The Rise and Fall of Media Giants

More from PRWeek's wrap-up of the year just past in their 2007 Book of Lists. Today: media companies on the rise, and those that took a hit in 2007:

Media on the rise in 2007:

  1. Dow Jones: DJ must be happy to be under News Corp's welcoming umbrella, rather than being run by careless family ownership. The Wall Street Journal is now poised for a breakout year - but will Rupert Murdoch impact the editorial quality? Only time to tell.
  2. Associated Press: As more US papers close their foreign bureaus while slashing budgets, the AP is becoming the country's authoritative source of foreign news reporting. With a world in upheaval, it is now more indispensable than ever to both papers and readers across the US.
  3. NBC Universal: NBCU captured some of parent company GE's expensive green sheen with a huge programming push late in the year. And its TV networks are doing well - Brian Williams is popular, MSNBC is creeping up on CNN, and CNBC is poised to fight off a challenge from Fox Business Network.
  4. The Economist: The magazine has long been considered indispensable to the global elite, but it is making solid inroads in the US. The title's Web site is strong, and it even leaks content to influential bloggers to build buzz. Watch for it to grow into a full-blown competitor to the top US newsweeklies.
  5. New York magazine: From its growing Web site capabilities to the break-out issues of its Look Book feature to picking up a few national magazine awards, the brand has enjoyed a successful year all around. It even curried some favor with the National Organization for Women by finally agreeing to stop accepting sex ads for the back of its magazine.
And the 5 media brands that "hit the skids" according to PRWeek:
  1. Tribune Company: Supercapitalist Sam Zell scooped up the troubled entity earlier this year in a multibillion-dollar deal. But his optimism can't change its harsh financial outlook nor the new financial burden placed on its unhappy employees.
  2. CBS News: The year was marred by embarrassing missteps like a "blog post" by news anchor Katie Couric that her staff actually wrote. It was hoped her arrival would revive the network after the debacle that ended Dan Rather's career. Instead, ratings fell further and the future looks bleak.
  3. US News & World Report:Already a distant third in the newsweeklies race, it took a hit to its reputation this year as well, when a group of colleges challenged its popular annual rankings system, calling it "misleading" to prospective students.
  4. The Philadelphia Inquirer: PR man Brian Tierney promised snazzy new marketing and promotions to help the flailing paper. But initial enthusiasm for Tierney has waned as he tossed out bad ideas like turning the paper's headquarters into a movie billboard and allowing a local bank to sponsor a news column.
  5. The New Republic: The refined DC thought magazine had an unquestionably bad year. Business woes forced it to cut its total of yearly issues nearly in half. And a scandal over whether an anonymous soldier writing tales from Iraq was in fact lying, led many to question its competency in both journalism and communications.