Esquire Experiments with Digital Reality


The Wall Street Journal online has reported that  the Hearst Corporation magazine, Esquire, will pepper its December issue with markers that trigger interactive video segments featuring cover subject Robert Downey Jr. and other actors, as well as an ad for Lexus. In doing so, Esquire is taking advantage of an emerging technology called augmented reality, which mixes real-life images with graphics or other effects. TV networks use AR to make the yellow first-down lines on football fields.


WSJ’s European Edition


The Wall Street Journal continues to be in expansion mode. Its European edition is standing on its own by adding features to the London-based print edition and website. At this point, the Dow Jones will stop printing and selling the US edition in Europe, and will encourage readers to buy the European edition. Finally all print and online subscribers will be offered a transfer to the European paper and website.

The European readers will get many of the same stories and columnists as their US counterparts and the European edition will have a different news focus and some exclusive content.

The French attract young readers


During the economic downfall of advertising and low overall readership, French papers have geared their approach to younger readers. It is evident and obvious that the government is interested in creating new outlets for the younger residents especially since readership in France is especially low among young people. According to a government study, only 10 percent of those aged 15 to 24 read a paid-for newspaper daily in 2007, down from 20 percent a decade earlier, says the New York Times.

About 60 publications are participating in the new project. In addition to papers like Le Monde and Le Figaro, they include a variety of local publications, as well as the Paris-based International Herald Tribune, the global edition of The New York Times. Even L’Équipe, a popular sports daily, is taking part.

NYTIMES buyout

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It was recently revealed that the New York Times had to release 100 newsroom employees, as reported earlier on Gothamite. This morning, the logistics of the buyout packages for those employees were released anonymously. One of the packets is basically a list of every Times employee. Each employee’s entry contains their department, job title, birth date and age. The list covers every sector of the company, including the printers, the security guards, the reporters. If the staffers do not join forces or raise their hands by December 7, 2009, there will be layoffs.

Small Biz does FB


Facebook is not just for friends anymore. It is not only for socializing either. The free social networking site is increasingly becoming an inexpensive marketing tool for small businesses. Most recently, Charles Nelson, president of Sprinkles Cupcakes, the Beverly Hills baker to the stars, has seen an increase in business thanks to the 70,000+ fans on his company’s Facebook page.

According to the LATimes, “Each day on the website, Sprinkles announces a secret word, such as “ganache,” or “bunny,” or “tropical,” or “love,” and the first 25 or 50 people to show up at any of its five stores and whisper that word get a free cupcake”

Sprinkles is among a growing number of mom-and-pop businesses taking advantage of a relatively new program on Facebook, one that allows them to claim their name, become visible even to folks who aren’t on the site, and stay in close contact with their customers. The business, in effect, can act like any other person on Facebook, posting status updates and seeing what its fans are doing.

Gotham Public Relations is using this mechanism. Become a fan: or join our group: and remain updated.

Albo’s fall from the NYTimes


Critical Shopper columnist Mike Albo has one of the most intriguing columns at the New York Times but recently was laid off for taking a free junket to Jamaica which is said to be in violation of ethics policies. Unfortunately, the New York Times hadn’t specifically cleared him of violating ethics policies. Incidently, Albo’s superiors couldn’t make sense of the rules and confirmed the trip without giving up much of anything in terms of conflicts of interest.


Mercedes-Benz and Online Advertising


Some companies might consider following advertising decisions of companies such as Mercedes Benz USA. The luxury car company introduced their E-class car series this past summer and put the web advertising world into a frenzy. Mercedes bought out the ad space on the home pages of The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, and had those sites create special 3-D ads for them, at an estimated cost of $100,000 a site. It has since it shifted money to cheaper, more tightly aimed ads bought through networks, which bundle ad space from many Web sites.

The Internet is the only advertising medium expected to grow this year in the United States, rising 9.2 percent, to $54.1 billion, according to figures released this month by ZenithOptimedia. According to the Mr. Kasner, “A lot of advertisers are moving toward buying in an auction-style manner, on an exchange or on an ad network, so it’s the market that’s driving this. There are things publishers can do to stem the tide, but I don’t think it’s completely within their control.”

CNN gets a makeover


The traditional news outlet is changing the appearance of its website. The website is set to be more visually stimulating and socially oriented. They are adding these components all while keeping the content rich.

Using language such as “reimagining,” “beautiful” and “visually arresting,” senior vp and general manager KC
Estenson presented the site’s new look to reporters and advertisers during a press event held at the Time Warner Center on Thursday (Oct. 22) evening.

NYMAG stays with Wasserstein & Co.


A week after the death of investment banker and New York Magazine owner, Bruce Wasserstein, the CEO of New York Media Holdings and Wasserstein & Co. vice chairman/managing director Anup Bagaria has announced that the ownership will remain the same.

According to Bagaria, “the company will continue to be controlled by a Wasserstein family trust that is proud of the work being done by New York magazine and its online properties,, and Grub Street. We will continue the high standards set under Bruce’s leadership which have established us as an innovative and forward-thinking media property.”

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