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Tuesday, Jul 24

Morning Media Newsfeed 07.24.12

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Mother Of James Holmes Clarifies Statement After Colorado Shooting (TheWrap)
The mother of suspected Colorado shooter James Holmes clarified on Monday a statement she made hours after the massacre that she said was misconstrued by an ABC News reporter. TVNewser At a press conference Monday afternoon, Arlene Holmes asked to clarify those remarks, saying that when she said "you have the right person," she was referring to herself, not her son. Politico / Dylan Byers On Media In the first paragraph of its initial report on Friday, ABC News reported that it had identified the correct James Holmes because his mother "told ABC News her son was likely the alleged culprit, saying, 'You have the right person.'" If Arlene Holmes' latest statement is true, it means that she did not tell ABC News her son was likely the alleged culprit, calling into question the reporting of a network that has already been marred by one inaccuracy. HuffPost The network was forced to climb down from an unverified claim by reporter Brian Ross that Holmes might have been affiliated with the Tea Party. Politico / Dylan Byers On Media ABC News is standing by its reporting and rebutting a statement by Arlene Holmes. TVNewser ABC News producer Matthew Mosk placed the call, and recalled what transpired. The Atlantic Wire The broadcaster clarified in an email Monday that it "stands by its previous reporting," and won't issue a correction. Politico / Dylan Byers On Media The key detail in this dispute is the absence of any audio recording. Standing by Mosk, ABC now reports that Holmes' family attorney Lisa Damiani decided to hold Monday's press conference only after learning there was no audio recording of Mosk's phone conversation with Arlene Holmes. TVNewser Nearly 14 million people tuned into the broadcast network primetime specials on the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, according to preliminary ratings data from Nielsen. TVNewser If you were watching TV when Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes was brought into court this morning, you likely saw the audio and video drop in and out of after a few minutes, forcing the networks to eventually cut away from the footage. 9NEWS (KUSA-TV) / Brandon Rittiman In the crowded newsroom at 9NEWS (KUSA-TV), my colleagues and I watched in in frustration. We were selected by the judge to provide live video to all television outlets on the planet of the first court appearance for the suspect accused of killing 12 people in a crowded Aurora, Colo. movie theater. It was not going well. I could sense the expletives being hurled at us from every control room and newsroom across the face of the globe. Poynter / MediaWire The Post is also covering one of the biggest breaking news stories in the country without copy editors. The paper announced in May that it was eliminating its copy desk, spreading that responsibility to reporters and editors throughout the newsroom. NYT / Media Decoder When a lone assassin sets off on a rampage, there is very little sense to be made of what takes place. But, still, the news media, responding to sincere and frightened public appetites, attempts to bring order out of the chaos. The shooting of 70 people -- 12 of them mortally -- in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., happened shortly after midnight Friday, but by morning the media apparatus was in full churn.

Coulson, Brooks To Be Charged Over Hacking (The Associated Press)
British authorities are charging former David Cameron aide Andy Coulson, former Rupert Murdoch protégé Rebekah Brooks, and six others for their roles in Britain's ever-widening tabloid phone hacking scandal, a senior prosecutor said Tuesday. Reuters The alleged offences were committed when both were editor of the News of the World newspaper, the Sunday tabloid which Murdoch was forced to close last July amid public revulsion at the phone-hacking revelations. Six other senior former News of the World journalists and staff are also to be charged. The maximum sentence for the phone-hacking charges is two years in prison and/or a fine. BBC News The former News of the World editors will be charged in connection with the accessing of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone messages. Seven face charges of conspiring to intercept communications between October 13, 2001 and August 9, 2006. The Guardian Among those charged were Stuart Kuttner, former managing editor of the News of the World, Ian Edmondson, former news editor, Greg Miskiw another former news editor, Neville Thurlbeck, former chief reporter, James Weatherup, former assistant news editor, and the private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

IAC Takes Control Of Newsweek Daily Beast From Harmans (Reuters)
The family of late billionaire stereo magnate Sidney Harman has stopped investing in the Newsweek Daily Beast Co. joint venture that it co-owns with Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp, according to representatives of both companies. WSJ IAC's initial 50 percent interest in the venture has grown into a controlling stake, as it continues to invest capital, an IAC spokeswoman said Monday. New York / Daily Intel Newsweek savior Harman bought the sinking magazine for $1 and assumed nearly $50 million in debt out of a philanthropist's sense of generosity and an elder's reverence for journalism. When the billionaire audio magnate died soon after at the age of 92, media-watchers questioned the dedication his heirs would have to the same niche cause. "The Harman family is totally committed to Newsweek and its future," said an assuring rep for the family at the time. "They will continue to be active and supportive as Sidney would have wished and in Sidney's memory." Adweek A little over a year later, the Harman family has stopped investing in the company, while IAC has stepped up its share to a controlling stake. FishbowlNY The family decided to stop giving to Newsweek/The Daily Beast because it wanted to cap contributions, but wouldn't say what that number was. NYT / Media Decoder The Harmans' withdrawal of financial support comes days before IAC releases its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday. Previously, the media company, which was founded by Diller, had listed the Newsweek Daily Beast Company as an investment in unconsolidated assets. The company is expected to become a part of IAC's consolidated assets, filed into a category with other media holdings. IAC does not break out the magazine and website's financial performance. NY Post The board, once evenly split between the Harman family and Diller, will now see Diller control 75 percent, sources said. minOnline min was told that before Harman took ill, he was often seen in Newsweek's New York office and occasionally made sales calls with then-publisher Ray Chelstowski. Neither Jane Harman nor the family's children had that passion.

Facebook, Google Increase Lobbying Spending (The Hill / Hillicon Valley)
Google and Facebook upped their lobbying to record levels in the second quarter of the year, public records show. Adweek Google continues to lead the tech lobby pack when it comes to spending. The company shelled out nearly $4 million in the second quarter, according to congressional lobbying disclosure reports. VentureBeat Facebook, according to its second quarter lobbying report, spent $960,000 on lobbying expenses from April through June of this year. That's roughly the same amount that Facebook spent on lobbying for all of 2011, and a 200 percent year-over-year increase in lobbying spend. AllFacebook By comparison, Microsoft reported $2,006,000 in expenditures for the second quarter, representing a modest increase over the last quarter. Yahoo! -- which was in the news this week following the hiring of a new CEO -- reported spending $730,000 in the second quarter of 2012, which is more in line with Facebook's investment. Reuters Google, which is being investigated by antitrust regulators in the United States and EU, lobbied officials at the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Commerce. Among the topics listed were "openness and competition in online services," "mobile location privacy issues," and "broadband adoption and deployment." Facebook indicated that it lobbied both chambers of Congress about "market structure and IPO issues" during the second quarter.

Landmark Publication Weekly Reader To Shut Down (NY Post)
Weekly Reader, a staple in American classrooms for a century, has some hard news for its young readers: it's shutting down. Bloomberg Scholastic, publisher of the Hunger Games books, plans to fold the magazine into Scholastic News and fire 55 of 60 Weekly Reader employees in White Plains, N.Y., the Post said. The Atlantic Wire Back in 2002, when the publication turned 100, the AP had reported Weekly Reader about 7 million subscribers. FishbowlNY Reader's Digest Association sold Weekly Reader to Scholastic in February. Folio: Subscribers to the Weekly Reader brands will be transitioned to the new co-branded titles or Scholastic titles that have absorbed features of corresponding Weekly Reader magazines.

Judge Confirms Tribune Co. Plan To Emerge From Bankruptcy (Chicago Tribune)
The judge in Tribune Co.'s bankruptcy case officially confirmed a plan Monday to transfer ownership of the Chicago-based media company to a group of senior creditors led by Oaktree Capital Management, a Los Angeles investment fund. LA Observed As part of the reorganization, a group of senior creditors led by L.A.-based Oaktree Capital Management is expected to take control later this year. Further appeals are likely, but they're not expected to be successful. FishbowlLA Looks like we won't have old Sam Zell to pick on anymore... Or won't we?

Sally Ride, American Woman Who Shattered Space Ceiling, Dies (NYT)
Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space, died on Monday at her home in San Diego. She was 61. The cause was pancreatic cancer, her company, Sally Ride Science, announced on its website. GalleyCat In addition to her historic career as an astronaut, Ride helped write seven science books for kids, including: To Space and Back, The Mystery of Mars and Mission: Planet Earth.

Google Begins Practically Begging You To Use Your Real Name On YouTube (NY Observer / BetaBeat)
YouTube comments are a notorious cesspool of sexism, racism and vitriol, and the fact that the vast majority of users go by anonymous handles probably doesn't help mitigate the problem. Google appears to know this all too well -- its obsession with keeping Google+ free of pseudonyms is a good indication that the company isn't a big fan of anonymity. Now, the search giant is taking its distaste for anonymity to a whole new level, instituting a pop-up dialogue box urging YouTube users to employ their real names. Time / Techland Try to comment on a video and a window will pop up with the title "Start using your full name on YouTube," which will sign you in with your Google+ account. Wired Making commenters use their real names and Google+ accounts is the obvious first step toward bringing civility to YouTube, which Google is eager to polish into a venue more attractive to business owners, advertisers, and creative filmmakers. SocialTimes If you turn down the offer to use your full name by clicking, "I don't want to use my full name," another pop-up will ask you to explain why you don't want to change the way your identity is displayed. Is it because your channel is for a show or character? Is your channel for a music group, a product, a business or organization? Is there another reason why you can't use your real name? CNET According to YouTube, if users opt to change their anonymous username to their real name, there will be additional venues to use their full name on other Google products and services in the future.

Early Retirement Offer Made To 155 Detroit News, Free Press, Partnership Employees (Crain's Detroit Business)
An early retirement offer was made today to 155 employees with at least 20 years experience at The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and the partnership that handles their joint business operations. Poynter / MediaWire Alan Lenhoff, director of project management and corporate communications with the Detroit Media Partnership, told Poynter that employees age 56 and up who have worked at the papers for 20 or more years will be eligible. The offer includes two weeks pay for each year at the paper (capped at 52 weeks) and health insurance.

Barbara Roessner Named Hearst Connecticut Newspapers Executive Editor (
Former Hartford Courant managing editor Barbara Roessner has been named executive editor of Hearst Connecticut Newspapers as David McCumber becomes Washington bureau chief. FishbowlNY Roessner will oversee papers such as the Connecticut Post, The News-Times, The Advocate and Greenwich Time, along with seven other weeklies in Fairfield County. Bloomberg Businessweek / AP Roessner was managing editor of the Hartford Courant from 2006 to 2009. She started working at the Courant in 1978 and was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 1999 for coverage of workplace killings at state lottery headquarters.

Lawmakers Hope To Turn Off The Dark (Adweek)
This week's Senate Commerce committee hearing on the Cable Act -- the law often blamed for blackouts on cable and satellite TV -- may not be the clash of the titans, but it will be close.

PBS Details 2012 Election Programming, Non-Fiction Specials, And Another Ken Burns Documentary (TVNewser)
PBS made a slew of announcements during its presentation at the 2012 Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly Hills. Leading the way was its 2012 presidential election coverage, which will be featured on Need to Know, Frontline, PBS Newshour and Washington Week. The Atlantic Wire Much like us, PBS is pretty obsessed with all things British right now. At the Television Critics Association summer press tour Sunday, the public broadcaster held a well-received panel, during which the network excitedly praised all the UK-created programming that is giving them its best numbers in years.

When A News Executive Sits On A Bank's Board (CJR / The Audit)
It's unusual -- rare, even -- for the CEO of a major financial news and information concern to serve on the board of directors of a giant global bank. There's a reason for that.

Could Kickstarter Be Used To Crowdfund Journalism? (GigaOM)
Under increasing financial pressure from the Web and the decline of print advertising, newspapers and other traditional media outlets have been laying off staff and trying to fill the gap with services such as Journatic -- the hyper-local aggregator that uses offshore workers -- or simply doing without things like copy editors. But are there other solutions to that reporting gap?

A Preview Of Katie, Set To Debut In September (TVSpy)
As the September debut of Katie draws closer, host Katie Couric is giving viewers a little taste of what to expect on her syndicated daytime talk show.

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