AdAge: WSJ is threatening to reclaim its weekday circulation crown from USA Today for the first time since September 1999. If USA Today falls another two percentage points while WSJ holds steady, WSJ will once again claim the largest paid weekday circulation in the U.S.
ABC’s Brian Ross‘ investigative reporting was questioned in an article on the front page of NYT in yesterday’s paper. TVNewser reports NYT’s reporting was questioned but one of the reporter’s sources. Read on here.
“So, if planes go into buildings, well, don’t blame Barack Obama, blame Dana Priest and the chaos that occurred after that, ’cause that was — when her article came out, from that point forward, this secret CIA program was dead on arrival.” -MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe yesterday in a discussion about torture. Read in context at Media Matters.
Congrats to WAMU’s Diane Rehm, who has again made the cut for “Top 10 Most Powerful Programs On Public Radio,” according to the fall 2008 study by Audience Research Analysis.
AP: Clear Channel Communications Inc., the largest owner of U.S. radio stations, said yesterday it is cutting 590 jobs, including some on-air personalities, in its second round of mass layoffs this year amid pressure from the recession and evaporating advertising budgets.
Politico reports the WH press office blasted out an email yesterday “specifically to reporters that the White House considers focusing mainly on the negative when it comes to ethics issues” under the subject “Fair and/ or Balanced.”
B&C: SCOTUS has backed the government’s power to regulate the broadcast of so-called “fleeting expletives” on live television. The decision Tuesday reverses and remands a lower court ruling that the FCC did not justify its change in policy on fleeting expletives.
NYT: The Justice Department has begun an inquiry into the antitrust implications of Google’s settlement with authors and publishers over its Google Book Search service. The inquiry does not necessarily mean that the department will oppose the settlement.
From Reliable Source: “The only thing I have against her is that she threatens to surpass me in attracting the left’s hatred.” -Ann Coulter extolling Sarah Palin in the “Time 100″ ranking of the world’s most influential people, due out next week.
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a bill yesterday to save newspapers. The legislation would allow newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofilts with a variety of tax breaks. A Cardin spokesman tells Reuters the bill had yet to attract any co-sponsors, but had sparked plenty of interest within the media, which has seen plunging revenues and many journalist layoffs.
The Chicago Tribune and LATimes are combining their international reporting operations as their corporate parent tries to save money while reorganizing in bankruptcy court. The international cooperative, to be based in Los Angeles, will serve all newspapers owned by the Tribune Co.
A “historic” memo from managing editor Robert Thomson to WSJ has left some feathers ruffled, according to Portfolio.
Howard Kurtz on the President’s presser, Mr. Cool, Budget-in-Chief: “Obama generally spun long paragraphs, in that even-keeled way of his, rather than delivering a Reaganesque or Clintonesque one-liner that can deflect or defuse a question. Only once did he deliver a sharp rejoinder, when Henry pressed him on why it took him days to express outrage about the AIG bonuses. ‘I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak,’ the president said.”
WaPo’s Tom Shales‘ review here. “Most of the facets of President Obama’s personality that have made him intensely popular were on display last night during his second prime-time news conference, and so he emerged from it still every inch ‘President Wonderful,’ a itt were, untouched and intact.”
Playbook notes Ezra Klein: “Some press corps. I managed to miss it, but the transcript suggests that there wasn’t A SINGLE QUESTION about the massive plan to risk a trillion dollars in taxpayer money to save the banking system. But The Washington Times managed to ask about stem cells. WTF, press?” Also check out Playbook for a “speed read” on the presser.
Larry Kudlow announced on CNBC yesterday evening that he is not running for US Senate. From HuffPost: “It was a flattering conversation and one that I thought about, but to me it was never really a serious proposition… This evening, I’m letting the world know that I am not running for the US Senate, and here’s why: in my heart I know that I belong right here at CNBC… This is my love.”
Politico caught up with CSPAN founder and CEO Brian Lamb, who just celebrated the 30th anniversary of the network. He Topics of discussion: the thin skin of journalists, his pessimism that cameras will be let into the Gridiron Dinner and the Supreme Court and CSPAN’s potention. Listen here.
DCRTV: The weekly audience for WAMU’s Diane Rehm show, distributed nationally by NPR, grew 28 percent over the past year, to 2.2 million in fall 2008, setting a new record audience for the fifth consecutive national survey. “Listener participation has been such an important part of the show’s growth and success. It’s very gratifying to know the program is touching so many people,” Rehm says.
Looks like HuffPo is getting ready for more additions. Take a look at this job listing from our jobs page: “Looking for web editors with expertise in the following areas: sports; technology and gadgets; and books. Each editor will create and manage one of three new sections — Sports, Technology & Gadgets, and Books — being launched on The Huffington Post (huffingtonpost.com) — “The Internet Newspaper.” Editors will develop “destination” pages by overseeing news and a subject-specific group blog.
From Politico, Obama seeks filter-free news: “At a time when his Washington honeymoon is turning into a hazing, President Barack Obama and his team are launched on a strategy to sail above the traditional White House press corps by reaching out to liberal commentators, local reporters and ethnic media… But those moves are only part of a much larger strategy aimed at communicating directly with audiences the White House believes are more sympathetic to the president’s agenda – and one in which much of the work is being done by Obama’s top advisers.”
Full circle: the Times-Picayune reports that the TSA has cleared Senator David Vitter (R-LA) on the aforementioned airport gate incident.
Will liberal talk radio host Ed Schultz get his own shot at MSNBC? The Observer looks into that here. Schultz has filled in for David Shuster on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave this week; Shuster has filled in for Keith Olbermann on Countdown.
More Howard Kurtz on Rush Limbaugh in yesterday’s Media Backtalk, WaPo’s online chat. “It is difficult to measure Rush’s audience across 600 stations- but I don’t believe he is wrong that Limbaugh enjoyed a huge spike in listeners during a week when the Rush vs. White House story line all but dominated the news,” Kurtz said.
DCRTV reports WAMU has signed Diane Rehm to a new five-year deal. The late-morning show, which is syndicated on more than 135 stations, will celebrate its 30th anniversary this fall. “I’m delighted to be with WAMU and NPR for five more years,” said Rehm. “These are historic and monumental times. I’m proud that our program will continue to give voice to the leaders moving our country forward and to our listeners, who have made- and continue to make- this program so successful.”
FBDC has learned Larry Van Dyne was among those cut at Washingtonian magazine. He was a writer/editor at the mag for 30 years. DCRTV reports of the 11 editorial people let go, seven were editorial and four were contract writers.
More Howard Kurtz on Twitter in his online chats. “Look, Twitter may turn out to be a fad, and I noted in my piece that it has an incestuous quality. But I’ve got 2,900 people following me on Twitter and they aren’t all Beltway insiders by a long shot. I happen to think it’s good that big-shot TV anchors are making an attempt to engage with their viewers. Politicians, pro athletes and CEOs are among those posting on Twitter. It has its limitations, but it’s also an intriguing form of communication.”
News Distribution Network, Inc. is looking for an account manager. From the release: NDN has developed a unique business model to address the challenges of news properties, ownership groups, and organizations not currently equipped with legal, professional video content, advanced multimedia features, or effective distribution. NDN has debuted “Political I.Q.,” the first product in a portfolio slated to include offerings in the business, entertainment, sports, travel and general news categories.” More info and application available here.
A tipster tells us that The Washington Times’ Greg Lopes has joined PhRMA’s press shop.
Ed Morrisseywrites on Captain’s Quarters, “Today brings exciting news and an end to a time in my life that has proven far more successful than I ever dreamed. Beginning on March 1, I will begin working for Michelle Malkin, a friend, mentor, and writer I have long admired. She has offered me a position as writer at Hot Air, and my blogging will appear exclusively there.”
Rachel Sklarlooks into the media’s “Drumbeat For A Hillary Exit” (and fact checks Richard Cohen while she’s at it).
TheStreet.com reports, “The Ochs-Sulzberger family managed to cling to their control over the New York Times last year, but they may not be able to keep dissidents off the publisher’s board of directors this time around. Scott Galloway of investment firm Firebrand Partners, with financial backing from activist hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners, has hired D.F. King, a proxy solicitation firm, to press its case with New York Times shareholders in the lead-up to the company’s annual meeting on April 22, according to a source familiar with the matter.”
E&P reports, “As Pulitzer Prize jurors prepare to gather next week in New York to sift through hundreds of submissions and find three finalists in each of the 14 journalism categories to nominate for the full board to consider in a month, speculation is mounting over which entries have the best chance. … Some news events, such as the Virginia Tech massacre and the Minnesota bridge collapse, give a clear breaking news advantage to papers near those stories. A handful of investigative and in-depth projects, including several China-related probes, are also top contenders, based on interviews with a few jurors and a look at the other major awards already announced.”
The Horses Mouth reports, “John Solomon’s Washington Times Presents The Next Obama Smear: Military ‘Fears’ Him”
Slate’s Michael Kinsley writes about his “apparent concern about the appearance of the possibility of the appearance of a possible affair.”
Cox’s Ken Hermanreports, “Today’s installment in one of Washington’s best long-running shows: Hearst Newspapers’ Helen Thomas vs. whoever happens to be in the White House. The topic was President Bush’s insistence on lawsuit immunity for telecommunications companies that cooperated in the federal government’s program to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists. Ms. Thomas, as she has for several weeks, wanted White House Press Secretary Dana Perino to explain why immunity is needed. If the companies did nothing wrong, Ms. Thomas argued, they have nothing to fear in a court of law.”
The Nation reports, “Evidently the editors of the New York Times have taken leave of their senses. There can be no other explanation for putting a story on the front page of their newspaper speculating about Barack Obama’s being assassinated. The Times is beginning to make it a practice of running news-free stories on its front page. Most of them are harmless, but this one is sickening.”
Huffington Post reports, “Clinton Campaign Response To New York Times Rejected”
Washington Post’s Deborah Howellwrites, “A Veterans Charity Cries Foul”
An ABC release announced, “‘World News with Charles Gibson’ averaged 9.21 million Total Viewers and a 2.4/8 among Adults 25-54 during the week of February 18-22. For the week, ‘World News’ placed first in the Adult 25-54 rating (2.4), tying NBC’s ‘Nightly News.’ For the seventh consecutive week, â€œWorld News” won among Women 25-54 (2.7/9).”
A NBC release announced, “According to Nielsen Media Research
data, ‘NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams’ was the most-watched network evening newscast, winning the week of February 18, 2008. The Williams-led newscast averaged 9.627 million total viewers”
CJR reports, “Which of Tim Russert’s expert roundtablers did he turn to first on yesterday’s Meet the Press to discuss PlagiarismGate (the Clinton campaign’s making hay of Barack Obama borrowing phrases from Gov. Deval Patrick)? Russert turned first to Doris Kearns Goodwin, the presidential historian and Meet the Press regular. And it should have made for awkward television — asking someone with a plagiarism scandal in her past to weigh in on charges of plagiarism from the campaign trail. I mean, what does that disclosure look like — ‘You’re no stranger to charges of plagiarism, Doris, how does Obama battle this? Does this stick?’”
TVNewser reports, “Helped by strong ratings from three debates, CNN beat Fox News Channel for first place in prime time (8-11pmET) in the A25-54 demo.”
Poynter Online reports, “Remember when newspaper editors thought it was impressive to have a virtual version of their newspaper, turning pages and all? Remember how no one read them? Well it seems the same mistakes are being made all over again by the Arabic-language daily An-Nahar.”
Slate looks at “The environmental pros and cons of reading online.”
“Due to an overwhelming amount of requests, the final EPpy Awards entry deadline has been extended to Friday, February 29th.” Enter here!
Reuters reports, “Newspaper and television company Media General Inc said it agreed to acquire DealTaker.com, a coupon and shopping Web site, from Plano, Texas-based NARAE Enterprises Inc, to expand its portfolio of interactive advertising and marketing solutions.”
The AP reports, “Online advertising revenues exceeded $21 billion for the first time in 2007, although preliminary data compiled by an industry trade group also suggest growth is slowing. The Interactive Advertising Bureau said its estimates show ad revenues grew 25 percent last year from nearly $17 billion in 2006. In dollar amounts, the estimated gain was $4.2 billion — less than the 35 percent and $4.3 billion growth seen in 2006 over 2005.”
washingtonpost.com’s Ben Pershingreports, “Amid the titanic fight last week over the expiration of the terrorist surveillance law, there was another, less intense debate brewing below the surface. This wasn’t your standard Republican vs. Democrat debate. It cut across all lines, pitting executive branch agencies against each other, prompting disagreements among lawmakers of the same party, even (gasp!) dividing reporters. This fight wasn’t over whether the expiration of the Protect America Act put the country in danger. It was over when the thing actually expired.”
The Boston Globe reports, “Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin warned yesterday that Internet service providers can’t block consumers from using lawful Internet activities in the name of providing better service.”
AdAge.com reports, “Chris Anderson Explains How ‘Freeconomics’ Will Change the Media World”
A release announced, “Diane Rehm, host of WAMU 88.5 and National Public Radio’s The Diane Rehm Show, will receive The Distinguished Washingtonian Award in Literature and the Arts from The University Club of Washington, D.C. The club’s Board of Governors will present the award at a dinner to be held in Diane Rehm’s honor on Thursday, May 1, 2008.”
Reuters reports, “Sirius Satellite Radio Inc, whose proposed purchase of rival XM Satellite Radio is still awaiting regulatory approval, reported a smaller quarterly loss on Tuesday as subscribers to its pay-radio service increased.”
Dan Steinbergreports, “Kornheiser Names His Blogging Enemy”