Morning Media Newsfeed 07.19.12
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Yahoo! Creates New Editors-In-Chief For News, Finance (Capital New York)
Marissa Mayer isn't Yahoo!'s only high-level appointment this week. The Silicon Valley search portal-turned-content titan, which on Monday named Mayer, a popular Google executive, as its new CEO, has tapped some internal talent to head up two of its most highly-trafficked brands. Politico / Dylan Byers On Media Yahoo! News has tapped Hillary Frey, a former Politico, as editor-in-chief, a first-of-its-kind position for Yahoo! as the site aims to increase its original content. FishbowlDC In her new role, she will oversee the ongoing evolution of the Yahoo! News newsroom, and work closely with premier media partner ABC News to further enhance their alliance on major news events. Adweek Along with Frey's promotion, Yahoo! also announced that Aaron Task has been named editor-in-chief of Yahoo! Finance. Task is the longtime host of Yahoo! Finance's The Daily Ticker blog. FishbowlNY Task joined Yahoo! in 2008, after serving as an editor of TheStreet.com. TheWrap / Media Alley Task will have the same duties at Yahoo! Finance, and continue to host The Daily Ticker. He will also work with CNBC on its recent partnership with Yahoo!.
A Record Amount Of TV News Last Year, Annual RTDNA Study Finds (TVSpy)
The amount of news airing on local stations has risen for the fourth year in a row, according to Part II of the annual RTDNA-Hofstra University study. This year, the average is up 12 minutes to five hours, 30 minutes daily.
Shocker: The New Yorker Acquires The Borowitz Report (The New Yorker / The Borowitz Report)
After 11 years of writing nothing but fake news at The Borowitz Report, I have to tell you something that actually happened. Politico / Dylan Byers On Media Political comedian Andy Borowitz has moved his blog, The Borowitz Report, to The New Yorker. JimRomenesko.com The New Yorker is known for its careful fact-checking, but The Borowitz Report -- now under the magazine's ownership -- "will be as inaccurate as always, and if I ever write something that turns out to be true you have my deepest apology and my promise that it won't happen again," said Borowitz. Poynter / MediaWire Borowitz's obsession with Mitt Romney will now occupy some nice online real estate. paidContent Borowitz has written for The New Yorker for a long time, and the acquisition of The Borowitz Report is probably better viewed as the hiring of a new writer. FishbowlNY Borowitz's first column is up. It's about Romney releasing the first picture of his running mate. The choice? Rich Uncle Pennybags, from the game Monopoly. New York / Daily Intel The magazine's "Shouts & Murmurs" column is also getting a new Web presence with the Daily Shouts blog. GalleyCat Borowitz has published several bestselling books, including The Trillionaire Next Door: The Greedy Investor's Guide to Day Trading (2000) and Governor Arnold: A Photodiary of His First 100 Days in Office (2004). Adweek Since launching in 2001, The Borowitz Report has been successful as an independent site. So what convinced Borowitz, who began contributing humor pieces The New Yorker in 1998, to move his blog to the magazine's website when editor David Remnick approached him with the idea?
Facebook Hit With Tough Questions On Facial Recognition In Senate Hearing (VentureBeat)
Facial recognition data may seem like a minor feature, but it's had some major consequences for Facebook. The latest of these came Wednesday as Minnesota Senator Al Franken called a hearing to explore some of the issues related to the increase in facial recognition technology. And Facebook was in his crosshairs. Bloomberg Businessweek / Bloomberg News Facebook Inc. should do more to inform users about its use of facial recognition technology and what it's doing with its growing database of photos, Franken said Wednesday. Forbes / The Not-So Private Parts Franken had an especially heated exchange with Facebook privacy manager Rob Sherman, with Franken complaining that a user has to click through six pages in Facebook's privacy settings before the term "facial recognition" appears. When Sherman responded that he didn't think it was that hard to get to but "wasn't sure," Franken asked skeptically, "You're the guy in charge of all this?" AllFacebook Franken also asked Sherman if Facebook would ever sell its user face profiles or the recognition software to third parties. Sherman said he couldn't give a definitive answer because he doesn't know how Facebook will evolve in the years to come. The Atlantic Wire Sherman came prepared to argue that you're only recognizable to your friends. If you get caught in the background of a tourist's picture, Facebook isn't going to rat you out for eating that third doughnut. That's just between us.
WEMP Begins Phase As New Rock 101.9 (FishbowlNY)
It's been more than 24 hours since one of New York City's worst radio "experiments" officially failed. When the 10 a.m. headlines concluded Tuesday, WEMP/101.9 had wrapped up its nearly year-long all-news with one "final story." The anchor, Gene Michaels, was abruptly cut off saying, "You're listening..." Dead air ensued for six seconds.
Viacom Says Talks With DirecTV Have Broken Down (LA Times / Company Town)
A top executive at Viacom said Wednesday that talks with DirecTV over a new agreement have broken down. Multichannel News Viacom turned up the heat in its ongoing carriage battle with DirecTV, claiming the satellite giant has been setting up obstacles to an agreement. DirecTV, for its part, maintains that the programmer's insistence it include sparsely carried movie channel Epix in any deal is the main roadblock. WSJ In a statement posted on its website Wednesday afternoon, Viacom said it had made several compromise proposals over the past few days that could have ended the dispute. "Unfortunately DirecTV has moved backwards significantly and created more obstacles to reaching an agreement," Viacom said. Adweek DirecTV called the statement "totally inaccurate." A spokesman told Adweek that progress was made, but not enough. Bloomberg Businessweek / Bloomberg News DirecTV, the second-largest pay-TV provider in the U.S., pulled 17 standard-definition and nine high-definition Viacom channels on July 10 after the two companies failed to reach an agreement on a new contract. Since then, DirecTV customers have been without popular cable shows such as The Daily Show on Comedy Central. NYT Threats of television programming blackouts have become begrudgingly accepted by adults who know what these financial fights are all about. But children accustomed to their daily dose of SpongeBob SquarePants are proving to be a bit more restless.
Sports Illustrated Completes Layoffs (Adweek)
Terry McDonell, editor of the Time Inc. Sports Group, is expected to tell staff Thursday that 16 editorial staffers will be leaving, three of them layoffs and 13 voluntary departures. The group that includes Sports Illustrated, Golf and SI Kids asked for volunteers three weeks ago to avoid laying off up to 16 people, or about 8 percent of a 210-person staff. NYT Among those taking the buyout are Damon Hack, who took a job as an analyst with the Golf Channel; Michael Farber, a hockey writer at Sports Illustrated; and Gene Menez, the college football editor. NY Post Insiders said that the plan is to cut $3 million in annual editorial costs.
Media General Loss Widens On Newspaper Sale Charge (Reuters)
Media General Inc. reported a higher quarterly loss on charges incurred from the sale of some of its newspapers to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., but revenue from its broadcasting operations rose. Media General agreed to sell almost all its daily and weekly newspapers to a Berkshire unit in May. The company is shutting down or selling off its remaining print assets. Poynter / MediaWire Operating income was up 164 percent at Media General in its second quarter, the company announced Wednesday. It attributed the rise to political advertising and retransmission fees, which were up 80 percent.
New York Times Management Says It Wants Unified Contract, Like Guild (Poynter / MediaWire)
A day after the Newspaper Guild of New York told members that New York Times management "dropped a bomb" by proposing separate contracts for print and digital employees, management is sending its own message: We'd prefer a single, unified contract if the Guild will agree to our terms.
Senator Schumer In WSJ: DOJ eBooks Suit Could 'Wipe Out The Publishing Industry As We Know It' (paidContent)
The Department of Justice's lawsuit against Apple and major book publishers "sounds plausible on its face, [but] could wipe out the publishing industry as we know it, making it much harder for young authors to get published," New York Senator Charles Schumer wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. GalleyCat In the piece, Schumer pointed out that "the average price for eBooks fell to $7 from $9, according to a filing in the case. The Justice Department has ignored this overall trend and instead focused on the fact that the prices for some new releases have gone up." CNET In his op-ed, Schumer doesn't seem convinced that traditional wholesale is necessarily good for publishers, authors, and consumers -- saying that it makes the publishing world less diverse. WSJ / Charles Schumer I am concerned that the mere filing of this lawsuit has empowered monopolists and hurt innovators. I believe it will have a deterrent effect not only on publishers but on other industries that are coming up with creative ways to grow and adapt to the Internet.
ProPublica Gets $1.9 Million From Knight To Expand Its Efforts In Data Journalism (Nieman Journalism Lab)
ProPublica is getting a $1.9 million data journalism grant from the Knight Foundation, the nonprofits jointly announced Wednesday. The money will be used to support ProPublica's News Applications team, including adding one full-time staffer.
The Next Media Jackpot: The Fight For The $1 Trillion Hispanic Market (Forbes / Mixed Media)
Hernan Lopez doesn't look like a guy who produces telenovelas, the soap operas that dominate the airwaves throughout Latin America. He looks like a guy who stars in them. With his wavy black hair, firm jawline and velvety Argentinean accent, it's easy to picture him galloping home on a white horse to rescue his childhood sweetheart from losing the family hacienda to a corrupt patrón. But Lopez has a different quest ahead of him. As CEO of Fox International Channels he's the point person and prime mover behind News Corp.'s effort to capture an outsize slice of a $1 trillion pie: the surging U.S. Hispanic market.
As Editor (Or Public Editor), Does Being A Woman Matter? Of Course (The Buffalo News / SulliView)
Over the past couple of days, as I've been interviewed about my new job as public editor of The New York Times, a few interviewers have gingerly raised the question of gender. Essentially, they're asking this: Will I approach the job differently because I'm a woman? (The previous four public editors have been men.)
How Bloomberg Can Still Run Washington (Reuters / Jack Shafer)
At the age of 70, Michael R. Bloomberg nears an actuarial end that not even his $22 billion net worth can reverse. By giving him a measly 13 years of life expectancy, the law of averages has made the New York mayor acutely aware of time. So until the CEO of the Earth slot opens, Mr. Mayor, I've got a terrific idea for the last act: Convince the Washington Post Co's CEO, Donald E. Graham, that he should spin off his Washington Post division and sell it to you.
How Kickstarter Could Disrupt Public Radio (GigaOM)
"We interrupt our regular program..." These words, uttered into microphones across the country every few months, are the beginning of a recurring nightmare for public radio. Listeners dread the seemingly never-ending pledge drives, and radio executives sweat over the fear that their funding goals aren't being met in times of economic hardship and declining public funds. The good news is that Kickstarter and other forms of crowdfunding could eventually replace these pledge drives. However, they could also change public radio forever.