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Friday, Jan 25

Morning Media Newsfeed 01.25.13

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New York Times Buyouts Push Veteran Journalists to the Exits (HuffPost / The Backstory)
Jim Roberts, Joe Sexton and Jon Landman have several things in common. They each joined The New York Times in 1987, held some of the highest positions at the paper and are among the group of newsroom veterans leaving in a round of voluntary buyouts, submitting their papers before Thursday's 5 p.m. deadline. FishbowlNY The next few days are going to be rough at the Times. Not only was the deadline for editors to accept buyouts Thursday at 5 p.m., Jill Abramson said in a memo that staffers will have to wait "a day or two after that" to know if there are going to be layoffs. JimRomenesko.com Times executive editor Abramson sent this memo to her staff Wednesday: "If you think the buyout is something that works for you at this time in your life, we urge you to give the offer serious consideration if you haven't already. Each buyout we record reduces the possibility of layoffs." paidContent Jim Roberts, the assistant managing editor of The New York Times who has overseen many of the paper's digital initiatives, confirmed on Thursday that he would accept a buyout and leave the paper. When he goes, the Times will not just lose his 26 years of experience but also many of the 75,000 people who follow Roberts on Twitter. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media New York Times editor of news technology Terry Schwadron has accepted a buyout from the paper, bringing the total number of departing staffers, by our count, to eight -- though there could certainly be more. NY Observer According to Abramson's December announcement, the magic number is 30. Meanwhile, the slow process has been a stressful one for the Times newsroom. "Living with the uncertainty that this kind of process inevitably creates has been painful for us all," Abramson wrote. "And at the same time we are grappling with the sadness at the departure of friends, of wise and trusted colleagues and great journalists."

Here's the Katie Couric We Haven't Seen in a While (TVNewser)
Katie Couric built her reputation at the Today show as an interviewer who could be both tough and tender. Couric could just as easily pepper President George H.W. Bush with hard-hitting questions during a White House Christmas tour or, two days after the Columbine massacre, in the falling snow interview a grieving survivor and a father in mourning. But we haven't seen much of that Katie Couric recently. Anchoring a half hour evening news program for five years will do that. But Thursday that other Katie was on full display during an hour-long interview with Manti Te'o, one of college football's best, who says he was duped into believing he'd been in a long-distance relationship with a woman who never existed. USA Today / Robert Bianco Notwithstanding the fact they share a publicist, you can see why a college football star would feel comfortable talking to Couric. She has always projected the air of the campus' most popular cheerleader, the kind who is nice to, and liked by, everyone. That works to her advantage when interviewing everyday people -- particularly when combined with her ability to be empathetic without appearing phony on one hand or maudlin and intrusive on the other. LA Times / L.A. Now Couric pressed Te'o to explain why he did not speak out when he got a call from a woman in December purporting to be Kekua weeks after she had died of the cancer. "I did not know who to turn to. I did not know who to tell. I did not know who to trust," Te'o said. "It was a big thing for me, and I was scared. That's the truth. I was just scared, and I didn't know what to do." The Washington Post / The TV Column When she got to the Sports Illustrated cover story -- the one in which he told the reporter he met his non-existent love of his life at a football game -- Couric put on her Not Kidding Around Voice and the chic no-nonsense eyeglasses she'd been holding in her hand for most of the interview. "Can you see how people would view this as at worst, a complete lie, and at best, as incredibly misleading?"

Rachel Nichols Leaves ESPN for CNN, Turner Sports (TVNewser)
CNN and Turner Sports are adding ESPN correspondent Rachel Nichols to their ranks. Nichols will anchor a weekend sports program for CNN, and will cover sports as a correspondent for CNN and Turner Sports. Her first assignment will be the Super Bowl next week in New Orleans. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Long before Zucker's arrival, CNN announced that it would be adding Anthony Bourdain, the food and travel writer and television personality, and documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock to its weekend lineup. Thursday's announcement shows that Zucker intends to continue the expansion of CNN weekend programming, and weekday programming as well.

Robin Roberts Returns to GMA Studio (TVNewser)
For the first time since undergoing her bone marrow transplant in September, Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts returned to the morning show's studio in Times Square. As she explained last week on the program, she is doing a "dry run" this week, in which she wakes up, goes to work and interacts with colleagues. The goal is to see how many people she comes in contact with on a given day, and whether the stress and studio lights will have any effect on her health. Newsday This was her first time back on the set since going on medical leave Aug. 30. "Felt like the first day of school! First time back in GMA studio since last August," Roberts wrote on her Facebook page. "Great to be behind the scenes for a 'test drive.' Bright lights did not bother my sensitive skin or eyes. Seeing my work family again did wonders for my soul and spirit. Incredibly blessed and grateful. Onward and upward."

New York Post Says Clinton 'Exploded with Rage' in Benghazi Testimony (Yahoo! News / The Lookout)
The New York Post took an interesting approach to Hillary Clinton's congressional testimony on the attack in Benghazi, blasting a photo of the secretary of state with fists clenched alongside a headline that screams, "No Wonder Bill's Afraid." We're not sure what former President Bill Clinton has to do with Clinton's testimony, but the Post features his photo in the corner of the arguably sexist cover, as well. HuffPost Sigh. The New York Post kept it classy with its Thursday cover. The paper ran a large photo of Hillary Clinton mid-outburst during Wednesday's hearing on Benghazi. After Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), aggressively questioned the secretary of state about the actions her department took immediately following the attack, Clinton grew heated. "With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans," Clinton responded, raising her voice at Johnson.

Al Gore to Make TV Rounds to Promote Book That Trashes TV News (TVNewser)
Former Vice President Al Gore, who sold Current TV to Al Jazeera a few weeks back, is about to make a round of TV appearances. The appearances are ostensibly tied to the release of his new book The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change, but viewers should expect the Current TV sale to play a big part in the conversations.

Dr. Phil Renewed Through 2017 (NYT / Media Decoder)
Whatever terrible and wonderful things happen in America in the next four years, Dr. Phil McGraw will be there in the afternoon to talk about them. CBS Television Distribution said Thursday that his daytime talk show, Dr. Phil, had been renewed through 2017 by most of the stations that carry it.

Book Tours: Hell or Helpful? Author's Snark Ignites Debate (Forbes / Mixed Media)
As First World Problems go, the awfulness of the author's book tour is hardly a novel one. Yet a recent column at Salon by Go The F*** To Sleep writer Adam Mansbach on the horror that is the under-attended bookstore appearance provoked a notably strong response, both among those who sympathized with his plight, or at least found his description of it worth a chuckle, and among those who were less than amused.

Variety Editorial Firings to Come in March (Deadline Hollywood)
Variety Media's chairman/CEO Jay Penske is planning editorial firings at the top-heavy trade in March. He also is overseeing a redesign of Variety's website for March.

Macmillan to Begin eBook Library Lending Pilot (Publishers Weekly)
As the American Library Association Midwinter Conference kicks off its run in Seattle, Macmillan has announced that it will begin its first eBook library lending program by the end of the first quarter. Using the agency model and working with a number of distributors, Macmillan will offer libraries more than 1,200 backlist eBooks from its Minotaur Books imprint.

Former Observer Editor Aaron Gell to Leave the Paper, After a Demotion (Capital New York)
Earlier this month, after Jared Kushner appointed a new editor, Ken Kurson, to run his New York Observer, interim editor Aaron Gell told us he wasn't sure whether he'd stick around in the diminished title of executive editor. Now Gell, a Radar and W veteran who's been at the Observer since 2010, has come to a decision: He announced to staff via email Thursday that he is leaving the paper for a new gig consulting on an unnamed startup.

The Newsonomics of Tribune's Metro Agony (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Soon, the next act of the Tribune newspaper agonies will play out. That's agonies, as in a Biblical passion play. The Tribune papers have endured a special kind of agony, the Hell of Zell, but really their story is the story of metro newspapers throughout the U.S. and now largely across the developed world. It's a moment that will mark another major passage in American newspapering, and one that reopens big questions about the fate of metro dailies in American life.

Why Magazines Are Using Digital to Boost Prices, Not Bolster Innovation (ReadWrite)
Well, this is disappointing. As magazines make the transition from print to pixels, some publishers are using the move as an opportunity to jack up their prices -- in some cases, to more than they were charging for print editions. And that's for tablet versions that are too often crappy afterthoughts.

VP Biden Wants Research on Videogames, Violence (Variety)
Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday urged passage of a White House proposal to study the effect of violent videogames on the behavior of minors despite the fact that "there is part of the interest group population out there that are afraid of facts."

Kate Upton Mercedes Ad Inspires Outrage, Gets Lots of Attention (PRNewser)
Question: when does a "controversial" ad clip double as a shameless PR stunt? When the team's strategy anticipates the public outrage and uses it to attract even more attention. Get ready to be shocked: this is a common thing.

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