Morning Media Newsfeed: 03.15.13
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Boston Phoenix Publishes Final Issue (Boston Phoenix / The Phlog)
I can state with certainty that this is the single most difficult communication I've ever had to deliver and there's no other way to state it than straightforwardly -- As of now the Boston Phoenix has ceased publishing and wfnx.com will not continue as it is. Boston Globe / Culture Desk In a poignant signal of a fast-changing media landscape, the Boston Phoenix sent out a short and simple tweet Thursday afternoon: "Thank you Boston. Good night and good luck." With that terse dispatch, the ground-breaking, Boston alternative weekly, which only six months ago reinvented itself from tabloid newspaper into glossy magazine, put a final punctuation mark on its announcement that its current issue, dated March 15, will be its last. 10,000 Words The alt-weekly's publisher, Phoenix Media, will continue to publish Portland Phoenix and Providence Phoenix, as those publications do not rely on national advertising to stay afloat. "The local advertising market is sufficient to support those publications. You can see why Warren Buffett favors small market papers over their big city brothers and sisters," said executive editor Peter Kadzis. CJR / Behind the News As a longtime Phoenix reader and part-time Boston resident, I'm shocked and disconsolate. The Phoenix is and was one of the best alt-weeklies in the country. From its smart reporting on state and local politics to its tough, nuanced coverage of social justice issues, the Phoenix consistently exemplified the best of the alternative press.
Reuters' Matthew Keys Indicted for Conspiring with Hacker Group 'Anonymous' (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Matthew Keys, a deputy social media editor at Thomson Reuters, has been charged in a federal indictment for allegedly conspiring with members of the hacker group "Anonymous" to hack into the Los Angeles Times, the Justice Department announced Thursday. FishbowlLA More specifically, they are charging Keys with giving away log in keys to the Tribune website in an online chat room. Someone then took the log in data and used it to mess with the online version of an LA Times news story. Reuters The company did not comment on Keys' employment status. However, a Thomson Reuters employee at the New York office where Keys worked said that his work station was being dismantled and that his security pass had been deactivated. NYMag / Daily Intelligencer The 26-year-old was then a producer for a Fox affiliate in California, but has since gone on to build his name as a journalist online, collecting more than 23,000 followers, many of whom are quite shocked (and exhilarated) by the news he might have committed a crime. The Atlantic Wire Here's a media enthusiast who suddenly finds himself potentially unemployed and facing up to 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines for a few keystrokes. Sound like anyone else who's been in the press lately? Of course it does. As almost everyone who's covered story about Keys, aspects of the hacking case is strikingly similar to the one that drove Aaron Swartz to commit suicide at 26.
Facebook Working on Incorporating the Hashtag (WSJ)
Facebook Inc. is taking its business rivalry with Twitter Inc. into the realm of symbols: #Feud. Facebook is working on incorporating the hashtag, one of Twitter's most iconic markers, into its service by using the symbol as a way to group conversations, said people familiar with the matter. AllFacebook Hashtags would enable Facebook to index conversations, possibly aiding its efforts on both the graph search and targeted advertising fronts. Wired On Twitter, advertisers can pay to promote their own hashtags alongside Twitter's list of most common hashtags. The aggregation pages showing posts associated with a hashtag is another natural point for advertising. AllTwitter Why is this a big deal? Because it doesn't really make sense.
Chris Hayes to Take over 8 P.M. Slot on MSNBC (TVNewser)
MSNBC has announced that Chris Hayes will take over the 8 p.m. slot on the channel starting April 1. Hayes currently hosts Up with Chris Hayes on Saturdays and Sundays, and has long been viewed as a "next generation" talent for the network, at the age of 34. MSNBC plans to reveal more details on the new show in the coming weeks. NYT / Media Decoder The change is predicated on the belief that MSNBC can win a wider audience with Hayes than it did with Schultz, a champion of the working class whose bluster didn't always pair well with Maddow and the channel's other prime-time program, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell.
We're Building a Reader (Digg)
Like many of you, we were dismayed to learn that Google will be shutting down its much-loved, if under-appreciated, Google Reader on July 1. We've heard people say that RSS is a thing of the past, and perhaps in its current incarnation it is, but as daily (hourly) users of Google Reader, we're convinced that it's a product worth saving. So we're going to give it our best shot. GalleyCat Digg promises to build a new reader in the coming months.
ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons from Twitter After First Take Criticism (Deadspin)
ESPN has suspended Bill Simmons from Twitter for a few days after he called the Skip Bayless-Richard Sherman First Take meltdown last week awful and embarrassing. An ESPN source told me that the tweets violated ESPN's social media guidelines; Simmons was told to lie low for a few days. FishbowlLA Simmons hasn't tweeted since Monday, which is wildly unexpected since he is both a Boston guy and an avid tweeter. The idea of Simmons voluntarily staying quiet on Twitter after one of the most popular athletes in Boston history, Wes Welker, signed with his Patriots' rival AFC team, the Denver Broncos, is unthinkable.
Dick Morris Named WPHT Afternoon Host (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Dick Morris, the former Fox News contributor who became synonymous with the fact-denying right-wing echo-chamber during the 2012 elections, has been tapped to host an afternoon show on Philadelphia's WPHT radio station.
Meredith, the Publishing Company That Beat the Internet (Bloomberg Businessweek)
On the eve of Valentine's Day, news of a surprising courtship roiled the magazine industry. Meredith, the demure Iowa-based publisher of upbeat women's service magazines (including Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, and Traditional Home), was on the verge of taking over the majority of Time Warner's roaring glossies (including People, Entertainment Weekly, and InStyle). It seemed like an odd pairing that could be a coup for Meredith.
Time Spinoff Seen as Hunter or Prey with $3.9 Billion: Real M&A (Bloomberg)
The spinoff of Time Inc. to create the world's largest publicly traded magazine publisher may be just the beginning of deals for the owner of People and Sports Illustrated.
Anna Wintour Expands Reach at Condé Nast (WWD)
Denizens of 4 Times Square woke up Wednesday to discover they had a new pope -- and it wasn't Francis I. Anna Wintour's coronation was received by some as a positive development for a company that some believe had lost its shimmer as S.I. Newhouse Jr. became less involved. But there was also confusion.
Timothy Geithner Lands Book Deal (GalleyCat)
Former U.S. treasury secretary Timothy Geithner has inked a book deal to write a "behind-the-scenes account of the American response to the global financial crisis" for Crown Publishers. The Washington Post / AP According to Crown, Geithner will write about his work with President Obama, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and other top officials.
Movie Review Aggregator to Shut Down (NYT / Media Decoder)
Movie critics are about to lose one of their more avid online advocates. Moviereviewintelligence.com, a website that aggregates reviews from dozens of newspapers, magazines and Web publications, will cease operating at the end of April, its editor and publisher, David A. Gross, said on Thursday. The Wrap Movie Review Intelligence launched in June 2009 and has covered 3,125 movies released in theaters since then. The site includes reviews from more than 50 publications.
WTIC Apologizes for Footage Used in Coverage of 'Women's Day' (TVSpy)
WTIC, the FOX affiliate for Hartford-New Haven, Conn., has apologized for airing footage showing close-ups of women's breasts in a story about an event at the Connecticut Capitol highlighting women's rights.
New Conservative Cable News Network Aims to Feature 'Intelligent, Healthy Debate' (THR)
Charles Herring has noticed that viewers who have tired of television have retreated to the Web, where a burgeoning industry of right-leaning media outlets has gained readers. He's hoping to win some back to cable television with the debut of One America News network, which is launching on July 4 in partnership with the Washington Times.
Sexting Scandal Hits Hearst (NY Post / Page Six)
Top Hearst executive Scott Sassa has left the company over a sensational extortion plot involving a Los Angeles-based stripper he was sexting, multiple sources exclusively tell Page Six. FishbowlNY That stripper and her boyfriend then tried to blackmail Sassa, saying that they'd send the texts directly to his bosses if Sassa didn't send some cash.