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Wednesday, Jan 18

Morning Media Newsfeed 01.18.12

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Jerry Yang, 'Chief Yahoo!,' Steps Down From Board (NYT)
Jerry Yang has left Yahoo!, the stumbling Internet company he co-founded 17 years ago, the company announced Tuesday. In a statement, Roy Bostock, Yahoo!'s chairman, said Yang would immediately give up his board seat at Yahoo! and step down from the boards of the Alibaba Group and Yahoo! Japan. WSJ: Yang rode Yahoo!'s swift rise and subsequent decline over 17 years. Now the co-founder of the one-time dominant Internet company has decided to stop hanging on. TechCrunch: For the first time, it sounds like Yang is completely abandoning any official role within the company. He's leaving the board, resigning from all other positions within the company, and also resigning from Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba. GigaOM: Yang co-founded Yahoo! back in 1995 along with David Filo. Since then, Yang has been very active with the company, serving for a short time as CEO and otherwise maintaining a spot on the board of directors and the cheeky title of "Chief Yahoo!." paidContent: It is a surprising move, but only in its timing and its thoroughness. Activist shareholders -- most notably Third Point's Daniel Loeb -- have called for his resignation, concerned in part that Yang was on the board while he was exploring ways to take the company private. NY Post: Yang has never been a shareholder favorite, especially after he helped thwart Microsoft's offer to buy the company for $45 billion in 2008 -- widely considered one of the worst business decisions ever. AdAge / Digital: More than an executive, Yang was a powerful symbol for employees, even as Yahoo!'s fortunes started to slip. But his presence during repeated failed attempts to reinvent the company meant that he was associated with its inability to evolve from its storied past. AllThingsD: Yes, he jumped, even though being pushed was surely looming on the horizon ahead. But the decision by Yang to leave Yahoo! was indeed sudden, with the board meeting just Tuesday morning about the issue. It was so sudden, in fact, that Yahoo!'s key execs -- including its communications arm -- had only a few minutes' heads up to what is arguably one of the more momentous events in the history of the Silicon Valley Internet giant. CNET: Let the naysaying begin. Now that Yang has severed his remaining ties with the company that he co-founded, the news cycle is not going to be especially kind recalling his legacy at Yahoo!. Invariably, Yang is going to get called out for having blown a chance to sell Yahoo! to Microsoft for more than $47 billion. Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider: What an amazing ride. And what an amazing accomplishment! Although some of the commentary surrounding this news will center on Yahoo!'s challenges and missteps over the past decade, let's not miss the bigger picture: Yahoo! is, by any measure, an extraordinary success story. AllThingsD: According to sources close to the situation, Yang is just the first shoe to drop in what is shaping up to be what looks like a large exodus of board members from the Silicon Valley Internet company. Sources said four other directors will also step down soon. As I wrote last week, in a post suggesting that Yang might also go, the prime candidates to go appear to be chairman Roy Bostock, Arthur Kern, Vyomesh Joshi, and Gary Wilson. Forbes: It's unclear at this moment how this will affect Yahoo!, which recently chose a new CEO, Scott Thompson. But it's the surest sign yet that Yahoo! may finally be able to make some substantial changes that investors have been clamoring for for years now. Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider: Now that Yang is gone from Yahoo!, it's time for Bostock to follow him out the door. Bostock has made three big moves since taking his spot on Yahoo!'s board: The botched Microsoft acquisition, the hiring of Carol Bartz, and the hiring of Thompson. Forbes: Let's take a look at what people are saying about the news on Twitter, where Yang's name is a trending topic.

A Spare Lectern And Little Left To Chance At Republican Debate (NYT)
Jon M. Huntsman Jr.'s sudden decision to quit the presidential race and endorse Mitt Romney left Fox News with an empty lectern on its debate stage and a gaping hole in its script Monday night. But it also left one of the debate's moderators, Bret Baier, with a nagging feeling. TVNewser: During Monday night's Fox News debate, Newt Gingrich made sure to #answer, while Romney decided to #dodge. That is according to Twitter, which posted the results from its tracker, which asked viewers to tweet whether candidates answered or dodged questions using hashtags. FishbowlDC: Though Huntsman is out of the race, his campaign left a (mostly) lasting impression among the Washington press corps. Some opened up to FBDC and shared their favorite memories of his failed candidacy. Gawker: Let's check the AP photo caption: "Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, accompanied by his wife Callista, meets with prisoners during an event at the Jones Memorial AME Zion Church, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, in Columbia, S.C."

Minneapolis Stations Talk To Friends, Family Of Missing Cruise Ship Passengers (TVSpy)
Minneapolis stations have been reporting this weekend on Jerry and Barbara Heil, the Minnesota couple that remain missing after Friday night's Costa Concordia cruise disaster. Mashable: Before Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia's tragic disaster Friday, some citizens of the island Giglio looked toward the sea to get a glimpse of the boat, following a Facebook prompt from a ship worker's sister.

Wikipedia, Google Black Out Sites To Protest SOPA (CNET / Privacy Inc.)
Three of the Internet's most popular destinations -- Google, Wikipedia, and craigslist -- launched an audacious experiment in political activism Tuesday evening by urging their users to protest a pair of Hollywood-backed copyright laws. AdAge / Digital: Google, owner of the world's most popular search engine, placed a link on its highly visible home page Wednesday opposing the House and Senate bills, joining protests by Wikipedia and other websites. Business Insider / AP: Can the world live without Wikipedia for a day? The planned shutdown of one of the Internet's most-visited sites is not sitting well with some of its volunteer editors, who say the protest of anti-piracy legislation could threaten the credibility of their work.

Gray Lady May Not Always Have Paris-Based IHT (NY Post / Media Ink)
The departure of a second top editor from the International Herald Tribune in recent days has stirred new speculation that it may be the next item on the New York Times' chopping block.

Condé Conquest (NY Post)
Si Newhouse is going to need a bigger cafeteria. The magazine titan's glam-magazine house, Condé Nast, is expanding big-time at 1 World Trade Center -- even before the iconic tower is finished. WWD / Memo Pad: In anticipation of its move to 1 World Trade Center in about two years, Condé Nast has committed to an additional 133,000 square feet of space, on top of its original deal to occupy 1.05 million square feet.

As Politico Expands To NYC, Will Media Elite Care? (Yahoo! News / The Cutline)
Politico celebrated its fifth anniversary Monday with an announcement that it is expanding its free print distribution to New York. FishbowlNY: Politico is coming to the streets of New York. Well, most of the streets. The company will distribute about 4,000 copies of the paper to "business leaders," and it will target "financial institutions, leading companies, and national media organizations." FishbowlDC: There's no doubt Politico is a monster born from the self-obsessive culture of D.C. But what does that have to do with New York City? / Media Alley: For its first few years of existence, Politico generated the vast majority of its revenue from selling advertising in its print product, which is available by subscription (another revenue source), as well as at newspaper boxes, Starbucks, and prominent government buildings in and around D.C. Adweek: To break it down, 2,400 copies will be available in newspaper boxes across Manhattan; around 900 copies will be "individually addressed and delivered to financial executives, media personnel, both broadcast and print, as well as select personnel in Madison Avenue advertising agencies"; and another 800 copies will be dropped in 40 locations around the city, according to a statement from Politico's media director, Kim Kingsley. The National News of New York will be in charge of distribution. Poynter / MediaWire: Among the news outlets that will receive copies: ABC News, CBS News, CBS Radio Network, NBC News, MSNBC, CNN, Fox News Channel, Fox News Radio, Thomson Reuters, The New York Times, The Associated Press, ProPublica, and the New York Daily News.

AP Updates Its Stance Toward Twitter For The Third Time This Year (AllTwitter)
It must be tough to be in the traditional journalism field. Us tech bloggers have cut our teeth on social media, making mistakes and learning the ropes as we grew. But traditional journalists have had it tougher when it comes to social: They have big brother Associated Press telling them what to tweet and what not to tweet. Poynter / MediaWire: AP updated its social media guidelines Tuesday, adding sections about correcting erroneous tweets and deleting tweets. AP: The main changes, revealed in a note to staff by AP social media editor Eric Carvin and deputy managing editor Tom Kent, are the addition of procedures for correcting erroneous tweets and a short section on deleting tweets. Also, in the examples in the section on retweeting, the placement of the designation "RT" has been moved to conform with more common Twitter usage.

Sarah Palin Slams Newsweek For Giving 'Conspiracy Kook Writer' Andrew Sullivan Cover Story (Yahoo! News / The Cutline)
Like many conservatives, Sarah Palin is up in arms over this week's controversy-baiting Newsweek cover story by Andrew Sullivan, who asks, "Why Are Obama's Critics So Dumb?" Unlike many conservatives, Palin's beef with Sullivan is personal. HuffPost: Fox News' Megyn Kelly tore into Sullivan Tuesday, criticizing him and the magazine for his controversial story about President Barack Obama. In response, Sullivan challenged Fox News to have him on to debate the story. Mediaite: Newsweek's (and Tina Brown's) decision to put Sullivan's provocative essay (and an even more provocative headline) on the cover was purely about getting people to talk about Newsweek. That was the theory put forth by a Fox News panel during a segment dedicated to…talking about Newsweek.

New York Post Launches New Kindle Fire App (FishbowlNY)
Add the New York Post to the growing list of publications that are releasing apps optimized for the Kindle Fire and, in this case, other seven-inch Android tablets, too.

Reuters And YouTube Join Forces To Launch Reuters TV (FishbowlNY)
Reuters and YouTube have teamed up to launch Reuters TV, a site packed with video analysis and commentary much more educational than what you typically watch online. TechCrunch: Reuters is arguably the biggest news provider among the 100 being featured on YouTube's partner page. And plans for its newly arrived TV news channel are no small effort. Mashable: The 10 shows have been built around a number of Reuters' established verticals and more recognizable journalists, including finance blogger Felix Salmon and social media editor Anthony de Rosa. NY Observer: YouTube is reinventing itself as a provider of original Internet programming, blah blah blah, now we finally get to have a look at all the writers Reuters has been poaching over the last few months!

Trying To Stay Relevant, Ebony Relaunches Online (Adweek)
Ebony is pulling back the curtain on a new website Wednesday, the latest step in Johnson Publishing CEO (and former White House social secretary) Desiree Rogers' effort to reverse years of ad declines and stay relevant with African-American readers.

Top Six Bimonthly Mags 2011: Weddings And Travel Make Sweet Ad-Page Music (minOnline)
Well, here is proof: No matter what is going on with the economy, people are still getting married and traveling.

Anatomy Of An Error: The Bain Of CNBC's Existence (TVNewser)
After poring over some government documents, CNBC's Eamon Javers reported that Bain & Co., Mitt Romney's former firm, was one of the consulting companies that took part in the auto bailout. Javers' report Thursday seemed like a well-timed piece of information since Romney had been getting broadsided by GOP rivals for his role at Bain. By Thursday evening, the story was being reported on political websites. Friday morning, it was referenced on Squawk Box. But just a few hours later, Javers had written this retraction on "Bain & Co. said it has no connection to the 'Bain Consulting' firm referenced in government documents."

Surprise! The News Shows Up In The Least Expected Places (Nieman Journalism Lab)
More consumers are getting news incidentally -- that is, in the middle of other, non-news activities. And, according to new research, readers often find joy in the serendipity.

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