Saturday, 6 September 2008

Petraeus's comments to the Financial Times newspaper

Two points:

a) This is a pretty big news story, given to the FT, not the IHT, nor the NYT. Doesn't say much for the IHT's stature in the minds of Pentagon handlers when wanting to speak to the world.

b) The current exec. editor of the IHT is known for his anti blogger comments, calling them people who riff of the MSM.

In this case (see below) the IHT relied on Reuters to pick it up, and used their piece.

That's called riffing off (by the IHT) those who riff (in this case Reuters) off the MSM (in this case the FT).

U.S. troops may quit Baghdad "by July"
LONDON: U.S. combat troops could be pulled out of Baghdad within 10 months because of declining violence in the Iraqi capital, General David Petraeus, U.S. commander in Iraq, said in an interview published on Thursday.
Petraeus's comments to the Financial Times newspaper came as the United States and Iraq seek to finalise a security pact that will govern the presence of U.S. forces in Iraq after a United Nations mandate expires at the end of the year.
There are about 145,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and Petraeus was referring in his interview to the roughly 16,000 stationed in Baghdad, the paper said.
Asked whether it was feasible that U.S. combat forces could leave Baghdad by July, Petraeus said: "Conditions permitting, yeah.
"The number of attacks in Baghdad lately has been ... I think it's probably less than five (a day) on average, and that's a city of seven million people," he added.

A magazine for the rich (and lucrative ads)

Just in case you missed it, here below is the NYT article on the WSJ's magazine.

It makes reference to Robert Thomson, managing editor of The Journal, proceeding 'to make a veiled swipe at T magazine'.

O.K. then, so what was this veiled swipe? Can't the NYT journalist tell us? He manages to do so regarding Thomson's comments on the FT magazine (spot on, incidentally).

(BTW: I received my T magazine in the post yesterday. I had a skim. Look, I understand, but some of the writing - no, actually quite alot of the writing - could be submitted to Private Eye's Psued's Corner. Pages of it. The 'perfume plant' - I can't think of his name but it's sure to be something like Horacio - is off this planet and badly needs to be reeled in.)

Funnily enough, only last week an ex-IHT employee suggested to me that the future of the IHT would be best assured as a glossy weekly.

I don't agree, that's not what I would like to see happen as a reader of the IHT but selling (even more) ads for the very rich could, as I have said, be a more central component in subsidising my daily IHT habit.

But ads = content decisions, at the NYT and the WSJ and the IHT. All this talk of chinese walls in American newspapers between business and edit is baloney, that finished a long time ago now.

The ad director tells the publisher he can sell a 8 page fashion supplement? Edit will come up with an 8 page fashion supplement just like that.

A magazine for the rich (and lucrative ads)

Selling any print advertising these days means sailing against the wind, but as some categories battle a gale, the safest harbor is in ads for luxury consumer products.
That is the theory behind WSJ., the new magazine from The Wall Street Journal, which was unveiled to reporters Wednesday and will be delivered to many subscribers Saturday.
It joins an increasingly crowded field of magazines unabashedly celebrating wealth and consumption, all trying to take advantage of the healthiest part of a shrinking print advertising pool. And it is the latest in a series of bids by The Journal to capture a bigger piece of the consumer ad market and lessen its traditional dependence on ads aimed at businesses.
At just over 100 pages, the first issue of WSJ. has 51 advertisers, mostly of the type publications covet: high-end makers of clothes, handbags and other accessories, with brand names like Hermès, Audemars Piguet and Dior. Executives at The Journal said that some had signed on for two years.

"And 19 advertisers are new to The Wall Street Journal," said Michael Rooney, chief revenue officer of Dow Jones & Co., the division of the News Corp. that publishes The Journal.
In this climate, 51 advertisers is "a very solid number, a respectable number," said Roberta Garfinkle, senior vice president and director of print strategy at TargetCast TCM, a media agency.
"It's a smart move on The Journal's part to go after that luxury retail marketplace that they really haven't had," she said, despite the growing number of magazines chasing essentially the same ads. "What remains to be seen is their execution."
The Journal starts with a major advantage in that it can offer advertisers the wealthiest readership of any American newspaper. An even more affluent subgroup of subscribers will receive the magazine, Rooney said, with an average household income of $265,000.
Out of The Journal's U.S. Saturday circulation of about 2 million, 800,000 copies — those sold by subscription or at newsstands in 17 large markets — will include WSJ. In addition, 160,000 copies will be distributed on Fridays outside the United States. The magazine begins as a quarterly, with plans to go monthly next year.
Executives would not say how much The Journal had invested in WSJ. or when the company expected it to break even.
For several years, advertising for luxury goods has outpaced mass-market and business-to-business ads, and a number of publishers have tried to capitalize on that trend, including The New York Times, which introduced T, a style magazine, in 2004.
As the economy has struggled over the last year, the divide between high-end ads and others has widened. Ad pages in United States magazines fell 7.4 percent in the first half of 2008, according to the Magazine Publishers Association, but some categories appealing to affluent consumers — high-end apparel and other retail, and hotels and resorts — were roughly flat.

Newspapers have fared worse, with advertising revenue down almost 8 percent last year, and about 13 percent in the first half of 2008. The Journal does not make figures public, but executives there have said that ad revenue is down sharply this year.
In this decade, The Journal has taken several steps to broaden its identity as a publication primarily about business news, read mostly by men, to win more consumer ads. It added the softer Personal Journal and Weekend Journal sections, and in 2006, began publishing on Saturdays.
Since being taken over last December by News Corp. and its chairman, Rupert Murdoch, the paper has put greater focus on general-interest news, including politics and international news.
WSJ. resembles How To Spend It, the weekend magazine of The Financial Times, a Journal competitor, with slightly less focus on consumption — though there is plenty of that, from canine couture to face cream to trench coats. It aims a bit more for features articles, with items on, among other things, business executives, philanthropy, feuding over the America's Cup and the workout regimen of Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, a piece planned well before she became Senator John McCain's running mate.
Tina Gaudoin, editor in chief of WSJ., said her magazine was less about how to spend it and more about "how to live it."
Reflecting the magazine's high style, its unveiling was held at the Pierpont Morgan Library over a breakfast that included smoked salmon, caviar and raspberry parfait, with a digital slide show and executives reading from teleprompters.
Robert Thomson, managing editor of The Journal, poked a little fun at the pomp, saying, "This being convention season, histrionics are the order of the day."

Thomson, like Murdoch, likes to take a few shots at the competition, in keeping with the rough-and-tumble of the British newspaper industry — he was the editor of The Times of London — and Wednesday was no exception.
Referring to the industry's woes, he said, "We don't have the fetid air of failure at Dow Jones," and proceeded to take a veiled swipe at T magazine. And as for the magazine of The Financial Times, he said, "How to Spend It is like a BMW 3 series, and this is a BMW 7 series."

International Herald Tribune
New York Times

Newspapers defaulting on loans

This from Friday's IHT, in a wider article about corporate loan defaults.

An ominous trend to watch: Corporate loan defaults

"There have been no high-profile, high-impact defaults," S&P reported. "Defaults this year have been more plentiful than painful." It pointed out that while 3.3 percent of loans are in default, those loans amount to just 2 percent of the money lent. Few big loans have gone bad.

One of the three August defaults was Star-Tribune, the publisher of the Minneapolis newspaper. Investors fear that other publishers will follow, and several of them have loans trading at distressed prices.

International Herald Tribune
New York Times

The future of the New York Times

I have mentioned before that the NYT apparently has a team of 'geeks and gurus' (not my description, I am borrowing it) working on the long-term future of the NYT, and, by extension that of the International Herald Tribune.

One of them, media guru Michael Rogers, the NYT's futurist-in-residence is leaving after two years at the NYT.

His two year in the making primary conclusion?

"I think probably the most interesting thing that emerged from a lot of the research I helped with was just how hard it's going to be to replace paper."

The NYT does like its research, but if that's the most interesting thing to emerge from the work of two years of professional media consulting you have to wonder what other insights he came up with.

I mean, seriously, that's not enough is it?

I think most IHT readers could have served up that gem two years ago, without the research.

The good news is clear - he is less worried about the NYT than he is about the future of some newspapers. The bad news is that he is more pessimistic about others.

So that's all good then.

What I want to know is if he thinks paper is going to be hard to replace:
a) for which demographic? Because for a lot of young people, newspapers don't need to be replaced because they haven't ever loyally bought them.
b) Does he think Newspaper 1.0 needs to be replaced by Newspaper 2.0 if they are to survive?

Mixed Media
by Jeff Bercovici
At 'NY Times,' the Futurist Is Now...Leaving
The New York Times may or may not have a bright future, but as of today it doesn't have a futurist.
New media guru Michael Rogers, who for the past two years has mulled the long-term challenges facing the news media as the paper's
futurist-in-residence, is leaving to go back to consulting. No word yet on whether the Times will replace him.
"It was the idea right from the start that we would make this a mutual engagement," says Rogers, noting that his initial one-year appointment was extended last year at the behest of
Michael Zimbalist, the New York Times Co.'s vice president of research and development.
And what has two years of professional crystal-ball-gazing taught Rogers about the future of media?
"I think probably the most interesting thing that emerged from a lot of the research I helped with was just how hard it's going to be to replace paper," he says. "I've been doing this for 20 years now, and the longer I do it the more it seems like a really good medium that's going to be around for quite a while longer."
Asked whether everything he's learned has made him more or less pessimistic about the Times's prospects, he says, "I've become more worried about some newspapers but less about what the Times is doing. They're doing all the right things. We're looking at quite a shakeout over the next five to eight years, but I think many companies are positioning themselves properly to get through it. I think the Times is doing more than most any other media company I've worked with in the past."
------Disclosure: I've freelanced for the Times.

A Place in the Auvergne
International Herald Tribune
New York Times

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Print versus Internet

Sometimes there is no substitute for print.

I read the IHT online this morning, but later, again, I perused the print edition which arrives here with the post at 1.oo pm, to see what I've missed.

An article about the sentencing of two Israeli border guards, the Polish government's decision to investigage the death of a Polish general in 1943, 14 immigrants dead trying to reach the Canaries, serious talk of a one state solution among Palestinian moderates all failed to show up on my daily article index on

Perhaps they are on yesterday's article index (haven't got time to check; not the point) and ran in today's 4 star edition because they came in too late for yesterday's 4 star edition.

But the point is, I always use the print as my touchstone, even if I look online for my pet project for 2008 called A Place in the Auvergne.

One other article that I didn't see on nor could I find when I searched both the NYTimes website and the IHT website, was a fascinating article on the problems posed by U.S debt to the Chinese economy, filed by the Keith Bradsher in Hong Kong (page 11, today's business section, Atlantic 4 star edition).

Where has it gone?

Who knows, and that's not the point either.

The point is, that to get maximum value out of the IHT I use both web - to drill down into short stories in the print version, often wire stories given a para or two only - and the print to make sure I haven't missed anything on

I also find the IHT print edition headlines to be much better, and often not the same, than the headlines of which often reveal a lack of editorial savvy if they haven't used the same headline as print.

So it's not an either or for me, it's a both.

What would be helpful would be if EVERY story published in the IHT print editions, no matter what print edition of any given day, makes it into the daily article index of of that day.

Now where can I get that Bradsher article online or am I being stupid? Probably the latter.

A Place in the Auvernge
International Herald Tribune
New York Times

The International Herald Tribune's coverage of Palin

First off, I'd like to thank the IHT for letting me know that someone who could very possibly become the president of the world's most powerful country named her children, and I am not making this up:
  • Track
  • Bristol (soon to be married to Levi)
  • Willow
  • Piper
  • Trig

Now we've got that out of the way, I'll say that since W. we all want to know who could be running the U.S.A as soon as possible, and I have no problems learning about Palin.

But as to the absurdly large two-column piece on the 'first Dude' (her husband) in today's IHT (page 7; 4 Star Atlantic edition)?

That's just too much gun, as they like to say in the Cotswolds when an unnecessarily large amount of effort, horsepower or action is used to achieve a particular outcome - in this case, informing us about Palin.

As to the entire (and larger than usual) letters column being devoted to Palin, the same could also be said.

I'll leave IHT readers to make draw their own comparisons between this piece (plus photo) and others in today's paper, and the relative allocation of precious news hole space.

Easy tigers, this is meant to be a newspaper for an international audience. Isn't it?

A Place in the Auvernge
International Herald Tribune
New York Times

François Desmaisons, former IHT circulation director

PARIS: François Desmaisons, 82, former circulation director of the International Herald Tribune, died Aug. 7 in Golf-Juan, France. The cause of death was heart failure, his family said.
Desmaisons joined the newspaper in 1953 when it was the European edition of The New York Herald Tribune, the predecessor of the IHT, which is now owned by The New York Times.
He became circulation director in 1960 and oversaw the expansion of the paper from a Paris-based publication directed largely at American tourists and expatriates in France to an international operation with printing sites throughout the world.
Sales grew from 30,000 copies a day to 200,000 following the opening of facsimile sites - at the time an extraordinary innovation - starting with London in 1974, Zurich in 1977 and Hong Kong in 1980. The IHT currently is printed in 35 sites and has a circulation of more than 241,000.
Desmaisons retired in 1991 but remained as a consultant until 1994.

"François was a pioneer in international circulation development, widely respected around the world, a man who profoundly loved the newspaper industry," said Alain Lecour, former associate publisher of the IHT.
During World War II, Desmaisons served as a liaison officer between French forces and the British and U.S. armies in Normandy and Paris. He later saw combat in the south of France and was awarded the Croix de Guerre. After the war, he worked as a translator at the United Nations in New York for several years before returning to France.

IW: When I first joined the IHT, as Director for Belgium and Luxembourg, based in Brussels back in 1994, is it Francois that I remember as serving out the last days of his time at the IHT in Paris?

Was he the man Didier Brun, the young Franco-Swiss gun who was to be promoted to take over his job, introduced me too? My memory is perhaps failing me, and I am confusing Francois with another man who was literally in the process of packing his things.

So I'm a little confused.

Richard McClean, the new, ex-FT IHT publisher had wanted young blood, and picked out Didier from advertising (classifieds I think it was) to be the new Circulation Director. I can't remember if it was him, or Francois, who was on the masthead as Circulation Director when I was recruited.

Alain Lecour was also seen as part of the ancien regime, and was given a very nice job in Spain as circulation director for that country, presumably as part of the deal.

1993/1994 really was a watershed in the IHT's history, as much as the overseas print sites introduced by Francois were too. McClean marked the beginning of a more earnest approach to making the IHT more profitable, the end of the extravagant annual global sales conferences, the fun really. I arrived, and represented, amongst another new hires, the end of fun.

Sadly, however, the FT had already stolen a lead in Europe's business heartland, by starting to print in Frankfurt.

IHT management and editorial were way too complacent about this young upstart in international newspaper publishing, and completely failed to anticipate or react to their rapid expansion until it was way, way to late to retake the high ground seized by the FT.

That high ground was the hearts and minds of senior European business decision makers, and although, ostensibly, the IHT had been trying to position itself into this market since it became the IHT, it had failed to do so.

Leading European industrialists might have been readers, but it was the FT that first realised that one had to reach the entirety of these companies 'C-suites' to bring in the ad dollars. The chairman of Europe's largest companies don't buy network computer systems, it's their senior executive in charge of IT.

But neither IHT owner at that time had the ambition or willingness to invest that the FT did. And there went a hell of an opportunity which would have saved the NYTs a great deal of money all these years later.

It was to be another decade before the NYT was ready to activate its global ambitions, and therefore 1993 - 2003 was to be a decade of relentless cost cutting and, de facto, making sure the IHT could not succeed, thus marking an obstacle to the NYT's eventual plans to either buy out the WP at a reasonable price or go on their own with the INYT.

For years we slaved away at a paper that the NYT wanted to keep just above water, until it was ready to strike. Somewhat cynical one might say, as naturally the board certainly didn't tell any of us that.

The FT built of their Frankfurt printing, were instrumental in quickly setting up a reader survey that became the gold standard for European advertisers (EBRS) and which suited their readership, and the rest is history.

The IHT has been trending down every since.

NB: I note that the above obituary doesn't report the IHT's highest circulation figures, some of which were obtained under Francois' career, and which exceed today's circulation. I think IHT circulation was in high 100,000s in 1994 - 14 years later it has seen some spikes (largely caused by local publishing partnerships) but remains more or less static at 241,000.

NB The highest the IHT circulation has ever been was in post WWI France, in excess of 300,000. A similar peak occurred directly after WWII, indeed the IHT was one of the first newspapers to begin reprinting after the liberation of Paris, gaining paper stock from the U.S. army's Stars and Stripes.

By the 1950s however it was on its knees.

Unfortunately the IHT's owners then mistook availability (via the new print sites) and the resulting dramatically increased sales, for sustainable reader loyalty.

Just because it was available didn't make it any good but it sure helped circulation figures. At that time foreign newspapers simply weren't available globally, so for anyone travelling, who couldn't read the local press, the IHT was essentially a distress purchase.

The FT made their newspaper available, and it was a much better product for the audience both newspapers had to compete for.

Much of the IHT's 241,000 circulation remains bulk sales to airlines, which, given fuel costs, is likely to decrease.

A Place in the Auvergne
International Herald Tribune
New York Times

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

If You're Rich, You Still Have Time to Read (Ad Age)

Now this is why there is no reason the IHT shouldn't thrive. Just needs a little tinkering to get the younger rich. And that's what I call Newspaper 2.0.

I'm not rich, but I am quite happy for the rich to subsidise my favourite daily newspaper.

The Wealthy Are Spending More Time Online, Less Hours on TV
Nat Ives Published: September 02, 2008 NEW YORK ( -- Well-off readers say they read print publications just as much now as they did five years ago, according to the latest survey of affluent readers by Ipsos Mendelsohn.
Respondents making more than $100,000 annually said their average hours online had grown to 22.1 each week from 10.7, while the time they said they spent watching TV sunk to 18.6 hours from 23.7 in the 2003 survey. And they said their time spent listening to the radio had declined slightly. But they said they're regularly reading an average of 15.3 print publications, a notch above 15.1 five years earlier. Readers making more than $250,000 said they read just as many publications, 23.8 now, as they did in 2003. Ray of light "The conventional wisdom for print is 'Woe is me,'" said Bob Shullman, president of Ipsos Mendelsohn. "But if you look at this, at least among the affluent population, readership of issues per capita, it's staying constant." The magazine business has its worries, to be sure: High gas prices are reducing drives to the supermarket while the broader economic slump makes readers think twice before buying new magazines. Newsstand sales, as a result, are looking grim this year. Ad-page sales are equally dour, down 7.42% across the monthlies through September, according to the Media Industry Newsletter. Newspapers, for their part, are fighting far darker demons. But these problems don't affect the affluent market the same way as they do everyone else, said Ted D'Amico, senior VP-research, Ipsos Mendelsohn. "Readership has held its own among the affluent segment," Mr. D'Amico said. "Why is this the case? There are two factors. One, education. And they can afford magazines." In other findings, the most popular magazines among the affluent respondents include People, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, Time, Newsweek and Southern Living. Only 40% of affluent consumers said they use their cellphones or mobile devices to access the internet. But that proportion rises with affluence, so that fully 57% of the segment earning more than $250,000 reported using mobile devices to get online. Where do they shop On the retail front, 2.4% of affluent respondents said they had shopped at a Prada store in the past year, 12.6% had shopped at Saks Fifth Avenue, 15.8% had shopped at Talbots, 45.2% shopped at Victoria's Secret, 68.2% at Macy's, 80.2% at Wal-Mart, 84.9% at Target and 85% shopped at Home Depot. The 2008 survey, the results of which are being released today, began with a March mailing to prospective affluent "heads of house," followed by two reminder mailings to those that did not respond. Incentives of $5 or $10 were offered to encourage participation. The final response rate was 43% of the adults to whom the materials could be delivered, according to Mendelsohn. Mendelsohn has long specialized in the affluent market, and publishers with upscale titles tend to use its research, alongside many fashion and luxury brands. This study's supporters are magazines, newspapers, cable TV networks, broadcast TV networks, ad agencies and advertisers.

A Place in the Auvergne
International Herald Tribune
New York Times

Where Did That Bloomberg to Buy New York Times Rumor Come From?

According to the New York Observer, Michael Wolff (wasn't he ex-NY Observer, and if I'm thinking of the right guy used to write widly inaccurate reports about the IHT?) and Rupert Murdoch.

Interesting piece this, which as per normal, because online content providers haven't worked out a way to monetize their assets and stop me and millions of others from doing exactly the same, I'll post in full below:

How do rumors get started? They get started, apparently, by journalists who seek to connect with powerful sources, according to Vanity Fair's Michael Wolff, who shares an excerpt from his upcoming Rupert Murdoch biography in the October issue of the magazine.
Tuesdays with Rupert, Mr. Wolff writes:
[Mr. Murdoch] may be among the biggest gossips in New York. In the months of interviewing him, I found that the most reliable way to hold his interest was to bring him a rich nugget. His entire demeanor would change. He’d instantly light up. He’d go from distracted to absolutely focused. Gossip gives him life (and business opportunities). This, I believe, is how the rumor about Michael Bloomberg’s buying The New York Times got legs. I offered it to him as a bit of speculation—conflating two of his favorite subjects, Bloomberg, whom he greatly admires, and the Times, which he does not—that a Bloomberg-Times deal could be possible. He paused, considered, opened his mouth, seemed blissed out for a second, processed this information against his own needs and interests … and then said, “It makes sense. I think I’ll ask him.” And suddenly the rumor was everywhere—he was telling everybody, which made it true. The mayor’s people seemed to like the rumor so much that they began to talk it up themselves. Bloomberg himself seemed to fancy it (offering only a tepid denial) and, Murdoch thinks, could act on it.
Mr. Wolff also
floated this wildly speculative idea in the May issue of Vanity Fair when he wrote, "[Mr. Bloomberg] can afford it—and can afford to pay a premium for it. He’s run a media company before, so he might actually know what to do with it. And he’s a man who would be trusted, maybe the man who would be most trusted, by the Times core constituency, the moderate-liberal establishment, to be a proper steward—he, by himself, might bring value to the Times." In a weird twist, Mr. Wolff also wrote of Mayor Bloomberg that "When asked about this rumor"—that is, the rumor Mr. Wolff would tell readers several months later he'd started to engage Mr. Murdoch—"he gives a Cheshire smile."
Here's how the rumor grew from there: In the April 28, 2008 cover profile of Mr. Murdoch in Newsweek, Johnnie L. Roberts
Not since William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal challenged Joseph Pulitzer's New York World in the late 19th century has there been such a clash of newspaper titans. As was the case when Hearst took on Pulitzer, Murdoch—the son of an Australian journalist—still believes newspapers are the most influential media for shaping the public discourse, even in this new-media century. The fight could escalate in unknown ways if billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ends up acquiring the Times. As NEWSWEEK has learned, top associates of the onetime information executive are encouraging him to do just that.
When that story hit the Web, media and business blogs picked it up, like
Paid Content ("The Murdoch Effect: Bloomberg-New York Times Merger Thoughts?; Civic Duty To Save NYT," April 20th) and Portfolio ("Why Bloomberg Won't Buy the New York Times, April 21st). Next up, news organizations like Reuters ("Might Bloomberg buy the New York Times?," April 21st) and The New York Daily News ("Advisers urging Bloomberg to buy New York Times," April 21st) nibbled at it as well, adding more legitimacy. (Mr. Murdoch's own paper, The New York Post, had TIMES MAY BE FIT FOR BLOOMBERG MERGER.)
Finally, the media who cover the media—that would be The Observer—found an angle (
Bloomberg "Flattered" by New York Times Speculation, April 21st). Then, as quickly as it started, the rumor began to die: Bloomberg Says Not Interested in Newspaper Business (Reuters, April 21st); Bloomberg denies interest in buying Times (The Boston Herald, April 22nd). Soon, everyone moved on.
That's an awful lot of ink and pixels wasted to engage a busy mogul

A Place in the Auvergne
International Herald Tribune
New York Times

Today's Headlines from the NYT on the web

I subscribe to an email service called Today's Headlines: The New York Times on the Web. (Please see example below.)

As a non-American citizen or resident, I object to the prioritisation of American stories, the relegation of world news (and not much of it) to way down in the email, the presence of a N.Y metro section and irrelevant advertisements.

Not to mention the annoying design decision to write the names of the journalists in capital letters. Why?

What design thinking goes into making SHERYL GAY STOLBERG (who she, pray tell?) as important as her TOP STORY about Bush and Lieberman Praise McCain in lower case.

Actually, to be honest the entire email is a total mess design wise.

Clearly the NYTimes isn't the world's daily newspaper.

I subscribe to this email to pick up on late breaking NYT stories that are too late for the Atlantic edition of the IHT.

I'd prefer an IHT email which gave me their headlines PLUS the late breaking NYT stories that don't make it into the IHT print editions.

Anyway, take a look below, let me know what you think.

The New York Times on the Web
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Compiled 2 AM ET
For news updated throughout the day, visit
TOP STORIES -Bush and Lieberman Praise McCain
President Bush's speech to Republican convention on Tuesdaynight seemed to highlight how eager Senator John McCain isto usher him off the stage.
Palin's Start in Alaska: Not Politics as Usual
When Sarah Palin ran for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, in 1996,the town got its first local lesson in wedge politics.
Payoff in McCain's Effort to Woo Conservatives
The McCain campaign spent months trying to shore up supportamong religious conservatives, who have long viewed him as a nemesis.
Go to Homepage
"I'm here to support John McCain because country matters more than party."-
SENATOR JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, independent of Connecticut, in remarks at the RepublicanNational Convention.
Interactive: On the First Day of School, a Day of Firsts
A teacher, a principal, a student and a director on New York City's schools' first day. Article:

The Wild Side: Braking the Virus
Rewriting virus genes may lead to safer vaccines for humans, writes Olivia Judson.

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Georgians Eager to Rebuild Army
Georgia's military leaders hope to train the armed forcesas if another war with Russia is almost inevitable.
Russia President Dismisses Georgia's Leader as a 'PoliticalCorpse'
President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia made his commentsafter the European Union strongly criticized Russia for itsmilitary offensive in Georgia.
Hezbollah Shrine to Terrorist Suspect Enthralls Lebanese Children
Hezbollah has opened an exhibit in honor of Imad Mugniyah,who is accused of masterminding devastating bombings andhijackings in the 1980s and '90s.

More World News
On Sept. 3, 1976, the unmanned U.S. spacecraft Viking 2 landed on Mars to take the first close-up, color photographs of the planet's surface.
Buy this front page.

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Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Will the IHT become the International New York Times?

In response to a posting I had done about, a Think! reader wrote to me, posing this tricky question:

Which of these scenarios do you see as more likely to occur:
a) in two years NYT decides this website integration is not working and splits off a completely separate Paris!
b) in two years NYT decides to once and for all go full-on with NYT International and the IHT name and newspaper ceases to exist?

The answer to that particular question - I stress the particular because these are just two of many scenarios that could occur - would be 'b'.

In today's world it just isn't possible to imagine an organisation like the NYT being unable or unwilling to intergrate the web operations of the IHT and the NYT. If they can't pull if off, then I'd say you might as well pose scenarios about the NYT going out of business.

So that's scenario 'b' being more likely than scenario 'a', in response to the question posed.

As to scenario 'b': that's another matter altogether.

I'd say there is a reasonable chance of that, yes. And that's what this blogger hopes to avoid, and hopes this blog will contribute to its avoidance.

But the problem isn't what to do with the IHT; it's what to do with the mothership and newspapers in general.

Newspapers are in a mess every which way you look at them.

The solution lies in coming up with Newspaper 2.0 because at the moment they are still trading with Newspaper 1.0, a product that hasn't broadly or conceptually changed since the beginning of newspapers.

A Place in the Auvergne
International Herald Tribune
New York Times

Free newspapers feel the pinch as advertising slump takes hold (Guardian)

Roy Greenslade
Are we beginning to witness the bursting of the free newspaper bubble? There is increasing evidence pointing to that likelihood. Profits are proving hard, if not impossible, to find. Closures are becoming common (the latest examples are Nyhedsavisen in Denmark and two titles in Scotland). Distribution growth has tailed off.
The world's largest publisher of freesheets, the Swedish-owned
Metro International (MI), is beset by problems. It is clearly involved in a substantial retrenchment in various countries, having reported a loss of £1.5m in the second quarter this year. It is also rethinking its strategy in the United States. Clearly, the advertising downturn in America and Europe has hit the company.
MI's president and chief executive, Per Mikael Jensen, has admitted to
the vulnerability of his company's giveaway papers in the US, Britain and Europe while pointing to better advertising conditions in South America, Asia and Russia.
Even so, MI continues to boast of its claim to be
themost read print media by affluent Europeans, those famed young metropolitans who, prior to recession, advertisers were eager to reach.
But are the metropolitans eager to read freesheets. A couple of charts, which can be viewed courtesy of the Newspaper Innovation blog
here, show that this year marks "an all-time low in circulation growth for free dailies worldwide."
The figures show that growth in the first eight months of 2008 has been 5%, the lowest in free newspaper history. An accompanying graph shows why that figure is so significant.
There is no indication thus far that the British-based Metro titles, run by
Associated Newspapers, are suffering as badly as those published by MI. But managing director Steve Auckland concedes that Metro UK will not be entirely immune to the ad dramas facing the publishers of Britain's regional paid-for papers, such as Trinity Mirror and Johnston Press. An 18% growth in ad volumes is expected to level out next year.
Meanwhile, it's obvious that one threat to frees is the move by traditional paid-for titles to become distribution hybrids, selling some copies at the same time as giving some away (
as the Manchester Evening News is doing with notable success). So, in that sense at least, the free phenomenon is going through a readjustment.
But frees are an interim stage between paid-for newsprint newspapers and online "papers". They will probably survive longer than paid-fors. Their main effect, however, is to convince the emerging news-reading audience that news is, or should be, freely available. Again, that leads inevitably to an online future.

A Place in the Auvergne
International Herald Tribune
New York Times

NYT's Sulzberger Must Testify in Trump Lawsuit (Philly Inky)

Court sides with Trump in lawsuit
By Troy Graham
Inquirer Staff Writer
Donald Trump has won a victory in his legal battle against an author and New York Times reporter who had the temerity to label the mogul a mere millionaire.
In November, Trump's lawyers sent a subpoena to Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. seeking to question him about an e-mail exchange with reporter Timothy L. O'Brien, author of the 2005 biography TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald.
In the exchange, O'Brien predicted that Trump would "go ballistic" over portions of the book, including an assertion that the Donald's net worth was actually from $150 million to $250 million, an amount not in keeping with Trump's billionaire persona.
Sulzberger sought to quash the subpoena, but this month the New York Supreme Court said he must submit to a deposition.
Trump's defamation lawsuit against O'Brien and the book's publishers was filed in Superior Court in Camden County by Brown & Connery, the politically connected Westmont firm.
The celebrity dealmaker is suing for $5 billion, saying that being labeled a millionaire hurt his "brand and reputation" and undermined the "perception of Trump as a businessman of extraordinary means and ability (which he is)."
In a statement Thursday, partner William Tambussi said his firm would "proceed vigorously" to depose Sulzberger and move to trial.
"The New York Supreme Court ruled that even the publisher of the New York Times is not shielded from the legal process when it comes to his knowledge of Timothy O'Brien's actual malice toward Donald Trump," Tambussi said.
Trump is not suing the Times, though the paper published an excerpt of the book.
A spokeswoman for the Times said yesterday that the paper had no comment on the ruling. O'Brien's attorney was on vacation yesterday and did not return a message left at his office.
To win his suit, Trump must prove that O'Brien had "actual malice," meaning that he published statements he knew were untrue or that he had "reckless disregard" for their truth.
O'Brien has stood by the veracity of his book.
Trump's attorneys believe Sulzberger could shed some light on that matter. They also subpoenaed Times executive editor Bill Keller and business editor Lawrence Ingrassia.
The New York Supreme Court quashed Keller's subpoena. Ingrassia did not challege his subpoena, the court said.
The court ruled that Sulzberger could be questioned only on his e-mail exchange with O'Brien and a 2005 lunch he attended with Trump and O'Brien.
The e-mails began with Sulzberger's praising O'Brien's book, which he said he read while trekking to Machu Picchu in Peru.
O'Brien replied that "Donald is easy to lampoon, but harder to portray accurately (and deep down inside he's really sort of likable - in the way that endearing but out-of-control 8-year-olds are likable)."
When Sulzberger asked if O'Brien had gotten feedback from Trump, O'Brien said he had not, but predicted that Trump would go ballistic.
"He did see the cover art about six months ago and called to tell me: 'I loooovvve this. I look like some kind of superhero. Like a Marvel superhero. I loooovvve it,' " O'Brien responded.

A Place in the Auvergne
International Herald Tribune
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Regarding which I have posted about before:

Apparently this isn't something new. I'm now pretty sure this redirect was set up ages ago before the integration plans for the two websites were ever finalized.

As for what the future holds, 'I know nothing' and my guess is that the people at don't either.

It's a very secretive place, the IHT in Paris.

A Place in the Auvergne
International Herald Tribune
New York Times

Jeremy Irons, the International Herald Tribune and Me.

What does the actor Jeremy Irons have to do with the International Herald Tribune?

Jeremy Irons is an well-known stage and screen actor, perhaps best known internationally for his roles in
The French Lieutenant's Woman , "Brideshead Revisited", Betrayal , Die Hard: With a Vengeance , Stealing Beauty ,Lolita ,The Time Machine , The Merchant of Venice , Kingdom of Heaven , Casanova and Eragon

He is an enormous IHT fan and last May he kindly spoke at the IHT's May '68 exhibition at the National Theatre in London.

So that is my excuse for this post, but my intention is to 'share something' else with you.

I'll have to ask you to forgive me for blowing my own trumpet - or rather letting Mr. Irons do so - but as he has also kindly given me permission to quote him, I thought I'd make a post about him, the IHT and my book all in one go.

This is what he wrote about A Place in My Country.

"I read A Place in My Country with absolute unalloyed delight. A glorious book."

N.B Anyone who says bloggers are narcissistic and self-serving are clearly wrong.

A Place in the Auvergne
International Herald Tribune
New York Times

Palin: Disconnect between NYT/IHT headlines and articles

I've posted before on how the headlines found on often don't correspond with those found in the newspaper, and how headlines can give a slanted impression of the content of an article.

Another phenomena is how headlines listed in the daily article indexes don't correspond with the article behind the index.

A good example would be this one I just found: an intriguing article entitled
Palin's teenage daughter pregnant: Questions deepen about McCain's choice

When you click on to that link on the index, at least as I write, you arrive at this article:

Storm leads McCain to scale back convention

No mention of the teenage daughter.
International Herald Tribune
New York Times