Wonkette takes a look at the latest David Brooks column calling it “the worst column in American History”.
Gawker reports, “Alt-weekly crusader and Washington City Paper editor Erik Wemple wrote the definitive story on the battle between traditional newsrooms and their web counterparts, where ‘definitive’ means ‘extraordinarily long and often forgetting to make a larger point in its various attempts to embarrass the Washington Post.’ It’s still entertaining though, as a case study in precisely how, over and over again, one should not roll out and maintain the web side of a major publication.”
Portfolio reports, “The new (and only) woman on Rupert Murdoch’s board is a 27-year-old fledgling opera diva. Murdoch may have gotten more than he bargained for.”
Media Life reports that Sam Zell “who recently took over Tribune Co., matters these days because he’s a new kind of newspaper owner, of the sort that has a lot of journalists worried. Their worry is that he will trim costs even closer to the bone at the once-proud Los Angeles Times and Baltimore Sun, among others in his portfolio, pulling out profits even if it’s at the risk of killing these papers.”
Deuzeblog reports, “Sometimes you do not want to be right. And I certainly do not want to claim credit. To a large extent many have written about it, signaled it at various talks and debates, blogged about it, and heard about it from many sources throughout the industry: the media workforce is steadily shrinking. Via Patrick Phillips, editor at IWantMedia, comes this report on AdAge: ‘Media Work Force Sinks to 15-Year Low. Newspaper Slump and the Shift to Digital, Direct Take Toll on Employment.’ This follows last year’s reports by IWantMedia and by Challenger, Gray & Christmas (as reported by UPI) on media industry job cuts, signaling a rise of 88% of job cuts throughout the US media industry in 2006 over the year before.”
Reuters reports, “Canadian electronic publisher Thomson Corp won conditional permission from the European Commission on Tuesday to buy Reuters, a deal that will create the world’s leading provider of news and data for professional markets.”
An ABC release announced, “ABC News’ Senior Foreign Correspondent Jim Sciutto, producer Angus Hines, and field producer/cameraman Tom Murphy won a 2007 George Polk Award for Television Reporting, Long Island University announced today. ABC News was the only television news organization to receive a Polk Award.”
CNN is sweet: They were the only network to go back and rebroadcast Hillary Clinton’s concession speech that Obama cut short.
Fired for his Huffington Post blog posts, former CNN producer Chez Pazienzawrites about the experience on Huffington Post.
The Boston Globe callsBrit Hume “the biggest romantic on television”.
TVNewser reports on the latest “Obama/Osama Confusion”. Also, Gawker asks, “Verbal slips are one thing, but how the hell does this make it from the graphics department to the air without anyone noticing?”
A C-SPAN release announced that this Saturday, Tavis Smiley Presents, “State of the Black Union 2008: Reclaiming our Democracy, Recasting our Future” from 9:00 A.M.-5:30 PM live Coverage From Ernest E. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA.
Gawker reports, “The George Polk awards — described by blogger Will Bunch as the ‘Golden Globes of American journalism’ — were announced early this morning. One of them went to a blogger who blogs! Far out! An army of Davids has stormed the gates! Joshua Micah Marshall of Talking Points Memo (a blog!!) won the Polk Award for Legal Reporting, for his role in exposing the US Attorneys scandal that eventually brought down Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.”
Christopher Hitchensasks, “What is the point of a paper of record that decides the untarnished record is too much for readers?”
Beltway Confidential’s Julie Mason says, “Nothing says ‘congressional dinner’ like Miss America.” Check out her pics here.
Variety reports, “Variety, in association with Jobster, today launches the Biz (Variety.com/thebiz), the first social networking website for the entertainment business.”
Don’t forget — The Washington Blogger February Meetup is tonight! To RSVP, click here.
The Telegraph reports, “Broadcasters and popular websites will have to flag up material deemed unsuitable for children under a code of conduct published on Monday. The guidelines, which have been endorsed by the BBC, Channel 4, Bebo, Google and Yahoo, are designed to protect children from accessing harmful, violent or pornographic sites on the internet and on mobile phones.”
The R&R 2008 News/Talk/Sports Award Nominees have been announced! Check out the nominees here, including WTOP!
CNNMoney.com reports, “But last year, a doozy of a merger was announced while most traders were sleeping in — Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) and XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) unveiled plans to combine. At the time, the two companies said they expected to complete the $13 billion merger of equals by the end of 2007, pending regulatory approval. Flash forward to today. Although shareholders of both companies have approved the merger, the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission have yet to give their blessing.”
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The Pew Weekly News Interest Index shows, “Barack Obama is seen by most Democrats as inspiring and as most likely to bring about change. Hillary Clinton is widely viewed as prepared to lead the country, but also hard to like.”
Regarding this, a reader writes in, “shouldn’t it embarrass the Post newsroom downtown just a little bit that it’s been 10 years and they’re still having the same freak-bouts about .com as they were when it started? Seriously. wp.com ain’t the one with dropping circulation numbers, people — get on board or get off. Short-sighted and silly.” And, another reader says, “Maybe the Posties at 15th and L ought to spend their time figuring out how to beat the competition, rather than eating themselves alive from within — and whining at every turn about how they just don’t understand what’s happening to the news business.”
Dallas Morning News Managing Editor George Rodriguewrites, “Several readers wrote to ask why we ran a photo of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton at the top of Wednesday’s front page, after Sen. Barack Obama had just won primaries in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. ‘If I just looked at a glance I would have bet the farm that Hillary Clinton had won all the marbles in Tuesday’s primaries,’ said Yvonne Crum of Dallas. ‘Obama wins eight states in a row, yet Hillary gets the front page spread. Fair and balanced? I don’t think so, and I am not even a Democrat,’ said Joe Womack of Dallas. On the photo, we simply made the wrong call. The headline (‘Obama wins three more’) and the photo were out of synch. We should have run the photo of Mr. Obama, which was down-page, in the lead position occupied by the image of Mrs. Clinton. But the fact that our layout desk featured Mr. Obama’s victories in the headline should answer any worries about deliberate bias.”
A release announced, “The New York Daily News is preparing to write a new colorful chapter in its rich history with the announcement of its purchase of state-of-the-art, high-volume full-color press equipment. By the end of 2009, the Daily News will become the first major market daily newspaper in the United States to be produced in 100% color on new press equipment manufactured by KBA, a global leader in printing technology. The new Commander CTÃ’ presses will give the Daily News the ability to efficiently produce all copies of all editions in color, reinforcing its future as the countryâ€™s leading tabloid and enabling its millions of readers to enjoy the city’s first full-color newspaper.”
Forbes.com asks, “Do newspapers still need The Associated Press? And does The Associated Press still need newspapers? Until recently, these would have been ridiculous questions. But print circulation is tumbling. So is advertising revenue. Editors are slashing budgets and making do with less. Readers are moving online, where they get all the national and international news, sports scores and celebrity gossip they can read–for free, updated constantly, and often by AP.”
WWD.com reports, “Media observers already are noticing the changes in a Rupert Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal — a British editor for the glossy magazine launch, talk of a sports section, a move to Midtown. Now word around the Journal newsroom is that a prototype is being developed for a culture section, possibly to run weekly. The project is in the very early development stages, and a spokesman for The Journal declined comment Tuesday.”
His Extreme-ness writes, “The U.S. Department of Journalism under assault — from another branch of government!”
Wall Street Journal’s The Numbers Guy reports, “Election Handicappers Are Using Risky Tool: Mixed Poll Averages”
Radar’s Full Court Press writes “The estimable Warren P. Strobel of McClatchy Newspapers, who has a fine record of questioning all of the Bush administration’s lies on the way to the war in Iraq. But this time he seems to have been a bit sloppy. Strobel wrote that Weekly Standard editor and New York Times columnist Bill Kristol is part of ‘McCain’s foreign-policy team.’ But Strobel didn’t bother to confirm this with Kristol. When Times editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal asked Kristol about it, he flatly denied it.”
A NBC release announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research data, ‘Meet the Press with Tim Russert’ was the most-watched Sunday morning public affairs program, winning the week ending Sunday, February 10, 2008 in all categories. On Sunday, the Russert-moderated program was No. 1, averaging 4.497 million total viewers”
An ABC release announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research for the week of February 4, 2008, ABC News’ ‘Nightline’ continues to close the gaps with CBS’ ‘Letterman’ and NBC’s ‘Leno’ among Total Viewers and Adults 25-54. The program posted 3.6 million total viewers and 1.75 million Adult 25-54 viewers, its best performance since the week of December 3, 2007. Among Adults 25-54, both CBS’s and NBC’s leads over ‘Nightline’ have declined for the 5th consecutive week.”
TVNewser asks, “Did ‘Blurred Lines’ Lead to Shuster Suspension?”
The Horses Mouth reports, “MSNBC Spokesperson: Shuster Will Not Be Fired And Will Return To Network”.
TVNewser reports, “Hillary Clinton Confirmed for MSNBC Debate”
“Legendary broadcast journalist Daniel Schorr will speak about and sign his book, Come to Think of It at a luncheon program co-sponsored by the English-Speaking Union on Tuesday, February 19 at the Woman’s National Democratic Club. … The cost of the program is $30. For tickets, contact the English-Speaking Union at esuwdc.net/(202) 234-4602, or the Woman’s National Democratic Club at (202) 232-7363.
“TVNewser obtained an email that American Morning EP Edward Litvak sent last night to the A.M. staff: ‘Chez Pazienza has left ‘American Morning’ and CNN. We wish him well in all of his future endeavors.’ A CNN insider tells TVNewser Pazienza was let go because, “he did not get permission to publish personal writings. Those personal writings come from The Huffington Post, where Pazienza has been blogging since January 23. His most recent post, on February 10, took on the controversy surrounding MSNBC correspondent David Shuster.”
Brand Republic reports, “News International is considering taking The Sunday Times compact, as part of a planned series of major changes to the title.”
Bloomberg reports, “Comcast Corp., the biggest U.S. cable-television provider, may have to buy back more stock or pay a dividend to satisfy investors after a 35 percent drop in the shares last year.”
The New York Observer asks, “MSNBC’s David Shuster: Defender of Clinton Family Honor?”
TVNewser asks, “What Could Tucker Possibly Be Referring To?” Check out the video here.
Mediabistro.com asks, “So What Do You Do, Paul Steiger, Editor-in-Chief, ProPublica?”
Inside Cable News says goodbye. “I can’t keep ICN going in its current form anymore. If you’d noticed it’s been slipping a bit this week as I floundered to try and ‘do it all’. That was a wake up call. Time to call it a day. Time to reclaim those five hours a day of of my life that are devoted to doing something I like but which I can’t make a living off of. And then there’s my real job which pays me more than I could probably make blogging.”
MarketWatch’s Jon Friedmanwrites, “Yes, MSNBC consistently has the lowest ratings among the cable news channels. But all is not lost. It does stand out in one underappreciated category: embarrassing, mealy-mouthed apologies.”
AlwaysOn reports, “We all know VCs and startups have to be bullish about 2008, despite a rocky economy, but when a top analyst says digital media M&A will be up, even after an explosive 2007, it’s worth another look.”
The Boston Globe reports, “Veteran journalist Philip S. Balboni, who built New England Cable News into the nation’s largest regional news network, is leaving the station next month to start the first US-based website devoted exclusively to international news. The site is expected to launch early next year with correspondents in nearly 70 countries. The company, Global News Enterprises LLC, will have its headquarters on the historic Boston waterfront at the Pilot House on Lewis Wharf.”
Reuters reports, “Time Warner Inc’s Internet division AOL and IAC/InterActiveCorp’s Citysearch site will announce on Thursday a partnership to share local content and advertising resources. Under the deal, Citysearch will provide its local business reviews, videos from merchants and promotions for AOL Web sites such as AOL CityGuide, AOL Local Search and MapQuest.”
Tech Crunch reports, “At the start of the Microsoft/Yahoo saga we reported that News Corp. was scrambling to put together a bid to compete with Microsoft, but backed down because they were unable to find outside funding to make the deal lucrative enough (the sorry state of the debt markets contributed to the problem). Yesterday Silicon Alley Insider reported that talks between the two were continuing. We’ve confirmed the rumor — Yahoo and News Corp. are in the middle of marathon discussions, and have more details.”
Huffington Post’s Eat The Press reports, “In yesterday’s review of MSNBC’s primary night coverage, Alessandra Stanley made one huge, glaring error that proved to anyone even casually watching the coverage that she had no credibility on the matter, at all. The error was this: Attributing the slogan ‘the best political team on television’ to MSNBC and not CNN, where that slogan is shoehorned into pretty much every segment, debate, pre-commercial sign-off and available chyron. It is a constant refrain, one which I find I can’t read without hearing Wolf Blitzer’s voice awkwardly intoning it in my head.”
Private Equity Hub reports, “Tributes.com, a new spinout from Eons, has raised $4.3 million in funding from Dow Jones, Eons and other strategic backers. VentureWire reports a post-money valuation of $8.9 million. Tributes.com is an online content company focused on obituaries and related information, which means it will compete with sites like Legacy.com. Eons is a social network for the baby boomer set, and has raised $32 million in VC funding to date.”
Folio reports, “Time Editor: Someday There Will Be People Who Don’t Know There’s a Print Version”
Folio reports, “Traffic to Magazine Web Sites Grows 8.1 Percent in Fourth Quarter”
FishbowlNY reports, “Vanity Fair’s JFK Love Child Goes Public”
On Tuesday, Ronald Brownstein, the Political Director of Atlantic Media, will discuss his latest book at The Aspen Institute from 12:00-2:00 pm.
New York Post reports, “BUSINESSWEEK, the McGraw-Hill flagship magazine that was rattled by pre-Christmas layoffs in the editorial department, has pushed another 20 people with contracts closer to the door. Last Friday, Executive Editor John Byrne on a conference call told the contract workers they were being reassigned to a contract with Kelly Services.”
The AP reports, “The Justice Department on Wednesday approved the $19.5 billion sale of Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest U.S. operator of radio stations and the world’s largest billboard company.”
Also from The AP, “The owner of a radio station that promoted a rock concert where pyrotechnics ignited a deadly blaze reached a tentative $22 million settlement with survivors and victims’ relatives, according to court papers filed Wednesday. The deal with Clear Channel Broadcasting is the latest in a series of settlements stemming from the Feb. 20, 2003, fire at The Station nightclub in West Warwick that killed 100 people and injured more than twice that many.”