Speakers and members of AWAC

World Affairs Councils of America - Alabama World Affairs Council

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Alabama World Affairs Council's Archive:

Notes, 2009-10

These notes by Jeremy Lewis do not represent the views of AWAC, its Board, or other members.

Bret Stephens, key points of speech to AWAC, YouTube, 3'
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by Jeremy Lewis; revised 5 May '10 with latest event notes.
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29 September 2009: Janet Guyon, "The Web and the Decline of News Outlets.  Managing Editor of Bloomberg News

13 October 2009: Edward (Jack) Hardin, "National Security and Civil Liberties."  Top corporate attorney from Atlanta.

1 November 2009 (Sunday), additional event:Gen. Michael Hayden, "The State of US Intelligence.  Former director of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency.

3 November 2009: Amb. Ryan Crocker, "Iraq/AfPak: Retrospects and Prospects"Recently retired, Ambassador to Pakistan, 2004-2007, Ambassador to Iraq, 2007-2009.

22 February 2010 (Monday): Dr. Hans Mark, "The Dangers of Nuclear Proliferation", Director of NASA's Ames Research Center (and formerly at Livermore Labs), Secretary of the Air Force, and Chancellor, University of Texas system.

6 April 2010: Dr. William Moomaw, Professor of International Environment Policy and Director of the Center for International Environment and Resource Policy, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, 1992-.

4 May 2010: Senior Air War College Instructors report on their regional tours, as part of the AWC Regional and Cultural Studies Program.


September 29, 2009: Janet Guyon, Bloomberg News. "The Web and the Decline of News Outlets."  Managing Editor of Bloomberg News; nine years with Fortune Magazine; and 18 years with the Wall Street Journal as reporter, editor, and producer.
Notes (blended) from Alexis Johnson and Jeremy Lewis
Career introduction
• Born in Cincinnati, Ohio
• Graduated summa cum laude from Duke in English and Economics
• Did post-graduate work at Columbia University
• 18 years with The Wall Street Journal
• 9 years with Fortune Magazine
• In 2000, she won “Magazine Journalist of the Year” in the UK
• Now managing editor of Bloomberg News
At the Bloomberg News
  • While with Fortune, learned at WEF of web publications, offered free
  • Wanted to be in charge of the website, being unfamiliar with the new technology that had taken the U.S. by storm while in England
  • Wall Street Journal web pages were an early success, and attracted millions to their online product though limited revenue per viewer compared to print.  At Bloomberg, became convinced could never raise enough revenue online.
  • Bloomberg News has 2,000 journalists around world, writing content.  Goal of $50M ad revenue.  Audience trebled to 15 M per month, but ad revenue never reached $50M.  Not like networks and newspapers (now one per city) so print commands a premium.
  • But ad inventory on web is infinite, so prices decline.  Advertiser does not need to use Bloomberg News – can go elsewhere.  Google, rather than NY Times, gets ad money  by matching ads to viewer interest.
  • Web is taking ad revenue away from print but it is not necessarily going to publishers.
  • NY Times going through third or fourth round of layoffs.
  • Publishers not stupid; there is technology change and distribution method change.
  • Squeeze going on and publishers do not know what to do.

  • - The ad revenue for the website was supposed to be around $50 million, but was closer to half of that
    -an ad network, like Google, can follow the audience, despite leaving the website
    -the network usually receives the money, rather than the publishers
    So, what to do?
  • Accept it, and embrace it. There will still be news, just in a different form.
  • Pay for an online addition

  • -How much to charge?
    -How and when to charge?
  • Possible to give away portions for free, and charge for full articles
  • Paid subscriptions, just as a printed newspaper
  • Bloomberg model: Bloomberg Terminal is a computer system that enables financial professionals to monitor and analyze real-time financial market data movements and place trades.  $20,000 per year for Bloomberg terminal - compared to tiny staff of web service.  300,000 pay, get download of software for PC as tool for making money – can compare P/E ratios, bonds, map of oil tanker ships around world.  Magazine, web, tv are just marketing tools for the main service.  Business model 20 years ago was e-delivered from start, able to support 146 offices worldwide, one of world’s largest busnesses organs.  Enabling tool for particular set of people.
  • Subscription services: like newspaper and phone service.
  • BBC model: government supported – but controversy over how much they can be commercialized with public support. Like Bloomberg News, create an exclusive program to fund the other media
  • Web news model: Superior product with real time news, video, ability to contact authors – but not charging for it.  No other business like this except internet entrepreneurs who build a business free and hope for Microsoft to buy out.
  • Free newspapers: were called shockers, not good quality.
  • In Europe, newspaper subscriptions and advertisers have 50-50 split of revenue.
  • Running web site at Bloomberg, about 10% of audience were addicts, spent much time on site.  If those paid $50 per year, that exceeds advertising anyway.
  • Many publishers taking subscription road now, but many will not survive.  However, Some newspapers will survive
  • Effect of coming shakeout?
  • Grew up in Cleveland when river set on fire, and chemicals flowed from steel industry – till shakeouts and layoffs.  Similarly, newspaper industry will have shakeout but some smaller media players will survive along with some papers.
  • Other ways to get information about local issues?  Web allows voluminous information
  • Pressure on Google -- which profits from scraping content unpaid from other sites -- to pay news organizations for content.
  • Patron system? [Unreliable].  ProPublica investigative journalists funded by Wachovia family – unfortunately with Wachovia stock [now of unreliable value].
  • Pulitzer prize winners have transferred to Bloomberg – so some benefit from shakeout.
  • Should there be a bailout?
  • How much does it matter?

  • -It is not a major national concern
    -There are other ways to get information to vote
    -The web has more information, and sometimes better information
  • Instead, the government could pressure sites like Google to share their profits with the publishers
  • Question Time
    Q) there a future in $75 subs for individual service?