At USC Annenberg, we don’t just cover the news, we make it. “Quoted: USC Annenberg in the News” gathers a selection of the week’s news stories featuring and written by Annenberg’s leaders, faculty, staff and others.
Professor Gabriel Kahn was quoted in a Los Angeles Times story about Richard Mirman, a former casino executive, who replaced Aaron Kushner as publisher of the Orange County Register.
Kahn — who is also co-director of the Media, Economics and Entrepreneurship program at USC Annenberg — said that newspaper publishing is “really ripe for a moment when we open this up to new areas, because it really needs a bold reinvention of the product.”
He said Kushner has relied on “traditional” methods and stood by print, putting the O.C. Register “behind the times in terms of innovating.”
But, Mirman’s familiarity with the gambling sector will be to his advantage as publisher. Kahn said the casino industry “has traditionally done a good job figuring out who its customers are and finding ways to interact with them.”
“That is exactly what the newspaper industry has been bad at, not understanding the customers,” Kahn said. “You had a one-size-fits-all product, and you try to shove it down the throat of the consumer.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted Professor Diane Winston in a story about rising Christian rap star, Lecrae.
"In general, the hip-hop lifestyle is not conducive to religion," Winston — who also holds the Knight Chair in Media and Religion — said and she added that hip-hop “is about being countercultural, and religion is just the opposite of that.”
Winston said he is part of “the new reform movement.”
"There's a long trajectory of Christians trying to reach outside the flock. In the 19th century, the Salvation Army and other evangelistic groups used barroom songs and turned them into hymns,” Winston said, adding that Lecrae is “the latest iteration.”
The Wall Street Journal quoted Annenberg Professor Jeffrey Cole in a story about HBOs launch of a standalone, online streaming platform for their content next year.
“This is a seismic event in the future of television,” Cole — who is also director of the Center for the Digital Future at Annenberg — said. “Cable is shrinking and broadband is expanding. This had to happen.”
Professor Dmitri Williams was quoted in a Business News Daily story about how companies are starting to connect with influential social media users to promote their personal brands. Williams’ predictive analytics company Ninja Metrics examines these “social influencers” to determine the dollar amount of their word-of-mouth-driven sales.
“It's a ripple in a pond effect, and the pond is [an influencer's] social network,” Williams said. “Five to 10 percent of [social media users] are responsible for 60 to 80 percent of influence, [but] big influencers are almost never big spenders. The more 'social' the business category is, the more important [social value] is.”
He added that "social" industries — which include travel, dining and entertainment, and are driven heavily by word-of-mouth recommendations — are where a large percentage of money spent is driven by social aspects rather than the product itself.
Journalist Diane Sawyer stopped by Wallis Annenberg Hall on Monday to explore the new building and attend the Annenberg Media Center-wide news meeting. ATVN covered her visit and talk with students in their new video series, Inside the Media Center (ITMC).