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Thursday, May 31

Morning Media Newsfeed 05.31.12

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May 2012 Ratings: CNN Hits 20-Year Low (TVNewser)
As expected, based on reports throughout the month, it was a rough May ratings-wise for CNN, with the network hitting a 20-year low in primetime. Deadline Hollywood From April 30 to May 27, the cable news network attracted an average of 389,000 viewers in primetime. It was also CNN's second-lowest-rated month in primetime among the 25-54 demographic (114,000 viewers) since October 1991. HuffPost Erin Burnett received just 89,000 viewers in the key demo at 7 p.m. NYT / Media Decoder In what seems an incongruous development, the month of May -- in the middle of what is shaping up as a close presidential campaign -- generated some of the worst recent ratings for cable news television. TVNewser As usual, Fox News comes in first among the cable news channels in May, but even the perennial ratings leader was not immune to a decline this month. Compared to May 2011, FNC is down -6 percent in total viewers and -12 percent in the adults 25-54 demographic in total day. In primetime, the network is down -9 percent in total viewers and -23 percent in adults 25-54 viewers. TVNewser MSNBC continued its run as the No. 2 cable news network in May, second to Fox News in both total day and primetime. Like the other cable news networks, MSNBC experienced declines in May -- down double digits across the board.

Colombian Rebels Free French Reporter After Month In Captivity (Reuters)
Colombia's FARC guerrillas freed French reporter Romeo Langlois on Wednesday, a month after taking him hostage in a firefight that showed the leftist group is still a menace despite a decade of military blows. BBC News The France 24 reporter was captured while filming the destruction of cocaine laboratories by army soldiers in the Caqueta region.

Chicago Sun-Times Shuffles Newsroom, Stresses Digital Moves (Crain's Chicago Business)
The Chicago Sun-Times Wednesday announced the appointment of a new managing editor and a reorganization of newsroom personnel as it shifts its emphasis to digital news distribution. "We are no longer a newspaper company," Sun-Times Media Holdings LLC editor in chief Jim Kirk said in a memo to staff. Time Out Chicago In all his years as a reporter and columnist -- including those when we competed head-to-head on the media beat -- Kirk always chose his words with precision and care. I never once recall him hyping a story. So when the new editor in chief announced plans Wednesday to restructure the Sun-Times editorial operations, his prose came as something of a surprise.

John Berman Leaving ABC News For CNN (TVNewser)
ABC's John Berman is jumping to CNN. Berman, who is an ABC lifer, will join the morning show Early Start as an anchor as well as reporting for CNN programs including The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. NYT / Media Decoder Berman is well-regarded at ABC, where he started as a desk assistant in 1995 and spent several years as the head writer of World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. B&C He has covered the presidential election season since 2000. NY Daily News Early Start debuted in January with Ashley Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin as co-hosts. Capital New York Berman and Anthony Bourdain join CNN as pressure mounts on the network to turn around the ratings slump into which it's sunk in recent years, particularly in its weeknight primetime lineup.

AP Stylebook 2012 Edition Features New Broadcast Chapter (Poynter / MediaWire)
The 2012 edition of the AP Stylebook, which came out Wednesday, features more than 270 updated and new entries. FishbowlNY As indicated in an AP press release, the 2012 version promises to clear up any confusion Brian Setzer Orchestra fans have about using "zoot suit" in a sentence, features an expanded section on social media and contains a new portion dedicated to broadcast terms. PRNewser The social media chapter, which was added in 2010, now includes "direct message" and "modified tweet." NPR There was something anticlimactic to the news that the AP Stylebook will no longer be objecting to the use of "hopefully" as a floating sentence adverb, as in, "Hopefully, the Giants will win the division." It was like seeing an obituary for someone you assumed must have died around the time that Hootenanny went off the air.

The American Prospect Raises $200,000, Needs Plenty More (Politico / Dylan Byers On Media)
The good news: The American Prospect, which has sought financial donations to keep it afloat, has met its $200,000 goal. The other news: It is now asking readers for another $350,000

Milberg Seeking To Quit N.Y. Facebook Case, Lawyer Says (Bloomberg)
Milberg LLP is seeking to withdraw from Paul Ceglia's lawsuit claiming half the Facebook Inc. holdings of chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg, according to Dean Boland, another of Ceglia' s lawyers. LA Times / Tech Now The law firm Milberg is asking the judge overseeing the case in Buffalo, N.Y., if it can withdraw less than three months after it took on Ceglia as a client, according to a motion filed with the court. AllFacebook On April 4, U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York Judge Leslie Foschio rejected Ceglia's request for more time for broad discovery, expressing doubt that Ceglia's team could explain the existence of the authentic contract between Ceglia and Zuckerberg related to a different website, StreetFax, and at one point referring to an avalanche of fraud. And now, Ceglia doesn't appear to have a team.

CBS Says 2013 Super Bowl Is More Than 50 Percent Sold (AdAge / Super Bowl)
General Motors may have driven away from next year's Super Bowl broadcast, but other advertisers aren't following suit. CBS has sold more than 50 percent of its ad inventory for its 2013 broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII and could reach sell-out levels approaching 80 percent in the next few weeks, according to the network's head of sports ad sales. Adweek Just days after the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, CBS Corp. president and CEO Les Moonves told investors that his sales team would command "a potential $4 million per spot" in this year's NFL title game. Buyers suggest that CBS is selling units at an average cost of $3.8 million. If that holds, CBS will have earned a 9 percent premium over NBC's going rate a year ago.

Reverse Engineering Chinese Censorship: When And Why Are Controversial Tweets Deleted? (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Censoring the Chinese Internet must be exhausting work, like trying to stem the flow of a fire hose with your thumb. Sina Weibo, a popular Twitter-like service, says its 300 million registered users post more than 100 million weibos, or tweet-like posts, a day. (In Chinese, weibo means microblog or microblog post.) And of course the entire Chinese Internet isn't as censored as some might think. So why are some tweets deleted, not others? Which topics are seen as the biggest threat to harmony?

Judge Presses U.S. In Megaupload Case (NYT / Media Decoder)
When the police in New Zealand raided the headquarters of the file-sharing site Megaupload in January on behalf of the United States authorities, the case, at first, seemed strong. In what was described as one of the largest criminal copyright cases, the United States accused Megaupload and its founder, Kim Dotcom, of causing more than $500 million in damages to copyright holders through what it said was a criminal enterprise to pirate music, movies and video games. But in the months since, Dotcom and his lawyers have succeeded in chipping away at the case. Bloomberg Businessweek / AP Lawyers for Megaupload on Wednesday filed papers in U.S. District Court to dismiss charges against the company. Reuters Papers have been filed stating that U.S. federal authorities cannot charge the company with criminal behavior because it is Hong Kong based, and also that no papers have ever been formally served.

USA Today's Larry Kramer: 'We Have To Give You Reasons To Buy It' (paidContent)
Thirty years ago, USA Today revolutionized newspapers with color, infographics and concise stories; whether competitors liked it or not, publisher Gannett was beyond cutting edge for launching it. It's now up to Larry Kramer, just appointed publisher and president, to lead a new revolution: forging a coherent, forward-looking digital strategy while updating and revitalizing a dated print edition that still has the largest U.S. circulation (1.7 million daily) and reach.

LA Times Tries To Unmask Dark Money Donors (CJR / The Swing States Project)
Earlier this week, Matea Gold and Joseph Tanfani of the Los Angeles Times teamed up for a sharp article about the Center to Protect Patient Rights, an opaque nonprofit institution that helped steer about $55 million in conservative cash to other opaque institutions during the 2010 election cycle. But the story's greatest value -- and the most useful takeaway for journalists -- may be its look not at where the center's dark money comes from, but where it goes.

Reporters Will Be Able To Live-Tweet Sandusky Trial (TVSpy)
Journalists won't be allowed to record the sex-abuse trial of Jerry Sandusky, but they will be able to live-tweet it. Poynter / MediaWire Unlike members of the public, reporters will be able to bring cellphones, laptops and "similar" devices into the courtroom.

New York Judge Halts Fox Lawsuit Over Dish Ad-Skipper (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
In the battle about which of the various lawsuits over Dish Network's Auto Hop service proceeds, Dish has scored first. LA Times / Company Town Wednesday, a federal court judge in New York granted Dish Network's request for a temporary restraining order preventing Fox and other networks from trying to advance their claims against the satellite television provider in lawsuits that were separately filed last week in Los Angeles. Dish, the nation's third-largest pay-television provider, contends that the Auto Hop technology is like a more advanced form of fast-forwarding. With the touch of a button, viewers can decide not to watch the ads on recorded shows that aired the day before.

Why We Need To Blow The Article Up In Order To Save It (GigaOM)
Many media outlets -- and not just traditional players like newspapers or magazines, but even some newer and more digital-savvy ones -- still think of the article or the story as the bedrock foundation of news and journalism. But with so many different sources of content, and so many different ways of distributing it and displaying it, is that really still the case?

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