A buyer for Reed Elsevier’s B2B publishing arm RBI is expected to be announced in October, a memo from Marianne van Leeuwen, the chief executive of Reed’s Dutch operations, has said.
Kristine Lowe asks, is there a business model in covering the media for the media?:
(Disclaimer: Kristine works part-time for the Norwegian journalism magazine and website Journalisten and has previously contributed to Press Gazette and NA24 Propaganda)
Recording the miserable state of our industry, and listening to experts predicting its imminent death, is a daily plight for media hacks in the western hemisphere.
Newspaper readership for one seems to be in perpetual decline, a fact often bemoaned by the media columnist.
However, a recent article in MediaGuardian by former Press Gazette editor Ian Reeves suggests that the UK’s journalism trade titles, such as the National Union of Journalists’ (NUJ) The Journalist magazine and Press Gazette, are faced with an audience of hacks, who have lost the appetite for news about their own.
“You’ll never make money out of journalists,” Reeves quotes Haymarket’s Michael Heseltine as saying.
Yet that is exactly what the Norwegian equivalent of The Journalist does.
Journalisten.no recorded £1.4 million in revenues in 2007, despite competition from Kampanje (Campaign) – a trade magazine that also covers PR and marketing; NA24 Propaganda – a dedicated media news site; and the media sections of national and regional newspapers.
Roughly £800,000 of this came from advertising and £300,000 from subscriptions, leaving the magazine and news site, which are published by The Norwegian Union of Journalists (NJ), with a post-tax profit of £104,000.
Hardly enough for the hardened business world, but more than enough to justify the existence and further expansion of a ‘local newspaper’ for the country’s journalists.
The news site had 11,000 unique Norwegian-based visitors last week, while the main benefactors of the bi-weekly magazine are around 10,000 union members, who receive it as part of their union membership.
Other than union members, the magazine does have about 1,000 subscribers in the corporate and NGO sector, but not much has been done to market it to a broader audience recently.
The key to Journalisten’s revenues has been capturing the job classifieds market for media jobs, which is easier said than done in a more fragmented market such as the UK. Another minor stream of revenue for Journalisten is a database of PR contacts.
But Journalisten is hardly an isolated example: US-based media site Mediabistro, which also earns money from freelance listings, membership fees and training, must have had a decent turnover to have made it a worthwhile acquisition for Jupiter Media.
Swedish Résumé, owned by Swedish media giant Bonnier, is another contender with 15,000 unique visitors per day online and 29,000 readers per week for its magazine.
These are just two examples which spring to mind here and now, does anybody have other suggestions?
Michael Heseltine, chairman of Haymarket Media, is offering £10,000 prize money to staff who come up with the best money saving ideas for the publisher, Press Gazette reports.
The money will be divided between those who make the best suggestions by August 31, Heseltine wrote in a email to staff.
“Depending on the volume and nature of the response we will establish a small team of colleagues to appraise the proposals and allocate the £10,000.”
My suggestion: save by not setting up this small team. A winner surely.
Haymarket’s title for the audio-visual industry AV has relaunched its website to create a more multimedia resource for readers.
AVinteractive has been fitted out with a new forum and blogs, as well as a commenting function on all articles.
Online polls are another new feature on the site’s homepage and a video channel, RSS news feed and improved site search have also been added.
The redesign was completed in-house by Haymarket.
Private equity group HgCapital is considering a formal bid for Wilmington, which publishes journalism trade magazine Press Gazette.
The website for the wine and spirits industry Harpers.co.uk is relaunching with a new name and expanded coverage of the industry.
The Nexus Business Media title will be called TalkingDrinks.com from July 24 and will include a range of new interactive features, such as blogs and forums, a press release from the publisher said.
Breaking news will continue to lead the site, but the new features will build an online community for the industry, David Shrimpton, Nexus Business Media digital managing editor, said.
Future plans for the site will bring more photo and video content and a personalised MyTalkingDrinks section.
“We don’t do magazines online. We make great magazines, and great online business experiences,” Neil Thackray, Nexus’ chief executive, added.
A restructuring of the publisher into four ‘market-focused’ divisions has made Hughes’ role redundant.
Haymarket has merged the editorial teams for its medical titles GP and Independent Nurse.
As part of the changes the publisher has appointed Emma Bower, who launched Independent Nurse four years ago, as editor of GP.
Bower will now take on the editorship of both titles and responsibility for the newly merged team, which will be responsible for producing content across the magazines and the group’s Healthcare Republic website.
“So far, much of the crossover between our print and digital operations has developed on an ad hoc basis. Now we can tailor the structure of the editorial team to properly fit the needs of both platforms, and allow for further growth,” said Colin Cooper, editor-in-chief of Haymarket Medical Media, in a press release.
The integration will take effect from June 16.
The blog introduced itself as follows:
“What happens when your division is divested (sold)? What will it mean to me? What is the process? How can I prepare myself? That’s the topic of this blog, focussing on the Reed Elsevier sale of Reed Business.”
A post on May 2 said the blog was attracting attention from the company:
“Rumour has it that RE and RBI board members have visited DivestmentWatch, and it has even come up during chats with the bankers (UBS) and the consultants (PWC) so it’s nice to know that there are some people interested and hopefully listening.
“DivestmentWatch has had 5000+ unique visitors so far, and averages about 150 to 200 a day, with a regular core readership of about 50-60 (thanks for your support!). I hope that it has helped you in some way.”
Can anyone shed light on why the blog has been removed?
Reed Business Information’s (RBI) aviation title Flight Global has been trialling video content on the site for a couple of months now, editor Michael Targett says in a blog post, but the service is now being officially launched.
The video is hosted by Brightcove and will feature clips from the publication and those submitted by users. The announcement includes an explanatory video and asks for feedback on the new service – a nice touch.
“As with most of the developments on this website – it’s something we plan to enhance with time, but it serves our current purpose very well and helps add another medium to our content portfolio,” says Targett.