THE NEW YORK TIMES COMPANY VERSUS NEWS CORPORATION

Files under General | Nov 29th

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These two charts show a strinking difference.

In the results.

In the management style.

As americanthinker.com said:

Whereas NWS has rallied just over 140% since August 2002, shares of the NYT have declined just over 60% during the same time, and to a new all-time low toward $17.00 a share. The all-time peak was at $53.00 the week of June 28, 2002.

NWS has a market value of about $70 billion vs. NYT at about $3 billion.

Perception is reality!


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INNOVATION’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE NAA FUTURE OF NEWSPAPER BLOG

Files under General | Nov 27th

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The Newspaper Association of America invited INNOVATION to write, in a few words, our vision about the future of newspapers in a new blog on this subject.

You can read all the contributions here.


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THE NEW NEWSROOM OF THE NEW YORK TIMES

Files under General | Nov 25th

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Nicolai Ouroussoff reviews The New York Times’ new building in the paper’s Art & Design section.

The critic includes, as usual in our industry, a very pessimistic paragraph:

Even as journalists at The Times adjust to their new home, they worry about the future. As advertising inches decline, the paper is literally shrinking; its page width was reduced in August. And some doubt that newspapers will even exist in print form a generation from now.

If this is the mood inside the building, The New York Times is in trouble.

The first step to survival is to have hope.

See also the slideshow with 11 pictures of the new building by Renzo Piano.

A nice box for an old-fashioned newsroom design.

(Photo by Richard Perry/The New York Times)



ONLINE JOURNALISM CAVIAR (1): MEDIA CIRCUS

Files under General | Nov 24th

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This is going to be an occasional and different kind of series with short reviews of what I will call “Online Journalism Caviar.”

Your recommendations are welcomed!

My first entry in this new series is Media Circus, a regular section of The First Post online-only publication.

Smart.

Sharp.

Refreshing.

Brilliant.

Provocative.

Well-designed.

Addictive.

Try it!

In their own words:

Media Circus is here to give students and graduates a better understanding of the media industry. Whether you’re an aspiring film maker, graphic designer, journalist, or just the CEO of a multi-national advertising agency, Media Circus will hopefully inform and aid you in landing that next big job. We know it’s hard out there. You’re expected to know every nook and cranny of the media industry before you’ve even had an interview. Media Circus provides a platform for the some of the biggest names in broadcasting, advertising and publishing to give you the kind of advice they would have killed for when they were starting out. On top of that you can submit your own work to our online showcase and have it professionally assessed. If you’re serious about a job in the media you’d better start by joining the circus.

(Full disclosure: I have contributed to MC in the past, and I am very proud to be in their blogroll)


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IN MEMORY OF TINIUS NAGELL-ERICKSEN

Files under General | Nov 24th

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Eulogy by Jose Antonio Martinez Soler, founder of the Spanish free paper 20 Minutos, honoring Tinius Nagell-Ericksen, main shareholder and vice president of the Schibsted Group.

Oslo, November 21, 2007

Dear friends,

It was a great honor for me to have been invited by Kjell Aamot to attend the funeral for Tinius Nagell-Ericksen and to be here with all of you: his family, friends and colleagues. I am honored even more that Kjell, Sverre and Hans Erik thought of me to say a few words (briefly, they emphasized, because they know how much I love microphones!) on behalf of Schibsted’s international family, about what Tinius has meant for those of us who are not Scandinavians (yet).

Thank you, Kjell, Sverre and Hans Erik.

The first time I heard the name Tinius was in the spring of 2001 in Madrid. It was during our road show to sell our company Multiprensa (the publisher of 20 minutos in Spain), founded 2 years earlier in the basement of my house.

Norwegians, Swedes and Italians were the finalists and the Swedish bid was, by very little difference, the highest in monetary terms.

I cannot deny the influence of my mother-in-law (100% Norwegian) in the decision to sell our company to Schibsted. She said:

- “Jose, don’t even think about selling it to the Swedes or the Italians! Uff Da!

In these sad hours of sharing confidences, I must say, in memory of Tinius, that the decision was settled when Arsenio Escolar, the Editor in chief, and I, as the CEO, responded to the question of our then President, Julio Ortega:

-“Who would you like the most as the new owner of our company?”

Both Arsenio, as much as myself, were very clear: “The Norwegians,” we answered.

And for two very important reasons:

First, we had studied the Schibsted model of 20 minuten in Zurich and it was as local as ours, while Metro was more global.

Second, and last but not least: Schibsted guaranteed us freedom of expression, editorial independence, credibility and quality – and all in writing!

They did this through a foundation they called the Tinius Trust.

-“Tinius, the Norwegians told us, was the largest shareholder and had been a journalist as well as an owner, and most importantly, he encourages freedom and independence in his media.”

-“Say no more,” we both thought immediately.

And here we are.

We staked our decision on the Tinius Trust’s guarantee of freedom of the press.

This freedom is such a marvelous plant; a plant though fragile and delicate.

As you probably realize, for centuries it was an exotic foreign plant that could not thrive in Spain.

And now, Schibsted is defending and cultivating this marvelous plant in 20 counties with many different languages.

I also have been a journalist both in the Franco dictatorship and in democracy before being a founder of newspapers and companies, and I assure you that I truly appreciate how much freedom of expression is worth.

For freedom, like oxygen, is most valued when it is lacking.

I had a lack of freedom during too many years of my life and I have fought, and I still fight for it, as Tinius has taught us through his life and work, and his noble and generous Tinius Trust.

Seven years have gone by since we sold our company, and thanks to the spirit and letter of the Tinius Trust, under the direction and support of Kjell Aamot and of my direct bosses, first Birger Magnus and now Sverre Munck, the miracle of “ensuring freedom and independence” in 20 minutos in Spain was indeed possible.

And we accomplished, the better we can, the three fundamental principles of Schibsted:

-(1) Have fun, (2) make money and (3) with integrity.

When we preach in Spain or in Latin America the values of the Tinius Trust (religious freedom, tolerance, human rights and democratic principles), which we proclaim and defend with pride, our colleagues look at us with healthy envy.

For this reason, and with pride and gratitude, I wish to say at this sad and emotional time for all of us, that I have never enjoyed in my entire professional life (in more than 20 companies) as much freedom, independence and trust as in 20 minutos España, governed in accordance to the values that Tinius defended and given to all of us to guarantee a future of freedom of the press.

El Cid Campeador (The Champion Knight) was a legendary medieval Spanish knight from Burgos (the land where Arsenio was born) who is famed for winning epic battles even after death.

Likewise, Tinius, through his professional and ethics principles that inspired his work, along with his shining example of personal integrity and love of freedom will continue to win important future battles for the Schibsted Group.

The trail that Tinius left for us to follow will help us all to continue ahead on the right track of freedom of expression.

Tinius would have liked the phrase of Don Quijote that my father recited to me when I was a child:

-“Freedom, Sancho, is one of the most precious gifts that the heavens have given unto man. It cannot equal all the treasures that the earth holds nor all those that the seas cover: for this, one should, and one must, stake his life!”

Thank you, Tinius, for defending your freedom and our freedom.

We will never forget your message and your example.

Rest in peace.

Well, we need more Tinius Nagell-Ericksens, and more Jose Antonio Martinez Solers.

And more Schibsted groups.

Passionate journalists.

Passionate journalism.


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ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: THE BEST-DESIGNED EUROPEAN NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR (4)

Files under General | Nov 24th

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The new Eleftheros Typos, relaunched by INNOVATION, proudly displays a masthead stamped with the European Award today.

Here are some great pages from its daily showcase of creativity, plus two full-page ads announcing the European Award:

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NEWS FROM THE GULF

Files under General | Nov 23rd

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I am in Dubai.

This has been my first Thanksgiving Day with sand, palms, camels, and the Burj Tower (a gigantic 24/7, three-shift construction site with one new floor every three days) next to our wonderful Almanzil hotel.

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We are launching three projects here in the next few months.

The first will be the new Emirates Today.

Marta Botero, Gabriel Sama, Guillermo Nagore, Patrick Dunne and Michael Agar have been working very hard on this full-color, quality English tabloid.

The Arab Media Group (AMG) is our client.

Last week they launched the Arab version of MTV.

Its CEO, Abdulatiff Alsayegh is the driving force of this very innovative multimedia company.

They are leading the media revolution in this part of the world.

After working in the last few months with cyrillic newspapers in Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine and Greece, our next two projects here are in Arabic.

Al Trivino, Patrick Dunne and Gabriel Sama with Michael Agar are leading the INNOVATION team in the redesign of the first Arab tabloid, Emarat Al Youm.

And Javier Errea, Pablo Errea, Miguel Angel Jimeno, Michael Agar and Gabriel Sama are leading the INNOVATION team in the redesign of the best Arab broadsheet of the Emirates, Al Bayan.

Next week I will show you the first surprise.

Guillermo Nagore has created a new graphic version of Emirates Today that breaks many rules in this business.

Thank you Guillermo!


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ELEFTHEROS TYPOS, THE BEST-DESIGNED EUROPEAN NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR (3)

Files under General | Nov 23rd

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One of the reasons for the quick success of the new Eleftheros Typos has been what we heard all the time from Yianna Angelopoulos, our client and the new owner of ET:

“I want a different newspaper.

“A different one.

“A better and different newspaper!”

Well, if you know Mrs. A, these are marching orders.

And you better deliver what she wants.

So, when the skeptics told us that there was no way to do it in Greece …

That their journalists didn’t have the skills to produce a sophisticated and different newspaper.

That their editors were old-fashioned ones unable to lead a project like this.

That their designers didn’t have the skill to maintain high graphic standards .

That their printing presses had very bad reproduction and poor full color.

That INNOVATION didn’t have any idea about the traditions of the country.

And on, and on …

What we did was the opposite.

We trusted and empowered the local, journalists, editors, designers and printers.

And with the full support of Mrs. A and her first-class management team, we started a process of thinking, thinking, thinking, and training, training, training.

Full and extensive content, newsroom management, graphic and design models were produced (journalism encyclopedias)

So believe me, the new ET was not just a big idea, but a very precise and detailed project.

Gabriel Sama, Marta Botero, Javier Errea, Chiqui Esteban and Pablo Ramirez presented and implemented printed operational manuals that are the secret weapon of any INNOVATION project.

Our British production consultant (formerly with News International), Michael Fairhead was the technical watchdog.

Thanks to him and ET’s new printing presses, we got the quality reproduction that we wanted.

With excellent paper.

Yes, expensive newsprint.

At the end of the day, this was a content-driven project and nothing was purely cosmetic.

INNOVATION believes today more than ever that the newspapers of the future and the future of newspapers is in producing , like Mrs. A wanted, different and better newspapers.

High-quality journalism.

In Greece, too!

The pages that you can see here are from review, another new weekly supplement that, like the rest of the newspaper, has the same unique flavor of good content, good design and great BIG photos.

Yes, photojournalism in a BIG WAY is a terrific tool to enjoy a newspaper.

Enjoy them!

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ELEFTHEROS TYPOS, THE BEST-DESIGNED EUROPEAN NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR (2)

Files under General | Nov 23rd

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From Mark Hamilton in Vancouver, Canada:

“Eleftheros Typos, the best-designed European National Newspaper of the year.

I’ve loved the look of ET since its redesign was unveiled earlier this year.

If I had a local newspaper that looked this good, I’d be tempted to start buying print again.”

Thank you Mark!

These are pages from today’s paper and AGENDA, one the new ET weekly supplements.

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ELEFTHEROS TYPOS, THE BEST-DESIGNED EUROPEAN NATIONAL NEWSPAPER OF THE YEAR (1)

Files under General | Nov 21st

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We got the good news a few minutes ago:

We have won – last year with Expresso in Portugal and this year with Eleftheros Typos in Greece – the Best-Designed European National Newspaper of the Year Award.

The European Oscars for Newspaper Design!

288 newspapers from 26 countries participated in the ninth European Newspaper Awards.

My congratulations to the INNOVATION consulting team for this project.

They have done a superb job!

This has been a great challenge.

The award goes to the new owners (thanks Mrs. and Mr. Angelopoulos), new editor, new art director (thanks Spiros), journalists and managers (thanks Mihalis, Venia, Despina…) of this paper.

They trusted our bold proposals.

And they are the ones that, after the launch last May, have improved the paper day by day.

The results are better than anybody could have expected.

But this award is also a recognition of how content-driven redesigns work.

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Javier Errea, Marta Botero, Gabriel Sama, Chiqui Esteban, Pablo Errea, Pablo Ramirez, Eduardo Tessler, Mike Fairhead, Saf Fahim and Juan Senor also deserve the award for their great work.

Paris, our Greek coordinator, was always very helpful and friendly.

And thanks to Phil, a former AP bureau chief in Athens, who introduced us to Paris.

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A few weeks ago, Javier Errea wrote a case-study for DESIGN magazine.

This is, in his own words, is what Eleftheros Typos was and what ET now is.

This is an updated version of his article:

Eleftheros Typos (ET) is a national daily based in Athens, Greece.

It was founded in 1983 by Lilian Voudouri.

From the beginning, it stood out for its leadership in both liberal and conservative sectors in the country, with a marked political tendency in favor of the European Union and the liberalization of the Greek economy.

The 80′s saw it reach first place in sales rankings.

It later entered a phase of decline and conceded the top post to other more centrist papers such as Ta Nea and even to the conservative Kathimerini.

The Greek press market stands out for its fierce competition and its sharp political viewpoints.

Some newspapers lack credibility because of their political slant.

Politics and politicians invade everything. Eleftheros Typos was always linked to the conservative New Democracy, the party in power at the moment.

In the middle of 2006, ET, while still exercising certain influences, was going through its darkest hours with a gloomy and submissive news team.

No advertising, crippling losses; a big format and several previous redesigns could do nothing to stop the decline.

Until a tsunami named Angelopoulos roared in.

The shipbuilder and mighty industrialist Theodoros Angelopoulos and his wife, Yianna, bought an exhausted ET.

When Yianna Angelopoulos was named president of the organizing committee for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, her energy and decision-making helped steer what seemed headed for disaster toward unprecedented success and unanimous acceptance in Greece.

For that reason, the arrival of the A’s (as they are known in the country) as the owners of ET made the market tremble.

Politicians and journalists knew something was about to happen.

The new owners of ET entrusted the newspaper’s complete modernization project to INNOVATION, including not only the printed version but also a new corporate building with the most modern newsroom in the country.

From October 2006 to May 2007, the date scheduled for the presentation of the new ET, a dozen INNOVATION consultants worked in Athens on editorial organization and work flows, architecture, pre-press and printing, marketing, editorial and publishing models and training.

Based on rigorous market research carried out by the Washington-based Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, in autumn 2006, INNOVATION proposed a revolutionary newspaper model in Greece: a daily news magazine.

The model was ambitious and risky; internal and external opposition was strong, but Mr. and Mrs. A withstood the onslaught and supported the proposal.

In order to attract young readers and women, a few myths first needed to be dispelled.

One of them, perhaps the most important, was to show the Greek market that exactness does not have to equate to boredom. It is possible to be informative in visual and surprising ways.

The graphic proposal from Javier Errea, who was entrusted to redesign the daily and the new supplements, Agenda and Review, turned photographs and infographics into key players.

Narrow page margins were abandoned and the entire paper was structured in spreads.

Color backgrounds invaded the pages and became packaging tools.

But it all begins on the front cover, which appropriated the visual language of the Internet and made ET into something really revolutionary on newspaper stands, especially for the Sunday edition.

The result: The new ET came to life on May 23, coinciding with the UEFA Champions League final between AC Milan and FC Liverpool in Athens.

The Angelopouloses aspired to have a unique, refreshing daily and that is what they got.

Circulation numbers have grown on Sundays by 150%, rocketing the newspaper from last place in the rankings to the first ones in just two months.

From Monday to Saturday, sales have grown 50%.

Young people, women and intellectuals look for ET now.

In record time, ET has become a fashionable product and people show it off under their arms with pride.

Advertisements flood the pages of the paper, especially on Sundays.

The secret?

Those in charge at ET mention four: the prestige of the new publisher; the new sections included in ET2 (City, Life, Culture, Entertainment and Sports); attractive covers with personality and the entire graphic project as a whole; and a Sunday review promotion that has had widespread acceptance in the market.

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I took these two pictures in Athens during the presentation to Mrs. A of our first prototypes of the new ET.

Javier, Marta, Juan and I wrapped the room with front pages of all the traditional newspapers from Athens to show Mrs. A our prototypes mixed with those old-fashioned dailies.

We produced three sets:

A conservative one.

A revolutionary one.

And a crazy one!

She didn’t have any doubt.

She loved the last one.

“This is what I was expecting. You have done a great job,” she said.

And the new ET was born.

In one minute she gave us the green light!

She was new in the newspaper publishing business a year ago.

Now her newspaper wins this award.

As Javier says, she is a real tsunami!

The first time that I met her she told me:

“Juan Antonio, you and your team are here not to tell me that the newspaper has problems, but to fix them. As I did during the Olympic Games, I don’t want to hear about any problem if you don’t bring a solution.”

Well, ET was a big problem.

But Mrs. A’s paper got a good solution!

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This is a marathon, and we’ve just taken the first steps, but the ET take-off is very promising.

And very fast.

Like a tsunami!


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