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Morning Media Newsfeed: Newsweek Controversy | Mexico Moves on Telco | NJ President Out

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Controversy Marks Newsweek’s Comeback (The Associated Press)
A mystery man. A splashy reveal. A media frenzy. Newsweek staked its return from the dead Friday on a story it knew would get attention. A cover story claiming it had uncovered “the face behind Bitcoin,” the world’s most popular digital currency. Twenty-four hours after identifying Bitcoin’s creator as a 64-year-old former defense contractor employee living in Los Angeles, the controversy over whether or not Newsweek had outed the right man was so furious that Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman made the rounds on Bloomberg TV and CBS Morning News to defend her reporting against Dorian Nakamoto’s denials that he is the father of Bitcoin. Mashable For the first few hours after the article was published online Thursday, Newsweek enjoyed the kind of attention that most publications would kill for. The Bitcoin story dominated the conversation on social media; 700,000 readers had viewed it as of 5 p.m. ET on Thursday. It went on to top 1 million views. FishbowlNY Within the first few hours of the story’s release, however, Nakamoto emerged to deny any involvement with the digital currency, prompting a media frenzy. In a two-hour interview with the AP Thursday, Nakamoto denied having any involvement in Bitcoin, and the only reason he had ever heard of it was because a Newsweek reporter contacted his son three weeks ago. Nakamoto also said that during a brief interview at his home, McGrath Goodman misunderstood him (English isn’t Nakamoto’s first language). Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The account that created Bitcoin in 2009 has also suggested that the Newsweek story is inaccurate: “I’m not Dorian Nakamoto,” said the account holder, whose online name is Satoshi Nakamoto, according to USA Today. Newsweek In a statement released Friday, Newsweek defended the story: “Goodman’s research was conducted under the same high editorial and ethical standards that have guided Newsweek for more than 80 years. Newsweek stands strongly behind Goodman and her article”

New Rules to Reshape Telecom in Mexico (NYT)
In a ruling intended to break virtual monopolies in Mexican telecommunications and television broadcasting, a recently created regulator issued tough new conditions for two of the country’s largest companies, the wireless carrier América Móvil and the media company Televisa. Variety Mexico’s new trust-busting TV-telco watchdog, the Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT), announced Friday it had authorized the launch of two new free-to-air broadcast networks in Mexico. Exacerbated by yet more anti-trust rulings, the historic act of deregulation, though largely factored in by the market, is a significant blow for the companies. Reuters The IFT detailed the bidding process for concessions to create the two new national television networks Friday. The new networks would weaken the duopoly of Mexico’s two biggest players, Televisa and rival TV Azteca, which combined control about 95 percent of the broadcast television market. WSJ The steps are an ambitious attempt by President Enrique Peña Nieto to tackle quasi-monopolies that control many parts of Mexico’s economy, hobbling the country with high costs that ultimately crimp competitiveness and economic growth. Televisa, which has ruled Mexico’s airwaves for decades, will have to let competitors use its broadcast towers for a set fee, make public its advertising pricing structures and end the practice of pressuring advertisers to buy space on its billboards, cable TV and magazines. The company is also barred from acquiring exclusive rights to content such as soccer finals and the World Cup, which generates high audience shares, the company said in a statement. For its part, America Móvil, Latin America’s largest telecommunications firm, was ordered to allow competitors low-cost access to its network, including the so-called “last mile” that reaches final users.

Another Atlantic Media Exec to Leave Post (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
Bruce Gottlieb, president of National Journal and general counsel of Atlantic Media, will be leaving the company soon to “return to his roots in policy and government affairs,” the company said Friday. It didn’t indicate just what position in policy and government affairs Gottlieb would be taking. Adweek Tim Hartman, currently president of Atlantic Media’s b-to-b Government Executive Media Group, will replace Gottlieb in the newly created role of CEO of the National Journal Group. Hartman, who joined Atlantic Media in 2001 and became president of Government Executive in 2012, oversaw the brand’s recent relaunch as well as the launch of Atlantic Media’s national security website Defense One. FishbowlDC Several other changes were announced. National Journal chief revenue officer Poppy MacDonald has been promoted to publisher and co-president of that publication. She will take on some of Gottlieb’s responsibilities, while continuing to lead NJ’s revenue line as well as business development, marketing and advertising. She will also oversee National Journal Live, the pub’s events business. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media National Journal has spent more than a year changing its strategy. Previously focused on reporting on breaking news, it is now putting greater emphasis on commentary, analysis and long form. Richard Just, former editor of The New Republic, will take the reins at NJ‘s magazine division this week.

Larry Kudlow to Retire From Kudlow Report (CNBC)
The Kudlow Report will end its run this month, CNBC said on Friday, with host Larry Kudlow moving into a senior contributor role for the network. TVNewser The Kudlow Report has been on CNBC since January 2009. From 2005-2008, Kudlow hosted Kudlow & Company, and earlier in the decade he was part of Kudlow & Cramer alongside Jim Cramer. THR CNBC, which is crediting the decision to end The Kudlow Report as the 66-year-old’s choice, is already looking for a time slot successor. Kudlow’s departure from a regular role comes in a time of great flux for CNBC and for cable news’ financial networks overall. Still the top-rated over Bloomberg and Fox Business, CNBC’s ratings shrink annually — and it’s shifting its primetime focus to alternative programming.

CNN’s Piers Morgan to End in Three Weeks; Bill Weir, Jake Tapper to Sub at 9 P.M. (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
CNN’s Piers Morgan will officially end his primetime show at the end of the month and will be temporarily replaced by alternating hosts, including Bill Weir and Jake Tapper, network sources said Friday. Mediaite Morgan will be off for the week of March 17, during which time Weir will fill in, and then Morgan will return the next week for the final leg of the show. Tapper will afterwards temporarily occupy the 9 p.m. slot. Weir was reportedly being courted as a replacement for Morgan in the 9 p.m. time slot. Network insiders have indicated that Weir shot two pilots, receiving “mixed reviews,” which may explain why the network is unwilling to commit to him at this time. HuffPost Tapper has been a widely acclaimed anchor at 4 p.m. CNN’s decision to do a public audition is in line with the network’s recent strategy under president Jeff Zucker, under which reality shows and five-week tryouts for some of its veterans have been recently tested on the network.

ESPN’s Nate Silver Site to Debut March 17 (THR)
Nearly eight months after his surprise exit from The New York Times for ESPN, Nate Silver’s new website officially has a launch date of March 17. The statistician and blogger unveiled the news during a panel on Saturday at the South by Southwest Festival. Silver was speaking on a panel with Bill Simmons, whose own ESPN pop-culture site, Grantland, was launched in June 2011. TheWrap Silver will bring the data-driven style of journalism that made him a big hit with Times readers. He will continue covering political polling, but will broaden his focus to include sports and entertainment. Silver has also amassed an impressive bench of editorial talent, including managing editor Mike Wilson, formerly of The Tampa Bay Times; senior writer Carl Bialik, formerly of The Wall Street Journal; and senior editor Micah Cohen, who partnered with Silver at the Times.

Ted Turner Admitted to South American Hospital for Appendicitis (CNN)
CNN and Turner Broadcasting System founder Ted Turner was admitted to a hospital while traveling in South America, his spokesman said Friday. TVNewser Turner, 75, was treated earlier that day at a hospital in Bariloche, in the western part of Argentina, and was later transferred to the Argentine capital. Turner owns three ranches in Argentina, including one near Bariloche. Reuters Workers at the San Carlos clinic said Turner was there in the early morning complaining of acute abdominal pain but was able to leave on foot. He then took a jet to Buenos Aires to be treated at the Argentine Institute for Diagnosis and Treatment in the upscale neighborhood of Barrio Norte.

Eric Danetz Named Publisher of Fortune (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Eric Danetz has been named publisher of Fortune, Time Inc. publisher Jed Hartman announced in a memo to staff Friday morning. Danetz comes to Fortune from Defy Media, where he was chief revenue officer. He previously led sales teams at Newsweek Daily Beast, CBS Interactive and CNET. Ad Age The appointment fills a vacancy created when then-Fortune publisher Brendan Ripp moved to Sports Illustrated. It’s a telling hire, given Danetz’s role at Defy, whose brands include humor sites such as Break.com and fashion and lifestyle sites such as Gloss.com.

PBS’ POV, New York Times Pact on Digital Documentary Series (Variety)
POV, the long-running PBS documentary series, and The New York Times Co. have formed a partnership to present a series of online-only documentaries, with companion articles and interviews, over the course of 2014. Digital Journal The half-hour film The Men of Atalissa, by Dan Barry and Kassie Bracken and produced by the Times, kicked off simultaneously on the websites of POV and the Times on March 8. Concurrently, an article by Barry was published on the paper’s website, and POV featured a behind-the-scenes online interview with the journalists. Barry’s article appeared in the Sunday print edition of the Times the following day.

Today Feeling Fight Again After Sochi (The Associated Press)
NBC’s Today show didn’t leave its mojo in Sochi and is feeling newly energized in the program’s perpetual battle with ABC’s dominant Good Morning America. After winning in the ratings for two weeks during the Winter Olympics — NBC’s first weekly wins since the London games in summer 2012 — the Today show has kept some of its momentum now that Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and the team are back in the New York studio. GMA was back on top the week after the Olympics, recording 5.79 million viewers to 5.46 million at Today, the Nielsen company said. The margin of some 330,000 viewers, however, compared favorably to the average 1.1 million viewer gap ABC had built up this television season heading into the Olympics.

Ezra Klein’s New Site Will Be Called Vox.com (JimRomenesko.com)
Ezra Klein: “I have loved the code name Project X, but that’s not going to be the name of the site. The name of the site is Vox.com.”

New York Times Is About to Release an App Without All The News (Mashable)
The paper of record will soon launch a new app that puts the paper second. At an event on Saturday at SXSW, The New York Times gave reporters a look at its soon-to-be released subscription mobile app that will cost $8 per month. NYT Now will provide readers with a curated feed of stories with specially crafted blurbs of key points, allowing readers to scroll down without tapping to get an idea of the most important news of the moment. The new app is not designed for current readers of the Times. It is meant to attract an audience that the paper has had trouble tapping — the mobile-first reader. It is the first clear admission from the Times that the strength of its product alone is not enough to counter the growth of mobile consumption.

Cartoon Network Aims at Devices With Its ‘Micro-Network’ Launch (NYT / Bits)
Cartoon Network will release an app later this year that will deliver original 15-second content bites — videos, games, polls and trivia — solely to mobile devices, the company said Friday. Cartoon Network Anywhere, which the company calls a “micro-network,” aims to tackle the brand-new technology question of how to deliver device-specific content.

20th Century Fox TV Names Glamour Editor, Others to VP Roles (Variety)
Jen Weinberg, the former West Coast editor of Glamour magazine, has come onboard 20th Century Fox Television as vice president of talent relations and events, the studio announced Friday. She will report to Chris Alexander, SVP of corporate communications and publicity. With the announcement also came word that the studio was promoting Jennifer Carreras to vice president of comedy development and Mandy Summers to vice president of current programming.

Freedom to Consolidate Spanish-Language Weeklies (Orange County Business Journal)
Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Holdings Inc. plans to consolidate two Spanish-language weekly newspapers into a zoned, regional publication called Unidos en el Sur de California. The change is scheduled for March 21. The publication will combine staff currently working at Freedom-owned weeklies Excelsior in Orange County and La Prensa, which covers Riverside and the Coachella Valley. Both titles will cease production on March 14.

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