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Wednesday, Feb 06

Morning Media Newsfeed 02.06.13

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Dick Morris out at Fox News (TVNewser)
Fox News has severed ties with Dick Morris, declining to renew his contract when it came up for renewal, an FNC spokesperson confirms. The Daily Beast / Cheat Sheet "His contract is up and we will not be renewing it," a spokesman said. Morris had not appeared on the network for three months, but announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he will make an appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Morris, who was on contract with Fox News throughout the 2012 presidential campaign, had not appeared on the network for almost three months after Fox News president Roger Ailes decided to keep him off the network. He is scheduled to appear on CNN on Wednesday. HuffPost Morris infamously predicted a landslide victory for Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, which he would eventually be forced to retract and issue a semi-mea culpa for, as Jason Linkins wrote for HuffPost. Morris and Karl Rove -- who infamously refused to accept Obama's victory on-air on Election Night -- were put on the sidelines at Fox News shortly about a month after the election, though Rove has since returned to the airwaves. U.S. World & News Report / AP Morris had also been criticized for accepting paid advertisements on his website from candidates that he discussed on the air at Fox. THR Morris rose to prominence as a consultant to President Bill Clinton, but he took a right turn several years ago and has become one of Hillary Clinton's chief critics. Before his contract expired, he had been a staple on some of the top-rated shows on Fox News, particularly Hannity and The O'Reilly Factor.

CNN to Debut Jake Tapper Reports Documentary Thursday Night (TVNewser)
CNN's Jake Tapper will make his hosting debut for the network Thursday night, when the cable channel presents a Jake Tapper Reports documentary on a soldier that served at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan. An American Hero: The Uncommon Valor of Clint Romesha will air Thursday night at 10 p.m., taking the place of what would have been the 10 p.m. repeat of AC360. Mediaite Tapper's 2012 book, The Outpost, is based on the Romesha's service in Afghanistan in 2009. CNN says that Jake Tapper Reports is a working title that will be used for future features like this documentary.

Twitter Buys Company That Mines Chatter About TV (NYT / Media Decoder)
Twitter confirmed on Tuesday that it is acquiring Bluefin Labs, a company that analyzes online chatter about TV shows and companies and sells its findings. Twitter is paying nearly $100 million for Bluefin, according to a person with direct knowledge of the sale, making it the website's biggest acquisition to date. Bloomberg Twitter, which plans to boost sales to a projected $1 billion in 2014, is building relationships in TV, where the bulk of advertising budgets are spent. Bluefin's technology may help Twitter expand a partnership formed in December with television ratings provider Nielsen Holdings NV to measure the amount of Web discussion generated by TV programs. CNET In its blog post Tuesday, Twitter said, "We believe that Bluefin's data science capabilities and social TV expertise will help us create innovative new ad products and consumer experiences in the exciting intersection of Twitter and TV." Twitter added that the deal will augment the work it has done with Nielsen to create the Nielsen Twitter TV Rating.

Apple to Highlight Self-Published Books (NYT / Media Decoder)
Yet another sign that self-publishing is making inroads into the traditional houses: On Tuesday Apple began including a feature that organizes a group of popular self-published eBooks together and then gives them prominent display on iBookstore. AppNewser Apple has added a new tool to help readers discover self-published books called Breakout Books. The titles on the Breakout Books lists are hand-picked books from emerging authors who have earned high ratings from customers. Apple explains Breakout Books in the iBookstore as a place to "find the next reading sensation." Breakout Books includes lists of works in genres such as romance, sci-fi & fantasy, and mysteries & thrillers. paidContent While Apple mentions "hand-picking," the books in the section primarily seem to be chosen based on how well they are selling. In a very long blog post about the benefits of self-publishing, Mark Coker, the founder of self-publishing company Smashwords, notes that 54 of the 64 titles in the Breakout Books section were distributed by Smashwords. He'd previously noted that Apple is now the largest retailer for Smashwords authors.

Television's House of Cards (The Washington Post / ideas@innovations)
Netflix's original series, House of Cards, has not been entirely panned -- welcome news to those eager to see the traditional television model topple, much like, well, a house of cards. The cord-cutting revolution continues to generate more viewers who, tired of paying $100-plus per month for cable and Internet, have eliminated their cable subscriptions and replaced them with on-demand services, such as Netflix and HuluPlus. But cord cutters are still barred from getting popular shows such as Game of Thrones and Dexter, since access to premium cable channels needs, well, a cable subscription.

Fox in Talks with Regis Philbin to Host Show on Fox Sports 1 (Sports Business Daily)
Fox Sports has been in talks with veteran TV host Regis Philbin to host a show for its planned Fox Sports 1 channel, according to several sources. Fox and Philbin have not agreed on a deal yet, but sources say talks are serious and an agreement could be close at hand.

John King is Safe on CNN Survivor (FishbowlDC)
CNN's John King, long thought to be on the outs with the network after John King USA went belly up and personal issues marred internal relations, has had his contract renewed. In the game of CNN Survivor, under the new regime of president Jeff Zucker, King is safe. Others may not be as fortunate.

Bridget Jones to Return in November (GalleyCat)
Helen Fielding will publish a new book featuring her beloved heroine, Bridget Jones. Alfred A. Knopf plans a first printing of 250,000 copies for the November publication. Set in London, the new book will show Jones at "a later stage in her life." Fielding explained: "My life has moved on... and Bridget's will move on, too... I hope people will have as much fun reading it, as I am writing it."

No Post-Super Bowl Lift for CBS (Adweek)
CBS failed to capitalize on the promotional muscle of the Super Bowl, as Monday night's prime-time lineup showed very little growth versus the most recent Monday roster of first-run episodes.

The New York Daily News Returns to New York (NY Observer)
The New York Daily News is back on this side of the Hudson. The newspaper's downtown office at 4 New York Plaza was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and has been uninhabitable ever since. The lobby was flooded with water, the offices lost power and the building sustained significant damage to its infrastructure.

Chris Hughes on Turning The New Republic into a Technology Company That Adapts to Readers (Nieman Journalism Lab)
The co-founder of Facebook says the relaunched magazine will need to experiment with how its content is delivered and how they engage with advertisers.

Liberty Global to Buy Virgin Media for $15.75 Billion (Reuters)
John Malone's Liberty Global Inc. struck a deal to buy British cable group Virgin Media for about $15.75 billion, a move that would put the U.S. billionaire up against old rival Rupert Murdoch.

Sirius Reports Revenue and Subscriber Growth in 2012 (NYT / Media Decoder)
Sirius XM Radio reported strong subscriber and revenue growth for 2012 on Tuesday and described new features that the company hopes will put competitive pressure on Internet radio services like Pandora and Clear Channel's iHeartRadio.

Post-Super Bowl Op-Ed: Dear GoDaddy, Please Stop (AgencySpy / Harry Woods)
Stop. Please just stop. Please, please, America begs you. The entire world is on its knees. You've got a whole year, once again, to somehow figure out how to stop being such a gigantic d-bag of a company and just knock it off. There was hope that it wouldn't happen again this year.

More People Taking Breaks from Facebook. Time to Worry? (Forbes / Mixed Media)
Announcing your New Year's resolution on Facebook is a good way of fortifying your resolve, but there's one increasingly popular resolution Mark Zuckerberg hopes you keep to yourself -- or, better yet, don't keep at all. More than a quarter of Facebook users surveyed in December said they planned to spend less time using the service in 2013 than they did last year, according to a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

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