Hacking attempts on media organizations have ramped up in recent months with attacks on the AP, The Guardian, CBS News accounts, The Onion, and E! Online. On Friday, The Financial Times‘ Tech Blog and Twitter accounts were hacked into, the organization reported. “Various FT blogs and social media accounts have been compromised by hackers and we are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible,” FT later tweeted. Earlier in the week, The New York Times website experienced traffic slowdowns that limited access to some users because of online attacks not attributed to a specific group.
No word yet on how entertainment coverage will be affected. But The New York Times said today it will offer 30 voluntary buyouts to non-union newsroom managers. It may also lay off journalists if not enough accept the severance package. The reason cited is the volatile advertising climate. Editor Jill Abramson wrote to staff that the size of the newsroom staff must be reduced. There were previous buyouts at the paper in 2008 and 2011. The NYT recently negotiated with its unionized staff. Here’s what NYT publisher Arthur ‘Pinch’ Sulzberger wrote to staff:
Formerly The New York Times Publisher and Chief Executive, the media legend Arthur Ochs Sulzberger known as “Punch” who guided the newspaper and parent company through 34 years of tumultuous change, died today at his home in Southampton, Long …
Another salvo was fired today in the war of words between the Newspaper Guild of New York and The New York Times. The two are in negotiations over digital and print agreements that expired in March 2011. Approximately 1,000 NYT employees are covered by the print contract and 100 by the digital contact. Earlier this week, the Guild claimed that in suddenly seeking two deals and not one unified agreement, NYT management is trying to create an impasse in the talks so it can force its “last, best” offer on employees. Yesterday, the NYT said it does want a single contractm but it can’t pursue one if the Guild won’t, as the NYT claims, “explicitly commit to negotiate a single contract.” Today the Guild explained its position:
Most of the critics were very positive about Marvel’s The Avengers opening at midnight tonight — which is why Samuel L. Jackson (aka Nick Fury) is so furious with The New York Times‘ negative review. The actor let his 825,315 followers on Twitter today know it. “#Avengers fans, NY Times critic AO Scott needs a new job! Let’s help him find one! One he can ACTUALLY do!”. The NYT’s AO Scott in his review of the Joss Whedon-directed Disney film said, “The Avengersis hardly worth raging about, its failures are significant and dispiriting.” Scott also called Jackson’s role as the head of superspy agency S.H.I.E.L.D “more master of ceremonies than mission commander” in his review.
Something always seems to be a little weird when Netflix announces big news about itself — and today’s unveiling of its streaming deal with DreamWorks Animation is no exception. The news appeared to have been handed to The New York Times; it had the first story as well as interviews with executives from both companies. But that’s not the problem: What’s curious is why The Times felt confident enough to say that unnamed “analysts estimate (the deal) is worth $30 million per picture to DreamWorks.” Although there were no details to support that estimate, it quickly became perceived as a fact. For example, a Reuters story stated that the deal is “worth $30 million per picture to DreamWorks over a number of years.” If that’s true, then it’s a big deal; HBO currently pays the studio about $20M per picture. If the $30M figure for the Netflix deal is accurate, then Caris & Co analyst David Miller says his 2013 earnings estimate for DreamWorks “would therefore improve from $1.58 (per share) to $1.70.”
OK, so is it true? The companies don’t say: Many hours after the Times story ran, Netflix and DreamWorks jointly filed a press release that said “financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.” But some analysts find the $30M figure hard to believe. Susquehana Financial Group’s Vasily Karasyov writes this morning that “we would be surprised if the terms for (DreamWorks Animation) are more favorable than those of their current deal with HBO. We think the change in pay TV partners was due to HBO shifting away from animation and not because (Netflix) offered significantly superior terms.” Janney Capital Markets’ Tony Wible also says that “it appears (DreamWorks) was kicked out of HBO and that (Netflix) was the buyer of last resort.”
The time is rapidly coming when Hollywood studios can forget buying all those 6-page spreads advertising their awards movies in The New York Times. Because NYT Chairman & Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr, told the WAN-IFRA 9th International Newsroom Summit in London that there won’t be a newspaper soon. Asked about his response to the suggestion that the NYT might print its last edition in 2015, Sulzberger said he saw no point in making such predictions and said all he could say was that, “We will stop printing the New York Times sometime in the future, date TBD.”
According to news coverage of the conference, Sulzberger also fleshed out plans for the paper’s introduction of a “metered” paywall in early 2011. (The NYT started and stopped its TimesSelect pay experiment in 2007 which was widely deemed a failure.) Readers will be allowed to access a certain number of articles free each month,