Why Agents Will Morph Into Electronic Publishers

Once you remove the complexities of distribution from the book equation, an author has to ask herself what she gets from a publisher. After all, publicity is a function of the author’s own fame, talent, or personal story. And publishing is, at its very core, nothing more than publicity plus distribution. In the contemporary book […]

Is the Wall Street Journal the Future of News Video?

Why TV news in 2015 could look a lot like the outlet’s video today It’s not hard to mock the Wall Street Journal’s online video operation. The outlet’s daily broadcasts can feel a bit like the A.V. club at a tony school aping the nightly news. That impression isn’t helped by the fact that a host, […]

How the Hell Can Google Save Indie Bookstores?

The latest strange twist in the e-book saga comes from the still-mysterious Google Books project which theNew York Times tells us will leverage the nation’s 1,400 independent bookstores to break into the e-book business. (You can’t make this stuff up!) It would be nice to know if indie stores have much in the way of online traffic […]

What’s Amazon Playing At?

With Amazon’s share price still based upon an incredibly optimistic multiple of 50, even after the stock has pulled back $36 from a high of $150, we’re starting to see a backlash. Stock analysts are worried that increased competition in e-books from Apple and Barnes & Noble will lead to a compression in the multiple. Amazon has […]

Bloomberg vs. CNBC

The Comcast acquisition of NBC-Universal has opened a nice little bargaining window for Bloomberg TV,according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Bloomberg is using the merger review process to put pressure on Comcast to sell CNBC (as if!) or give Bloomberg better placement on the cable dial. It’s a clever negotiating strategy. But what interested us most in the […]

Memo to New York Times: Ditch the Magazine

The memo announcing Gerald Marzorati’s new role at the newspaper seemed like an anti-climax until the last paragraph, when Executive Editor Bill Keller issued this open call for ideas: Oh, yes. The magazine. Running The New York Times Magazine is one of the best jobs in magazine journalism. We intend to take as much time as […]

The Son of Gutenberg

A year ago, Justin Halpern was an underemployed comedy writer who had to move back into his parents’ home in San Diego. Today, he’s got 1.4 million Twitter followers, the No. 1 book on the New York Times nonfiction best-seller list, and a CBS sitcom starring William Shatner. All it took was writing down quotes from his father […]

Spawning Salmon

How the financial blogosphere gave birth to Felix Salmon The gravitational change in the media that has left some formerly influential journalists floating weightless in the ether while others have been crushed under the load of new expectations  has also opened up opportunity. The Web’s Big Bang, especially during a financial crisis, has created new, […]

Eating His Way to the Top

Why the New York Times’ new food critic could be the paper’s next editor It might seem odd to claim during the week that Condé Nast closed Gourmet magazine—famously presided over by the former New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl—that the newspaper’s new restaurant critic has a shot at becoming the paper’s next editor. Yet Sam Sifton, who starts […]

Mr. Taleb Goes to Washington

A black swan meets some ugly ducklings. Nassim Taleb is an unlikely choice to play the Jimmy Stewart role in a 21st-century remake of the Depression-era classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.