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Media Roundup: SeattlePI.com is growing, AP Offers Buyouts and More

SeattlePI.com is growing -- Hearst has announced that the Seattle Post-Intellegencer has seen an increase in online pageviews and unique visitors since becoming an online-only publication. The Seattle Post-Intellgencer is the largest newspaper to cease print publication and move to an online-only model. The current editorial staff is 80 percent less than the print version. The company says it is "highly encouraged" at the new metrics, which show a 1.6 percent increase in unique visitors. The release also mentioned that the company's sales and ad teams are working to form new partnerships to form a digital advertising agency of sorts. [Source: All Things Digital]

AP offers buyouts -- The AP is offering buyouts and increased pension benefits to hundreds of its veteran employees. The buyouts, which offer $500 for each year of service, were not publicized and were only made public through a posting on the guild's Web site. To be eligible, an employee must be over 55 years of age and have ten or more years of employment with the company. The AP announced earlier in the year that it aims to reduce staffing expenses by 10 percent. [Source: Editor & Publisher]

Tuscon Citizen to stay folded -- A judge ruled yesterday that the Tuscon Citizen will remain closed. A potential buyer urged the state's attorney general to file a suit arguing that the closure of the paper violated anti-trust laws and the Newspaper Preservation Act of 1970. The act, signed into law by President Nixon is what authorized joint operating agreements between newspapers in the same market. The Citizen had a joint operating agreement with the Arizona Star. The potential buyer argued that he made a reasonable offer of $400,00 for the company's assets. Gannett was asking for $1 million, which it later decreased to $800,000. [Source: Editor & Publisher]

ESPN makes deal with Comcast -- Disney, parent company of ESPN, has signed a deal with Comcast to make ESPN's streaming video service available to the cable company's subscribers. The service is already available to Verizon customers. Disney recently inked a deal with the video streaming site Hulu, offering ABC and Disney content however sports programming was left off out of the arrangement. Cable companies pay a high premium to carry networks like ESPN, and any deal with Hulu would have likely alienated ESPN's existing customers. [Source: All Things Digital]

Netflix now available on Windows Media Center -- Continuing its penetration in consumer hardware devices, Netflix will now be available through the Windows Media Center. The Media Center comes with certain versions of Windows, and allows users to use their computers as a television and jukebox. The move comes as a blow to both Apple and Blockbuster. Apple's similar "Front Row" software is closed, with no third-party support, as the companies offers its own movie rentals through its iTunes store. The move also places struggling Blockbuster further behind in digital distribution. [Source: Business Insider]

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