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Amid 900 Layoffs, Just How Are AOL's Media Brands Doing? (AdAge / Digital)
While the company would not confirm which content staffs have been affected, we took a look at AOL's worst-performing properties, courtesy of comScore, and you have to figure that CEO Tim Armstrong looked at the same numbers when considering whom he had to let go. Within content, AOL Finance has done the worst, losing 41 percent of its audience, followed by Politics Daily, which dropped 32 percent of its readers. AOL News, however, increased its audience 30 percent over the past year, along with AOL Tech, which drew in 49 percent more people, and Patch, which pulled in 4.4 million viewers, up from 69,000, underscoring Armstrong's push for more local content. Silicon Alley Insider: Huffington Post editors will be filling in temporarily while site shutdowns are weighed at: Holidash, Pawnation, Health, Healthy Living, That's Fit, KOL, Parentdish, Travel, Kitchen Daily, Aisledash, Royal Wedding, Stylelist, and Luxist. Asylum and Lemondrop no longer publish, as well. Silicon Alley Insider: AOL senior vice president and general manager of news Jonathan Dube Tweeted, "I have just laid off dozens of the most talented journalists & product folks I know. Need talent? Let me know!" NY Post: It was only two years ago when AOL was being looked at as a savior of the news industry, snapping up journalists by the dozens, many of whom had been downsized by newspapers and other "old" media. Silicon Alley Insider: The biggest winner in particular was HuffPost chief technology officer Paul Berry, viewed as "a star" inside the company, a source close to AOL tells us. He will run tech for AOL Media, now called The Huffington Post Media Group. paidContent: Armstrong: "For instance, in news and finance, we're losing about $20 million per year in that category. In contrast, Huffington Post is high-growth and will be high profitability in that area." AllThingsD / BoomTown: Sources said those being laid off on the AOL staff in the United States will be getting four weeks of severance, plus one week for each year of service. It will be paid out every two weeks, instead of a lump sum. FishbowlDC: Politics Daily editor-in-chief Melinda Henneberger has been laid off. We're hearing that Walter Shapiro and Patricia Murphy have also been laid off.
Bill Keller Accuses Me Of 'Aggregating' An Idea He Had Actually 'Aggregated' From Me (HuffPost / Arianna Huffington)
Perhaps unsettled by the fact that, when combined, The Huffington Post and AOL News have over 70 percent more unique visitors than The New York Times, and that HuffPost/AOL News' combined page views in January 2011 were double the page views of the Times (1.5 billion vs. 750 million), NYT executive editor Bill Keller decided to unleash an exceptionally misinformed attack on HuffPost in a column released Thursday and slated for this weekend's NYT Magazine.
The New York Times Adds Recommendation Features To Its Article Pages (Nieman Journalism Lab)
We wrote a few weeks back about The New York Times' new recommendation engine: a customized page that displays Times articles you've consumed over the past month, broken down by topic, and that suggests other articles you might be interested in. The Recommendations feature launched in fully public form Thursday. The Times added a "Recommended for You" tab next to the "Most Emailed" tab on article pages' Most Popular module. Mashable: The algorithm is one of the most sophisticated we've seen on a news site. When serving up recommendations, it calculates a number of factors, including recency (visitors who tend to gravitate toward breaking news should see recommendations for more timely topics), sections, topics, and keywords. 10,000 Words: A just-released Yahoo! study, The Like Log Study, uncovers trends about how news is shared via social media. The study crowns the NYT the king of social engagement, with 2.3 million Facebook likes each month and 400 likes for an average story.
The Washington Post launched @innovations, a Tumblr blog meant to showcase the news organization's digital features and discuss the changing media landscape.
The Journal Adds 200,000 Mobile-Device Subscribers (WSJ)
The Wall Street Journal has added 200,000 paying subscribers who access the newspaper via mobile devices such as Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle.
Top Five Things Publishers Should Know About The iPad 2 Launch (minOnline)
The specs for the iPad 2 offer some obvious advantages for publishers, and the concurrent release of the iOS 4.3 version has some important additions for all apps running on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
Over the past few weeks, many worries about the death of journalism have, well, died. Despite shrinking newsrooms and overworked reporters, journalism is, in fact, thriving. The art of information gathering, analysis, and dissemination has arguably been strengthened over the last several years, and given rise and importance to a new role: the journalistic curator.
The NPR Body Count (Slate)
They're stacking former NPR executives like cord wood on 7th Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW outside the radio network. NPR / The Two-Way: In "Part II" of his secretly recorded conversations with NPR fund-raisers, conservative political activist James O'Keefe's accomplice presses for assurance that a $5 million gift to NPR from the fake group could be kept anonymous. WaPo: An NPR fund-raising executive said her organization would be willing to shield a would-be donor from a government audit by keeping the donor's name anonymous, according to a series of surreptitiously recorded phone calls released Thursday by a conservative activist.
Journalists Honored By RTDNF Reflect On 9/11 (B&C)
As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches, the Radio-Television Digital News Foundation Thursday night honored journalists for their coverage of the attacks, and, by extension, all of the journalists who bore witness to the tragedy. TVNewser: "If you are informed person on some level, you should have an opinion. If you don't, well, that would be kind of weird and vapid and vacant, wouldn't it?" Fox News Channel's Shepard Smith said at the event.
WTNH announced a partnership with the Connecticut Post. As part of the new arrangement, the ABC affiliate based in New Haven will operate a Fairfield County bureau in the newspaper's newsroom and regularly broadcast segments from inside.
Rainbow Media To Be Renamed AMC Networks (B&C)
Cablevision Systems said it is going forward with the spinoff of its Rainbow Media business, and the new company will be named AMC Networks.
Video Site Hulu Plans To Shrink Its Board (WSJ)
Hulu is planning to shrink its board, according to people familiar with the matter, shaking up the Web-video venture's governance as it hashes out its future within the media business.
YouTube launched versions of its site for seven countries in the Middle East -- a step that could add to the site's local importance during the region's ongoing turbulent political times by better surfacing timely citizen videos.
Sheen Files Suit Against Lorre And Warner (NYT / Media Decoder)
Charlie Sheen escalated his war with the creator of his hit comedy Two and a Half Men and the studio that produces it by filing a suit Thursday demanding more than $100 million in damages for first halting production on episodes planned for this season and then removing him from the show. LA Times / Company Town: The legal battle between Sheen and the makers of Two and a Half Men has the potential to display the type of dirt that Hollywood prefers to keep swept under the rug. TheWrap.com / The Box: Might Sheen's lawsuit be heard away from the media, in arbitration instead of a courtroom? THR: Sheen had nothing but praise for the Los Angeles Police Department officers who searched his house Thursday. "#fastball; the LAPD were AWESOME. Absolute pros! they can protect and serve this Warlock anytime!!! c," he Tweeted. THR: Sheen announced a live tour kicking off in Detroit. "Fastball; My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option Show LIVE Detroit/Chicago on sale Sat. The REAL story c," Sheen Tweeted with a link to Ticketmaster.com, where those interested can purchase tickets. Slate: The past days have found Sheen in many poses -- stiff-backed on a talk show, rocking gently in a wicker lawn chair, lunging toward the camera from the day-for-night murk of his outdoor kitchen -- but his message, all the while, has been unwavering: No one surpasses what Sheen does; everyone stands in his way.
LinkedIn Today: The Professional Networking Site Tries Its Hand At News (WebNewser)
Professional networking site LinkedIn is making its entry into the news arena, announcing the beta launch of LinkedIn Today, which aggregates the most-shared headlines related to multiple industries by members of the network. Silicon Alley Insider: LinkedIn Today could help LinkedIn earn more money from advertising as it prepares for its initial public offering this year. NYT / Bits: LinkedIn Today will compete with other general news aggregators, like Google News or Yahoo! News, as well as those that are tailored to a specific industry, like Techmeme, for technology. ReadWriteWeb: It's hard to see how the curation that will happen on LinkedIn will be different from what happens on other social-network sites, as many people simply duplicate their shares from Twitter, blogs, or feeds to their LinkedIn profiles.