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Friday, Mar 23

Morning Media Newsfeed 03.23.12

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Layoffs At CNN As Network Transitions To Acquisition Model For Documentary Programming (TVNewser)
CNN laid off dozens of employees Thursday in its two documentary units, TVNewser has learned. In a statement, the channel says that while it will continue to produce in-house docs -- such as the In America series -- much of its long-form journalism will now come from outside production companies. "We are transitioning to an acquisition model for documentary production," CNN said in a statement. "By working with leading documentarians throughout the world, we will be able to expand the scope of documentaries on CNN and create an even greater impact."

Bloomberg TV Cuts 30 Staffers, Adds Digital Jobs (TVNewser)
TVNewser has learned that Bloomberg TV laid off up to 30 reporters, producers, associate producers, editors, and other staffers Thursday morning as the company shifts to a digital-centric newsroom.

An AOLer Just Called Us To Say People Are Being Let Go Right Now (Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider)
We just got off the phone with an AOLer who says people are being fired in marketing and product marketing at the New York office. Employees are getting "random" messages that they need to meet with their managers. In these meetings, they are being told, "Your position is being eliminated due to business reasons." This source says employees are being offered severance packages. We don't know the size of these layoffs. Previously, a source told us they wouldn't trigger the WARN Act, which means they are under 100 at any one location.

AP's Revenue Push (NY Post / Media Ink)
Gary Pruitt, the CEO of McClatchy Newspapers, the nation's third-largest newspaper chain, is not expected to be a dramatic change agent when he takes over the top spot at The Associated Press in July. But he is expected to push for a bigger international customer base and for new revenue.

As Police Chief Steps Aside, AC360 Advances Trayvon Martin Story With Technology, Anderson (TVNewser)
Thursday afternoon, the police chief of Sanford, Fla., temporarily stepped aside in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting. All three general cable news channels covered the brief statement live. Meanwhile, CNN's AC360 has been all over the Martin story, and has been taking advantage of Time Warner's resources to great effect. Mediaite On Thursday night's show, Sean Hannity addressed the Martin story. Mentioning the 911 call and talk of George Zimmerman possibly uttering a racial slur, Hannity agreed that the case is tragic, but asked, "Is it possible it was just a horrible accident?" We just don't know, he said.

Retch-A-Sketch (FishbowlDC)
By now, we've all been inundated with emails and commentary on the meaningfulness of Mitt Romney's campaign saying that he will emulate an "Etch-a-Sketch" when he reaches the general election. Eric Fehrstrom, the top Romney advisor, made the gaffe while on CNN Wednesday. CJR / The Swing States Project Wednesday, Etch-a-Sketch became the media's favorite metaphor for Romney's ideological flexibility. But the iconic children's toy is an equally good representation of the media's tendency to draw the picture it wants of our political candidates. FishbowlDC On Thursday morning's MSNBC The Daily Rundown, host Chuck Todd went after what he and his panel dubbed "tidbit" journalism. Their repugnance was high after Wednesday's Etch-a-Sketch remark from a top Romney campaign advisor that, they joked angrily, "went viral." Todd grumbled over the fact that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's endorsement of Romney was buried as the result of Romney's own aide's gaffe and the state of journalism today. HuffPost Rachel Maddow unleashed a monster of an attack on Romney during her Wednesday show, calling him a liar over and over and over again. Forbes The biggest lesson I learned from scouting through Romney Etch-a-Sketch tweets on Twitter Thursday afternoon is just how fast the spam movement jumps on an Internet meme.

Hunger Games' Marketing Efforts Aim To Satiate Fans (CNET)
For months, fans of the Hunger Games books have been tracking the film's making online. CNET's Kara Tsuboi looks at the social-media marketing campaign. Will it help create a blockbuster? AllTwitter It's surprising that the Hunger Games' official Twitter, @TheHungerGames, only has a little over 300,000 followers. But all of that would change in an instant if Katniss Everdeen (the character, not the actress) had her own Twitter. Mashable Hunger Games fans will get a surprise Friday when they load up Draw Something, with the addition of seven words related to the novel and movie franchise.

The Media Map: Who's Reading What And Where (Forbes)
We worked with Bitly and its data on millions of Web clicks to find the most influential media outlets in the country. This map shows which news sources are read and shared at above-average levels by state.

CNC's 'Urgent Request' To Writers (
"You are one of several CNC contributors who did not sign a release of rights at the time we published your work," says a letter recently sent to some Chicago News Cooperative writers. "Though you were paid for your work at the time, we neglected to collect the appropriate paperwork. This oversight now is holding up payment to both freelance and salaried CNC colleagues who were owed money when we suspended operations a month ago."

Newsquest/Gannett Faces NUJ Strike Action (Guardian / Greenslade Blog)
More than 80 percent of the National Union of Journalists' members who work for Newsquest/Gannett say they are prepared to take strike action if they are not given a pay rise this year.

Newsweek's 'Retro With Mojo' Issue Comes To iPad (minOnline)
How "iRonic" is this? The now-famous rendering of this week's Newsweek magazine in mid-60s style gets an ultra-contemporary twist by also being on the most modern of devices -- the iPad.

ABC Tests Ad Packages Including 'On-Demand' Viewers (AdAge / MediaWorks)
In the past, big TV networks swore that no consumer was as important as one who watched a big TV screen. Those same media outlets now offer a decidedly different theory: A consumer who watches a show on a computer or tablet is just as good as one watching on the living-room boob tube.

OWN's Lesson For Yahoo!: Big Names Don't Necessarily Equal Hit Channels (paidContent)
As companies like Yahoo! make big investments into video content channels with name-brand film and television talent, they might want to consider the plight of basic cable's Oprah Winfrey Network.

PBS Agrees To Revisit Documentary Schedule (NYT / Media Decoder)
Under intense public pressure from independent documentary filmmakers, including a Twitter campaign, PBS Thursday agreed to find a new home next season for award-winning film series Independent Lens and POV.

Princell Hair Upped At NBC (TVNewser)
Former executive vice president and general manager of CNN Princell Hair has just gotten a promotion at NBC. Hair has been named senior VP of news and talent for the NBC Sports Group. He was previously SVP of news operations for Comcast Sports Group. Multichannel News Hair will oversee all talent recruitment, negotiation, and development for the NBC Sports Group -- which includes NBC Sports, NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel, and the 11 Comcast regional sports networks -- while also consulting with NBC Sports Digital.

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