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Morning Media Newsfeed: 538 Announces Hires | Vargas Leaves Rehab | Tapper Subs for Burnett

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FiveThirtyEight Adds Managing Editor, Others (FishbowlNY)
FiveThirtyEight, the upcoming site to be helmed by Nate Silver, has added to its staff. The big names: Mike Wilson is joining as managing editor and Kate Elazegui is coming aboard as creative director. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media On the writing side: Wall Street Journal “Numbers Guy” Carl Bialik will serve as senior writer for news; the Guardian‘s Harry Enten will serve as senior writer for politics; and Walter Hickey, late of Business Insider, will serve as senior writer for science and lifestyle. TheWrap The new FiveThirtyEight will be focused around five distinct content verticals: Sports, Politics, Economics, Science, and Lifestyle. The verticals will be led by a team of writer/columnists, with additional content from staff writers as well as external contributors. SaintPetersBlog The Tampa Bay Times tends to brag about how often its editors and reporters make their way to and from many of the leading newspapers in the country, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. But after an interesting announcement on Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Times will have to add ESPN and Nate Silver to the list of poachers of its best talent.

Elizabeth Vargas Leaves Rehab (TVNewser)
ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas is out of rehab and back home. Tuesday afternoon she tweeted, “Hello everyone! I am home, and so grateful for all your support and well wishes. I am so much better and taking it one day at a time.” HuffPost The ABC News 20/20 co-anchor checked herself into rehab early in November. An ABC News spokesman said at the time that the network was extremely supportive of Vargas and would welcome her back to 20/20 upon her return. People The co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20 revealed that she was in treatment on Nov. 6, saying in a statement, “Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction. I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol. And feel fortunate to have recognized it for the problem it was becoming.”

Baby Burnett Out, Tapper In (FishbowlDC)
Erin Burnett is going on maternity leave, and that means CNN has a big ol’ round hole to fill at her 7 p.m. show. So who is stepping in for hosting duties? None other than D.C.’s very own Jake Tapper. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Tapper, the former ABC News White House correspondent, will stand in for Burnett in the 7 p.m. hour from Dec. 2 to Dec. 20. He will continue to host his 4 p.m. program, The Lead, during that time. CNN daytime host Don Lemon will take Burnett’s slot over the holidays, anchoring from Dec. 23 through Jan. 10.

NYT Introduces The New York Times Minute, Thrice-Daily Video News Update (Capital New York)
The New York Times is going bite-sized with its growing stable of video coverage. The paper debuted a new video series Tuesday morning called The New York Times Minute, a thrice-daily, one-minute news segment highlighting three top stories of the moment. It will air every weekday on nytimes.com at 6 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. The segments can be updated continuously to accommodate fresh reporting on any of the given stories.

Murdoch Divorce Said to Be Almost Final (NYT)
Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng Murdoch are negotiating the final details of their divorce settlement, a deal that will officially end the 14-year marriage of the media mogul and his third wife, according to people with direct knowledge of the negotiations.

The Evolution of Bloomberg News (Reuters / Felix Salmon)
Monday was a big day for layoffs over at Bloomberg, and Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke has the official memo from editor-in-chief Matt Winkler. In typical Bloomberg style, the defenestrations seem to be taking place in much the same way as they would on Wall Street, with reporters being escorted from the building, never to return. Bloomberg has a formal policy that once you’ve left, even if your departure was not of your own choosing, you can’t come back.

60 Minutes Viewership Holds in Wake of Discredited Benghazi Story (TVNewser)
The viewership of 60 Minutes doesn’t seem to have suffered much in the wake of the discredited report on the attack in Benghazi last month. Since that story aired on Oct. 27, the show has averaged 14.309 million total viewers in its three airings. In the four weeks before the story aired the show averaged 13.56 million.

Quora Will Push Its Most Link-Baity Content to BuzzFeed (AllThingsD)
BuzzFeed is the latest of seven content distribution partners for Quora. It might seem a little self-defeating for a social site to concede that a media player has wider reach than it does. But Quora exec Marc Bodnick said the deal serves Quora’s goal of sharing and growing the world’s knowledge. “If you keep the quality high, the quality attracts readers,” he said.

Vice Media’s ‘Correspondent Confidential’ Brings Journalists’ Hard-to-Tell Stories to Popular Audiences (Capital New York)
It’s notoriously difficult to win large audiences for important documentaries about current global events. Does it seem even more unlikely that an animated nonfiction series telling the stories of these filmmakers could not only succeed in its own right, but bring new audiences to documentary filmmakers? That’s just what happened with The Price of Sex, Mimi Chakarova’s award-winning feature documentary about the lives of young Eastern European women who are at one point or another trapped in the underworld of Turkey’s sex-trafficking industry.

Five Questions About The New York Post’s Unemployment Story (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
The New York Post knows headlines, and this one is explosive: “Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report.” Astounding. In the heat of the 2012 presidential election, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the country’s unemployment rate had dropped from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September. Upon release of those numbers, national business icon Jack Welch tweeted, “Unbelievable jobs numbers… these Chicago guys will do anything… can’t debate so change numbers.” Media critics and other commentators, this one included, piled on Welch, lecturing him on how inconceivable such a scenario was.

This Is Don Lemon (CJR / Minority Reports)
On Election Day, when New Yorkers were voting for mayor, CNN anchor Don Lemon appeared to have endorsed, or to have defended, New York City’s stop-and-frisk policies on a nationally syndicated morning radio show. Lemon referred to the policy, which has been controversial in New York and widely seen as prejudicial racial profiling, as “stop-question-and-frisk.” If Lemon’s goal was to stir up drama, then he got it. Black Twitter, an active online community that pays close attention to African American issues and is adept at bringing about a wide range of social change, started a meme, #DonLemonOn, which characterized Lemon as a hypocrite and called into question his objectivity as a journalist.

The Problem With Slate’s Facebook Feed (Medium / Ben Wrobel)
On Friday night the online magazine Slate posted the following status on its Facebook page: “This is what a 4.4 million snow leopard ancestor, the oldest big cat on record, looked like: http://slate.me/1eVaLgc.” The teaser linked to a short video about an unearthed fossil that gives us some idea of what ancient cats may have looked like. The video showed a few images of familiar big cats and some images of fossils, but no ancient snow leopard. Oh, and the status had a glaring typo.

How Have Publishers Responded to The Demise of Google Reader? (InPublishing Magazine / The Knowledge Bank)
For many of us, RSS feeds have been the primary mechanism by which we discover the information we need to do our jobs — a big fishing net in our trawl for trends. As I told Time magazine, when interviewed about the then-new technology in 2004: “RSS means stories from all my favorite sources just pop into my newsreader as soon as they’re published.” And there was no finer reader than Google’s — a constant companion, open all day alongside my email. In the five years to 2009, I used it to read more than 275,000 items, according to data I recorded at the time from the application, which many of us used to cobble together something like a newsroom-grade wire service, free of charge.

The Rise of Brown Moses: How an Unemployed British Man Has Become A Poster Boy for Citizen Journalism (GigaOM)
We’ve written many times about how social media and what Om likes to call the “democratization of distribution” have changed the way that journalism works in a digital age, and how various media players — from The Guardian to NPR’s Andy Carvin — have made the practice of “open journalism” one of their guiding principles. But there is probably no better example of this new form of journalism at work than Brown Moses, an otherwise unremarkable British man who has become the go-to source for information about weapons in Syria.

MSNBC Leans Backward (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
News networks rarely live up to their slogans. In fact, the taglines often seem like a self-deprecating joke: Fox News is “fair and balanced”; CNN is “the most trusted name in news.” At least MSNBC can stand by “lean forward.” The network supports Obama (as much as it can these days) and advocates for a strong progressive agenda: pro-universal health care, pro-gay marriage, pro-gun control, etc.

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