» While the announcement of the merger between The Daily Beast and Newsweek seemed to happen quickly, the transition has moved relatively slowly. But the pace might be quickening, as Ray Chelstowski, a former publisher of Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly, will serve as publisher of the combined entity, signaling that the business operations of the two are finally coming together. Meanwhile, some nervous staffers are “waiting for the buyout money.” [Media Decoder; Adweek]
» There’s not much to sing about these days in the music business these days: for the ninth time in 10 years, U.S. album sales declined in 2010, even as paid downloads of individual songs stalled, according to Nielsen’s SoundScan. That represents a 12.8 percent decrease compared to 2009 levels. It also represents a new low point since Soundscan began compiling the data in 1993. Specifically, digital downloads, which had been growing at a nicely over the past seven years, were up a mere 1 percent. [WSJ]
» Philadelphia Media Network, Inc., owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, is seriously looking at methods of building a paywall around the Philly.com news site.
» Sure, RSS may be “dead,” at least in the sense that users don’t specifically notice it. But that’s only because the content aggregation system has faded into the background quietly powering interactive content in a much the same way people turning on a light or turning the ignition on their car don’t think about the way those respective processes work. [GigaOm]
» Can you apply the values of Farmville and Mafia Wars to cable TV series promotion? Starz hopes so. The cable operator is taking to Facebook to charge users a fictional currency called “denarri” to buy gladiators as it tries to build buzz for this month’s season premiere of Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. [Clickz]
» Like anything else, even creating a simple hashtag is an art form. Aside from having an ineffable personality, the best ones are specific — not broad — yet can express a wide universality. [Twitter Media]