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Friday, Jul 13

Morning Media Newsfeed 07.13.12

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Once A Social Media Star, Digg Sells For $500,000 (WSJ)
Digg Inc., a social-media pioneer once valued at more than $160 million, is selling for the deeply discounted price of about $500,000, three people familiar with the matter said. The buyer is New York technology development firm Betaworks, which is attempting to revive a news-sharing site that was outmaneuvered by Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. VentureBeat Ordinarily, this would be a good thing, especially since the company has been making a serious attempt to sell itself for the last six months or so. However, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the sale price was a measly $500,000 -- ridiculously lower than the rumored $200-$300 million it was asking back in 2008. AllThingsD Digg CEO Matt Williams disputed that figure, saying "the overall consideration is significantly larger," and that it was a combination of cash and equity. TechCrunch Digg's founder Kevin Rose joined Google a few months ago after the search engine acquired his latest startup, Milk. GigaOM Maybe it was the BusinessWeek cover that sealed Digg's fate. When the social-sharing site was near the height of its popularity in 2006, the business magazine put Rose on the cover with the caption: "How this kid made $60 million in 18 months." LA Times / Tech Now Digg hit its stride in 2008 with about 30 million visitors a month, but it began to fall in 2010 due to traffic loss to Facebook and Twitter. Poorly received site redesigns also contributed to its collapse, and in December of last year, Reddit, a similar site, finally overtook Digg in traffic. NYT / Bits Betaworks invests in technology services and also creates them, having spawned, the link-shortening service, and, an iPad-based news aggregator developed in collaboration with The New York Times Company. The new unit will combine the Digg assets and, and John Borthwick, the founder of Betaworks, will become chief executive of Digg. Betaworks plans to create a new version of Digg that will be a complement to's iPhone and iPad applications. Forbes / Mixed Media While Myspace was a bigger money-sink on a total dollars basis for News Corp., it at least managed to recoup 6 percent of its $580 million investment when it sold it to Specific Media for $35 million. And that's not counting the substantial revenues Myspace generated during the six years News Corp. owned it. The Atlantic It is easy to forget how high-flying Digg once was. Digg was supposed to be the future of all media, not just social media. People were going to rule the Internet; people were going to curate the Web. Down with gatekeepers! But, as many Digg users quickly discovered, new gangs of gatekeepers kept a tight grip on the site's story flow. These guys played the Digg system, often with a mix of social and monetary motives, and Digg never figured out how to incorporate their power users into their community without giving them all the power.

CBS Leads News And Documentary Emmy Awards With 43 Nominations (TheWrap / Media Alley)
CBS led the nominees for the 33rd annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards Thursday, picking up 43 nods for its coverage of the fall of Tripoli, the botched Fast and Furious gun smuggling investigation and the Dover Mortuary scandal. B&C CBS was led by 60 Minutes, which received 34 total nominations, easily the most of any program. CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley took home five, Sunday Morning received three and 48 Hours was nominated once. TVNewser PBS was second with 37 nominations, followed by NBC with 20 and ABC with 17. HuffPost CNN and its international network were nominated for nine awards total. MSNBC picked up two nominations. Deadline Hollywood The National Academy Of Television Arts And Sciences said Univision anchors Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas will receive lifetime achievement awards. THR In 2007, Ramos and Salinas were front and center as Univision became the first Spanish language U.S. TV network to cover the Democratic and Republican conventions.

GMA Nears Coveted Demographic Win Over Today (NYT / Media Decoder)
The long dominance of NBC's Today show among viewers between the ages of 25 and 54 -- one of its last ratings strongholds against ABC's Good Morning, America -- appears to be under severe threat. TVNewser For the week so far, GMA is topping Today in total viewers by 360,000, and in the demo by 40,000. GMA has been see-sawing with Today in total viewers over the last few months, but the NBC morning program has held on to its demo lead, at least for now. Final numbers will be in Thursday, July 19.

Elisabeth Murdoch To Leave Shine Group CEO Post To Alex Mahon (THR)
Shine Group, founded by Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth Murdoch, has promoted Alex Mahon to the role of CEO. Elisabeth will give up that title and focus on her chairman role of the production firm that her father's News Corp. acquired last year. TheWrap Shine is a British-based television production company responsible for shows such as The Biggest Loser, Merlin and The Hour. WSJ Elisabeth started Shine in 2001 after leaving British Sky Broadcasting PLC, which is partly owned by News Corp. The media conglomerate paid $480 million for Shine last year, in addition to assumption of debt. Elisabeth, a majority owner of Shine, received about $214 million in cash at closing, News Corp. has said in government filings, and was due to receive a little more once part of the cash proceeds was released from escrow.

Social Networks Scan For Sexual Predators, With Uneven Results (Reuters)
On March 9 of this year, a piece of Facebook software spotted something suspicious: A man in his early 30s was chatting about sex with a 13-year-old South Florida girl and planned to meet her after middle-school classes the next day. Facebook's extensive but little-discussed technology for scanning postings and chats for criminal activity automatically flagged the conversation for employees, who read it and quickly called police.

Reuters Teams Up With Next Media Animation (FishbowlLA)
Reuters announced Thursday that, as of July 16, it plans to offer 20 Next Media Animation videos per week through its distribution network. Not familiar with Next Media Animation? Actually, you probably are: They're the Taiwanese company that puts out those wacky animated takes on the news. Mashable Next Media Animation's News Direct service is the more serious branch of the Taiwanese animation studio. 10,000 Words The videos offer popular visual coverage of news stories when video footage is not immediately available, and they serve as a medium to explain more technical and conceptual stories.

Are You Sure That's True? Truth Goggles Tackles Fishy Claims At The Moment Of Consumption (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Imagine if every factual claim were highlighted in news articles -- true, false, or otherwise. The gap between consumption and correction of bad information effectively would be reduced to zero. That's the goal of Truth Goggles, a tool created by MIT master's graduate Dan Schultz.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram Lays Off 12, Including Managing Editor (
I have confirmed this report from a Romenesko reader: "Word on the street is that the Star-Telegram laid off 12 Wednesday, including nine in news. Managing editor Lois Norder, a first-rate editor, is among the casualties. Facebook conversations say six news copy editors also gone."

Wall Street Journal Digital Chief Raju Narisetti Talks Innovation, Mistakes And Opportunities (TheMediaBriefing)
Forget the idea that newspapers have too much innovation to cope with -- they're not moving nearly fast enough, according to the managing editor of the Wall Street Journal's digital network. FishbowlNY Narisetti has always been a big supporter of technological advancements in media, and his approach is no different at the Journal. Poynter / MediaWire Narisetti left his job as a managing editor at the Washington Post, one of the leading holdouts against a paywall, to return to The Wall Street Journal.

For Associated Press, Olympics Are The Olympics Of News Coverage (Poynter)
The Associated Press announced its 2012 Olympics coverage plan Thursday, and as you might expect, it's expansive: text packages and updates posted throughout the day, medal counts on its AP Mobile apps, interactive presentations viewable on a number of devices, and tons of photos and video. The Associated Press AP will staff the games with 91 text reporters and editors, 85 photographers and photo editors, 18 video journalists and three radio reporters, plus 21 technology staffers responsible for ensuring all of AP's content reaches its customers.

Microsoft Bailing On Mobile, Branded Web Video Ads (Adweek)
Is Microsoft signaling that the company is getting out of the brand advertising business? Its latest round of layoffs sure seem to indicate so.

Magazine Closures Drop Significantly In First Half Of 2012 (Folio:)
First-half 2012 numbers released from online periodicals database show that magazine closures have slowed way down when compared to the same period last year.

With Recent Mobile Updates, Twitter Continues The Push Downmarket (AllThingsD)
Much of our attention earlier this week was focused on Twitter's smartphone app update, a nice polishing of the company's already decent iOS and Android applications. But there's another crucial market that Twitter isn't ignoring: Feature phone customers.

Sports Illustrated Layoffs Could Be Underway (Adweek)
Sports Illustrated was expected to begin layoffs as early as Thursday as the weekly tries to wring cost savings out of the organization. SI asked for volunteers about three weeks ago to avoid laying off up to 16 people, mainly in editorial. The actual amount would depend on the salaries of the people who take the buyout.

Scholastic Instructor Names Editor In Chief (FishbowlNY)
Scholastic has named Tara Welty editor in chief of Instructor magazine. Welty was most recently the editor of Scholastic Art, where she oversaw a re-launch of its print and Web versions.

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