What If You Paid the Media Back to Life?

By

Today's shake-up at Condé Nast has the media all in a tizzy. And after a Time article, many writers and editors of the world are seriously weighing paid web content. Metal magazines are folding, and gossip sites are signing out. The media ponders its future!

• In this week's Time magazine cover story, Walter Isaacson points out that "it is now possible to contemplate a time when some major cities will no longer have a newspaper," but "newspapers have more readers than ever." It's just that nobody's paying. Isaacson advocates for iTunes-esque fees for online content (a trendy idea today, but one that is over a decade old). And by clicking the right-aligned link, you can read the whole story for free. [Time]

• At the Philly Daily News, columnist Stu Bykofsky laments the same issue, wisely wording it: "the only thing that online readers seem willing to pay for is quality porn." Like the Peter Osnos paradigm, Bykofsky's idea suggests that "Should Google 'pick up' (steal) our stuff, if we successfully sued them for $1 billion, two good things happen: 1) Our money problems are solved; 2) everyone else will stop stealing our content." He adds: "I know some say that you can't put toothpaste back in the tube, but desperate times call for desperate measures." [Philadelphia Daily News]

• Air America is adding to its sales team. The media company plans to sell ads for its radio, video, and online platforms. [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]

• Even, um, hair bands are feeling the print pinch. Metal Maniacs and Metal Edge are folding. [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]

• 109 journalists died on assignment last year. This makes us seriously rethink the category name of these posts. [FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]

• McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt says "We'll experiment with paid content online. But most experiments show that you lose more online revenue than you gain per subscriber." But the publishing company is also freezing pensions and slashing $100 million from its operating expenses. [PaidContent, Sacramento Bee]

• Tennessee-based real-estate developer and media man Brian Conley has offered to buy the bankrupt Creative Loafing Inc. [Atlanta Mag]

• Juicy Campus, the message boards for anonymous, college-age gossip folks, or as Timothy Chester called it, "a virtual bathroom wall," is shutting down. Strangely, the close isn't a result of legal or ethical reasons, but economic ones, apparently. It appears the archives aren't even up anymore. That's a relief. [Juicy Campus]

• About.com, a New York Times Company–owned information website, is laying off nineteen people — nearly 6 percent of its workforce, including editorial staffers. [PaidContent]