“The commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corp., BBC Worldwide, and public service broadcaster Channel 4, could agree a joint venture within weeks, although it would be a scaled down version of the original proposals, BBC Worldwide chief executive John Smith told Dow Jones Newswires Tuesday.”
But they were hopes in the context of an economic downturn. William Kerr, chairman of board for the Meredith Group joked that ‘being 12 per cent down is the new up’.
Each of the panel looking at ‘riding the storm’ shared their fears for the magazine industry:
Carolyn McCall, chief executive, Guardian Media Group: is worried that the industry would ‘not make structural change quickly enough’.
William Kerr said that his main fear was that the ‘best and brightest [candidates] had migrated to other areas’ for employment.
Aroon Purie, editor-in-chief and chairman of the India Today Group said he was worried about the ‘magazinification’ of newspapers in terms of content and design: it is a ‘threat to magazines, as newspapers go in that direction,’ he said.
John Smith, chief executive of BBC Worldwide, said his main concern was the dominance of Google as an online sign-post. it was a ‘dangerous’ situation he said, to have all the power in one company. Google’s 63.7 per cent grasp on search traffic made it necessary for other companies to enter the territory, he said.
In a letter to Press Gazette, the creator of magazine sharing website Mygazines has defended the venture against criticism from publishers and the PPA, who are concerned about copyright infringements on the site.
“John Smith” – the name under which the website is registered – has said he wants to work with the industry to find new revenue models for magazines.