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Tuesday, Jan 15

Morning Media Newsfeed 01.15.13

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CNET Reporter Resigns, Questioning CBS' Commitment to 'Editorial Independence' (TVNewser)
CNET reporter Greg Sandoval has resigned from the CBS-owned website, citing a lack of confidence in CBS' commitment to editorial independence. Last week, CNET named Dish Network's Hopper, which allows viewers to skip primetime commercials on the major broadcast networks, as a finalist for its "Best in Show" award at CES. CNET later removed the Hopper from the list "due to active litigation involving our parent company CBS Corp." CBS is involved in a lawsuit with Dish over the ad-skipping technology. NYT / Media Decoder The outcry was instantaneous. "We are saddened that CNET's staff is being denied its editorial independence because of CBS's heavy-handed tactics," the Dish Network chief executive, Joseph P. Clayton, said in a statement. "This action has nothing to do with the merits of our new product. Hopper with Sling is all about consumer choice and control over the TV experience. That CBS, which owns CNET.com, would censor that message is insulting to consumers." The Washington Post Sandoval added later, "CNET wasn't honest about what occurred," referring to the site's initial characterization of what happened. "We are supposed to be truth tellers." The episode has prompted a flood of online criticism not just of CBS but of CNET, one of the most heavily visited technology sites on the Internet and, until last week, one of the most respected and credible. Bloomberg / Tech Blog CNET said in a blog post Monday that the Hopper had actually won its top prize, only to be rejected by CBS. The parent company forced CNET's staff to re-vote, according to editor-in-chief Lindsey Turrentine. The Razer Edge gaming tablet ended up winning the Best of CES award. The Hill / Hillicon Valley Turrentine said managers at the tech blog fought hard to honor the original vote "and -- when it became clear that CBS Corporate did not accept that answer -- to issue a transparent statement regarding the original vote." Forbes / The Hedged Knight This is bad news for CNET, and will certainly harm the site's credibility with readers through no fault of its staff. Even so, the staff at CNET are being as transparent as possible about the events in the fallout of the re-vote.

Lance Armstrong Admits Doping to Oprah (CBS News / AP)
A person familiar with the situation says Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah Winfrey during an interview Monday that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France. The admission -- made in an interview to be broadcast Thursday on Winfrey's network -- was first revealed by The Associated Press and later confirmed by CBS News. Winfrey will appear on CBS This Morning on Tuesday to talk about the Armstrong interview. The Washington Post The two-and-a-half-hour interview will be edited to 90 minutes and aired on the OWN Network at 9 p.m. ET Thursday. But the marketing push to drive viewership to the cable network started almost immediately, with Winfrey tweeting "Just wrapped up with @lancearmstrong More than 2 1/2 hours. He came READY!" LA Times The immediate reaction: Could this guy possibly handle things any worse? Is there not one person in his collection of advisors, lawyers and public relations people who could have made him understand what a mistake it was to take his story to Oprah's confessional? Will he try to win back our affection by jumping on a couch as Tom Cruise did while proclaiming his love for Katie Holmes? Does he expect that hand-wringing and tissue-dabbing will make all the bad stuff go away?

Robin Roberts to Return to GMA in 'Weeks' (TVNewser)
ABC News and Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts made her "special announcement" Monday, and as expected, she announced that her course of treatment is at a point where she will be able to return to GMA in "a matter of weeks, not months." In fact, Roberts hopes to return in February, though she said she would rely on her doctor's advice before deciding on an exact date. NYT / Media Decoder When Roberts revealed last year that she had been diagnosed with MDS, short for myelodysplastic syndromes, a rare blood and bone marrow disorder, ABC News executives were careful not to predict how long she would be away. Some said they assumed she would be absent for six months to a year. But her body is responding well to the transplant from her older sister, Sally-Ann, according to her doctors. New York Daily News She likened her plan to an "athlete coming off injured reserve." She said she'll ease into the "process of re-entry," starting with getting up early. "I got up at 4 o'clock this morning. I have to get back on GMA time," she said. "One thing I have not missed is that alarm clock. Next week, my doctors have me doing what I'm calling a dry run. I'll get up, go to the studio. I'll have makeup and hair. Well, makeup. We'll talk about the hair later." The Washington Post / AP "I haven't been live on television since the end of August," she reminded her colleagues Monday. "My heart is beating so fast right now. But that means I'm alive. I'm alive!" Roberts hasn't exactly been absent from GMA. Reports on her condition have been faithfully showcased on the show, maybe to excess in the minds of some observers.

The Atlantic Pulls Scientology 'Sponsor Content' After Online Uproar (THR)
The Atlantic has removed from its website a paid "sponsor content" story touting Scientology after other news organizations and bloggers raised questions about the piece. In the paid advertorial posted Jan. 14 on theatlantic.com, the Church of Scientology promoted its accomplishments in 2012, including the opening of 12 flagship "Ideal" Scientology Churches around the globe. It also lavished praise on church leader David Miscavige and was replete with photos of him and the new church buildings. The posting came in advance of the Jan. 17 publication of New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright's new history of the religion, Going Clear. HuffPost The Internet predictably went wild over the post, which also seemed to be having its comments moderated by Atlantic staffers. The magazine eventually withdrew the post entirely, writing, "We have temporarily suspended this advertising campaign pending a review of our policies that govern sponsor content and subsequent comment threads."

Golden Globes Ratings Surge (NYT / Media Decoder)
The latest edition of the Golden Globes soared in the ratings on Sunday night as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler -- two graduates of Saturday Night Live -- proved that good writing and experience with live television comedy can translate into widespread plaudits. Sunday's broadcast on NBC drew the best ratings for the show in six years. Indiewire As a meaningful measure of film or television quality, the Golden Globes are and continue to be goofy and erratic at best. (At worst? Pia Zadora: never forget.) But as an awards show, Sunday night's iteration -- the 70th -- was uncommonly entertaining, filled with unexpected weirdness, humor, poignance and honesty along with the usual backpatting (and all of it coming in on time at three hours).

PBS Chief: Organization Addressing Newtown Tragedy's 'Big Issues' with Week of Coverage (THR)
PBS will dedicate a week of news and public affairs programming to an examination of the Newtown tragedy. The announcement came Monday during PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger's executive session at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. The special week of programming will begin Feb. 18 and include Frontline, PBS NewsHour, Nova, Need to Know and Washington Week With Gwen Ifill. The Washington Post / The TV Column "PBS is not where you go for breaking news," Kerger told TV critics in announcing the project, which will debut Feb. 18. "Where we can add to the conversation is to step back. . . and say: 'OK, where are the big issues and where does this take us?'" The week of "Newtown" programs will look at violence in the media, gun laws, mental illness, school security and other topics connected to the killing of 20 schoolchildren and several adults in Newtown, Conn.

Discovery Taps Tamron Hall to Host New Investigative Series -- Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall (Indiewire / Shadow and Act)
One of the reasons why MSNBC is quite possibly the "blackest" cable news network broadcasting right now, Tamron Hall has been tapped by the Discovery network to host a new series for its leading mystery-and-suspense network, Investigation Discovery (ID). Titled Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall, the hour-long, 13 episode series, will see host Hall, joined by a team of correspondents who are law enforcement pros, to go beyond the headlines and find out not only what happened, but why it happened, and how it was investigated.

ESPN's Stuart Scott Announces on Twitter That His Cancer Has Returned (Yahoo! / The Turnstile)
ESPN anchor Stuart Scott has announced that his cancer has returned. On Monday evening, he wrote on Twitter: "Blessed by prayers..I'm back in the Fight. C reared its head again. Chemo evry 2 wks but I'll still work, still work out... still #LIVESTRONG" Amid tweets of sympathy from followers, including Robert Griffin III and Jason Taylor, Scott remained upbeat.

WSJ to Bow New Magazine: WSJ. Money Is for the Rich Set (Adweek)
Whether it's taking stock of one's own wealth or gawking at others,' people's interest in money seems limitless. So says The Wall Street Journal, which is giving personal finance the glossy treatment with a new magazine insert, WSJ. Money.

Teen Newspaper L.A. Youth to Cease Printing After 25-Year Run (LA Times / L.A. Now)
The issue of L.A. Youth intended to mark 25 years of the newspaper produced for teens by teens will also be the end of its run. The newspaper -- printed six times a year and distributed in schools across Los Angeles County -- was centered on first-person accounts of young people writing about themselves, their culture and their community.

Hearst Boasts Record-Breaking March (Adweek)
After a strong showing in September, Hearst Magazines is looking to clean up again with its March issues on the strength of fashion, retail, luxury and beauty ads. With much to crow about, the company got a jump on its rivals in putting out its numbers for the March issue, which, along with September, are fashion magazines' biggest of the year.

New Khaled Hosseini Book to Publish in May 2013 (Publishers Weekly)
Khaled Hosseini's new novel, And the Mountains Echoed, will be published by Riverhead on May 21, 2013. The author's first book in six years, the publisher stated the book is about "how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations."

Netflix Nabs Cartoon Network, Adult Swim Programs in Deal With Warner Bros. TV (The Wrap)
Netflix's library of television titles continues to grow after reaching another exclusive licensing deal with the Warner Bros. Television Group. Starting this spring, a variety of titles from Cartoon Network and Adult Swim will become available to subscribers, while a deal with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. will bring seasons one and two of TNT's Dallas reboot to the streaming service in January 2014.

Coca-Cola to America: 'Yes, We're Making You Fat' (PRNewser)
The biggest story in the global branding game over the past few months was the innovative partnership between Pepsi and Beyoncé -- a deal that gives an unprecedented degree of creative power to the world's biggest pop star. Mark Bittman may not think it's OK for celebrities to sell soda, but that won't stop Pepsi's new frontwoman from dominating America's biggest PR stunt, The Super Bowl. One thing you almost certainly won't hear Beyoncé discussing in 2013: the relationship between soft drinks and obesity. A certain other soda, on the other hand, just announced plans to address the issue directly.

Facebook Preps Radically Visual Redesign of the Mobile News Feed (TechCrunch)
Facebook's mobile apps look like shrunken versions of its website. Soon, that could change. I've seen first-hand the employee-only iOS app build of an evolved form of Facebook's mobile news feed, which ditches the empty blue and white chrome for full-screen photo tiles and overlaid text. Reminiscent of Flipboard, Google+ for iPad, and Microsoft Metro, the fresh design could make Facebook's feed exciting again.

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