Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mingling in Monaco

While U.S. newspaper CEOs pondered their future in Reston last week, luminaries from actually profitable media (and some who apparently still have a nice pile of venture capital to burn) gathered at the Monaco Media Forum, an annual event moderated by Spencer Reiss of Wired, and chaired by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II. (Wouldn't it be great if America's new Serene Highness, Mr. Obama, could just deal with things like the state of the media business?)

There's a raft of videos of the Forum's sessions on YouTube; here are some you may want to sample:

In a discussion covering many aspects of his wide-ranging empire, James (the heir apparent) Murdoch, News Corp.'s CEO for Europe and Asia, in speaking with Rich Greenfield of Pali Capital, had a few comments about newspapers , including his conviction that rather than being in "terminal decline," "the newspaper business is one of the great opportunities for innovation in modern media."

Jeffrey Cole of the Annenberg Center the Digital Future gave the keynote address, in which he singled out television as one medium that will grow, as it "escapes from the home" on mobile devices—as distinguished from the likes of the theatrical movie business, recorded music, and newspapers, which hit their peaks long ago but will survive in (smaller) altered forms. He views advertising as the only realistic way online content can get paid for, but explains how the rules for advertisers operating in a digital, socially-networked environment are radically different from what they've been in the past.

A panel of new innovators included (at 36:00) Jason Goldberg of SocialMedian, which is a news-sharing site where one's network of friends, or "newsmakers," collaboratively parallel (or replace) the story-selection functions of the newspaper editor.

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