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Co-Owner of Philadelphia Inquirer Dies in Plane Crash (Philly.com)
Lewis Katz, 72, co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, died Saturday night in the crash of a private jet at a Massachusetts airfield. All seven people aboard were killed when the Gulfstream IV crashed about 9:40 p.m. as it was departing Hanscom Field in Bedford for Atlantic City International Airport, said a Massachusetts Port Authority spokesman. Boston Globe The plane exploded in a blast that sent a fireball and a large plume of black smoke into the air, said Bedford resident Jeff Patterson, 43, who lives beside the runway. The flames rose 60 feet in the air, he said. His 14-year-old son, Jared, said the explosion rattled the house. Bloomberg Katz and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest won control of the Inquirer and its sister publication at a court-ordered auction four days earlier. A native of Camden, N.J., Katz was increasingly involved with his philanthropic giving. In May, Temple University announced it would name its medical school after Katz, who told the Inquirer that while his mother wanted him to be a doctor, he couldn’t stand the sight of blood. CNN Katz was formerly the principal owner of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils. He was a shareholder of the Nets, the New York Yankees and the YES Network at the time of his death. New York Daily News The Yankees honored long-time minority owner Katz in the Bronx with a moment of silence before the national anthem on Sunday at the Stadium. Katz will be remembered for his hot-and-cold relationship with George Steinbrenner. NPR / The Two-Way Drew Katz, Lewis’ son, said in a statement that his father’s sudden death has brought “an incomprehensible amount of grief.” He added: “My father was my best friend. He taught me everything. He never forgot where and how he grew up, and he worked tirelessly to support his community in countless ways that were seen and unseen. He loved his native city of Camden and his adopted home of Philadelphia.”
Jay Carney Steps Down as White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest In (PRNewser)
Jay Carney, the reporter who became White House press secretary for the Obama administration, has resigned from his post after three-plus years on the job. Josh Earnest will take up the position. The Washington Post / Post Politics Carney, 49, a former Time magazine White House correspondent, joined the administration in late 2008 as spokesman for Vice President-elect Biden. He was promoted to Obama’s chief spokesman in February 2011, replacing Robert Gibbs. TVNewser “Jay has become one of my closest friends and is a great press secretary and a great advisor,” Obama said. “He’s got good judgment, he has a good temperament and he’s got a good heart. And I’m going to miss him a lot.” FishbowlDC “It’s been an amazing experience,” said Carney after the president’s announcement of his stepping down. “Just so fulfilling.” On what’s next, he added, “I haven’t made any decisions yet… I’m excited by some of the possibilities.” Politico Since the start of the Clinton administration, five of the last nine press secretaries landed softly in the world of corporate communications for a large multinational company or with a public affairs firm. The lucrative line of work relies on in-town connections and insider knowledge of an administration. It looks and feels a lot like lobbying — just don’t call it that, since none of the formal rules apply. Obama announced Friday that Carney will step down from the podium in June. And while it is unclear what Carney will do next, many insiders say that if he wants to join the world of influence, he certainly could. TVNewser With the surprise announcement that Carney is resigning, ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl is temporarily without a “flack jacket” to spar with. The two men had the occasional contentious exchange, which created for memorable moments. But for Karl, it was never personal. “Will I miss Jay? Of course,” Karl tells TVNewser. “He’s been a spirited advocate for the president who was never afraid to take the tough questions. To borrow one of Jay’s favorite phrases, ‘I appreciate that.’ And as heated as it sometimes got in the briefing room, it was never personal. Jay is a pro.”
Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan Donate $120 Million to Bay Area Schools (AllFacebook)
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have repeatedly displayed their commitment to charitable giving and education, and the power couple took another giant step Thursday with their announcement of a $120 million pledge to aid schools in low-income communities in the San Francisco Bay area. New York Daily News The money will be distributed to Bay Area schools through their foundation, Startup: Education, to improve technology used in the classrooms over the next five years. Forbes Zuckerberg noted that he has been spending more time on education issues; last year he taught an after-school program on entrepreneurship at a public middle school in Menlo Park, a tony community that is not far from Stanford University. “Education is something worth investing in and if we can help make things better it will make all of our lives better,” Chan and Zuckerberg wrote.
Hachette Chief Leads Book Publishers in Amazon Fight (NYT)
As a young book editor at Little, Brown & Company in 1992, Michael Pietsch paid $80,000 — $45,000 more than the next-highest bidder — for a postmodern novel by a little-known writer named David Foster Wallace. He spent years urging Wallace to cut hundreds of pages from the sprawling manuscript and impose at least some structure on the disparate plot strands. The book, Infinite Jest, was finally published in 1996 and became an instant literary sensation. Pietsch is now chief executive of Little, Brown’s parent company, the Hachette Book Group, and is engaged in a very different sort of battle — not with a fragile author, but with one of the most powerful corporations in the United States: Amazon.
NBC Seeks Record $4.5 Million for Super Bowl Ads (Variety)
NBC is seeking around $4.5 million for a 30-second spot in Super Bowl XLIX, according to ad-buying executives, a whopping sum that could represent a new record for pricing in the gridiron classic, as well as a 12.5 percent uptick over prices sought for Fox’s 2014 broadcast of the event. THR / The Live Feed Ratings for the big game are consistently rising, with Super Bowl XLVIII drawing in a record-breaking 112.2 million viewers — up 4 million from the previous year — despite the blowout win by the Seattle Seahawks over the Denver Broncos. The Super Bowl was a major focus of NBC’s Upfront presentation in New York earlier this month, when it was announced the game will be supported by a full week of programming across NBCU platforms.
Thousands of Journalists Withhold Released CIA Agent Name (CJR / Behind the News)
Last month, the White House revealed the identity of the CIA’s most senior operative in Kabul by accidentally including his name on a list of officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Though it was disbursed to more than 6,000 journalists, all indications suggest that every outlet has complied with the government’s request to refrain from publishing the name. This widespread agreement to the White House request comes in the midst of an ongoing public debate over government secrecy, most recently spurred by Edward Snowden, as to under what conditions news outlets should accept the directive of government officials in withholding classified information. An increasingly vocal group of journalists argue that the government too often overplays its hand in the interest of secrecy.
‘Gangnam Style’ Hits Two Billion YouTube Views (Re/code)
Pop song “Gangnam Style” broke the two-billion-views mark on YouTube late Friday night, becoming the first video on the service to pass that milestone. NPR / The Two-Way How big a hit is this? The next most popular video is Justin Bieber’s “Baby,” which has 1.04 billion views.
Breakout Star Willie Geist Might Just Be The Next Matt Lauer (The New York Observer)
When Willie Geist was fresh from graduating from Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University in May 1997, he had only one plan for the future. “I was driving a liquor delivery truck around New Jersey that summer and loved Conan O’Brien,” Geist explains of the then-host of NBC’s Late Night. “So I wrote a comedy sample for him and sent it to NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, figuring it would blow them away.” What he received back in the mail wasn’t exactly a job offer. “I got this form letter, which said that not only are they not using my material but that they never even read it,” he recalls, laughing. “It does strike me that it kind of comes full circle that I was rejected and am now working in the very same building where I sent that sample.” Geist’s current perch at 30 Rock is impressive considering he never set out to be a newsman, let alone an on-camera personality. TVNewser Since Geist joined the Today show in 2012, rumors have swirled that he is the heir apparent to Matt Lauer, whose current deal with the NBC morning show expires early next year. In the Observer‘s profile, Geist addresses the succession speculation.
New Fortune, Money Websites Go to War With Old Partner CNNMoney (Ad Age)
Fortune and Money magazines each rolled out their own websites Sunday, ending a long partnership with CNNMoney.com, under which their digital content had been subsumed under the larger site. The collaboration is coming to an end because the magazines’ and CNN’s family is splitting up: Time Warner is spinning off Time Inc., which owns Fortune and Money, while holding onto entertainment and TV properties such as CNN. TechCrunch To gear up for the launch, both publications have been hiring — Fortune brought on 24 new team members in recent months, while Money brought on seven. The goal for Money will be to post 20 or 30 pieces of content a day, while Fortune is aiming for up to 90.
Drew Griffin: Up to Media ‘To Not Take Its Foot Off The Gas Pedal’ (TVNewser)
It was Drew Griffin‘s reporting that broke the lid off the scandal at the VA hospitals, ultimately leading to the resignation of secretary of veterans affairs Eric Shinseki Friday. The CNN correspondent and his team have been working the story since last November, beginning with vetting the complaints of Phoenix VA hospital whistleblower, Dr. Samuel Foote. “You really have to vet them very carefully,” Griffin told TVNewser in an interview Friday, noting that whistleblowers can often be vindictive and have impure motives. TVNewser Broadcast networks provided special coverage for President Obama’s statement on the VA scandal investigation, in which he announced his acceptance of Shinseki‘s resignation.
One Year After 28 Sun-Times Photojournalists Were Laid Off (Poynter / MediaWire)
One year ago Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times eliminated its photo staff, laying off 28 full-time employees. Most of them have landed on their feet, according to email and phone interviews with many of the photographers. Here’s a rough breakdown of where they ended up.
Rich Barbieri Promoted at CNNMoney (FishbowlNY)
Rich Barbieri has been promoted from deputy managing editor of CNNMoney to managing editor. Barbieri has been CNNMoney’s deputy managing editor since joining the site in 2007. He previously served as Crain’s New York’s managing editor, from 2005 to 2007.
Fox 13 Anchor Anne Dwyer Announces Retirement (Fox 13 / WTVT)
After nearly 30 years with Fox 13 in Tampa, Anne Dwyer has announced her retirement. TVSpy Saying one of the reasons she was retiring was because she is out of hairspray, Dwyer told viewers, “It was not an easy decision. It’s time for me to sleep in, get some much needed rest, and tackle the numerous home improvement projects I have put off way too long.”
Dan Fagin Wins Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism (GalleyCat)
Dan Fagin has won the Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism for his book Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation. The book investigates childhood cancer clusters in a New Jersey town, which were the result of toxic dumping and industrial pollution. The title has won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction.
Ginger Gadsden to Join Local 6 News Team (ClickOrlando.com)
WKMG Local 6 announced on Friday that Ginger Gadsden will be joining the Local 6 news team in Orlando, Fla., effective June 16. Ginger will co-anchor the 5:30 p.m. newscast with Matt Austin and solo anchor the 7 p.m. newscast. TVSpy Gadsden last worked at WTSP in St. Petersburg, Fla. where she signed off in June 2013 after seven years there.
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