Mediatwits #31: BBC World Invades U.S.; ReadWriteWeb Sold to Say Media

    by Mark Glaser
    December 16, 2011

    Peter Horrocks

    Welcome to the 31st episode of “The Mediatwits,” the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift’s Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali. This week we turn across the pond to the U.K., where the BBC is pushing its BBC World cable news channel to an American audience. The BBC recently made a deal with Comcast to increase its reach to 15 million U.S. homes by the end of next year. We talked to BBC World honcho Peter Horrocks about the Beeb’s moves, its digital experiments and whether cord-cutting was happening in the U.K.

    For many years, websites have felt quite static. So what we're trying to do is inject some dynamism into it... Those live pages, live blogs with video in some cases, can bring stories to life." -Peter Horrocks

    Then we turned to the other big item of the week: Tech blog ReadWriteWeb was bought for a reported $5 million from Say Media (itself a roll-up of VideoEgg and Six Apart). The site was founded in 2003, and had lost some key editors recently. The buyout included an announcement that Dan Frommer of Business Insider would become a new editor-at-large for ReadWriteWeb. Finally, we look at two recent popular poll results at MediaShift, looking at cord-cutting (our favorite subject) and gadget gifts for the holidays.


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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:


    2:00: How U.K. media market compares to U.S.

    4:40: U.K. goes for English-speaking audience in U.S.

    5:50: Rundown of topics on the show

    BBC World makes U.S. push

    7:20: Special guest Peter Horrocks of BBC World

    9:40: Horrocks: Americans say “Give me my BBC!”

    12:10: BBC’s live coverage online getting more dynamic

    14:30: BBC World won’t live-stream online; you need cable to get it :-(

    17:55: Horrocks: We want satellite carriage and bigger U.S. audience

    20:20: Cord-cutting not quite as big of a subject in the U.K.

    Say Media buys ReadWriteWeb

    22:20: Say Media trying to roll up various content sites

    24:45: VideoEgg was a video ad platform; Six Apart was blogging platform

    26:00: Will Say Media consider buying PaidContent?

    Recent poll results

    28:00: Cord-cutting poll results: 45% happy they cut the cord; just 2% love cable

    30:30: What gadget gifts do people want? 33% iPad; 18% Kindle Fire; 14% no gadget

    More Reading

    BBC World News to Be Available Through Comcast at NY Times

    BBC World News to Launch Through Comcast’s Xfinity TV at the Hollywood Reporter

    TV Traction: BBC Gets Comcast Leap, Al Jazeera Relies On Online at PaidContent

    SAY Media Acquires Tech Blog ReadWriteWeb at Adweek

    ReadWriteWeb Acquired by SAY Media at ReadWriteWeb

    The Price For ReadWriteWeb Was Around $5 Million at TechCrunch

    Project Orion: Say Media’s Plan To Tailor TypePad Into Its CMS And Become The Conde Nast Of The Web at TechCrunch

    What’s Your Feeling About Cutting the Cord to Cable TV? at MediaShift

    What Gadget Do You Want Most for the Holidays? at MediaShift

    Weekly Poll

    Don’t forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about your favorite 24-hour cable news channel:

    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: bbc bbc world news comcast cord cutters gadgets peter horrocks readwriteweb say media

    One response to “Mediatwits #31: BBC World Invades U.S.; ReadWriteWeb Sold to Say Media”

    1. Robbie Moraes says:

      Since this report aired, BBC News has gone through budget cutbacks and has actually reduced the amount of news it shows on it’s 24 hour news network. Regretfully starting to look like CNN,Or Fox, or MSNBC, Less news and soon to reality TV.

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