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The Atlantic Apologizes for Scientology Ad (NYT / Media Decoder)
The Atlantic on Tuesday issued a simple three-word apology for publishing an advertisement by the Church of Scientology that resembled a normal article from the acclaimed magazine: "We screwed up." Chicago Tribune / Reuters The sponsored post, which went live Monday at 9:25 a.m. PT, touted 2012 as a "milestone year" for the secretive church, which has been steeped in controversy throughout the years. It was taken down about 8:30 p.m. and replaced by a message saying the magazine had "temporarily suspended this advertising campaign pending a review of our policies that govern sponsor content and subsequent comment threads." FishbowlDC Inserting sponsored content into websites is the newest revenue stream for online publications, but this was something different. BuzzFeed and HuffPost have streamlined the process of slipping in sponsored material while making it clear that it's a commercial. Clearly, that method was lost in translation for The Atlantic. Not only did they present this story in the manner that they did, they also moderated comments to prevent people from negatively reacting to the piece. Forbes / Mixed Media The vehemence of the backlash here and the swiftness of the Atlantic's reaction have telescoped what are really two issues into one, so let's unpack it. The first is: Should The Atlantic be taking advertising from Scientology? Bloomberg Businessweek Putting things right with readers requires two things: clearly marking advertorials as sponsored content and ensuring that these ads actually reflect what readers are actually interested in. The Atlantic's audience (and the magazine's journalists) have long expressed skepticism about the Church of Scientology. As The Atlantic reconsiders how it deploys native ads in the future, its misstep may be a sign for digital publishers to pause before rushing to pursue new forms of digital advertising. The Atlantic / James Fallows That ad was a mistake in both concept and execution. I am sorry that we ran it in the first place, which we and others will always remember as an error; but I think the quick response and forthright statement reflect the best parts of the magazine's tradition.
Daniel J. Edelman, 1920-2013: Public Relations Pioneer (PRNewser)
Tuesday brought sad news for the entire PR world: Daniel J. Edelman, industry innovator and founder of Edelman PR, died of heart failure in Chicago at the age of 92. Edelman, born in New York City on July 3, 1920, displayed an interest in journalism early in his life: He produced a community newspaper with a friend at age 11 and quickly became a sports writer/editor before earning his master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1941. PRWeek Burson-Marsteller founder and chairman Harold Burson said that Edelman, whom he knew for more than five decades, was a "real pioneer in marketing communications." Edelman's Chicago-based firm, which is now the largest in the PR industry, was one of the first to leverage TV and talk shows because of Edelman's creativity in promoting products, he added. Chicago Tribune Edelman started his company in a small office in Chicago's Merchandise Mart in 1952, with his previous employer as his first client. He would go on to develop many of the practices that have become standard in the public relations field. Adweek Edelman's accomplishments also included inventing the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line in 1981 and working with StarKist to introduce dolphin-safe nets in 1989.
Wired Pushes Digital-First Strategy with Facebook Exclusive (Adweek)
Tuesday afternoon, Facebook gathered members of the press at its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters to unveil its newest feature: Graph Search. Shortly after, Wired magazine published a lengthy article by senior writer Steven Levy detailing the work that went into conceptualizing and executing Graph Search, complete with exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with the tool's main creators and Mark Zuckerberg himself. While the access granted to Wired is remarkable -- Facebook rarely lets outsiders in on its inner workings -- so is the way in which the magazine chose to release its story. AllFacebook Ever since Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed the topic of search at TechCrunch Disrupt in September, industry experts have been wondering what the social network would do. The answer is Facebook's Graph Search -- a tool that combines Web searching with the connections that users have on the site. Forbes / The New Persuaders For all their professed modesty, what struck me at the company's press event introducing the service was how specific and broad-ranging Zuckerberg and his Graph Search leaders were about what it could provide: just about everything, potentially, that every company from LinkedIn to Yelp to Foursquare to Match.com to... yes, even Google provides today.
Ross Levinsohn Named CEO of Guggenheim Media Brands (Adweek)
Adweek's parent company has a new CEO. Prometheus Global Media, owner of Adweek, The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, said that it has named former Yahoo! exec Ross Levinsohn CEO of the collection of music, media and entertainment brands, which has been renamed Guggenheim Digital Media. FishbowlLA It's intriguing mano-a-mano news for PMC's Jay Penske, overseer of Deadline and Variety, and arguably an ominous development for Sharon Waxman's The Wrap.
Layoffs Occurring at Reuters; Nine Expected in Editorial (Talking Biz News)
An undetermined number of Reuters employees are currently being laid off, a company representative confirmed to Talking Biz News. Those layoffs include at least nine editorial staffers, according to a Guild memo obtained by Talking Biz News.
Fox News Channel Announces Coverage Plans for Inauguration (Zap2it / TV by the Numbers)
Fox News Channel will provide live coverage of the inauguration of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden beginning at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 20. Special Report's Bret Baier and America Live's Megyn Kelly will co-anchor America's Election Headquarters: Inauguration 2013 for the private ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. ET along with the public event on Monday, Jan. 21 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. ET and 9-10 p.m. ET live from Washington. TVNewser PBS will broadcast a special daytime edition of NewsHour Monday to cover President Obama's second inauguration. Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will anchor beginning at 11 a.m. ET. They will be joined by syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks, as well as presidential historians Richard Norton Smith, Beverly Gage and Anette Gordon-Reed.
How The New York Times Scored its Journal News Interviews (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
In the field of media reporting, Rupert Murdoch is a hot interview. Roger Ailes is a hot interview. Nate Silver is a hot interview. Over the past three weeks, though, a group of heretofore-anonymous editors and executives who do their business in White Plains, N.Y., have come to rival such stars in the category of media "gets." They're the braintrust of the Journal News, the Lower Hudson Valley newspaper that last month published the names and addresses of gun permit holders in Rockland and Westchester counties, stirring a prolonged controversy over privacy and public safety. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In addition to expanding New York's ban on assault weapons and implementing new measures to keep guns away from the mentally ill, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's new gun legislation package includes a "Journal News clause" that would prohibit newspapers from publishing the names and addresses of gun permit owners.
Miami Herald Announces Furlough Program (JimRomenesko.com)
At McClatchy's Miami Herald, "most full-time employees who work a regularly scheduled 40-hour week, including executives and managers, will be required to take one week of unpaid furlough by June 30, 2013," publisher David Landsberg writes in a memo that was sent out Tuesday afternoon.
Picturehouse, Small Film Distributor, Is Returning (NYT / Media Decoder)
Picturehouse is back. The small, feisty distributor of some daring indie films, including Pan's Labyrinth and Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, is being rebuilt -- independently of its former owner, Time Warner -- by the film entrepreneurs Bob and Jeanne Berney and fellow investors. THR The relaunched company's first release will be Metallica Through the Never, starring Dane DeHaan (Chronicle, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and members of the rock band in the story of a young member of the band's crew. The film is written and directed by Nimrod Antal (Kontroll, Predators) and will hit theaters Aug. 9.
How Twitter Has Become Controversial at the TV Critics Press Tour (THR / Bastard Machine)
Behind the scenes of the Television Critics Association winter press tour, there's probably no bigger issue between our group and the broadcast networks and cable channels than the use of Twitter in the sessions. There always are issues, but tweeting seems to be the latest Big One. This isn't that surprising to me; networks have been complaining about the press tour for ages. It's always something. And now it's tweets.
Dick Stevenson Named Times' Chief Washington Correspondent (Capital New York)
Amid the ongoing editor shake-ups at The New York Times, Richard W. Stevenson has been named chief Washington correspondent. Stevenson was previously the paper's political editor and has also served as deputy D.C. bureau chief, White House correspondent and economics correspondent.
Patch Aims for Profitability, Shifts Platforms (CJR / Behind the News)
Patch hopes that all 903 of its hyperlocal news sites will be profitable by the end of 2013, and that many of them will have migrated to a less-newsy, more community-based platform, company president Warren Webster said on Tuesday evening. He was interviewed by Forbes media reporter Jeff Bercovici at the end of the first day of Street Fight Summit, the hyperlocal conference.
Politico Creates Full-Time Marketing Unit (FishbowlDC)
Politico is creating a full-time marketing unit. The new head of it will be Sara Olson, who has received a major promotion to the post of vice president of marketing. "It's no secret that all of us think the world of Sara," said COO Kim Kingsley in an internal memo, who adds that Sara has never failed at any assignment. Note to Sara: Not to worry, expectations will be on full tilt.
National Book Awards to Add Longlist (Publishers Weekly)
In an effort to broaden the reach and impact of the National Book Awards, the National Book Foundation will select a longlist of 10 titles in each of its four categories (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people's literature), beginning in 2013. The longlist (10 titles per category) will be announced five weeks before the finalists (five titles per category) announcement: in 2013, the longlist will be announced on Sept. 12, the finalists on Oct. 15, and the winners on Nov. 20.
Across the World, Money to Support Journalism Startups Comes From a Variety of Sources (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Many journalists invest their future hopes in the idea of the paywall -- the notion of readers paying directly for access to online content sounds tempting for an industry struggling to find revenue. But finding journalistic startups who make a profit by selling original content directly to an audience is a challenge. Our international research project, Sustainable Business Models for Journalism, built case studies of 69 startups in 10 countries and found only a handful of startups where charging for content was a significant part of their business model. So if it's not paywalls, how are the world's journalistic startups making money online?