Sub-Prime-media: After the market closed today, shoes started falling at Primedia.
1. Announced it “is exploring” splitting what’s left of Primedia into two publicly traded companies. Company “A” would be comprised of its Consumer Guides and Enthusiast Media segments. Company “B” will be its Education segment (Channel One).
2. Announced that its earnings will be lower than last year’s by a “high single to low double-digit” percentage. (In other words, its earnings will be smaller than a breadbox.)
3. CEO Kelly Conlin will be stepping down as CEO immediately, if not sooner.
In other words, what’s left of Primedia is for sale.
The story of Primedia is a sad tale of Gordon Gekko types buying up “media properties” and hiring “new media” guys who fired the only people who actually knew how to make money. Several people got rich selling companies to Primedia. Lots of people lost jobs. Lots of investors lost lots of money. Investment bankers got some great fees. Some executives made huge salaries for fiddling with the company while Rome burned.
And then it all went away.
Update: And, apparently, the shareholders of VNU are restless with the performance of that company’s Dutch management, as well. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has the details.
A smart blog advertising network: Speaking of Signal vs. Noise (see previous post), the 37 Signals guys, A List Apart and Coudal Partners have created an advertising network called The Deck.
As you would expect from some of the best web developers and designers around, they have some smart ideas about what will work in their space, including: only one 120×90 pixel ad per page, only five advertisers in one month’s rotation – four from the network, one retained by the host site, pay for placement – not click-through, and it’s about reaching specific influentials – not eyeballs.
Watch and learn.
Don’t waste your time with this link-troll “research”: There’s a certain columnist for a tech trade publication who goes out of his way to generate incoming links to his column by blasting Apple users every few months. He’s apparently learned that nothing generates more incoming links than calling people who use Macs a bunch of fanatics.
It appears AdAge is taking a page from this book, and has apparently decided the next best link-magnet to bashing Mac fans is to create some faux-research project that is based on no scientific or statistical model, and then write a flame-trolling story claiming that some ridiculous amount of time is “wasted” by people reading time-wasting weblogs.
Hard and detailed data on blogging time is limited, so Ad Age’s analysis is a best-guess extrapolation done by reviewing blog-related surveys and data.
The Adage faux “research” does not conclude that blogs are a work-enhancing tool that allow people to gain knowledge, and thus, save time and add to a worker’s productivity. No, the columnist concludes that the big chunk of time spent reading a weblogs is wasted. Wasted. Again, this is from Advertising Age. As in advertising. Which reminds me of the old adage (pun intended) from a debated source that, “half of ones advertising budget is wasted, unfortunately, you don’t know which half it is.”
U.S. workers in 2005 will waste the equivalent of 551,000 years reading blogs.
Unfortunately, U.S. workers will waste the equivalent of several million years reading such misinformed crap about weblogs written by math-challenged reporters with little knowledge of how blogs are used in the workplace.