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NBC to Finish Fifth in Sweeps for First Time; Network Falls Behind Univision (Deadline Hollywood)
An already bad month is getting worse for NBC. For the first time in sweeps history, the network is projected to finish fifth in the key adults 18-49 demographic. That's a crushing blow for NBC. From the beginning of the February sweep on Jan. 31 through Feb. 19, NBC has averaged a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49. HuffPost The Peacock network started the TV season off strong with hits like Revolution and The Voice and even won November sweeps. But once those shows went into hiatus in November and December respectively, NBC's numbers quickly crumbled. The Atlantic Wire No one likes Smash anymore. 30 Rock is over. You'd have trouble finding anyone excited to watch the new Community. The Office is on its death bed (and won't see a boost from a Michael Scott return). Do No Harm was an embarrassment, and then it got canned. Deception is limping like a dog with a cone on its head. And the once-funny Up All Night lost Christina Applegate, and is now one of the most embarrassing messes in recent primetime history -- they actually considered pulling a Bewitched.
Soledad O'Brien to Take on New Role at CNN (NYT / Media Decoder)
Soledad O'Brien will leave CNN's morning show in the spring, but she won't be leaving the cable news channel altogether. O'Brien, who is well-known for CNN documentaries like Black in America, said Thursday that she would form a production company and continue to supply documentaries to CNN on a nonexclusive basis. She'll also make them for other television channels and for the Web. THR / The Live Feed "I will not miss getting up that early, I cannot lie, not for a minute," she says, laughing, in an interview on Thursday with The Hollywood Reporter. The former NBC News anchor is still proud of her work in the early shift on CNN -- because even though the show didn't receive "a ton of support and didn't get a ton of marketing and a ton of promotions," it was able to drive stories throughout the 2012 election. "We had a staff of people, we never were fully staffed, where we were able to -- in spite of not getting a lot of support -- really make our show relevant," she explains. "To do that, that was pretty tremendous." TVNewser "We greatly value Soledad's experience, and her first-rate storytelling will continue to be an asset to CNN," said CNN president Jeff Zucker in a statement. "Documentaries and long-form story telling are important to our brand and we're anticipating more of what we've come to expect from her -- riveting content." Baltimore Sun / Z on TV If O'Brien is unhappy about leaving weekday mornings, the guaranteed money and the chance to do quality, in-depth documentaries at a time in media history when such opportunities are rare, surely soften the blow. On paper, at least, it looks like a pretty good deal if you care about doing in-depth journalism, as O'Brien has told me she does in various interviews.
Conservative Magazine Human Events Up for Sale, Could Close (Politico)
Human Events -- the venerable, but struggling, conservative weekly revered by generations of Republicans -- has been put up for sale, and may close down entirely if a buyer can't be found, Politico has learned. "We're trying to figure out the right thing to do with a property that is sort of the cornerstone of the conservative movement," Joe Guerriero, an executive at Eagle Publishing, the parent company of Human Events, said Thursday.
David Gregory Re-Ups as Meet the Press Host (Yahoo! News / AP)
David Gregory has re-upped as host of Meet the Press. NBC News shared no details, but described the new deal as "a long-term commitment." Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Sources at NBC News have long speculated that White House correspondent Chuck Todd might take the reins on the Sunday morning program. The news delays that prospect by at least a few years, as Gregory told the AP he plans to host the program "for as long as they'll let me." The Washington Post / The TV Column Since Tim Russert's final full season, Meet The Press has lost 20 percent of its audience. Face The Nation on the other hand -- which is still anchored by Bob Schieffer -- has gained 23 percent. NYT / Media Decoder NBC always points out that the CBS show continues to count only its first half hour in the ratings, while the programs on the other networks are all rated for a full hour. Face the Nation has less than a full complement of national stations for its second half hour and so eliminates those numbers from the competition. TVNewser An NBC source says that Meet the Press executive producer Betsy Fischer Martin is likely to extend her deal with the network in the coming weeks, too.
CNBC Acquires Nightly Business Report (TVNewser)
CNBC has acquired the PBS series Nightly Business Report. CNBC will move production of the show to its Englewood Cliffs, N.J. world headquarters. For decades the show was co-anchored from the Miami studios of WPBT, NBR's founding PBS sponsor. NYT / Media Decoder The format will remain the same. Tyler Mathisen of CNBC will anchor with Susie Gharib, the current co-anchor, who is under contract through 2013. Co-anchor Tom Hudson and the remaining staff of 18 will leave. Miami Herald Employees will be invited to apply for positions with CNBC, but there will be no openings in Miami. "It's a disappointing day for me personally as a leader in the Miami newsroom," said Hudson, who hopes to continue writing his weekly column for the Miami Herald and pursue other opportunities in financial journalism. "I think it's a matter of economics, and CNBC already has resources in place that they can leverage with this program. I do have full confidence that the NBR legacy is safe and its future is bright with our colleagues at CNBC."
Time Magazine Runs Its Longest Article Ever (Daily Download)
In this week's issue of Time magazine, the 90-year-old newsweekly ran its longest article ever: a 24,000 word exposé of the American health care system by Steven Brill. Brill's article was supposed to be the cover story of the New Republic's relaunch. NYT / Media Decoder But when Brill learned that his story was going to be bumped to the New Republic's second issue because owner Chris Hughes had landed an interview with President Obama, Brill pitched the article within hours to four other magazines. While The Atlantic, The New York Times and The New Yorker considered the article, Brill said he ultimately worked with Time because the magazine's editors agreed to publish the article as a single story, rather than partly online and in print.
NBC.com Hacked, Infected with Citadel Trojan (PC Mag)
NBC said Thursday that it was working to resolve a problem on its website after security researchers began issuing warnings that NBC.com and related sites had been hacked and infected with malware that was redirecting visitors to malicious websites.
AP's First Usage Guidelines on 'Husband, Wife' (CJR / Minority Reports)
Last week, Jim Romenesko published an internal memo from The Associated Press about how to refer to gay and lesbian couples. The memo said that general practice was to refer to same-sex couples, even married ones, as partners or couples, instead of using the words "husband" and "wife." A brouhaha ensued, and the AP has now issued its first-ever entry in the AP Stylebook Online for the terms "husband" and "wife" in response.
Journal Register Co.'s Sale Could Put 844 Michigan Newspaper Jobs at Risk (MLive.com)
A company that owns several newspapers in Michigan plans to lay off more than 840 employees, with hopes that the new owner will rehire them. Journal Register Co. owns four daily newspapers in Michigan: The Oakland Press, The Macomb Daily, Morning Sun of Mount Pleasant and Daily Tribune of Royal Oak.
60 Percent of Audiobooks Sold Are Now Digital (GalleyCat)
According to the Audio Publishers Association, audiobooks are now a billion dollar part of the publishing industry. Taking results from two studies of the audiobook industry, the association noted that 3.8 million more audiobooks were sold in 2011 compared to the year before -- generating a 2.6 percent rise in revenues.
Three Important Takeaways from the NYT / Tesla Battle (10,000 Words)
What could make venerated publication and hallowed critical voice The New York Times backpedal ungraciously and admit some shaky practices by their own staff writer? The electric car.
Here's the List of Journalists Who Start Judging the Pulitzer Prizes Friday (Quartz)
Friday at Columbia University in New York, deliberations begin to determine which works of American journalism published last year are deserving of Pulitzer Prizes, the most coveted award in news. The list of journalists who sit on the Pulitzer nominating juries is supposed to be kept secret until the awards are unveiled, but we've obtained 44 of their names, along with titles and affiliations, which we've published below.
Gawker and 'The Politico' (FishbowlDC)
Nicknames are often jabs. And it was a clear and condescending one when Tom Scocca, writing for Gawker, repeatedly referred to "The Politico" in a post taking down a recent story by Politico's Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei.
Fox Contributor Romney? Brian Kilmeade and Chris Wallace Trigger Speculation (Mediaite)
An intriguing exchange occurred between Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Kilmeade's radio show, in which Wallace bragged about knowing what was next for Mitt Romney, then clammed up when Kilmeade maybe guessed right.
Guess Which BuzzFeed Piece is an Ad (AndrewSullivan.com)
Here is BuzzFeed's post on Sony's PlayStation 4 posted Wednesday at 8:07 p.m. Despite being billed as "The Only Post You Need To Read About The PlayStation 4," it was actually preceded by a post on BuzzFeed the day before about the same event, titled "11 Things You Didn't Know About PlayStation." Were these sponsored or real?