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Tuesday, Mar 05

Morning Media Newsfeed: 03.05.13

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Toronto Star to Cut Jobs, Citing Declines in Ad Revenue (Globe and Mail)
Canada's largest newspaper is cutting dozens of jobs from its newsroom, outsourcing editing duties that are increasingly seen as too costly for cash-strapped dailies trying to cope with falling advertising revenue. The Toronto Star The Star has announced it will lay off 55 employees in its editorial and advertising departments. Thirty-two of the layoffs will be in the editorial department, including 21 page editors, three library staff, four design staff and four editorial assistants. Canada.com The move was foreshadowed by some social media chatter over the weekend ("Have long wondered when the reckoning visited on other newspapers would hit the Star. That time is, in some fashion, nigh"), plus the exit of national editor Colin Mackenzie last week and dire revenue issues for the company. The Province The paper also put its union -- the Southern Ontario Newsmedia Guild which is part Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada -- on notice of its plans to "reduce staffing levels" in parts of the newsroom and in the advertising division.

Seeing Riches in Sports TV, Fox Will Create New Network (NYT)
For Rupert Murdoch, creating a national cable sports network in the United States to compete with ESPN has been his white whale -- a tantalizing television opportunity but one of the few fields that his media empire has not conquered. On Tuesday, Fox will announce its intention to start Fox Sports 1, an all-sports network, in August. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer But for all the pondering of its chances at taking a bite out of ESPN's lunch, we don't get many specifics about the network's programming. The only on-air personality mentioned in the Times is Regis Philbin, "a celebrated Notre Dame fan," who will host one of the planned original shows. New York Daily News When they hit the stage of a Manhattan hotel ballroom Tuesday to reveal details of their longshot plan to take on ESPN with Fox Sports 1, one item Fox suits won't cover is the price you'll pay for their competitive journey. Bloomberg The move comes as New York-based News Corp., led by chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, prepares to split into two companies -- a publishing operation and an entertainment business with television and films. Murdoch, who built Fox News into a cable-news powerhouse, will be chairman of both companies and CEO of the entertainment company, Fox Group.

Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin to Cover White House Amid Politics Desk Changes (HuffPost / The Backstory)
The Washington Post made several changes to its politics team Monday, with environmental reporter Juliet Eilperin moving to cover the White House and through the creation of "online strike force," according to a memo obtained by The Huffington Post. Poynter / MediaWire "Darryl Fears is still on the environment beat for us and Juliet's position will be backfilled," Post spokesperson Kris Coratti writes to Poynter in an email, using the latter term to indicate Eilperin's opening will likely be filled by someone within the company. Eilperin, she adds, "is also taking her expertise with her -- she will be reporting on the debate over climate change and environmental policy from her White House perch." CJR / The Observatory Given her extensive on-the-job experience in combining environmental science and policy coverage, however, Eilperin's departure will undoubtedly leave a hole in the Post's coverage, at least until the paper brings someone else up to speed. FishbowlDC Here's the internal memo from the Post.


Did Diane Sawyer Smear 'Pink Slime'? (Reuters)
A year ago, Beef Products Inc. (BPI) had four state-of-the art plants, more than 1,300 employees and was expanding aggressively. Today, the South Dakota company's revenues have plummeted from more than $650 million to about $130 million a year, and three of its plants are shuttered. Company officials blame the abrupt falloff on a series of ABC News broadcasts that began last March -- stories that repeatedly called its product "pink slime." BPI hired a high-powered Chicago trial lawyer and in September slapped the network, star anchor Diane Sawyer and other defendants with a 27-count lawsuit that seeks at least $1.2 billion in damages -- about one-fifth of the fiscal 2012 net income of American Broadcasting Co. parent Walt Disney Co. Now, the case, which many observers initially wrote off as a public relations ploy by a desperate company, is shaping up as one of the most high-stakes defamation court battles in US history.

The Battle for Roger Ailes' Legacy (Politico)
Roger Ailes is used to being in control. For almost a half-century -- from his days as Richard Nixon's media strategist to his creation and expansion of the Fox News empire -- he has exerted incalculable influence over the public image of politicians, presidents, even the Republican Party. Now, with his career heading toward its twilight, Ailes is in a war for control of his own legacy. TVNewser In a statement to TVNewser, Brian Lewis, the executive vice president of corporate communications and senior adviser to the chairman of Fox Television Stations and Fox News, says that Politico's story is faulty. "The basic premise of the story is inaccurate," Lewis says.

BBC Selling Lonely Planet to Kentucky Cigarette Billionaire Brad Kelley (Skift)
Lonely Planet, the storied travel guidebooks publisher owned by BBC, is about to be sold, we have learned. And the buyer is a doozy: reclusive Kentucky billionaire Brad Kelley, who spent the 1990s selling discount cigarette brands like USA Gold, Bull Durham, and Malibu, then sold the company for almost $1 billion in 2001, and parlayed that money into becoming the one of the largest land owners and conservationists in United States. The Guardian BBC Worldwide -- which controversially bought Lonely Planet for £130 million in two stages in 2007 and 2011 -- has been exploring strategic options for the publisher, including seeking an outside investor, it emerged in December.

Number of Female Bylines Shows Little Improvement in New Study (HuffPost)
According to a new VIDA study, publications like the New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, Harper's, and the London Review of Books published significantly fewer articles by women in 2012. The study found that the numbers were consistent with results from previous years. VIDA In a year kicked off by the Republican party fighting the Violence Against Women Act and a nationally-broadcasted song reducing Oscar-noteworthy actresses to "boob shots," VIDA takes our annual look back to see if this regressive tenor is reflected in the treatment of women in literature in 2012.

Daily Caller Says Washington Post Can't Keep its Prostitutes Straight (NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer)
On Monday The Washington Post reported that one of the women who claimed on camera that she was paid to have sex with Senator Bob Menendez had admitted that she was actually just paid to lie about it. That seemed to be the end of the Daily Caller's failed attempt at a November surprise, but late on Monday the Daily Caller published its explanation: The Post allegedly has the wrong prostitute, which would mark the second time the women have been misidentified.

MSNBC's Tamron Hall to CNN? Not in the Near Future (TVNewser)
A source in the agent community confirms that Jeff Zucker is fond of Tamron Hall, but they note that NBC News and MSNBC are fond of her too. More importantly, our source says, Hall has at least a year left on her contract with MSNBC, making any potential jump very difficult.

Brian Williams Has 'Profound Disappointments' in his Country (The Daily Caller)
On Monday's edition of Alec Baldwin's WNYC Here's the Thing podcast, NBC's Nightly News anchor Brian Williams gave a wide-ranging interview on everything from his upbringing to how his career evolved and what his interests are. Williams went so far as to deny he has many political opinions. However, he said he had broader concerns that dealt less with politics and more of a macro-view of the country.

Washington Post to Try Sponsored Posts (Digiday)
There was a time when putting ads on the front page of newspapers was considered risque. Those days are over. The Washington Post became the latest publisher to quit worrying and learn to love sponsored content. Poynter / MediaWire The challenges related to publishing sponsored content would almost certainly be a topic addressed by the Washington Post's ombudsperson -- except the paper eliminated that position last week.

Piers Morgan: 'I've Had Death Threats Every Day' (The Daily Mirror)
Piers Morgan finds himself adored by millions of fans of his CNN show and simultaneously loathed by millions of others for his outspoken views on gun control. "There are millions of Americans who genuinely think I'm the new George III and want to invade their country, take away their guns and overthrow the American government," he sighs. "It's been pretty threatening and fairly menacing at times -- you just have to read my Twitter to see I've had death threats every day."

Larry Flynt: 'Print Media is on its Way Out' (Syracuse.com)
Larry Flynt admits Hustler might not appear in print much longer: Like Newsweek, Spin and The Sporting News "I think magazines are becoming passe," he said.

Twitter Reaction to Events Often at Odds with Overall Public Opinion (Pew Research Center)
The reaction on Twitter to major political events and policy decisions often differs a great deal from public opinion as measured by surveys. This is the conclusion of a year-long Pew Research Center study that compared the results of national polls to the tone of tweets in response to eight major news events, including the outcome of the presidential election, the first presidential debate and major speeches by Barack Obama. Slate / Future Tense Twitter users skew young and left -- they leaned hard toward Obama during the election and for gay rights in California. But the most consistent bias that Pew found was not toward liberals or conservatives. It was a bias against, well, almost everything.

Do We Still Need a Black Media? (CJR / Minority Reports)
As a journalist, as a black woman, and as a media observer, it occurs to me that some people might believe that the time has long since passed when a separate black media is necessary. We no longer live in a (legally) segregated society, so why would we need a segregated press? In my opinion, the answer is, we don't. We don't need a separate black media in the 21st century, but we deserve to have one.

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