Mediatwits #29: Spot.us Acquired; Buffett Buys a Newspaper; Cord Cutters Rising

    by Mark Glaser
    December 2, 2011
    The Public Insight Network of American Public Media acquired crowdfunding pioneer Spot.us
    i-a63260a46a5947c0a0c62f2a4039f1e2-david cohn grab.jpg

    David Cohn

    Welcome to the 29th episode of “The Mediatwits,” the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift’s Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali. This week we get back from the Thanksgiving holiday and find some interesting mergers happening. First, there’s the crowdfunding site Spot.us being acquired by American Public Media (APM) and its Public Insight Network. Guests David Cohn, founder of Spot.us, and Joaquin Alvarado of APM talk about the acquisition and what it means for Spot.us and the future of public media.

    "In public broadcasting, we're constantly looking for better ways to engage communities in supporting our mission, and that will rise all boats." -Joaquin Alvarado

    Then came news that billionaire Warren Buffett had bought his hometown newspaper, the Omaha World-Herald, for $150 million, as well as some Nebraska papers for $50 million more. Has he gone crazy, or is he crazy like a fox? And finally an HBO exec says they won’t be offering up a digital-only package of content directly to people who have cut the cord to cable. But how will that play to the increasing number of folks who don’t even have TV sets, and get their entertainment via streaming services or websites?


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    Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio’s Music Alley.

    Here are some highlighted topics from the show:


    1:30: Rafat visits the Ignition conference in New York

    3:20: Rundown of topics on the show

    Spot.us acquired by American Public Media

    i-ea2765fa69ffe6684bf696424d64e722-joaquin alvarado.jpg

    Joaquin Alvarado

    4:40: Crowdfunding pioneer moves to APM

    5:20: Special guests David Cohn and Joaquin Alvarado

    7:20: Cohn: Takes 10% of donations, plus sponsorships

    9:00: Alvarado: Spot.us helps bring strong freelancers to newsrooms

    12:30: Alvarado: Trust and community support important to public media

    15:20: PRX worked with Spot.us in a pilot partnership

    16:30: Cohn will remain as a contractor for APM

    Buffett buys newspaper

    17:30: Buffett buys Omaha World-Herald for $150 million

    19:00: Mark: Not all newspapers are screwed

    HBO won’t cater to cord-cutters

    21:40: Rafat: HBO now on Roku box, but requires cable subscription

    23:00: Mark: People will pay a reasonable amount for shows, but don’t want cable

    More Reading

    Spot.us Merges with Public Insight Network at Idea Lab

    Spot.us Merges With The Public Insight Network at 10,000 Words

    American Public Media Acquires Journalism Crowdfunding Service at Adweek

    American Public Media’s Public Insight Network

    Oracle of Omaha Buys His Hometown Paper at PaidContent

    Buffett buys a newspaper. Time to invest in news? at Christian Science Monitor

    HBO To Cord Cutters: You’ll Never See Our Shows at PaidContent

    For first time in history, TV ownership declines at Kansas City Star

    TVs or not TVs: Sets declining at NY Post

    Weekly Poll

    Don’t forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about what you think about cutting the cord to cable:

    Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+

    Tagged: american public media cable cord cutters hbo go omaha world herald public insight network spot.us warren buffett

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