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Morning Media Newsfeed: Greenwald Moves On | Huffington’s Payout | Vox Raises $34 Million


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Glenn Greenwald Will Leave The Guardian to Create New News Organization (BuzzFeed)
Glenn Greenwald, the lawyer and blogger who brought The Guardian the biggest scoop of the decade, is departing the London-based news organization, for a brand-new, large-scale, broadly focused media outlet, he told BuzzFeed Tuesday. Greenwald, 46, published revelations from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about the extent of American and British domestic spying and about officials’ deception about its scope. NYT In a statement on his website, Greenwald did not say where he was going. “I was presented with a once-in-a-career dream journalistic opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline,” Greenwald wrote on his blog Tuesday evening. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Greenwald was careful not to divulge any telltale details about the organization, saying only that it would have outposts in New York, Washington and San Francisco. As to its headquarters, we asked Greenwald whether any consideration had been given to locating it outside of the United States, given the legal sensitivity of the reporting he has done in recent months. He declined to answer, but noted that it’s an “important and good question.” Reuters Two sources familiar with the new venture said the financial backer was eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. It was not immediately clear if he was the only backer or if there were other partners. Omidyar could not immediately be reached for comment. Omidyar, who is chairman of the board at eBay Inc but is not involved in day-to-day operations at the company, has numerous philanthropic, business and political interests, mainly through an investment entity called the Omidyar Network. FishbowlNY BuzzFeed reporter Ben Smith’s exclusive ends with this tantalizing sentence from Greenwald: “When people hear what it is, there is almost no journalist who would say no to it.” The departing Guardian star also says that a “fair number” of people have been hired already.


Arianna Huffington Made Just $21 Million From Sale of Huffington Post, New Document Reveals
(The Smoking Gun)
In a new court filing, lawyers for two men suing Arianna Huffington for allegedly denying them credit and cash for their role in the founding of The Huffington Post have made public an internal document detailing exactly what she pocketed following the site’s $315 million purchase by AOL. Marked “Confidential” and “Attorney’s Eyes Only,” the February 2011 memo was prepared for AOL board members by Tim Armstrong, the company’s chief executive, and Artie Minson, the firm’s former chief operating officer. NY Post / Media Ink According to documents unearthed by The Smoking Gun, of the original $315 million purchase price, the 63-year-old businesswoman received approximately $21 million. And she did not get it all at once. Approximately $3.4 million was deferred as unvested options over the ensuing 20 months. FishbowlNY So it was nowhere near $100 million, the loosely reported territory that had many unpaid Huffington Post bloggers seeing red at the time of the site’s acquisition by AOL. Still, the February 2011 transaction amounted to some very nice Brentwood trickle-down.

Vox Media Raises $34 Million to Expand Video Business (Ad Age / Digital)
Vox Media may only have three sites to its name — The Verge, SB Nation and Polygon — but that hasn’t stopped the D.C.-based company from stuffing its pockets. The digital media company has raised $34 million in funding with plans to add an additional $6 million to close the round at $40 million, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Accel Partners led the funding round and was joined by fellow previous investors Comcast Ventures and Khosla Ventures. TechCrunch Coming on top of $30 million in previous rounds, the Washington, D.C.-based company will have the most venture backing of any high-end content creator when the round is finalized in the coming weeks. There are precious few other examples on this scale. Viral-oriented BuzzFeed has raised nearly $50 million in total. Politically-focused Huffington Post had reached $37 million before AOL (TechCrunch’s parent company) bought it.

New York Times Editor Defends Journalists Over Snowden Leaks (The Guardian)
Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, has mounted a defense of the ability of journalists at her own paper and at The Guardian to publish public interest stories based on the thousands of secret intelligence files leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. “I think the issue is that what The Guardian has published, and they have published far more material than we have, that those articles are very much in the public interest and inform the public,” she said during an appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight.

Kenan Thompson on SNL’s Lack of Diversity: We Can’t Find Black Females Who Are ‘Ready’ (TheGrio)
Saturday Night Live has only featured four African-American women in its 38-year history, a reality that has been reinforced by the introduction of six new cast members this season — all of whom were white. In a recent interview with TV Guide.com, cast member Kenan Thompson argues that it’s not the show, it’s the lack of talent that is at issue. Jezebel Dude, what? Just off the top of my head, I can think of several women who I watched perform at the Upright Citizens Brigade last week who would be perfect for it. Sasheer Zamata has been killing it in the sketch world for years. Nicole Byer is great on Girl Code. And then there’s Michelle Buteau, Franchesca Ramsay and Jessica Williams (who, let’s be honest, would be doing more for Saturday Night Live than they’d be doing for her).

At 28, Writer Is Youngest to Receive Booker Prize (NYT)
Eleanor Catton was awarded the Man Booker Prize on Tuesday for The Luminaries, an immersive tale set in 19th-century New Zealand that explores identity, greed and human frailty. At 28, Catton is the youngest winner of the Booker.

Adam Goldman, Pulitzer-Winning Associated Press Reporter, Joins Washington Post (HuffPost)
Adam Goldman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The Associated Press, is joining The Washington Post to cover terrorism on the paper’s national security team, according to a memo obtained by The Huffington Post. AP Washington bureau chief Sally Buzbee informed staff Tuesday that Goldman was leaving the news organization after 11 years and starting at the Post on Nov. 1.

The New Republic Asks Its Reporters to Sell Subscriptions (Forbes / Mixed Media)
You hear a lot these days about “Swiss Army knife journalists,” who are expected not just to report, write and edit stories but also to shoot photos and videos, tape podcasts, analyze data sets and write code. But selling subscriptions? That’s a job description too far. Nevertheless, like members of a youth basketball team raising money for a trip to nationals, staffers at The New Republic have been hawking subscriptions to their friends and family members for the past two weeks as part of an intra-office contest. FishbowlNY When asked about pushing editorial staffers into the world of sales, a TNR spokesperson told Forbes it was “a team-building exercise and a fun way to generate friendly competition among the staff.” We can’t wait until the next TNR contest, when the staffer who gets the bathroom the cleanest wins a Jeans Friday.

Twitter Revenue More Than Doubles in Third Quarter (Bloomberg)
Twitter Inc. continued its torrid growth pace ahead of an initial public offering, as the microblogging service said revenue more than doubled in the third quarter even as losses widened. The San Francisco-based company said in a filing Tuesday that its revenue was $168.6 million in the period, up from $82.3 million a year ago. Its net loss expanded to $64.6 million from $21.6 million. Twitter also said it will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tina Fey, Amy Poehler Return to Host Golden Globe Awards (Reuters)
Actresses Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the hosts of this year’s Golden Globe Awards, have signed a deal to head the show in 2014 and 2015, organizers said on Tuesday. Fey and Poehler, who developed a strong comic rapport a decade ago while on NBC’s late-night sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, helped boost the Golden Globes viewership to its best ratings in six years in January.

WhoSay Hires Former Newsweek / Daily Beast President to Bring Home The Bacon (TheWrap)
WhoSay has hired former Newsweek / Daily Beast president Rob Gregory as its chief revenue officer, the company will announce on Wednesday. Gregory will be tasked with convincing advertisers to support the celebrity-driven social platform in its efforts to become People magazine for the next generation.

Earnings And Revenue Down — Yahoo! Delivers on Expected Lackluster Third Quarter (AllThingsD)
Yahoo! met weak financial expectations, turning in what can only be described as lackluster performance in its third-quarter earnings report Tuesday. The Silicon Valley Internet giant said it earned 34 cents, a 13 percent decline, on revenue of $1.08 billion, a 1 percent decline from the same period a year ago.

PolicyMic Raises $3 Million, Betting That Millennials Want Substantive News And Commentary (TechCrunch)
How many younger readers really care about news and politics — as opposed to celebrity gossip, viral videos, and cat GIFs? Well, a site called PolicyMic is built around the proposition that readers under 35 are looking for something more substantive, and it just raised $3 million in new funding.

What A Commenter Has to Do to Get Banned From The New York Times (Poynter / MediaWire)
In a recent WAN-IFRA report, New York Times community manager Bassey Etim said his organization has banned commenters “maybe once or twice in our history.” Reached by phone, Etim said the number has gone up since he gave an interview to the report’s authors, but not by much: “It’s very, very rare for us,” he said. “It’s fewer than 10 nonspammers.”

Can Journalists Cut It as CEOs? (Digiday)
Reporters are notorious procrastinators, cynical to the core, often disorganized and frequently drunk. Sounds like CEO material. But there are exceptions to that crude stereotype. On Sunday, Jim VandeHei, co-founder and executive editor of Politico and president of Capital New York, was named as the company’s chief executive. He is just the most recent in a line of journalists — like Gawker’s Nick Denton, Business Insider’s Henry Blodget and Univision’s Isaac Lee — who have ascended from shoe-leather reporter to media business boss.

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