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Morning Media Newsfeed: Venezuela Threatens CNN | Malik Out at GigaOM | NBC Expects Ratings Gold

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Venezuela President Threatens to Expel CNN (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro threatened to throw CNN out of the country on Thursday if the network doesn’t change its coverage of protests and civil unrest in the country. “I’ve asked [information] minister Delcy Rodríguez to tell CNN we have started the administrative process to remove them from Venezuela if they don’t rectify [their coverage],” Maduro said on state TV. Reuters Local television networks have provided almost no live coverage of the protests against Maduro, which began last month over a wide range of complaints including inflation, violent crime, corruption and shortages of basic products. As result, many opposition supporters have turned to CNN Espanol, available to some cable TV subscribers, which in recent days has been the only television network to offer live broadcasts of opposition press conferences. The only other way for Venezuelans to see opposition leaders speaking live is via streaming websites over stuttering broadband. BBC A spokeswoman for the U.S. network, only available on cable in Venezuela, told the BBC it did not have any immediate comments about Maduro’s comments. Last week, the government removed Colombian TV news channel NTN24 from channels offered by Venezuelan cable operators. The government has been highly critical of international media coverage, while protesters say they are concerned with a lack of media freedom, says the BBC’s correspondent in Caracas, Irene Caselli.

Om Malik Leaves Day-to-Day Operations at GigaOM, Becomes Full Partner at True Ventures (GigaOM)
Om Malik: I have decided that it is time for me to no longer be involved in day-to-day operations. I’m looking forward to a long-needed break after more than 25 years at the daily grind of writing the first draft of history. While I will continue to write, it will be at a more measured frequency. I will be at most of our events. I am looking forward to co-hosting Roadmap, our experience and design conference, with Katie Fehrenbacher in November 2014 and we will soon announce further details. TechCrunch Malik founded GigaOM in 2006 during a time of great upheaval in business journalism. Blogs were rising in prominence — including TechCrunch — and business journalism was quickly moving from print to online. His site began focusing on events and paid research in 2008 and it currently employs 70. Pulse 2.0 GigaOM launched a dynamic research platform in 2014 and has many large companies as its customers. This business is growing at the company at a rapid pace, which is why it raised additional funding.

NBC Expects Record Online Viewership for U.S.-Canada Semifinal (NYT)
After nearly 800,000 people watched an Internet live stream of the United States’ 5-2 victory over the Czech Republic on Wednesday in men’s ice hockey at the Winter Olympics, NBC officials began to wonder how many more would stream the United States-Canada semifinal Friday. “We’re talking about a premier event going on at 12 noon, Eastern, with the West Coast awake, too,” said Rick Cordella, senior vice president and general manager for digital at the NBC Sports Group. “It’ll be big, but I don’t know how big.”

Lena Dunham Slams Jezebel for Publishing Her Un-Retouched Vogue Photos (Time)
In an interview with Bill Simmons for Grantland, Girls creator Lena Dunham skewered Jezebel for publishing her un-photoshopped photos from her Vogue shoot: “They made such a monumental error in their approach to feminism… It felt gross.” The call-out was well-deserved. To recap: After Dunham landed on the cover of Vogue‘s February issue, Jezebel offered a whopping $10,000 for un-retouched versions of the photos shot by Annie Leibowitz. At the time, Jezebel wrote, “[Dunham's] body is real. She is real. And for as lovely as the Vogue pictures are, they’re probably not terribly real.” Two hours later, Jezebel got their wish and published the unaltered photos on their site.

Baltimore Sun Media Group to Buy City Paper (Baltimore Sun)
The Baltimore Sun Media Group announced Thursday that it is buying the alternative weekly City Paper for an undisclosed price, bringing the city’s two most recognizable print journalism outlets under the same roof. City Paper will remain independent from the group’s other outlets with a separate newsroom and sales team, said Timothy E. Ryan, publisher, president and CEO of Baltimore Sun Media Group.

National Journal Launches Document Library (10,000 Words)
Need some background research for a complicated energy policy story? Or a good idea for your niche publication to demonstrate its value for readers? Take a tip from the National Journal, which launched a document library this week — free and unlimited to members and subscribers, free and limited for non-members — full of docs, white papers, reports and more.

Time Inc. Takes Stake in 120 Sports (WWD / Memo Pad)
Time Inc. may be in the process of cutting costs and laying-off staff in preparation for its spin-off from parent company Time Warner this spring, but that didn’t stop it from investing in a new venture. The publishing company said Thursday that it has taken a “significant equity stake” in 120 Sports, a digital-only, sports-video programming network that will be launched in the spring. Other partners include MLB Advanced Media, NASCAR, the National Hockey League and Silver Chalice, a Chicago-based digital-video production company. FishbowlNY Two items to note about 120 Sports: There will be no videos from the NFL, which is sort of a popular sport these days, and 120 Sports is free at first, but a premium subscription offering is coming next year.

Patch Hiring Editorial Staff in Wake Of Mass Layoffs (MediaPost)
When Susan Petroni learned on Jan. 29 that she would lose her job as Framingham editor for the Patch network of news sites, the news didn’t come as a big shock. After all, Patch had been such a big money loser that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong ended up selling control of Patch to a firm with no journalism background. In its announcement of the deal last month, new owner Hale Global focused on the local residents and businesses that could use the Patch sites to share content. There wasn’t much attention paid in that statement to professional journalists. So Petroni was ready when the bad news did arrive, amid hundreds of layoffs at Patch that day. But here’s what did surprise her: The CEO of Hale Global called her up within a few days and offered her a job covering Framingham for Patch again.

Independent Cable Networks Don’t Agree on Comcast-TWC Merger (Adweek)
As Comcast prepares to add millions more subscribers to its already vast base, there’s one group particularly vulnerable to the newest and biggest kid on the block: independent cable networks. These folks don’t have the leverage of channels owned by a Viacom or an ABC-Disney — they have to negotiate on their own individual merits, rather than as a value-add (or an additional burden, depending on whether the network or the MSO is talking) to the two or three must-have networks in a portfolio.

ABC News Changes Awful Headline That Sochi Ski Slopes Are Too ‘Macho’ For Women (HuffPost)
ABC News wrote a headline Thursday morning suggesting the ski slopes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics are too “macho” for women to handle. The story was about Olympian Sarka Pancochova, who suffered a hard fall and cracked her helmet in the slopestyle final, and the significantly larger number of women athletes getting injured in Sochi than men. FishbowlNY Now, let’s bring in another word — “awful.” Per some intrepid efforts Thursday by Think Progress senior editor Annie-Rose Strasser and The Huffington Post, that’s the adjective ABC News correctly, subsequently opted for after having altered its “Women Olympians Getting Hurt on Macho Sochi Slopes” headline.

Nick Denton on The New York Times, Bezos, Murdoch and Brown (Capital New York)
Nick Denton’s blog empire has arguably played a significant role in the de-throning of print-centric establishment media. But that doesn’t mean the mercurial Gawker Media boss wants such outlets to go extinct. At least not one of them. “I think the [New York] Times has bottomed out, and now, even though the signs are mixed, it will be able to put on more in digital revenue than it loses in print. Or I hope so, because I like the Times,” Denton tells Jeff Bercovici in a wide-ranging Q&A from the new issue of Playboy, which gave Capital a sneak peek at the interview, publishing online later Friday morning.

Maxim Owners Sue Over Bungled Buyout (NY Post)
Maxim’s parent company has sued media mogul Calvin Darden Sr. over the $31 million buyout of the glossy men’s mag that was bungled by his alleged scammer son. In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court, Alpha Media Group — controlled by creditor Cerebus Capital Management — claimed Darden Sr., 63, and his company, Darden Media Group, failed to make good on a deal to buy the magazine. The $38 million suit follows last week’s arrest of Darden’s son, 39-year-old Calvin Darden Jr., by the feds. Prosecutors claim the scion impersonated his wealthy dad, bilking $8 million from investors who thought they were buying into the Maxim deal.

Politico Calls Out Everybody’s Ukraine ‘Apocalypsticles’ But Its Own (Mediaite)
Sarah Kendzior has an insightful piece up at Politico about the clickbait-ization of the images from Kiev, arguing we are only able to engage with tumults like the one in Ukraine when its violence can be rendered in recognizable forms such as the listicle — she calls it the “apocalypsticle,” reserving particular ire for BuzzFeed’s version. Which is a fair point. But here’s where area Internet writer searches “Politico Ukraine” and notes that results three and four are apocalypsticles, one from Politico‘s magazine and one from the flagship site. They’re called “galleries” and “photo-essays” in real-journo speak, and instead of headlines like “Nine Shocking Photos From Violent Protests in Ukraine” you get the (mildly?) more restrained “Ukraine’s Song of Ice And Fire.”

Critics Want FCC Media Study Thrown on ‘Trash Heap,’ Skeptical of Changes (FoxNews.com)
Critics of a proposed Federal Communications Commission study that would send researchers into newsrooms across America say the new chairman’s vow to tweak the plan doesn’t go far enough — with one leading media group calling on the agency to scrap the study entirely. “Where it really needs to go is onto the trash heap,” Mike Cavender, director of the Radio Television Digital News Association, said in a statement.

Amazon Gets Its TV Box Ready, Again (Re/code)
Amazon is gearing up to take on Apple and Roku, again. Industry sources say Amazon is getting ready to launch a Web TV box that would compete with Apple TV and Roku’s line of products, which make it easy to move video from the Internet onto your TV. People I’ve talked to who are partnering with Amazon believe the company is aiming for a March rollout.

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