Exclusive RaceTalk Q & A: Paul La Monica’s MediaBiz Blog “That’s All Folks” 2





By Kyle Austin

Another day and another change to report in the Time Warner Center.  Paul La Monica, a long time editor at large with CNNMoney.com just made the final post to his Media Biz blog as he gets ready to launch a new daily morning column that will go live next Monday.  La Monica has been a mainstay on the entertainment industry beat since 2005 and the Media Biz Blog has become a popular and necessary stop for those within the industry over the last ten months.  

Just two weeks ago we heard that CNNMoney.com was embarking on a new video initiative and this will undoubtedly become another part of La Monica’s new job description.  “The (new) column will focus exclusively on the big market/economic news of the day,” said La Monica when reached through email. “The rest of my day will be focused on editing and working with our video team.” In his last day on the MediaBiz beat Paul was kind enough to take a few more questions from RaceTalk after the jump.  

RaceTalk: Paul, as it’s your last day on the media beat it gives us one last opportunity to grill you on your 2008 predictions for the media business. If you had to guess or predict the biggest “MediaBiz” story for 2008 what would it be?    

Paul: I really do think that Yahoo is going to be taken over, especially if the one-year anniversary of Jerry Yang taking over for Terry Semel rolls around in June and Yahoo’s stock is lower than where it was before Semel stepped down.  

RaceTalk: Is the “MediaBiz” blog ending with your move to a new column or will someone else be picking up the beat?  

Paul: As of right now, I do not know of any plans to have someone else at CNNMoney take over the Media Biz beat. However, we have a team of very talented Fortune writers in San Francisco who cover digital media trends very closely in the Techland blog. http://techland.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/ And Richard Siklos, the media writer at Fortune magazine, also writes a weekly column for the Web site that looks at big news events in the world of traditional media. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/siklos/index.html And CNNMoney, of course, will continue to cover breaking news events in media as warranted with our staff of news writers.  

RaceTalk: From what you’ve told me, your new “Morning Market Column,” will focus exclusively on the big market/economic news of the day.  Are you looking forward to having a column with a broad beat rather then being tied to a specific beat like you had on your MediaBiz blog?  

Paul: My new column will be called Morning Buzz and I am looking forward to discuss bigger picture trends in the market and economy. Don’t get me wrong. The media business is certainly very interesting and dynamic but I get the sense that its appeal is limited to a relatively small group of people in the know. The Morning Buzz column will give me a chance to discuss other issues in the business world that have more universal appeal, such as stock market trends, Fed interest rate policy and the economy at large.  

RaceTalk: What should we expect with the new column?   

Paul: I am hopeful that Morning Buzz will give readers an intelligent, yet also slightly irreverent take on what’s going on in the markets. I plan to pull no punches and call things as I see them. And with that, I hope that readers will look forward to the column each morning and will also be willing to email me comments or submit comments via a Talkback blog feature that we will set up for certain columns.  

RaceTalk: What sort of pitches will you be looking for from PR folks like me?  What types of sources will be a good fit for your new column?  

Paul: I no longer will be needing pitches about specific companies. The best pitches to send me now would be for sources that have something interesting to say about the broader markets and economy. So fund managers, economists, professors and market strategists are all fair game. But pitches about small start-ups trying to be the next Google or Facebook? Not so much.  

RaceTalk: As part of your new role at CNNMoney.com you will be working on an ambitious new joint venture between the company’s Turner Broadcasting and Time Inc. units to produce more then 30 original video reports per day.  What will your role be in this venture and will you be an on air personality (as some Fortune writers have become)?  

Paul: I have already appeared in some CNNMoney videos and plan to do more. I’m sure that some of the Morning Buzz columns will lend themselves naturally to video. Also, I plan on working with the on-air team and producers more closely about the best ways to cover breaking market news so much of my work with the video team will be behind the scenes, if you will. I will also be doing more editing at the site. So overall, I should remain pretty busy even though I will be no longer held captive to the grueling demands of a beat as sprawling as media.

RaceTalk: Thanks Paul, looking forward to the new column.



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