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Posts Tagged ‘AOL’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Sanfuentes Out at NBC | Dorsey to Disney Board | AOL’s HuffPost Hopes

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Former D.C. Bureau Chief Leaves NBC News (NY Post)
Antoine Sanfuentes, the former Washington bureau chief for NBC News, is exiting the network. The news was confirmed in a farewell note emailed to staff by Sanfuentes Monday morning. The journalist had been with the Peacock network for 24 years. His last day is Jan. 20, he said in the email, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Post. HuffPost His exit is the latest shakeup during what has already been a bumpy year for NBC News. Turness took over as president this past summer, and Today and Meet The Press have both struggled in the ratings. NY Post Turness is turning her attention to her troubled Sunday talk show, Meet The Press — asking staff to write a mission statement and explain what works and what doesn’t, the Post has learned. Turness has been reviewing individual shows one by one with the aim of having staff focus more clearly on winning the ratings wars, sources said. FishbowlDC But while Meet The Press has slipped in recent months from a strong first place in the ratings to third, NBC sources close to the matter tell FishbowlDC that scrapping the show — one of NBC’s marquee brands — is not on the table.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Patch Shutting Down? | Megyn Kelly on Santa | NYT Making Changes

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AOL Chief’s White Whale Finally Slips His Grasp (NYT)
Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of AOL, is finally winding down Patch, a network of local news sites that he helped invent and that AOL bought after he took over. At a conference in Manhattan last week, Armstrong suggested that Patch’s future could include forming partnerships with other companies, an acknowledgment that AOL could not continue to go it alone in what has been a futile attempt to guide Patch to profitability. He called it, somewhat hilariously, “an asset with optionality.” There may be a few options for Patch, but none come close to the original vision for the site. The hunt to own the lucrative local advertising market, Armstrong’s white whale, is over. TechCrunch If Patch is shuttered for good, that represents a significant blow for Armstrong, who has nurtured the site as a pet project since launching it in 2007 while he was still at Google. AOL bought Patch in 2009 after Armstrong became its CEO. AOL says the report that Patch is winding down is “factually inaccurate.”

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New Catchphrase? Tim Armstrong Deems Patch an ‘Asset with Optionality’

ShutterstockTimArmstrongFor Patch local editors grappling with shopping mall Santa features and overseeing in some cases a great many additional hubs, these words likely rang hollow. But to FishbowlNY’s ears, a portion of Tim Armstrong‘s remarks at this week’s UBS conference were Office Space-worthy.

Per a report by Ad Age‘s Alex Kantrowitz, Armstrong suggested that the possibility of a major impending partnership for Patch is one big reason AOL shareholders should view the hyper-local network as an “asset with optionality.” Rather than, say, an “option with assanality” or a “gigantic tactical embarrassment.”

We’re going to suggest right here and now: Any NYC media denizen who manages to seamlessly make use of this terminology at an upcoming holiday celebration will forever earn our admiration. That bowl of spiked punch? That empty conference room? That fully loaded copier? These are all, theoretically, “assets with optionality.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT‘s Embargo Fiasco | AOL EIC Out | SpaghettiOs’ Tweet

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NYT Scoops Itself (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The New York Times had a “groundbreaking” story, and the Las Vegas Sun published it first. Just before 8 p.m. on Sunday, New York Times political editor (and soon-to-be Washington bureau chief) Carolyn Ryan announced via Twitter that her paper had “a very unusual, groundbreaking” story due for publication later that evening. “I can’t say too much but it’ll make u rethink- well, I should stop. Stay tuned,” she wrote. Ryan’s tease gave way to a torrent of inquiries and speculation from fellow journalists — the hashtag #nytguesses became a popular meme. Gawker As time paused for Ryan, the Las Vegas Sun, a subscriber to the New York Times wire, found the story slug and eventually published the full piece on the Sun website around 8 p.m. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski noticed that the Times News Service’s raw budget appeared on the website of the Las Vegas Sun, and that one story sure seemed to fit the bill, as described by Ryan. The Sun appears to have violated its contract with Times News Service. Toward the bottom of the budget, a paragraph stipulates that sharing the document constitutes a violation of the contract terms. Just after midnight the Sun pulled the story and apologized, appropriately, via Twitter. Facebook / Las Vegas Sun “Due to a technical problem, the Las Vegas Sun prematurely published a New York Times News Service story Sunday on the Sun’s website. The problem occurred when a new wire feed that the Sun implemented last week failed to recognize that the story was embargoed for publication at a later time. The Sun has pulled the story from its site and apologizes for this inadvertent error.”

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AOL Editor to be Cut

The axe keeps falling at AOL.com. According to The New York Post, Cyndi Stivers, the site’s editor-in-chief, is out. Stivers joined AOL a mere eight months ago, when she departed Columbia Journalism Review.

The news of Stivers being let go comes one day after AOL dropped 20 staffers, mostly from the editorial side of AOL.com’s homepage.

When Stivers was hired in May, Chris Grosso, senior VP and general manager of AOL Homepages, wrote, “As we evolve AOL.com as a content destination, we will look to Cyndi to ensure the site showcases the most compelling stories relevant to our viewers and drive a distinctive editorial voice.”

We guess AOL will be looking to someone else to accomplish that goal from now on.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Mandela Dies | AOL Lays Off 20 | Rolling Stone Expands

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Nelson Mandela Dies at 95
(TVNewser)
Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, has died at the age of 95. His death was announced by Jacob Zuma, the current president of South Africa. NBC News and CBS both produced special reports beginning at 4:45 p.m. ET, with Brian Williams anchoring on NBC and Scott Pelley anchoring on CBS. David Muir anchored a special report on ABC News at 4:46 p.m. ET. On the cable networks, CNN joined Zuma’s press conference at 4:44 p.m. ET. MSNBC began broadcasting NBC News’ special report at 4:45 p.m. ET, and Fox News joined Zuma’s press conference at 4:46 p.m. ET. Variety The news cablers went into wall-to-wall coverage mode. CNN bumped the planned premiere of its documentary An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story for a primetime block anchored by Anderson Cooper. CNN also has correspondent Robyn Curnow on the ground in Johannesburg. Poynter / MediaWire The Associated Press sent a “flash” alert to members Thursday about Mandela’s death. Such alerts are used “on the rare occasion when an APNewsAlert represents a transcendent development — one likely to be a top story of the year,” the AP Stylebook says. THR The death of Mandela dominated headlines on newspapers and newscasts around the globe Friday as the world mourned one of the history’s greatest freedom fighters and statesmen. UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon honored Mandela as a “giant for justice,” German chancellor Angela Merkel called him a “shining example,” while Indian media compared the late South African leader to Mahatma Gandhi. HuffPost Reporters swarmed Mandela’s home before Zuma’s announcement, according to ITV’s Rohit Kachroo. Lydia Polgreen, the New York Times‘ Johannesburg bureau chief, tweeted that “news broadcasters are deeply emotional, holding back tears as they speak about Mandela’s death.” National Journal The New Yorker, like the vast majority of global media outlets, was ready for Mandela’s death Thursday night. And they prepared a powerful cover tribute to the late South African president. The cover, which will appear next week, is titled “Madiba” and was drawn by Kadir Nelson. Nelson is also the author of a children’s book about Mandela. GalleyCat The activist and world leader was an inspired writer and the author of dozens of books.

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AOL Cuts 20

AOL hired one, but cut 20. On the heels of the company hiring Brian Balthazar away from HGTV, Capital New York reports that AOL has cut about 20 staffers, mostly from the editorial side of AOL.com’s homepage.

AOL, of course, doesn’t comment on dropping people because it’s not exactly a fun thing to talk about. Instead, it issued this statement to Capital:

We are working hard to make sure AOL.com remains a valuable and meaningful product for its millions of daily viewers. It will continue to evolve in 2014 – showcasing stories from our brands and partners that inform people as their day unfolds.

Brian Balthazar Joins AOL as Exec Producer and Head of Programming

Brian Balthazar is joining AOL as executive producer and head of programming for AOL.com. Balthazar comes to AOL from HGTV, where he served as director of original programming and development. He had been with HGTV since 2008.

Prior to his time at HGTV, Balthazar worked at NBC, where he developed the fourth hour of the Today show.

“Brian’s experience is unparalleled and unique – he has original TV programming expertise as well as a world-class production background,” wrote Maureen Sullivansenior VP of brand, marketing and communications, president of AOL.com and lifestyle brands, in an announcement. “He will play a leading role in the future of AOL.com as we program a loved and engaging destination for our loyal viewers.”

Balthazar will join AOL in January.

CJR Finds Its New EIC

LizSpaydTwitterProfilePicJoe Pompeo has the scoop on an important succession.

Liz Spayd (pictured), formerly at The Washington Post, is replacing Cyndi Stivers as editor-in-chief of the Columbia Journalism Review. Stivers left in the spring to become EIC of AOL.com. From Pompeo’s item:

“We’re very excited about Liz’s arrival and have high hopes that she will lead CJR into a new era of influence and digital adaptation,” Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll, himself a Post veteran, wrote in a Thursday morning internal announcement obtained by Capital New York.

According to Pompeo’s previous reporting, Spayd beat out former Roling Stone executive editor Eric Bates. Read the rest of his item here.

[Photo courtesy: @spaydl]

Morning Media Newsfeed: Tribune Co Cuts 700 | NYT‘s D.C. Staff Shakeup | AOL Kills Winamp

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Tribune Co. Reorganizes Publishing Unit, Cutting Nearly 700 Jobs (Chicago Tribune)
Tribune Co. announced a restructuring of its publishing business Wednesday to focus on its digital efforts and streamline operations, resulting in nearly 700 job losses across the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and six other daily newspapers. TVSpy The layoffs, which did not affect the company’s television stations, come at the end of an eventful year for Tribune. The company emerged from bankruptcy in January with a plan to shift focus to its television stations, naming television executive Liguori CEO just weeks later. LA Times / Money & Co The reorganization is “not by any means a Hail Mary pass,” the company’s president and CEO, Robert Liguori, said, stressing that the newspapers are profitable. NYT The cuts, which represent about 6 percent of the company’s 11,000 employees, will affect mostly its business side. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “Unfortunately, organizing around functional lines rather than maintain what we’re doing locally, there is going to be some staff reductions,” said Liguori. “We are not going to be reducing any of our frontline reporters. Over time there will be some small reductions on the editorial side, but we want to maintain our best-in-class local journalism.” Poynter / MediaWire In its most recent financial report, Tribune noted it had eliminated 360 positions in 2013 across the company, which also has a broadcasting division. The reductions came “primarily in publishing,” the company said. NY Post “The move anticipates a tough 2014,” said Ken Doctor, an analyst and founder of Newsonomics. “Tribune is battening down the hatches, looking at another, similar high single-digit decline in print ads. Massive cutting is the only way to preserve meager profit.”

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