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Morning Media Newsfeed: More NSA Stories to Come | Breaking Bad‘s Finale | More Patch Sites to Close


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Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill Working on New NSA Revelations (HuffPost / AP)
Two American journalists known for their investigations of the United States’ government said Saturday they’ve teamed up to report on the National Security Agency’s role in what one called a “U.S. assassination program.” The journalists provided no evidence of the purported U.S. program at the news conference, nor details of who it targeted. Jeremy Scahill, a contributor to The Nation magazine and the New York Times best-selling author of Dirty Wars, said he will be working with Glenn Greenwald, the Rio-based journalist who has written stories about U.S. surveillance programs based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. RT USA “The connections between war and surveillance are clear. I don’t want to give too much away but Glenn and I are working on a project right now that has at its center how the National Security Agency plays a significant, central role in the US assassination program,” Scahill said in Rio de Janeiro, as cited by Associated Press. NYT As the nation’s spy agencies assess the fallout from disclosures about their surveillance programs, some government analysts and senior officials have made a startling finding: The impact of a leaked terrorist plot by Al Qaeda in August has caused more immediate damage to American counterterrorism efforts than the thousands of classified documents disclosed by Snowden.


Breaking Bad Series Finale Shrouded in Secrecy
(The Guardian)
It was the most eagerly awaited finale to an American television show since The Sopranos: The episode that will determine the fate of Walter White, the mild-mannered chemistry teacher turned gun-toting drug kingpin. Nor is it an ordinary TV series: The five-series saga of a man with cancer, played by Bryan Cranston, who attempts to secure his family’s future by using his talents to make a fortune out of producing a high-quality version of the drug crystal meth has played with viewers’ sympathies in a way that few other shows have dared. Ad Age / Media News AMC sought between $300,000 to $400,000 for a 30-second ad in the final episode of the series, according to media buyers. Other buyers reported a price tag closer to $200,000. Several variables affect how much marketers pay. Even the lower range represents a significant jump for AMC. LA Times / Show Tracker It’s highly likely that Breaking Bad will score its highest-ever rating. Until this year, Breaking Bad was a critics’ darling but still a niche show, with viewership in the 3 million to 4 million range. But over the last few weeks, as reviewers have rhapsodized over the final few episodes and anticipation over the finale has reached a fever pitch, viewing has exploded. Last Sunday, with its penultimate episode, Breaking Bad set a record with 6.6 million total viewers, according to Nielsen.

Memo: ‘Regretfully, A Number of Patches Will Have to Be Closed’ (JimRomenesko.com)
Bud Rosenthal, the new CEO of AOL’s Patch, told employees in a memo sent at 6:14 p.m. ET Friday that “we have believed strongly in the value of a connected local community. However this commitment has not translated into success in every town we serve; therefore, regretfully, a number of Patches will have to be closed. A handful of sites will close on Oct. 7.”

Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA And The ‘Pathetic’ American Media (The Guardian)
Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism — close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90 percent of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider. It doesn’t take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as “the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist.” FishbowlNY There’s a lot more great stuff in Hersh’s conversation with Lisa O’Carroll, including an explanation of how Edward Snowden came to the rescue of “chicken-sh*t editors.”

Thanks to The Digital Revolution, A Conservative Uprising Can Rally Its Troops (NYT)
Ask conservatives what went wrong for them the last time the government shut down, and many of them will bring up the cover of Daily News of New York from Nov. 16, 1995. Under the block-lettered headline “Cry Baby,” it showed a cartoon of Newt Gingrich, then speaker of the Republican-led House, in tears, clutching a bottle and wearing nothing but a cloth diaper. Back then, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel was a year from its debut, Andrew Breitbart was a lowly assistant at E! Online, and The Drudge Report was an obscure gossip and news digest sent by email — to the lucky few who had email.

The Magazine That Was: Eleanor Clift on Her 50 Years at Newsweek (Newsweek)
I pride myself on being a survivor, and in the 50 years since I first wandered into Newsweek, I’ve seen a lot of change and made a lot of adjustments. The magazine that I knew is long since gone. But while I lament what has been lost, I recognize that not to change is to die, and that Newsweek, a storied brand, has another life to live, this one without me.

Reuters Cuts Raise Questions About Company’s Consumer Strategy (Capital New York)
On Friday, the Newspaper Guild, a union that represents approximately 400 employees of the global information provider Thomson Reuters, announced that management is seeking “to eliminate five Guild positions from the recently condemned Reuters Next project by Nov. 29, almost half of the current New York-based online team.” The affected employees will be offered voluntary buyouts equal to two weeks pay per year of service before involuntary layoffs are sought, according to the Guild.

What Makes The Texas Tribune’s Event Business So Successful? (Nieman Journalism Lab)
When The Texas Tribune launched in 2009, Evan Smith says the nonprofit news site was in a “proof by assertion” stage. The assertion, in this case, was that there was an audience hungry for intensely focused-coverage of Texas politics and the industries, agencies and personalities who inhabit that world. Four years later, it’s safe to say they were right, as the Tribune has become a success story in the world of online journalism and nonprofit news — a model both for its journalism and its business sense.

Local Newspapers Scramble for Native Ad Strategies (Digiday)
The native-ad push isn’t just for the big boys: teetering local newspapers are rushing to adopt the latest online ad gambit. The Chicago Sun-Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Cape May County (N.J.) Chronicle all have dabbled in some form of native advertising.

What Does The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Know That Your Newsroom Doesn’t? (Nieman Journalism Lab)
You won’t find any newspapers for sale at the fluorescent-lit convenience store about two blocks from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s downtown headquarters. Ask for a copy of the local daily and you get an apologetic chuckle from the clerk. He instead suggests The Onion, print copies of which are just outside in a rusting metal box.

As Jeff Bezos Prepares to Take Over, A Look at Forces That Shaped The Washington Post Sale (The Washington Post / Business)
While Amazon founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos ultimately agreed to buy the paper himself for $250 million, he wasn’t the only billionaire wooed, however, and that hadn’t been the only price discussed. Among others, Donald E. Graham and the advisory firm of Allen & Co. also approached Robert Allbritton, owner of Politico and whose family once owned the Washington Star; Michael R. Bloomberg, who some people believed would want a daily print outlet in addition to his economic-driven subscriber news and data service; David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group and a major Washington philanthropist; and Eric Schmidt, who was chief executive of Google for 10 years.

NRO Reporter Behind Fake Wendy Davis Site (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
National Review Online reporter Andrew Stiles last week launched a website that described future Texas gubernatorial candidate as “Democrat For Late Term Abortion And Governor.” The website, ElectWendyDavis.com, is registered under Stiles’ name, and Stiles tweeted a link to page twice on Thursday night. It has since been taken down and replaced with a note that reads, “Under Construction.” Stiles is also the registrant for ElectJoeBiden.com, which leads to a homepage that reads, “Biden 2016: Real. Comfortable. Chains.”

Twitter Plans to Make Its IPO Filing Public This Week (Quartz)
Twitter’s IPO filing is ready, and the company intends to make it public this week, according to someone familiar with the plan. The goal is for Twitter to begin trading, likely on the New York Stock Exchange, before Thanksgiving. The source stressed that Twitter’s filing could still be delayed by a variety of factors, from changes to the prospectus to market conditions to a potential shutdown of the US government.

Geraldo on WME Lawsuit: ‘I Will Die Before I Give Them A Single Penny’ (TVNewser)
Fox News anchor and correspondent Geraldo Rivera is firing back publicly after a lawsuit that was filed against him by his former talent agency William Morris Endeavour was made public. WME sued Rivera for allegedly not paying his commission.

Shrinking List of Video Games Is Dominated by Blockbusters (NYT)
Big video game makers, like their cousins in books and music, have scrambled in recent years to adapt to the digital technologies buffeting their business. Tens of millions of people now play games on smartphones and tablets, usually for a sliver of the cost of playing on a game console. But one part of the games business is thriving as never before: the blockbuster.

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