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James Crugnale

Morning Media Newsfeed: Leno Signs Off | Carville Joins Fox | AOL CEO Under Fire

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Emotional Jay Leno Bids Star-Studded Farewell to Tonight Show (Reuters)
Comedian Jay Leno said an emotional goodbye to The Tonight Show on Thursday with a star-studded farewell led by actor Billy Crystal, after hosting the NBC late-night program for more than 20 years and handing the reins over to Jimmy Fallon. Leno, 63, who took over one of U.S. broadcast television’s marquee programs in 1992 from Johnny Carson, came out to a standing ovation from the audience of friends and family, shaking hands with many as he did in each show. Variety Characteristically, Leno wasn’t particularly maudlin or sentimental at first, at least compared to Carson’s “very heartfelt goodnight” that preceded Leno’s briefly interrupted stint as Carson’s successor. THR / The Live Feed Celebrity friends — or, in some cases, just celebrities — that appeared onstage included Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, Chris Paul, Sheryl Crow, Jim Parsons, Carol Burnett and Oprah Winfrey. The seven joined Billy Crystal in a snarky musical salute to Leno, and Winfrey got one of the night’s biggest laughs by singing a line of Crystal’s slightly tweaked “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music. TheWrap The episode felt like an affectionate roast. Leno, once accused of jealously refusing to yield the show, was plenty generous with airtime. He left it to others to get most of the laughs, though he got plenty of his own too: At one point he said the real shame was that in all his time on the show, O.J. Simpson never found the real killers. The Washington Post / Television It wasn’t until Leno’s tearful speech at the end that this final show felt worthy of shelf space in television’s historical vault. “Boy this is the hard part,” Leno said, quickly verklempt. He thanked his audience and talked about how lucky he felt to have interviewed “presidents, astronauts, movie stars…” But he was most appreciative of his hard-working, union-labor staff: “The first year of this show I lost my mom; the second year I lost my dad. Then my brother died and after that I was pretty much out of family. The folks here became my family,” Leno said. “When people say to me, ‘Hey, why don’t you go to ABC, why don’t you go to Fox?’ — [but] I didn’t know anybody over there. These are the only people I know.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Vox Media Staffs Up | NYT May Print Woody Reply | CNN Latino Shut Down

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Washington Post‘s Brad Plumer, Sarah Kliff, Max Fisher Joining Ezra Klein’s Vox Venture (HuffPost)
The Washington Post‘s Brad Plumer and Sarah Kliff are joining Ezra Klein’s new venture to be launched with Vox Media, according to newsroom sources familiar with the plans. Plumer covers environmental policy issues for the Post‘s Wonkblog, which was run by Klein until his departure last month. Kliff reports on health care policy. Klein, Plumer and Kliff declined to comment, as did a Post spokeswoman. FishbowlDC Kliff made the announcement via Twitter: “So some news! I’m leaving the Washington Post to join Vox Media.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Nearly two weeks after Klein’s departure, the Post has yet to name a replacement editor for its Wonkblog page — a delay that casts doubt on the blog’s viability in the post-Klein era. It’s an unenviable position. Whoever the Post selects — provided they do select someone — will have to follow in Klein’s footsteps and compete with his new venture at Vox Media. Because Klein has taken the majority of the Wonkblog team with him, the new editor will inherit almost none of the existing staff. Washington City Paper / City Desk Editors say they will be looking for replacements for Plumer and Kliff “very soon.” Adam Taylor, who the Post hired last week from Business Insider, will be taking over for Fisher. Top editor Marty Baron said last week that the paper would be hiring as it increases its blogging and expands its magazine. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Klein’s total editorial staff is now 11.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Time Inc. Lays Off 500 | Carvin Joins FLM | NBCNews.com Launches

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Staff Out of Time: Cutbacks Begin at Top, Dozens More to Come (NY Post / Media Ink)
The cutbacks began Tuesday as expected at Time Inc. and they took a heavy toll among some of the top-echelon executives as the magazine publisher abolished its three-cluster system centered around brands and put everything into one pot. One source said that while the number of cuts did not hit 500 on Tuesday, that was only because a lot of the pink slips will rain down over the next several weeks or months as the reorganized company makes moves to be spun off from Time Warner. FishbowlNY Time Inc. employs about 7,800 people. Should the 500 number be correct, it will be about the same as the massive cuts implemented by Laura Lang — the publishing house’s former CEO — about a year ago. Ad Age / Media News Tuesday’s layoffs mark the second downsizing at Time Inc. in a year. But the latest round of cuts comes as Time Inc. prepares to spin off from parent Time Warner into its own public company and are seen as a way to make the company more attractive to Wall Street. WWD / Memo Pad On Thursday, CEO Joe Ripp will meet with senior leadership to discuss “priorities” for the next several months, and he will conduct “town hall meetings” with current employees. On a slightly brighter note, the company said it promoted Mark Ford to executive vice president of advertising sales, where he will report to Ripp and oversee Time Inc.’s branded solutions division.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Super Bowl Is Ratings Hit | Disney Lays Off Hundreds | Seinfeld on Diversity

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Despite Blowout Game, Super Bowl XLVIII Is Most-Watched TV Show Ever (TVNewser)
That giant sucking sound you heard during the Super Bowl Sunday wasn’t viewers changing the channel. Despite it being a blowout, the Seattle Seahawks’ win over the Denver Broncos averaged 111.5 million people, more than any television program in U.S. history, surpassing the 2012 game on NBC when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in a much closer game — 111.3 million watched that Super Bowl. The game is also now the most-watched program on Fox, breaking the 111.0 million viewer mark for the 2011′s Super Bowl, when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers. Adweek / VideoWatch Officially, according to Adobe Analytics, Fox’s live stream of Super Bowl XLVIII averaged 528,000 viewers. According to Fox, that’s the biggest live stream of a sporting event in history (a number that is hard to prove, though it would seem to top recent Summer Olympics and March Madness streams). Capital New York The ratings continue to show that the Super Bowl is a juggernaut unlike anything else on TV. Three of the last four Super Bowls have set TV ratings records. While most broadcast programming is losing viewers in an increasingly fragmented video landscape, football — and the Super Bowl in particular — remains untouched by the changes happening in the rest of the media industry. TVSpy The ratings are in for Super Bowl XLVIII, and interestingly enough, the leading market wasn’t Seattle or Denver: As the Seahawks defeated the Broncos 43-8, Kansas City drew the highest ratings, posting a 58.1 rating / 78 share, meaning 78 percent of TVs in use in the Kansas City market were turned to Fox affiliate WDAF. TVSpy Viewers of Little Rock, Ark. Fox affiliate KLRT lost eight minutes of what would normally be prime Super Bowl viewing when the station’s transmitter lost power. The station told viewers on its Facebook page, “We hope to have it restored ASAP. We sincerely apologize.” PRNewser From Vegas to Madison Avenue, everyone was looking to get in on some Super Bowl action. For marketers, that means standing out from the crowd. To accomplish these two things, JCPenney thought it would be a good idea to send out fake drunk tweets.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Hoffman Found Dead | Super Bowl Ads Score Big | O’Reilly Grills Obama

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Award-Winning Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead in Manhattan (WSJ)
Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an apparent drug overdose late Sunday morning in his Manhattan apartment, authorities said. Law-enforcement officials said a hypodermic needle and two glassine envelopes containing what is believed to be heroin were found in the apartment on Bethune Street in the West Village. The 46-year-old actor was found unconscious in the bathroom of his fourth-floor apartment in the Pickwick House around 11:15 a.m. by screenwriter David Bar Katz, who called 911, a law-enforcement official said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. NY Post In a statement released by his manager, Hoffman’s family called his death “a tragic and sudden loss.” FishbowlNY Hoffman, a native of Fairport, N.Y., was last seen notably on screen as Lancaster Dodd in The Master. He had a number of film projects in the pipeline, including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 and Part 2, for which he reprised the role of Plutarch Heavensbee. GalleyCat The actor’s work had many literary connections. He won an Oscar for his appearance as Truman Capote in Bennett Miller’s biopic Capote. Hoffman starred in the film adaptation of The Hunger Games. In addition, he starred as Willy Loman in Mike Nichols’ revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman on stage in New York. CNN He was a beefy 5-foot-10 but won an Oscar for playing the slight, 5-foot-3 Capote. He had the booming voice of a deity but often played schlubs and conflicted characters.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: MSNBC Fires Staffer | Executive Travel Folds | Zynga Lays Off 300

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MSNBC Fires Author of ‘Unacceptable’ Tweet, Phil Griffin Apologizes to RNC Chair (TVNewser)
Responding to RNC chair Reince Priebus‘ demand for an apology over an offensive tweet suggesting conservatives are against interracial marriage, MSNBC has fired the author of the tweet, and network president Phil Griffin has apologized to Priebus. Griffin’s apology comes after Priebus banned all RNC officials from appearing on MSNBC. THR / The Live Feed The full tweet, sent Wednesday at 8:06 p.m. from the MSNBC Twitter account, read: “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/biracial family.” In an email to “interested parties,” RNC communications director Sean Spicer noted that Priebus and Griffin spoke by phone on Thursday. “We appreciate Griffin’s admission that their comment was demeaning and disgusting, and the chairman accepted his apology,” wrote Spicer, adding that the RNC “will aggressively monitor the network to see whether their pattern of unacceptable behavior actually changes.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Shortly before 11 p.m. ET Wednesday, MSNBC apologized for the tweet, which it called “offensive,” and announced that it would be deleting it. “Earlier, this account tweeted an offensive line about the new Cheerios ad. We deeply regret it. It does not reflect the position of msnbc,” the network wrote on Twitter. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Note, too, the wording in the apology regarding the firing: “We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet.” It doesn’t say that they’ve dismissed the person who wrote the tweet, merely the person “responsible” for it. As argued earlier on the Erik Wemple Blog, “responsibility” for that tweet could well encompass many different folks at the network.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Hundreds Fired at Patch | SOTU Ratings Down | WaPo Expanding

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Report: Hundreds of Patch Employees Laid Off (JimRomenesko.com)
I’m told that hundreds — two tipsters claim two-thirds of the editorial staff — have been laid off by Patch’s new owner, Hale Global. Patch senior vice president/revenue Jim Lipuma has left the company. He wrote on his blog Wednesday: “I am unemployed. Long and short of it, I chose ‘Happiness.’ Now, I won’t go into details, as I have nothing but love for my organization and the people in it. It was an amazing journey, but today it ends.” FishbowlNY In a conference call from Leigh Zarelli Lewis, Patch’s COO, the news was laid out in blunt terms. Here’s how it went, according to a transcript: “Hale Global has decided which Patch employees will receive an offer of employment to move forward in accordance with their vision for Patch and which will not. Unfortunately, your role has been eliminated and you will no longer have a role at Patch and (Wednesday) will be your last day of employment with the company.” NYT Later in the morning, there was a conference call for employees who were staying on. Patch had roughly 450 employees before the layoffs Wednesday. In the call, remaining employees, including journalists as well as advertising sales employees and engineers, were told that all 900 Patch sites would remain open. Gawker Patch never made money. Even after it was bought by AOL in 2009, it didn’t make money. When AOL finally realized it was never going to make money, it first shuttered a bunch of Patch sites and then decided to get rid of it entirely. NY Post The move is a black eye for AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who had co-founded the site as a side venture when he was still a Google executive and then acquired the site for AOL for a reported $7 million in 2009 shortly after he became its CEO. Poynter / MediaWire People who worked for Patch worked from home, on their own, but they had each other to reach out to, former Patch editor Anthony Leone told Poynter via phone. That network has held up through the rounds of layoffs. “We’re still helping each other out,” he said. “Most of the people there have never met face to face at all.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Rep. Grimm Threatens NY1 | Time Inc. to Cut 500+ | Medium Raises $25M

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Rep. Michael Grimm Threatens an NY1 Reporter (NYT)
Footage showed Representative Michael G. Grimm physically threatening a reporter in the Capitol, shining a harsh light on the embattled Staten Island Republican in the hours after President Obama’s State of the Union address in Washington on Tuesday. Grimm can be heard telling Michael Scotto, a reporter for NY1, “I’ll break you in half” in footage broadcast by the network. Moments earlier, Grimm had walked away from an interview when Scotto began asking him questions about allegations of campaign finance violations. NY1 Grimm’s threats came at the end of a brief interview in which he discussed the president’s speech, calling the address “divisive.” Scotto then tried to ask the congressman about the ongoing federal investigation into his 2010 campaign fundraising: “And just finally before we let you go, we haven’t had a chance to talk about some of the…” Scotto began before Grimm cut him off. “I’m not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president,” said Grimm, before walking off camera. “So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances,” Scotto said before tossing back to the station. But as the camera continued to roll, Grimm walked back up to Scotto and began speaking to him in a low voice. HuffPost Grimm explained his actions in a statement to the Huffington Post: “I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Scotto, who covers Capitol Hill for the New York-based news channel, referred a request for comment to NY1 political director Robert Hardt. “It is extremely disturbing when anyone threatens one of our reporters — let alone a U.S. Congressman,” Hardt told Politico in an email.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: MSNBC Announces New Shows | Tarantino Sues Gawker | Van Susteren Blasts Pundit

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MSNBC Shaking Up Daytime Schedule (TVNewser)
MSNBC is announcing major changes to its daytime lineup. Cable news newcomer Ronan Farrow will host his new show at 1 p.m. ET, sources tell TVNewser, while Joy Reid, the managing editor of NBC’s TheGrio.com, who has been filling in on MSNBC, is expected to be named host at 2. p. m. ET. Tamron Hall, who currently anchors NewsNation at 2 p.m., is negotiating a new contract that would give her an expanded role at the Today show while also keeping her on the MSNBC schedule. Meanwhile, the noon hour has seen fill-in anchors since Alex Wagner moved to 4 p.m. two weeks ago. TVNewser News in the morning. Opinion in the afternoon. That sums up the changes coming to MSNBC’s daytime schedule. The afternoon additions will also create flow in the mornings where Morning Joe leads into Chuck Todd’s DC-based politics hour, followed by Chris Jansing’s newscast. Hall’s NewsNation follows at 11 a.m. with Andrea Mitchell moving back an hour to noon. “Andrea Mitchell is so critical to MSNBC and I’ve always thought her show should be at noon,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin says. “Andrea brings on the biggest newsmakers of the day and the new time slot will help showcase her work.” NYT The network, which will be on a break from its usual lineup to cover the Winter Olympics starting in two weeks, will introduce Farrow as host of the 1 p.m. hour starting Feb. 24. Farrow, the 26-year-old son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, has already amassed a long résumé, including being a Rhodes Scholar and a Yale Law School graduate, and a stint in the Obama administration. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In his memo to staff, Griffin commended MSNBC for getting off to “a great start in 2014.” “We’ve broken news, done important reporting and lead the way on a variety of stories this month And the audience has responded with some of our highest ratings since the 2012 election,” he wrote. “I’m proud of the fantastic work all our teams are doing, particularly those of you who have been juggling multiple assignments. Thank you for your hard work and flexibility.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Ezra Klein Joins Vox | Gmail Goes Down | Vargas Comes Clean

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Ezra Klein Is Joining Vox Media as Web Journalism Asserts Itself (NYT)
After a week of speculation, it turns out that Ezra Klein, the prolific creator of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, will be going to Vox Media, the online home of SB Nation, a sports site, and The Verge, a fast-growing technology site. His change of address could be read as the latest parable of Old Media cluelessness — allowing a journalism asset to escape who will come back to haunt them — or as another instance of a star journalist cashing in on name-brand success. But it’s more complicated than that. FishbowlDC The new website, ominously named “Project X,” will be housed within the fast growing Vox Media empire. Vox is a small but potent little Web company that clearly hopes to make a play for mainstream appeal with the addition of Klein to its roster. FishbowlNY Matt Yglesias will serve as executive editor of the new Vox Media venture founded by Klein, FishbowlNY has learned. Slate’s prolific economics blogger announced last week that he would join Klein. Klein, unsurprisingly, now has the title of editor-in-chief. According to Klein’s post, Yglesias, along with Wonkblog veteran Melissa Bell, has been involved with the planning process since early last year. Capital New York Klein didn’t allow for much detail of what new publication would look like in his post on The Verge, but was clear that his team will look for a format to provide readers with more context for news stories as they develop. A general job posting for the site on Vox’s listings page provided some more hints. “We’ll need writers who are obsessively knowledgeable about their subjects to do that reporting and write those explainers — as well as ambitious feature pieces,” the posting read, before providing a more telling detail: “We’ll need coders and designers who can build the world’s first hybrid news site/encyclopedia.” BuzzFeed Klein: “We’re not trying to build a ‘super Wonkblog.’ If we were doing that we wouldn’t go through all this trouble. We intend to be incredibly good at policy and politics but also sports and science. We are trying to build a full news site and in a better and more useful way for our readers.”

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