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Morning Media Newsfeed: NY Post Fires 13 | NSA Leaker Revealed | Couric to CNN?


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Layoff Day at The New York Post
(Capital New York)
Brooklyn court reporter Mitch Maddux and staff writer Pedro Oliveira Jr. are among those that sources tell Capital lost their jobs at the New York Post Friday in a round of layoffs that was foreshadowed last month when editor Col Allan announced he was seeking a reduction of 10 percent of the paper’s staff. JimRomenesko.com Allan’s memo about Friday’s layoffs: “The decision to lay off employees is not one that we make lightly, but it is a necessary step as we continue to reduce costs, refocus our priorities, and re-imagine overall how we run as a company. The future of the Post is as vibrant as its brand, both in print and digitally, and we will continue to focus on the core areas we see key to a strong future.” NY Observer The news comes in advance of the expected June 28 News Corp split, when the book and newspaper assets will separate from the more lucrative TV and film properties. The shakeout is expected to be rough.

Edward Snowden: Former CIA Man Behind The NSA Intelligence Leak (The Guardian)
The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell. The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said. TVNewser Hours after he appeared on two Sunday shows — ABC’s This Week and CNN’s Reliable Sources — Glenn Greenwald‘s source has been revealed as a computer technician for a defense contractor who says he’s worked with the CIA and, more recently, the NSA. As for his part in this, Greenwald, live from Hong Kong, told Howie Kurtz he feels a sense of vindication in revealing the information because of what he calls the “subservient behavior” by some members of the American media when reporting on the government. TVNewser Snowden has been holed up in a Hong Kong hotel room for nearly 3 weeks, since he fled his NSA post in Hawaii with the last of the documents he intended to disclose. Gawker Snowden was living with his girlfriend in Hawaii, earning $200,000 a year, and fully intended to make his identity public when he decided to leak the documents. He told the NSA he needed a few weeks to deal with his epilepsy, and then fled to Hong Kong with the documents. He knew that his life would never be the same, but his belief in letting the public know what was being done, and the extent of the spying, led him to his choice. HuffPost Trevor Timm, a member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, tweeted Ellsberg’s reaction to the news about Snowden on Sunday: “I was just with Dan Ellsberg as he learned about Edward Snowden. He called Snowden a hero, said he’s been waiting for him for 40 years.” BuzzFeed When the news broke identifying Snowden, the tweets calling him a hero outweighed those calling him a traitor nearly 30-1, according to data from Topsy. HuffPost / The Backstory The rapid succession of scoops has helped raise the profile of the Guardian‘s U.S. edition, which launched online in September 2011 and is part of the 192-year-old British newspaper’s strategy to compete as a global news destination online. Janine Gibson, editor-in-chief of Guardian US, told The Huffington Post on Sunday that her outlet has found success in breaking stories on this side of the Atlantic because “there is a lack of skepticism on a whole in the media on the issue of national security.” ZDNet / Ed Bott On Thursday, June 6, The Washington Post published a bombshell of a story, alleging that nine giants of the tech industry had “knowingly participated” in a widespread program by the NSA. One day later, with no acknowledgment except for a change in the timestamp, the Post revised the story, backing down from sensational claims it made originally. But the damage was already done. The real story appears to be much less controversial than the original alarming accusations. All of the companies involved have established legal procedures to respond to warrants from a law enforcement agency or a court. None of them appear to be participating with widespread surveillance.

ABC Gossips That Katie Couric Could Join CNN After Her Daytime Show Ends (NY Post / Page Six)
Speculation has recently swirled over the future of Katie Couric’s ABC daytime talk show, and sources tell Page Six that Katie might not make it to a third season. Behind the scenes, sources say the show has weathered drama since the departure of executive producer Jeff Zucker, creating a “very stressful” situation with “staffing weirdness” and “no one making decisions.” The Atlantic Wire So let’s operate under the assumption Couric will leave ABC, even though she’s signed long-term and network reps decline she’s on the move, and join Zucker at CNN. Where does Couric fit in? She could bounce Kate Bouldan from CNN’s new morning show that had a long, arduous search to find its “Katie Couric” role. Katie Couric would probably qualify. Sorry, Bouldan. Or, more likely, Couric could move into the (admittedly crowded) primetime lineup. There have been rumors swirling for months about what Zucker will do to makeover CNN in primetime, from landing Leno to reviving Crossfire, but a classic Zucker move would be to replace the apparently vulnerable Piers Morgan. The move has been speculated about before.

Despite Report of Her Firing, Nikki Finke Is Still Standing (NYT)
For close readers of the entertainment trade press, the story that rocketed around Hollywood a week ago offered a familiar and juicy tableau. Citing unnamed sources, the exclusive, headlined “Shocker,” suggested that a powerful, unruly star in the entertainment industry had been fired by a boss who had finally had enough. FishbowlLA The most noteworthy element in David Carr‘s summary of the latest Sharon Waxman-Nikki Finke coup de guerre is his claim that Finke’s contract does not, as reported elsewhere, allow her to opt out starting this month. Rather, the New York Times media columnist says Finke’s obligations to PMC run through 2016 and that it is only next year, 2014, that an opt-out clause can be exercised.

Is There Plagiarism in Jonah Lehrer’s New Book Proposal? (Slate / BrowBeat)
I’ve now had a chance to read the 62-page proposal and chapter outline, pebbled with 102 citations and discursive footnotes, for myself. So what’s in Jonah Lehrer’s Book of Love? More of the same, in every way you can imagine. It’s a self-help book disguised as a science book that’s dismissive of self-help books. “I will never forget the taste of disgrace in my mouth, the dryness and bitterness coating the tongue,” Lehrer writes in his introduction, but he manages to forget that neural signal in all the text that follows. It’s as if he’s washed his mouth with bromides. The Atlantic Wire Daniel Engber at Slate, having procured his own copy, discovered similarities between the text of the proposal, mainly concerning the idea of love, and a March 2013 essay by Lehrer’s former New Yorker colleague Adam Gopnik. How bad is it? The renewed calls of semi-plagiarism hinge on Lehrer’s discussion of Charles Darwin’s marriage. For example, in his own essay, Gopnik wrote that “the Darwins went on to have something close to an ideal marriage,” whereas in his own proposal, Lehrer wrote that “the Darwins went on to have a nearly ideal marriage.”

Magazines Find Success Selling iPad Ads (Mashable)
Most magazines witnessed a slight decline in print ad sales in the first quarter of the year, with a few exceptions in the food, beauty and fashion categories. But while print sales were lackluster, one area did see a nice uptick in growth: sales of ads on iPad editions. The Publishers Information Bureau surveyed 58 magazine titles about the number of print ad pages and iPad ad units each sold between January 1 and the end of March. On average, those titles sold around the same number of print ad pages as they had in the same period the previous year.

How NY Post Is Acknowledging ‘Bag Men’ Libel Suit: It’s Not (TheWrap)
When the New York Post thought it had big news in the Boston bombing investigation, it splashed images of two young men — one of them a 16-year-old high school student — across its front page under the headline “Bag Men.” But when those men turned out to have nothing to do with the bombings — and sued the paper for libel — the Post‘s coverage was much less splashy. In fact, it doesn’t seem to have acknowledged the libel suit in print or online in any way.

What The Sun-Times Tells Readers Who Cancel Their Subscription Over Photo Staff Layoffs (JimRomenesko.com)
A Romenesko reader from Chicago writes: “Here’s the response I received when I canceled my Sun-Times subscription. We were all mistaken — the photographers were not fired. Their contracts were changed to freelance from salaried. I hope this makes them feel better.” (The reader asked I not use her name because she works in a school’s communications department and “we still have to work with whoever is left at the Sun-Times before they turn the lights out.”)

CNN Rehires Kelly Wallace, Primarily as Digital Reporter (NYT)
CNN said it will announce on Monday the rehiring of Kelly Wallace, a former correspondent there, as it continues on a talent recruitment effort led by Jeff Zucker, who took over the cable news channel at the beginning of the year. Wallace, 46, was a national correspondent on television when she last worked at CNN seven years ago. In a sign of all that has changed since then, she will be a digital correspondent this time, working primarily for CNN.com and appearing regularly on television, CNN said. When she starts in July, her beat will be women’s issues.

WDRB Explains Why It Thinks ‘Breaking News’ Is Broken (TVSpy)
Monday, WDRB began airing a promo saying, “You hear the term, ‘Breaking News’ quite frequently these days. It’s a marketing ploy to convince you that a television station is better at bringing you the news first, as it happens. The problem is, it’s just not true.” TVSpy asked Bill Lamb, president and general manager of WDRB, to put a little context behind the station’s decision.

Is Media Becoming Device Dependent? (PBS / MediaShift)
Not long ago, I heard Hearst Corp. magazine chief executive David Carey relay a remarkable development: Since the debut of the iPad Mini, paid electronic subscriptions for Hearst magazines had skyrocketed. When he said this in February, at the Dive Into Media conference, the iPad Mini wasn’t even three months old. Though the Mini is now outselling the original iPad, the 7-inch version still makes up a small percentage of the total number of tablets out there. And yet, it’s driving an outsized percentage of Hearst’s paid subscriptions.

Intel Offers to Pay Up for Internet TV Programming Deals (Reuters)
Intel’s talks to buy content from media companies for its new TV service are advancing, and the chipmaker is offering to pay as much as 75 percent more than traditional cable rates, people familiar with the talks said. But Intel has yet to close any programming deals, said the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to comment.

Celebrities’ Product Plugs on Social Media Draw Scrutiny (NYT / Bits)
Today, when celebrities and people with large followings on social networks promote a product or service, it’s often impossible to know if it’s an authentic plug or if they were paid to say nice things about it.

Simon Cowell Egged During Britain’s Got Talent Finale (Deadline London)
The seventh season of Simon Cowell‘s Britain’s Got Talent concluded Saturday night with Hungarian shadow dance troupe Attraction crowned the winners. But it was during the performance of third-place Welsh singing brothers Richard and Adam Johnson that a woman raced on stage and started pelting judges Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams with eggs. It later came to light that the egg-hurler was Natalie Holt, a member of the Johnsons’ backing group. She was summarily pulled off stage and issued an apology.

Maurice Sendak’s 85th Birthday: Google Doodle Goes Where The Wild Things Are (The Guardian / Books)
The illustrations of renowned children’s author Maurice Sendak, who would have turned 85 on Monday, is the subject of Google’s latest doodle. The doodle is an animation of the illustrations contained in some of his best-selling books such as Where the Wild Things Are, which has sold around 17 million copies worldwide, mostly in the US.

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