October 5, 2015 Last Updated 7:18 am

Pacific Magazines to partner with Meredith on wedding planning website, mywedding.com.au

Morning Brief: Relativity Media likely to emerge from bankruptcy as two separate companies, with its founder and CEO leading one side that focuses on film and digital, and creditor group grabbing the television assets

Pacific Magazines will partner with Meredith Corporation to launch mywedding.com.au. a wedding preparation website. Pacific Magazines already publishes Australia’s leading wedding brand, Bride to Be.

bride-to-be-logo-new“This is a major play for both parties in the $7.8 billion Australian wedding market,” Peter Zavecz, CEO, Pacific Magazines, said. “We are already Australia’s #1 wedding brand. This new online venture cements our market leading position by seamlessly connecting users with suppliers and offering uniquely personalized wedding experiences, whilst offering advertisers exposure to motivated consumers at a pivotal life stage.”

“Our partnership will leverage the cutting edge wedding planning tools and online resources of mywedding.com with the local expertise and inspiration of Bride to Be,” said mywedding.com President and CEO, Woody Pastorius. “The result is a comprehensive package of ideas, information and tools that provide an unrivaled user experience.”


Robert Peston (Picture: Daniel Hambury)

Robert Peston is moving from the BBC to ITV.

Writing that on Talking New Media feels a bit awkward knowing that the vast majority of US readers probably have no clue who Peston is. Peston is the economics editor of BBC News and someone who is probably comparable to Paul Krugman in that there are definitely those who do not like his style or opinions. Nonetheless, the move from the BBC to ITV led the BBC’s Eddie Mair to say “I’m also prepared to sell my kidney if it increases the amount of money the BBC can afford to offer.”

Had Peston been a regular on Sky News US viewers might have had a chance to know Peston, as that news outlet is seen on TV device channel offerings, but otherwise the best chance to hear from Peston would be through BBC America.

I think a few years from now this situation will be very different as international brands will want to launch TV apps for the various TV streaming devices and their program offerings, and their journalists, will become far more familiar to US viewers.

It looks like Relativity Media, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, will now be split in two, with founder and CEO Ryan Kavanaugh leading a group of investors to acquire all but the television assets, and a creditor group that includes Anchorage Capital, Falcon Investment Advisors, and Luxor Capital picking up those television assets.

Relativity Media is involved in film, sports entertainment and digital operations, in addition to its television work – though it TV work is by far its most profitable segment.

Is advertising content? One would think so, and I believe most ISPs in the US would say that is so. But Digicel is working with Israeli start-up Shine Technologies to test that by starting to block the mobile ads of Google, Facebook and Yahoo. Digicel will roll out the ad blocking first in Jamaica, promising to spread their technology to the Caribbean and South Pacific.

But the effort is far less about the company’s desire to improve the mobile browsing experience than it is to get the social networks to start paying for displaying their ads.

“Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook talk a great game and take a lot of credit when it comes to pushing the idea of broadband for all – but they put no money in,” said Denis O’Brien, Chairman of Digicel Group. “Instead they unashamedly trade off the efforts and investments of network operators like Digicel to make money for themselves. That’s unacceptable, and we as a network operator, are taking a stand against them to force them to put their hands in their pockets and play a real role in improving the opportunities for economic empowerment for the global population.”

This story was picked up by a few US tech sites, but the emphasis was very much on ad blocking. But this is really all about extortion, making Google and others pay to play. Believe me, the ISPs really don’t care about your mobile experience, but adding revenue is a high priority.

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