Media Watching: A Competitive Sport

As the cherry blossoms drop, All Things Media thought it might be worth taking a quick look back at the year in media so far. Only four months you might say, but what a four months. Media-watching is the latest competitive sport in town, with more subplots than a daytime soap.

In the same time it took Sarah Palin to be Trumped, the Washington Media Scene has put on a fireworks display.

TBD was MySpaced. SiriusXM emerged from its merger cocoon and is starting to beef up again on New York Ave. Bloomberg and Politico are rapidly becoming even more dominant players in the DC media scene and doing most of the hiring. The formally local AOL is now the Huffington Post Media...or is it the other way round.

Our very own WTOP is declared the most profitable radio station in the country, throwing a monkey wrench into arguments all news radio is dead.

The traditional 10,000lb gorrila of local media, The Washington Post, publishes an article implying its parent company is putting its journalistic independence at risk because its most profitable business – the Kaplan for-profit education division - relies on government loans.

And then there are the sneekers: AOL’s Patch and (a cousin of the local paper by the same name) are both growing, online news organizations devoted to our local scene. All while local legacy media, such as this newspaper and the Current Newspapers, are becoming even more invigorated.

Chinese news services plan to bring 100s of jobs to DC to improve their coverage of the US, and the recent performance of Al-Jazeera English in the Middle East turmoil may finally give it the kind of attention in the US it has been trying to develop for five years based on its DC regional hub.

Reality TV has helped turn cupcakes into pastry Google.

Voice of American just announced a new director.

The New York Times built its own Berlin Wall.

The FCC ended last year by issuing arguably one of its important decisions in years that will force open the internet to all, and Congress immediately denied funds to implement the new policy.

And we are only just getting started.

It may be unsettling, very unsettling, trying to make a living in this environment. But it is certainly fun to watch.

Stay tuned.

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