Media Notes: Pigs (Three Different Ones) & The End of Portfolio

Obvious? Yeah.

Obvious? Yeah.

An early update of media news from around the Internets:

Pigs on the WingHoward Kurtz on the fierce outbreak of swine flu coverage. The media, overreact? Maybe. If we’re all dead by next week? Maybe not!

Which of the Buggers to BlameIs Matt Drudge a hero? How Drudge drove (prefigured?) the media’s wild coverage of the swine flu.

You’ve Got to Be Crazy – Snoutbreak! The Daily Show mocks pig coverage.

Full of ValorThat’d be Max Brantley.

Giving Up – People continue to explore a “nonprofit” option for newspapers.

Closing Portfolio – If Conde Nast can’t launch a major glossy magazine these days, who among us can? New York Times on how the recession ended the magazine, and BusinessWeek weighs in here.

In the Tank – Is anyone really surprised by this?

Star Power – 40 journalists who took buyouts from the New Jersey Star-Ledger have banded together to start

Safe Bet? – Meanwhile, investors are betting that small market newspapers are where it’s at. Meanwhile, Warren Buffet knew it was over for major media waaay back in 1992, according to Slate.

A Commercial Appeal – The Memphis newspaper is tops among the latest circulation gainers. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on local circ numbers here.

Depressing Media Quote of the Week (And It’s Only Tuesday!)From an editor at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Here’s An Idea: Newspapers Should Focus on Compelling Online Content

We heard this idea yesterday. Now Playboy Editor-in-Chief Christie Hefner shares her thoughts on the newspaper crisis with Conde Nast’s Portfolio business magazine. Here’s her suggestions for what newspapers should be doing to deal with the online transition:

… rather than seemingly focusing on cost-cutting their way out of their problems, perhaps newspaper owners should be focused on first, how to make their online content and the online experience on their sites as compelling as possible, including (buckle your seat belts here!) marketing their sites; second, how to consider offering some of that content or some of those experiences in a disaggregated (i.e., not needing a subscription) manner with simple à la carte pricing–the iTunes model; and finally, how to educate advertisers about how to effectively deploy their online budgets, and why consumers online are worth a lot more than advertisers think.

This, to me, sounds like a breath of fresh air. It does, however, assume that newspapers, when moving online, will attempt to retain a similar sort of advertiser-driven business model they built their empires on in print.

But since everyone’s still searching for a better online news business model, let’s consider this one as a possible way to go.

More after the jump.

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