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Monday, Mar 18

Morning Media Newsfeed: 03.18.13

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Sun-Times Media Makes Job Cuts (Chicago Sun-Times)
Sun-Times Media, which owns the Chicago Sun-Times and 40 suburban newspapers, has laid off several longtime suburban editors and other staffers as it begins to consolidate operations in its downtown Chicago offices. Layoffs took place at the Southtown Star, Joliet Herald-News, Merrillville Post-Tribune and Aurora Beacon-News, according to several sources. One of those let go was the executive editor of the Post-Tribune. Sun-Times publisher Tim Knight won't say how many people were laid off last week. The downsizing comes just days after Crain's Chicago Business reported that Sun-Times Media wants to buy the Chicago Tribune. (The Sun-Times owners have yet to turn a profit, according to Crain's. They bought the company 15 months ago.)

Bribery Allegations Surface Against WSJ in China (WSJ)
The Justice Department last year opened an investigation into allegations that employees at the Wall Street Journal's China news bureau bribed Chinese officials for information for news articles. A search by the Journal's parent company found no evidence to support the claim, according to government and corporate officials familiar with the case. NYT If these charges were found to be true, they could violate the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which spurred the Justice Department's original investigation into the company. HuffPost Sources also told the WSJ that News Corp. believed the informant was working for the Chinese government, and was attempting to retaliate against the newspaper's investigations into corrupt government officials.

CNN Under Fire for Coverage of Rape Trial (HuffPost)
CNN's coverage of the verdict in the Steubenville rape case appeared to be curiously weighted on Sunday, focusing on the effect the guilty verdict would have on the lives of the now-convicted rapists and their families, rather than that of the victim and her family. Gawker It's perfectly understandable, when reporting on a rape trial, to discuss the length and severity of the sentence; it is less understandable to discuss the end of two convicted rapists' future athletic and academic careers as if it were somehow divorced from the laws of cause and effect. Their dreams and hopes were not crushed by an impersonal, inexorable legal system; Trent Mays and Ma'lik Richmond raped a girl and have been sentenced accordingly. The Raw Story Judge Thomas Lipps announced on Sunday that Mays, 17, and Richmond, 16, would be given a maximum sentence after being found guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl while she was unconscious.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck is 'Toast' on The View (NY Post / Page Six)
Elisabeth Hasselbeck "is toast" on ABC's The View, sources tell us, despite show doyenne Barbara Walters insisting the conservative blonde isn't getting fired. Meanwhile the well-manicured claws are out for Behar's still-warm seat, with GMA anchor George Stephanopoulos' actress-comic wife Ali Wentworth a favorite. But Christie Brinkley is also lobbying hard for the job.

The Changing TV News Landscape (Pew Research Center)
The news programs that Americans watch on national cable channels and their local television stations have changed significantly in recent years while the network evening newscasts have remained remarkably stable, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. NYT The diagnosis comes in the center's 10th annual State of the News Media report, which will be published on Monday. The report, covering 2012, describes cutbacks in the reporting ranks of newspapers and television networks and a surge in efforts by politicians, corporations and others to tell their own stories.

Anderson Cooper Honored by GLAAD (The Wrap / Media Alley)
Madonna -- in a Boy Scouts uniform no less -- presented Anderson Cooper with a special honor at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation awards ceremony Saturday night in New York. Anderson was given the Vito Russo Award, which cites openly gay media professionals who have made a difference in promoting equality.

Barbara Walters, Suze Orman Make Forbes List of Influential Celebrities (TVNewser)
ABC's Barbara Walters and CNBC's Suze Orman have been named to Forbes magazine's annual list of influential celebrities. Oprah Winfrey tops the list, with 48 percent of people surveyed rating her as influential. Walters, at No. 7, and Orman, at No. 9, both have an influential rating of 37 percent. Walters' notable asset is "classy," while Orman's is "good energy." Dr. Mehmet Oz, Ron Howard and George Lucas are also included.

Maxim is Up for Sale (FishbowlNY)
Anyone interested in buying the most dude bro magazine of all dude bro magazines? Well good news, because Alpha Media Group has just put Maxim up for sale. Apparently AMG's board of directors are finished with the magazine, and are seeking either a buyer or a new group of investors.

BuzzFeed to Launch Business Section (WSJ)
BuzzFeed, the news and entertainment website known for its mix of cute-animal lists and political scoops designed to be shared on social networks, is launching a business section. FishbowlNY To run the new section, BuzzFeed has tapped media reporter veteran Peter Lauria. Rumor has it BuzzFeed's top dogs have already sent a memo out asking staffers to scour Reddit for business content to use. We kid! We kid!

What's Next for Conservative Media? (Politico)
Is conservative media's next step angling for the acceptance of the mainstream media or moving to a tighter embrace of its outsider status? Several members of the right-leaning press gathered on Friday at CPAC for a soul-searching session on the future of the conservative media and its place in the media world at large.

More Women are Needed in Investigative Journalism (CJR / Minority Reports)
Some people (including editors and journalists, and sometimes even female journalists) don't think that women can be good investigative journalists because they're worried about how physically vulnerable women can be when they get in that muck.

My Amazon Bestseller Made Me Nothing (Salon)
This past summer, my novel, Broken Piano for President, shot to the top of the best-seller lists for a week. After Jack Daniel's sent me a ridiculously polite cease and desist letter, the story went viral and was featured in places like Forbes, Time magazine and NPR's Weekend Edition. It was selling more copies than Hunger Games and Bossypants. But the truth is, there's a reason most well-known writers still teach English. Even when there's money in writing, there's not much money.

Controversial Daily Caller Editor Admitted to Posing as Radical Animal Rights Activist (Mother Jones)
David Martosko -- the outgoing executive editor of the conservative Daily Caller and a prominent defender of the news site's disputed claim that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) paid two women for sex in the Dominican Republic -- admitted in a court document obtained by Mother Jones that he used a fake Facebook profile to pose as a "dope-smoking commie" in order to gather information on animal rights activists.

Obama as the Devil? The History Channel's The Bible's Stunning Look-Alike (Mediaite)
On Sunday evening's episode of History Channel's hit series, The Bible, viewers immediately noticed the devil's depiction bore an uncanny resemblance... to President Obama.

When a Newspaper Dies, We All Lose (Boston Herald)
You can add this column to the list of mourners now grieving the passing of the Boston Phoenix, even though its publisher, Steve Mindich, made no bones about his disdain for this writer. The feeling was mutual, but that's not what this is about. It's bigger than that.

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