Julia Boorstin joined CNBC in May 2006 as a general assignment reporter. Later that year, she became CNBC's media and entertainment reporter working from CNBC's Los Angeles Bureau. Boorstin covers media with a special focus on the intersection of media and technology. In addition, she reported a documentary on the future of television for the network, "Stay Tuned…The Future of TV."
Boorstin joined CNBC from Fortune magazine where she was a business writer and reporter since 2000, covering a wide range of stories on everything from media companies to retail to business trends. During that time, she was also a contributor to "Street Life," a live market wrap-up segment on CNN Headline News.
In 2003, 2004 and 2006, The Journalist and Financial Reporting newsletter named Boorstin to the "TJFR 30 under 30" list of the most promising business journalists under 30 years old. She has also worked for the State Department's delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and for Vice President Gore's domestic policy office.
She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a B.A. in history. She was also an editor of The Daily Princetonian.
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Media companies have a pretty clear model--they create TV and movie content, and they try to monetize that content over a number of platforms, from video-on-demand, to most notably, the Internet. Now media companies are fostering creative divisions to create significant amounts of content designed entirely for distribution online.
I'm here at the Toronto Film Festival, a key market for Hollywood studios to buy indie films to fill out their slates. Everyone's looking for the next 'Crash' or 'Thank you for Smoking', two low-budget, high-grossing films that both sold here in Toronto in previous years. It's these low budget acquisitions that can, if you're lucky, yield the highest margins for the media...
So you're back from vacation and culling through piles of e-mails. Don't be surprised if you find invitations to join the latest slew of social networking sites. There are a couple of trends emerging--social networking niches, if you will.
The TV networks are really good at looking overseas for ideas--they remake "The Office" and endless gameshows and reality TV concepts. In fact, European shows are on every time you turn on the TV, just with American accents. (Plus, plenty of companies like Ben Silverman's Reveille and Fremantle make fortunes selling U.S. shows back overseas).
Newspapers are performing even worse than expected according to Fitch Ratings. Wasn't the outlook already grim? Well, it's even worse than it was in January. Needless to say, Fitch has a negative outlook on the newspaper industry. They think declines are likely permanent, not cyclical. Who will hurt the most? Well markets in California and Florida, where the housing bubble was really huge, will see particularly outsized declines.
From Wall Street to Madison Avenue to Silicon Valley--the subprime credit crunch is taking its toll. Mortgage and lending companies are among the biggest online advertisers, so if they start cutting back on their ad spending, then it'll be noticed. Financial services comprised 16% of the total $17 billion in Internet ad spending in 2006, and that percentage was likely even larger this year.
NBC Universal (owned by GE, which is parent company of CNBC) and News Corp are collaborating on a online video site to compete with YouTube, and today we learned its name: Hulu. (Go to hulu.com) to check out some of the video the on-demand service will be providing--you'll see that Fox's "24" and NBC's "My Name is Earl") are prominently featured.
All this buzz about social networking and the Facebook craze has sparked a backlash. No surprise, I suppose--I find it amusing that there's been a backlash in both directions. Nosoproject.com is an anti-social networking site, which is also pretty anti-social. The site says it wants to help people "temporarily disengage" from the online social networking phenomenon.
On Friday, I reported about Nielsen's upcoming social networking site, 'Hey! Nielsen.' The idea is to mine online buzz to find out what movies, music, tv, and online video people are talking about online, with the idea to eventually turn that buzz into relevant numbers for advertisers. Nielsen won't be the first to look to social networks for insight.
Social Networking is so hot right now, Nielsen is launching a social network to FIND OUT what's hot. It's all very meta. Nielsen is launching 'Hey! Nielsen,' a social network to act as a buzztracker for what in the entertainment world is hot on the web. The idea is to tap into the wisdom of crowds--or more specifically the wisdom of the "IN crowd" who wants to be webchatting about all the hottest TV, music, movies and web videos.
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