Morning Media Newsfeed 01.25.12
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Facebook Plays Instant Feedback To State Of The Union (AllFacebook)
Forget the political pundits and look no further than Facebook, which captured instant reaction to President Barack Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday night. Users were posting their views on Facebook every few seconds almost as soon as the president took to the podium. Gawker: Let's check out some reactions from the pundits and various clowns on Twitter. Mediaite: While President Obama's State of the Union speech received a predictably mixed response divided among partisan lines, most people tended to agree that the most cringe-inducing moment of the night came during a milk joke that went over like a lead balloon. CJR / The Swing States Project: The SOTU has become both an important civic and political ritual and a signal about the administration's policy priorities for the coming year. However, the drama of a televised presidential speech also encourages hype by political reporters who have been taken in by the myth of the bully pulpit.
NBC Slots GOP Debate As Special Edition Of Rock Center (And Doubles The Show's Ratings) (Yahoo! News / The Cutline)
More than 7 million people watched NBC's Republican presidential debate Monday, according to preliminary Nielsen estimates, making it the second-most-watched debate of the 2012 cycle behind ABC's Dec. 10 debate broadcast, which drew 7.63 million. It was also a bit of a strategic ratings coup for Brian Williams. TVNewser: The GOP debate Monday night on NBC drew 7.125 million total viewers, making it the second-most-watched debate after ABC's GOP debate in Iowa Dec. 10, and the most-watched in the younger demo with 2.588 million viewers. TVNewser: Right out of the gate, something was different about Monday night's GOP debate on NBC. In the previous 17 debates, the crowd has acted as the 12th man, rooting for their favorite candidate and, often, against the media. But at the start, moderator Williams said, "We have asked our invited guests this evening to withhold their applause -- any verbal reactions to what they hear on stage so as to ensure that this is about the four candidates here tonight." Yahoo! News / The Cutline: "I wish in retrospect I'd protested when Brian Williams took them out of it because I think it's wrong," Newt Gingrich told Fox & Friends Tuesday. "And I think he took them out of it because the media is terrified that the audience is going to side with the candidates against the media, which is what they've done in every debate. We will serve notice on future debates, we're not going to allow that to happen. That's wrong. Media doesn't control free speech. People ought to be allowed to applaud if they want to. It's almost silly." HuffPost: CNN, which has held some of the most raucous debates of all of the networks, told HuffPost's Michael Calderone that the reaction to NBC's debate rules has not changed its plans about the forum it is hosting Thursday night. TVNewser: Media watcher Bernard Goldberg, an O'Reilly Factor regular, was on the show Monday night saying Gingrich's tactic of taking on the media during debates "is going to get old." AdAge / Campaign Trail: Monday on Facebook, Gingrich (or someone working for him) wrote the following: "I have no ties to the power structure. I think they are very frightened of the idea of a genuine outsider, and I have managed to remain an outsider." This is a sentiment he's expressed elsewhere during the campaign season. Which is an odd thing for someone to do when he's served as Speaker of the House, never cut ties with his old colleagues in Washington, and had a consulting gig with Freddie Mac. Would Mitt Romney attack? Gawker: What's worse, though, is that Williams would not shut up. He uttered almost precisely the same number of words last night as Ron Paul, who was ostensibly there as a participant. TVNewser: We've got the final cable news numbers in from Saturday night's coverage of the South Carolina primary. Yahoo! News / The Ticket: Two days after the New Hampshire primary, Gingrich and the rest of the GOP field had their eyes on South Carolina, the next primary of the campaign. But Restore Our Future, a Super PAC supporting Romney, was looking ahead to Florida, and released a television ad there attacking the former House speaker as a "desperate" candidate with "more baggage than the airlines." Deadline.com: Jay Leno thought he was poking gentle fun at the lifestyles of rich and famous Republican presidential candidates -- Romney in particular. But last Thursday, when Leno's slide show came to a location cited as Romney's summer home -- in reality an image of the Sikh holy shrine Golden Temple in Amritsar, India -- it sparked a diplomatic incident, and now, a lawsuit charging Leno and NBC with libel. TheWrap.com: In court papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday and obtained by TheWrap, Dr. Randeep Dhillon, who does business as Bol Punjabi All Regions Community Organization, claims that Leno "hurt the sentiments of all Sikh people, in addition to those of the plaintiff," with his joke. Dhillon further claims that Leno's joke "clearly exposes plaintiff, other Sikhs, and their religion to hatred, contempt, ridicule, and obloquy because it falsely portrays the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh." Nieman Journalism Lab: On Aug. 13, 2011, Rick Perry delivered a gift to the Texas Tribune: The governor announced his candidacy for president. Two days later, reporter Jay Root would break the story that Perry had backpedaled on his controversial effort to vaccinate girls against HPV. Root's story was viewed about 150,000 times in total in 2011 and generated the biggest-ever traffic day for the online startup.
New Yahoo! CEO: Great Things Are In The Works, But I Can't Share Them Yet (AdAge / Digital)
In his first earnings call since Yahoo! named him its new CEO three weeks ago, Scott Thompson mixed bold proclamations of Yahoo!'s potential with simultaneous requests for just a bit more time to articulate his unique vision for the stalled Internet behemoth. TechCrunch: Yahoo! released its earnings report for the fourth quarter of 2011, with results that were basically in line with the expectations of Wall Street analysts. paidContent: Thompson earlier Tuesday gave a frank -- and, the hopeful might say, encouraging -- rundown of the task ahead to turn around Yahoo!, an Internet portal that was once on top of its game but has lately seen some serious decline. TechCrunch: Some of the brightest spots, beyond Thompson now taking the helm, are the engagement numbers. GigaOM: Yahoo!'s newly appointed CEO may have only been on the job for three weeks, but he has already made one thing very clear: The discussion over whether Yahoo! is a media or tech company must come to an end.
From 'Mean Joe' To 'The Force': AdAge And Hulu Present The Best Super Bowl Ads Ever (AdAge / Super Bowl)
For anyone who appreciates the art and science of advertising, there's no better occasion than the Super Bowl to see a big stage, big ambitions, and big budgets combine for some memorable ads, as well as some memorable misfires -- not unlike the game itself. NYT / Media Decoder: As popular as Volkswagen's Super Bowl commercial was last year, with its Star Wars focus, it was not a given that a Volkswagen spot this year would also pay tribute to the film and its characters. Forbes / SportsMoney: During the past 45 Super Bowls, Budweiser has been the most visible advertiser, with campaigns varying from the celebrity Bud-Bud Light "Tastes great, less filling" battles, the halftime Bud Bowls, and the beauty and pageantry of the Clydesdale horses. However, in a recent survey of 1,500 likely Super Bowl watchers conducted by Brand Keys, a New York-based brand and loyalty research consultancy firm, the King of Beers finished dead last in terms of its ability to receive a solid return on its investment for this year's game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots Feb. 5. Boston Globe: Will 200,000 DirecTV subscribers have to leave their homes to watch the Patriots play in the Super Bowl? That's up to Sunbeam Television, the Miami-based owner of Boston's WHDH-TV (Channel 7) and WLVI-TV (Channel 56). Multichannel News: Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) has asked Sunbeam and DirecTV to publicly state that whatever happens in their ongoing retransmission-consent impasse, the satellite-TV provider's subscribers will have access to the Super Bowl broadcast on the station group's NBC affiliate, WHDH Boston.
Golden Globes Trial: Former Dick Clark Exec Grilled Over HFPA Deal (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
A trial in U.S. District Court to decide who will determine the Golden Globes' broadcast future got underway in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday with both sides honing in on the meaning of a disputed clause in a decades-old contract.
Keystone XL Jobs Bewilder Media (CJR / The Observatory)
President Barack Obama's decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline last week incited a new wave of coverage and speculation about how many jobs the line would create. Unfortunately, many outlets are still citing inflated and unreliable industry figures in the tens to hundreds of thousands, while ignoring more modest and trustworthy approximations from academia and government, which place the total anywhere from 2,500-6,000.
The long odyssey surrounding his abrupt departure from Two and a Half Men is long over, but Charlie Sheen still knows how to throw a party, and he still has strong feelings about the incident, even if he doesn't exactly know what happened.
Former LA Times Editor Russ Stanton Lands At KPCC (FishbowlLA)
Just one month after stepping down as editor of the Los Angeles Times, Russ Stanton has a new gig. He's joining public radio station KPCC as vice president of content. TheWrap.com / Media Alley: Southern California Public Radio president and CEO Bill Davis said hiring Stanton was part of an effort by KPCC to extend its influence in Southern California by providing "deeper, more enterprising, and investigative coverage."
Arthur Sulzberger To Introduce New York Times Top Editor Jill Abramson To Davos Set With Big Dinner (Capital New York)
Linda Zebian, a spokesperson for The New York Times Co,, confirmed that New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, who's been in the top Times masthead slot since September, "is indeed attending Davos this year for the first time." Abramson will be joined by publisher Arthur Sulzberger, who's long been a fixture on the Davos circuit. And more: Sulzberger is hosting a dinner Wednesday on Abramson's behalf, Zebian said, and Abramson will lead "a panel of women leaders" in a discussion Thursday. Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider: Arianna Huffington of AOL and Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook rented a helicopter to fly the pair to their next engagement, Davos. Alas, Alp weather did not cooperate. A snowstorm closed in, and the Huffington and Sandberg helicopter was diverted to a town 100 kilometers from Davos.
Shareholders of Facebook, the social-networking site preparing an initial public offering, are facing a three-day suspension of trading on secondary markets this week, people with knowledge of the matter said. AllFacebook: The law firm that processes trades in Facebook shares initiated on private secondary markets, Fenwick & West, won't handle transactions this Wednesday-Friday. People can still initiate buy and sell orders for the social network's stock, however.
The Washington Post And Polyvore Join Forces For Oscars Fashion (Adweek)
When it comes to awards season, nothing goes hand-in-hand better than high style and the Oscars' red carpet. Inspired by that sartorial obsession surrounding film, a new collaboration has sprung up between a less obvious duo: The Washington Post and Polyvore.com.
Gannett Purchases Fantasy Sports Ventures, Big Lead (FishbowlNY)
Gannett's USA Today Sports Media Group has acquired Fantasy Sports Ventures, parent of Big Lead Sports, a popular sports blog. Gannett already had a minority stake in FSV, but with the new deal in place, the company gains complete control over all of FSV's properties. paidContent: The company hopes the acquisition, when combined with its existing USA Today properties, will vault it into the major leagues of the online sports scene. WSJ: USA Today over the years has built its red-bordered sports section into one of the most recognizable national brands in sports media. Still, Gannett has struggled to build a relevant online sports audience for advertisers. In 2011, USA Today was the ninth-biggest sports property online, attracting an average of about 10 million unique visitors per month, about one-fifth the size of Yahoo! Sports, according to comScore. In contrast, FSV was the fifth-largest sports property online by traffic last year, drawing an average of 18.4 million monthly unique visitors, according to comScore.
ABC News is responding to criticism from a meteorologist at an ABC affiliate in Alabama after a report on World News implied that Monday's tornadoes in the region touched down with no warning. TVSpy: James Spann, chief meteorologist at Birmingham, Ala., ABC affiliate WBMA, criticized Diane Sawyer for her report on the Alabama tornadoes on Monday evening's World News. TVSpy: As the AMS holds its annual meeting this week, a group of conservationists has launched a campaign pressuring TV meteorologists "to report the facts about climate change."
NATPE 2012: Bethenny To Air In Summer Test On Fox (B&C)
It turns out that rumors of Bethenny Frankel's demise -- as a syndicated talk show -- were premature. This summer, select Fox Television Stations -- including WNYW New York and KTTV Los Angeles -- will run the show in a six-week test, said Ken Werner, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, and Frank Cicha, senior vice president of programming for the Fox Television Stations. TVSpy: The show, called Bethenny, will be an daily one-hour entertainment talk show starring Frankel, who is best known from Bravo's The Real Housewives of New York and Bethenny Ever After.
Daily News Columnist Dennis McCarthy To Retire (FishbowlLA)
After 40 years with the Los Angeles Daily News, columnist Dennis McCarthy is calling it a career.