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Friday, May 18

Morning Media Newsfeed 05.18.12

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Facebook Prices IPO At Record Value (WSJ)
Facebook Inc. priced its shares at $38 apiece for an initial public offering that would make it the most valuable U.S. company at the time of its stock market debut. AllThingsD Facebook shares will trade on the NASDAQ exchange for the first time at $38 per share on Friday morning, valuing the world's largest social networking website at $104.12 billion. TechCrunch At a $104 billion valuation, Facebook is worth more than any other tech IPO candidate at the time of its offering. It also perfectly matches what Facebook shares have been trading at in secondary markets over the last several months. AllFacebook The total offering, from both Facebook and other parties, is 421,233,615 shares of class-A common stock, following the addition Wednesday morning of 83,818,263 shares from parties other than Facebook. GigaOM In addition, Facebook's current owners have also agreed to relinquish another 63,185,042 in the next 30 days if its underwriters see fit, and given the enormous demand and escalating IPO share target, they probably will. NYT / DealBook While the IPO shares, 421 million of them, are being sold at $38 each, the feverish anticipation of their debut could drive them higher on Friday when the stock starts trading at about 11 a.m. Newly public technology stocks -- particularly ones that have captured investors' attention like Facebook -- often achieve double-digit gains in a one-day pop. Bloomberg Facebook Inc.'s $16 billion initial public offering has made 28-year-old Mark Zuckerberg the 29th richest person on Earth. Fortune Here's a quick list of who made what, based on the assumption that underwriters exercise their entire over-allotment, plus the value of their remaining position (based on a $38 price). TechCrunch Facebook's $38 share price would make its deal to buy Instagram worth nearly $1.2 billion, up from the roughly $1 billion price the company announced in April. WSJ / Digits Six years before a Facebook IPO could value the company at $100 billion, venture capitalist Kevin Efrusy was publicly defending against naysayers who doubted the social networking site was worth $2 billion. Bloomberg Businessweek In 2006, when he was 22, Mark Zuckerberg gave up writing computer code to focus on managing his rapidly growing startup. Like Jim Brown retiring from football at 29 or E.M. Forster abandoning the novel in his forties, the prodigy who programmed the very first version of Facebook was walking away from his transcendent talent. Or so it seemed. GigaOM With huge anticipation around Facebook's IPO, we decided to look at how other digital media companies that have gone public over the past year have fared. WSJ By now, you've probably made your mind up about Facebook Inc.'s initial public offering. You're buying it -- at any price and by any means necessary. But before you place your order, it is my fiduciary duty to remind you of all of the risks involved with this investment. Bloomberg Businessweek The average first-day pop for a technology company is 32 percent; if Facebook follows that trend, it'll be worth $137 billion by day's end. But there's little about Facebook that's average, including its public offering. TechCrunch How high will Facebook's stock go today? Place your bet at Forbes / Mixed Media With all the noise around Friday's Facebook IPO, it can be hard to pick out the meaningful signals from the cacophony. DataSift, a social data platform company, looked at what Twitter users are saying to get a sense of current attitudes toward the social network and its coming-out party. The conclusion: People are generally pretty well-disposed toward Facebook and have mostly positive feelings about the IPO. Their feelings toward Eduardo Saverin are another story. AllFacebook Do you remember all that tax money Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin was set to save on Facebook's initial public offering by renouncing his U.S. citizenship and establishing residency in Singapore? Not so fast, said Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.). TechCrunch Schumer and Casey, the two U.S. Senators behind the Ex-PATRIOT Act -- a proposal to go after early Facebook backer Eduardo Saverin and others like him that have renounced U.S. citizenship and are getting out of paying capital gains tax on stock windfalls -- have now revealed the details of their plan. It's pretty big: any ex-patriot with either a net worth of more than $2 million, or an average income tax liability of at least $148,000 over the last five years "will be presumed to have renounced their citizenship for tax avoidance purposes." Reuters Saverin, under fire over the tax consequences of renouncing his U.S. citizenship, said on Thursday he is obligated to and will pay "hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the United States government."

Ford Foundation To Fund New LA Times Reporters (LA Observed)
This tweaks the model for how to pay for big-city newspaper journalism: a non-profit foundation paying a profit-making public company. The Los Angeles Times, still one of the biggest newspapers in the country and by far the most potent in California, has accepted a $1 million grant to hire new reporters on selected beats. FishbowlLA The two-year grant comes with no strings attached, giving the Los Angeles Times complete control over their editorial hires and coverage. LA Times The Times plans to use the two-year grant to hire journalists who will focus on the Vietnamese, Korean and other immigrant communities, the California prison system, the border region and Brazil. WSJ The grant comes as many newspapers are struggling to cope with years of declining print ad revenues. The Los Angeles Times' parent company, Tribune Co., has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since December 2008. Like many other newspapers, it has gone through several rounds of layoffs in the past five years that have cut its newsroom by nearly a third.

Larry King Talk Show Larry King Now Debuts This Summer (HuffPost / AP)
Larry King said Thursday that his talk show will resume this summer on the new digital network Ora.TV, earlier than he or the network had anticipated. The show Larry King Now will mark the startup of the network financed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Adweek In the wake of poor performing niche networks like Oprah Winfrey's OWN, Ora.TV looks to be learning from the mistakes of those who have tried before them. Unlike OWN, Ora.TV will roll out slowly, and will be an on-demand network, instead of a live-streaming site.

Twitter Implements Do Not Track Privacy Option (NYT / Bits)
It's no secret that Facebook is worth about $100 billion because it collected personal data about its users. A lot of data. Although Twitter tracks its users too -- albeit in a much less aggressive way -- the company has decided to take a different route. It announced Thursday that it is joining Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox Web browser, and giving its users the ability to opt-out of being tracked in any way through Twitter. AllTwitter Following Yahoo! and AOL's lead (and Google's quasi-lead), Twitter confirmed a Federal Trade Commission announcement that it will honor Do Not Track notifications. LA Times / Tech Now Do Not Track is a feature in the Firefox Web browser that allows users to indicate to participating websites that they don't want their activity to be tracked. VentureBeat The FTC has been pushing businesses to adopt a "Do Not Track" privacy option since it released a major report in March. Mashable Do Not Track is, at its core, a trade off. It asks of you: Do you prefer ease of use and customized user suggestions or more anonymity from Web services? According to Mozilla, 8.6 percent of desktop Firefox users and 19 percent of mobile users are choosing the latter, with nearly half of those users reporting they feel more safe surfing the Internet with Do Not Track enabled.

Patch, NY's WPIX Form Content Partnership (
Patch, AOL's hyperlocal news network, is partnering with Tribune Broadcasting's WPIX-TV in New York to feature Patch content on daily PIX newscasts, Patch announced Thursday. TVSpy The "Patch on PIX" segments, shot daily, will spotlight popular stories from Patch sites throughout the tri-state area. The segments will air beginning this week on the 5 p.m. newscast and are expected to eventually expand to the morning newscast.

When Is A Website Not A Website? For Talking Points Memo, The Turning Point Was In 2012 (Nieman Journalism Lab)
About six months ago, Talking Points Memo publisher Josh Marshall had a realization.

Comcast Turns The Broadband Meter On, And Moves To Usage-Based Billing (AllThingsD)
Important for people who stream a whole lot of Internet video, or think they might one day, or would like to make money by streaming a lot of Internet video: Comcast is overhauling its rules which limit the amount of data its broadband subscribers can use. CNET Thursday, the company announced in a blog post that it will soon begin testing a new pricing model for customers who use an "excessive" amount of data each month. In these markets, the company will increase the cap, which is now 250GB per month, to 300GB per month. And when customers exceed this cap, the company will charge an extra $10 for every 50GB of data that a user uses each month. NYT / Media Decoder The tests will start taking place in unspecified Comcast markets in the next several months. Wired / Threat Level Users who repeatedly crossed Comcast's 250GB cap, instated in 2007, have been be cut off and banned from the network for a year. Critics, including Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, have accused Comcast of trying to protect its core cable television business from online video services. WSJ / Digits Hastings was particularly upset that Comcast excluded from its cap any traffic from its TV service made available on Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox. Comcast argued that this traffic traveled over a private, managed network rather than the public Internet.

One Year After A Devastating Tornado, The Joplin Globe Feels Stronger (CJR / Behind The News)
Jack Kaminsky lives with his mother now. He is 63 years old, broad shouldered, with silver hair and a silver beard. He's the circulation director of The Joplin Globe, and he and his wife survived the tornado that blew apart their city last May 22 by diving into their basement and listening to "everything fall apart." When the noise subsided, they pushed opened the door at the top of the stairs and saw over their heads a blue sky. At their feet lay Joplin.

Reader's Digest CEO: It's Time For A Haircut (NY Post / Media Ink)
Just a little off the top, please: Reader's Digest Association CEO Robert Guth is asking bondholders to take a 5 percent haircut on its senior debt.

Why Warren Buffett Is Buying Newspapers (paidContent)
The Oracle of Omaha acquired his hometown newspaper in January and just snapped up dozens more in a $142 million deal. This is supposed to be the fastest declining industry in America. What is Warren Buffett up to?

The Wall Street Journal Takes Readers To 'Work' (FishbowlNY)
The Wall Street Journal Thursday launched a new "At Work" blog, focusing on management and careers. Aimed toward a professional, working audience, the blog also is beneficial for ambitious business and law students. Talking Biz News Edited by Francesca Donner and Nikki Waller, "At Work" is anchored by posts from a variety of management, education and employment reporters from The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon To Sell Ads On Kindle Fire Welcome Screen -- If You Have $600,000 (AdAge / Digital)
The Kindle Fire is's best-selling product, the company said in its first-quarter earnings release. And it's being treated that way by the Amazon ad sales team: Amazon is pitching ads on the device's welcome screen. CNET The $600,000 would reportedly get advertisers a two-month run-time and cover both the front-page ad and inventory from Amazon's "Special Offers."

Ad Pages Slip Further At New York Times' Magazines (WWD / Memo Pad)
Sally Singer opened the most recent issue of T, The New York Times Magazine with a tribute to leisurely evolutions. "You realize that even when taste is a given, patience is a virtue," she wrote. Her subject was architectural renovations, but her editor's letter could have doubled as a memo to her boss, New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, who reportedly grilled her last year over declining ad sales. Abramson won't be much happier with T's numbers so far this year as it continues to shed advertisers.

Dalglish Named Dean At Philip Merrill College Of Journalism (
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press executive director Lucy Dalglish has been named the next dean of the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. She'll succeed Dean Kevin Klose on August 1.

Elizabeth Flock Will Blog For U.S. News & World Report (Poynter / MediaWire)
Elizabeth Flock, who resigned from The Washington Post in April after a misattributed blog post drew a gnarly editor's note, has a new gig. She'll be lead writer on U.S. News & World Report's Washington Whispers blog, which was written by Paul Bedard before he decamped for The Washington Examiner.

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