Thursday, July 30, 2009

3Am to take on TMZ

Oh, bless their little shoes. The Daily Mirror has decided that it wants some of that TMZ action and is spinning 3am out into a website.

Obviously, it already is a website, hosting the poorly-conceived ramblings of the current Mirror gossip team, but now it's going to go 24 hours a day.

Well, yes, it is already 24 hours a day. Because even Trinity Mirror haven't started switching off their servers when they go home for the night. But this is different, right?

The launch of the website marks the first time that 3am content has been spun-off as a standalone brand. Until now it has only been available on the website under its "Celebs" section., which has been six months in development, will provide 24-hour celebrity news, video and blogs.

I guess it'll be handy when James Murdoch walls up Gordon Smart behind a tollbooth.

Still, nice to hear that 3AM is going to save the Daily Mirror. Just like back in 2004 when it was a 3AM magazine that was the future:
The launch of 3am Magazine this week was the first salvo produced by a 50-strong magazines unit established by Trinity Mirror to help reverse the sales decline of its three national titles.

Journalists in the new "centre of excellence" have been encouraged to dress down, listen to the radio and "get out and about" in order to encourage a creative atmosphere.

The two-page 3am gossip column, launched in April 2001, has been identified by Trinity Mirror bosses as the newspaper's most identifiable brand and a major selling point.

Daily Mirror Circulation - January 2004 - 1,919,125
Daily Mirror Circulation - June 2009 - 1,330,301

Well, that worked well, then.

Phil Hall, who created the magazine division left in 2005; the division was closed in 2007 and I don't think anyone even noticed when the 3AM Magazine vanished.

Quite a powerbase to start taking down TMZ from, then. No word on if the 3AM ranks will be swollen to include people to actually file stories 24 hours a day, or if the UK really has enough celebrities to keep such a site going. Even TMZ is reduced to filling the longueurs between dead singers by running "you won't guess what a woman you've never heard of from a 70s sitcom you've forgotten looks like now... oh, older... oh, you did guess then".