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Wednesday, Jan 23

Morning Media Newsfeed 01.23.13

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2013 Inauguration Ratings Down Substantially from 2009 (TVNewser)
New CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker saw his network win the day in ratings on day one, according to Fast Nationals data from Nielsen. Of course, it wasn't exactly a typical day. On Inauguration Day Monday, CNN led the way on cable news in both total and demo viewers, in primetime, total day and during the part people really tune in to see: the president's speech. That said, the "big three" cable news channels were down substantially in the ratings from the 2009 inauguration. NYT / Media Decoder In terms of the cable news networks, CNN was ahead during the time when the oath of office was administered and President Obama delivered his speech, and the usual cable leader, Fox News, was well behind. That was widely expected, given the conservative political preferences of much of the Fox News audience. HuffPost The network came in first place during the oath and inaugural address (11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.) among total viewers, drawing 3.136 million viewers in all. MSNBC came in second with 2.273 million total viewers, while Fox News had 1.316 million total viewers. LA Times / Show Tracker But reelected presidents -- much like Dancing With the Stars winners -- always get fewer people to come out for their second go-round. When George W. Bush was sworn in again in 2005, his TV ratings fell 46 percent compared with his first inauguration. THR / The Live Feed Obama's 2009 inauguration ceremony, held the day after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, averaged nearly 38 million viewers with cable and broadcast networks combined. PRNewser Despite being smaller than Obama's first inauguration in every way, this year's event predictably prompted a "social media explosion" that managed to knock the mighty Twitter out of service for a moment or two. The fact that so many more people got "social" this year than in 2009 despite the lower turnout confirms something we already knew -- that social media has become an ever more integral part of public and private life over the past four years.

Zucker to CNNers: 'Think More Broadly...' Don't 'Be Bound by What Has Come Before Us' (TVNewser)
CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker is now officially on the job. As we reported last week, he spent his first day in Washington Monday as the bureau produced the network's inauguration coverage. In a memo to staff Tuesday obtained by FishbowlDC, Zucker writes, "as we embark on the next chapter together, we must think even more broadly, and not always be bound by what has come before us." Mediaite Zucker says he was impressed with his new staff on his first official day, President Obama's inauguration: "I spent Monday, my first official day with CNN, at our bureau in Washington, during our coverage of the president's inauguration. The reporting, storytelling, production and innovation, across all of our CNN platforms, came together beautifully. It is clear that the capability of this organization to inform, enlighten and entertain on big stories is limitless." NYT / Media Decoder For a channel that needs to find its voice, this was a distinctive way to start. Fans of CNN may have noticed over the weekend that James Earl Jones' voice is back, proclaiming "This is CNN" in his authoritative baritone. Access Atlanta / Radio & TV Talk While this move will not exactly move the needle in terms of CNN's popularity as a network, it evokes warm memories of the network's heyday before Fox News came on the scene.

Jake Tapper Makes CNN Debut (HuffPost)
Jake Tapper made his CNN debut on Tuesday. The former ABC White House correspondent appeared on The Situation Room to talk about Hillary Clinton's upcoming testimony before the Senate, as well as his new role as CNN's chief Washington correspondent. Later in the year, Tapper will become the host of his own show on the network. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media CNN's new chief Washington correspondent Tapper has posted his first scoop for the network: "deputy secretary of state for management and resources Tom Nides is leaving the Obama administration, Nides told CNN this afternoon." Tapper's article does not mention that Nides is married to CNN vice president and deputy Washington bureau chief Virginia Moseley, who like Tapper recently joined the network from ABC News.

Joseph Meyer, Brother-in-Law of Jared Kushner, Named Observer CEO (FishbowlNY)
Joseph Meyer, the brother-in-law of Jared Kushner, has been named the Observer Media Group's new CEO. Meyer comes to the company from Elliott Management, a hedge fund. He is only 33 years old. New York / Daily Intelligencer In addition to a history at hedge funds (Paul Singer's Elliott Management, Michael Dell's MSD Capital), Meyer "is a trusted member of my family," according to a memo sent to staff by Ivanka Trump's husband Tuesday. As noted by The Wall Street Journal, "He is married to Mr. Kushner's sister, Nicole."

New York Times Redesigns its Print-Edition Feature Sections (
The redesigns of New York Times features sections began Tuesday with the new look of "Science Times." A Times release says: "The sections, created during the 1970's, have each been refreshed and updated repeatedly over the years, but this is the first time all of the weekly feature sections have been redesigned as a whole." HuffPost Times design director Tom Bodkin said of the redesign, "The goal was not to create an entirely new look, but to develop a more coherent, accessible, underlying structure across all sections." Additionally, the Times' popular wedding section "Vows" has been turned into a standalone package within the paper's Sunday "Styles" section.

Barbara Walters on the Mend After Falling and Hitting Her Head (LA Times / Ministry of Gossip)
Barbara Walters is on the road to recovery after taking a tumble at an inauguration party over the weekend. "Barbara went to Washington to cover the inauguration," Whoopi Goldberg, her co-host on The View, said on the show Tuesday. "She missed a step and had a fall, which cut her upper temple. The doctors stitched her up, and she is doing fine, but they want her to take it easy."

CBS' Hopper Award Knock Could Set Back Media Ownership Rules (Adweek)
When CBS torpedoed CNET's planned "best of show" award for Dish's Hopper, it may have also blown to bits broadcasters' best chance for looser media ownership rules at the Federal Communications Commission. In a letter filed Tuesday with the FCC, public interest group Public Knowledge says CBS' actions demonstrate unequivocally why the agency should ditch its proposal to loosen the rules, currently under review.

Donald Trump Exploring Improbable Ways He Might Buy The New York Times (New York / Daily Intelligencer)
Donald Trump has spent a lot of time in the last year trying to make news, first with his birther obsession, and more recently demanding comedian Bill Maher pay him $5 million. (Maher offered the sum for proof Trump wasn't the "spawn of his mother having sex with an orangutan." Trump released his own birth certificate and threatened to sue Maher for the money.) Now Trump is exploring ways to make news in a more literal way: by acquiring The New York Times.

Brain Tumor Kept Martin Bashir Out of Work (FishbowlDC)
It was reported in 2008 that MSNBC's Martin Bashir has a brain tumor. The illness is still there and causing problems. "I have a brain tumor," Bashir told FishbowlDC Monday night when asked why he was absent from his TV program Friday. "It's fine but it causes a problem from time to time," he said.

Is It Real? Witness Builds an App to Verify User-Submitted Content (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Whether it's photos of flooding during Hurricane Sandy, or videos of eagles stealing babies, it's not always easy to detect fakery. And when you think of the number of videos and photos produced by our phones each day, it can be problematic for news organizations trying to deal with submissions from readers.

Al Jazeera America Is Hiring (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Al Jazeera, which is set to replace Current TV with the launch of Al Jazeera America, has posted 105 new jobs in the United States -- 98 in New York City, where AJ America will be based, and seven in Washington.

Will CBS Unload Its Publishing Business? (Investor Place)
CBS CEO Les Moonves has made no secret of his desire to unload the company's marginally profitable outdoor advertising business. Monday, he pulled the trigger by announcing plans to convert its U.S. portion into a real estate investment trust (REIT) and sell the rest. Investors might pressure him to do the same with the media giant's Simon & Schuster publishing business.

Analysis: Dodgers, Time Warner Cable Bet Big on Sports Growth (Variety)
By partnering to launch a new regional cable network in an overflowing market rather than making a straightforward rights deal, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Time Warner Cable have doubled down on their belief that skyrocketing revenues in the sports TV world are anything but a bubble.

Hollywood Pushes Back Against Zero Dark Thirty Critics (PRNewser)
We haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty yet, but we are intrigued by the PR back-and-forth between the film's makers/promoters and various members of the U.S. government. A couple of questions are central to the controversy: Does the film glorify torture and imply that information gained during torture sessions eventually led to the location and assassination of Osama bin Laden? Did the filmmakers act inappropriately in collecting information from confidential sources within the Central Intelligence Agency?

5 Ways Journalists Can Use Social Media to Resurface Old Content (Poynter / How To's)
Journalists are finding that social media gives them ample opportunities to breathe new life into archived content. Recently, they've used social networking sites -- while covering deaths, anniversaries, birthdays and ongoing stories -- to resurface old content that their audiences may otherwise never see. Here are some examples of how they've done it, along with five related tips.

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