Media Monday Edmonton: Update #30

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:


Photo courtesy of West Edmonton Local.

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #29

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Media Monday Edmonton: Global Edmonton’s Tim Spelliscy on local news ratings

Last week the first ever BBM PPM (Portable People Meter) ratings for television in Edmonton were released. Known as the Fall 2011 survey, the ratings cover the time period beginning September 12, 2011 and ending December 18, 2011. The ratings are further broken down into three demographic categories: 18+, 18-49, and 25-54. The top show in Edmonton? Big Bang Theory, on CTV Edmonton, with an average of 117,000 viewers per minute during each broadcast. In the 18+ demographic, Global Edmonton scored 5 of the top 10 shows, followed by CTV Edmonton with 4, and CBC Edmonton with 1.

That’s interesting, but what I really care about is local news, stuff that is produced here in Edmonton. Here are the numbers for local news for the 18+ demographic:

18+

Here are the numbers for local news for the 18-49 demographic:

18-49

Here are the numbers for local news for the 25-54 demographic:

25-54

All of that data comes from: BBM Canada PPM, Edmonton EMA, Sep 12-Dec18/11; min 3 airings. AMA means average minute audience, the average number of viewers per minute during the broadcast.

What I find particularly interesting is that in the 18+ demographic, the six o’clock news for both Global and CTV do quite well at #3 and #10 respectively, but if you look at the 18-49 demographic they drop considerably, to #26 and #44. That suggests to me that seniors make up a big chunk of the audience for the local six o’clock news. Not an encouraging sign if that’s your business.

Still, as far as as news is concerned it was a strong result for Global Edmonton, and their news release says as much:

Edmontonians have made it perfectly clear: their number one choice for news is Global Edmonton. According to BBM PPM (Portable People Meter) Fall 2011 survey, all of Global Edmonton’s newscasts continue to win their timeslots – morning, noon and night in total audience and in all key demographics including A18-49 and A25-54. Edmonton was recently added to the BBM’s electronic PPM system, providing a much better estimate of viewing habits.

tim spelliscyGiven that Global did so well in the first survey, I wanted to hear what Tim Spelliscy, Global’s Regional Director for News in Alberta, thought of the results. He agreed to answer my questions via email.

  1. Why is the BBM PPM survey important to Global Edmonton?

This is the first extensive survey using new (PPM) technology, so we know it’s a more accurate reflection of actual viewing rather than someone trying to recall what they watched and filling out a survey by hand. It reflects viewing patterns that we felt were happening, so it confirmed what our own research had been telling us about audience support.

  1. What’s the impact of being #1 in news?

Edmonton is a strong news market with excellent production provided by several local stations, so to come out as the top news station by such a wide margin is very flattering. We are grateful for this kind of support, and it’s fantastic for all of our sponsors and community partners to know that they are associated with a very strong local news brand. I think the confirmation that we are number one will bring new viewers to our news programs. They want to see what they’ve been missing.

  1. The News Hour is the 3rd most watched program in the 18+ demographic, but it falls to 26th when you narrow the demographics to 18-49. Does that concern you?

We’re still the top news program in 18-49, and the numbers are close with a lot of other shows, but it does give us an area we can work on. We can always do a better job attracting younger viewers.

  1. What’s on the horizon for Global Edmonton? How are you going to remain #1?

We’ve got to keep doing the small things right to remain number one. We have to focus on story selection and story treatment and we need to be on top of breaking news and ensure we are covering the stories that viewers really care about. That seems simple to do, but it’s not. I think there are lots of areas where we can improve the news programs we produce, but there won’t be any major overhauls – just some tweaking. We also need to continue to be the local news leader in our use of technology. We’ve done well with an early conversion to HD and we have the only television news helicopter in our city. We have some good ideas about what changes and improvements we can make next – stay tuned!

  1. Which of the other top Global shows is your favorite?

It’s Glee for sure. We try to watch it every week or I set my SHAW PVR and watch Glee on the weekend. Good characters and good music. It’s light, funny and an “escape”!

Thanks to Tim for answering my questions!

I look forward to the next survey results.

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #28

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

UPDATE: Stay warm out there, it’s gonna be very cold for a few days! Don’t believe me? Check out the Long John Index. I love their newsroom page: “Not only is the Long John Index a semi valuable and quasy hilarious weather service, its also GREAT filler for Media organizations!”

UPDATE2: The list of presenters for Pecha Kucha Night 12 has been posted!

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #27

Yikes, over a month since my last update! Time to get back to it. Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #26

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

And here are a few non-local items I found interesting:

  • I think the Little Printer is neat idea, though it’s a novelty at best. One of the things it enables is a personalized “newspaper”, printed on-demand just for you. The BERG Cloud that powers it is much more interesting, however.
  • The Journalism Foundation launched today with a mission to promote, develop and sustain free and independent journalism throughout the world. You can read more about it at The Independent.
  • Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO drama about cable news will be called “Newsroom”.
  • The new Xbox 360 dashboard goes live tomorrow. I can’t wait! With over 50 million consoles sold and more than 35 million Xbox Live memberships, the Xbox appears to have the best chance of ushering in “the future of TV.”

Edmonton Journal WiFi Zone
The Edmonton Journal WiFi Zone in Kingsway Mall

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #25

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

Magazines & The Internet

  • During my talk at WordCamp, I shared some Edmonton Blogosphere-related statistics. My current best estimate is that there are around 3400 local blogs. Here’s a breakdown of the platforms bloggers are using (about half of all local blogs run WordPress):

  • And here’s a measure of how many of those blogs are active (roughly 25% of those ~3400 blogs posted in the last week):

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #24

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

  • But wait, they aren’t the only ones with Christmas music! You can also get 100% Christmas music at up! 99.3 FM – they also switched over the weekend, and will be playing nothing but until Box Day. And talk about taking it to the next level – their website even features a Christmas fireplace Ustream!

  • This is a long read, but it’s worth it. Michael Shapiro, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, examines how The San Jose Mercury News nearly seized the future. Lots of great lessons and takeaways from this, for all of us, but especially those of you working at mainstream media organizations that might be finding it difficult to embrace change.
  • A new report that examines how mainstream media outlets use Twitter made the rounds today. Though I find the sample size (3600 tweets over the course of a week) ridiculously small, I am not terribly surprised that the central finding is mainstream media outlets use Twitter primarily to promote their own stuff.
  • Social Media Breakfast #12 is coming up on Friday, November 25.
  • And since there are just 12 tickets remaining as I write this, I better give you the heads up on CTV Edmonton’s Charity Tweetup, taking place on November 29. You’ll get to tour the  studios, meet the personalities, and witness a live CTV evening newscast. Very cool idea – I hope they do it again!
  • This Venn diagram comes from the latest Edmonton Journal newsletter, and shows that according to the Fall 2010-11 NADbank results, “there are only 37,200 people who visit the Sun’s site exclusively each week.” It seems specifically calling out the Edmonton Sun isn’t common practice for The Journal, so I thought that was interesting.

  • Lots of great information in Marty Forbes’ column from October 31. He notes that NOW 102.3 recently received its 1-millionth text message since debuting just 18 months ago.

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!

You can see past Media Monday Edmonton entries here.

Media Monday Edmonton: Omar Mouallem

A couple of weeks ago, Omar Mouallem and I sat down at Credo Coffee on 104 Street to chat. As the Associate Editor of Avenue Edmonton magazine, Omar and I have crossed paths many times over the last couple of years. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to ask, but I wanted to learn more about him and I was certain we’d have an interesting conversation. We did.

omar mouallem

Omar grew up in High Prairie and spent a lot of time in Slave Lake, so Edmonton was really more of a third home. When he was 17, Omar moved to Vancouver. He wanted to make it as a filmmaker in the big city. One day, he met a homeless person with a screenplay and it completely changed his perspective on things. It turned out that in Vancouver, Omar was just one of many, many people trying to make it as a filmmaker. “It was a healthy dose of reality, realizing I’m not that unique.”

Eventually after “drifting” for a while, Omar decided he wanted to travel, in particular to see more of the Middle East. He arranged a trip to Lebanon, and planned to make a stop in Edmonton first for his brother’s wedding. While he was here, six days before his flight across the Atlantic, war broke out in Lebanon. The Israeli defense bombed the airport tarmacs, and Omar quickly realized he wasn’t going to Lebanon. He had already packed up everything in Vancouver, so he couldn’t go back there either. He was stuck in Edmonton. “I was a little bitter honestly,” he told me. “I did not want to live in Edmonton.”

When he was growing up, Edmonton was always “the city” to Omar. He knew enough to decide he did not want to live here. But about a year after being grounded in Edmonton, Omar started to see the city differently. “It just totally flipped on me,” he said. By the time he eventually made the trip to Lebanon later that year, he found himself excited to come back home. Back to Edmonton.

I asked Omar what changed his mind about the city. “Editors and publishers took a chance on me here that they wouldn’t have elsewhere.” The positions he took at Vue Weekly, Canadian Arab News, and 24 Hours were entry-level, but were more than he could have achieved at his age in a bigger city like Vancouver. The pool of talent in the media industry is just smaller here than it is in Vancouver. “The negative side,” Omar explained, “is that you can hit your glass ceiling early.” He thinks that may be why we have issues with “brain drain” here in Edmonton. In May of 2008, Omar landed an internship at Avenue Edmonton, and that’s when the change really took hold. Omar realized he could have a career, and started identifying more as a young professional than as an artist. His move away from the north end of the city had an impact too. “Once I moved downtown, I realized how great the city was.”

It was his second time applying for an internship at Avenue. They take interns every three to six months, a program supported by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (they cover half the wage). Omar’s internship lasted three months, and then was renewed for another three months. After that, he was promoted to assistant editor, a full-time position at the magazine. Six months later he was promoted again, this time to associate editor, his current position.

Omar had spent time freelancing in his career, so I asked him what he found most different about being on the other side. “How far ahead magazines work” was what surprised him most. When we met at the end of October, the team had just finished work on the November issue and was already working on the December, January, February, and March issues. “Being timely is very difficult,” he told me. That’s the reason Avenue has not written much about the arena debate, though not for lack of wanting. “I would love to do investigative, thorough reporting on the arena.” His time as a freelancer has been beneficial to Omar as an editor. “I try to have more personalized relationships with my writers,” he told me, recounting his experience. “I don’t want to be just a name in their emails.”

A few months ago, Omar added another title to his resume when he became a blogger for AOL’s Canadian travel blog. “It’s a pretty sweet gig.” Responsible for one post per week, Omar is free to write about pretty much anything he likes. He wrote about What the Truck?! back in September, for instance. Omar started making websites when he was just 14, and learned HTML and other web skills along the way, so doing the posts for AOL is nothing new. You could say that he went from new media to old media, to a certain extent. I asked him if he enjoyed the contrast between editing at Avenue and writing blog articles. He confessed he prefers his role at Avenue. “I like the meticulousness that goes into articles for the magazine,” Omar told me. He talked me through the editing process. “Getting the copy, reading it for the first time, reading it a second time with a pen, editing, proofing it a couple times, fact-checking, it’s great.” He paused and thought for a moment. “I like the attention to detail that comes with magazines.”

We turned to the constantly evolving media landscape, and the impact of technology on magazines in particular. Omar thinks the changes recently are positive. “The quality of a magazine shows when you read it.” He recognizes that fewer people will pickup magazines over time, but thinks that general magazines will face a bigger challenge than topic-focused ones. Those magazines have an opportunity. “Good tablet apps have made the magazine experience better than I ever thought it could be.” The issue of length plays a factor in that experience. “No one has found a way to make the 4000 word article readable online,” Omar said. He thinks that’s why there has been a resurgence in long-form writing. “Magazines are made for writers,” he stated. “I’m a writer at heart.” Then, reminding himself that he has only been in the business for a few years: “I love magazines.”

I wondered which publications Omar enjoys reading. He mentioned Wired, The Walrus, Maisonneuve, GQ, and Toronto Life. I jumped in and asked if he reads any local publications. “The Journal, Vue Weekly, and some blogs,” he said. “I probably pick through Sharon’s blog the most.” We talked about why a local, generalist online publication hasn’t yet emerged in our city. “Maybe there’s too much media in Edmonton already,” he suggested.

Omar’s perspective on Edmonton remains positive, and as can you tell from one of his recent blog posts he still loves downtown. “It’s amazing how much the city has changed in just the last five years.” Through his work at Avenue and now AOL, Omar is helping to change the way people view our city for the better. You might say he’s exactly the kind of person we should be worried about losing, but I think that’s the wrong way to look at it. “A lot of Edmontonians simply don’t want to be in a coffee shop on 104th street talking about media and downtown,” he said as were discussing the car culture that persists in our city. But Omar is one of the relatively few Edmontonians who does want to talk about those things. He’s not here because he has to be, he’s here because he wants to be.

I’m sure the last thing Omar expected when he found himself “stuck” here years ago was that he would become an ambassador for the city, but he has. Omar found his passion for magazines and the media industry here, and now he’s taking advantage of the opportunity to help others see Edmonton for the great city it is.

Media Monday Edmonton: Update #23

Here is my latest update on local media stuff:

  • On Wednesday evening, Avenue Edmonton’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2011 were unveiled at the Winspear Centre. Six members of the local media made the list: Tim Adams from CBC, Todd Babiak from the Edmonton Journal, Josh Classen from CTV, Jason Gregor from TEAM 1260, Kari Skelton from up! 99.3, and Ted Halabi publisher of SOS Children’s Safety Magazine. Congratulations to all! Check out the full profiles here.
  • It was a big week for milestones at CTV. Daryl McIntyre celebrated 25 years at CFRN on Wednesday. Both Carrie Doll and Josh Classen had nice things to say on Twitter! Also celebrating was Dirk Machtans, who retired on Friday evening after 46 years at CFRN!
  • The downtown arena has been front and centre for the last few weeks, with lots of coverage from all media organizations in the city. This has resulted in some interesting discussions about how it should be covered. Most of the mainstream media (Edmonton Journal, CTV, Global, CBC) used a liveblog on their own sites in addition to Twitter for coverage of the public hearing and Council meeting. I understand that not everyone uses Twitter, but I find the liveblogs annoying. I think they unnecessarily fragment discussion of the event. I much prefer the Storify approach taken by iNews880.
  • Today the details on the land purchase were made public. I took issue with the way the news was first presented by the Journal and the City. I think the headlines they chose make the deal more confusing, not less. And yes I’m intentionally treating the City as “media” here because I don’t think it is uncommon for their news releases to be the first news people see.
  • Another side-effect of the arena coverage – inside baseball. Karen does a good job of writing about the spat between David Staples and Dave Cournoyer in her latest Edmonton New Media Roundup. I’m really not a fan of blocking people on Twitter.
  • The first issue of St. Albert’s newest paper went to press on October 19. The St. Albert Leader is edited by Glenn Cook, former editor of Saint City News, and will be published every Thursday. For more, check out MediaMag.
  • We have posted the schedule for WordCamp, which takes place on November 18 and 19. Don’t miss it!
  • I love that the Edmonton Oilers used Twitter to break the news about Ryan Nugent-Hopkins staying in the NHL. And yes, I’m using the term “news” lightly. I think Ryan Whitney said it best in this tweet: “The Nuge is staying in NHL huh? What a shocker. In other news, sky is blue, grass is green and it’s going to be cold in Edmonton in January.”
  • Will we soon be paying for access to the Edmonton Journal online? Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey said that ultimately, paywalls “will be across the chain.”
  • CBC announced last Monday that Winnipeg’s Rick Harp is coming to Edmonton to be the new host of Edmonton AM.
  • Edmonton seems to be pretty good at stealing folks away from Winnipeg! Nancy Carlson left CTV in that city to become the new late night anchor at Global Edmonton beginning tonight!
  • Tripp West, formerly of Calgary’s UP! morning show, is joining The Bounce here in Edmonton. He takes over the evening duties beginning November 7.
  • I wish the local media took up the “image” fight for Edmonton more often. The last thing we need to do is trash ourselves when others are doing such a good job of it, like enRoute magazine while recognizing Corso 32: “That kind of determination comes in useful when launching a spunky start-up in the slowly rejuvenating downtown core, which after dark looks not unlike Night of the Living Dead.”
  • The full list of winners in the 2011 Canadian Online Publishing Awards is up. The Edmonton Journal picked up a bunch of awards.
  • Congratulations to Carol Ann Guay, who stepped into the co-anchor role alongside Gord Steinke tonight on Global.

  • I was on CTV News at 5pm last week to discuss Twitter and the arena meetings, and I got to play with the SMART board in their new set:

You can follow Edmonton media news on Twitter using the hashtag #yegmedia. For a great overview of the global media landscape, check out Mediagazer.

So, what have I missed? What’s new and interesting in the world of Edmonton media? Let me know!