A Newspaper, MySpace and a Blog Walk into a Bar…

I am having a hard time finding some good news for print and “old media” this Tuesday morning. Marketwatch has this uplifting headline: “More misery for newspaper companies seen.” (link via I Want Media)

“Ad sales are lackluster at many newspapers, as advertisers look at dropping circulation numbers and assume that they won’t reach as many of the consumers they desire through print newspapers.”

Some analysts are predicting a slowdown in ad sales, but are not yet implicating the internet in this:

“Merrill Lynch has a brief report out lowering its global advertising forecast for this year and next. If that’s not enough to start your day wrong, note that the term “projected economic slowdown” appears in the first paragraph. However, “Internet remains the bright spot.” The dark spots are the usual suspects from traditional media. Newspapers take the biggest hit…”

One teen magazine is fighting fire with fire, by creating a multimedia experience for their readers. They also set up a MySpace page, which was described in the article as “leading valuable readers into the hands of the enemy.” The magazine responds:

“Cash up-front may not be required to set up a MySpace page, but surely the long-term damage of sending readers into the depths of the world’s most popular social networking site could cost the publication more than a subscription fee? “We’re now the No1 teen-magazine page on the site,” [Celia Duncan, the editor of CosmoGIRL!] says. “What’s interesting is that our subscribers want more than anything to be featured in the magazine, so I don’t feel we’re losing out. We’ve tailored it to complement each monthly edition. It was designed to help us better understand the way they think about things, and it’s been an amazing success.”

The most interesting story this week looks at how one traditional PR firm is struggling to adopt to the openness of new media. Edelman PR created a blog for Wal*Mart that turned out to be misleading readers:

“…a blog ostensibly authored by a couple traveling across America in their RV and spending nights parked in WalMart parking lots turned out to be a fake blog, the brainchild of WalMart’s PR counselors at Edelman.”

Scott Karp points out another interesting thing about this story:

“Richard Edelman and Steve Rubel have finally responded to the Wal-Mart flog incident with an appropriate mea culpa. They both insist that they could not respond to the storm of criticism sooner because they didn’t have all of the facts — and without all the facts, they couldn’t CONTROL the conversation.”