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Wednesday, Apr 25

Morning Media Newsfeed 04.25.12

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James Murdoch Testifies In U.K. Phone-Hacking Inquiry For Third Time (Yahoo! News / The Cutline)
James Murdoch testified for a third time in the U.K. phone-hacking investigation on Tuesday, telling the Leveson Inquiry in London that he did not know the phone hacking at News of the World was widespread while he was in charge of News International, News Corp.'s British publishing arm. Bloomberg Businessweek / AP Speaking under oath at Lord Justice Brian Leveson's inquiry into media ethics, Murdoch repeated allegations that the tabloid's then-editor Colin Myler and the company's former in-house lawyer Tom Crone misled him about the scale of illegal behavior at the newspaper. AdAge / MediaWorks "Their assurances to me were consistent, as I've said -- the newspaper had been investigated thoroughly, outside people had come in to investigate, no evidence was found, and the police found nothing," Murdoch, News Corp.'s deputy chief operating officer, said in London. "That was entirely consistent with Crone and Myler all the way through." WSJ While Murdoch also was questioned about the long-running phone-hacking saga at News Corp.'s U.K. newspaper unit, much of the session was devoted to a dissection of whether the media company improperly used its political muscle and connections as it lobbied the U.K. government for regulatory approval of its multibillion-dollar bid, launched in June 2010, for BSkyB. B&C During his testimony, Murdoch repeatedly denied that he had attempted to influence government decisions affecting the BSkyB takeover or other News Corp. interests by offering the support of his company's papers or media outlets. LA Times Murdoch testified that he had met a dozen times with Prime Minister David Cameron and rubbed elbows with George Osborne, the finance minister, and Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland. In some of those meetings, Murdoch talked about News Corp.'s controversial bid to buy broadcaster BSkyB, long targeted by the media giant for acquisition. Washington Post Prosecutors for the Leveson Inquiry disclosed a trove of emails sent by a News Corp. lobbyist to Murdoch detailing regular contacts between the lobbyist and culture minister Jeremy Hunt or his advisers that appeared intended to assist the takeover bid for BSkyB. NYT / Media Decoder Even as testimony by Murdoch on Tuesday was agitating the British political scene -- over the extent of his knowledge of phone-hacking at News International papers and particularly over his contacts with the British government concerning business deals -- his father, Rupert, was prepared to take his seat on Wednesday.

Mayhem At Meredith (NY Post / Media Ink)
Meredith Corp., humming along with major expansion moves for the better part of a year -- accomplished with a number of acquisitions -- Tuesday suddenly slammed on the brakes and announced sizable cutbacks of 80 people. AdAge / MediaWorks Staffers said Tuesday that they were told every magazine in the portfolio would be affected. In addition to Ladies' Home Journal, Meredith's titles include Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, More, Fitness, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Parents, Family Fun, Traditional Home, Midwest Living and Ser Padres.

Bill O'Reilly Re-Signs With Fox News (TVNewser)
Bill O'Reilly has signed a new, multi-year deal with Fox News Channel. Mediaite O'Reilly has been with Fox News since 1996, moving to primetime in 1998. Deadline Hollywood The O'Reilly Factor has been No. 1 in its 8 p.m. time slot for 136 consecutive months and has been the most-watched program on any cable news network for 125 consecutive months, having eclipsed previous top performer, CNN's Larry King Live, in 2000.

Boston Globe Knocks Down Paywall To Jumpstart Subscriptions (paidContent)
For the next 12 days, readers can get free access to BostonGlobe.com by entering their email address.

AOL Launches Online Video Platform, AOL On; Announces Seven New Shows (TheWrap.com)
AOL on Tuesday launched AOL On, a hub for online video content that will feature 14 content channels and centralize all AOL video in one place. Bloomberg Businessweek / AP AOL On will pull from some 320,000 short-form videos from AOL and its many publishers. The company also announced seven new original series, including a weekly reality show, Digital Justice, about Internet crimes, and a scripted series about four soccer moms, Little Women Big Cars. THR As for additional original content, celebrities including Rachael Ray, Erin Fetherston, Marc Forgione, Sam Talbot and Christine Vachon have been signed to create "playlists." An example might be Heidi Klum's favorite fashion trends for the summer for the style channel. paidContent Reaching an audience of 43.7 million unique video viewers in March, according to research company comScore, AOL will make its channels available on computers and mobile devices, as well as living-room boxes such as Roku, Boxee, Google TV and Samsung Smart TVs.

James Grimaldi Takes Washington Post Buyout (JimRomenesko.com)
Pulitzer-winning investigative reporter James Grimaldi tells Romenesko readers: "After 12 exciting, rewarding, fascinating years at The Washington Post, I am accepting the Post's buyout offer." With his departure, the Post has lost all three reporters who won its Pulitzer in 2006 for coverage of the Jack Abramoff scandal.

Comcast To FCC: Bloomberg Claim Of Channel Relocations Is Wrong (B&C)
Comcast told the FCC Tuesday that Bloomberg's claims it had relocated channels in violation of a non-networking condition in the NBCU deal is "demonstrably false." LA Times / Company Town Last month, Bloomberg said in a filing with the FCC that Comcast was ignoring the conditions that the regulatory agency put on the cable giant as part of approving its acquisition of NBCUniversal. The specific issue is where Bloomberg TV is placed on the cable dial in relation to Comcast's CNBC.

Could The NYT Make Money From Its Scoops? (Reuters / Felix Salmon)
Shouldn't the NYT, which can always use a bit of extra revenue, take advantage of the fact that its stories can move markets so much? Not directly: I'm not suggesting that the New York Times Company should start buying out-of-the-money put options on Mexican corporates in advance of its own stories. But how much would hedge funds pay to be able to see the NYT's big investigative stories during the trading day prior to the appearance of the story?

Study: J-School Grads' Unemployment Rate Better Than Average (Poynter / MediaWire)
Recent college graduates with an undergraduate degree in journalism have a 7.7 percent unemployment rate, a new Georgetown University study says. Experienced grads have a 6 percent rate, and people with graduate degrees in journalism have only a 3.8 percent unemployment rate.

Click-Through Rates May Matter Even Less Than We Thought (AdAge / Digital)
We already know that click-through rates on online display ads are abysmal. Now a study from the startup Pretarget and comScore reveals that even when a user clicks on an ad, the correlation between that click and a conversion is virtually nonexistent. Poynter / MediaWire A better barometer of success is whether users see the ad and hover over with the mouse.

Lee Delays Funding Pensions (JimRomenesko.com)
Lee Enterprises execs just can't stop giving the finger to employees.

Willy Chyr Invites The Internet To Contribute To Novel, One Sentence At A Time (GalleyCat)
Chicago-based storyteller Willy Chyr is hosting an experiment he calls The Collabowriters, a "novel by the Internet."

Titanic Anniversary Returns A Night To Remember To Best-Seller Lists (Washington Post / AP)
The 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking has returned a classic account of the tragedy to the best-seller lists. Walter Lord's A Night to Remember, first published in 1955, will be No. 1 this Sunday on the New York Times' chart of combined print and eBook nonfiction sales.

Bill McGoldrick Promoted To Executive Vice President Of Original Scripted Programming At USA (FishbowlLA)
Former USA Network executive assistant Bill McGoldrick was just named the executive vice president of original scripted programming for the network he got his start at back in 1998. McGoldrick was most recently USA's senior vice president of original scripted programming. THR USA will expand its slate of original scripted fare this summer, launching what it dubs is its most ambitious slate of originals spanning five nights a week where new series Common Law and political mini Political Animals will join a summer lineup that includes Royal Pains, Necessary Roughness, Burn Notice, Suits, White Collar and Covert Affairs.

NY Daily News Digital Editor Scott Cohen Leaves The Tabloid For Silicon Alley (NY Observer)
The New York Daily News' Scott Cohen, who was tasked with a key piece of the tabloid's survival as the editor of the paper's website, is leaving after four years. He's off to go work at a startup. FishbowlNY It's been an odd month for the tabloid.

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