John Byrne Aims To Change Media!

by Jay Deragon on 12/04/2009

The old line media is struggling with all things digital. Free content surrounds them, declines in advertising revenue and amateur journalist stealing readers from the professional journalist employed by the big media.

Debates about free vs. paid content are everywhere. Rupert Murdock is trying to block WSJ content from Google. All the major media players are trying to make their content “social”. It seems as though everyone is running around trying to adjust old models to marry new models. Well maybe not everyone.

Business Week Gets Bought and John Byrne Wants to Compete

Silicon Alley Insider reported Ex-Business Week Boss Byrne: I’m Launching A New Company To Kill Business Week. John Byrne stepped down as the head of Business Week’s online operations just a week ago, and he’s already talking about his next venture on his blog.

It takes dead aim at old media companies like Business Week:

From John’s Blog we read: What makes you so sure you or anyone else can succeed at this game?

I have three fundamental beliefs that inform my thinking: 1) Print advertising will never come back. There are just too many options for advertisers today and too much pressure on rates. Sadly, success in print will be measured in single-digit declines, forever. 2) Online advertising will never offset those declines nor save print. There’s far too much competition online and far too much available inventory; and 3) Users will not pay for content, unless they’re convinced it has immediate and tangible value. Very little journalism meets that standard today. Do we really need 57 versions of a story on Bernie Madoff pleading guilty?

If you agree with these absolutes, they can liberate your thinking about what’s going to happen next in media. Why? Because they tell you that nothing less than radical transformation is needed to survive and to thrive in the analog space. And there’s precious little revolutionary thinking among the traditionalists. That’s why newcomers have great advantage at this time of transition. The great management guru Peter Drucker said it best: “The problem in our lives is not the absence of knowing what to do, but the absence of doing it.” I’m going to do it.

Do You Believe Him?

I had the opportunity to meet John while at Business Week and engaged in a discussion about all things digital.  I’ve met  lots of business leaders and smart people in my life and you can always tell which ones have the depth of thinking, the sincerity of heart and the willingness to lead.  My impression of John Byrne is that he is indeed one of those rare people that after meeting him your mind and heart says “follow this guy because he is an impressive human being and with lots of relationship capital.”

That being said I suggest we watch what John’s new venture will do and if my first impression are right he will do what is unexpected and unusual.  Which is exactly what the media business needs right now to survive.

While some won’t survive, John is likely to be one of the few that leads the industry into business as unusual.



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{ 9 comments }

Harish Kotadia December 5, 2009 at 3:28 am

John Byrne Aims To Change Media! http://bit.ly/90y9da #sCRM #PR #socmed

Paul Kelash December 4, 2009 at 10:37 am

Agree "tangible value" is imp for paid journalism John Byrne Aims To Change Media | The Relationship Economy…… http://bit.ly/4VCQTK

Plantodo December 4, 2009 at 9:12 am

John Byrne Aims To Change Media | The Relationship Economy……: The great management guru Peter Drucker said .. http://bit.ly/8PqU1A

Randall Kane December 4, 2009 at 8:23 am

Changing the world of media as we know it @johnabyrne http://j.mp/68Yg3n

Medill Club of NY December 4, 2009 at 7:40 am

RT @JDeragon: @JohnAByrne John Byrne Aims To Change Media! http://bit.ly/4VCQTK

topsy_top20k_en December 4, 2009 at 7:37 am

New blog post: John Byrne Aims To Change Media! http://www.relationship-economy.com/?p=8030

Matthew Shadbolt December 4, 2009 at 7:37 am

Reading: RT @JDeragon: @JohnAByrne John Byrne Aims To Change Media! http://bit.ly/4VCQTK

JOHNABYRNE December 4, 2009 at 7:34 am

RT @JDeragon: @JohnAByrne John Byrne Aims To Change Media! http://bit.ly/4VCQTK

Allen Howell December 4, 2009 at 7:26 am

John Byrne Aims To Change Media | The Relationship Economy…… http://bit.ly/4VCQTK

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