Yearly Archives: 2007

My new job

thestar.com

I’m delighted to report that I have a new job, starting next Monday, at the Toronto Star.

As Assistant Managing Editor – Multimedia, my responsibilties will include editorial content on thestar.com, one of Canada’s most popular news sites.

The Star has an impressive commitment to digital publishing, and it’s an honour to join an organization with such high standards and values.

The next few weeks are going to be very hectic indeed as I get to know my new team — some of whom I was fortunate to meet, albeit briefly, this afternoon — and learn my way around a very large, dynamic operation.

I’m looking forward to working with my new boss, editor-in-chief Fred Kuntz, and everyone else at the Star.

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Top 50 web properties in US – June 2007

Top 50 US web properties - June 2007

Some US traffic trends from comScore’s report for last month:

Interest in online gaming increases traffic to sites in June

Both the online gaming information and online gaming categories gained in June, bolstered by significant growth among the under 18 demographic. The gaming information category, composed of sites that offer players the latest gaming tips and news, grew 9 percent to 42.8 million visitors, buoyed by strong growth at IGN entertainment (up 17 per cent to 10.4 million visitors), Nintendo Co. (up 26 per cent to 4.3 million visitors) and EA.com (up 41 per cent to 1.8 million visitors). The online gaming category also grew in June, gaining 8 per cent to nearly 64 million visitors. Sites catering to younger individuals saw significant gains within the category, including Disney Games (up 38 per cent to 6.3 million visitors) and Neopets (up 29 per cent to 4.8 million visitors).

World Series of Poker sparks growth to gambling sites

As excitement mounted for the approaching 2007 World Series of Poker, the online gambling category increased 13 percent to 12.5 million visitors.  With several online poker sites hosting WSOP satellite tournaments in advance of the main event, many sites experienced gains including PokerStars (up 17 percent increase to 1.6 million visitors), FullTiltPoker (up 10 per cent to 1.1 million visitors) and UltimateBet.com Online Poker (up 16 per cent to 466,000 visitors).

Online radio ranks as top-gaining category in June

Radio sites surged 34 per cent to 48.9 million visitors in June, making it the top gaining category for the month. Yahoo! Music led the category with more than 25 million visitors (up 11 per cent), while AOL Radio (up 11 per cent to 3.2 million visitors) and Disney Music (up 16 per cent to nearly 1.5 million visitors) both saw significant gains for the month.

Entertainment news sees jump with Paris Hilton media frenzy

Americans’ fascination with celebrities spurred growth in the entertainment news category, which saw a seven per cent increase to 42.1 million visitors in June. Largely fueled by national interest in the Paris Hilton scandal, traffic to entertainment news site TMZ surged 37 per cent to 9.4 million visitors for the month, while People experienced a six per cent increase to 6.1 million visitors.  The tragic news of the deaths of professional wrestler Chris Benoit and his family drove a flood of traffic to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which jumped 117 per cent to 8.4 million visitors.

Pride month boosts traffic to gay and lesbian sites

Traffic to gay/lesbian sites jumped 23 per cent in June to nearly 3 million visitors as people across the nation celebrated Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. The category was led by PlanetOut with 742,000 visitors (up 19 per cent), followed by Queer Sighted with 563,000 visitors (up 116 per cent), and LOGOonline with 454,000 visitors (up 17 per cent).

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BlogTV adds news and comedy channels

Toronto-based community videocasting site blogtv.ca is adding two channels: one for comedy and the other for news and politics.

The channels are scheduled to launch tomorrow [Friday].

Although blogTV.ca is a platform for anyone who wants to videocast [including some who are a long way from being video professionals], it’s owned by a genuine television network, Alliance Atlantis Communications.

Alliance Atlantis is in the process of being acquired by CanWest Global Communications and Goldman Sachs.

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Social networking attracts virtually all US youth

A couple of highlights from US research reported yesterday at Advertising Age:

A whopping 96% of online tweens and teens connect to a social network at least once a week, according to a study and white paper being released today from Alloy Media & Marketing, a youth-oriented marketing firm. And nearly half engaged with a brand in the space in the past month.

and

The study asked about traditional media habits and found social networking is approaching parity with TV time among 9- to 17-year-olds. And when kids are multitasking, they’re four times more likely to pay closer attention to whatever they’re doing online than to whatever they’re watching on the tube.

Interesting, although I’d like to see some details of the study [strangely, there’s no mention of it on the Alloy website], particularly with respect to its socio-economic and geographic span.

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News chief Burman to leave CBC

The editor-in-chief of English-language news at the CBC, Tony Burman, has resigned and will leave the corporation July 13.

Burman has been with the the public broadcaster for almost 35 years, and for the past seven has overseen English news on radio, television and CBC.ca.

He told staff he was leaving because he had done the job long enough:

…my own work pattern has been to seek change every three-to-five years. And I have — as many of you know — worked hard to ensure this approach is common in different parts of our operation. I have always felt that an openness to change and renewal is at the core of the best journalism. In the end, I have to listen to my own words.

At age 59 retirement isn’t unusual, but those inclined to read the tea leaves will be scrutinizing this passage from Burman’s farewell note in an attempt to work out whether his departure is entirely voluntary:

Since so much of my life has been connected with the CBC, I obviously have mixed emotions about this, but mostly I have feelings of elation. And – can I say it? – liberation.

Only three weeks ago, Burman announced on CBC.ca that he was expanding his weekly media “letter” into a blog.

Why do that, and trumpet the fact, three weeks before resigning and barely six weeks before walking out the CBC door for the last time? It’s odd, to say the least.

And is he leaving the media industry entirely?

I really look forward to directing my energy, my enthusiasm and my ideas to new projects.

Answer: who knows?

Burman was in the news recently over his decision not to show pictures of the gun-brandishing Virginia Tech killer on the CBC’s television and web services — a decision contrary to that taken by most major North American news organizations.

CBC says “a search for Burman’s replacement will begin immediately, while his current deputy, Esther Enkin, will serve as acting editor-in-chief.”

> Tony Burman’s announcement to CBC staff

> Official announcement on CBC.ca

> Recent departures from CBC: Sue Gardner and Yann Pacquet.

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