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CNNI Blocked in China During Report Critical of Country (TVNewser)
Once again, China has blocked CNN International's live feed within the country, as the network reports on a story that paints the government there in a bad light. Thursday afternoon CNNI's Hala Gorani conducted an interview about the revelation that The New York Times was hacked by Chinese hackers over a period of months. The entire six-minute segment was blocked in the country, as CNNI's feed went dark. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The Times reported Thursday night that hackers in China have "persistently attacked" the paper for the last four months, stealing the passwords of Shanghai bureau chief David Barboza and former Beijing bureau chief Jim Yardley, who is now bureau chief in New Delhi. CNN Asked about the Times' allegations on Thursday, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that "all such alleged attacks are groundless, irresponsible accusations lacking solid proof or reliable research results." WSJ Chinese hackers have been conducting wide-ranging electronic surveillance of media companies including The Wall Street Journal in an apparent effort to spy on reporters covering China and other issues, people familiar with incidents said. HuffPost / The Backstory The Times cyber-attack highlights a growing threat to western news organizations that cover the authoritarian Chinese government, whose strict control on information and willingness to imprison journalists led to a rank of 173 out of 179 on Reporters Without Borders' press freedom index released this week. China not only heavily censors Chinese news organizations but has increasingly prevented western journalists from obtaining press visas. Committee to Protect Journalists / CPJ Blog China's surveillance of the Internet and its use of the Web as a battleground for taking on those who oppose its policies are not new. Journalists and, frankly, virtually every citizen and foreigner in China have long operated under the assumption that they are liable to be under surveillance.
Geraldo Contemplating Run for Senate (The Hill / Ballot Box)
Television personality and radio host Geraldo Rivera announced Thursday he's "truly contemplating" a run for Senate in New Jersey. "I mention this only briefly, fasten your seatbelt," Rivera said on his radio show. "I mentioned this only briefly to my wife... but I am and I've been in touch with some people in the Republican Party in New Jersey. I am truly contemplating running for Senate against Frank Lautenberg or Cory Booker." TVNewser He did note that he has contractual obligations to FNC and his radio syndicator, but that a run was worth looking into: "I'm not going to drill this out, because obviously I've got commitments to Fox and to here at the radio program and I'm really having a great time," he said. "But I figure at my age, if I'm going to do it I've got to do it." THR Rivera anchors Geraldo at Large on Fox News and hosts on Los Angeles radio station 790 KABC. If the personality decided to jump into the race, it could set up a showdown between two highly recognizable figures. Christian Science Monitor / The Vote Are those "some people in the Republican Party" Geraldo's talking to just looking for a rich person to carry the flag and perhaps self-fund a campaign that others are turning down because it's a sure loser?
Scott Pelley Secures Super Bowl Interview with President Obama (TVNewser)
It came down to the wire, but CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley will sit down with President Obama before the Super Bowl on Sunday. Pelley's interview will air live at 4:30 p.m., in advance of the big game. USA Today / The Oval Obama has done previous Super Bowl Sunday interviews with whatever network is televising the big game. This will be Obama's second interview with CBS in eight days; the president and outgoing secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke with CBS' 60 Minutes this past Sunday.
Meet Michael Sragow, the Orange County Register's New Film Critic (FishbowlLA)
It all started so innocently. Michael Sragow, the newly announced film critic for the Orange County Register, was minding his own Tribune Co. business in Baltimore when he received an email. "Someone forwarded to me an alt-weekly article that was sort of making fun of the new ownership for concentrating on the print product," Sragow tells FishbowlLA via telephone. (Though he could not remember the specifics, it sounded very much to us like the OC Weekly handiwork of Gustavo Arellano.) "I actually thought, 'That's a pretty smart idea.' I got in touch with the editors, who directed me to the job posting," he continues. "Just the way they were talking about the position, and how they wanted someone who could talk about a wide range of movies past and present... It was so unusual in today's world of cultural journalism that I really jumped at it."
Globe Reporter Glen Johnson Joins Kerry's Staff (The Boston Globe)
Boston.com politics editor Glen Johnson is resigning to take a post as a senior State Department adviser, working for John F. Kerry. Johnson, 50, a 27-year journalism veteran who has covered five presidential elections, said his focus would be on strategic communications. CNN / Political Ticker... It's certainly not unusual for journalists to cross over into the realm of public service. White House press secretary Jay Carney, for example, served as the Washington bureau chief for Time magazine before becoming communications director for Vice President Joe Biden in 2008. Chuck Hagel, who's undergoing his defense secretary confirmation hearings Thursday, worked as a radio newscaster and talk show host in Nebraska before working for a U.S. congressman.
Ed Koch, Mayor Who Became a Symbol of NYC, Dies at 88 (USA Today / AP)
Former New York mayor Ed Koch, the combative politician who rescued the city from near-financial ruin during three City Hall terms, has died at age 88. Spokesman George Arzt said Koch died Friday morning of congestive heart failure. In City Hall, Koch embodied New York for the rest of the world. He won a national reputation with his feisty style and his trademark question, "How'm I doing?" The Washington Post In three terms as New York's Democratic chief executive from 1978 through 1989, Koch's touchstone achievement was to help revive a city that had defined urban dysfunction. Yet it was Koch's quote-machine of a persona -- his unbridled candor and unyielding chutzpah -- that made him a dominant character in a city packed with them. New York Daily News He didn't mellow when his political career ended with his 1989 defeat at the hands of David Dinkins. Nor did he shy from the spotlight. He continued to write movies, do restaurant reviews, pen books, helm radio shows, appear in TV commercials and movie cameos. He even spent two years as the judge on The People's Court. He was unpredictable to the end.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie headed to Late Show (UPI)
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is to make his first visit to Late Show with David Letterman in New York next week, CBS said Thursday. Christie is to appear on Monday's edition of the late-night chat show. NYT / Media Decoder Letterman has frequently offered his favorite targets the opportunity to come back at him face to face, including Oprah Winfrey (who took him up on it) and Sarah Palin (who didn't). Most recently during last year's presidential campaign, Letterman went to great lengths to try to induce Mitt Romney, whom he had satirized with relish, to be a guest before the election. Romney declined.
James Carville Explains CNN Departure (Politico)
James Carville and Mary Matalin, a bipartisan power couple, on Thursday explained their sudden departure as CNN contributors. "What CNN said, [was] they wanted contributors to be there on-set and... it makes total sense, it's a good strategy," Carville said on CBS This Morning. "But it's a strategy we can't fulfill."
CBS Fight with Dish Spills Over to CNET (NYT / Media Decoder)
The Consumer Electronics Association cut its ties with CNET on Thursday, two weeks after CNET's parent company, the CBS Corporation, prohibited the website's editors from giving an award to an innovative product it deemed illegal.
Nickelodeon Drags Down Viacom But Ad Sales to Improve (Reuters)
SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could not lift ad sales at Viacom's stable of cable networks, which dragged down first quarter total revenue. Specifically, it was Viacom's Nickelodeon -- home to the undersea goofy character and fighting reptiles -- that was responsible for the six percent decline in advertising revenue for the quarter ending Dec. 31.
NBC's Tonight Show Tops Week in Late Night (Variety)
Jimmy may have had the biggest night but it was still Jay that had the biggest week in late night. Nielsen numbers released Thursday showed that NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno narrowly prevailed last week in the key adults 18-49 demo over ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live (999,000 vs. 956,000), with both shows rounding to a 0.8 rating. In total viewers, Leno averaged 3.53 million to 2.86 million for Kimmel.
Media General Q4 Revenue Up 40 Percent (TVSpy)
In the fourth quarter of 2012, Media General reported total revenues of $108.7 million, an increase of 39.5 percent from the year-ago quarter. Media General reported an operating income of $42.3 million and a net income of $17.6 million for the quarter, both significant year-over-year increases. Cable and satellite retransmission fees were up 84 percent to $9.9 million.
What Andrew Sullivan and Amanda Palmer Have in Common -- a Fanatical Devotion to Users (paidContent)
In many ways, conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan and alternative musician Amanda Palmer couldn't be more different: the former writes about the Obama administration and the intricacies of U.S. foreign policy, while the latter is the former lead singer of a punk band called The Dresden Dolls and sports hand-painted eyebrows, among other things. Their approach to their respective businesses, however -- in both cases a very personal form of publishing -- are similar in one crucial way: they succeed or fail based on how well they connect with and serve their fans. Is this the future of media?
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Weighs in on Girls (FishbowlLA)
Lakers great and sometimes columnist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hadn't written a piece for Huffington Post in more than three years. After blogging fairly regularly during the 2008 election, Kareem sat 2012 out. Thursday, however, he broke out of his slumber to randomly weigh in on the racial politics of HBO's Girls, now well into its second season. The Atlantic Wire What's more curious, however, that Abdul-Jabbar's piece is pretty good! It starts out with a notably well researched look at the show's demographics, and the next think you know the Hall of Famer is dropping Brett Easton Ellis references and talking about race in America.
Al Gore Dogged by Questions About Al Jazeera Deal on Book Tour (THR)
Authors like to complain about the rigors of promotional campaigns, but Al Gore really is on the book tour from hell. The former vice president, Academy Award-winner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate recently hit the talk-show circuit to promote his portentously titled new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Social Change, but all that even normally sympathetic hosts want to talk about is the sale of his Current cable network to Al Jazeera.