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Monday, Mar 12

Morning Media Newsfeed 03.12.12

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Former Times Executive Received $24 Million, According To Proxy Statement (NYT / Media Decoder)
Janet L. Robinson's total compensation package when she left The New York Times Co. in December was about $24 million, according to the company's proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday.

South By Southwest: Is CNN Buying Mashable? (Reuters / Felix TV)
Reuters blogger Felix Salmon has learned from an unnamed source that CNN will buy social media website Mashable for more than $200 million. The source says an announcement is expected for Tuesday. NYT / Media Decoder CNN, a unit of Time Warner, and Mashable are in advanced talks that may lead to an acquisition of the social news website, three people with knowledge of the talks said. paidContent CNN might yet end up as the owner of Mashable, but it's not imminent despite a single-source report from Salmon. CNET / Geek Gestalt The digerati at South by Southwest say lots of ridiculous -- and hilarious -- things, and not with their inside voices. Now there's a Twitter feed showcasing some curated favorite "overheards." Mediaite Meghan McCain is one of the many attendees of the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. She talked about effective ways that politicians can use social media outlets, especially by being more authentic and engaging with the American people: "Take the current [Republican presidential] campaign. Everybody in the race is online doing it…but not everyone's doing it well. [Mitt] Romney's campaign isn't using social media in the best possible way -- it can't just be press releases. It's like ugh."

Is Gay Too Mainstream For Its Own Media? (AdAge / MediaWorks)
You tune into a cable network and peruse the roster: a reality show about a child beauty queen, a pop-culture review, and a canine-makeover series. So what's surprising about this lowbrow lineup? That it doesn't belong to TLC or Oxygen, but to Logo, Viacom's LGBT-focused cable channel, which until this year featured gays and lesbians at the heart of its programming.

Billboard Publisher, Editor Out, Other Top Staffers Follow (TheWrap.com / Media Alley)
Billboard magazine is bleeding top talent, with publisher Lisa Ryan Howard and editor-in-chief Danyel Smith handing in their walking papers, TheWrap has learned. In addition, deputy editor Louis Hau and other high-level staffers have exited the music industry's leading trade, according to sources close to the publication.

Will The New iPad Display Put Digital Mags On A Crash Diet? (minOnline)
For magazine publishers, the next-gen iPad's "Retina Display" raises an interesting math problem. The doubling of resolution and pixel density opens up worlds of opportunity for crafting even more luscious visual experiences. But at what cost to consumers already frustrated with the massive file size of many digital editions?

NBC, YouTube Partner For London Olympics Video (TheWrap.com)
YouTube and NBC are teaming up to offer videos from this summer's London Olympic Games.

Twitter's Secret History As The World's Worst Tech Or Media Business (Gawker)
Twitter has been spinning quite a turnaround story in the press lately. The microblogging service "has finally turned a corner," declares the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek. "It's a juggernaut," a company executive tells the magazine. But the hard numbers we've been provided paint a very different story. Yahoo! News / The Cutline To the delight of late-night joke writers everywhere, Brett Favre joined Twitter earlier this month. But according to a statement from the former quarterback's official website, his account -- which had been verified by Twitter -- was hacked over the weekend.

Les Moonves: Steve Jobs Approached CBS For Apple TV Content (THR)
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves said Saturday that he was approached about a year ago by Steve Jobs to provide content for Apple's long-rumored television service but he declined to participate.

Major Cable, Satellite Providers Not Interested In Carrying Netflix (NY Post / The Spread)
Netflix may want to get in bed with a major pay TV provider, but the feeling doesn't appear to be mutual. AdAge / MediaWorks Netflix has been careful to describe itself as a complement to cable distributors, but as it quietly tests network-branded pages in what appears to be an effort to give content partners more visibility, it risks positioning itself as a substitute for cable packages.

FremantleMedia Inks Distribution Deal With Hulu (B&C)
FremantleMedia Enterprises has concluded a new first-look deal for international distribution rights for Hulu's original programming. CNET What do billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, street artist Mr. Brainwash, and music group Black Eye Peas' front man will.i.am have in common? They all had their lives chronicled for 24 hours in Hulu's original TV show by Morgan Spurlock, A Day in the Life. Now, this show -- which was only available in the U.S. -- will be the first to kick off an international first-look deal that will bring the online video service's original programming to a global audience, the company said in a statement. TheWrap.com Additionally, Hulu announced that it has signed deals to exclusively distribute documentaries. Hulu said it has essentially purchased the pay-TV window for such titles as Spurlock's Comic-Con, which looks at the annual San Diego-based geek festival, and Amir Bar-Lev's Re:Generation Music Project, which focuses on musicians using technology to mash together musical genres. THR The Fremantle arrangement, which the partners say marks the first time that an international distributor has signed such an agreement with an online video service, will allow for content and format distribution deals across all platforms, including traditional media. Adweek Ordinarily, Hulu's content is geo-blocked, meaning that Web users residing outside the U.S. cannot view videos on the site, minus some occasional programming stunts. GigaOM / NewTeeVee FremantleMedia senior vice president of acquisitions Jeff Tahler told me via email that the English-language markets like the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand could be good homes for Hulu content. "But we expect to sell well beyond those," he added.

Diller To Networks: Get Radio Shack To Pay Retrans And Aereo Will Too (paidContent)
Barry Diller's latest investment in media disruption hasn't even launched yet, and it's already in court. That's part of the appeal of Aereo for Diller, chairman of IAC, who gleefully admits: "One of the reasons I love it is it's going to be a great fight." TheWrap.com Roughly two weeks ago in New York, the company was slapped with a pair of lawsuits by NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, PBS, and Univision that charged copyright violation. Adweek To which Diller responds: Look to the VCR. When Sony invented the Betamax VCR, media companies filed suit, but the Supreme Court overruled them. "I understand what [the broadcast owners] are saying, but they're not on the side of settled law," he said.

New Internet TV Network To Feature Larry King (NYT / Media Decoder)
Carlos Slim Helú, the Mexican billionaire, is financing an Internet television network called Ora.tv that will feature Larry King, the former CNN interviewer, in a return to the interviewer's chair.

Berkeley Police Chief Sends Sergeant To Reporter's Home To Request Story Changes (Oakland Tribune)
Minutes after reading a late-night news story online about him that he perceived to be inaccurate, Berkeley Police Chief Michael Meehan ordered a sergeant to a reporter's home insisting on changes -- a move First Amendment experts said reeked of intimidation and attempted censorship.

Report: Some Papers Won't Be Running This Week's 'Doonesbury' Strips (JimRomenesko.com)
A Romenesko reader emails: "This week's 'Doonesbury' cartoons, on the Texas anti-abortion/mandatory ultrasound law, may cause some newspapers to use 'flashbacks' instead of the live cartoons." I asked around and was told that The Oregonian and The Dallas Morning News are among the papers that have discussed pulling the strips. Poynter / MediaWire About one-dozen papers have asked about "Doonesbury" replacement strips. That's according to Sue Roush of Universal Uclick, which syndicates the comic strip.

CNN's Howard Kurtz Grills Jay Roach, Danny Strong Over Accuracy Of Game Change (HuffPost)
CNN's Howard Kurtz grilled director Jay Roach and screenwriter Danny Strong over the accuracy of their movie Game Change on Sunday's Reliable Sources. Mediaite Since it's a movie, obviously the film took some creative license with the story of the 2008 John McCain-Sarah Palin presidential campaign, but Kurtz challenged several of the scenes in the film and asked the filmmakers just how they were able to create dialogue for certain moments. THR Even before Game Change, HBO's new film that centers on Palin's tumultuous ride as McCain's running mate during the 2008 race for the White House, hit the airwaves, the debate about its tone, accuracy, and sheer legitimacy lit up cable news and awoke fierce rivalries. And like any modern political debate, once the facts were actually released, well, opinions didn't really change all that much. Mediaite At the end of his appearance on Fox News Sunday, McCain weighed in on the HBO film. McCain admitted that he did not see the TV movie, but based on everything he's heard about it, he does not believe it portrays an accurate picture of the campaign. Not only did McCain say that the movie is based on a biased view of the campaign, but Ed Harris' portrayal of him was too salty. Mediaite Nicolle Wallace, one of the 2008 campaign's top advisors, was on This Week Sunday, and she admitted that the movie was accurate enough to make her feel uncomfortable watching it.

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