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Morning Media Newsfeed: Champion’s New Channel | China Inspects Bloomberg | Apple Buys Topsy

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Sam Champion Leaving ABC for The Weather Channel (TVNewser)
Sam Champion, weatherman for ABC’s Good Morning America, is leaving ABC and joining the Weather Channel. It’s the first talent departure at the No. 1 morning show in more than two years. Champion, an ABC veteran, has been GMA‘s weather anchor since 2006. He joined ABC 25 years ago as weather anchor for WABC in New York. Champion will be the face of the Weather Channel and also its managing editor. Beginning next year, he’ll anchor a morning show that on many days will be hosted remotely. NYT Both Champion and his boss at ABC News, Ben Sherwood, described the decision to leave GMA as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for a weather aficionado. Champion is not a meteorologist, but has been involved in coverage of numerous weather events at ABC in recent years, including the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy last year. ABC News won a Peabody Award for its coverage of that storm. NY Post ABC News meteorologist Ginger Zee will take over his weather responsibilities at the morning show and network. TheWrap “[Champion] is already one of the top names in morning television, as well as one of the country’s most respected and trusted weather reporters,” said Weather Channel president David Clark. “He will add a great deal to our network and be a great addition to our already proven and stellar team of talented weather professionals.” TVNewser Champion sent a note to his ABC “family” thanking them for the support and giving hints as to why he left the No. 1 morning show.

Chinese Authorities Conduct Unannounced ‘Inspections’ of Bloomberg News Bureaus (Fortune)
In what appears to be a conspicuous show of displeasure, Chinese authorities conducted unannounced “inspections” at Bloomberg News bureaus in Beijing and Shanghai in the final days of November, Fortune has learned. The visits followed media reports that Bloomberg cancelled a year-long investigation on financial ties between a Chinese billionaire and government officials. Bloomberg has been described in press accounts as canceling the article to avoid antagonizing the Chinese government. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer Though it’s not clear which government agency the officials represented, people at Bloomberg “view the appearance by civil government officials (they weren’t police) as an act of intimidation.” So, it seems that the thing Bloomberg was trying to avoid by not publishing the story happened anyway, only nobody got to see the thing. BuzzFeed Robert Hutton, Bloomberg’s long-standing and respected U.K. political reporter, has been excluded from a press conference with Chinese premier Li Keqiang. Hutton has spent a decade covering U.K. politics for the newswire service, building up a reputation for reliability while also writing the definitive guide to journalese — the language of news. In short, he’s not a loose cannon.

Apple Taps Into Twitter, Buying Social Analytics Firm Topsy (WSJ)
Apple recently acquired social-media analytics firm Topsy Labs Inc. for more than $200 million, according to people familiar with the matter. Topsy specializes in analyzing the global conversation on Twitter. Its tools can decipher how often a term is tweeted, find an influential person on a specific subject, or measure the exposure of an event or campaign. TechCrunch Topsy is one of several firms that have been focused on gathering and parsing data from Twitter’s platform. It allows customers to tap into a store of more than 425 billion tweets from 2006 onwards to sniff out trends. NYT Topsy focuses on analyzing the half a billion messages sent over Twitter every day. The company has indexed every tweet ever sent and has made them searchable, much like Google does for the Web.

Zucker Plans Massive Change at CNN (Capital New York)
After almost a year of tinkering, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker has concluded that a news channel cannot subsist on news alone. So he is planning much broader changes for the network — including a prime-time shakeup that’s likely to make CNN traditionalists cringe. Once, CNN’s vanilla coverage was a point of pride. Now, the boss boasts about the ratings for his unscripted series, and documentaries like the Sea World-slamming film Blackfish.

BuzzFeed Celebrates Record-Breaking November (FishbowlNY)
The funniest part of Monday’s BuzzFeed announcement about the site having welcomed a jaw-dropping 130-million-plus unique visitors in November is the following sentence: “As first reported by BuzzFeed, much of this growth was driven by Facebook’s recent shift towards driving traffic to quality publishers.” Not to take away anything from Jonah Peretti’s hard-working gang, but we would hope that the first to know about BuzzFeed traffic patterns are folks at BuzzFeed.

Facebook Says It’s Going to Purge Low-Quality Content And ‘Meme Photos’ (BuzzFeed)
Facebook has announced another round of changes to its News Feed algorithms, which it says will be adjusted to promote high-quality articles from your favorite publications, while weeding out “meme photo[s] hosted somewhere other than Facebook.” For Facebook, which has been driving unprecedented referral traffic to publishers lately as a result of different News Feed tweaks, the changes are part of a continued effort both to court media companies and reward content that performs well on mobile. AllFacebook Facebook detailed the changes to its News Feed algorithm that were reported earlier, saying in a Newsroom post that average referral traffic to media sites has leapt by more than 170 percent in the past year. The social network said it tweaked its algorithm to ensure that users see more relevant articles in their News Feeds, it began serving them related articles, and it updated its Story Bumping feature in order to highlight stories with new comments.

Mixed Reactions From Media Critics After One Cuomo Interviews Another (NYT)
Andrew and Chris Cuomo are as close as brothers can be. They fish together, they vacation together and they tinker on cars together. But when it comes to their careers, the brothers usually draw a line: Cuomo the governor and Cuomo the journalist stay out of each other’s way. Even that barrier seemed to evaporate on Monday morning, when Andrew M. Cuomo, the governor of New York, popped up on CNN to be interviewed by Chris Cuomo, a host of the network’s morning show, New Day. TVNewser Chris defended himself against scrutiny that he shouldn’t have interviewed his older brother Andrew Monday morning about Sunday’s tragic train derailment in New York City. Daily Beast “Obviously I did the intv because it was non political, and frankly, I invite the criticism — because it exposes the hollowness of a lot of what is out there,” Cuomo emailed The Daily Beast.

Adweek Awards Name The Hottest in Media (NY Post)
Adweek handed out more than 50 awards at its Hot List dinner Monday night at Capitale, including one for the best news app, which went to the New York Post. The awards, which once honored only magazines, has broadened to cover TV and digital. Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad, was named TV creative of the year. Editor of the year went to Joanna Coles of Cosmopolitan.

Bloomberg’s Mike Tackett Joins The New York Times (HuffPost / The Backstory)
Mike Tackett, the Washington managing editor for Bloomberg News, has joined The New York Times as deputy political editor, according to a staff memo. The Tackett move is the latest change in the Times‘ Washington operation, following on the heels of a shake-up that will soon bring political editor Carolyn Ryan down from New York as the next bureau chief. NY Observer Despite reports that everybody was abandoning the Times, lots of people still work there. And some are even sticking around. The paper announced three promotions Monday afternoon. Janet Elder and Larry Ingrassia will become deputy managing editors and Rebecca Corbett will become an assistant managing editor.

Bellantoni Snags Roll Call’s Top Edit Job (FishbowlDC)
FishbowlDC has learned that Roll Call alum Christina Bellantoni will leave her post as political editor of PBS Newshour and return to the Capitol Hill rag as editor-in-chief. When she departed Roll Call in 2010, Bellantoni held the position of associate politics editor. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Bellantoni will oversee all editorial print and digital platforms for Roll Call, focusing on the paper’s long-term strategy and growing its online presence while still writing occasionally, she said in an email announcement.

The Woman in The Breast Cancer Photo Responds to New York Times Readers (NYT / Public Editor’s Journal)
Over the weekend, I heard from a New York Times picture editor, Soo-Jeong Kang, who was involved in the publication of a photograph that generated a great deal of discussion when it appeared on the Times’ front page last Wednesday. Kang assigned the photo shoot that resulted in that much-discussed image of an Israeli woman’s upper torso, including incision scars, a portion of her areola and her Star of David tattoo. It did not show her face. Kang offered me a statement from the unnamed 28-year-old woman in the photograph, written after she became aware of media and reader reaction.

The Exploited Laborers of The Liberal Media (Vice)
The fellowship offered by Mother Jones isn’t an entry-level menial gig — “No coffee or laundry errands here!” says the magazine — but the compensation could fool you: “Fellows receive a $1,000 monthly stipend.” Assuming a 40-hour workweek (many journalists work longer hours than that), that means a fellow at Mother Jones earns less than $6 an hour in a state, California, that just decided to raise the minimum wage to $10. In San Francisco, where the magazine is based, $1,000 a month isn’t enough to pay for both food and shelter.

Publishers, Stop Crying Over Spilled Ink (Harvard Business Review / HBR Blog Network)
I’m waiting for all the headlines about what a great time it is to be in the media business. After all, in a single minute, viewers on YouTube watch 100 hours of video — a 233 percent increase since last year. The number of devices people use to “consume content” — the anodyne catchall term we use to describe reading, watching, and listening — is also surging: a report by Cisco suggested that by the end of this year, the world would contain more mobile devices than people, devices that are increasingly used to find and share information and less used to make actual phone calls to loved ones.

A List of Reasons Why Our Brains Love Lists (The New Yorker / Elements)
“Six Titanic Survivors Who Should Have Died.” “These Nine Nazi Atrocities Will Make You Lose Faith in Humanity.” “Five Insane Plans for Feeding West Berlin You Won’t Believe Are Real.” These are just some of the lists that the comic strip XKCD recently joked would result from retrofitting the 20th century’s most newsworthy events with modern, Internet-style headlines. Despite the growing derision of listicles exemplified by the comic, numbered lists — a venerable media format — have become one of the most ubiquitous ways to package content on the Web. Why do we find them so appealing?

CNN Trying Out New John King Show (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
John King, the CNN correspondent whose evening program was cancelled last year, is on a trial run for a new show with the network, Politico has learned. Network sources say that CNN is currently experimenting with a new show called The Source with John King, which would feature a political roundtable of columnists and reporters from both CNN and elsewhere. In the show’s intro, King describes the show as “the biggest stories — sourced by the best reporters.”

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