Media News

Thursday, Feb 09

Morning Media Newsfeed 02.09.12

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Chicago Tribune Eyes Price Tag For Online News (Crain's Chicago Business)
The Chicago Tribune will begin charging online readers for access to content and is considering a "creative way" to do that, said Gerould Kern, the paper's editor.

GigaOM And paidContent Join Forces (paidContent)
Yes, it's true: We are joining GigaOM. And the combined group will be a powerhouse, with more than 20 writers and editors, a strong presence on the East and West coasts and in Europe, and coverage of everything from media and big data, to the cloud and mobile, to book publishing and online video -- not to mention the startup scene in various markets. GigaOM: We are not disclosing the terms of the deal, except that we are buying the entire group of properties --,, contentSutra, and paidContent:UK -- and that a representative of Guardian News & Media will join our board of directors as an observer. Wired / Epicenter: "Technology and covering technology is a global endeavor, and you need to be in all the major centers," GigaOM CEO Paul Walborsky told Wired, pointing to paidContent's footprint in London and New York. According to founder and executive editor Om Malik, the paidContent New York offices will become "GigaOM East," complementing the new parent company's offices in San Francisco. GigaOM also plans to open an additional office in Europe and increase its coverage in Asia. Yahoo! News / The Cutline: The other common denominator here is Rafat Ali, who sits on GigaOM's advisory board and engineered the 2008 sale of paidContent to The Guardian for approximately $6.5 million.

Big Changes At Newsweek/The Daily Beast (FishbowlNY)
Newsweek announced a few big changes. Jane Spencer, one of the founding editors of The Daily Beast, is leaving on a sabbatical, but will continue to contribute as international editor at large. Deidre Depke, a onetime editor of, is returning to the company to succeed Spencer as the site's new executive editor. Depke rejoins Newsweek/The Daily Beast from The Week's website. Tom Watson has also been promoted to managing editor, and Louise Roug, another former staffer, is coming back to serve as foreign editor. Roug begins next month. / Media Alley: Newsweek/The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown has shuffled top editors -- again -- bringing in an old hand to replace departing executive editor Spencer, who's going on a sabbatical.

News Corp. Earnings Jump In Second Quarter (B&C)
News Corp. reported higher second-quarter profits thanks to big gains at its cable and broadcast TV networks. paidContent: On one hand, the company posted impressive growth in its TV, cable, and movie businesses. These segments resulted in a $210 million year-over-year quarterly earnings increase and adjusted earnings per share of $0.39, which is better than the $0.34 analysts had predicted. At the same time, the company announced a 43 percent decline in its publishing business and a quarterly charge of $87 million related to the U.K. phone-hacking settlement. AdAge / MediaWorks: The company said it spent $87 million in the quarter and $104 million in the second half of last year on fallout from the scandal, which is now the subject of at least three separate inquiries.

Reuters U.K. Journalists Will Not Strike (Politico / Dylan Byers)
Thompson Reuters reached a deal with the National Union of Journalists, which called off a two-day strike that was scheduled to begin Thursday at midnight.

Top Five Weekly/Biweekly Five-Year Report: Bloomberg Businessweek And Autoweek Rev Their Engines (minOnline)
Concluding our five-year analysis of magazine advertising, we take a look at weekly and biweekly boxscores for 2007-11. Only seven of the 30 mags we track had an upward gain in ad sales for 2011.

CNN Responds To Criticism Over Catholic Church, Birth Control Mandate Story (TVNewser)
CNN senior vice president and Washington, D.C., bureau chief Sam Feist fired off a letter to Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center after Bozell criticized CNN and other networks for the lack of coverage of the Obama administration's rule requiring religious schools and hospitals to provide employees with access to free birth control. Yahoo! News / The Cutline: Political commentator Roland Martin has been suspended indefinitely by CNN over a series of tweets he published during the Super Bowl. "Roland Martin's tweets were regrettable and offensive," the network said in a statement Wednesday. "Language that demeans is inconsistent with the values and culture of our organization, and is not tolerated. We have been giving careful consideration to this matter, and Roland will not be appearing on our air for the time being."

Greg Kelly Set For Friday Return To Good Day New York (FishbowlNY)
Less than 24 hours after the Manhattan District Attorney cleared him of all rape allegations, WNYW/Channel 5 morning co-anchor Greg Kelly is set to resume his broadcasting career. TVSpy: Kelly will return to the anchor desk Friday. New York / Daily Intel: The New York Post responded Wednesday morning by identifying the accuser. When the news first broke that the case would be dropped, the Post story did not include the name of the woman, who claims that Kelly assaulted her in the office of a law firm -- where she works as a paralegal -- after the pair had drinks.

M.I.A.'s Super Bowl Flip-Off Has NBC, NFL Pointing Fingers (THR)
British rapper M.I.A.'s decision to flip the bird to more than 111 million viewers during the Super Bowl halftime show has led to some gesturing between NBC and the National Football League. The network and the league released dueling statements, seemingly blaming the other for the singer's errant finger during a performance of headliner Madonna's new single, "Give Me All Your Luvin'."

Don't Break Stories On Twitter, BBC Journalists Told (Guardian)
BBC journalists have been told not to break news stories on Twitter before they tell their newsroom colleagues. GigaOM: The BBC's social media editor says the policy isn't as draconian as some critics are portraying it, but the emphasis on protecting the British national broadcaster's existing news structure is just another example of how traditional media entities are struggling with their relationship to Twitter in an era of real-time, distributed news.

Youths Are Watching, But Less Often On TV (NYT)
Television is America's No. 1 pastime, with an average of four hours and 39 minutes consumed by every person every day. But more and more young people are tuning in elsewhere.

USC, IBM, And The LA Times Team Up To Determine 'The People's Oscar' Winner (FishbowlLA)
USC's Annenberg Innovation Lab teamed with IBM and the Los Angeles Times to measure social media buzz relating to this year's Oscars. Culling worldwide Twitter sentiment, the hope is to accurately identify the "people's Oscar" winners in the major categories. FishbowlLA: In the arcane, moneyed world of "For Your Consideration" ads, there are each year a number of pitches that rub Academy members the wrong way. But after a paid email blast was sent out this week by both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, TheWrap reporter Steve Pond is getting some blowback for suggesting that the transmission was only borderline AMPAS-legal.

Motor Trend Debuts New TV-Style Programming On YouTube (FishbowlLA)
Motor Trend parent company Source Interlink Media has launched a new YouTube channel. Although the channel bears Motor Trend's name, it will incorporate content from other SIM mags like Hot Rod, Motorcyclist, Lowrider, FourWheeler, Dirt Rider, Car Craft, Automobile, and Import Tuner. paidContent: The channel will launch Feb. 17 with eight original weekly shows unfurling on a Monday-Friday schedule. Wired / Epicenter: Part of YouTube's specialization strategy -- as evidenced by Wednesday's automotive channel launch -- involves the "niche-ification" of online video content, organizing shows into siloed channels that are more accessible to both users and advertisers alike.

AOL Hires Chief Content Officer For Troubled Patch (Reuters)
AOL, which has been investing heavily in content to make up for declining revenue from dial-up Internet access, hired an executive for the newly created position of chief content officer at its struggling Patch hyperlocal news network. Rachel Fishman Feddersen will join Patch in the new role, reporting to Jon Brod, head of AOL Local, effective Feb. 14. A Patch insider tells Romenesko readers that the AOL-owned hyperlocal news sites plan to cut staff and freelance budgets and start producing "easy, quick-hitting, cookie-cutter copy." Examples: best ofs, and features like "What's happening to this vacant storefront?" Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider: Patch denied a report from Jim Romenesko that it planned to cut freelance spending 50 percent-100 percent. It's also shooting down Romenesko's report that Patch is going to emphasize "best-of" content -- such as the "Best Burgers" and "Best Coffeehouses," etc. -- for each town it covers. Sources at Patch told us the report is "preposterously untrue," and spokesman Janine Iamunno wrote, "There are no layoffs planned." Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider: Greg Kumparak announced that he is leaving TechCrunch after four years.

ESPN Falls To Third In Online Sports Site Rankings (
Yahoo! Sports remained the most popular U.S. online sports site in January, but the most eye-catching news was falling to third place behind

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