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Big story – no holiday
Taking it seriously

Norway’s state security office, PST, issued a warning last week of possible terrorist activity in the coming days. The warning’s tone was sufficient for the country’s news media to add coverage. Some needed to call reporters back from their holidays.

The warning was sounded at a press conference (July 24). Public broadcaster NRK carried the first five minutes live then returned to regularly scheduled programming. “Some reporters specializing in law enforcement and jihadism have been brought back," said news director Per Arne Kalbakk, quoted by journalisten.no (July 24). “When the PST and the Ministry of Justice comes out with this and creates unrest among the people, it suggests that there is a threat they are taking seriously. We need to do the same.” Commercial TV channel TV2 also called reporters back from their holidays. (See more about television news here)

Online TV channel VGTV seized the moment, calling in staff and channeling full attention to the single story. “It is the most important story for us right now,” said news director Marius Tetlie. “We’re betting on getting more background and at the same time keeping to the facts and not raising fears among the people.”

From Last Weeks ftm Tickle File

Two guys carrying cameras were not just tourists
“conflicting information”

Border authorities at the Lennart Meri Tallinn (Estonia) airport turned away two employees of Russian television channel Star (Zvezda) on checking documents. “The men came to Estonia on tourist visas,” said border police spokesperson Ilmar Kahro, quoted by postimees.es (July 25). “When questioned, they could not adequately explain the purpose of their trip and gave conflicting information.”

Press identification cards “in the Ukrainian language” were found in a “review” of their belongings. Within minutes Russian Federation Foreign Affairs Ministry human rights commissioner Konstantin Dolgov issued a statement complaining about the incident. “At this stage there is no reason for their detention. We will continue to strive for their immediate release, not excluding an appeal to the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe).

The men were not detained and, presumably, allowed to return to Russia. TV channel Star is a national network operated by the Russian Ministry of Defense. RAI Novosti indicated the men intended to report on a World War II veteran’s reunion, the tourist visa issue, apparently, incidental.

Ratings: maximize the mood
and be very tasteful

Big change is again the theme for French radio broadcasters. Médiamétrie’s Greater Paris (Il de France – IDF) audience estimates released this week showed some of the same changes seen in the national April-June radio survey (see report here) and a few new ones.

As with the national April-June radio audience estimates legacy general interest national channel plunged in the IDF survey, still ranked number one but falling 11.5% from 13.8% one year on. National news-talk channel Europe 1 moved into second place with 10.9% market share, up from 9.8%. Public general interest channel France Inter fell to 9.8% market share and 3rd place from 9.9%. News-talk channel RMC tumbled to 6.8% market share from 8.6% year on year. All-news public channel France Info dropped to its lowest IDF market share in more than a decade, 3.9% from 5.0%. The statutory national general interest channels on aggregate fell to 40.1% market share from 43.3%.

National music channels were also hurt, dropping to 26.1% aggregated market share in the IDF from 27.1% one year on. NRJ kept 5th place with 5.6% market share, up from 5.1%. Skyrock, which typically scores better in the IDF audience estimates than in the national survey was also up a slice to 4.3% market share and 6th place. (See France IDF audience trend chart here)

Screaming up the chart – figuratively, certainly not literally – was Radio Classique to 7th place and 4.1% market share from 11th. Radio Classique is a national channel owned by luxury goods marketer LVMH broadcasting classical music with quite tasteful brief news. Public classical music and arts channel France Musique was slightly lower at 0.9% market share while mostly speech-based France Culture gained notably, 2.5% market share from 2.1%.

Among the rest of the national music channels RFM and RTL2 were up rather significantly, though still at the back of the list. NRJ Group channels Nostalgie, Cherie FM and Rire & Chansons were all down.

Local stations on aggregate gained very significantly, up to 18.0% market share from 14.8%. Radio Latina, Oui FM, Tropiques FM and TSF Jazz were all up more than a slice.

This holiday season expect fewer selfies
Not going to facebookistan

The holiday season has arrived, for many, or it’s fast approaching. Thoughts turn to family, friends, beaches, mountains… all kinds of fun things. Many Scandinavians are leaving social media at home.

More than two out of five people in Sweden (42%) will not be using social media while on holiday, says a study for online travel portal Momondo, reported dagensmedia.se (July 23). There is, however, a considerable age and gender gap. About two-thirds of 18 to 35 year olds in Sweden and the same proportion of women will, indeed, be checking in with Facebook, Instagram and all the rest.

Interviewed for the survey were people from 12 countries. Danes, those happy people, are least likely to check social media updates while on holiday, three out of five Danes taking a break from Facebook friends. The Spanish and Italians, it seems, are most likely to be on social media this holiday season.

Money flows, money shifts, money never sleeps
Deals-a-go-go

Media watchers of the financial kind roundly predicted, on the 21st Century Fox bid for Time Warner, a veritable rush for big deals. And, so it seems.

Forbes Media, publisher of the euphonious magazine famous for ranking the rich and famous, has sold a controlling stake to Hong Kong investment consortium Integrated Whale. Don’t you just love the name? So 21st Century, yes?

The deal values the company at US$475 million, reported Reuters. Specifics were not exactly forthcoming but VC Elevation Partners, 45% shareholder, exits. Forbes Media top executives, including grandson of founder Steve Forbes, will keep their jobs. Forbes magazine is nearly a century old. Big German media house Axel Springer, which publishes the Russian edition of Forbes, kicked the tires and walked away.

Private equity owners of giant US Spanish-language broadcaster Univision are looking for a cash-out in the vicinity of US$20 billion, reported the Wall Street Journal (July 15). Disney and, of course, Time Warner are expected to bid. Mexican pay-TV operator Grupo Televisa holds a 38% stake in Univision on a waiver of foreign ownership rules capped at 25%.

Morgan Stanley investment bank acquired just under 5% equity in big Spanish media house Prisa, becoming the second biggest shareholder after the founding Polanco family. America Movil principal owner Carlos Slim, the world’s second richest person, holds roughly a 3% stake in Prisa and is a fierce competitor of the aforementioned Grupo Televisa.

UK and Ireland pay-TV operator BSkyB, principally owned by 21st Century Fox, is ready to finalize acquisition of Sky Italia, wholly owned by 21st Century Fox, and Sky Deutschland, mostly owned by 21st Century Fox, reported Reuters (July 21). It will be about US$10 billion shifting from one Fox spreadsheet to another.

Previous weeks complete Tickle File


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week of July 28, 2014

In Write On

Ignore What You’ve Always Heard: No News Is No News
guys with guns Conflict zones always pose extreme conditions for news gathering. International conventions aside, warring parties view journalists as in the way, at best, or partisans to be contained. Conflict coverage is and always will be in high demand. Proliferating news channels, neutral or not, send crews with cameras to scour through the rubble. Unsurprisingly, everybody gets a bit aggressive.

Encore Une Fois - This Week Last Year in Write On

News Coverage Is About Being There, Despite Social Media
blame finger Following every news event, large or small, comes inevitably the fusillade from media critics, more often than not by the Twitterati. Once upon the time these ‘armchair quarterbacks’ would be kept at arm’s length. Today they’re quoted.

 

 

Encore Une Fois - This Week Last Year in The Numbers

Results In: No Leaping Lizards
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Media in Greece, Cyprus and Macedonia

The Greek media world has been turned upside down in recent years. Financial constraints coupled with political confusion seem endless while digital media promises a new future. Media in Cyprus, largely tied to Greece, shows certain signs of stress while media in neighboring Macedonia remains under stress. This ftm Knowledge file explores the bright spots and all the rest. Includes updated Resources. 82 pages PDF (June 2014)

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Public Broadcasting - Arguments, Battles and Changes

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Media in Romania and Moldova

The profile of Romania's media scene is complicated. Changes take place often as multi-national media houses exit and "colorful" local owners take over. Neighboring Moldova faces its own set of challenges. This ftm Knowledge file details the rough road to sustainable media. Includes updated Resources. 60 pages PDF (February 2014)

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News From You

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ACT - Commercial broadcasters welcome adoption of EU Action Plan on better enforcement of IP - July 2, 2014

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EPC - Europe’s leading publishers call on EU to stem yet more erosion of press freedom in Hungary - June 12, 2014

VPRT zu ARD-alpha und zu BR PULS - June 11, 2014

RCS MediaGroup - On 19 May, Corriere della Sera will be accessible to everyone - May 12, 2014

BBC WS - BBC journalists to bring news analysis to viewers of 1+1 TV channel in Ukraine - May 12, 2014

EBU – The Eurovision Debate – May 8, 2014

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Friday July 25, 2014
radio in France, Médiamétrie, radio audience, Europe 1, RTL, France Inter, NRJ, Radio France, Fun Radio, Paris audience, Radio Classique, Radio Latina, Oui FM


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