On her first earnings call, new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz sounded in control (no Jerry Yang), identified some of the same assets I think are Yahoo's strongest, and re-affirmed she wasn't there to sell the company. While Bartz understands Yahoo should be the leading information source on the Web -- you know, a "media company" -- she still sounds a little naive about Web media and consumers in general. (Revenue will be down 10% in Q1, and Yahoo refused to give guidance for the full year.)
It's a rare day indeed when I agree this much with Silicon Alley Insider's Henry Blodget. But his plan to fix the NY Times seems right on the money to me. In a nutshell, cut costs, raise print subscription prices, and charge for the online edition. That last one will raise eyebrows, but there's a way to do it that would likely only cut traffic in half, and still keep the Times' stories on the top of the news agenda. (Hint: copy the Wall Street Journal's syndication and navigation strategy.)
If you're a marketer or a media company thinking about mobile audiences, here's a little perspective. (See this report.) While there will be plenty of on-the-go laptops with broadband access in the US, they'll be dwarfed by the number of 3G mobile phones. Broadband phones will reach critical mass -- 15% to 20% of the population, 40 to 50 million users -- if not mass-market reach, by 2010.
Finishing up -- a little late, natch -- my Predictions 2009 report, so I'll tease the ideas here for comment. It's more about themes than outright predictions, so I'll add a few obligatory ones at the end.
These are the five catalysts for near-term change, the forces that are driving the online media business for the next 12 to 24 months: