Morning Media Newsfeed 04.15.13
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Dish Launches $25.5 Billion Bid for Sprint (WSJ)
Satellite-TV provider Dish Network Corp. is making a $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel Corp., an effort to derail the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier's acquisition by Softbank Corp. Dish is offering to pay $4.76 in cash and about $2.24 in Dish stock, based on Friday's closing price, for every share of Sprint. The company plans to disclose the offer Monday morning. The Verge Although cellular networking is new to Dish, the company has been making moves to get involved in the field. After expressing an interest in partnering with T-Mobile last year, it battled with Sprint for control of Clearwire in January by placing a rival takeover bid for the carrier. As well as making moves to buy out Clearwire, Dish also gained FCC approval to build its own LTE network. Engadget If the bid is made formal, then Sprint's board will have to decide if Softbank's massive size and buckets of cash can be trumped by Dish's spectrum reserves, pay-TV business and ability to skip commercials in a breeze.
Why Dr. Kermit Gosnell's Trial Should Be A Front-Page Story (The Atlantic)
The grand jury report in the case of Kermit Gosnell, 72, is among the most horrifying I've read. Until Thursday, I wasn't aware of this story. It has generated sparse coverage in the national media and while it's been mentioned in RSS feeds to which I subscribe, I skip past most news items. I still consume a tremendous amount of journalism. Yet had I been asked at a trivia night about the identity of Gosnell, I would've been stumped and helplessly guessed a green Muppet. The Atlantic The trial of Gosnell, the abortionist charged with killing babies and neglecting women in his care, is now national news. There's no bigger story on the Web. But the debate about coverage is important and fascinating. USA Today / Kirsten Powers A Lexis-Nexis search shows none of the news shows on the three major national television networks has mentioned the Gosnell trial in the last three months. The exception is when Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan hijacked a segment on Meet the Press meant to foment outrage over an anti-abortion rights law in some backward red state. Salon / Irin Carmon If you've never heard of the Gosnell story, it's not because of a cover-up by the liberal mainstream media. It's probably because you failed to pay attention to the copious coverage among pro-choice and feminist journalists, as well as the big news organizations, when the news first broke in 2011. There would be something rich, if it weren't so infuriating, about these (almost uniformly male, as it happens) reporters and commentators scrambling to break open this shocking untold story. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Martin Baron, executive editor of the Post, tells the Erik Wemple Blog: "We believe the story is deserving of coverage by our own staff, and we intend to send a reporter for the resumption of the trial next week. In retrospect, we should have sent a reporter sooner." Salon / Alex Seitz-Wald What about the conservative media? A search of TVEyes finds that Fox News mentioned the case just a handful of times.
BBC Insists Panorama North Korea Program Will Go On (BBC News)
The BBC says an edition of Panorama filmed secretly during a study trip to North Korea is due to be broadcast later as planned despite claims students may have been put in danger. Three BBC journalists accompanied 10 London School of Economics students and spent eight days in the country. Daily Mail Alex Peters-Day, general secretary of LSE Students' Union said students and the university had been "manipulated." "I think the trip was organized by the BBC as a ruse to get into North Korea and that's disgraceful," Day said. "They have used students essentially as a human shield in this situation." The Guardian decision to go ahead with a controversial BBC documentary about North Korea went "right to the top", the corporation's head of news programs has said. Ceri Thomas made the comment as he rejected claims that students had been forced to run unacceptable risks during undercover filming of the investigation.
Random House Adds A Big Name in Fitness (NYT / Media Decoder)
David Zinczenko, the former Rodale Inc. executive with a talent for self-promotion and sculpturing physiques, has signed on with Random House to provide some juice to its health and fitness offerings.
Savannah Guthrie to Interview President Obama (TVNewser)
Savannah Guthrie will interview President Obama this week on Today. David Gregory announced the news at the close of Sunday's Meet the Press saying the "wide-ranging, exclusive" interview will take place at the White House. The interview will air Tuesday and Wednesday on Today.
Taylor Family Members Join Bid to Buy Boston Globe (Boston Globe)
Two members of the Taylor family that formerly owned The Boston Globe have teamed up with a group that includes former Time Inc. chief executive Jack Griffin and are expected to make a bid to buy the paper later this month, according to people briefed on the matter.
More Cracks in Television's Business Model (NYT)
For the longest time in the media business, the concept of the bundle has been foundational. Ads go with editorial content in print, commercials go with programming on television and the channels you desire are paired with ones you did not in your cable package.
Loads of Companies Are Violating Children's Privacy (Adweek)
Children's privacy is so sensitive that all it took for kids game Mobbles to pre-emptively pull its app last December was a complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission by a privacy group. Four months later, the app, which had been accused of collecting email addresses without parental permission, has yet to return.
Kremlin Hits Back After Forbes Editor Paul Klebnikov's Alleged Killer and Others Denied U.S. Visas (Forbes / Richard Behar)
Paul Klebnikov was shot nine times, once for each year that his murder has gone unsolved. It was back in 2004, on a warm July night, when the American editor of Forbes-Russia left his Moscow office for the last time.
CNN Chief Jeff Zucker Poaches Top Katie Producer (THR)
Katie Couric's freshman talk show is losing one of its executive producers. Michael Bass, a one-time executive producer of NBC's Today and a close confidant of Jeff Zucker, will join Zucker at CNN, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. Bass, who was recruited to Katie by Zucker, was one of the show's original executive producers along with Zucker himself and Kathy Samuels.
The Next Big Marketing Weapon for Supermarkets -- The Dietitian (Ad Age / Media News)
Heather Illg is one of the newest power players in food retailing. But she doesn't oversee ad budgets or balance sheets. She's more interested in calories, fat and fiber.
Great Long-Form Journalism, Just Clicks Away (NPR)
In the age of hundreds of cable channels, millions of 140-character bulletins and an untold number of cat videos, a fear has been growing among journalists and readers that long-form storytelling may be getting lost.
16-Year-Old Media Mogul Tavi Gevinson Is Expanding Her Empire (Adweek)
Tavi Gevinson has been called everything from the future of fashion to the future of journalism (by Lady Gaga, no less). Pretty heady titles for anybody, especially a blogger who has yet to finish her junior year of high school. But if the media insist on labeling anyone "the future of fill-in-the-blank," they could do a lot worse than Gevinson.
Entertainment Media Gang Tackle Justin Bieber Over Anne Frank House Guest Book Comments (FishbowlLA)
TMZ has always had the best weekend PR pipeline into folks like Justin Bieber. Sure enough, the website had an update Sunday morning at the bottom of a snarky take on the Anne Frank could-have-been-a-Belieber furor.
Balance and Bias (NYT / Ross Douthat)
The traditional American mass media -- the crumbling, Internet-besieged edifice of newspapers and news shows, magazines and roundtables and journalism schools -- evolved to believe with equal vigor in two not entirely compatible ideals.