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Sunday, Jan 08

Morning Media Newsfeed 01.08.12

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Stephanopoulos Struggles With Fairness During N.H. Debate (Daily Caller)
ABC News commentator George Stephanopoulos directed pointed, hard-edged questions to Republican presidential candidates during Saturday night's New Hampshire debate, often attacking without providing evidence to justify his broadsides. TVNewser: A question from a viewer, Phil in Virginia, read by Diane Sawyer during Saturday night's GOP debate on ABC culminated with Newt Gingrich taking a shot at the news media, which got a round of applause from the audience at St. Anselm College. At issue: gay marriage. HuffPost: Rick Kaplan, producer for Saturday's ABC News/Yahoo!/WMUR debate, says he doesn't "remember a debate that [had] as much on the line as this one." Mediaite: Rick Santorum got into a testy exchange with Boston's WBZ political analyst Jon Keller, who asked the Republican hopeful about his views on the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. HuffPost: Rachel Maddow took her (mostly) fruitless quest to get a Republican presidential candidate on her show to a new level Friday. FishbowlDC: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) ended her presidential campaign Wednesday morning following a dismal finish in the Iowa Caucuses. We posed the question to Washington journalists: What will you miss most about covering Bachmann? Here's what they had to say. CJR: By the end of this month, the contest for the Republican presidential nomination will move to the Sunshine State, so you might think that readers there had a particular interest in the outcome of this week's Iowa caucuses. If so, they weren't well-served by the state's newspapers. Inside Facebook: Mitt Romney might have edged his opponents in Iowa Tuesday, but Santorum and Ron Paul both surpassed the former Massachusetts governor in daily Facebook growth after the primary. Washington Post / @innovations: If you've been following the Post's political coverage, you've probably come across @MentionMachine. The tool, which tracks mentions of the 2012 presidential candidates on Twitter and in the media generally, launched Tuesday and is the brainchild of executive producer Cory Haik.

Patrick Buchanan's Future At MSNBC Is Murky, Network's Chief Says (NYT / Media Decoder)
The days of Patrick J. Buchanan as a commentator on news channel MSNBC may be over. HuffPost: The president of MSNBC criticized Buchanan -- the network's controversial pundit, who has been missing from the air for months -- during interviews Saturday and said it is not certain that Buchanan will remain a paid contributor to the network. THR / The Live Feed: CBS News did try to poach Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. Scarborough admitted as much at the show's panel at the Television Critics Association winter press tour Saturday. Asked about the overtures, Scarborough joked, "That's just not true. OK, maybe a little true." "There were a lot of people coming at us," added Brzezinski. B&C: Despite the rumors that Scarborough and Brzezinski were in talks to move their show to another network, MSNBC president Phil Griffin said Saturday at the TCA press tour that he was never worried the duo would depart. Variety: MSNBC is expecting to see election-year ratings gains in 2012, but not as big of a leap as the cabler took in 2008. TVNewser: Robert Traynam, a former Comcast Network host, will join MSNBC as a political analyst, while continuing as a columnist for the Philadelphia Tribune. Also, Robert Gifford has left the Morning Joe team and has been named senior producer of Now with Alex Wagner. And Matt Pitzer has been named senior producer for Andrea Mitchell Reports after working for the past year on the noon ET hour.

Matt Lauer Staying On Today? NBC Chief Says It's His 'No. 1 Priority' (HuffPost)
NBC Universal said it is focused on keeping Matt Lauer as co-host of Today, amid rumors that Lauer's future at the morning show is unclear.


What To Expect At CES: Tablets, TVs, And Transition (paidContent)
The biggest spectacle in the tech industry kicks off Sunday evening, when an estimated 150,000 people will flood into Las Vegas not to place a wager on Monday night's national championship game between LSU and Alabama (I'm taking LSU +1) but to gear up for the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show. Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider: We decided to sift through all the rumors, reports, and news from this week and pick out the stuff we're looking forward to seeing most at CES.

Bravo Gives Kathy Griffin A Talk Show, Announces Premiere Dates (LA Times / Show Tracker)
Comedian Kathy Griffin, a staple personality on Bravo with her outlandish stand-up specials and reality series My Life on the D-List, will be getting her own primetime pop culture talk show on the network in the spring, the network announced Saturday. THR: Griffin's series, a one-hour weekly talk show, is set to premiere this spring. The comedian will use the platform to rant about the week's biggest headlines and tabloid gossip, as well as feature stand-up routines, celebrity interviews, and taped segments. She will also serve up two new one-hour stand-up specials for the network in 2012.

Jim Rome's ESPN Contract Is Up, And He's Taking His TV Show To The CBS Sports Network (The Big Lead)
Sources tell me that ESPN has decided not to renew the TV contract of Jim Rome Is Burning, and the show will be ending its eight-year run (there was a brief hiatus in 2004) at the "Worldwide Leader" this month. An ESPN source wrote in to say that Rome was presented with a multiyear offer to return to the network, but he did not accept it. But the show will go on -- just on a different network. Two sources say that Jim Rome Is Burning will move over to the burgeoning CBS Sports Network. Both sources claim that Rome will have an expanded role at the network beyond the show.

News Corp. Pushes Hacking Settlements As Trial Nears (AdAge / MediaWorks)
News Corp.'s British newspaper unit is close to settling at least 10 lawsuits by politicians, athletes, and other prominent victims of phone hacking before the first civil trial over the scandal starts next month.

Dow Jones Digital Departure: WSJ.com Head To Atlantic Media For New Project (AllThingsD)
According to sources close to the situation, Dow Jones is losing its top online editor. Kevin Delaney, managing editor of The Journal Online -- or WSJ.com, as it is better known -- is taking a job at Atlantic Media, sources said.

Turner Ups CNN Ad Sales Chief Greg D'Alba (TVNewser)
Turner Broadcasting has promoted CNN ad sales chief Greg D'Alba to president, news and Turner digital ad sales. AdAge / MediaWorks: A top industry ad buyer who has Procter & Gamble's muscle behind her is moving to the sales side. In a surprise move, Time Warner's Turner cable unit announced that Donna Speciale -- who for years has supervised ad placement for blue-chip marketers including Procter, Masterfoods, Kraft Foods and Coca-Cola at Publicis Groupe's MediaVest USA -- will join Turner's ranks as president of ad sales for its TNT, TBS, TruTV, and Cartoon Network outlets. Adweek: Speciale arrives in the wake of former entertainment sales chief Linda Yaccarino, who left Turner in October to assume the role of president, cable entertainment and digital advertising sales for NBC Universal. In so doing, Yaccarino effectively ousted Dave Cassaro, a 21-year Comcast vet who was given oversight of all NBCU cable sales in November 2010.

David Frum Joining Tina Brown At Newsweek (New York / Daily Intel)
Conservative journalist and former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum will now work for Tina Brown at Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and he is shutting down his own website, FrumForum.

Fox Scheduling Head Preston Beckman To Move To Senior Strategist (B&C)
Fox Broadcasting announced Friday that Preston Beckman, executive vice president of strategic programming planning and research, will move into a new role as senior strategist for Fox Networks Group. He will assume the role in June, reporting directly Peter Rice, chairman of entertainment, FNG.

Darts And Laurels: Univision, The Miami Herald, And Marco Rubio, The GOP's Rising Star (CJR)
In December 1987, federal police in Miami made their biggest drug bust of the year. Dubbed "Operation Cobra," agents arrested six men who ran a $75 million marijuana and cocaine business under the cover of the exotic animal trade. The ring's kingpin, who had helped hack a federal informant to death in 1980, was sentenced to 100 years in prison. He was released in 2000 after serving 12 years and doing some informing to the feds himself. Also released in 2000, after serving 12 years of a 25-year sentence, was a second-tier associate named Orlando Cicilia. At the time of his arrest, Cicilia's brother-in-law was a high-school student named Marco Rubio. Twenty-four years later, Rubio is a prominent Florida senator and the Republican party's fastest-rising star, a Tea Party darling and the handsome son of hardscrabble Cuban exiles -- er, immigrants -- who is on a very short list to be the GOP's candidate for vice president this year. Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that the senator's fortunes would eventually collide with those of Univision, the nation's leading Spanish-language network and Miami's other fast-rising star. Miami Herald / Naked Politics: After a high-profile politician repeatedly stiff-arms a TV network over an interview, the media company then dredges up a 24-year-old drug-bust story about his brother-in-law. It runs in primetime. Even its viewers bash the story. A newspaper later reports a behind-the-scenes tussle over the story: The network's news chief allegedly offered a deal to soften or kill the drug-bust story if the politician gave the long-sought interview. The news chief denies the allegation. To Columbia Journalism Review's Erika Fry, it was clear who deserved the most-jaundiced look: the newspaper, the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald. The network, Univision, largely gets a pass from CJR for the way it reported and presented the story about the drug bust of Rubio's relative when the current Republican United States senator was a teen. That's right, the self-appointed dispenser of media "darts and laurels" doesn't dwell much on how Univision's report was so newsless on its face and such a potential political cheap shot that the 24-hour news-media machine largely ignored it -- even though Rubio is a vice presidential short-lister.

Analyst: Dolan Moves Forced Rutledge Resignation (Multichannel News)
According to BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield, Cablevision Systems chief operating officer Tom Rutledge abruptly resigned from that position in December after a concentrated effort by his boss, CEO James Dolan, to take a more proactive role in running the cable operations.

Kushner Group Takes Stake In Portland Newspaper (Boston Globe / Business Updates)
A group of investors including Wellesley businessman Aaron Kushner has agreed to take a controlling interest in the Maine newspaper group that includes the Portland Press Herald, Kushner confirmed in an interview. Bangor Daily News / Wicki Biz: Maine Today Media -- the company that owns newspapers including the Portland Press Herald and Kennebec Journal -- announced Friday that it had secured "significant new capital" with a new group of investors led by a former Press Herald executive.

The Weekly Standard Calls Incident 'Anomaly' (FishbowlDC)
The Weekly Standard was suffering from a painful new media advertising hangover Friday morning after Thursday's debacle. As we reported Thursday, the publication's marketing department shot an email blast to subscribers with a letter from an advertiser, Public Advocate, saying gays were "deviant" and trying to "ram" pro-homosexual education through Congress.

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