A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology
Tribune to Split Publishing, Broadcast Businesses (Wall Street Journal)
Tribune on Wednesday disclosed plans to spin off its publishing assets into a separate company and focus on its more profitable broadcast TV business, becoming the latest in a string of media companies to make such a move. Tribune’s move comes a week after it doubled down on television with a $2.73 billion acquisition of Local TV and it follows months of speculation about the potential sales of its newspapers.
Do ‘Walk-Through’ Ads Have the Zip That’s Missing in Hyperlocal Publishing? (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: A lot of advertising on community sites is — let’s face it — just plain dull. Most hyperlocal editors and publishers put their energy into how to make their editorial content as engaging as possible. That can be a persuasive come-on to businesses being courted as potential advertisers. But how many businesses want to return…
A Better Google Maps App for Apple and Android Devices (New York Times)
David Pogue: Our story so far – Last September, Apple decided to dump the Google Maps app that had been on the iPhone for years. In December — incredibly quickly — Google responded by introducing its own Maps app for iPhone. Today, that delightful news gets even better. Not only has Google improved Google Maps for iPhone, it’s also brought that same free app to three machines that never had it: the iPad, Android phones and Android tablets.
Local Media Companies Need to Evolve — And Do It Fast (Street Fight)
Terry Heaton: Local media’s traditional big-man-on-campus chest-thumping doesn’t mean the same thing that it does in the analog world. In fact, it’s downright laughable. So what do we do when we hit the wall, when we regularly miss revenue targets, when long term projections keep slipping more and more? So what do we do when we keep hiring more ad reps, only to discover that our revenue-per-rep begins to fall, when the evidence is undeniable that we’ve hit that wall? Here are five recommendations.
Instacart: Crowdsourcing Your Grocery Shopping (Businessweek)
Unlike most people, Sequoia Capital partner Michael Moritz hasn’t forgotten the dot-com-era online grocery-delivery company Webvan. So Sequoia’s July 10 announcement that it’s investing $8 million in a San Francisco-based online grocery upstart, Instacart, raised some dormant traumas.
Case Study: For NYC Nightlife Group, Adding Restrictions Increases Deal Profitability (Street Fight)
As the marketing director for The Lure Group, Kelly Bruce isn’t afraid to try new digital platforms on for size. Over the years, she’s worked with dozens of hyperlocal vendors, including Foursquare, Yelp, Gilt City, Grouper, Scoutmob, and HowAboutWe. “We’re doing all these different experience packages to bring in a new audience who might not be familiar with the venues,” said Bruce. “Every couple of weeks, we reach new people.”
In New Jersey, A University Teams Up With Local News Orgs To Collaborate For Impact (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Last July, Debbie Galant was hired to lead the New Jersey News Commons with a goal of helping the state’s legacy and hyperlocal news outlets develop and share stories, get training, and grow the ecosystem. The Commons is now aggregating content from more than 50 local news partners. Bigger plans are afoot.
Merchants, Yelp To Face Off In 9th Circuit Over ‘Payola’ Charge (MediaPost)
A group of merchants suing Yelp for “extortion” are expected to face off against the review site at a federal appellate hearing on Thursday morning. The merchants are seeking to resurrect their lawsuits, which accuse Yelp of offering to hide negative reviews and promote positive ones in exchange for ad buys.
Kohl’s Joins MCX, the Mobile Wallet and Payments Effort Backed By Big Retailers (AllThingsD)
Kohl’s, the multibillion-dollar department store chain, is the latest big-box retailer to join a mobile payments cooperative called Merchant Customer Exchange, or MCX. The group formed a new company in August to create their own mobile wallet technology and mobile payment app in an effort to wall off customer transaction data in an increasingly mobile world, drive down credit card costs, and appeal to those shoppers who increasingly want their phone to help them shop.
Urban Airship: ‘Don’t Advertase Me, Bro!’ (VentureBeat)
On stage at the MobileBeat conference, Urban Airship chief marketing officer Brent Hieggelke offered an alternative approach to geo-fencing. A retailer might want to offer a discount to a consumer who hasn’t set foot in their physical store in six months, but only when they are in the neighborhood.
Skobbler Brings Travel Guides To Its OpenStreetMaps-Powered Navigation App for iOS (TheNextWeb)
A little over two months after Skobbler debuted ForeverMap 2 for iOS, an OpenStreetMaps-powered mapping tool with offline route-planning, the German startup has announced that it’s now introducing a travel guide into its navigation app. Now, in addition to being able to download maps from around the world, users will be able to read about their destinations offline too.