Learning from Media Gurus

The following are what I’ve taken away from one week Media Management Case Study class in New York City. Those media gurus refreshed my minds. Thinking two levels higher? – It no longer sounds foreign to me.

“If you don’t have a high tolerance for risk & ambiguity, then don’t be an entrepreneur.”

– Lisa Gersh, President & Strategic Initiatives at NBC News

Lisa founded Oxygen, an early company combined cable and web video business. It was too early for web video, but we never know when it’s too early, when it’s the right time. It’s all about your courage, vision and luck – that’s entrepreneur. She also founded Education Nation – under NBC’s big name (That’s the advantage of brand!) Her vision about education – three changes are anticipated in future education:

  1. Tenure system turns to most Affective teacher
  2. Parent education
  3. Technology

“Big media companies can’t be top down. We have to flatten our structures.”

“Curate your content teams; 5 or 6 innovative people are a better team than all-inclusive groups of stake-holders.”

– David Carey, President, Hearst Magazine

“The definition of a viral product is, it’s more valuable if your friends own it.”

“We live in an attention starved economy with people who have continuous partial attention”

“Apple is not a computer company…it’s a fashion company.”

“America is based on NEW ideas…Consumer society is based on newness”

—  Bob Rosenschein, CEO Answers.com

“Hesitation on a difficult decision only makes it worse”

“Follow the business life cycle, if you proactive, act faster than curve moves, see forehead, you can be successful.”

– Kelly Day, COO of Discovery Digital Media and Commerce division

She talked about when they decided to close the Discovery retail commerce stores and move it to website. Discovery is moving ahead by lauching HD channels, and owns tons of distribution channels. Can it be successful?

“You can’t just be a magazine writer anymore. You have to write for multiple platforms.”

Mike Perlis, CEO of Forbes Media

“Content makes the brand, not vise versa”

“Work for a start-up and learn from your successes and failures quietly. Talk about tech.”

“Five year plans are history. You’re lucky if you’re company is there in five years.”

“Murdoch has done convergence well; WSJ, Barrons, MarketWatch all mixed in the newsroom & feeling like 1 company”

— Jon Friedman Media Columnist, Marketwatch.com

Joanne Lipman  –  Editor-in-Chief of Conde Nast PortfolioPortfolio.com

Most important issues faced by today’s media organizations —  “3 +1”

  1. DNA: Many media companies don’t have a clear identity. People don’t know who they are.
  2. Audience: who is your audience? For legacy media company, it’s particularly important.  Have a strategy on talking to your audience
  3. Structure: most structure is built on “old fashion”   People’s brain is multi-functional.
  4. +1: Accountability of commenter (social media)

Martin Nisenholtz, SVP, Digital, The New York Times

NYT lives based on circulation money, so that they can protect journalists. Only 10-15% of users (3 million) are loyal users, who help generate ads revenue. They wanna protect their circulation part, that’s why they built a digital pay-wall and made digital version available to print subscribers. Will this strategy work?  Also, NYT wants to build Facebook module on NYT site. They don’t care much about people who share links on FB. They wanna turn NYT site into a social platform. Will this work?


About conniezhangq

Media Management graduate at Syracuse University, NY
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