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Morning Media Newsfeed: USA Loss Draws 22 Million | WSJ Cuts Newsroom Staff

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21.6 Million Watch USA-Belgium Match on ESPN, Univision (TVNewser)
Between ESPN and Univision, 21.6 million viewers watched Tuesday’s USA-Belgium World Cup match — 16.5 million on ESPN and another 5.1 million on Univision. New York Post The broadcast’s workday time slot meant ESPN’s coverage of USA-Belgium was only the second most watched World Cup game so far. ESPN said the viewership of Tuesday’s nailbiter failed to top the USA-Portugal game, which drew 18.22 million viewers. That game aired on a Sunday evening. Deadline Hollywood While not the record-breaking 10.4 million who tuned in for Mexico’s loss on June 29 to the Netherlands nor the 6.5 million who saw Portugal tie Team USA, Tuesday’s Univision viewership was better than the 3.4 million who watched America’s 1-0 loss to Germany on June 26. Online, Univision Digital saw a record-breaking 1.8 million unique viewers watch Tuesday’s game. AllFacebook The Facebook Data Science Team reported that the match yielded 21 million interactions (posts, comments and likes) from 13 million users globally, including more than 6.5 million interactions from some 4.1 million U.S. users. Variety For the World Cup through the Round of 16, ESPN and ABC averaged 4.08 million viewers — a record audience for the tournament, up 44 percent from 2010 (2.84 million) and 122 percent from 2006 (1.84 million).

WSJ Said to Have Cut 20 to 40 Jobs (NYT)
The Wall Street Journal has cut between 20 and 40 staff members in recent weeks, according to people with knowledge of the matter, as part of a re-evaluation of its newsroom that came at the end of its financial year. FishbowlNY The staffers let go include veteran reporters and editors. The cuts haven’t been announced yet, though surely word has spread within the paper’s newsroom. Capital New York A Journal spokeswoman declined to confirm any of the details. She reiterated a statement provided last week that John Seeley, founding editor of the paper’s Greater New York section, had been let go. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In a statement, Dow Jones said it had been “evaluating many areas of the newsroom to target areas for growth and deploy our resources globally in order to operate efficiently and profitably.” The layoffs come six months after Dow Jones CEO Lex Fenwick abruptly resigned amid what the company described as a change to “institutional strategy.”

Bloomberg’s Heilemann/Halperin Politics Vertical to Launch in October (Capital New York)
Bloomberg employees were informed last week that the first in a planned suite of “digital-led multi-platform brands,” a politics site being developed by high-profile political journalists and Game Change authors John Heilemann and Mark Halperin will debut on Oct. 6 — 30 days before the 2014 midterms. TVNewser The pair will helm a half-hour show in the 5 p.m. timeslot. FishbowlNY Bloomberg Businessweek editor-in-chief Josh Tyrangiel promised that the politics TV show will try to channel the high-spirited nature of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Heilemann and Halperin were hired by Bloomberg in May to head the new, stand-alone brand dedicated to politics with a $1 million-plus price tag for each man, per year, through 2016, plus additional resources for new staff members (total number to be determined).

NBC News Crew Caught in Crossfire in East Jerusalem (TVNewser)
An NBC News crew, including foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, was caught in the crossfire as Israeli soldiers fired rubber bullets and stun grenades at Palestinian protestors in East Jerusalem Wednesday. FishbowlDC Mohyeldin is a former desk assistant at the NBC News D.C. bureau and a graduate of American University. He posted video of rubber bullets fired and stun grenades thrown in the direction of Palestinian protesters and his team wearing gear labeled “press” by Israeli forces to Instagram. NBC reports that Mohyeldin and his team are safe and unharmed. Variety The dispatches come as most TV news organizations are placing more emphasis on digital venues, not simply saving the cream of their reportage for the venerable evening news. In February, NBC News unveiled a redesigned digital site that aimed to burnish its staffers’ journalism efforts with more regularity throughout the news cycle, rather than serving as an afterthought for material already presented on TV.

Vice Media Moving to New Williamsburg Headquarters (WSJ)
Vice Media, the online-content company that has grown into an international symbol of hipness along with its home base of Williamsburg, is doubling the size of its presence in the Brooklyn neighborhood. FishbowlNY If Vice hires an additional 525 Brooklynites, it will receive $6.5 million in state tax breaks. Capital New York The new space, in a 60,000-square-foot former industrial building, is located on South Second Street at Kent Avenue, less than a mile from its current headquarters on North 11th Street. The growing media firm has long been in search of new space. In September, it was initially reported that the company would stay much closer to its current headquarters by expanding into a building on the same block.

Facebook Looks to Bolster Video Advertising With Acquisition of LiveRail (AllFacebook)
Facebook’s latest acquisition is aimed at bolstering the quality of its video ads and premium video ads, as the social network announced that it has brought video-ad-technology company LiveRail into the fold. GigaOM The acquisition could help Facebook to expand video advertising on its own platform by offering publishers better tools to buy and target ads, but it will also give the company an entry into the video ad business across the Web: LiveRail’s customers include publishers like ABC Family, MLB.com and CBS Interactive. THR LiveRail consists of a bidding platform for video advertising, a technique for matching marketers with ad opportunities, a “Checkpoint” technology for ensuring inappropriate ads aren’t served to children and more.

Weinstein Company Is Said to Consider Spinning Off TV Unit (NYT)
Just seven months after declaring an ambitious thrust into television, the Weinstein Company, best known for its Oscar-winning film operation, is exploring plans to spin off its TV division into a separate company that could be sold to a strategic partner or taken public. Variety The company is looking to retain an investment bank next week at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley and will proceed into deeper consideration of a sale, taking the company public or raising a large sum. According to a person familiar with the matter, several suitors have approached the Weinstein Co. over the last three to four months, but the company really had its interest piqued in the last 60 days. At present, the independent studio is producing 22 reality shows, seven scripted shows and has another handful of shows in development.

Reading Rainbow Team Raises $5 Million on Kickstarter (GalleyCat)
LeVar Burton and his collaborators have raised $5 million in 35 days. In addition to crowdfunded money, actor Seth MacFarlane has agreed to donate $1 million which brings the total to more than $6 million. PRNewser The extra money will allow Reading Rainbow to do several things, including the creation of mobile apps and free subscriptions for thousands of in-need classrooms. Wednesday night, the Kickstarter page currently had this promise posted: “We have reached our $5M stretch goal and can help 7,500+ classrooms. Now, every $100K helps another 500+ classrooms!”

Acoca Named AP’s East Coast Entertainment And Lifestyles Editor (The Associated Press)
Shelley Acoca, a veteran editor who has worked at the Miami Herald, Newsday and most recently Fox News Magazine, has been hired as the Associated Press’ East Coast entertainment and lifestyles editor. FishbowlNY At the Herald, Acoca edited 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary Leonard Pitts Jr. and also worked extensively on the paper’s separate Pulitzer Prize-winning breaking-news coverage of the Elian Gonzalez saga. Acoca replaces Lisa Tolin, who moved over to nbcnews.com and today.com as senior health editor.

EU’s Right to Be Forgotten: Guardian Articles Have Been Hidden by Google (The Guardian / Comment Is Free)
When you Google someone from within the EU, you no longer see what the search giant thinks is the most important and relevant information about an individual. You see the most important information the target of your search is not trying to hide. Stark evidence of this fact, the result of a European court ruling that individuals had the right to remove material about themselves from search engine results, arrived in the Guardian’s inbox Wednesday morning, in the form of an automated notification that six Guardian articles have been scrubbed from search results.

Former Katie Topper Rachel Miskowiec Joins GMA as 8 A.M. EP (TVNewser)
Rachel Miskowiec, who was EP of Katie for its final season, joins Good Morning America as executive producer of the 8 a.m. hour. Also announced Wednesday, Chris Vlasto, who has been senior broadcast producer of GMA since 2006, has been named EP of the 7 a.m. hour.

Carol Loomis to Retire From Fortune (FishbowlNY)
Carol Loomis, the legendary business journalist who has worked for Fortune for more than 60 years, has decided to call it quits. Loomis, who has most recently served as an editor-at-large, will continue to sporadically contribute content to the magazine.

Authors Decry Amazon Fight (WSJ)
Some big-name authors have signed an open letter attacking Amazon.com Inc. for its handling of negotiations over a new eBook contract with Hachette Book Group, saying they are collateral damage in the fight. The letter, drafted by best-selling author Douglas Preston, hasn’t yet been posted online for public view. It has circulated privately among authors for more than a week by email.

Journalists at Odds With Union Over Role of Voice of America (NYT)
Voice of America journalists who are fighting to maintain what they say is their editorial independence are now at odds not only with Congress, but also with their own union. The union, the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1812, recently endorsed a bill that would change language in the charter for the 72-year-old news agency and require it to actively support American policy.

Ira Glass’ This American Life Leaves PRI (NYT)
On July 1, This American Life became independent, leaving its distributor of 17 years, Public Radio International, or PRI. That change is partly technical. The program is no longer delivered to local stations through public radio’s satellite system, but instead over the Internet through the online platform PRX, the Public Radio Exchange. But the big impact is financial.

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