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Morning Media Newsfeed: Eldon Out at TechCrunch | Barnes & Noble Struggles | Hall Gets Rude Question

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Co-Chief Eric Eldon Leaving TechCrunch (ValleyWag)
One half of the heavyweight duo operating Silicon Valley’s industry blog of record is making his exit. After a little more than two years at the helm alongside Alexia Tsotsis, TechCrunch co-editor Eric Eldon will soon depart the site. He planned to make the news official next week. TechCrunch Eldon: “It’s time to try something pretty different. I’ve been in tech since everybody wrote it off as a dying industry town about to be fully outsourced, to a scarily mainstream phenomenon. Back in the old days when my media-tools startup got covered by TechCrunch, or over the years when I’ve competed against this publication, we all seemed a little innocent, hopeful and idealistic. The dreams came true. Almost too true.” TechCrunch Clearly Eldon will leave a huge hole, and therefore we’re going to be making a couple of editorial changes to make sure TechCrunch meets 2014 staffed up for greatness. Our esteemed senior editor Leena Rao will become managing editor as part of these changes.

Holiday Sales Slide 60 Percent at Struggling Barnes & Noble Nook Unit (NYT)
In late 2009, Barnes & Noble introduced its first e-reader, the Nook, and within a relatively short time had picked up 25 percent of the eBook market, slicing into Amazon’s dominance. Now those gains seem to have faded. On Thursday, Barnes & Noble, the nation’s last remaining major bookstore chain, said that it had steep sales declines in its digital division during the holiday period, continuing a steady decline for a unit that was once the centerpiece of its growth strategy. Bloomberg Businessweek There are plenty of reasons for the stunning decline of the once-promising Nook. Barnes & Noble has found itself unable to compete with the likes of Apple and Amazon in the broader arena of multipurposed tablets. The New York-based retailer has also been undermined by the continuing migration of its customers from physical stores to online book-buying and by the desire of its risk-averse institutional shareholders to support deep, profit-draining, long-term investments in new frontiers. GalleyCat Barnes & Noble’s retail business, which includes sales from Barnes & Noble bookstores and BN.com, earned $1.1 billion in revenues during the nine-week holiday period ending Dec. 28, 2013. The earnings represent a 6.6 percent decrease over the prior year, which the company attributed to a 5.5 percent decline in comparable sales and store closures.

Tamron Hall Handles Rude Question While Opening Up About Sister’s Murder (TVNewser)
At a Television Critics Association panel Thursday morning, MSNBC’s Tamron Hall opened up about her sister’s murder while facing an insensitive question from a reporter. “One of the reasons I wanted to do Deadline: Crime is to show compassion,” Hall tells TVNewser about hosting the Investigation Discovery show. “Victims and survivors deserve more than a person seeking a headline.” TheWrap Philadelphia TV critic Jonathan Storm asked Hall how she split her time between her full duties for NBC News — which include anchoring NewsNation daily on MSNBC — and investigating and reporting for Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall on ID. The host responded with an intimate story to illustrate why she finds it so important to dedicate time to the Investigation Discovery show, even with the demands of her day job. The TCA audience was visibly moved, but Storm responded, “That’s all very nice, but can you answer my question?” Before carrying on with her story, Hall responded to Storm’s comment, saying, “It’s not ‘nice,’” and asking him how he would feel if he got a call telling him his sister had been beaten and murdered. HuffPost Those who witnessed the panel said that although the moment was difficult to watch, Hall remained calm.

The Record Nails Christie Story (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
Martin Gottlieb, editor of the (Bergen, N.J.) Record, has a lot of great things to say about his employer. Though his newsroom has had to deal with a bit of shrinkage over the years, it’s still robust, with a head count of about 200. While newspaper owners in recent decades have sold out to big chains, says Gottlieb, his people have stayed firm, sticking with the industry. Stephen Borg is the fourth generation of his family to serve as publisher of the Record, the northern New Jersey paper that’s often referred to as the Bergen Record. And committed, local ownership has its benefits, says Gottlieb. Amid the now-legendary shutdown of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J. in September, Borg got something of a tip. NY Observer As Chris Christie’s 11 a.m. press conference stretched into the afternoon, it was almost impossible to find any news that wasn’t about the New Jersey governor’s apology for “Bridge-gate,” the scandal that erupted Wednesday when email evidence emerged that showed that Christie’s top aides had ordered lanes of the George Washington Bridge closed as political retribution. But news cycles are fast. The Washington Post / The Fix Christie spoke for nearly two hours Thursday about a bridge scandal involving his aides. By our count, his news conference lasted a whopping one hour and 48 minutes to be exact. That’s a lot of talking. PRNewser The line we’ll remember most from Thursday’s press marathon is “I am not a bully,” due both to its similarity to Richard Nixon’s “I am not a crook” and the fact that one of the keys to Christie’s appeal up to this point has been that he’s not afraid to be a bully (in order to more effectively govern his state and serve his constituents). Capital New York Has the New York Post finally lost its famed tabloid bravery? The Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid’s partiality to Republicans has never been hard to see. But one thing the Post has always been able to say in its own defense is that when a Republican has a fantastic fall, it’s right there to gawk with the rest of us.

Associated Press Staffs Up (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The Associated Press is about to go on a hiring spree: In a memo to staff on Thursday, incoming managing editor Brian Carovillano detailed several new hires and advertised more than a dozen open job postings for several positions, including state government, which Carovillano said has been identified as a top strategic priority for 2014. “As someone who started my own AP career as a temp in Rhode Island, it’s good to know we remain committed to strong state government reporting by beefing up our reporting resources during legislative sessions and by prioritizing statehouse positions when they go vacant,” Carovillano said in the memo, which was provided by an AP representative. HuffPost / The Backstory Carovillano notified employees Thursday about several recent hires and more than a dozen open positions nationwide, a move that comes amid concerns over understaffing following dozens of newsroom departures in 2013.

The Week Adds Senior Correspondent (FishbowlNY)
The Week has added Michael Dougherty as a senior correspondent. Dougherty was previously the American Conservative’s national correspondent. He also served as Business Insider’s politics editor. Dougherty has written for The New York Times Magazine, ESPN The Magazine, The Awl, The Daily Beast, Slate and more. Dougherty’s appointment is effective Jan. 20.

Big Hires at Glamour (Adweek)
Six months after taking the reins from Bill Wackermann at Glamour, Connie Anne Phillips has raided her old employer, Time Inc.’s InStyle. The VP, publisher of Glamour returned in July to Condé Nast (where she previously had a long career at Vogue) from Time Inc. rival title InStyle, and three of four big hires are from her old stomping grounds.

Mein Kampf Becomes an eBook Bestseller (The Guardian)
Digital editions of Mein Kampf have become a surprise hit online, according to author Chris Faraone, who has suggested that the newfound popularity of Adolf Hitler’s tract is down to the fact that it can now be consumed “in the privacy of our own iPads.” Writing on the website Vocativ.com, author and journalist Faraone claims that “more than a dozen free English-language versions of Mein Kampf have been downloaded in excess of 100,000 times from the nonprofit Internet Archive alone.” GalleyCat We checked out the book on Amazon, and a 2008 edition from Misbach Enterprises which sells for $2.00. It is currently ranked No. 8 in the “Globalization” category of the Kindle store and No. 11 in the “Communism & Socialism” category.


Americans Don’t Know Their News Anchors Anymore
(TVNewser)
Three decades ago, nearly half of America could recognize who then-CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather was. Fast-forward to today, and just 27 percent correctly identified NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, according to a Pew Research Center online survey. The drop in awareness coincides with a steep decline in viewership. When the Rather in-person survey was done in 1985, an average of 48 million Americans watched one of the evening newscasts. In 2013, that number dwindled down to 24.5 million, according to Nielsen.

Gabriel Snyder, Former Editor of The Wire, Joins Mobile News Start-Up (NYT)
Gabriel Snyder, the former editor-in-chief of The Wire, a website owned by Atlantic Media, has joined Inside.com, a mobile news start-up founded by Web entrepreneur Jason Calacanis. It will start on Jan. 23. Inside will take the form of a mobile app and a limited website similar to “an Instagram page,” Calacanis said.

NatGeo to Broadcast TV Show From Space (FishbowlDC)
National Geographic Channel president Howard Owens announced Thursday Live From Space, a two-hour television event from Arrow Media to be broadcast live from the International Space Station (ISS) and Mission Control in Houston this March. Cameras will be with astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Koichi Wakata on the ISS, while astronaut Mike Massimino (most notably known for fixing the Hubble Telescope) will broadcast live from Houston.

Jason Conti on Protecting Our Journalists’ Work (Dow Jones)
We devote a lot of time, energy and money to having the best newsroom in the world. We produce scoops, uncover wrongdoing and aim to keep our readers informed on a broad range of topics through the hard work of nearly 2000 Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones journalists around the world. So it’s no surprise that we refuse to sit back when others swoop in to swipe our content. Thursday, we filed a lawsuit to hold one such offender accountable: Real-Time Analysis & News, Ltd. — otherwise known as “Ransquawk.” GigaOM Dow Jones is suing a British news service, alleging that it steals breaking news reports and that this is illegal under a century-old court ruling. But the U.S. wire service is trying to close the barn door long after the horse has left.

Has Jeff Zucker Made CNN Better? (NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer)
It’s been a year since Jeff Zucker took over CNN, and so far, the worst fears of veteran Zucker watchers have not materialized. The former NBC chief — who was widely blamed, fairly or not, for running the peacock network into the ground — hasn’t super-sized Wolf Blitzer or developed a half-hour comedy built around Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his new wacky sidekick Emeril Lagasse. Ratings-wise, CNN’s audience has neither surged nor sank during Zucker’s first year: Prime time is up a tick (not bad given the big losses at MSNBC and Fox News in 2013), and in total day ratings, CNN’s average audience (414,000 viewers) is virtually the same as a year ago.

Most Popular Newspapers on Twitter: Guess Who’s No. 1? (The Realtime Report)
Which U.S. newspaper do you think is tops on Twitter? A new study by Searchmetrics reveals the leaders: The Washington Post, The New York Times and USA Today. These top three received the most mentions on Twitter in 2013; USA Today and the Post also dominated the list of the top 10 most-tweeted newspaper website stories in 2013.

Wolff: A Liberal Takedown of Roger Ailes (USA Today)
This column would otherwise have been a review of The Loudest Voice in the Room, a new book about Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News, by Gabriel Sherman. But, in part because of a column I wrote earlier this week — taking positive notice of Ailes’ dominance of the cable news business — I am perceived as one of Ailes’ supporters and, therefore, expected to take an unfavorable view of a negative book about him.

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Do you think documenting life with a smartphone distracts from actually enjoying it? (via XKCD) pic.twitter.com/w50O5DtI1g

twitter Dr_Darell Definitely. Same as doing it with an ordinary ol’ camera.

twitter arielcherie i don’t think it distracts from it if you take a moment to take in the scene and everything around you after a pic is taken.

twitter arielcherie constantly living from a screen is a distraction, though.

twitter davidinark No distraction at all. We used to take film photos, now digital. Preserving events triggers the memories of those events.

twitter bonnybecker33 It is a different experience to be taking lots of photos. Cool in its own way, but kind of abstract.

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