Hearst invests in credit ratings not newspapers. The privately-owned US media group, Hearst Corp, has shown it sees its future growth prospects not in its traditional media areas but in credit ratings. It’s just added to its stake in the French-controlled Fitch ratings group to the tune of $US400 million. Hearst owns some of the best titles in the US media: Cosmo, a stake in ESPN, the Houston Chronicle, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire and Harpers Bazaar.

Yet it has sought to grow by lifting its stake in the third biggest ratings group in the world and one of a group of companies that played a major part in bringing us the credit crunch and the worst recession in 80 years. It’s not hard to see why Hearst found another 20% of Fitch alluring: the price paid of $US427 million was a sharp discount on the $US600 million it paid for the original 20% stake in 2006.

A week ago, the ratings agencies had a big win in Washington with the US Government tightening regulations, but declining to take any form of tougher action against them, despite widespread calls for greater controls following the major role they played in the credit crunch and recession. That was on July 22. Two days later Hearst bought the 20% stake in Fitch. — Glenn Dyer

Greg Sheridan, film buff. Back of the Review section of the Saturday Oz, and drawing the short straw of writing the colour piece it’s….Greg Sheridan. On a plane, a real one, not a simulator for a change. Planes are about the only chance you get to read a serious book these days, he muses, before reflecting that these days even that’s impossible, because of all the great movie options in the entertainment units, movies such as … and it becomes clear that Sherry is going to get a whole article out of reviewing the in-flight movies. Two thousand words later we know what the grumpy grouper thinks not only of Clint Eastwood, The 39 Steps, and best of all, He’s Just Not That Into You (“took the usual approving attitude to the amoral pre-marital promiscuity of our age”). He liked it all, except for Revolutionary Road, whose tale of 50s suburban despair was court-martialled for lack of moral fibre (“the idea that greatness might require some effort, or that having undreamed of affluence and every opportunity for creativity, they might actually do something apart from whingeing apparently never occurred to them…”).

Oh please please Mr Mitchell, make him film critic (and let Stratton cover China), send him to everything, everything from The Hangover (“the idea that they might put on pants and sort this mess out never occurred to them…”) to Transformers 2 (“takes the usual approving attitude to killer robots”). That would be better than having Neil Jillett back again. — Guy Rundle

NBC changes no surprise. The head of NBC Entertainment, Ben Silverman, has quit to join old mate Barry Diller in a new media venture. His departure was more a surprise due to its timing: he’s been the subject of a number of reports about his future in the last eight months. According to some US reports, Barry Diller, a former senior executive at Fox under Rupert Murdoch and now a media entrepreneur, has backed Silverman in past business ventures. Silverman owned a TV production house in the US called Reveille, but sold most of that when he took the job at NBC. Reveille is now controlled by Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine production company. Reveille and Shine have produced programs such as Ugly Betty, The US version of The Office, Merlin, MasterChef and The Biggest Loser. Betty was seen on Seven here, the rest are on Ten. — Glenn Dyer

It’s not news until it makes the mainstream press. Given I’m not a real journalist and Jonathan Green is not a real editor, and Crikey is simply a parasitic new media publication feeding off newspapers like The Australian, it makes sense that a story broken by us on Friday should be properly “revealed” today by The Oz. “Rudd may double coal compo” the national broadsheet front page screamed — OK, said in a raised voice — this morning. “The Rudd government is considering doubling compensation to the coal industry to $1.5 billion,” Dennis Shanahan explained, which is what we reported last week. What next — Glenn Milne re-reporting Canberra Times stories about Bill Shorten? Surely not. — Bernard Keane

Healthcare is boring and confusing. MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan said Thursday morning that while President Barack Obama has “elevated the conversation” when it comes to health care, there’s a downside for cable executives and his fellow hosts: “Health care is bad for ratings.” Discussing the previous night’s low-key news conference, Ratigan said that “cable networks’ ratings go off a cliff” during the health care debate, which eventually “forces the conversation out of the TV.” — Politico

National Public Radio focuses on written journalism. NPR, the [US] public radio network, is introducing a revamped NPR.org this week, giving users what its executives say is an easier-to-navigate Web site that emphasizes written reporting over audio reports. It is part of a digital expansion, branded with the new tagline “Always On,” that will include several mobile applications to be available late this summer. The changes are meant to raise the level of NPR’s journalism and journalistic output, and to make public radio more widely available, not just on local stations but on any format consumers might want… — NY Times

Copy editors do more than fix typos. If you’ve recently encountered a woman with luxurious hair or read about someone alluding to an event that they were clearly referring to, or thought that Minsk should actually be Gdansk, you might be reading a newspaper that’s fired its copy editors, something that’s been occurring more and more across the industry as a way to cut costs. — On The Media

You thought Australian broadband was slow? Despite paying for quick broadbands speeds, it turns out that nearly one fifth of UK customers are receiving a far lower connection speed than they are paying for… according to the largest survey of its kind ever undertaken by telecoms regulator Ofcom. Nearly one fifth of UK broadband customers on an 8 Megabit per second (Mbps) connection actually receive less than 2 Mbps, it found. The research showed that less than 9% of users received more than 6 Mbps. — BBC

Web ads are not TV ads. The recession-fuelled advertising downturn underlines the urgency of using the Web to glean data and target consumers directly, rather than blasting them with a barrage of TV-style ads, media executives say. At the Fortune Brainstorm: TECH conference in Pasadena this week, Walt Disney Co Chief Executive Robert Iger opened a discussion about new ways to market to consumers, when he described himself as, “pretty bullish about what technology is going to allow in terms of behavioural tracking.” — Reuters