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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Profit Plummets | Twitter Beats Street, Stock Soars

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NYT Profits Plummet 21 Percent (FishbowlNY)
As usual, the New York Times’ earnings report features both good and bad news. While the Times’ digital subscriptions continued to grow, the lack of print ad dollars weighed the paper down. HuffPost / AP The New York Times Co. on Tuesday reported earnings that declined by 54 percent in its second quarter, and missed analysts’ expectations. The New York-based company said net income declined to $9.2 million, or 6 cents per share, from $20.1 million, or 13 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. Financial Times Adjusted operating profit, which strips out some one-time items including retirement costs and depreciation, fell 21 percent to $55.7 million. A fall in advertising sales and stepped-up investment in digital products sapped second-quarter profit at the Times as the publisher forecast flat circulation revenue and further declines in advertising in the coming months. Poynter / MediaWire The Times added 32,000 digital subscribers in the second quarter of 2014. The number was driven by its new products — the NYT Now and NYT Opinion apps and the new Times Premier subscription tier. Paid digital-only subscribers now total 831,000, the company said. Revenue from those subscriptions jumped 13.5 percent, to $41.7 million, from the same period a year ago. Total circulation revenue increased 1.4 percent. Mashable During the quarter, the company’s flagship newspaper fired top editor Jill Abramson and replaced her with former managing editor Dean Baquet. A Times spokesperson said at the time that Arthur Sulzberger Jr., publisher of the Times and chairman of The New York Times Company, was spurred by a desire to change how the newsroom was managed.

Stock Soars 30 Percent as Twitter Beats Street on Q2 User Growth, Revenue And Even Turns A Profit (Re/code)
Twitter did not completely fix its growth problem in its second-quarter earnings Tuesday, and it didn’t release a new set of metrics to tell its reach and scale story better to Wall Street. But it did blow away all earnings expectations, with revenue ($312 million, up 124 percent over the year-ago period) and monthly active users (271 million, up 24 percent year over year) up much higher than expected. AllTwitter Mobile monthly active users reached 211 million in the second quarter of 2014, an increase of 29 percent year over year, representing 78 percent of total monthly active users. Deadline Hollywood Twitter saw its shares fly skyward, jumping as high as 31 percent in after-hours trading after it reported much better earnings and continued user growth. Variety Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, on the company’s earnings call, highlighted the 2014 FIFA World Cup as driving up Twitter usage during the second quarter but also said product changes were the primary growth factors. Twitter gained a net 16 million monthly active users in Q2, but “the World Cup itself didn’t really add” to the monthly active user base, said CFO Anthony Noto, who previously was an analyst at Goldman Sachs.

NYT Investigating Plagiarism Charge (FishbowlNY)
The first paragraph of Carol Vogel’s July 24 New York Times item “A Renaissance Master Finally Gets A Showcase” is far too close to Wikipedia for unattributed comfort. Gawker Vogel appears to have substituted and deleted a few words, but otherwise left the structure — and several strings of words — mostly intact. Vogel doesn’t have the strongest record of proper sourcing: In 2013 she took flak from Modern Art Notes’ Tyler Green on three separate occasions for neglecting to credit other outlets who broke art-world stories. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “We’re aware of the situation and are looking into it,” Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy said in a statement. HuffPost Just last week, BuzzFeed fired politics editor Benny Johnson over multiple instances of plagiarism from Wikipedia and other websites in his work. Two anonymous Twitter users were the ones who brought several of the examples to light.

CNBC Now Available on Apple TV (LostRemote)
CNBC has become the first NBCUniversal property available on Apple TV, the network announced Tuesday. Deadline Hollywood Users can watch the channel live, and see shows or clips on demand. CNBC president Mark Hoffman says that makes it possible for viewers “to be in control of their experience.” Pay TV providers authenticating the service include AT&T U-verse, Cablevision’s Optimum TV, Comcast’s Xfinity TV, Cox, DirecTV, Dish Network, RCN, Suddenlink, Verizon FiOS and Wide Open West. Variety Apple TV has also added the Fox Now channel, which provides full episodes of shows including Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Sleepy Hollow, New Girl and Glee, as well as bonus content, with a personalized home screen that recommends content based on user preferences. The five most recent episodes of Fox’s new shows will be available day-after-air for free on Apple TV. Re/code Users will have to prove they’re cable or satellite subscribers before they can watch this content. Apple TV now offers shows from three of the four major broadcasters: ABC, NBC and Fox.

ESPN Suspends Stephen A. Smith for One Week (Mediaite)
ESPN has suspended commentator Stephen A. Smith for a week after he made some controversial remarks about domestic violence (that he apologized for Monday). Variety Smith, who co-hosts First Take on ESPN2, drew notice last Friday when, during a discussion of the NFL’s two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice over allegations he beat his fiancée, Smith suggested that victims of abuse might also be responsible for provoking it. “In Ray Rice’s case, he probably deserves more than a two-game suspension, which we both acknowledged,” he said. “But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation.” NYT In a recorded apology Monday, Smith said that he had failed to properly articulate his view and that he had not intended to say that domestic violence was a woman’s fault. Smith will return to First Take, and to his afternoon ESPN Radio show in New York, next Wednesday. In a statement to employees, John Skipper, ESPN’s president, said that Smith’s remarks “did not reflect our company’s view, or our values. They certainly don’t reflect my personal beliefs.”

July 2014 Ratings: Fox News Marks 151 Straight Months at No. 1 (TVNewser)
Fox News finished its 151st consecutive month as the top-rated cable news network. FNC’s position among total viewers remains strong, with the network beating CNN and MSNBC combined. FNC finished third among all ad-supported cable networks in primetime. THR / The Live Feed CNN reclaimed runner-up status to Fox News Channel for the month by most key measures. What’s most disconcerting for MSNBC might be its total day average among the news demo of adults 25-54. Dropping 33 percent from July 2013, it actually ranked below HLN by 16,000 viewers for No. 4 status. HuffPost Compared to July 2013, every primetime MSNBC show was down in the key demo. Both All In With Chris Hayes and The Rachel Maddow Show dropped 20 percent in demo viewers. The network has been hit with some bad news in recent months. In May, it saw its lowest total day viewer numbers since 2007. But it wasn’t all grim. The primetime shows were up across the board among total viewers, with The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell up by the most (8 percent).

SEC Investigating DreamWorks’ Turbo Write-Down (WSJ)
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. disclosed Tuesday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting an investigation into the company’s write-down on Turbo, a summer 2013 film released by the studio. DreamWorks executives offered few details on the scope and progress of the investigation, saying only that they were cooperating with officials. The disclosure was made on a conference call with analysts following the release of second-quarter earnings. Variety Immediately after the announcement, shares were down 8.9 percent. This news comes on the heels of the studio’s reported loss of 18 cents per share, a net loss of $15.4 million. Analysts had predicted a drop of two cents per share. This marks the second consecutive impairment for the animation studio. Year over year, DreamWorks Animation revenue dropped 31 percent to $147.2 million in the first quarter of 2014, a net loss of $43 million.

Netflix Signs Peering Deal With AT&T to Reduce Buffering (Mashable)
Netflix has reached an agreement with AT&T to give its streaming service direct access to AT&T’s network, with the goal of reducing buffering when subscribers watch shows like House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black. The so-called peering arrangement went into effect on Tuesday. Re/code Netflix had tried to get a free peering deal with AT&T like it has with some other Internet providers, but that didn’t fly with the telecommunications giant. Netflix has cut similar paid deals with Comcast and Verizon, even as it has complained about the need for them.

Politico’s Rachel Smolkin to Join CNN as Executive Editor of CNN Politics Digital (FishbowlDC)
An email to CNN staff Tuesday morning announced that Politico managing editor for news Rachel Smolkin is headed to the network to serve as executive editor of CNN Politics Digital. In this role, she’ll lead CNNPolitics.com across all platforms in an effort to make its work “bolder, buzzier and more essential to audiences in and outside of the beltway.” FishbowlNY Smolkin had been with Politico since 2011. She previously worked for USA Today and American Journalism Review.

Newspapers Lost 1,300 Editorial Staffers in 2013 (FishbowlNY)
According to The American Society of News Editors’ annual census, newspapers are more diverse despite losing 3 percent of newsroom staff. Overall, there were about 36,700 full-time journalists employed at roughly 1,400 papers in 2013. That represents a 1,300-person decline, from 38,000 in 2012. Of those journalists, about 4,900 (13 percent) are racial and ethnic minorities. That’s a 200-person increase from 2012.

NBC Promotes Madeleine Haeringer to EP of International News (TVNewser)
Madeleine Haeringer has been promoted to executive producer of international news at NBC News, SVP of newsgathering David Verdi announced Tuesday. Haeringer has been the executive producer of Richard Engel’s production unit since it was created last year. Before that, she was the senior producer of NBC worldwide newsgathering.

Sebastian Coe Withdraws From Race for BBC Leadership Role (Variety)
Sebastian Coe, who has been the favorite to succeed as chairman of the BBC’s governing body, the BBC Trust, has withdrawn from the race. Coe, who masterminded the London 2012 Olympics and is chairman of the British Olympic Assn., told the Daily Mail he wants to stand instead for the presidency of the International Assn. of Athletics Federations.

NBC Sports Signs Tim Howard as Soccer Analyst (Capital New York)
Tim Howard, goalkeeper for the U.S. men’s soccer team in the 2014 World Cup and Everton in the Barclays Premier League, will join NBC Sports as a game analyst, the network said Tuesday. Howard will cover up to 10 Premier League games this season, providing commentary from the booth or an on-site studio for the pre-game, halftime and post-game shows. As part of the multi-year deal, NBC will schedule his appearances around his matches with the club, and said that it would focus on placing him on marquee games.

Sirius XM Radio Quarterly Subs Rise (THR)
Sirius XM Radio on Tuesday reported improved adjusted second-quarter earnings as it continued to grow subscribers. Sirius, the radio home of Howard Stern, added more than 475,000 net new subscribers in the latest quarter, ending it with a total of more than 26.3 million paid subscribers, a new company record. In comparison, Netflix as of the end of June had 36.2 million U.S. subscribers.‎

Amazon Calls for Hachette to Cut eBook Prices (WSJ)
Amazon on Tuesday described its dispute with the Hachette Book Group as a battle for lower consumer prices on digital titles and a bigger payday for writers. In a posting on its website, Amazon said that it would be willing to accept 30 percent of digital book revenue, the same percentage it currently receives from Hachette, if the publisher agreed to lower digital prices on many of its titles to $9.99 from between $12.99 and $14.99.

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