The Media’s Christmas Hangover

By
Photo: iStockphoto

Some media workers got pink slips in their stocking this Christmas. Others nursed hard liquor in order to stay alive. Our furtive, semi-daily peek at a changing industry, after the jump.

• On Christmas Eve, Jan Wenner laid off Jason Gay, an editor; Erin Kelly, from photo; and Brian Braiker, a writer. Rollingstone.com, however, has just hired MTV’s Robert Mancini as the site’s executive editor. [NYP]

• The latest casualty in Iraq is the media. The Times’ reports that budget pressures have ousted reporters from NBC, CBS, and ABC — the big three — from Iraq, even as the conflict continues. “It is an expensive … operation to run at a time of diminishing resources and audience interest.” [NYT]

• Retail and auto hand the most ad dollars to media outlets, but with those industries facing their own deathwatches, expectations for next year’s ad spending are glum. In fact, ad spending is now expected to see its first three-in-a-row year decline since the Great Depression. But there are a few marketers “still in the game” for media outlets to fight for. [AdAge ]

• That aforementioned fight is creating bigger and bolder online advertisements (as you may have noticed, with that big butterfly-envelope thing popping out at you lately), The Wall Street Journal reports. And for the first time, Google and NBC are now running ads for hard liquor. [WSJ]

• After a 20 percent drop in ad revenue last November (even with the fab-selling November 5 paper), the Times is planning on selling the Red Sox to raise money. [Reuters, WSJ]

• The media went (more) meta yesterday, when NPR reporter Ketzel Levine reported her own layoff on the air. “I was told almost two weeks ago, but it's only today that I’m sane enough to tell you,” Levine said. NPR’s programming director told the Times that Levine’s announcement was “eerie,” and “not something any of us anticipated.” [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]

WWD reports that women are one group possibly benefiting from the media’s changes. Slate’s XX Blog is now becoming its own Website, come spring; and the first-ever girl to gawk, Elizabeth Spiers, is launching an online magazine described as “Maxim for women.” (So beefy dudes in swimsuits? Sweet.) [WWD]

• But not everyone is coming around to the whole blog phenomenon. Star-Ledger reporter Paul Mushine opines in The Wall Street Journal: “Bloggers are no replacements for real journalists … technology is killing old-fashioned newspapers. Some tell us that that's a good thing. I disagree and believe that the public will miss us once we're gone.” Well, maybe not you, specifically. [WSJ]

• Will next year see a media life watch? Maybe. [NPR]