A holiday party for media’s downsized. The usual swanky media holiday parties have mostly been cancelled this year, in case you haven’t heard, and even in cases where they haven’t been, plenty of the journalists and producers who would normally populate them are no longer on the guest list, having been laid off. For one newly-unemployed editor, that’s excuse enough for to host a celebration next Wednesday. Aaron Gell, who was executive editor of Radar when it shut down and a former editor at W , has formed a new support group that calls itself ASSME: the American Society of Shitcanned Media Elites. (The name is a play on this.) Gell, a former colleague of mine twice over, has lined up a venue (the bar Ella) and a sponsor (p.i.n.k. vodka) to serve two noble causes: the New York Cares coat drive, and an open bar for people still struggling to wrap their minds around the concept of paying for their own drinks. That includes, per the invitation, “recently downsized magazine, newspaper, publishing, advertising, TV and web professionals.” — Portfolio

YouTube videos are pulling in serious money. Making videos for YouTube — for three years a pastime for millions of Web surfers — is now a way to make a living. One year after YouTube, the online video powerhouse, invited members to become “partners” and added advertising to their videos, the most successful users are earning six-figure incomes from the Web site. — International Herald Tribune

Yahoo lays off 1500 and blogosphere buzzes. The news that Yahoo was laying off 1500 people is no surprise to anyone following the company; it announced it would be making cuts last month. But most notable was the way the news of the layoffs were being covered in real time across the blogosphere and Twittersphere. As can be expected in a company with highly wired, networked employees, it was difficult to keep details under wraps. — Advertising Age

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Online advertising revenue still not the answer. Remember when online revenue was going to save the media industry? Well, it turns out that was a bad plan even before the economy tanked and everyone got fired. During the third quarter of 2008, online display revenue only increased seven percent, according to a report from TNS Media Intelligence. But, you say, it’s going up. Isn’t that a good thing? Well sure, but the increase is less than half of last year’s 17.2 percent jump. Furthermore, spending online still is dwarfed by spending on television, magazines, and newspapers. Long story short: If a tiny pie gets marginally bigger, you still have a tiny pie. — FishbowlNY

Google’s Chrome reaches 10 million users and heads for the mainstream. Google claims its three-month old web browser Chrome has already been used by 10 million people in 200 countries, the web giant said today, claiming that after reaching performance and stability targets the browser has been taken out of beta development mode. The move hints that Google is pushing for deals with computer manufacturers, who would need a full, official release of the browser before they would consider installing it as standard. — The Guardian

Will Google buy The New York Times ? It seems newspapers were just starting to jam their homepages with dozens of blogs, just starting to “get” the whole Web thing. It seems we were just starting to feel out some sort of reconciliation between the “just the facts,” hard-line old media with the loose, first-person new. But as theoretical and invigorating as that debate was and is, it’s largely irrelevant. Newspapers as we know them have failed. But if the money, the audiences, and the prize committees are moving online, there still remain the newspapers and their reporters. There still remain the beats, the institutional knowledge and the print world’s existing infrastructures of information. No business model can be found to support Baghdad bureaus and years-long investigative reporting. — Splice Today

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Peter Fray
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