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Monday, Jul 30

Morning Media Newsfeed 07.30.12

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2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony Most Watched Ever for NBC, More Than 40 Million Tune in (TVNewser)
NBC's coverage of the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics was the most watched opener ever, with an average of more than 40 million Americans tuning in. THR / The Live Feed The broadcast averaged 40.7 million viewers, which tops the 1996 Atlanta games (39.8) for the largest Summer Olympics opening ceremony in history. Beijing averaged 34.9 million. LA Times / Show Tracker The Olympic ratings underscore the growing power of sports programming. This past year, NFL games on NBC dominated the fall primetime rankings. Super Bowls are now the No. 1 telecasts, year in and out. And ESPN's popularity has led to recurrent battles with cable operators over high programming costs. The twist is that most sports events do well precisely because they air live and viewers want to see them that way rather than on a DVR. These Olympics, by contrast, are airing almost entirely via tape delay, bucking the trend. HuffPost / The Backstory NBC has come under fire in the British press for editing out a performance during the London Olympics opening ceremony that has been interpreted by some as a tribute to victims of the "7/7" terrorist attacks that rocked that city in 2005. The network, which has exclusive U.S. broadcast rights to the London games, cut instead to a taped interview between Ryan Seacrest and gold-medalist swimmer Michael Phelps. HuffPost An estimated 5 million comments about the opening ceremony were made on social media, according to the research company Bluefin Labs. It was more interesting to women, apparently, as 58 percent of the comments were from women and 42 percent from men, Bluefin said. AllTwitter Did you watch the opening ceremony of the London Olympics? You're in good company. The event had almost 27 million television viewers in the United Kingdom alone, and close to 10 million tweets on Twitter were written about the Games during the festivities. Reuters Contributions to the Twitter hashtags #NBCfail and #NBCsucks surged Sunday, with many posters complaining about the quality of NBCUniversal's online platform, which promised to show every sporting contest live for those unwilling to wait hours for the network's main primetime coverage of the day's events. Deadline Hollywood The first night of competition in the Olympics in London was the most-watched-ever Summer Games opening night on record, with 28.7 million average viewers. AllThingsD While NBC has gotten lots of flak for tape-delaying the Olympics opening ceremony and key events for its primetime coverage, its decisions appear not to have hurt ratings.

Layoffs at Spin Magazine (Billboard)
Spin magazine laid off a number of staffers Friday. FishbowlLA According to Billboard's sources (and some corroborating tweets), among those being told to go the way of the vinyl LP are editor-in-chief Steve Kandell, website news editor Devon Maloney and several members of the production and photo teams. NYT / Media Decoder The next issue, dated September/October and featuring the rapper Azealia Banks on the cover, will come out in late August. But according to a statement on Sunday by Spin's new owner, Buzzmedia, there will be no November/December issue while the company figures out what form a printed Spin might take given the magazine's expansion online. Folio: Spin was acquired three weeks ago by Buzzmedia, an online media company and network of pop culture, entertainment and music sites and the future of the print magazine was immediately called into question. New York / Daily Intel About a third of the company's staff -- 11 employees -- got pink slips on Friday. minOnline Late last year Spin announced plans to move to a larger format and bi-monthly publication. Buzzmedia CEO Tyler Goldman said in a statement earlier this month that the company was evaluating the fate of Spin magazine. He said at the time that the company believed print had a place in the business of reporting music. "In the longer term, we're still defining how print fits in from a platform perspective," he said.

CNN's Jim Walton Resigns (FishbowlDC)
CNN president Jim Walton, who has been with the company for 30 years, has announced that he's resigning. He will remain with the network until the end of the year. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Turner Broadcasting CEO Phil Kent approved Walton's decision, and will lead the search for his successor. TVNewser Walton oversees all of CNN's properties, including CNN/U.S., CNN International, HLN and CNN Digital. Deadline New York "CNN needs new thinking," Walton says -- and the numbers seem to support that. New York / Daily Intel CNN recently logged its worst ratings quarter in more than two decades, although Walton promised The Wall Street Journal that there was "a lot of internal energy and passion" in the network's newer shows. HuffPost / AP It hasn't improved appreciably since then, with veteran newsman Wolf Blitzer often losing in the ratings to broadcast novice Al Sharpton on MSNBC. Piers Morgan's show has been a bright spot this month. NYT / Media Decoder This year, the company is set to make nearly $600 million in operating profit, a record high. But there is a gap between those profits and perceptions of the company's success, even by some of its own employees, who complain that the cherished CNN brand is being tainted by mistakes. These errors include the misreporting last month of the Supreme Court ruling on President Obama's health care overhaul, and formulaic programming moves. WSJ Cable News Network was founded in 1980 as the first 24-hour cable news channel. But in an increasingly partisan cable TV environment, the channel has had difficulty competing, particularly in primetime. Although it often experiences ratings successes when there are major news events, it frequently comes in last when there aren't.

WikiLeaks Prank Targets New York Times (AllThingsD)
That New York Times op-ed from Bill Keller defending WikiLeaks? Not real, the paper's former executive editor tweeted Sunday morning. The Web prank fooled lots of people, including New York Times technology writer Nick Bilton. HuffPost The piece, "WikiLeaks, a Postscript," hit the Web on Sunday morning. In it, Keller allegedly argued that WikiLeaks and the Times reporters who wrote stories based on the leaks should be protected under the First Amendment. New York / Daily Intel Turns out two sentences actually were written by Keller, but not in the Times -- they were sent in an email to GigaOM's Matthew Ingram about four days ago. Everything else about the op-ed, however, is a hoax. As is the incredibly convincing Web page, which is not at the regular Times domain but rather at the slightly tweaked, which was registered back on March 30. The Bill Keller Twitter account that first tweeted the story is also fake -- perceptive Flickrer "qthrul" noticed it lacked the little blue "verified" symbol, and that "Bill" was spelled not with two lower-case l's but with an upper-case i and a lower-case l. VentureBeat Wikileaks is claiming responsibility for the fake article written under Keller's name, the whistle-blowing organization said on its Twitter account.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Lays Off 23 Workers (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has laid off 23 staffers from the newsroom, advertising and production, the company announced Friday. The cuts continue the trend of downsizing at the newspaper, the largest in the Lee Enterprises chain, as the industry struggles to contend with declining print advertising revenue. The downsizing comes just days after Lee CEO Mary Junck was awarded $655,000 in company stock because, according to Lee's executive compensation committee, she is underpaid.

60 Minutes Takes Home TCA Award (TVNewser)
The Television Critics Association held the TCA Awards during the summer press tour Saturday night in Beverly Hills. CBS newsmagazine 60 Minutes took home the prize for "Outstanding Achievement in News & Information."

Time Inc.'s New Chief Rethinks Magazines for a Digital Audience (NYT)
In her first couple months as chief executive of Time Inc., the country's largest magazine publisher, Laura Lang took some time to hold town hall style meetings and field questions from many of the company's 9,000 employees. Those questions included: "Do you think print is dead?" "Will magazines survive?" "Why did you come here?"

Businessweek Was in Danger of Being Closed Before it Was Sold to Bloomberg (Talking Biz News)
Stephen B. Shepard, the former editor-in-chief of Businessweek from 1984 to 2005, has a forthcoming autobiography called Deadlines and Disruption: My Turbulent Path from Print to Digital. Shepard, who is now dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, spends a good part of the book discussing his time at Businessweek as well as the sale of the magazine by McGraw-Hill in 2009 to Bloomberg since he was called in by CEO Terry McGraw to discuss options.

Apple Discussed Investing in Twitter (WSJ)
Apple Inc. and Twitter Inc. held discussions more than a year ago about Apple possibly making a strategic investment in the short-messaging service, at a time when many technology giants were playing catch-up in social media.

In Week Two, Marissa Mayer Googifies Yahoo!: Free Food! Friday Afternoon All-Hands! New Work Spaces! Fab Swag! (AllThingsD)
Yahoo's new CEO Marissa Mayer's second week is showing even more signs of what the company will be like under her regime. In short: It will be just like Google, from whence she came. Poynter When Yahoo! named Marissa Mayer its new president and CEO, she became one of the most powerful women in media and technology overnight. The media side had a question for her: Is she a feminist?

Surprisingly Good Evidence That Real Name Policies Fail to Improve Comments (TechCrunch)
YouTube has joined a growing list of social media companies who think that forcing users to use their real names will make comment sections less of a trolling wasteland, but there's surprisingly good evidence from South Korea that real name policies fail at cleaning up comments.

Disruptions: Innovations Snuffed Out by Craigslist (NYT / Bits)
In 1995, a good-hearted programmer named Craig Newmark thought of a way to make newspaper classified ad listings simple, and in turn, people's lives easier. His free website, called Craigslist, quickly gained millions of users. Eye-popping offers to buy the company outright came in, all of which Newmark turned down, saying Craigslist was a "public good."

Anderson Doing it Live Next Season (TVNewser)
The second season of Anderson Cooper's eponymous daytime talk show will be live on most days, Cooper revealed in a Q&A with viewers. The change is a big one, as it will mean Cooper will host a live talk show during the day, and a live news show in the evening.

Broadcasters Lose Attempt to Stay Political File Disclosure Rules (Adweek)
Broadcasters are running out of options in their attempts to stop the Federal Communications Commission from implementing the rule requiring TV stations to put their political files online. Heralds a New Focus (NYT / Media Decoder)
In the world of search engines, Google's dominance has propelled it to a permanent place as a verb in dictionaries. But another website named after a verb wants to own the business of answering questions.

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