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Morning Media Newsfeed: Super Bowl Is Ratings Hit | Disney Lays Off Hundreds | Seinfeld on Diversity

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Despite Blowout Game, Super Bowl XLVIII Is Most-Watched TV Show Ever (TVNewser)
That giant sucking sound you heard during the Super Bowl Sunday wasn’t viewers changing the channel. Despite it being a blowout, the Seattle Seahawks’ win over the Denver Broncos averaged 111.5 million people, more than any television program in U.S. history, surpassing the 2012 game on NBC when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots in a much closer game — 111.3 million watched that Super Bowl. The game is also now the most-watched program on Fox, breaking the 111.0 million viewer mark for the 2011′s Super Bowl, when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers. Adweek / VideoWatch Officially, according to Adobe Analytics, Fox’s live stream of Super Bowl XLVIII averaged 528,000 viewers. According to Fox, that’s the biggest live stream of a sporting event in history (a number that is hard to prove, though it would seem to top recent Summer Olympics and March Madness streams). Capital New York The ratings continue to show that the Super Bowl is a juggernaut unlike anything else on TV. Three of the last four Super Bowls have set TV ratings records. While most broadcast programming is losing viewers in an increasingly fragmented video landscape, football — and the Super Bowl in particular — remains untouched by the changes happening in the rest of the media industry. TVSpy The ratings are in for Super Bowl XLVIII, and interestingly enough, the leading market wasn’t Seattle or Denver: As the Seahawks defeated the Broncos 43-8, Kansas City drew the highest ratings, posting a 58.1 rating / 78 share, meaning 78 percent of TVs in use in the Kansas City market were turned to Fox affiliate WDAF. TVSpy Viewers of Little Rock, Ark. Fox affiliate KLRT lost eight minutes of what would normally be prime Super Bowl viewing when the station’s transmitter lost power. The station told viewers on its Facebook page, “We hope to have it restored ASAP. We sincerely apologize.” PRNewser From Vegas to Madison Avenue, everyone was looking to get in on some Super Bowl action. For marketers, that means standing out from the crowd. To accomplish these two things, JCPenney thought it would be a good idea to send out fake drunk tweets.

Disney’s Interactive-Media Unit to Lay Off Several Hundred People (WSJ)
Walt Disney Co.’s interactive-media unit is preparing to lay off several hundred people despite a strong launch for its videogame Infinity, according to people close to the company. The cuts at Disney Interactive, which has undergone multiple rounds of layoffs in recent years as it struggled to reach profitability, are expected to begin after the media giant releases its quarterly financial results Wednesday, these people said. Disney Interactive has about 3,000 employees. Variety The division, which has long struggled to turn a profit and has undergone a series of layoffs over the years, can claim only two positive quarters in the past five years. LA Times / Company Town The layoffs would follow other recent cuts. In January 2013, Disney Interactive cut 50 jobs and closed Austin, Texas-based Junction Point Studios, the developer responsible for the Epic Mickey titles. In January 2011, the company shut down Propaganda Games, the development studio responsible for the Tron: Evolution video game, and laid off about 200 people.

Jerry Seinfeld on Diversity in Comedy: ‘Who Cares? Are You Making us Laugh or Not?’ (BuzzFeed)
At the height of Seinfeld’s popularity, the NBC comedy was repeatedly accused of presenting an exclusively “white” view of its diverse New York City setting. During Jerry Seinfeld’s BuzzFeed Brews with CBS This Morning interview on Monday, BuzzFeed business editor Peter Lauria asked about the enduring criticism, which has carried over to his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Web series. The Crackle docu-comedy featured white male performers (like Larry David, Ricky Gervais, Alec Baldwin, and Michael Richards) in the first batch of episodes, but later included Sarah Silverman and Tina Fey. “People think it’s the census or something,” Seinfeld said of the assertion that all pop culture should accurately reflect society. “This has gotta represent the actual pie chart of America? Who cares? Funny is the world that I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested. You’re not funny, I’m not interested. I have no interest in gender or race or anything like that.” Gawker Seinfeld is downplaying the work of everyone from Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby to Aziz Ansari, Mindy Kaling and Eddie Huang, who are all in various stages of their own sitcoms that just might turn out to be the next Seinfeld. Capital New York “Network TV just seems smaller to me than the Internet,” Seinfeld said Monday night. “Why would I put a show on a big heavy rectangle in your house when I can put it in your pocket? I would much rather put it in your pocket.”

Spin Media Being Spun Out to Creditors (NY Post)
Spin Media, a network of pop-culture sites that hypes itself as one of the top 50 networks in the country, has hit the wall. Faced with dwindling venture money and a mountain of debt, the company has undergone an assignment for the benefit of creditors and flipped the old company to a new one with some new backers. The deal means that $125 million in equity that venture firms put in over the years is wiped out.

Facebook Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary With Nostalgic ‘Look Back’ Video (The Verge)
As Mark Zuckerberg reflects upon Facebook’s first 10 years as a company Tuesday, he’s encouraging the community he built to do the same. Starting Tuesday morning, hundreds of millions of Facebook users will receive a notification that a video summary of their life so far on Facebook is ready to watch. Each user’s “Look Back” compilation contains 15 or so of their most-liked photos, statuses and life events set to a catchy tune. The videos are a bit cheesy, but are potent reminders that for many of us, Facebook has become a very normal way to document our daily lives.

Ryan Holiday Is Now Betabeat’s Editor-at-Large (FishbowlNY)
From freelance writer, to regular columnist, to friend, to consultant, to editor-at-large. That’s how Ryan Holiday Monday summarized his two-year arc with the New York Observer‘s Betabeat.

BuzzFeed’s Investigative Unit Coming Together (USA Today)
BuzzFeed’s investigative reporting unit is coming together. The site best known for its offbeat lists and dead-on sense of the digitally viral hired Mark Schoofs away from the highly regarded investigative site ProPublica to launch its unit. And Schoofs, who started work at the beginning of the year, has signed up three investigative reporters. BuzzFeed on Monday announced the hiring of the third one: Aram Roston, who won a couple of Emmys when he worked for NBC News.

There Are No Al Jazeera Journalists Reporting in Egypt (CJR / Behind The News)
These are deeply uncertain times for journalists in Egypt. On Wednesday, the country’s chief prosecutor general leveled a raft of criminal charges against 20 Al Jazeera journalists, some of them in absentia, accusing them of joining a “terrorist group,” broadcasting false news, and distorting Egypt’s image abroad. Part of what alarms press freedom advocates is that the accusations appear to hinge on the content of Al Jazeera’s reporting.

Cord Jefferson Quits Gawker to Write for LeBron James’ Starz TV Show (JimRomenesko.com)
Cord Jefferson is leaving Gawker to write for LeBron James’ new Starz TV show. Gawker editor John Cook’s memo also announces that Gawker has hired Jay Hathaway, Daily Dot news editor and one of “Twelve People Actually Worth Following On Twitter.”

In Des Moines, The Register’s New Newsroom Space Aims to Be A Symbol of Its Digital Future (Nieman Journalism Lab)
The Des Moines Register said goodbye to almost a century worth of memories in June when it left its 13-story home for a floor-and-a-half of commercial real estate in what had been vacant office space. The newspaper had a lot of goodbyes, many of them painted poignantly by Iowa columnist Kyle Munson in a series boldly called “Tradition on the Move.” And there’s a lot to say hello to as well, including the chance to use physical space as a way to sell people on the Register’s digital vision.

Purdue University Will Investigate Police Treatment of Student Reporter (Poynter / Media Wire)
Purdue University’s Office of Legal Counsel responded to requests for an investigation from the student newspaper and the National Press Photographers Association over the Jan. 21 detention of student photojournalist Michael Takeda.

The Debrief Aims to Be More Than ‘BuzzFeed for Girls’ (The Guardian)
Bauer Media has launched digital brand The Debrief, targeting twentysomething women, with a promise that it is more than “BuzzFeed for girls.” The Debrief officially launched online on Monday, with the brand available on platforms including Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter. Lauren Holleyoake, publisher of The Debrief, says that there is a gap in the market for pushing a highly-targeted product at “constantly connected, influential, 20-something women.” “Our target market does go to Mail Online, Stylist, Metro — those broad, mass-market brands — but they don’t feel it is really them; they are not as targeted,” she said.

On Kristof’s Column About Dylan Farrow And Woody Allen, ‘Only Questions’ (NYT / Public Editor’s Journal)
As I’ve been thinking about Nicholas Kristof’s Sunday column and the related blog post that have caused so much discussion and disagreement, a number of thoughtful emails from readers have arrived. I, too, have long found much to admire in Kristof’s work. And I was glad to see that he had asked Allen for comment and had disclosed his relationship with the Farrows. But, while acknowledging that Times columnists appropriately have very free rein in choosing subject matter and commenting on it as they see fit, I am troubled by the same questions raised by readers.

Rupert Murdoch to Be Inducted Into U.S. Television Academy Hall of Fame (The Guardian / Greenslade Blog)
Next month, lest it has passed under your radar since the official announcement in December, Rupert Murdoch will be inducted into the U.S. television academy hall of fame. He is one of six people selected by the academy for the latest inductions on the basis that their “careers have made a significant impact on the medium.”

The Daily Download Lives: World’s Greatest Website’s Videos Still Air on Public Television (BuzzFeed)
The Daily Download, the much-scrutinized project of media personalities Lauren Ashburn and Howard Kurtz that was shutdown in November 2013, still exists — at least on public TV in Arkansas. A series of video reviews that Kurtz and Ashburn made for Maryland Public Television (MPT) have been airing on Jonesboro, Ark., public television throughout the month of January. A representative of KTEJ, a public television station which is part of PBS-member Arkansas Educational Television Network, said they received “a new batch” of Daily Download videos from MPT in January and they use them as “filler” between programs.

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Mediabistro Chats

What was your favorite Super Bowl ad?

twitter MareHeffernan By far, the Budweiser clydesdales-puppy ad….

twitter jessicajurek Dortios time machine or Audi doberhuahua, followed closely by Budweiser shelter puppy and Clydesdale

twitter GO_Liv7 puppy Budweiser commercial was tooooo cute

twitter bynette I have to say @AnheuserBusch‘s #bestbuds ad. No contest.

twitter mariammouna #AmericaIsBeautiful all the way.

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