Morning Media Newsfeed 05.25.12
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Times-Picayune Confirms Staff Cuts And Three-Day-A-Week Print Schedule (NYT / Media Decoder)
The Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans confirmed on Thursday that it would cut back its print publishing schedule to three days a week and lay off an unknown number of staff members. NOLA.com A new company -- the NOLA Media Group, which will include The Times-Picayune and its affiliated website NOLA.com -- was announced Thursday by Ricky Mathews, who will become its president. NOLA Media Group will significantly increase its online news-gathering efforts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while offering enhanced printed newspapers on a schedule of three days a week. The newspaper will be home-delivered and sold in stores on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays only. A second new company, Advance Central Services, will print and deliver the newspaper. Both of the new companies are owned by Advance Publications. JimRomenesko.com The full memo to New Orleans Times-Picayune staff. Poynter / MediaWire This would make New Orleans the largest U.S. city without a daily newspaper. The Times-Picayune, with a circulation of about 155,000 on Sundays and 134,000 weekdays, would be the largest paper in the U.S. to shift to non-daily publication. Its circulation in March 2005, before Hurricane Katrina flooded the city and shrank the city's population: about 285,000 on Sundays and 257,000 weekdays. Gambit / Blog Of New Orleans The original Picayune originally published in 1837. Washington Post / Erik Wemple There's even some mention of "plans" to beef up food and dining coverage. A quote from publisher Ashton Phelps Jr. puts a smiley spin on things: "I have run The Times-Picayune for over 32 years. I believe moving to a stronger digital focus positions the new company to continue to serve the needs of our various communities." Forbes / John McQuaid I spent most of my journalism career at The Times-Picayune and have many friends there, so the news that its owners are slashing the staff, dismissing top editors, and cutting back publication days is very difficult to process. My heart goes out to my valiant former colleagues, and to the city itself, which will suffer from having reduced news coverage and seeing one of its signature institutions diminished. Poynter / MediaWire David Simon, whose HBO series Treme chronicles life in post-Katrina New Orleans, told Poynter that the Times-Picayune's decision to cut publication to three days a week and cut staff is "grievous news as it would be for any American city." Washington Post This is a tactical trend for New York-based Advance Publications, which owns The Times-Picayune, as it pushes toward a limited print-digital model. Advance said Thursday that in addition to The Times-Picayune, it will also cut back the print frequency of its three papers in Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville, Ala., to three days. The Advocate The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and the Press-Register of Mobile, which are also owned in Alabama by Advance Publications Inc., a Newhouse family company, announced on Thursday they too will transition to a three-day circulation pattern. Poynter / MediaWire Average circulation at the three papers between March 2011 and March 2012 has followed national trends, increasing or basically holding steady on Sundays and decreasing Monday through Friday.
Warren Buffett Won't Stop Buying Newspapers Until He's Dead (FishbowlNY)
Warren Buffett is going to buy more newspapers. Yes, in addition to the 63 his Berkshire Hathaway Media Group scooped up last week. In a letter sent to the editors and publishers of those publications, Buffett says he "will probably purchase more papers in the next few years." JimRomenesko.com Warren Buffett: "Berkshire buys for keeps. Our only exception to permanent ownership is when a business faces unending losses, a remote prospect for virtually all of our dailies. So let me express a few thoughts about what lies ahead as we join forces." Omaha World-Herald Warren Buffett has pledged a "hands-off" policy at Berkshire Hathaway Inc. newspapers and called for their editors and publishers to make their papers indispensable to anyone who cares about their city or town. Poynter / MediaWire They will, however, have to follow certain principles: take on no debt that makes them vulnerable, expect to charge for online content somehow and make sure an intense local focus is in their DNA. Bloomberg Businessweek / AP Buffett said many of the newspaper editors he was writing to would likely outlive him as Berkshire employees, but he predicted that his successors would follow the same hands-off management approach. Forbes / Mixed Media Warren Buffett in 2009: "For most newspapers in the United States, we would not buy them at any price." Warren Buffett in 2012: "I've loved newspapers all my life -- and always will... Berkshire will probably purchase more papers in the next few years." Will the real Warren Buffett please stand up? Is the Sage of Omaha a sentimentalist or a skeptic when it comes to newspapers?
NBCU Exploring Buyback Of MSNBC.com (Adweek)
Chris Matthews must be getting that tingling feeling down his leg again. He and his colleagues may soon have a giant news site to call their own. That's because NBCUniversal is in serious negotiations with Microsoft to buy back MSNBC.com. TVNewser Microsoft sold a majority stake in the cable channel MSNBC to NBCU back in 2005, but it maintained control of the website, which is an enormously popular online destination. The deal, if consummated, could result in two separate websites, NBCNews.com and a reworked MSNBC.com. THR A transaction would likely include an agreement that would allow the site to retain some of the traffic it gets from being placed on Microsoft's MSN portal.
Fox, CBS, NBC Sue Dish Network Over Auto Hop Ad-Skipper (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
Fox, CBS and NBCUniversal separately have sued Dish Network over its new Auto Hop service, which allows consumers to skip television ads. At the same time, Dish has filed its own lawsuit against all four broadcast networks seeking a declaration as to the legality of its new service. TheWrap.com The networks accused Dish of copyright violations. As of late Thursday, ABC had not sued, despite being named in Dish's suit. Dish, meanwhile, sought a federal court's "declaratory judgment on questions" related to Auto Hop. LA Times / Company Town While consumers with digital video recorders can fast-forward through commercials of recorded shows, Dish's Auto Hop takes it a step further. The screen goes black when a commercial break appears. A few seconds later, the program returns. The service can't be used on live programming, such as a sporting event, even after it has been recorded. B&C Dish announced Auto Hop on May 10, the week before the broadcasters were to hold their upfront presentations, at which they show their new programming to media buyers and advertisers. Over the next few weeks, the broadcasters will sell about $9 billion worth of ads on those primetime programs. NYT Last week, executives at all the major networks criticized Dish for introducing the Auto Hop technology, and some networks rejected Dish's ads for the digital video recorder that includes it. This week, executives at a major cable distributor, Time Warner Cable, and a major media agency, Starcom MediaVest Group, also spoke out against Auto Hop. Adweek Dish argues that consumers should have the choice to zap spots if they want.
Facebook IPO Is Flashback To Dot-Com Class Action (Reuters)
Less than a week after its IPO, Facebook Inc. is already facing multiple lawsuits by disgruntled shareholders who claim that the company and its underwriters, including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, told only select institutional investors about the social media company's weakened growth forecast. WSJ Capital Research & Management wanted to buy into the Facebook Inc. initial public offering. But days before the IPO, an underwriting bank on the deal warned the big investment firm about Facebook's dimming revenue prospects. Reuters Claims by four of Wall Street's main market makers against Nasdaq over Facebook's botched IPO are likely to exceed $100 million, as they and other traders continue to deal with thousands of problems with customer orders.
Daytime Emmys Will Air On HLN June 23 (B&C)
The Daytime Emmys will air live on HLN on Saturday, June 23, as the awards show is held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif. THR The 39th edition of the Emmys was left without a TV home when CBS, which aired the show the previous two years, declined to make room on its schedule for the telecast. Deadline Hollywood The last two telecasts have been on CBS but were produced by Associated Television International (ATI), which leased the airtime and sold ads and arranged product placement deals. ATI and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences were unable to come to terms this year and the major networks declined to air the telecast, allowing the Time Warner network to step in. TVNewser At next month's event, Barbara Walters will present Bill Geddie, executive producer of The View and the Barbara Walters Specials, with the Daytime Lifetime Achievement Award. NY Post / Starr Report There's no host, yet, for the telecast -- which will air from 8 to 10 p.m. -- but that's expected to be finalized in the next few weeks.
Facebook Launches Camera App (TechCrunch)
Insta-who? Thursday Facebook began rolling out Facebook Camera for iOS to English-speaking countries, a standalone photo app where you can shoot, filter, and share single or sets of photos and scroll through a feed of photos uploaded to Facebook by your friends. AllFacebook Users can edit photos in their iPhone camera rolls, including cropping, rotating, and adding filters, and swiping enables users to enlarge displayed photos or dig deeper into albums. AllThingsD We know that Facebook is serious about photos. Heck, it dropped a cool $1 billion on Instagram, the immensely popular mobile photo-sharing app. What we didn't know, however, is that Facebook was essentially building its own version of a standalone mobile photo-sharing application, ostensibly to compete with Instagram before it took over the mobile photo-sharing world completely. NY Mag / Daily Intel If Facebook bought Instagram only to clear the lane of competition and make room for their own photo app, not only did they pay too much, but they still have some work to do: Early indications are that Instagram's interface and functionality are preferable, except for the ability to upload batches of photos, which could presumably be added without issue eventually. NYT / Bits It might seem strange for Facebook to release a camera application with built-in filters just weeks after announcing plans to buy Instagram. But Facebook Camera is aimed at a different audience. Instagram has 40 million users, while Facebook has 900 million. This leaves a large swath of people who are not on Instagram but are actively taking photos and uploading them to Facebook. The filters in Facebook Camera were developed by Facebook and are not borrowed from Instagram.
Sean Hannity Signs Multi-Year Deal With Fox News (Mediaite)
Sean Hannity has signed a new multi-year deal with Fox News, keeping him the host of Hannity. TVNewser Hannity has been with Fox News since the network launched in 1996. His 9 p.m. ET program, Hannity, is the second most-watched cable news show, averaging 2.1 million viewers a night. HuffPost He will continue his current role for at least four more years.
A Push To Outlaw Anonymous Commenters In New York Gets Big Eye-Roll From Digital Media (Capital New York)
One might have expected the news that several Republican state lawmakers in New York want to pass a law essentially banning anonymous comments on the Web to be met with outrage. But the reaction from New York's digital-media proprietors seems to be more of a collective eye-roll.
The Case Against AOL, In Numbers (Forbes / Mixed Media)
Starboard Value, the activist hedge fund that seeks to replace three of AOL's directors with its own nominees next month, has laid out its disagreements with the Internet giant's current management in a 96-page presentation to investors.
Google Takes Down 1.2 Million Search Links A Month Over Piracy, Copyright Issues (GigaOM)
Google Thursday released a new picture of the millions of links it scrubs from its search results in response to requests from Microsoft, movie studios and other content owners. Wired / Threat Level The top rights holders demanding removal of links were Microsoft, at 543,000 last month, the British Recorded Music Industry at 162,000 and NBC at 145,000.
The Atlantic Names Hayley Romer Associate Publisher (FishbowlNY)
Hayley Romer, a five-year veteran of Condé Nast Media Group, is joining The Atlantic as associate publisher. FishbowlDC Romer spent five years at the Condé Nast Media Group, most recently as executive director of corporate sales. Before joining Condé Nast in 2007, Romer managed the luxury account list at Forbes Media. She began her career in publishing at American Heritage magazine.
Women's Health To Launch Ad Program With Pinterest (WWD / Memo Pad)
It's still unclear how much money Pinterest is making off its virtual scrapbooking site, but plenty of its members have already found their own ways to cash in. Women's Health, which has 16,660 followers and gets 25 percent of its referral traffic from the site, is about to launch one of the first Pinterest ad programs to come from a magazine, sponsored by Forevermark Diamonds.
NY Times Updates iPhone/iPad Apps For Customized Reading (Nieman Journalism Lab)
With Thursday's updates to its flagship iPad and iPhone apps, The New York Times is adapting to a world of always-on but slower-than-you'd-like data networks.
John Schriffen Named ABC News Correspondent (TVSpy)
John Schriffen is joining ABC News as a New York-based correspondent, president Ben Sherwood announced Thursday. TVNewser Schriffen joins ABC after two months as a freelance reporter for WCBS, the CBS-owned local station in New York City. Prior to that, he was a general assignment reporter for WRC, the NBC-owned station in Washington, D.C.