The Media in the Press 11.2.10

Two newspaper groups have released their latest financial results, with the publishers of the Scottish Daily Mail saying that its ad revenue in January had shown a “marked improvement” on the previous three months, which had suffered an eight per cent fall – The Scotsman, business supplement, page 2.

Said the Daily Mail & General Trust yesterday, the improved fortunes were partly because of ads taken out by various supermarkets engaged in a ‘price war’.

DGMT in the past year has sold the London Evening Standard and closed its free London Lite newspaper and its Teletext TV service.

The Herald, meanwhile (page 32), tells us that The New York Times group – which, as well as the NYT, publishes The Boston Globe and the International Herald Tribune – had enjoyed a relatively good fourth quarter last year. Its earnings had increased and its ad revenue decline was the smallest quarter drop of the year. Cost-cutting, including job lay-offs, had contributed towards its better financial numbers.

Forget the figures. What about Friends? Fans of the US TV series will be no doubt devastated to hear that Channel 4 is bringing its 15-year association with Chandler, Phoebe and pals to an end – The Herald (page 9). The show has been a recent staple of the broadcaster’s E4 digital channel.

Channel 4 is also dropping Big Brother, with the resulting cash saving to be used on original programming and other imports. Here’s one idea to fill a gap or two: The Church of England has voiced “deep concern” about a reduction in religious broadcasting on British television – The Scotsman, page 16.

Other media news:

 * TV presenter, Adrian Chiles, is said to be threatening to quit from the weekday BBC early evening programme, The One Show, allegedly because of reports that fellow BBC broadcaster, Chris Evans, is being lined up to do an one-hour version of the programme every Friday – the Daily Record, page 23.

 * X Factor judge, Simon Cowell, has apparently found true love: he was spotted publicly hugging, for the first time, his girlfriend, Mezhgan Hussainy – the Daily Record,