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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Out to Lunch... 

This blog will be a post-free zone over the next five days or so as I travel to California for a little family time (and, of course, a little business). I've resolved not to carry my laptop, and will try to deal with the withdrawal symptoms with the help of one (or more) of my father's martinis. See you next week.

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Jupiter Sells Trade Shows 

Jupiter Gets Out Of B2B Media Orbit, Publisher Sells ClickZ, Trade Shows

Jupiter Media has sold its online news sites and b2b trade shows for $43 million in cash to Incisive Media Plc. See the link above for more details. And check out Incisive's web site.

Alan Meckler's reasoning behind the sale:

Recently I would have been prone to go to the public market and sell equity to raise cash. But even with our stock closing price yesterday of $22.80, I think Jupitermedia was undervalued based on what I believe the company will be worth over the coming years. So I chose asset sales and additional borrowing based on the fact that I think Jupitermedia should be more valuable tomorrow. Of course I cannot guarantee that this scenario will play out as planned, but then I am the major stockholder and feel that the decisions I reach effect me more than any other stockholder --- thus I do not take such decisions lightly.

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Expense Reports 

The current issue of Folio: features a short piece and mini-survey on expense reports. Tony Silber polled 16 media executives on expense report practices, and notes "the most egregious expense-report violation[s]." I think I've seen worse, and you probably have, too.

I've signed off on thousands of expense reports over the years, submitted hundreds of such reports, and have created a variety of expense report policies. My basic policy--treat the company's money as if it were your own, use common sense and invest in the customer. And make sure you work with people whom you trust, and that they know that you trust them.

In the same vein, Folio: also presents a piece on Doing What It Takes to Land the Business, with some stories of creative ways consumer publishers have made sales, including jumping out of airplanes (one way to shave some money off those expense reports?) It would be great to see a b2b version of the same story.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Hanley-Wood Sale Closes 

J.P. Morgan Partners Acquires Hanley Wood From Veronis Suhler Stevenson; Closing Represents Second Largest B-to-B Media Deal in U.S. History : ArriveNet Press Releases : Business

Congratulations to all involved, including Frank Anton, Peter Goldstone and my friend and former colleague Fred Moses. And of course, to JP Morgan Partners and Wasserstein & Co.

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R.I.P. 

David Shaw, 62; Prize-Winning Times Writer Forged New Standards for Media Criticism

My friend Paul Conley alerted me to the news, linked above. As I've noted before on this blog, during my career it's been a pleasure more often than not to have been confused with Mr. Shaw, especially when I lived in Southern California.

Grab from the obit: "We are in the age of transparency in journalism," said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and a former colleague of Shaw's at The Times. "David was the first guy outside washing the windows."

I'll miss his work.

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A B2B Blogger Passes 

I was exploring ABM's Mediapace blog, and wondering when we'd start to see this blog get a bit more 'serious.'

Then I noticed, down at the bottom of the right menu frame, a list of six links to ABM member blogs. Great idea, and I hope ABM will expand this list dramatically. (And maybe run a series of "best of b2b blogs" posts, to highlight what's happening among b2b blogs.) The blogs are worth checking out, especially Digging Deeper. I'm not sure Furniture Today's registration model is workable. And some of the blogs seem perfunctory.

But the blog that caught my attention was Video Systems' The Cut. Blogger Bob Turner lost his battle with cancer last month.

From editorial director Cynthia Wisehart: Because so many of you ask after him, I thought it appropriate to let you know that our wonderful Bob will not be returning to this blog or the pages of Video Systems. As many in the industry know, he has been fighting a major battle with cancer since last fall. He succeeded in beating it back, but ultimately not enough. Presently he is home under hospice care, where his wife Peg says he is in comfort, surrounded by family and soothed by the smell of the sea.

Bob died on July 15. I didn't know him, but based on what I've read on the blog, I wish I had.

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Jupitermedia's 2nd Quarter 

Jupitermedia Corporation Reports Record Results for Its Second Quarter Ended June 30, 2005

Jupitermedia's investments in images has helped drive an 89% increase in revenues in the 2nd quarter 2005 (versus Q2 2004). There's a conference call today at 11 am EST.

And while online images are driving the majority of the growth, online media, research and events are all up for the year.

I like Alan Meckler's strategy of acquiring valuable digital content, and I like his blog, where he often posts on image acquisitions, trade shows and other media matters.

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Circulation Audit Problems for IDG Germany 

Is IDG Germany's Credibility At Stake?

My friend Hugo Martin has emailed me to wonder why no one in the US seems to have picked up on the story, linked above. Evidently IDG's German edition of Computer Week has withdrawn from the national circulation audit after discovering that a substantial portion of its paid circulation doesn't qualify as such.

Key grab from Hugo's post: We will see how the management of the parent company will handle this incident and serious situation for IDG, ad clients and agencies. PR and communication about this incident started off lousy ...

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Tales of Frequent Flying 

If Only the Flier in Front of You Were a Fan of Miss Manners

The New York Times on the latest ways airline passengers annoy each other.

Key grab: "I closed my computer and tapped him on the shoulder until he turned around," he said. "I said, 'Sport, we're all damned important here in first class, but we all want to live. Why don't you just sit down?'

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Ad ROI 

ROI: Really Over It

Shore Communications affiliate Russell Perkins has posted an interesting meditation on advertising ROI, linked at the top of this post.

Extensive Grab: For advertisers, asking a publisher for proof of ROI has no downside. ROI is a "motherhood and apple pie" concept: nobody will ever laugh at you for bringing it up. At the same time, while it is a serious business concept, it's also in many cases nothing more than a trendy new sales objection Can publishers prove value? Yes, but only if they define what value means, just as the search engines have defined what performance means.

Be sure to check out his air travel analogy.

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