given that it can’t rely on a cover charge like its peers Prviate Eye et al.

So how does it make money?

We can’t find anything mentioned in a Times article we found.

Sunday Telegraph editor, Patience Wheatcroft, quits

Patience Wheatcroft has resigned as editor of the Sunday Telegraph after just 18 months in the job.

No official reason has been given for her departure from the title. It’s not known if her resignation came as a result of management’s push to merge the Sunday and Daily Telegraph news operations – a historically contentious subject at the Telegraph, dating back to Max Hastings’ editorship during the 90s.

Personally, I’m backing a Wheatcroft move back to News International to take up a role at the Times, the newly acquired Wall Street Journal or parent company Dow Jones. Wheatcroft joined the Sunday Telegraph after years as City editor at The Times.

News Corp to swap MySpace for 25% of Yahoo!?

Incredible news, if true. But given that it’s in the News Corp’s the Times, there may be some truth to it.

Interesting that Murdoch was said to have downplayed MySpace’s popularity if he’s hoping this deal is going to happen. Perhaps it’s a calculated move – who knows.

Read more about the News Corp Yahoo! Times story.

How will Murdoch exploit digital marketing?

Interesting piece from iMedia Connection today, mainly for the commentary on Murdoch’s purchase of MySpace and how he intends to queeze revenues out of it.

Interesting to read about the focus on online ads, but what about its plans for non-ad revenues?

Monkeymag to tone down content?

It was inevitable. Dennis Publishing is to review content in online only lads mag Monkeymag after a media agency voiced some concern over content which – as Digital Bulletin quotes – ‘pushes boundaries’.

As well as featuring babes, sports and cars, Dennis’ product development editor Ben Raworth recently suggested Monkeymag aims to showcase and filter web content so users don’t have to. That includes user generated content which some may feel ‘pushes boundaries’.

Interestingly, someone from a Times Newspapers URL was reading my various posts on Monkeymag this morning. Let’s see if there’s a story in tomorrow’s Times.

TimesOnline relaunch and review

The TimesOnline website has relaunched.

The first major rework since 2000, the £10million relaunch has been well received by online users, despite initial teething troubles on 5th Feb.

These include: slow loading, missing columns of text on certain stories and slightly confusing content labels (‘Most curious’).

The site uses lime green because the web site is the Times with a twist (their words) and it’s also dropped the Times coat of arms. Use of colour has also been limited, with ‘comment’ content gaining a salmon pink hue.

Expect boat loads of comment on the increased use of UGC / video / podcasts etc.

Merge your print and online news rooms – why the big debate?

Another day, another commentator discussing the potential perils of merging your web and print production teams.

Who knows if the Telegraph’s current wheel and spoke newsroom strategy will work? Will newspaper publishers in the north of England really be able spread their news across print, web and video?

Allow me to venture a guess: combined web and print newsrooms work.

As shown by the hugely successful NME, which merged its print and web newsrooms back in 2000, it’s a no brainer. Working in a merged newsroom myself (also back in 2000), one news editor with responsibility for both ‘channels’ simply keeps the following in mind:

  • Keep all exclusives (ie news and interviews no one else is likely to have) for print. When the mag comes out, then release them online – allowing time for newstand sales.
  • Report all news agency output, PR’d and diary items – ie anything that’s public domain – on your site. But report items with your own unique twist / flavour.

There. It even works for video and radio content. Treat them the same way as all globally breaking news. If you’re lucky enough to have users signed up to a premium service, then again hold back the exlcusive content for that money making operation.

Separate news rooms can be frought with problems. As well as competing for news, these teams are competing for ad revenue. But it’s obivous that an ad sales team’s position is stronger if they can offer slots across both operations.

Okay, the Telegraph is a case in point – it has issues with perceivably going down market / trying to appeal to a younger audience – but the question of ‘whether to merge or not to merge’ content production teams has to be put to rest. Please?