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To: JohnM who wrote (750)3/18/2010 9:23:11 PM
From: stockman_scott
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Christiane Amanpour will be leaving CNN to join ABC News...

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From: Sam Citron3/19/2010 9:17:29 AM
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Barnes & Noble Promotes the Head of Its Web Division to Chief Executive

Determined to stake out a strong digital future, Barnes & Noble on Thursday named William Lynch, president of the company’s Web division, as chief executive, succeeding Stephen Riggio, who will remain as vice chairman.

In the unexpected move, Mr. Lynch, 39, was named to the top spot a little over a year after arriving at the company with no experience in the book business. He is also the first person outside of the Riggio family to be named chief executive since Leonard Riggio, the company’s chairman, bought the company in 1971. He appointed his younger brother, Stephen, 55, in 2002.

“There really has not been much change here in all these years,” Leonard Riggio said in an interview at the company’s corporate headquarters in Manhattan. Because of Mr. Lynch’s background in e-commerce and technology, Mr. Riggio said, “by appointing him, it sends a signal to the marketplace that we are serious about the business and the way this business is evolving.” But he added that neither he nor his brother was retiring and both would continue to act in advisory roles.

Barnes & Noble, the country’s largest bookstore chain, has suffered a decline in print book sales as e-book sales have grown significantly. In its latest quarterly financial report, the company said that same-store sales had fallen by 5.5 percent compared with a year earlier while sales at rose 32 percent.

The company has also come under recent pressure from the investor Ronald W. Burkle, who wants to raise his stake in the company to 37 percent and has protested poison-pill provisions that Barnes & Noble has imposed to prevent any single investor from holding more than 20 percent. Mr. Burkle has also complained that the Riggio family has “effective control” of the company, which went public in 1993.

Mr. Lynch, who joined Barnes & Noble from, also previously held executive positions at and Palm. During his short tenure at Barnes & Noble, Mr. Lynch has helped the company acquire Fictionwise, an online retailer of e-books, has overseen the introduction of the company’s own e-bookstore, and headed the introduction of the Nook, the company’s electronic reader, to compete with Amazon’s Kindle and other devices.

Some industry analysts were surprised that Mr. Lynch had been promoted so soon. It is “the corporate succession equivalent of moving in with someone a week after the first date,” said Michael Norris, senior analyst at Simba Information, which provides research and advice to publishers.

He said he was reassured by the company’s announcement that it had also appointed Mitchell Klipper, 52, the chief operating officer, as chief executive of the company’s retail group, which includes both the general retail and college bookstores. Mr. Klipper has been with the company 23 years.

But other analysts said that Barnes & Noble also needed to show investors that it was not going to rely on being the largest bookseller in the country.

“I think the Riggios have done a very good job in real estate and winning the bookstore strategy, but the bookstore strategy is in question because of technology,” said David Schick, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus in Baltimore.

In the digital world, he said, “the pace of decision-making has to go up if you want to compete and ultimately win, so what Barnes announced today was a big nod to that.”

Although the company is clearly emphasizing its digital future, Leonard Riggio said he did not foresee significant store closings. The company, which has 723 general retail bookstores and operates 639 outlets through its college bookstore subsidiary, is unlikely to open new locations. Mr. Riggio said that in the next two years, “the net number of stores will not change much.” After that, he said, “we will have to see.”

Mr. Lynch said the physical bookstores would remain “the most vital channel in terms of marketing books and up-and-coming authors.” But the company is trying to gain a larger role in e-books, where it still clearly trails the industry leader, Amazon, the biggest e-book seller in the United States.

The company has tried to emphasize the competitive advantage of physical stores — consumers can now buy Nooks in the stores and can download free content there. Soon they will be able to wirelessly browse full e-books while in the physical stores.

The company encountered some supply problems for its Nook during the holiday season, but Mr. Lynch said it was now the biggest-selling product at Barnes & Noble. The company has also announced plans to offer an application on Apple’s forthcoming iPad tablet and has signed on to be the e-bookstore that will work with expected e-readers from Samsung and Plastic Logic.

His appointment was welcomed by the publishing world. “I think this is a very smart move for Barnes & Noble, given the transition in this business from print to digital,” said Brian Murray, chief executive of HarperCollins Publishers.

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To: stockman_scott who wrote (888)3/19/2010 1:23:32 PM
From: Ron
   of 2371
Blockbuster should rent it's own movies:

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To: Ron who wrote (884)3/20/2010 12:47:42 AM
From: Sr K
   of 2371
>> The old guy was Pablo Picasso. And that napkin paid our bill. <<

They should have gone to Western Union anyway, and kept the napkin.

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To: JohnM who wrote (750)3/21/2010 11:22:39 PM
From: stockman_scott
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New Barnes & Noble CEO calls digital books 'the key to our future'...

The elevation of online head William Lynch as the chain contends with lower store sales and a stock fight with billionaire investor Ron Burkle is seen by analysts as an embrace of the future.

By Andrea Chang
The Los Angeles Times
March 19, 2010

Book giant Barnes & Noble Inc., in the midst of a heated stock ownership battle with Los Angeles billionaire investor Ron Burkle, has announced a major shake-up of its top management.

The world's largest bookseller said Thursday that it was replacing Chief Executive Steve Riggio with William Lynch, the head of its online division, in a move many saw as a sign that the company was embracing the changing nature of the book business.

"It's a technology person running a bookstore, and that's a big deal," said David Schick, an analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. "They don't have their head in the sand about what's going on out there. I think that's the single biggest take-away."

Lynch, 39, joined the bookseller in February 2009 as president of Barnes & He succeeds Riggio, who had been chief executive of the company since 2002 and is the younger brother of Chairman Leonard Riggio.

The move comes at a difficult time for Barnes & Noble. The New York company has seen its store sales decline as customers migrate online, and analysts have openly cast doubts on the company's direction as the book industry goes more digital.

It has also weathered criticism about its management from Burkle, who has been aggressively buying the company's stock since late last year. The investor recently slammed Barnes & Noble's board of directors for rebuffing his attempts to raise his stake to as much as 37%, which would make him the company's largest shareholder.

In an interview with The Times this month, Lynch said he was confident that Barnes & Noble's wide reach -- 719 bookstores in 50 states, plus college, online and publishing divisions -- would allow it to succeed in the evolving book business.

He stressed that he still saw a place for brick-and-mortar stores despite the rise of online sellers and digital e-readers such as Inc.'s Kindle device and his company's own Nook.

"In terms of where the business exists, physical books and bookstores will continue to be a very important part of this big industry," he said.

Lynch reiterated that sentiment during a conference call Thursday with analysts, but also called e-books and digital products "the key to our future."

"Barnes & Noble is very well positioned in this world, and we are taking the bold action that will be necessary to win," he said.

Steve Riggio, 55, will remain vice chairman and still be actively involved in Barnes & Noble, the company said. The bookseller also announced the promotion of Chief Operating Officer Mitchell Klipper, 52, to chief executive of its retail group, which includes the Barnes & Noble retail business and the Barnes & Noble College Booksellers business.

In Thursday's conference call, Leonard Riggio said the management changes were important steps to "securing the company's future" and said it was "unquestionably the right time to make this transition."

"We've always been concerned with the continuity of our enterprise," he said. "From the outset, this business has not been about us but about all the stockholders of Barnes & Noble. . . . We've always been committed to retail, and now we want to be equally committed to the other parts of our business."

Shares of Barnes & Noble rose 57 cents, or 2.6%, to $22.90.

Leonard Riggio bought Barnes & Noble as a single bookstore in 1971 and is often credited with creating the modern bookstore model.

The company changed the face of book retailing in the 1990s with its aggressive rollout of hundreds of superstores nationwide. Today Barnes & Noble sells about 300 million books a year and accounts for roughly 18% of U.S. book sales.

Schick, of Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., said Barnes & Noble was wise to change its management and put digital technology front and center.

"To ignore the way the printed word is developing would be just way too dangerous," he said. "You have to move fast when digitization starts."

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (869)3/22/2010 4:26:22 AM
From: stockman_scott
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Bernstein: Broadcasters Once Again Have a License To Print Money

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To: stockman_scott who wrote (893)3/24/2010 11:04:24 AM
From: Ron
   of 2371

Len Downie: For-profit news organizations won’t create enough journalism

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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (869)3/26/2010 3:24:41 PM
From: stockman_scott
   of 2371
Tribune Held $117 Million to Defend Banks in Suit (Update1)

By Steven Church

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Tribune Co. wrongly set aside $117 million to pay the legal defense of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and other lenders who are being sued by bondholders of the bankrupt publisher, creditor lawyers said.

The creditors want a judge to force the lenders to return as much as $25 million the banks have already paid to lawyers and other advisers to defend against claims they doomed Tribune to bankruptcy in 2007 by arranging $8 billion in loans used in the company’s buyout.

“This is a very, very bad precedent,” creditor attorney David Rosner said during a hearing today in Wilmington, Delaware.

The creditors have asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey to change the payment priority of Tribune’s debt so they will be paid ahead of the banks. Tribune has financed the banks’ defense against any lawsuits that might force that change, according to court documents.

Dennis Glazer, a lawyer for New York-based JPMorgan, said the payments are required by the loan agreements, and he urged Carey to allow them to continue. The payments were halted after creditors complained.

The case is Wilmington Trust Co. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, 10-50732, and the bankruptcy case is In re Tribune Co., 08- 13141, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Church in Wilmington, Delaware, at

Last Updated: March 26, 2010 12:39 EDT

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From: Ron3/28/2010 9:32:51 AM
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NewsCorp's Times of London going to a paywall in June:

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From: Sam Citron3/29/2010 12:28:21 PM
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Up Is Down: FT Free On iPad, Guardian Monthly Mobile Charge?

Suddenly, everything is new again. Underlining uncertainty and lack of consensus regarding mobile-device monetisation strategy, two newspapers are trying ideas contrary to those for which they’re known…

“The FT iPad app will be sponsored at launch by Hublot, the watchmaker, subsidising a two-month free access period,” reports the paper itself - a far cry from its usual, and growing, subscription-only option. Even on iPad’s little brother, iPhone, viewing in-app articles requires the same web subscription.

Meanwhile, if you thought a one-off mobile fee was the farthest The Guardian would stray from its reluctance toward charging on the web, see what an unnamed “senior executive” tells the FT about seeking more charges: “We’ll enhance the app, and then the whole aim will be to get that on monthly subscription because it has been amazingly successful and . . . a fantastic experiment.”

The Guardian’s iPhone app has been well received, clocking 101,457 downloads between its launch on December 14, 2009, and February 21, 2010. But many observers have raised an eyebrow that the initial, one-off £2.39 cost gives users unlimited free news from then on, potentially undercutting other chargeable products like the paper.

Clearly, publishers are bullish about the ability to charge on mobile devices. Wired editor-in-chief Chris Anderson says his mag’s iPad app is an opportunity to “reset the economics”. What that means - mobile apps, as a new technology, have no pre-existing culture of only-free content consumption, as the web does, offering an opportunity to charge from the start this time. Indeed, the more an app begins to resemble the paper original (after all, tablets are kinda newspaper-sized), the more it seems rude not to charge.

With the FT, we’re likely only witnessing a toe being dipped in the water, as the paper rides the wave of advertisers happy to get in on iPad’s ground floor.

Update: FT tells us: “There will be an initial free use period sponsored by Hublot and then after that we will revert to the same model as the iPhone app - free to download but integration with the access model so you have 10 free articles and then you have to pay a subscription.

“It allows us to determine pricing and retain the direct relationship with the customer. It has worked well for the iPhone app and we hope this demand and momentum will be carried on over into the iPad.”

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