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Wednesday, Jun 13

Morning Media Newsfeed 06.13.12

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Advance Publications Lays Off 600 People At Times-Picayune, Alabama Papers (Poynter / MediaWire)
Advance Publications announced Tuesday that it will cut about 600 jobs at The Times-Picayune and its papers in Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville, Ala., when the papers stop printing daily and shift focus to their websites. The Times-Picayune, according to company executives, is shrinking its overall staff -- including news, advertising, circulation and other departments -- by 32 percent, or 201 employees. The Associated Press The paper said 84 of the newsroom's 173 employees were cut at the 175-year-old paper. Advertising, circulation and other departments also were affected. In Alabama, three major daily newspapers laid off about 400 employees, many of them in the newsrooms at The Birmingham News, the Press-Register in Mobile and The Huntsville Times. HuffPost Employees who were laid off were offered severance packages; if they choose to accept the buyouts, they must work at the paper until Sept. 30. NYT / Media Decoder Employees at The Times-Picayune who are being kept on will be offered positions in the Nola Media Group, a new company that will oversee the paper starting in the fall. NYT It is unclear how many of these positions are going to be refilled, and by whom. Jim Amoss, the editor of The Times-Picayune, said that while about half the newsroom was let go on Tuesday, a coming series of hires would mean that by fall the newsroom would be smaller by only about 32 people. NYT / Diner's Journal Brett Anderson, the award-winning restaurant critic and food writer, was among more than 200 employees laid off on Tuesday by The Times-Picayune. Poynter / MediaWire Despite the popularity of political cartoons and visual commentary online, Steve Kelley, the political cartoonist for The Times-Picayune since 2002, has been informed his job will be cut as part of the company's transition to three-day-a-week printing. Poynter / MediaWire As journalists at Advance Publications' New Orleans and Alabama papers received word of layoffs, Amoss was responding to readers angry about the plan to reduce printing and staff. The Atlantic The newspaper industry is in the midst of a mass decimation. This is due to the inexorable forces of the Web and to the constantly fracturing attentions of readers, who can find much of the stuff that used to be exclusive to newspapers elsewhere and in vastly greater quantity and quality. But there are still core functions that newspapers can do very well: covering news, sports, and entertainment in their communities, offering an authoritative channel for distinctive voices on those topics. But what if the process of relentless downsizing degrades a newspaper's relationship with its community, and with it those last sources of journalistic strength?

Facebook Says The Facebook Ads It Didn't Sell Work Great (AllThingsD)
Here's Facebook's retort to people who say Facebook ads don't work: A study that says people who see brand messages on the site spend more money on those brands, right away. The catch: The study focuses on "earned media" -- the messages that Facebook users share with each other, not the ones brands pay Facebook to promote. LA Times / Tech Now The new data from the social networking company was released Tuesday together with comScore in a report that also shows how Facebook ads have helped companies including Starbucks and Target. NYT / Media Decoder According to the data, four weeks after seeing a Starbucks ad on Facebook, people who were fans of the brand, and those who were friends of those fans, increased the frequency of their purchases by 38 percent, while Target fans and their friends increased their purchases by 21 percent. Forbes / The New Persuaders Mind the caveats: Facebook is a comScore client and even arranged my phone interview with comScore vice president of industry analysis Andrew Lipsman -- which I appreciate, but just saying. Also, the white paper looks mostly at so-called earned media, the posts, "likes," and shares that users and brands create, more than ads. GigaOM Theoretically, that's the kind of ammunition brands like General Motors could use to justify dropping their ad spending on Facebook and relying on social sharing of their marketing content instead. The Associated Press The study was based on a panel of Internet users who agreed to participate in the study -- a condition that can skew results. Adweek It makes sense that Facebook would want to show brands that marketing on the social network can, in fact, drive sales. For the first quarter, advertising revenue accounted for 82 percent of the company's total revenue.

Detroit Free Press To Lay Off Reporters, Cut Newsroom (Motor City Muckraker)
The Detroit Free Press plans to sizably reduce its staff of reporters, and one of its top editors is leaving, editor and publisher Paul Anger told newspaper employees Tuesday. Crain's Detroit Business The Free Press has reduced head count through rounds of buyouts, early-retirement incentives and layoffs, including 220 jobs in December 2008. It also has required staff to take unpaid furlough weeks in the past. Poynter / MediaWire The Free Press prints every day but home-delivers its papers only three days a week, a change that has led to some rough comparisons to the cuts in print frequency recently announced at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and other papers owned by Advance Publications. It was also announced Tuesday that Jeff Taylor, one of the paper's Pulitzer winners, has been named Indianapolis Star editor.

Warren Buffett Buys Bryan-College Station Eagle, Texas Newspaper (HuffPost / AP)
Berkshire Hathaway's newspaper division is acquiring a small Texas paper in the home of Texas A&M University. The Omaha World-Herald The purchase adds to Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s growing portfolio of newspapers. Berkshire bought The World-Herald in December and, last month, Buffett announced that he would buy a group of 63 newspapers from Media General Corp., a deal due to close later this month. Buffett also said he was interested in buying more newspapers that have strong ties to their communities. Poynter / MediaWire The Eagle's average Sunday circulation in March 2012 was 26,637, an increase of 9.5 percent over March 2011, according to data from the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Average daily circulation increased about 7 percent, to 22,685. Its digital editions had about 4,300 readers. The deal closes June 30.

Ed Wasserman Is The New Dean Of Berkeley Graduate School Of Journalism (
The head of Washington and Lee's journalism and mass communication department has told colleagues that Ed Wasserman is the new dean of Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. The Bay Citizen / Pulse Of The Bay Berkeley posted an official announcement to its website Tuesday morning. The Daily Californian Wasserman, who is currently the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism Ethics at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, will serve as the school's sixth dean when he begins his five-year term on January 1, 2013.

NBC News, CBS News And ABC News All Awarded 2012 Murrows (TVNewser)
For the fourth consecutive year, NBC News won the Edward R. Murrow award for Overall Excellence, the Radio Television Digital News Association revealed Tuesday morning. HuffPost All the broadcast networks were recognized. ABC News won five total Murrow awards, three of which were from broadcast reports. The network's evening broadcast, World News with Diane Sawyer won in the "Reporting Hard News" category for weekend anchor David Muir's reports from Somalia last year titled, "A Cry For Help: Famine in Somalia." Politico / Dylan Byers On Media CBS News won the awards for feature reporting and investigative reporting. CNN will take home two awards, including one for its news series on the attack on the Syrian city of Homs. CBS Radio News won the award for Overall Excellence in radio; the Associated Press won the award for Overall Excellence in online news. TVSpy Here is the complete list of winners.

Dumb And Dumber: How Far Can CNN Sink? (CJR / The Kicker)
In April, CNN recorded its lowest monthly ratings in more than 10 years. In May, it recorded its lowest monthly primetime ratings in more than 20 years. It's now regularly eclipsed not only by Fox News (long the leader in cable news) but also by MSNBC. Last year, I suggested to an editor at CJR that it do a story titled, "Why Is CNN So Bad?" It never happened, but, prompted by the network's recent shellacking, I decided to tune in after a long hiatus. It's even worse than I remembered.

CBS Finishes Upfront Sales (NYT / Media Decoder)
CBS is finishing its sales of commercial time ahead of the 2012-13 season in what is known as the upfront market, winning rate increases that may turn out to be the largest of any of the five English-language broadcast networks. AdAge / TV Upfront The network, which has the most stable primetime lineup among the big broadcasters, was able to secure increases in the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers, a metric also known as a CPM, in the range of 8 percent to 9 percent, according to ad buyers and other people familiar with the pace of discussions. WSJ CBS, the so-called Tiffany network got roughly $2.7 billion in ad commitments, said a person familiar with the matter. The total was barely higher than last year, when advertisers agreed to spend about $2.65 billion on the network, according to Barclays Capital. Reuters ABC, which slipped to last place this year based on same-day viewing among the 18- to 49-year-old age group prized by advertisers, secured price hikes in the 6 percent to 8 percent range. NBC, the last-place network overall, won 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent increases. Adweek The first to explode off the blocks, Fox was expected to finish up by Monday. One source intimated that Fox is getting very close to finishing its remaining bit of business. It is said to be writing CPMs at premiums of 8 percent to 9 percent.

Food Network Magazine To Raise Rate Base Twice More In 2013 (minOnline)
The Food Network juggernaut continues. Founding publisher Vicki Wellington -- who increased the rate base twice this year to 1.4 million with the January/February issue and 1.45 million with the July/August issue -- announced Tuesday morning that she will be following the same pattern in 2013. FishbowlNY Beginning with the January/February issue, the rate base will increase from 1.45 million to 1.5 million, and then get bumped up again to 1.55 million with the July/August 2013 issue. Folio: These hikes represent the eighth and ninth rate base increases for the publication since its 2009 debut.

Yahoo!, CNBC Agree On Finance News Pact For Internet, TV (Bloomberg)
Yahoo! Inc., the largest U.S. Web portal, and CNBC said they reached an agreement to offer finance news to television subscribers and Internet users as the companies aim to increase advertising sales. THR Under the deal, CNBC becomes the premier content provider for Yahoo! Finance in the U.S. Under the alliance, Yahoo! Finance's journalists will contribute to CNBC's Business Day programming, while CNBC clips, news and analysis will be prominently integrated into the Yahoo! Finance site and also be featured across the Yahoo! network. NYT In effect, CNBC is turning to Yahoo! for help in reaching online readers of business news. CNBC is the biggest business news television channel, but it has not been able to replicate that success on the Internet, where many companies have competing sites. AdAge / Media News is not the biggest player in online news, but the site has grown since CNBC took direct oversight from MSN in 2006. Adweek The announcement follows a pattern for Yahoo!, which most notably launched a content partnership last year with ABC News.

After Long Resistance, Pynchon Allows Novels To Be Sold As eBooks (NYT / Media Decoder)
Thomas Pynchon was one of the last great holdouts: the rare writer who had refused to allow his work to be sold in eBook format. Now he's changed his mind. The Associated Press Penguin Press announced Tuesday that the electronic editions of Gravity's Rainbow, V. and other influential works will go on sale Wednesday. LA Times / Jacket Copy Pynchon, 75, is a notoriously private author who has declined to speak to the media for decades. Although it's not easy to be a recluse in the Internet age, Pynchon has largely avoided being photographed and has otherwise stayed out of the public literary sphere. Apparently, his books being available electronically will not change that. Gets Overhaul In Advance Of Talk Show Debut (TVNewser)
The team at Katie Couric's eponymous daytime talk show continues to gear up for launch on September 10. Their latest effort is a redesigned, including a promo video for the new talker. HuffPost The video, titled "This Is Katie," features the former Today host walking on the beach, reminiscing with old friends, and spending time with her two daughters.

McIntosh New COO At Random House (The Bookseller)
Madeline McIntosh has been appointed chief operating officer for Random House Inc. paidContent McIntosh, who is 43, was Amazon's director of Kindle content acquisition for Europe from 2008 to 2009, based in Luxembourg. GalleyCat McIntosh will continue to perform her previous duties which include overseeing IT, corporate digital product development, corporate marketing development, digital and print sales, audio and travel publishing and third-party distribution. She will report to CEO Markus Dohle.

Netroots Nation Grows Up, And In Some Cases Goes Pro (Nieman Journalism Lab)
There's a kind of summer camp vibe to Netroots Nation. The annual liberal blogger/activist/campaigner/organizer get-together had its seventh iteration in Providence, R.I. last weekend, and by now it's built up traditions, inside jokes, legends from years past -- and a nagging sense that, for some, Netroots Nation might be a thing you outgrow, whether you want to or not. This may be because, as the progressive blogosphere grows up (and grows out of the now dated-sounding "blogosphere" term), it's also undergone some significant changes.

Waiting For Bain & Co.'s Time Inc. Report (WWD / Memo Pad)
Time Inc. employees have a few more weeks worth of interviews with Bain & Co. consultants before the firm's suggestions are presented to chief executive officer Laura Lang at the end of the month. But don't expect a press release or company memo to be issued shortly thereafter. Sources said Lang will likely take her time to make her first moves. AdAge / Media News Lang announced the review in March, three months after she arrived from the digital agency Digitas, saying Bain's study of the company and the media landscape would help peg the areas where it can "double down, place big bets and get back on a revenue growth trajectory."

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