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Posts Tagged ‘Gannett’

Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Axes Abramson | Snowden Book Rights to Sony | CBS Touts Tradition

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The New York Times Replaces Abramson as Executive Editor (NYT)
Jill Abramson has been dismissed as executive editor of The New York Times and is being replaced by Dean Baquet, the managing editor, an abrupt change in leadership at one of the nation’s largest daily newspapers. FishbowlDC Abramson served as executive editor since 2011 and was the first woman in the role. According to the Times‘ coverage of the announcement, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of the paper and the chairman of The New York Times Company, told a stunned newsroom that had been quickly assembled that he had made the decision because of “an issue with management in the newsroom.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Despite significant achievements, Abramson’s tenure was marred by tension with Sulzberger and disagreements with Times Co CEO Mark Thompson, who took an unprecedentedly hands-on approach to managing the paper’s editorial resources. Abramson also suffered from perceptions among staff that she was condescending and combative. Mashable Abramson previously served as the Times‘ Washington bureau chief and managing editor before taking the executive editor role. People with knowledge of the Times newsroom said some staffers questioned how much Abramson enjoyed running the paper. She was sometimes conspicuously absent from the newsroom; one notable occasion was the day after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the New York region. New York Post / AP Baquet, 57, who is the first African-American to hold the newspaper’s highest editorial position, received a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 1988. Baquet originally joined the Times in 1990 as a reporter and held positions including deputy metropolitan editor and national editor. He left the paper for the LA Times in 2000, where he served as managing editor and then editor. Baquet rejoined the Times in 2007 and was Washington bureau chief before becoming the managing editor for news in Sept. 2011. FishbowlNY Former FishbowlNY editor Dylan Stableford was prophetic when he covered a breakfast event in 2008 and wrote: “Dean Baquet looked an awful lot like the next executive editor of The New York Times.” The New Yorker / Currency As with any such upheaval, there’s a history behind it. Several weeks ago, I’m told, Abramson discovered that her pay and her pension benefits as both executive editor and, before that, as managing editor were considerably less than the pay and pension benefits of Bill Keller, the male editor whom she replaced in both jobs. “She confronted the top brass,” one close associate said, and this may have fed into the management’s narrative that she was “pushy,” a characterization that, for many, has an inescapably gendered aspect.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon, HBO Ink Deal | Net Neutrality on The Ropes | Mixed News for Gannett

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HBO Classics Coming to Amazon Prime (LostRemote)
Amazon is continuing its streaming-TV push, partnering with HBO on a multi-year deal to exclusively bring classic HBO shows to Amazon Prime subscribers, the two companies announced Wednesday. Variety Terms of the deal were not disclosed; it covers only the U.S. Under the agreement, Amazon has exclusive SVOD rights for select HBO programming and will make the first wave of it available to Prime subscribers beginning May 21. That includes full seasons of The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, as well as miniseries like Band of Brothers and John Adams. GigaOM Some of HBO’s newer shows will also be available, with a substantial delay: “Previous seasons of other HBO shows, such as Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will become available over the course of the multi-year agreement, approximately three years after airing on HBO.” In addition, Amazon said that it will add HBO Go to its recently launched streaming video box, Fire TV — “targeting a launch by year-end.” New York Post HBO’s coveted content has long been kept beyond reach of outside content bundles like Amazon and Netflix, and only available to subscribers. Amazon’s win will surely be viewed as a loss for Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who still dominates the bundled streaming space, but who also recently announced a price increase for new subscribers. Amazon also increased its prices, but is also seeking to expand its customer base with Fire TV. THR Amazon Prime also has exclusive online-only subscription deals for PBS’ Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, CBS’ Under The Dome and upcoming Halle Berry-headlined miniseries Extant as well as 24, Veronica Mars, Orphan Black, The Americans and Justified. But it has had less success with its own original series; neither Alpha House nor Betas has achieved the pop culture significance of Netflix’s Kevin Spacey drama House of Cards.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Unveils Fire TV | Strahan to Join GMA | Peabody Award Winners

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Amazon Announces Set-Top Box ‘Fire TV’ (LostRemote)
Amazon continues its quest to become more than an e-commerce powerhouse, announcing Wednesday a set-top box that allows HDTV viewers to connect to Amazon’s video offerings. Mashable The set-top device, called Amazon Fire TV, will be sold for $99. It is a small flat box with a remote control. The hardware aims to take on the Apple TV, Roku and even the Xbox One. The Internet-connected set-top box, which uses voice search when you speak into the remote and also serves as a gaming console, was announced during a launch event in New York City on Wednesday with Amazon VP Peter Larsen playing master of ceremonies, not CEO and founder Jeff Bezos. WSJ The new Fire TV is an ambitious move by Amazon to break into the living room. Amazon offers a streaming-video service to its Prime subscribers, but until now has been largely dependent on other hardware manufacturers to deliver that content to televisions. Sales of streaming media devices such as Roku are expected to grow 24 percent this year, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. Apple currently leads the market, followed by Roku and Google, the firm said. NYT Fire TV will show a range of content from other providers, including Hulu, Netflix and ESPN. With a separate $40 controller, it can be used to play games, including a version of the extremely popular Minecraft. Among the improvements and enhancements promoted for Fire TV: a voice search function that allows users to utter a name like “George Clooney” or a genre like “horror” and see results instantly pop up, and a prediction feature that knows what you want and queues it up. THR The small black box began shipping Wednesday, Larsen told a crowd of reporters. It has a premium price point in line with Apple TV. Roku, meanwhile, costs as low as $50 and Chromecast retails for $35.

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Meredith Buys Gannett TV Stations for $407.5 Million

meredith-bMeredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes & GardensEvery Day with Rachael Ray and more, is expanding its TV business. The company has purchased Gannett TV stations located in Phoenix and St.Louis, for $407.5 million.

The buy includes KASW in Phoenix and KMOV in St. Louis. Meredith also acquired KTVK in Phoenix, but is selling it in a different deal to SagamoreHill.

“These are high performing stations and will add to our already strong cash flow,” said Meredith’s CEO, Stephen Lacy, in a statement. “We will increase our presence in the large and growing Phoenix market, where we own KPHO, the CBS affiliate.  KMOV in St. Louis adds another Top 25 market to our portfolio, and when combined with KCTV in Kansas City, gives us powerful local brands in two of the Midwest’s top news and sports markets.”

The purchase is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, pending FCC approval.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Fox News Wins in Court | Twitchy Sold to Salem | Gannett Adds USA Today

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Fox News Reporter Won’t Have to Testify in Colorado (TVNewser)
FoxNews.com reporter Jana Winter cannot be forced to testify in a Colorado court. New York State’s highest court has ruled Winter cannot be compelled to testify about her reporting in the case of Colorado movie theater killer James Holmes. Winter’s story revealed the existence of Holmes’ diary that he reportedly gave to his psychiatrist before he went on his shooting spree. Fox News In a 4-3 ruling based on New York’s shield law, the state Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision that could have resulted in Winter being forced to appear in the Colorado murder trial of Holmes. TheWrap “Today’s ruling is a major win for all journalists,” Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said Tuesday in a statement. “The protection of Jana Winter’s confidential sources was necessary for the survival of journalism and democracy as a whole.” FishbowlNY Lawyers for Holmes wanted Winter to testify about her confidential sources because they said it violated a gag order on the case. Winter’s lawyers claimed that New York’s shield laws should prevent Winter from having to speak up. They were right. Poynter / MediaWire There exists “no principle more fundamental or well-established than the right of a reporter to refuse to divulge a confidential source,” New York’s State Court of Appeals said in its decision Tuesday.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Back Online | Twitter Buys Trendrr | Gannett Cuts 200 Jobs


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New York Times Website Back up After Cyberattack (USA Today)
The New York Times‘ website was back in business Wednesday, a day after it was hacked by what appears to be the Syrian Electronic Army. “The situation is close to being fully resolved,” said Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy, in a statement. LA Times The take-down of the Times‘ website for nearly two days this week exposed how easily computer hackers can exploit the Internet’s Achilles’ heel. As the website was being restored Wednesday, the tech industry scurried to assess the high-profile cyberattack and weigh what measures could be taken to prevent a similar breach. The Washington Post These attacks, which continued to effect some users of the Times and Twitter well into Wednesday, may have such long-lasting effects for two reasons, said Kenneth Geers, a senior global threat researcher at the security firm FireEye. For one, it takes a while for DNS information to move throughout the network — which could explain why some, but not all, users had trouble with the sites under attack. Geers also said that those in charge of security for the Times and Twitter may not have expected this kind of attack, and were caught unaware. “Some networks may never be the same” after this kind of attack, he said. Bloomberg Chalk one up for Twitter Inc. While The New York Times and Google Inc. had visitors to their sites redirected this week by hackers, the microblogging service was better able to deflect attacks because of a simple tool called a registry lock.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Hundreds Gone at Gannett | Free Press Editor Fired | Peyser Leaving NY Post


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Report: More Than 200 Layoffs at Gannett’s Community Papers (Gannett Blog)
Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing newspaper division has now cut an estimated 218 jobs across at least 37 worksites, according to Gannett Blog readers. These figures are very preliminary and are almost certain to rise in the days ahead as more employees are notified. Most of the job losses were through layoffs over the past 24 hours, with a much smaller number comprising open positions that have been permanently eliminated, according to these readers. Other cost-cutting measures across the 81-title division include eliminating travel spending — all, in response to weaker-than-expected advertising revenue in the second quarter that may be spilling over into the current one. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Nine positions are being eliminated at The Post-Crescent in Appleton and seven at the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Among those cut was longtime Press-Gazette editorial cartoonist Joe Heller, sources said. The layoffs include both journalists and non-newsroom employees. Cincinnati City Beat Because of Gannett’s secrecy with staffing issues, it’s difficult to confirm any specific report. No names have been provided yet. JimRomenesko.com Here are the layoff reports I’m getting from Gannett papers.

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Gannett Purchases Fantasy Sports Ventures, Big Lead

Gannett’s USA Today Sports Media Group has acquired Fantasy Sports Ventures (FSV), parent of Big Lead Sports, a popular sports blog. Gannett already had a minority stake in FSV, but with the new deal in place, the company gains complete control over all of FSV’s properties.

The acquisition will boost USA Today Sports Media Group’s web traffic significantly. “The Big Lead sites have done a great job developing unique, independent voices and distinct points of view,” explained Dave Morgan, the USA Today Sports Media Group’s Senior Vice President of Content and Editor-in-Chief. “This acquisition extends our reach and deepens our engagement with core sports audiences, and is a strong complement to our position as a leading national sports property.”

Other sites that are now under the Gannett umbrella as part of the deal include BaseballHQ.com, KFFL.com, TheHuddle.com, Baseball-Reference.com, HoopsWorld.com, HoopsHype.com and more.

Tom Beusse To Lead USA Today Sports Media Group

While Gannett is ordering 17,000 employees to take unpaid furloughs, they have also found a way to create a new position for their flagship title.  Yesterday USA Today president and publisher David L. Hunke appointed Tom Beusse president of USA Today Sports Media Group.  A company press release indicates that Beusse will manage the national sports agenda for USA Today as well as Gannett’s 82 newspapers, 23 television stations, and websites including highscoolsports.net and bnqt.com.

Beusse comes with over two decades of industry experience and most recently served as president and CEO of Westwood One radio network.  He also was president of Time4 Media and Rodale’s Sports Group.

Ex-Time Warner CEO Regrets AOL Merger|Kelly Cutrone’s Book|Clay Risen Joins NYT|Ebony‘s Eunice Johnson Dies|Two New Newspaper Watch Blogs

Silicon Alley Insider: Ten years later, former Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin apologized for the AOL merger.

PRNewser: PR maven Kelly Cutrone (of “The Hills” and “The City” fame) has a new book out, set to hit stands at the same time as her new reality show debuts on Bravo.

The Awl: Author and contributing editor for The Morning News, Clay Risen, is joining The New York Times‘ op-ed page.

New York Times: Eunice Johnson, the widow of Ebony magazine founder John Johnson, died Sunday at age 93. She was famous for directing the traveling fashion shows Ebony Fashion Fair since 1961.

Folio: Battered consumer business magazines hope to bounce back in the New Year.

Gannett Blog: Two new newspaper publisher-related blog offerings from Gannett Blogger Jim Hopkins: New York Times Co. Blog and News Corp. Blog

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