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Morning Media Newsfeed: ESPN Lays Off Hundreds | Tumblr Employee Payday | More Gov’t Snooping


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Sources: ESPN Laying Off Hundreds (Deadspin)
ESPN laid off a portion of its staff Tuesday, a network spokesman confirmed to us. How many? ESPN won’t say. A tipster told us earlier that it would be more than 400 staffers. A source at ESPN said that number is a little high, but it appears to be in the hundreds. FishbowlNY An ESPN spokesperson emailed to tell us that they hadn’t cut 400 staffers. When we asked how many were let go, “We’re not getting into particulars but it is fewer than 400″ was all we got back. USA Today / Big Lead Sports According to an ESPN source, the layoffs will come mostly, but “not exclusively,” from tech and sales departments (think regional offices: Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle). ESPN is reviewing its entire studio production department over the next three-to-four weeks, which is about 2,800 employees. It is possible some shows will be cut. These layoffs are part of a Disney-wide process. THR News of layoffs comes less than two weeks after Disney’s media networks segment rose 6 percent to $4.96 billion, with operating income up 8 percent to $1.86 billion. One of the company’s most consistently lucrative properties, ESPN has enjoyed increased affiliate revenue in 2013.

Tumblr’s Recently Fired Editorial Team Just Missed Out on A $371,000 Payday (The Atlantic Wire)
Every single one of Tumblr’s 178 employees will get money from the $1.1 billion Yahoo! deal, which means that if the site hadn’t let go of its three editorial team members last month, they too would have received $371,000 — each. Business Insider There’s a report floating around claiming that early Tumblr investor Union Square Ventures netted a 5,000-times return when Yahoo! paid $1.1 billion for the social-blogging site. The same report, which comes from PrivCo, a private firm that reports on startups, claims to have exacting details about how much each employee made on the deal. FishbowlNY Yahoo! buying Tumblr is a big deal, so The New York Times went all out with its coverage. The most noticeable piece was in the Business section. There Times readers found a giant replica of a Tumblr dashboard, complete with headlines and articles about the acquisition.

Sharyl Attkisson’s Computers Compromised (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Sharyl Attkisson, the Emmy-award winning CBS News investigative reporter, says that her personal and work computers have been compromised and are under investigation. “I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I’m not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I’ve been patient and methodical about this matter,” Attkisson told Politico on Tuesday. The New Yorker / News Desk The Obama Justice Department has seized the phone records of numbers that are associated with White House staffers and, apparently, with Fox News reporters, according to a document filed in the case of Stephen Jin-Woo Kim, on Oct. 13, 2011. The Washington Post President Obama told advisers that he is not interested in prosecuting reporters for soliciting information from government officials, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday.

Wired Completely Overhauls Print Magazine (Mashable)
Wired is debuting a new look for its June issue, which hit newsstands Tuesday. The magazine has been completely made over by Scott Dadich, who before being named editor-in-chief last November worked as creative director of Wired from 2006 to 2010.

Daily Show Creator Sorry for Saying Oklahoma Tornado Targeted Conservatives (Gawker)
Comedian and Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead faced sharp criticism from both sides of the aisle after she joked on Twitter that Monday’s devastating tornado was in Oklahoma, “so clearly it has been ordered to only target conservatives.”

Grub Street Shuts Down Non-NYC Sites (JimRomenesko.com)
New York Media’s Grub Street is closing its blogs in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Boston, and says the site “is being refocused as a national food website with its home base in New York, but will continue to cover big stories wherever they originate on the map.”

The New York Times Reinvents The Boring Banner Ad (Adweek)
An obscure piece on the New York Times‘ website about Picasso repurposing his canvases by painting over older, abandoned projects was fascinating, at least insofar as stories about master artists and their recycling habits go.

Soledad O’Brien to Executive Produce And Moderate The National Geographic Bee (TVNewser)
Soledad O’Brien has been tapped as the new moderator of the National Geographic Bee, TVNewser has learned. An announcement is expected Wednesday morning. O’Brien will take over moderating duties from Alex Trebek, who has hosted the Bee for 25 years.

Jann Wenner Discusses Putting His Son in Charge (Adweek)
After Jann Wenner picked his son, Gus, 22, to head up Rollingstone.com, critics were quick to cry nepotism. But the senior Wenner told Adweek that his son had to prove himself like anyone else. FishbowlNY On Gus’ age: “He’s worked at Rollingstone.com for the past six or seven months. He’s reporting to people who are really smart. And he’s not doing any reckless things.” So, the checklist for becoming a top editor of one of the most iconic magazines ever published: Work there for six or seven months. Avoid f**king up for six or seven months. You’re hired!

San Francisco Chronicle Changes Style on ‘Illegal Immigrant’ (Poynter / MediaWire)
The San Francisco Chronicle changed its style on “illegal immigrant” Monday. It’s the latest of several publications to reconsider the term. The newspaper’s new style will “essentially match” the Associated Press’ style on the term, David Steinberg, copy desk chief at the Chronicle, said in an email to Poynter. Chronicle journalists are now advised not to refer to a person as “illegal” or as an “alien”; instead, “illegal” should only be used in describing the means by which they entered the country, and only with proper attribution.

Sarah Palin Approves Jake Tapper (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Sarah Palin, foremost critic of the “lamestream media,” has found an exception in CNN’s Jake Tapper. “There’s something different, certainly refreshing, about Jake Tapper,” she tweeted on Tuesday. “I call it integrity and professionalism.”

Climate Desk Tracks Down Its ‘Most Pernicious’ Troll (CJR / The Observatory)
Frustrating as they may be, every journalist wonders at some point about the identity of his or her most devoted online hecklers, but the Climate Desk’s James West and Tim McDonnell just couldn’t let it go. Citing research that found that “uncivil discourse” in social media and comments sections can have a polarizing affect on consumers of science news, and “sick to death of ignoring him,” the two reporters recently tracked down their “most pernicious Twitter troll,” @hoytc55, who had mentioned @climatedesk 126 times in April alone, almost as much as the site’s top nine other followers combined.

Times Reporter Jim Rutenberg Gets to Spend The Summer in The Hamptons for Money (NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer)
It could be much, much worse: Veteran New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg will take a break from hard-hitting national political coverage to enjoy the reportorial spoils of the Hamptons, in the grand tradition of landing a cushy gig after surviving a presidential election.

Why Microsoft’s Xbox One Won’t Kick The Cable Guy Out of Your House (AllThingsD)
Like everyone else, Microsoft wants to control your living room. The problem with that plan: The cable guy already controls your living room. He’s not leaving anytime soon. So despite what you may have read Tuesday, the new Xbox One isn’t TV’s future, today.

Nutella Exemplifies How Not to Use Social Media (SocialTimes)
Facing an online revolt, Ferrero, the company that makes Nutella, rescinded a cease-and-desist letter it had sent to the organizer of World Nutella Day, an online event to celebrate the delicious chocolate-hazelnut spread. Adweek / Adfreak Most brand marketers can only dream of having a superfan who organizes a global holiday dedicated to their product. And then there’s Nutella.

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