We're glad that Alexander Lebedev has finally concluded his acquisition of Independent News & Media after almost a year of speculation. Now the focus can switch to his plans for the title, such as whether he decides to drop its coverprice and who will stay and go on its senior team. One thing's for sure, the deal should add some excitement to the quality end of the national newspaper market.
The Times pay-wall
At the other end of the philosophical spectrum to Lebedev lies Rupert Murdoch's News International, which believes in charging for all of its content where possible. The publisher has just announced that it is to introduce a pay-wall around online content of The Times and The Sunday Times, which is a noble idea given the cost involved of providing some of the titles' content. From June, readers will pay £1 a day or £2 a week to access the online content. Many readers will undoubtedly move elsewhere but News International will hope that it retains a core of users willing to pay.
YouTube's Indian Premier League coverage
We like a bit of Twenty20 cricket and YouTube's coverage of the exciting IPL action is proving to be a hit. The broadcast of every game live is impressive enough but YouTube is also offering highlights, compilation clips and interviews. The coverage seems to be a step forward for the website in offering compelling content that is attractive to advertisers. Brylcreem is on board as a major sponsor of the YouTube action, with activity including pre-roll ads on highlights and a "Brylcreem Batting Challenge" game.
Trinity Mirror's anti-propaganda campaign
Regional newspapers have been concerned for some time about the creeping competition in the shape of local council newsletters that take advertising. One of the more active councils has been Hammersmith & Fulham, which has faced criticism for the resources it commits to its own H&F News title. Now Trinity's Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle has gone on the offensive with a two-week outdoor ad campaign using the line "papers not propaganda" in a bid to stop H&F News publishing in its current format. This seems a good move for readers and advertisers.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
Continued fighting over digital radio
We thought recent progress had been made when the Government set a tentative date of 2015 for the switch-off of the analogue radio signal. The move seemed to end confusion in the radio industry and provide clarity for advertisers. Yet this week's Lords Communications Committee report casts fresh doubt on the future for digital radio, arguing that there could be a "major public reaction" against digital switchover, and is pushing for the long-term retention of the FM signal. This is the sort of mess that radio doesn't need right now.