Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.
Rupert Murdoch Files for Divorce, Won’t Affect News Corp Split (Deadline Hollywood)
News Corp Chairman/CEO Rupert Murdoch filed for divorce from wife Wendi Deng Murdoch Thursday morning in New York State Supreme Court, Deadline learned at 9 a.m. The divorce will not impact Rupert’s mega-media holdings, according to insiders, and was deliberately announced for maximum transparency before News Corp spins off its publishing assets into a separately traded company by June 28. WSJ Nearly all of the Murdoch family’s voting stock — a block of 38.4 percent — is held through the Murdoch Family Trust, whose beneficiaries are Rupert’s six children. It is likely that a prenuptial agreement makes it impossible for Wendi to obtain voting shares in the company in the event of a divorce, an attorney familiar with New York laws said. The attorney added that a New York judge would probably not award her any stock in court, as New York courts generally don’t keep people as partners in business when they can’t stay partners in marriage. TVNewser The couple married in 1999, 17 days after Rupert’s divorce from his second wife was finalized. They have two daughters together: Grace, 11, and Chloe, 9. Wendi, who is the chief of strategy for MySpace in China, famously slapped a man who attempted to attack Rupert during his testimony in front of a British Parliament committee about phone-hacking at his London newspapers. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer For years, it seemed apparent to Rupert’s lieutenants that he was living a separate life from Wendi and was OK with it. Wendi, for her part, seemed happy, too. Wendi reinvented herself as an alpha mom and Hollywood personality, striking up friendships with a diverse circle that included Sergey Brin and Nicole Kidman. THR A spokesperson for former British prime minister Tony Blair flatly denied media rumors that Wendi was romantically involved with him. FishbowlNY Is a new, future ex-Mrs. Murdoch just around the corner?
Condé Nast Faces Suit From Interns Over Wages (NYT)
Two former interns filed a lawsuit against Condé Nast on Thursday, saying the company failed to pay them minimum wage at their summer jobs at W Magazine and The New Yorker, and asked that it be approved as a class-action suit. Lauren Ballinger, who worked as an intern at W Magazine in 2009, and Matthew Leib, an intern at The New Yorker in 2009 and 2010, said in the suit that Condé Nast, which owns the magazines, paid them less than $1 an hour. TheWrap According to the suit, Ballinger was paid $12 per day regardless of the number of hours worked. Leib, meanwhile, was paid $300 to $500 for two internships in 2009 and 2010, the complaint says. Leib worked three days a week during each internship, working from approximately 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the first internship and 11 a.m. to 6 or 7 p.m. in the second. The lawsuit seeks to recover unpaid wages, interest and attorneys’ fees and costs for any interns who worked in the fashion, accessories and fine jewelry departments of Condé Nast’s magazine between June 13, 2007 and the date of a final judgment.
Don’t Misunderestimate Her: Sarah Palin Returns to Fox (Daily Beast)
Former Alaska governor and professional maverick Sarah Palin will be returning to Fox News as on-air contributor, the network announced Thursday. “I’ve had several conversations with governor Palin in the past few weeks about her rejoining Fox News as a contributor,” said Fox News CEO Roger Ailes in a statement. “I have great confidence in her and am pleased that she will once again add her commentary to our programming. I hope she continues to speak her mind.” The Atlantic Wire The relationship between Palin and Fox slowly went downhill after she became a contributor in 2009. Palin warred with fellow Fox contributor Karl Rove in the summer of 2011 because he objected to her delay in announcing whether she’d run for president. Eventually, she gave an exclusive interview to radio host Mark Levin — not Fox — when she opted out. TVNewser After she left, Palin tested the TV waters in New York and Hollywood, and found interest from other networks, someone familiar with her decision says. Ultimately, however, Fox News offered the best deal in terms of salary and exposure. Palin is said to have some flexibility to pursue outside projects, similar to the TLC reality series Sarah Palin’s Alaska that aired in 2010. It isn’t clear how Palin’s new deal with Fox compares to her original FNC deal, which was believed to be worth seven figures. Mediaite She will make her first return appearance on Fox & Friends Monday, June 17.
Venerable Format of NewsHour Struggles With New Era of Media (NYT)
For many of its 38 years, the sober studio-interview format of the PBS NewsHour has served the program well, drawing viewers and corporate underwriters alike. But with a deep financing crisis forcing layoffs and other cutbacks this week, some public television employees believe that format — and a general unwillingness to embrace the digital realities facing journalism — may be jeopardizing the program’s future.
Gannett’s TV Deal for Belo Worries Media Watchdogs (LA Times / Company Town)
Gannett Co.’s proposed acquisition of Belo Corp. is the latest in a slew of deals in the television industry. Media critics fear that the continued consolidation means there will be a lack of diversity in content. “We’ve seen time and again that media consolidation means fewer journalists and less diversity on the public airwaves,” said Craig Aaron, president of Free Press, a media watchdog. “This increasing concentration of ownership — coupled with covert consolidation that combines formerly competing newsrooms — is failing local communities.” Newsonomics Today, you’d rather be a broadcasting company than a newspaper company. No longer is Gannett a newspaper company with broadcast and digital assets. It can now be thought of as a broadcast company with major newspaper and digital assets. BuzzFeed Though Gannett owns 82 daily newspapers that reach nearly 12 million readers daily, the word “newspaper” was not used once in the entire 964-word press release announcing the deal. Gannett is instead a “diversified, higher-margin multi-media company” or an “international media and marketing solutions company.” TVSpy TVSpy has obtained a 10-point FAQ Gannett sent out to its employees talking about the company’s announced purchase of Belo Corp. The memo covers everything from why Gannett is buying Belo to expected changes at selected stations.
Bloomberg Reporters’ Practices Become Crucial Issue for Company (NYT)
Most journalists dream of uncovering government corruption, landing a big interview or winning a Pulitzer Prize. But those are not the goals that Thomas F. Secunda, who co-founded Bloomberg L.P. in 1982 with Michael R. Bloomberg, has in mind. “The only journalism that matters is the kind that moves markets,” Secunda told the senior staff of Bloomberg News during a recent discussion in the seventh-floor auditorium of the company’s Lexington Avenue headquarters.
Microsoft to Open Mini-Stores Inside Best Buy (NYT / Bits)
It isn’t hard to find a place to buy a Windows computer. What’s missing, apparently, is the right kind of place. To correct that, Microsoft and Best Buy announced a plan on Thursday to create 600 Windows stores within existing Best Buy retail locations in the United States and Canada. The Windows stores, at 1,500 to 2,200 square feet, will be the biggest stores-within-a-store at Best Buy, which has similar dedicated areas for Samsung and Apple products.
News Corp. CFO David DeVoe Is Retiring (NY Observer)
Looks like the Murdochs aren’t the only people in the News Corp. universe calling it quits. News Corp. announced in a press release that CFO David DeVoe will retire after the company splits into two on June 28. But unlike the Murdochs, DeVoe and Rupert seem to have nothing but nice things to say about each other. FishbowlNY Succeeding DeVoe is John Nallen, who will be named senior executive VP and CFO of 21st Century Fox, the entertainment side of the News Corp. split. Nallen has been with News Corp. for 18 years.
AOL CEO: At Least People Know The Name of Our Company (FishbowlNY)
What do you think of when you hear the name “AOL”? Dialup? Your parents’ email? Alas, this is AOL’s brand problem. But don’t worry! At least people have heard of it! That was AOL CEO Tim Armstrong‘s message at Thursday’s Media Minds breakfast, where he said, “It’s incredibly expensive to implant a chip in someone’s head so they know what the name of your company is.”
Sources: DirecTV Will Acquire Hulu by Month’s End, And Why The Deal Makes Sense (PandoDaily)
Several sources with knowledge of the ongoing Hulu acquisition talks tell PandoDaily that a deal is imminent and that DirecTV is the likely victor. The acquisition price will be written with a “B,” according to our sources, but just barely.
This Isn’t Another ‘Golden Age’ for Print (CJR / #realtalk)
Every time a media critic insists that print’s not dead, he or she inadvertently ends up making the opposite case. Just look at the latest cover feature for Port magazine, a London-based men’s lifestyle publication. In it, reporter Matt Haber rattles off some bleak stats about declining subscription rates and ad revenues, then arrives at this thesis: “Currently, magazines are enjoying something of a renaissance, not so much in advertising and circulation as in editorial vitality and cultural clout.” To which I say, in Internet-speak, O RLY?
Politics Some / Politics None: Two Ways to Excel in Political Journalism, Neither Dominates (PressThink)
Edward Snowden’s decision to leak to Glenn Greenwald, and Glenn’s domination of newsland for several days, tells us that politics: none is not the only way of excelling in journalism. It now has to share the stage with politics: some. I offer one observation about the story that has consumed the worlds of journalism and politics for the last eight days: leaks describing how vast is the United States government’s electronic monitoring of communications. Near the center of that story is Greenwald, the Guardian columnist who was one of three journalists that the leaker, Snowden, chose to trust.
Radio Host Sacked Over Australia PM Gillard Interview (BBC)
A radio presenter has been sacked in Australia for asking Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a live interview if her partner is gay. Howard Sattler suggested to Prime Minister Gillard that her partner of seven years, Tim Mathieson, had to be gay because he was a hairdresser. The DJ was suspended and then sacked by Fairfax Radio, which apologized for the “disrespectful” questioning.
How Student Newspapers Can Survive (And Thrive) in The 21st Century (PBS / MediaShift)
During his senior year at the University of Virginia, recent graduate Matthew Cameron put together a 136-page thesis on the current state of college newspapers. Here it is, in seven words: Student papers are hurting, but there’s hope.
Tampa Bay Times Critic Receives NABJ A&E Task Force Legacy Award (Tampa Bay Times)
Tampa Bay Times TV/media critic Eric Deggans on Thursday was selected by the National Association of Black Journalists Arts & Entertainment Task Force as the recipient of its 2013 Legacy Award. The national award honors veteran A&E journalists who are at the top of their careers and have set an example for other journalists, according to task force chair Kelley L. Carter.
@greengirlmedia I think they will start to annoy people. There should a limit..
@Megan_Keating Not the right channel, Facebook users aren’t as public as others
Michael Myers I’m OK with hashtags long as they’re used as intended and not for jokey metacommentary — that’s so 2012.
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon, HBO Ink Deal | Net Neutrality on The Ropes | Mixed News for Gannett
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Court Torn Over Aereo | Time Inc. Board Revealed | Comcast Gains Soar
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Netflix to Up Prices | NBC Evaluates Gregory | Slate Plus Launches
- Morning Media Newsfeed: GMA Ups Spencer | Everest Special Nixed | Journalists Freed in Syria