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C-SPAN Founder To Step Down As Chief Executive (NYT)
Brian Lamb, who created revolutionary nonprofit cable television network C-SPAN in the late 1970s and has been its public face ever since, is handing it over to two lieutenants, Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain. FishbowlDC Lamb is giving up day-to-day oversight of operations. But he will continue to "engage in the overall direction setting" and "plans to continue to host" his weekly interview program, Q&A.
This American Life Retracts Mike Daisey Foxconn Story (FishbowlLA)
This American Life has retracted its huge story on working conditions at Apple's Foxconn factory in China. It turns out that major parts of the piece were fabricated by performer Mike Daisey -- who drew material for his story from his one-man show, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. Reuters Foxconn Technology Group, the top maker of Apple's iPhones and iPads, is not off the hook after a U.S. radio show retracted a program critical of working conditions at one of its Chinese factories. TechCrunch Daisey seems to be a member of the William Faulkner school, which holds that "the best fiction is far more true than any journalism." Except he isn't willing to call his show fiction. Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider By allowing This American Life to broadcast the excerpt, Daisey seems to be saying that he allowed This American Life to mislead people into thinking that everything he said was true. And he regrets that. Please. Theater is theater, and -- as long as his audience knows they're watching fiction -- Daisey can do and say whatever he wants on stage. NYT No one is suggesting that everything about Apple's supply chain is suddenly hunky-dory, but the heroic narrative of a fearless theater artist taking on the biggest company in the world is now a pile of smoking rubble. ReadWriteWeb The story of Daisey and Foxconn's labor practices is a story of our times: What is truth and what is fiction, how workers at a Chinese factory that supplies many tech products are treated, and how we as Americans should feel about the people who make our iThings and other tech toys. TVNewser The new information puts CNN and MSNBC (as well as The New York Times and other outlets) in an awkward situation. Daisey has always characterized himself as a playwright, but he claimed to be doing an act of journalism in traveling to China and talking to workers there. With the news that he lied about much of what he saw, do the networks owe viewers an update or correction? AllThingsD At this point, it's hard to determine what's more outrageous -- Daisey's lies to Ira Glass and his team, or the national media's willingness to give Daisey a platform to repeat the same lies and fabrications without making the slightest effort to vet them.
PEJ Study: Network News Audience Grew In 2011 For First Time In A Decade (B&C)
Driven by a flurry of international news events like the Arab Spring uprising, the tsunami disaster in Japan, and the killing of Osama Bin Laden, every sector of television news gained audience in 2011, including a 5 percent uptick among the three network news outlets, their first sign of growth in a decade, according to the "2012 State of the News Media" report by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, released Monday. NYT / Media Decoder The Pew Research Center's latest accounting of the news industry pairs good news (big audiences hungry for more news and information) with bad news (less revenue to pay for news production). Multichannel News The long view of cable news in 2011 is that the business is stable -- for now -- thanks in large part to a dual revenue stream model that has remained "remarkably resilient, even as other sectors of the news industry continue to search for sustainable revenue streams." B&C Stations saw some gains in news viewing in 2011. ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates collectively showed 1.2 percent news viewing growth from 5 a.m.-7 a.m. in 2011, 28.8 percent growth from 10 p.m.-11 p.m., and a 2.9 percent increase for their lucrative 11 p.m.-11:30 p.m. slot. The late news increase in 2011 was nevertheless down 10.1 percent from 2007 figures. B&C The growing popularity of accessing news on mobile devices, online, and social media is increasing the consumption and demand for news content. AllTwitter With well over 1 billion users between them, Facebook and Twitter dominate the world of social media, and have quickly established themselves as an increasingly pivotal cog in the world of news distribution. But according to a new report from the Pew Research Center, that cog might not be as substantial as we perhaps suspected, as Pew's study revealed that just 9 percent of U.S. adults receive news updates on a frequent basis via these channels. paidContent That's not to dismiss the value, rather to put it in perspective in a way that may be hard to see when you spend a lot of time immersed in various forms of social media. AllThingsD Take off your digital blinders for a minute and this shouldn't be a huge surprise. It's easy to extrapolate your behavior, and the behavior you see from your peers, and assume it applies universally. But that doesn't mean it's right. Poynter / MediaWire Mobile devices may be able to hold together what the Web has rent asunder, says the Project for Excellence in Journalism's ninth annual "State of the News Media" report in one of its more hopeful moments.
New Nielsen Ratings To Measure TV And Online Ads Together (NYT / Media Decoder)
Nielsen says it is ready to sell what many advertisers have been clamoring for: a system that standardizes ratings for television and online ads.
The Bin Laden Plot To Kill President Obama (Washington Post / Opinions)
Osama Bin Laden and his aides hoped for big terrorist operations to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. They also had elaborate media plans. Adam Gadahn, a U.S.-born media adviser, even discussed in a message to his boss what would be the best television outlets for a Bin Laden anniversary video. "It should be sent for example to ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN, and maybe PBS and VOA. As for Fox News, let her die in her anger," Gadahn wrote. At another point, he said of the networks: "From a professional point of view, they are all on one level -- except [Fox News] channel, which falls into the abyss as you know, and lacks objectivity, too." What an unintended boost for Fox, which can now boast that it is al-Qaeda's least-favorite network.
Guilty Verdicts On Most Counts In Cyberbullying Case (TVNewser)
Just before noon ET Friday, the cable news networks carried live the verdict in the cyberbullying trial of ex-Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi. TVSpy New York stations cut into their regular programming Friday, around 11:40 a.m., to bring live coverage of the verdict in the Rutgers webcam spying case.
What Luck! HuffPost Reporter Christine Wilkie Spotted On ABC7 With George Clooney (FishbowlDC)
Unfortunately for actor George Clooney, he was arrested Friday while protesting in front of the Sudan embassy in Washington, D.C. But the good news is the ABC 7 cameras captured a very enthusiastic Christina Wilkie as she walked with Clooney before the arrest. TVNewser CNN caught the arrest live.
New Huckabee Radio Show Moves In On Limbaugh's Turf (WSJ)
After decades as a dominant force in talk radio, Rush Limbaugh could be in for his biggest fight yet. But the threat isn't from activist groups who dislike his conservative politics. It is from one of his own: former Republican governor of Arkansas and onetime presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. HuffPost / Reuters Earlier this week, Cumulus Media sent out an email blast to fellow radio station owners with a photoshopped picture of Huckabee, promoting him as the conservative talk radio host of the future. Although the email did not name Limbaugh, the long-running, top-rated talk radio host whose program is nationally syndicated by Cumulus' rival, Clear Channel Communications, the intent was obvious to some recipients.
OWN Cancels Rosie O'Donnell Talk Show (THR)
OWN has pulled the plug on Rosie O'Donnell's five-month old talk show. The daily show will tape its final episode Tuesday, March 20, to air Friday, March 30, in its 7 p.m. time slot. B&C The Rosie Show premiered on the year-old cable network last October, making it a short five-month run from debut to cancellation. The 7 p.m. show drew 1.5 million viewers in its first episode, which was shown across five Discovery-owned networks, but its ratings steadily declined. TheWrap.com The Rosie Show struggled from the beginning, earning a mere 497,000 total viewers for its premiere, with a 0.44 rating in the target women 25-54 demographic. Deadline Hollywood It's hard to get traction for a new show on a network very few people are watching. It also doesn't help that Rosie was scheduled at 7 p.m., a time period no one associates with talk shows, which normally air in daytime and late-night. Daily Beast / Sexy Beast O'Donnell signed a multimillion-dollar deal with OWN for a talk show that was supposed to save Oprah's failing network. Instead, it tanked. Ramin Setoodeh talked with staffers about what went wrong.
SAG Pension And Health Plan Denies Report Of Investigation (THR)
In an unusual statement, the SAG Pension and Health Plan has come out swinging, unequivocally denying a recent media report that claimed that a federal probe is ongoing into alleged fraud, embezzlement, and cover-ups at the plan, and that government officials raided or took documents from the plan. FishbowlLA With an informational meeting about the pending SAG-AFTRA merger set for what was forecast to be a rain-soaked weekend, a separate media storm came the union's way courtesy of Nikki Finke.
Vogue Launches Tablet Edition (FishbowlNY)
Vogue is now available digitally. Starting Friday, the fashion magazine could be downloaded on the Nook, Nook Color, Kindle Fire, and iPad. To make the launch enticing, each platform is offering free trials, and Vogue's print and digital editions are available now for only $19.99, more than 50 percent off the cover price.
Behind The Latest Bust At High Times Magazine (Daily Beast)
For almost 40 years, High Times magazine has been the premier advocacy rag for marijuana, serving the passionate smoker much as Fox News and MSNBC serve the partisan political junkie. But in their effort to push out "the word of marijuana…the word of legalization…the word of growing," as managing editor Natasha Lewin has put it, magazine staffers (and one can confidently say readers, too) have inevitably pushed up against the law. Some are not just blowing smoke, but smuggling and dealing it too. Sometimes by the ton.
Newspapers And Video: Slow And Steady, Or Flood The Zone? (paidContent)
The Wall Street Journal has embraced video with gusto. The venerable paper is pumping out hours of live news clips and splashing them onto everything from the iPhone to the X-Box. The Journals head-first dive into video contrasts with The New York Times' toe-in-the-water approach. The rival paper is showing just two short clips every day, branded as TimesCast and the newly added Business Day Live.
Alison Adler Matz Heading To Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (WWD / Memo Pad)
Alison Adler Matz has been named senior vice president and publisher of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's Everyday Food and Whole Living brands. Adler Matz is leaving Fairchild Fashion Media, where she served as publisher of WWD Beauty and handled the group's beauty sales.
Young, Veteran Media Reporter John Koblin Ditches All That To Write About Sports For Denton's Deadspin (Capital New York)
WWD media reporter John Koblin is leaving Condé Nast to write for Deadspin, the popular Gawker Media sports blog. NY Observer Gawker editor-in-chief A.J. Daulerio announced on Twitter that Rich Juzwiak will join the blogging team Monday. Juzwiak currently writes for the arts section of The Daily.