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Thursday, Jul 28

Morning Media Newsfeed 07.28.11

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L.A. Times Editor Gives Hellacious Pep Talk In The Face Of Layoffs (FishbowlLA)
Can't be easy right now inside the Los Angeles Times, as word continues to spread of the latest round of decimating layoffs. The paper's recent Pulitzer Prizes now seem a long way away. But California editor Ashley Dunn is doing his best to keep heads up inside the Metro section. FishbowlLA: A source tells us columnist Tim Rutten was definitely laid off. So was Sharon Bernstein, the assistant business editor. We're told the Calendar section will largely be spared, losing mainly expense and freelance budgets. But that "features (health, travel, food etc) is getting hit harder." TheWrap.com / Media Alley: Editor Russ Stanton and president Kathy Thomson had a number they had to meet and were huddling with senior executives last week to decide on the cuts. When word got out, some staffers came forward and offered to leave, while those still on the chopping block were called in by the brass Wednesday. SportsNewser: One of the best NBA writers in the business, Mark Heisler, was laid off Wednesday. Also getting the boot during this latest round of layoffs was sports columnist Jerry Crowe. Both men had been at the Times for more than 20 years. Publishers Weekly: In a move as significant for its breadth as its implications for the future of book coverage, the Los Angeles Times book review laid off all of its freelance book reviewers and columnists July 21. LA Observed: One of the Los Angeles Times newsroom veterans who learned Wednesday that she was laid off was Jane Engle, an assistant editor in Travel who has written a lot for the Travel section. A former editor on the Foreign desk, she's been with the Times 27 years. She emailed the newsroom an uplifting exit note.

Piers Morgan Lashes Out At Critics, Including Blogger Who Claimed To Have Smoking Gun (Yahoo! News / The Cutline)
Piers Morgan, the CNN host and former News of the World and Daily Mirror editor, has responded to the claims of a U.K.-based blogger that a recently unearthed BBC recording proves Morgan was aware that reporters were hacking into the phones of sources during his time as a tabloid chief. paidContent: The phone-hacking and police bribery scandal swirling around News Corp. has revived long-simmering questions about Rupert Murdoch's leadership of the U.S.-based conglomerate. TheWrap.com / Fred Schruers: If it takes leather balls to play rugby -- as News Corp. president, chief operating officer, and deputy chairman Chase Carey did for a club team at Harvard Business School -- then being the top outsider in a family business probably requires titanium.

Casey Anthony Seeking $1.5 Million For Interview, But Will Networks Bite? (Yahoo! News / The Cutline)
Just 11 days ago, Casey Anthony walked out of a Florida jail and made a carefully orchestrated escape from the media mob that had followed her throughout her daughter's murder case. Now Anthony wants the attention back.


Fox Affiliates Pleased With Network's Plan For Limited Streaming (B&C)
Fox affiliates mostly expressed satisfaction with the news that their partner network is limiting the Fox programming that can be viewed for free online. GigaOM / NewTeeVee: I'll just go back to pirating my content: That was the response some of our readers had after hearing about Fox's plans to restrict online access to full episodes of its shows to viewers that can either authenticate themselves as Dish Network subscribers or pay for Hulu Plus. CNET / Media Maverick: They said Hulu was going to save the film studios and television networks from repeating the mistakes of the music industry. They said the video portal would help turn the Internet into a new means of distributing the most popular TV shows and movies for less money than cable and offer viewers much more control over where and when they watch. But the latest news out of Hollywood seems to indicate that enthusiasm was misplaced, premature, or both. CNET / Media Maverick: Apparently, we were just kidding ourselves, and the Internet really isn't going to send us to some digital TV Shangri-La, where all the content is free of charge, available at our fingertips, and stripped of commercial breaks.

Sharpton's Push For Comcast Raises Issues About Possible MSNBC Job (NYT)
Last year, Comcast was lining up the Rev. Al Sharpton to lobby for its bid for NBC Universal. This year, the cable news channel owned by NBCU, MSNBC, is weighing whether to make him a daily television host.

MSNBC Responds To Rachel Maddow Lawsuit: 'This Suit Is Baseless And We Stand By Our Reporting' (TVNewser)
MSNBC and one of its primetime hosts, Rachel Maddow, are named as defendants in a $50 million lawsuit alleging that comments made by Maddow on her program were defamatory.

Fourth Law Firm Drops Ceglia's Case Against Facebook (AllFacebook)
For the fourth time in a row, a law firm has dropped its representation of Paul Ceglia in his claim to own one-half of Facebook. Wednesday morning, Edelson McGuire withdrew from the case. paidContent: It's been nearly a whole month since Ceglia's new lawyer, San Diego solo practitioner Jeff Lake, said he was "in discussions with several nationally recognized law firms" interested in taking on Ceglia's quixotic quest to own one-half of Facebook. Yet no new attorney of record has been added to Ceglia's case. But a source close to the case tells paidContent that a Chicago law firm well-known for its work for plaintiffs in Internet-related cases did get involved, but backed out this week. AllThingsD: Edelson is the fourth law firm to withdraw, following DLA Piper and Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman in June and Connors & Vilardo in April.

Katie Boyle Jumps From CBS News To NBC News; To Be Senior Producer On Brian Williams Primetime Show (TVNewser)
CBS Evening News senior producer Katie Boyle is changing channels. Boyle has joined NBC News and will be a senior producer on the new Brian Williams primetime show.

Sophomore Slump? One Month In, Google+ Sees A Traffic Minus (TechCrunch)
Thursday is exactly one month since Google+ was first unveiled. In that short amount of time, it has managed to sign up well north of 10 million users, which is amazing. Now comes the hard part: Keeping those users around and engaged. CNET / Digital Media: Google+ had 1.79 million visits for the week ending July 23, a decrease of 3 percent compared with the previous week, when the network had 1.86 million visits, Experian Hitwise reported. Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider: Of course, it's way too early to call Google+ dead. The numbers could be wrong (no knock on Hitwise -- Web measurement is as much an art as it is a science), or they could just be a temporary dip. AllFacebook: Google+ is obviously still in testing mode, despite its impressive growth. But if the search-engine giant really wants to up the ante in its competition with Facebook, here are seven features the veteran social network boasts that are not yet offered by the newcomer. ReadWrite Biz: Google+ is already showing signs of promise to online marketers, especially in its ability to drive traffic to other websites.

Comcast To FCC: Deny Bloomberg Complaint (B&C)
Comcast Wednesday responded to Bloomberg's program carriage complaint over so-called news neighborhooding, saying Bloomberg is trying to "extract" preferential channel placement treatment and the Federal Communications Commission should deny the complaint.

RBI Blames Weaker Magazines For Wiping Out Online Gains (paidContent)
It sounds like RBI's restructuring may not yet be over.

Netflix Is For Movies, Hulu Is For TV Shows. Neither Is For Your iPad Or Your iPhone. (AllThingsD)
Lots of you are using your phones to watch YouTube. But Netflix and Hulu? Not so much.

Jay Carney To Ed Henry: 'I Know You're Creating A Thing Here For Fox' (TVNewser)
At Wednesday's White House Briefing, Fox News correspondent Ed Henry got into it -- on his third day with Fox News -- with Press Secretary Jay Carney. Business Insider / The Wire: That the White House thinks it's already OK to attribute Henry's totally normal badgering to the network he works for, for the second day in row, says a great deal more about how the White House views Fox than vice versa.

Martin Bashir Uses Go The F*ck To Sleep To Explain Debt Ceiling Battle (TVNewser)
There have been many attempts by TV news reporters and anchors to try to explain the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations. Only one of those attempts, however, included an excerpt from "children's" book Go the F*ck to Sleep.

Kat Von D Storms Off Set Of Good Day LA (TVSpy)
L.A. Ink star Kat Von D walked off the set of KTTV's Good Day LA Wednesday morning after host Jeff Michael alluded to her recent breakup with fellow tattoo enthusiast Jesse James. Business Insider / The Wire: When the camera returned to the anchors, host Jillian Reynolds announced the walk-out, calling it "a first." One of the producers can also be seen on camera, defending the L.A. Ink clip choice, which was sent by TLC.

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