Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Introduction Blog

So I've decided to become a blogger. I've spent 30 years in the media business, as a First Amendment and entertainment lawyer, a newspaper executive, the founder of a B2B publishing company. I've taught Media Business Strategies and Media Law at the University of Southern California. And I've written a lot--about the law in a weekly column for 10 years at the Los Angeles Times, in a regular column called "Executive Perspective" for Folio, the magazine about the magazine business, and for various journalism reviews.

I've been on Facebook for years and even started twittering a few weeks ago.

So I guess I'm "somewhat" prepared for the world of blogging. In this blog, I'll be writing about the changing media business, but from a business perspective. What business models work, what key metrics drive the business, how it is changing, and what it will mean to consumers, to advertisers, to society.

I'll try to share what few insights I have, and link to others who provide thoughtful, incisive commentary.

We're in a media revolution.

The editors are no longer gatekeepers. The amount of information we can consume is intense. There are no more geographic boundaries. At the LA Times, I spent a year leading a task force to develop a local news "zoning" strategy. We decided we needed 44 different zones to adequately provide local customized news in Southern California. But we couldn't cost effectively print and deliver 44 different sections every night. It almost seems quaint now,doesn't it? Because SoCal is much more than 44 different communities, it is made up of literally hundreds of geographic communities and countless more demographic ones. The Times can't print 44 different sections, but the web can provide hundreds of even smaller zoned, personalized news sites.

Figuring out how to create news and information sites that have sustainable, profitable business models is the challenge.

So we begin.

1 comment:

  1. Jeff, Great article in Time you may be interested to read. - Matt M,8599,1877191-1,00.html

    PS This quote struck a chord:

    For example, when Bill Gates noticed in 1976 that hobbyists were freely sharing Altair BASIC, a code he and his colleagues had written, he sent an open letter to members of the Homebrew Computer Club telling them to stop. "One thing you do is prevent good software from being written," he railed. "Who can afford to do professional work for nothing?"