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Thursday, Mar 14

Morning Media Newsfeed: 03.14.13

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Powering Down Google Reader (Google Reader Blog)
We have just announced on the Official Google Blog that we will soon retire Google Reader (the actual date is July 1, 2013). We know Reader has a devoted following who will be very sad to see it go. We're sad too. There are two simple reasons for this: Usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we're pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience. Wired / Gadget Lab Google Reader gave users the ability to friend, follow and share stories with others. It let readers share stories with each other, and comment on them too. And now, the entire product is going away for good. This wasn't exactly unforeseen. Reader had long been basically ignored; its updates were few and far between. Forbes / Alex Kantrowitz The death of Google Reader reveals a problem of the modern Internet that many of us likely have in the back of our heads but are afraid to let surface: We are all participants in a user-driven Internet, but we are still just the users, nothing more. We're finally likely to see substantial innovation and competition in RSS desktop apps and sync platforms for the first time in almost a decade. Lifehacker Here's how to export all your feeds and put them into a new reader.

Meet Scott Prouty, the 47 Percent Video Source (Mother Jones)
"Scott Prouty." The fellow on the other end of the phone call pronounced his name with hesitation. For nearly a fortnight, he and I had been building a long-distance rapport via private tweets, emails and phone conversations as we discussed how best to make public the secret video he had shot of Mitt Romney talking at a private, $50,000-per-plate fundraiser in Boca Raton, Fla. The Atlantic Wire Eight o'clock on Wednesday night marked the event horizon for Prouty going completely public. Wearing a blue tie and pinstripe suit the Boston native appeared on The Ed Show to reveal his face for the first time and answer questions about his now famous -- or infamous, depending on your leanings -- video.

MSNBC Ending Ed Schultz's Weekday Show (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
MSNBC host Ed Schultz announced Wednesday night that, as of April, he will no longer host his weeknight prime-time show. But Schultz will stay with the network, hosting a two-hour program on Saturday and Sunday nights, he said. Like former MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan, Schultz suggested that the move was his choice. Sources at MSNBC told Politico that that was a very generous interpretation of events. Schultz was pushed out to make way for new talent, they said. NYT / Media Decoder Schultz's move out of 8 p.m. has been expected at least since late last year, when The New York Times reported that Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein was a candidate for the time slot. Klein, who doubles as an MSNBC contributor, has filled in for the channel's prime-time hosts dozens of times, and appeared on the channel as recently as Wednesday afternoon. TVNewser MSNBC plans to announce the new host during the NBC News Group upfront presentation in New York Thursday.

Twitter Suspends Fake @JMBergoglio Account Following Pope's Election (
Twitter Wednesday suspended the account of an Argentinian using the name of the new pope, although the account -- a fake -- appears to have been active since last summer, long before Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was named Pope Francis. USA Today The papal @pontifex Twitter account came back to life Wednesday afternoon with one tweet sent out shortly after Pope Francis recited the Lord's Prayer and a Hail Mary at the Vatican. Ad Age / Adages The lesson here? Check and double-check. Even fake popes can get massive social-media followings. TVNewser Breaking news is a tough business, and mistakes are commonplace as news unfolds on TV. Nonetheless, there were a handful of preventable errors that made it live Wednesday afternoon, as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio became Pope Francis.

Spinoff of Time Inc. Rattles Employees (NYT)
Several current and former Time Inc. employees spoke about the unease at the magazines, requesting anonymity so they could publicly discuss private conversations. "This is for the most part a really nice place to work and people are happy to know that it will stay intact," said a current Time Inc. executive. "The layoffs were really hard. The uncertainty on the heels of the layoffs made it particularly painful. Some people were really nervous about this Meredith idea."

Finally! Netflix Debuts Facebook Integration to see What Your Friends are Watching (LostRemote)
More than two years ago, Netflix announced it was going to "regroup" with its Facebook strategy. Then the company decided to wait for Congress to change a 1988 law which prohibited "a video tape service provider" from revealing customer information. With the law changed in January, Wednesday Netflix began to roll out its much-anticipated social features powered by Facebook's social graph. Ad Age / Media News Netflix CEO Reed Hastings lobbied Congress to change U.S. law and put his alliance with Facebook into full effect. With about $5 billion in long-term content obligations, he is counting on the social component to increase word-of-mouth about Netflix's growing digital library and build loyalty to the $7.99-a-month subscription service. TechCrunch You can't visit a friend's Facebook profile without news of what songs they've been streaming on Spotify, what YouTube videos they like, or what photos or videos they've captured, liked, or re-shared using a wide variety of mobile apps. It only seems fitting that Netflix should be able to get in on that action. PRNewser As TechCrunch points out, this setup doesn't really work if every member of a given family uses Netflix, because no one wants to see what his or her friends' kids watch. And we don't want to have to explain for the 20th time that our roommate likes Kathy Griffin.

Detroit Stations Report Conflicting Accounts of Altercation Involving WJBK's Charlie LeDuff (TVSpy)
WJBK investigative reporter Charlie LeDuff was involved in a physical confrontation Sunday after the Detroit St. Patrick's Day parade. A police report of the incident obtained by rival station WXYZ says LeDuff "urinated in public, insulted female police officers, got into a brawl, and bit a security guard who tried to break it up."

New York Times Co. Extends 'Ricochet' ads to Condé Nast, Ad Age and People (Ad Age / Digital)
Soon a host of publishers will follow The New York Times Co. and allow advertisers to buy specific articles as they are distributed on social networks. The Times Co. launched the product, called Ricochet, last April to let advertisers choose specific articles from a publisher's archive to bind their ads to for a certain duration. The technology then creates a unique URL for the selected articles, which the advertisers can distribute to their social networks.

Report: Twitter Will Release Music Discovery app This Month (CNET)
Twitter acquired the music discovery service We Are Hunted last year and is using its technology to build a standalone music app, CNET has learned. The app, to be called Twitter Music, could be released on iOS by the end of this month, according to a person familiar with the matter.

At NBC, a Struggle to Revive the Morning Magic (NYT)
Staff members at NBC's Today show huddled for a performance review last month, 10 months after the longtime morning show leader first fell behind ABC's Good Morning America in the ratings. The mood was anxious, according to several attendees, as network executives discussed the findings from focus groups with hundreds of viewers.

Pay-As-You-Read eBookselling Won't Make it off the Shelves (readwrite)
Entrepreneurs have often used technology to bring us services we didn't even know we needed. Who would have thought a billion people would be willing to share their lives on Facebook and hundreds of millions more would change the news industry by microblogging on Twitter? But oftentimes entrepreneurs get it wrong and throw technology at a problem that only exists in their dream-chasing heads.

Redbox Instant Ready to Open its Doors to the Public (GigaOM)
Redbox Instant by Verizon may be ready to launch its public beta test as early as Thursday, GigaOM has learned from an industry insider. The joint-venture between Verizon and Redbox launched its private beta test in December, offering subscribers Redbox rentals as well as a Netflix-like streaming service with a focus on movies.

CBS Sells Good Wife Reruns with Internet Viewers First in Line (Ad Age / Media News)
CBS Corp. has sold rerun rights to The Good Wife, one of broadcast TV's most popular programs, in a new arrangement giving Amazon's Web video customers first access to the show, CBS said Wednesday. Adweek In a multiwindow deal that involves a basic cable network (Hallmark Channel), a pair of streaming partners (Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus) and a weekend broadcast syndication schedule, CBS has put together a package that reflects the increasing fragmentation of the traditional television audience.

Veronica Mars Movie Hits $2 Million Kickstarter Goal in 10 Hours (paidContent)
Veronica Mars is coming back, thanks to Kickstarter: A crowdsourced fundraising campaign to make a Veronica Mars movie has hit its $2 million goal in just 10 hours. PRNewser Compelling content will always have an audience -- the challenge is finding those fans, engaging them and driving them to take action.

A Tale of two Newspaper Interfaces (MIT Technology Review)
The New York Times "prototypes" a new site design for readability, while The Daily Mail mints money by actively thwarting it.

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