Monday, July 28, 2008

Blogger Arrington: GCI video deal worth $10 million

Leading technology news blogger Michael Arrington notes today that video service Mogulus won $10 million in new investor money. "But far more important than the amount of capital raised is the investor,'' Arrington says. "Gannett, a $4 billion company which owns USA Today and other news and media properties, funded the round."

Arrington, who runs influential TechCrunch, likes the deal, and Gannett's involvement. His headline: "Big media gets serious about LiveStreaming."

In its press release, Gannett says only that the tie-up was a "minority investment." Other financial terms weren't disclosed. Arrington based his $10 million on a source he didn't identify. His explainer graph: "Mogulus, like competitors Ustream and, allow anyone with a camera, computer and Internet connection to live stream to the Internet, reducing huge overhead costs for remote coverage (you don’t need things like satellite uplinks)."

Dept. of Kremlinology
Gannett Blog reader finds it interesting that CEO Craig Dubow is the executive quoted in the Mogulus release -- rather than, say, Chief Digital Officer Chris Saridakis. (Of course, if I knew this deal would land on a high-profile tech blog, I'd quote the big cheese, too!)

Earlier: GCI said investing $8 million in Cozi social network

What do we think about Mogulus? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.


  1. Interesting move. I certainly appreciate and understand the need to diversify.

    Some thoughts after visiting the site.
    - Not a lot there I want to watch.
    - A lot of Portuguese programming
    - 24-hour Looney Tunes channel (ironic?)

    Curious to know if Gannett sees this as a venue to stream live video for its newspapers and TV stations, or take a percentage of the ad revenue, or both. I did find the following on the "Produce" tab at :

    Fast & Easy
    Mogulus is totally free. We simply insert a short ad onto your channel every 10 minutes or so. Your channel is free for everyone to see on Mogulus, or embedded elsewhere on the Internet. There is no software to install, no special hardware required, and Mogulus works on Mac or Windows.

    Mogulus Pro
    If you are a content owner or a distributor of digital media and you'd like to use the Mogulus studio and player without advertising, you can contact us at

    In order to make this service free for our broadcasters, Mogulus inserts one 10 to 15 second commercial advertisement every 8 minutes on each channel. We are currently building our advertising network. If you are interested in placing advertisements, innovative campaigns, or full program sponsorships, please contact our sales department at

    One final thought. Not sure where this fits in the Local, Local, Local model. Or has Gannett moved beyond that already?

  2. From Yahoo Finance ...

    Gannett makes minority investment in Mogulus
    Monday July 28, 3:05 pm ET
    Gannett makes investment in Mogulus, a website allowing users to create live TV channels

    NEW YORK (AP) -- News media company Gannett Co. said Monday it made a minority investment in Mogulus, a New York-based Internet video platform.
    Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

    The investment expands on Gannett's three-month-old commercial agreement with Mogulus to provide broadcasting services on the company's websites.

    Mogulus allows users to launch their own live television stations online, including multiple camera and editing capability.

    Gannett said it would complement its multimedia infrastructure for journalists.

  3. OK this is all good. But now Gannett sites have to weed out the 80% of videos that suck and just go so they can meet a quota.

  4. Jim,
    Clearly this is the brain child of Saridakis. Do you actually think Dubow even knows what Mogulus is?

    Our manager forwarded a Q&A document from Saridakis that articulates his strategy for mogulus-Gannett and the rationale for the investment.
    I have heard of Indy using it for their editorial board meeting with Obama. It was a huge success from the feedback we received.

    I know our publisher is anxious to use it.

  5. I think this is a pretty slick tool. We are testing it now and it is an incredible tool.

    Jim, you might want to stream a live video from Ibiza. With all that time, you might want to add video to your blog (just keep it clean) ;)

  6. We have used Mogulus several times and have been able to stream live video at events where our local tv competition only ran old still photos of the venue. Interesting change.

    This will be a good move for our digital efforts.

  7. I like this idea a lot. We've been wrestling with video for almost a year, with mixed results. We are locked into a fairly clumsy production/editing/server model that makes it hard to move fast.

    Our most talented video producers of course can turn around good strong complex video, but for most of the news folks, the fast-break stuff is still an issue. I think Mogulus will make it easier to get new-new, local-local content up online in a big rush.

    Here's an example: Imagine a big hot trial that everyone is following breathlessly. Something critical happens in court one day, and with Mogulus we could get the basic development online almost as fast as we can get a text update online.

    I like it.

  8. lets see how everyone will like the layoffs coming this money. The newspapers were ordered to make very large cuts to payroll.

  9. @ 11:24 PM

    You mean "Monday"? As in Aug. 4? If they were going to order sweeping systemwide cuts, wouldn't they have done that around the time they announced the sorrowful Q2 results?

    I know GCI is rigorous on insisting that every property make its assigned profit number, but on the whole haven't they left a lot of the how-to decisions to the local shops? I.e., instead of "Cut xx jobs," they're more like to say, "Cut costs by xx dollars, any way you can"?

    Maybe it's all changing now, who knows?

  10. @ 11:24 p.m.: Does "money" mean Monday? Any sense of the depth of the cuts?

  11. Hmmmm. It's now TUESDAY. I'm going to take a pass on this for now.

  12. The actual day of the week matters not for layoffs, but the mantra for saving money is make the change asap, to save the most cash. Major layoffs on Fridays mitigates a bit of the survivor conversations the next day, and keeps some of the revenge seekers from coming back.

    The cuts wouldn't have come directly after the last earnings call. Stockholder reaction had to be taken, especially from the big holders.

    IMO, the $16 share days were a trigger. Although the sites decide how to cut expense, we run so tight the only place to cut is people.

    Here's your warning - if your director or manager hasn't talked to you since last Wednesday, start taking your stuff home now. If we don't have a 2 percent or larger layoff in the next two weeks, I'd be astonished.

    Honestly, I expect that number to be 10 percent. 4,600 gone.

  13. I'm wondering if anon @ 11:24 pm was meaning layoffs because of the MONEY gannett spent on this... not Monday...

    But 10 mil is not that much money in light of everything else going on...

  14. Gannett properties across the board have been ordered to cut payroll expenses. Look for the layoff plans to become clear at each paper after this week. This goes for all departments not just news rooms.

  15. In the time that I have worked for Gannett I feel like I have dodged so many of those layoff bombs. I'm not sure how much more panic this blog can incite on this front -- and how many more of these rumors I can take, but I'm now at a point where I am just hoping Gannett will have the courage to layoff 15 percent to 20 percent of its workforce. That way the folks left will hopefully have a reprieve from the layoff speculation for a couple months. I support the truth-telling that occurs on this blog, but it just seems like there is a lot of negative speculation. I just wish corporate would spell out publicly how many more employees they plan to eliminate. People need to plan for the future.

  16. Gee - Millions for more opportunities to watch jerky, grainy video from dinky handicams. Now the rush for more layoffs to preserve the dividend. Fire them all I say. Remotely control the presses from India.

  17. I wouldn't be surprised if there ARE rumors today -- just as I suspect there are similar rumors EVERYDAY. I'm still waiting for something more specific -- and from sources I know.

  18. I'm sure that you'll be getting something more specific very soon, Jim.

  19. One way to look at Mogulus: A good way to do all that cable-access programming (HS Sports, town-hall meetings, events) that used to be very expensive for next to nothing.

    Having tested the service several times myself, the technology is a little harder than it seems at first to master (especially when you start mixing multiple cameras and audio), and Mogulus's Amazon host does crash from time to time, but the server is extremely promising. A very smart play by Gannett.

  20. In re layoff rumors, it seems GCI had managers in a lather about layoffs last week, but now they're accepting other cuts, as long as spending goes down by XX percent. At least that's the story I'm hearing where I am.

  21. I hear that the layoffs are coming at corporate. There is much to cut. Start on the 4th floor in the ad department. Go all the way to the corner and start with Giallombardo and work your way down the line to Kment, Bergin, Burns etc etc. You can save a ton of money just there. Then start on the other end and go every other office. I'm telling you nothing would be missed. It might actually help the field. No more crappy assed corporate programs.

  22. On the Kremlinology tip:

    Major Info Center nap-time, I mean presentation, by the high muckety-mucks. Conspicuously absent? Saridakis.

    We're listening to the fatbottoms drone on endlessly (c'mon people, use just the slightest inflection, wouldja please? I'm getting drool on my sleeve here...) and Mr. Digital's nowhere to be heard.

    Good thing we wasted a good portion of the day looking at screenshots we've seen 8 times before, though. Very informative!

  23. @1:47 am: Did anyone say what the goal of the meeting was?

  24. Information Center - the next level/electric boogaloo

    Corporate back-patting.

  25. I'm happy to see the proceeds from our frozen pensions invested wisely.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.