Thursday, March 15, 2007

'Eat media corporations for lunch'

Here's an intriguing short tale of a small, hyperlocal "distributed media" startup getting shafted in a deal with Big Media (Fox, in this case). It's interesting on several levels and worth a look (thanks, howardowens), but the real takeaway for me comes in this heartfelt conclusion:

One other thing is clear to me: We will, sooner rather than later, eat these larger media corporations for lunch, unless they learn how to behave in a world of distributed media. Granted, that's the larger "we." I can't guarantee that Pegasus News will be The One, or one of the ones to pull it off. We've grown more quickly than you could have ever imagined with fewer resources than you waste in an afternoon. The "people formerly known as the audience" are mobile and transient and will abandon their old media habits without prejudice -- perhaps worse, without even realizing they have done so. Blogs, Wikipedia, Digg, YouTube, RSS, Flickr: how many had you heard of a few years ago? These and others have disrupted the hell out of media in general, but have had less of an impact on local media. That's changing, and fast. We thought we'd found a Big Media company that was ready to embrace that, rather than shrinking from it. I'm disappointed that we were wrong about that.


  1. Anonymous8:18 AM

    Thanks, for the mention, Howard.

    We haven't given up on being able to work with a bigger media company -- and I can guarantee you there's no blog for Fox TV producers.

    I still think a big media company could learn a lot from us, and us from them. I just hope we survive long enough to find out.

  2. Anonymous12:03 PM

    I was on a local PBS show with Mike Orren and the editor of the Dallas Morning News recently, and I was impressed at what Pegasus has accomplished with almost no resources. It's the kind of spirit we need to encourage throughout the newsroom at our paper to succeed in the new media reality.

    -- Jim Witt
    Executive Editor
    Fort Worth Star-Telegram

  3. Anonymous5:31 AM

    Don't miss the Mark Glaser link from "Journalists can program too" under "I'm reading..."

    Scan for advice from Adrian Holovaty, journalist/programmer/current rock star. On integrating print and digital:
    "“My preference would be to combine the teams, because there’s a certain level of overhead, like you’re not on the same network so you have to jump through hoops to get on the intranet,” he said. “And there are cultural things, like you can’t get a reporter to do something because he doesn’t report to us, he reports to another editor. I can see how it was advantageous at the start to have them apart and let them do their own thing while the print folks weren’t paying attention. But now that everyone’s saying ‘the web is important and it’s front and center as the future of our company,’ it makes sense to roll them together now.”

    More Holovaty advice

  4. Thanks, Jim.

    Too bad they scrapped our episode for one with just Bob Mong (tonight)