Morning Media Newsfeed 07.17.12
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Google Exec Marissa Mayer Named Yahoo! CEO (NYT / DealBook)
Marissa Mayer, one of the top executives at Google, will be the next chief of Yahoo!, making her one of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley and corporate America. WSJ The appointment showed how Yahoo!, a one-time pioneer of Web search and online advertising, is going back to its Silicon Valley Internet roots. Yahoo!'s board selected Mayer because "she stands for the user," in contrast with a string of the company's previous CEOs who had little experience with consumer websites, said a person with direct knowledge of the company's CEO search. B&C In the new post, Mayer faces a difficult challenge of trying to revitalize a pioneering online brand that has fallen significantly behind Google, Facebook and others in recent years. FishbowlNY Mayer had been with Google since 1999. SocialTimes Mayer was Google's 20th employee and first female engineer. During her 13-year career at Google, she served as product manager, director of consumer Web services, vice president of search products and user experience, and vice president of local, maps, and location services. Mayer also serves on the board of directors at Walmart. CNN Tech At Google, Mayer was responsible for overseeing the launch of some of the company's most iconic products, including Gmail, Google Maps and iGoogle. Washington Post / Ideas@Innovations Mayer's professional stock may be on the rise, but the same can't necessarily be said for the company she's set to lead. Bloomberg Businessweek The beleaguered company has had four official CEOs over the past five years, and their names -- Terry Semel, Jerry Yang, Carol Bartz, and Scott Thompson -- have come to define hapless management. AllThingsD The appointment of Mayer as CEO of Yahoo! was a definitively splashy move by the board of the troubled Internet giant. And a key impresario of the showy hiring of the high-profile Google exec? None other than Yahoo!'s former foe now turned driving force Daniel Loeb of the Third Point hedge fund. AllThingsD According to sources both inside and outside of Yahoo!, outgoing interim CEO Ross Levinsohn -- who lost the race for the company's top job to Mayer -- is unlikely to remain at the company. Adweek During his two-month stint as interim CEO, Levinsohn had sown up content deals with CNBC, Spotify and Clear Channel, hired former Admeld CEO and Google exec Michael Barrett as chief revenue officer and amended, even strengthened, ties with Facebook. Fortune Mayer is pregnant. She told Fortune that her first child is due October 7. AllThingsD The issue is an interesting one, since she will be one of the first tech CEOs appointed who is having a baby relatively soon after she has taken on what is a very difficult job in turning around the troubled Silicon Valley Internet giant. TechCrunch Is there another time that a CEO of a publicly traded Fortune 500 technology company has been pregnant? Female CEOs at public tech companies are incredibly rare, but for them to be 30-something is even rarer. Reuters Mayer will assume her role on Tuesday, when the company is scheduled to report its quarterly financial results. On Monday, she tweeted that she was "incredibly excited" to be embarking on her new role. YouTube / Mediabistro For Mayer, now former Google vice president of consumer products, making the decision to become the company's 20th employee was so difficult that she ended up in tears. In this installment of Media Beat, she reveals the reason why she accepted Google's offer: "I would learn more there failing than I would other places succeeding, and that's what really drew me to the role."
New York Times Names Buffalo News Editor As Its New Public Editor (NYT / Media Decoder)
The New York Times announced Monday that Margaret M. Sullivan, the editor and vice president of The Buffalo News, would become the Times' new public editor. NY Observer It was previously reported that her predecessor, Art Brisbane, will step down in September. FishbowlNY She had been with The Buffalo News since 2000. JimRomenesko.com She's the fifth public editor appointed by The Times and the first woman in the position. CJR / The Kicker Sullivan spoke with CJR about what she hopes to bring to the position (hint: It begins with "d" and rhymes with "figital") and how her Twitter following has increased since the announcement. The New Republic Part of the problem with the way the job is conceived can be seen in Sullivan's statement to the press, in which she says that she sees the position as offering, "a chance to listen to readers, to respond, to learn and to write, always thoughtfully and also in real time." The trouble here is with the obsessive focus on readers and their opinions. Poynter / MediaWire "The criticism and commentary is already going on," Sullivan said in a telephone interview Monday afternoon. "I want to centralize it in the [public editor's] blog." She said she'll play the role of "forum organizer" by 'inviting commentary and letting people use the [public editor's online] space as a place to come and discuss. And we'll use multimedia tools to make that happen."
Gannett Profit Falls, As Ad Revenue Drops (WSJ)
Gannett Co.'s second-quarter earnings fell 21 percent as fresh investments in digital media failed to offset ongoing declines in print advertising at the publisher of USA Today. Poynter / MediaWire Gannett's second-quarter earnings report shows that print advertising revenue was down 8 percent compared to the second quarter of 2011, while digital revenue grew 13 percent, according to Gracia Martore, president and CEO. THR Broadcasting revenue rose 11.4 percent to $205.4 million, with operating profit in the TV unit jumping 17.6 percent to $94.6 million. Gannett Blog National advertising, which is mostly from USA Today, plummeted 17 percent. NYT / AP Revenue declined 2 percent, to $1.31 billion from $1.33 billion. Reuters Digital revenue was up about 33 percent in the quarter and circulation revenue was up for the first time in years, said Martore. TVSpy Gannett's TV stations brought in $197.7 million during the second quarter, compared to $177.7 million for the same period last year. The increase was sparked by climbing retrans and digital revenues. Retrans revenue totaled $22.7 million, up 17.1 percent from the second quarter last year, and digital revenue increased 11.5 percent.
Donald J. Sobol, Encyclopedia Brown Author, Dead At 87 (New York Daily News / PageViews)
Donald J. Sobol, the creator of the children's series Encyclopedia Brown, passed away on July 11. He was 87. THR His son John Sobol told The Associated Press that his father died of natural causes in Miami. NYT Sobol's books have been translated into 12 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide, according to his publisher, Penguin Young Readers Group. Washington Post Sobol was a newspaper reporter in New York before embarking on a literary career in the late 1950s. He wrote more than 60 children's books on topics as varied as Medieval knights, the American Revolutionary War and the Wright Brothers. None were more popular than the series he created in 1963 featuring the bookish protagonist Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown, the fifth-grade detective. GalleyCat In addition to these books, Sobol also wrote the Two Minute Mystery series from 1959 until 1968. Wired / GeekDad The latest (and last Sobol-written) installment, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme, will be released in October.
End Of Line For Merlin's WEMP As FM News (FishbowlNY)
Merlin Media is ready to cut its losses as an all-news FM station. FishbowlNY has confirmed the upstart radio company, owned by Randy Michaels, is holding a full staff meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday. We're told Merlin is also scheduling meetings at its Chicago newser. Sources tell FishbowlNY that WEMP will become a hybrid news/talk format, likely modeled after Merlin's Philadelphia station, IQ 106.9.
Hearst Is Reviewing Journatic Content After False Bylines Published On Houston Chronicle Sites (Poynter / MediaWire)
Hearst-owned newspapers are "reviewing content" supplied by journalism-outsourcing company Journatic after Poynter's report Monday that the company published more than 350 false bylines on Houston Chronicle website stories. FishbowlLA Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Rebecca Rosen Lum has some sobering news from the opposite end of the journalism scale: Despite a protest by the Media Workers Guild, which represents journalists and other workers at the San Francisco Chronicle, editor Ward Bushee has decided the paper will continue to publish real estate items created by Journatic's now infamous content outsourcing service BlockShopper. CJR / Behind The News When CJR wrote about local news outsourcing company Journatic 10 days ago, its CEO, Brian Timpone, called the use of fake bylines on articles published in the Chicago Tribune "a mistake." Now, the mistake lies with the Tribune -- for continuing to use Journatic content for two weeks after the initial revelations, in which time plagiarized and falsified quotes in their pages came to light.
Editor In Chief Brandon Holley On Those Rumors About Lucky (YouTube / Mediabistro)
During an interview with Mediabistro's Media Beat, Lucky editor in chief Brandon Holley said that, although the magazine is focusing more on the Web, it is not scaling back its print frequency or going all-digital. "That was a weird misunderstanding of our mission," she said. "We do one thing really well, and that is we do shopping. So, what's exciting is how do we go deeper into that one thing we do so well... It's not about scaling back the print; it's about the pie getting much bigger." 10,000 Words Holley held editor positions at Time Out and GQ, helped launch Elle Girl and headed Yahoo! Shine before taking the helm at Lucky in 2011.
Paywall Pioneer Augusta Chronicle Simplifies Its Digital Subscriptions (Poynter / MediaWire)
One of the nation's first newspapers to implement and master the intricacies of a digital paywall plan is radically simplifying it.
Larry King Finds A Home On Hulu (NYT / Media Decoder)
Larry King's new interview program on the Internet, announced earlier this year, now has a home on Hulu. LA Times / Company Town The 78-year-old broadcaster came out of retirement Monday to debut Larry King Now, a new 30-minute talk show available on the popular online video service Hulu. THR In its premiere week, Now will welcome guests Seth MacFarlane, Matthew McConaughey and Meghan McCain. Going forward, King intends to line his series with a mix of celebrities, politicians and global leaders, much as he did on Larry King Live, which was replaced by Piers Morgan Tonight in January 2011.
Facebook To Face Senate Hearing On Facial Recognition (Adweek)
Facebook's use of facial recognition technology to help users identify and tag people in posted photos will be scrutinized during a Senate subcommittee hearing to examine the impact of facial recognition technology on consumer privacy.
Richard Branson Considering Virgin Records Bid (WSJ)
Richard Branson is considering a bid for Virgin Records, one of the record labels Universal Music Group may sell to win regulators' clearance of its $1.9 billion acquisition of rival EMI Music, according to a person familiar with the discussions. THR Branson sold Virgin Records to EMI in 1992. He continued to own the Virgin Megastores music retail chain until 2007. He has since focused on his various other ventures that also all carry the Virgin brand name.
Founder Marc Smirnoff, Managing Editor Leave The Oxford American (Arkansas Business)
Oxford American founder and editor Marc Smirnoff and managing editor Carol Ann Fitzgerald have left the nonprofit magazine, publisher Warwick Sabin said Monday. Arkansas Times / Arkansas Blog A personnel issue at the magazine became apparent last week when employees were locked out of the publication's editorial offices on the campus at the University of Central Arkansas. NY Observer In 2008, an Oxford American operations manager was arrested for allegedly embezzling $30,000 from the quarterly's coffers.
New York Magazine Publishes Its First eBook, With Byliner (Nieman Journalism Lab)
New York magazine certainly has the skills to make an eBook. If editors didn't want to handle production in house, they could hire one of the numerous eBook-conversion contractors. And getting the resulting work into the various eBook stores doesn't take a Ph.D. But even though eBooks can cut out plenty of middlemen -- traditional publishing houses, distributors, bookstore chains -- when New York decided to publish its first eBook, it added a new middleman: Byliner.
NBCU's Quest For Olympic Gold (Multichannel News)
London will mark the first Games under Comcast's watch since it assumed a controlling interest in NBCUniversal in January 2011.
Do They Get That It's Wrong? Journalism Students Can Be 'Truly Baffled' When Confronted For Plagiarism (CJR / Behind The News)
Perhaps Liane Membis, the Wall Street Journal intern fired recently for inventing quotes, started out with noble intentions. As Miss Black America-Connecticut last year, she spoke against high illiteracy rates among African American children and of wanting to represent black women "in a positive light." We'd assume that Membis, a Yale graduate, brought these ideals to her internship at one of the nation's most prominent dailies. So what happened?