Media News

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  • 5 January 2012 | Reuters

    Yahoo names PayPal’s Thompson as CEO

    Yahoo Inc named PayPal President Scott Thompson as its chief executive on Wednesday, hoping the well-regarded Internet technology and e-commerce expert will replicate his success at eBay Inc and turn around the struggling company. Thompson, credited with driving growth at eBay's online payments division PayPal, joins Yahoo during a period of turmoil, as the company plows ahead with a strategic review in which discussions have included the possibility of being sold, taken private or broken up. Thompson, a former Visa payments software platform designer, joins the company four months after the firing of previous CEO Carol Bartz as the one-time Web powerhouse Yahoo struggles to compete with newer heavyweights Google Inc and Facebook. Thompson, who takes over on January 9, will also join Yahoo's board. He ran eBay's PayPal since early 2008, and was previously its chief technology officer. Under his leadership, Yahoo said PayPal increased its user base from 50 million to more than 104 million active users. PayPal processed USD 29bn in payments in the third quarter of 2011.
  • 5 January 2012 | AFP/The Local

    Swedish broadcaster MTG quits Slovenia

    Swedish broadcaster Modern Times Group, MTG, said Wednesday it will cancel its Slovenian television channel TV3 and quit the EU country citing the unfavourable media environment there. "We've been forced to such a radical step by the situation in Slovenia's media market determined by monopolies and a lack of competitiveness," TV3's head Gregor Memedovic said in a statement. MTG entered Slovenia's media market in 2006 and created TV3, which currently employs 39 people and has 11 percent of the country's viewers. "Despite that, TV3 could not win a proportional share (to the number of viewers) in the advertising market and has been registering large losses," Memedovic said, adding there were no prospects of the situation improving over the next years. In 2010, TV3 and state television RTV filed a complaint before the Competition Protection Authority against media house Pro Plus for allegedly forcing advertisers to sign exclusive contracts with its commercial television channels POP TV and Kanal A. The competition authority opened an investigation in 2011 but has yet to make a ruling. According to Pro Plus figures, POP TV and Kanal A together have a 60-70 percent market share in Slovenia.
  • 5 January 2012 | Financial Times

    Huffington Post targets global expansion

    The Huffington Post is aiming to double its global audience in the next two years through partnerships with newspapers that are still struggling to understand the web, according to the executive in charge of the website’s international expansion. “The international business needs to be as meaningful to Huffington Post as it is in the US,” Jimmy Maymann, senior vice-president for international of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group, told the Financial Times, indicating that it could equal the site’s 40m monthly visitors within two years. He plans to launch the news and commentary site, which AOL acquired for USD 315m in February 2011, in another 10 markets during 2012 by helping traditional media companies, who are struggling with declining offline readership. The Huffington Post launched regional editions in the UK and Canada during 2011. An alliance with Le Monde and its shareholder Les Nouvelles Editions Independantes (LNEI) for the French launch in 2012 will provide one template of how Huffington Post plans to “be global and act local”, Mr Maymann said. The two organisations will launch a co-branded website under a revenue share arrangement.
  • 5 January 2012 | El Universal via Media Network

    Venezuela telecoms agency closes 27 radio stations in 10 states in 2011

    A total of 27 FM radio stations were shut down in Venezuela in 2011 by the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel). Five of the stations were closed in the state of Zulia, and a similar number were shut down in the state of Miranda; Monagas (4), Nueva Esparta (3), Tachira, Falcon and Carabobo (2) and Barinas (1). The Venezuelan telecoms regulatory agency said that such stations were illegally using the radio spectrum. However, some affected private radio operators disagree with that statement. For instance, Ricardo Hernandez, director of Carabobo Stereo station claimed after the closure of his radio station, that it was operating legally. He stated that Conatel had inspected the radio station in 2010, and made no warnings about the alleged illegal use of the radio spectrum. The Venezuelan Chamber of Broadcasters is pleased with the measures taken by Conatel. In the words of Enza Carbone, the president of the Chamber, “2011 has been a very positive year for broadcasters, who are satisfied with the measures taken by the Executive Office against underground radio stations.”
  • 5 January 2012 | Reuters via Editors Weblog

    Despite tough economy, Wikimedia raises USD 20m in donations

    Wikimedia Foundation is marking the new year with a hefty deposit into its coffers. The San Francisco-based non-profit group that maintains Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia, officially closed its annual fundraising drive on Tuesday. The total amount raised: EUR 20m. That’s a record, and a step up from the USD 16m Wikimedia raised last year during a nearly two-month-long fundraising effort. The drive garnered some big-ticket donations, such as USD 500,000 from Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife’s foundation. But according to Wikimedia, the majority of the pledges came from more than a million ordinary folks coughing up donations in the USD 20 range. The money will help Wikimedia — whose more than 20 million Wikipedia articles are written and edited for free by volunteers — pay for the technology and infrastructure necessary to keep the service growing, develop new features for the website and bolster its legal defense fund. Wikimedia’s record-breaking fundraising drive still isn’t enough to cover the 90-employee organization’s operating budget. According to Wikimedia communications head Jay Walsh, the operating budget for the 2011 fiscal year ending June 30 is USD 28m.
  • 5 January 2012 | The Guardian

    German president says sorry for pressuring newspaper

    Germany's president says an angry call to a newspaper editor regarding a story about a private loan he received was a serious mistake, but he is making clear that he has no intention of stepping down. Christian Wulff, who was chancellor Angela Merkel's candidate for the largely ceremonial presidency in 2010, has faced questions over a EUR 500,000 loan he received from a wealthy businessman's wife before he became president. Pressure deepened this week after it emerged that he had called the editor of Bild newspaper last month to complain about its plans to publish the story about the loan. On Wednesday, Wulff told ARD and ZDF television the call was "a serious mistake I am sorry for". Asked whether he had considered quitting, he replied: "No."