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Morning Media Newsfeed: Hoffman Found Dead | Super Bowl Ads Score Big | O’Reilly Grills Obama

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Award-Winning Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman Found Dead in Manhattan (WSJ)
Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead of an apparent drug overdose late Sunday morning in his Manhattan apartment, authorities said. Law-enforcement officials said a hypodermic needle and two glassine envelopes containing what is believed to be heroin were found in the apartment on Bethune Street in the West Village. The 46-year-old actor was found unconscious in the bathroom of his fourth-floor apartment in the Pickwick House around 11:15 a.m. by screenwriter David Bar Katz, who called 911, a law-enforcement official said. He was pronounced dead at the scene. NY Post In a statement released by his manager, Hoffman’s family called his death “a tragic and sudden loss.” FishbowlNY Hoffman, a native of Fairport, N.Y., was last seen notably on screen as Lancaster Dodd in The Master. He had a number of film projects in the pipeline, including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 and Part 2, for which he reprised the role of Plutarch Heavensbee. GalleyCat The actor’s work had many literary connections. He won an Oscar for his appearance as Truman Capote in Bennett Miller’s biopic Capote. Hoffman starred in the film adaptation of The Hunger Games. In addition, he starred as Willy Loman in Mike Nichols’ revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman on stage in New York. CNN He was a beefy 5-foot-10 but won an Oscar for playing the slight, 5-foot-3 Capote. He had the booming voice of a deity but often played schlubs and conflicted characters.

After Risqué Years, Super Bowl Commercials Go Warm, Fuzzy (NYT)
Everyone seemed relieved that the first cold-weather Super Bowl played outdoors was not an ice bowl. As for the advertising extravaganza that took place during the game, it turned out to be a nice bowl. Most of the commercials that Fox broadcast nationally during Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday sought to invoke fuzzy feelings that would warm the cockles of consumer hearts, if not MetLife Stadium. Reuters Budweiser commercials about a returning soldier and a love-struck puppy emerged as winners in the high-stakes brand battle during football’s Super Bowl, as advertisers used Hollywood stars and slick cars to woo consumers. NYT The cast of Seinfeld — a couple of cast members, anyway — really did get together for a reunion on Sunday night, at the start of halftime in the Super Bowl. But only the short version of the reunion was on television. The rest — perhaps five minutes’ worth — is posted online as part of Jerry Seinfeld’s Web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. TechCrunch If you were watching the Super Bowl on Sunday, some of those brand new ads felt awfully familiar — a growing number of them are being released online ahead of time, either in their entirety or as a partial teaser. A spokesperson for video advertising and analytics company Visible Measures, said that his team looked at every Super Bowl campaign since 2010 and found that more and more advertisers are following this strategy — there were 13 in 2010, 27 in 2011, 34 in 2012, and 42 last year. Adweek Nicely played, JC Penney. In the last hour of the Super Bowl, the retailer’s Twitter account tweeted messages that appeared to be typed by an intoxicated individual. But it was all just a Super Bowl stunt, apparently, to promote the fact that it sells mittens. What’s more, Doritos and Kia’s social media teams were goaded into taking jabs at JC Penney.

Obama to O’Reilly: ‘These Things Keep on Surfacing Because You And Your TV Station Will Promote Them’ (TVNewser)
The handful of questions Bill O’Reilly asked in his pre-Super Bowl interview with Pres. Obama came from a shortlist of the last couple years of White House blunders including healthcare.gov, the attack in Benghazi and the IRS scandal. Toward the end of the 10-minute interview the president even called out O’Reilly and Fox News. “These kinds of things keep on surfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them,” said the president. NYT His answers shed little if any new light on some of the most controversial moments of Pres. Obama’s presidency, but it was a feisty 10-minute encounter that exposed the different world views of the president and some of his sharpest critics. Daily Beast The first time, in 2011, the last time Fox had the Super Bowl, it was kind of exciting when O’Reilly interviewed Obama. Obama’s aides, you’ll recall, had been knocking Fox, calling it not a real news station. Roger Ailes & Co. returned fire and then some. The tensions were deep.

Dylan Farrow Details Sexual Abuse by Woody Allen in New York Times Blog (Gawker)
Dylan Farrow has published an account of the sexual assault she experienced at the hands of her adoptive father Woody Allen on Nicholas Kristof’s blog. This is the first time Farrow herself has publicly written about her experiences, which occurred throughout her childhood. Daily Beast In “An Open Letter From Dylan Farrow,” which appeared on columnist Kristof’s blog in The New York Times on Saturday afternoon, the author starts by asking, “What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie?” The question book-ends the piece, illustrating how Allen’s fame envelopes and overshadows the sordid details of his life. Mediaite ABC News legal analyst Dan Abrams told Reliable Sources’ Brian Stelter that the New York Times’ decision to publish Farrow’s letter. was a “no brainer,” and that the power of her details will reignite press coverage over the story. “The legal system and journalists have two different obligations,” Abrams said. “As a journalistic matter, this is news. This is a story that has been out there. To hear for the first time in her own words what she says happened? That’s news, and I think The New York Times absolutely made the right call.” THR Girls star Lena Dunham urged her Twitter followers to read the piece, tweeting “To share in this way is courageous, powerful and generous. Please read.”

Two Key Team Members Out Before Dr. Oz Magazine Debut (NY Post)
There are signs of turmoil surrounding the launch of Dr. Oz The Good Life, the joint venture between the heart surgeon and talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz and Hearst Corp. Within the past week, two key people on the five-person art and design team have departed, only days before the debut issue hits newsstands on Feb. 4.

New York Times Changes Lede of Wildstein Story (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The New York Times changed the lede of its explosive story about former New York Port Authority official David Wildstein on Friday. Whereas the original story stated that Wildstein has the evidence to prove Gov. Chris Christie knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closings when they were happening, the new version has Wildstein saying “evidence exists.” Politico The Christie camp criticized the Times for its initial characterization of the Wildstein letter: “A media firestorm was set off by sloppy reporting from The New York Times and their suggestion that there was actually ‘evidence’ when it was a letter alleging that ‘evidence exists.’”

Bill Kristol Joins ABC News (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Bill Kristol, the editor and publisher of The Weekly Standard, has joined ABC News as a contributor, This Week host George Stephanopoulos announced on Sunday. A source familiar with the negotiations says the former Fox News commentator has landed with ABC in a handshake agreement that they’re about to sign. ABC News spokesperson Heather Riley also confirmed Kristol’s move in an email.

Chasing Their Star, on YouTube (NYT)
It is 3 p.m., and outside another brilliant Los Angeles afternoon beckons. But Olga Kay has drawn her blinds, leaving her living room in a semi-darkened haze. She has been up since 8 a.m., though she is still in her pajamas and has ventured outside only briefly to walk her dog, Roxy. Otherwise, Kay sits cross-legged in front of a glowing screen, offering cheerful commentary as she navigates her way through the violent video game Grand Theft Auto 5. The video game marathon is not a diversion — it is her job. Kay, 31, is part of an emerging group of entertainers who are trying to make a living by producing content for YouTube.

Fashion Critic Cathy Horyn Exits New York Times (NY Post)
Cathy Horyn, the influential fashion critic of The New York Times, has resigned, it was announced Friday. The 57-year-old journalist said she was leaving to spend more time with her ailing partner. “It is with both deep sadness over her departure and immense gratitude for the legacy she leaves behind that we announce that Cathy Horyn, the paper’s chief fashion critic since 1999, is leaving the Times,” executive editor Jill Abramson and styles editor Stuart Emmrich said in an internal memo to staff on Friday. FishbowlNY Prior to joining the paper, Horyn served as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair. Capital New York “It was an incredibly difficult personal decision for Cathy, but one I understand and completely agree with,” Emmrich told Capital New York.

Video of Al-Jazeera Journalists Arrested in Egypt Released (Press Gazette / The Wire)
A private Egyptian TV channel has aired video of the arrest in late December of two Al-Jazeera journalists at a Nile-side Cairo hotel. The nearly 22-minute clip, likely made with a mobile phone, was broadcast late on Sunday on Al-Tahrir television. The footage shows Al-Jazeera’s acting Cairo bureau chief, Mohammed Fahmy, a Canadian-Egyptian, and Australia’s award-winning correspondent Peter Greste being asked questions at a hotel suite used as an office by the Qatari-based network.

Ezra Klein on His New Vox Media Venture (NY Mag)
On Jan. 24, at 5 a.m. after his final day at The ­Washington Post, Ezra Klein awoke in his condo in D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood; sent out his final Wonkbook, the daily policy briefing emailed to more than 40,000 subscribers; and flew to California to visit UCLA, his alma mater. It was a Friday, and that evening, a few hundred students had gathered in a campus ballroom to watch two seers of the digital future chat about disruption. Klein was there at the invitation of Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, who was touring college campuses to promote his up-with-innovators book, Without Their Permission.

Viral Math (Reuters / Felix Salmon)
The question: What on earth is Upworthy doing so right? How is it that Upworthy’s articles shared a good order of magnitude more often than anybody else’s? Part of the answer is that Upworthy simply doesn’t publish that many articles overall — a couple of hundred a month, each one carefully and laboriously optimized, through extensive A/B testing, to be as socially infectious as possible. But that doesn’t fully explain how Upworthy’s articles can be so much more viral. For that, Upworthy needs the help — either on purpose or inadvertent — of Facebook.

Why Is Everybody Opening Up Shop in Australia Now? (Capital New York)
A growing number of American and British news outlets are setting up shop in Australia, where the newspapers and broadcast outlets of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. empire have historically dominated the local media landscape. Business Insider launched an Aussie operation last March through a licensing deal with Sydney-based Allure Media, which had previously imported Nick Denton’s Lifehacker, Gizmodo and Kotaku to the continent. Last May, the Guardian‘s Australian site debuted with backing from entrepreneur and philanthropist Graeme Wood (who just announced Jan. 30 that he will no longer fund the other online journalism venture he’d launched in Oz, a non-profit called The Global Mail.)

Post-Arab Spring, Citizen Journalists Struggle (CJR / Behind The News)
Three years have passed since the Arab Spring, when popular uprisings broke out against authoritarian governments across the Middle East. As state-controlled outlets ignored popular protests at the time, citizens from Tunisia and Egypt to Morocco and Syria turned to the Internet, where independent bloggers provided the most trustworthy coverage of what was happening in the streets. Since then, however, ideological splits have overtaken that digital space and rendered citizen blogging and journalism less and less credible, according to participants at the 4th Arab Bloggers Meeting, a gathering of about 70 activists and journalists held in Amman.

In Pennsylvania And Alaska, A Publisher Takes Infringement to Another Level (Poynter / Regret The Error)
Near the end of last year, a small publishing company made a big bet: it purchased a group of 19 regional papers servicing remote areas of Alaska. The purchase included a printing plant, but the plan at Allen Total Media was to transition to a digital-only company as a way to service remote villages near King Salmon. “We will be working closely [with] local news providers to consolidate news from as many as 50 communities to facilitate ease of access and to lower advertiser costs to reach larger numbers of people,” read the Allen Total Media announcement on Facebook. “Consolidate” was an interesting word choice.

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