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Meredith Vieira Said to Be in Talks for Daytime Show (NYT / Media Decoder)
Meredith Vieira, the former co-host of NBC's Today show, is in talks with another division of NBCUniversal about hosting a syndicated talk show. The daytime series would start no sooner than September 2014, people with knowledge of the discussions said. The people insisted on anonymity because the discussions were private and could end without a deal for a new show. TVNewser The show, if it happens, could potentially put Vieira up against her former program The View in some markets, and her predecessor on Today Katie Couric in others. HuffPost Vieira stepped down as the co-host of Today in 2011. She continued to host Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and to do occasional reporting for NBC News. But last week, Vieira announced that she was leaving Millionaire. She alluded to new projects she was working on with NBC. B&C The most likely time slot for any new show on the NBC-owned television stations is 2 p.m., the slot currently occupied by CBS Television Distribution's Jeff Probst, which is averaging a 0.8 live plus same day household rating in its rookie season. Probst is cleared in two-year deals on the NBC-owned stations, but not in the rest of the country, and many do not expect the show to return next year. Deadline Hollywood If she headlines a daytime talk show, Vieira will follow in the footsteps of her Today predecessors Jane Pauley, whose NBCU-produced show was a bust, and Katie Couric, whose ABC-Disney freshman talker is doing OK. NBC Domestic TV Distribution is currently without a top executive as Barry Wallach just announced his departure as president.
'Dear Abby' Advice Columnist Dies at Age 94 (Yahoo! / AP)
Pauline Friedman Phillips, who as Dear Abby dispensed snappy, sometimes saucy advice on love, marriage and meddling mothers-in-law to millions of newspaper readers around the world and opened the way for the likes of Dr. Ruth, Dr. Phil and Oprah, has died. She was 94. Phillips died Wednesday in Minneapolis after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, said Gene Willis, a publicist for the Universal Uclick syndicate. Forbes / Mixed Media While still widely syndicated, "Dear Abby" has lost most of the cultural currency it enjoyed during its decades-long heyday, when it was referenced in numerous movies, songs and works of fiction. While it finally established a presence on Twitter last September, @dearabby has tweeted only a handful of times and has just 45 followers.
Networks Angling for Manti Te'o Interview (TVNewser)
As the Manti Te'o hoax story spreads across the media landscape, the race is on to get the first interview with the star Notre Dame football player. TVNewser hears that ESPN and NBC News have both been making their pitch to Notre Dame and people close to Te'o, and it is safe to assume that many other news outlets have been as well. Ad Age / Media News Media outlets are rushing to assess what they said, what they verified and what went wrong in covering Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and the death of his girlfriend -- who, Deadspin reported Wednesday, never existed. TV, magazines and newspapers had all taken up the story of Te'o's on-field success despite the deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, just hours apart in September. The compelling narrative may have helped his chances for a Heisman trophy; he ultimately came in second. Now editors and journalists are facing questions about the answers they did not get before. New York Daily News Te'o has gone into hiding, but his girlfriend is everywhere -- online, of course. The Internet did what the Internet does best on Thursday, and people are jumping all over the Notre Dame linebacker, who, it turns out, never had a girlfriend named Lennay Kekua who died tragically and inspired him during a Heisman-caliber season. Poynter / MediaWire Deadspin editor-in-chief Tommy Craggs says Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey were faced with a tough question when reporting their now famous Te'o story: "What lengths do we go to, to try and prove a negative?"
Lance Armstrong Joins the Ranks of Famous TV Confessors (Today / The Clicker)
When Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey aired Thursday, he became a member of a very specific club: disgraced public figures who've addressed their wrongdoings by way of television. Whether the truth-telling is a matter of national concern or mostly a step in repairing an image (and often, a subsequent livelihood), the medium continues to be the most reliable way of getting a message out to the masses. USA Today Saying his "mythic, perfect story" was "one big lie," Lance Armstrong admitted that he cheated during most of his famed cycling career and that he bullied people who dared to tell the truth about it. After denying doping allegations for more than a decade, he also said he used banned drugs or blood transfusions during all seven of his victories in the Tour de France. "I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologize to people," Armstrong told talk-show host Oprah Winfrey in an interview that aired Thursday night. Forbes / Mixed Media If there's one thing Armstrong proved in part one of his two-part sit-down with Winfrey on her OWN cable channel, it was that he's not especially good at selling his version of the truth, or at least not as good as a focused, well-prepared Winfrey is at poking holes in it. With his long pauses, abundant use of the passive voice, inconsistent eye contact and inappropriate smiles, the world's most famous cyclist made it clear, at a minimum, that there was a lot more running through his head than a desire to come clean.
Exclusive: Fox Renews Karl Rove Contract Through 2016 (Politico)
Fox News Channel is expected to announce shortly that Karl Rove has signed a multi-year deal to remain a Fox contributor through the 2016 election. The contract assures the ratings-leader cable news network that it will retain one of its most popular commentators, and someone whose views continually make news, especially in the heat of a campaign. TVNewser Rove made headlines on election night when he disputed FNC's call of the election for President Obama. Fox News founder and chairman Roger Ailes recounted what happened in an interview with TVNewser: "As it turned out Rove was wrong. He backed down. Our guys were right. We stayed with it. Megyn did her famous walk down the hall. And it all worked out." Rove joined Fox as a contributor in February 2008. Before that he was senior adviser to President George W. Bush. The Washington Post / Post Politics "Karl's detailed knowledge of state and national politics, as well as fundraising and strategy, makes him an important player in our ongoing political coverage and we look forward to him continuing his analysis across all platforms for Fox News and Fox Business," Ailes said in a statement. New York / Daily Intelligencer Ailes recently signed on through 2016, too, following Fox News stars Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. Megyn Kelly, whose contract expires this year, could round out a ragtag starting lineup, with Dennis Kucinich serving as some sort of sixth man.
Biden: Media Need to Better Promote Parental Control Tools (B&C)
Speaking to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Thursday, Vice President Joe Biden, outlining the White House's gun violence initiatives, made a pitch for studies "on the impacts of young minds on witnessing repetitive violent acts in movies, on television and video games," but also indicated the industry was intent on helping and encouraged them to better advertise the parental control tools they have. Conducting and funding such research was one of the initiatives the vice president vowed to put all of his office's muscle behind.
Penguin Revamps Book Country, Adds Services, Reduces Cost to Authors (Publishers Weekly)
Book Country, an online writing community and self-publishing service launched by Penguin in 2011, is relaunching and redesigning the site in stages. The Book Country self-publishing site relaunched Thursday with reduced fees for each tier of service while adding a free self-publishing tier, higher royalties for authors and plans to eventually add an online bookstore. By late summer 2013, the site will also relaunch its writing community, opening the site to more fiction genres.
WSJ Scores Big on YouTube Channel Ratings, Thanks to Pixar (Ad Age / Digital)
While WSJDigitalNetwork is the biggest mover on the YouTube Original Channel Tracker this week, it's Pixar who should be getting the credit. A teaser for the animation company's short film The Blue Umbrella, which was posted on the channel, led to a big jump in viewership. The channel grew by 234 percent over last week to take the No. 9 spot amid the likes of AwesomenessTV and Clevver News.
Tribune Taps Peter Liguori to Be CEO, Eddy Hartenstein to Run LA Times, as Expected (Deadline New York)
This falls into the "as expected" category. We've known since November that Tribune was planning to offer the top job to Peter Liguori, who's best known for his years as an executive at Fox and Discovery. Now that Tribune has emerged from bankruptcy protection, it's widely believed that the company will focus on its broadcast properties which include 23 television stations as it tries to unload its fleet of newspapers which include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant.
Adam Carolla Sued for Allegedly Breaking Partnership Agreement (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
Adam Carolla, host of the most downloaded podcast in the world and a recent addition to the Fox News Channel, is being sued by his former producer Donny Misraje for allegedly breaking their partnership agreement without cause. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in LA Superior Court and alleges that Misraje, his wife Kathee, and Sandy Ganz, a technology expert with a 10 percent ownership interest in the partnership, have not been paid for their "sweat equity" to make Carolla's podcast enterprise work.
CBS News Names Mellody Hobson as Contributor and Analyst on All CBS News Platforms (Indiewire / Shadow and Act)
From being recently named as chairman of DreamWorks Animation in October, to getting engaged to George Lucas earlier this month, to Thursday's news... Mellody Hobson has been the subject of mainstream press headlines, maybe more-so in recent months, than she'd been in years prior. CBS News announced Thursday that it has named Hobson as a contributor and analyst on finance and economy, and will appear across all CBS News platforms, including CBS This Morning, CBS Evening News, Face the Nation, as well as CBS' radio and online platforms.
Major Papers' Longform Meltdown (CJR / The Audit)
No one equates story-length with quality. Let's start with that concession. But still. Story-length is hardly meaningless when you consider what it takes to explain complex problems, like say, the financial crisis, to the broader public. Or when you consider what it takes to lay out the evidence needed to properly support a story that makes explosive allegations against a powerful institution. It takes space.
TVB: During 2012 Election, 80 Percent of TV Political Spending Was on Local Stations (TVSpy)
Local stations were the major beneficiary of political spending on television during the 2012 election, according to a new TVB study. More than 80 percent of total television spending in the political category was spent on local television, boosting stations' political revenue 38 percent from the 2008 election.
Now Quarterly, Bloomberg Pursuits Adds to Masthead, Launches iPad App (Ad Week)
Bloomberg Pursuits, the luxury lifestyle spinoff of Bloomberg Markets, is trying to make more inroads into fashion as it steps up its frequency to four times a year. In addition to launching an iPad app, which will automatically download to subscribers of the Markets app starting with the spring issue, new editor-in-chief Ted Moncreiff's first, the magazine has added an art director and luxury marketing consultant.
Wikipedia Plans to Expand Mobile Access Around the Globe with New Funding (Nieman Journalism Lab)
On the list of this round's winners of the Knight News Challenge, there is no bigger name than Wikipedia. With Knight's $600,000 grant, the Wikimedia Foundation plans to increase the free encyclopedia's reach on mobile, developing new software that will allow users to better access the site on feature phones through Wikipedia Zero.