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Tuesday, Aug 07

Morning Media Newsfeed 08.07.12

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Turner Buys Bleacher Report (AllThingsD)
Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting unit has acquired sports site Bleacher Report, according to people familiar with the transaction. San Jose Mercury News Turner Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Time Warner, Monday announced that it had purchased the San Francisco-based website for an undisclosed amount. Bloomberg The acquisition was confirmed by both companies in a statement Monday, following its approval by the Federal Trade Commission last week. FishbowlLA Think of it as the AOL-Huffington Post deal of the sports journalism world. paidContent The news is a crowning moment for the four high school friends who built the upstart sports site by drawing on legions of rapid fans who offer reams of free content about their favorite teams. TechCrunch The prices being reported are in a range around the $200 million mark: Bloomberg says the deal is under $200 million. SAI notes a price of $175 million. And AllThingsD notes that Bleacher Report investors were looking for an exit above $200 million. Bleacher Report has raised $40.5 million from investors including Crosslink Capital, Oak Investment Partners, and Hillsven Capital. The deal, at the very least, is worth a minimum of $68.2 million, which is the threshold that triggers an FTC investigation. FishbowlNY Bleacher Report was founded in 2006 by four friends, three of whom remain with the site as of now. WSJ The site had 10.1 million unique visitors in June, up from 7.9 million a year earlier, according to comScore. That places the site in the top 10 sports sites, which are led by Yahoo! Sports with 42 million unique visitors in June. NYT / Media Decoder The site's content is written primarily by about 2,000 passionate fans, most of whom do not have journalistic training or attend games. They all must be approved to write for the site and receive training and evaluations. Recently, it has added about 25 writers with traditional journalistic credentials. Adweek As part of the Turner family, Bleacher Report will be able to capitalize on Turner's NCAA and NBA partnerships, among others. GigaOM Although it is sometimes seen as a second cousin to its competitor SB Nation (now known as Vox Media), the acquisition of Bleacher Report is still a fairly significant milestone in the evolution of user-generated content, and a sign that even sites that have been criticized in the past for being "content farms" can evolve to the point where they attract the interest of mainstream media entities.

Wisconsin Shootings Prompt Media Confusion over Sikh Religion (HuffPost)
The deadly shootings in a Sikh temple in Wisconsin Sunday appeared to attract a certain amount of confusion in the media, and generated nowhere near the levels of coverage that the mass shooting in Aurora drew just a few weeks ago. TVNewser Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper both broadcast their shows live from Oak Creek, Wis. Monday night. HuffPost Cooper had a tart rejoinder ready for a hostile questioner on Twitter Sunday. The commenter wondered why Cooper and CNN weren't giving more airtime to the shootings at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. "Is CNN discriminating because victims were Sikhs?" the commenter asked. Cooper's reply was swift. Mediaite In what has become yet another on-air musical mess-up, CNN's Starting Point played Billy Joel's "Only the Good Die Young" Monday morning shortly after a report on this weekend's shooting in Wisconsin.

YouTube App Removed from iOS 6 Because Apple's Licensing Agreement is Over (TechCrunch)
Slowly but surely, it seems as though Apple's mobile OS is being stripped of search giant Google's influence. Apple's redesigned Maps application -- due to make its debut in iOS 6 -- no longer makes use of Google's map data, and that trend continues with another recently spotted change. The latest beta version of iOS 6 no longer includes the YouTube app, which has been a mainstay of iOS homescreens since the original iPhone. The Verge Apple's statement: "Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store." AllThingsD But that's confusing. Just about anyone can build their own YouTube app, using YouTube's public API. So something's broken here: Either Apple really doesn't want to make its own version of a YouTube app, or Google really doesn't want Apple to make one. CNET YouTube was one of the original iPhone's main features, pushing Google to re-encode the entirety of the popular video hosting service's library so that it could work without Adobe's Flash. NYT / Bits In response, YouTube issued a statement: "We are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users." AppNewser The app is the second Google-owned app to be dropped from iOS 6 update, as Apple has done away with Google Maps in iOS 6 and replaced it with its own new map app. TechCrunch YouTube was one of the first apps to be available on the iPhone when it was released, and has come pre-loaded on all iOS devices over the last five years. Of course, when it first came out, the world was a different place. Then, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was on Apple's board, and Apple, hoping to hit it big with the device, wanted to have a video application to set it apart from existing smartphones. YouTube, based on its popularity, seemed like a natural choice. Of course, a lot's happened since then. The Verge In the end, both Apple and Google had something to gain from this split -- a markedly different situation than the removal of Google Maps from iOS earlier this year, where Apple had to acquire a mapping company and spend years building a directly competitive product before announcing the change. In fact, it seems like the only losers here are consumers.

A Tough Half for Newsstand Sales (WWD / Memo Pad)
Remember, a few years ago, when magazine publishers and media observers started to employ the phrase "flat is the new up" when referring to newsstand and advertising figures? It was the glass-half-full way of reporting on the titles that managed to keep their numbers steady. Tuesday morning, a new batch of figures was released from the Audit Bureau of Circulations for the first half of 2012 and it may be time for a new choice of words.

Is 'Unconventional Wisdom' What CNN Needs? (FishbowlDC)
Despite the cancellation of CNN's John King, USA and the recent announcement by Worldwide CEO Jim Walton that he's a goner by the end of the year, the CNN DC bureau is trying to remain relevant. So last week they shot a pilot. Could this be the shot in the arm they need?

At The New York Observer, Another Account of the Editor and President's Departures (Capital New York)
Aaron Gell, the newly appointed editor of The New York Observer, has hit the ground running. In the paper's regular Friday editorial meeting, Gell, who was bumped up from executive editor several days ago, talked to staffers of the weekly broadsheet and Web franchise owned by Jared Kushner about the surprising simultaneous exits of Elizabeth Spiers, who'd served as editor for the last 18 months, and Christopher Barnes, who as president oversaw the sales and business side for the past three years. The version of the story Gell relayed to staff was not quite the same as the one that was delivered Thursday afternoon in an internal memo from Kushner and an item published on the Observer's website.

Mediabistro Adds Lost Remote to Blog Lineup (TVNewser)
WebMediaBrands has sealed the deal on another blog acquisition. Lost Remote will be joining the Mediabistro blog network. Started 13 years ago, Lost Remote was one of the first blogs to cover the evolution of the TV industry -- in fact, it was one of the first blogs, period.

Orange County Register Takes Bold New Direction (Orange County Register)
Aaron Kushner, new publisher and owner of The Orange County Register, is undaunted by investing in an industry whose obituary many have already written. Poynter / MediaWire Kushner bought The Orange County Register in June. Among his plans: "Focus on subscribers. Give them more pages, more in-depth reporting, more rich storytelling and more news they can't get anywhere else." FishbowlLA Two of the most interesting takeaways are: Kushner expects readers of the Register to "ultimately" have to pay to access the paper online, though he is not yet sure exactly when and how; and he feels his Sunday subscribers are the ones who can best be leveraged for an increase in overall print circulation.

Amazon Goes for College Crowd, Launches Rental Textbook Service (CNET)
The ways that college students (or their parents) can now save money on textbooks are multiplying. Amazon.com, which last year started offering rental textbooks for Kindle users, Monday rolled out a service for plain, paper textbooks. paidContent Amazon says "thousands" of print textbooks are available for rental, compared to "tens of thousands" of Kindle textbook rentals. While students can specify the amount of time they want to rent a Kindle textbook -- between 30 and 360 days -- Amazon's print textbooks all rent for 130 days (a semester). LA Times Amazon said the fees it's charging to rent the print books represent savings of up to 70 percent compared with retail purchase prices. The digital rental prices are often a bit lower.

Wall Street Journal Blog Features Video Clips from Paper's Journalists (JimRomenesko.com)
A memo from Wall Street Journal executive editor, online Alan Murray says the paper is launching a video blog "powered entirely by clips from our journalists." The WSJ WorldStream site goes live later this month. TheWrap The once ink-stained journalists, now equipped with iPhones, are expected to shoot and upload clips of up to 45 seconds directly to the new WSJ WorldStream site, where an editor will review and post them. Once added to the stream, reporters will use the blog like a video database, embedding clips into stories, using them on live shows, packages and for viewers' perusal on the actual site.

How a 'Tiny' Radio Show Raises More Than $147,000 on Kickstarter (10,000 Words)
The crew of the radio show and podcast 99% Invisible doesn't compare to that of Morning Edition, This American Life, or most popular public radio strongholds. It's only two people (and even that's a recent addition.) But with the support of its distributor Public Radio Exchange, and numerous design-curious fans, it may be paving a new model for audio content that fits the purpose of public radio.

Study: Happiest Countries Have Press Freedom (Poynter / MediaWire)
Freedom of the press is a reliable indicator of a country's happiness, journalism doctoral student Edson Tandoc Jr. concludes in a new study. Tandoc and Michigan State University's Bruno Takahashi compared 2010 Gallup data on countries' happiness levels with Freedom House's press freedom index and countries' environmental and developmental rankings.

Two Months After Launch: How is the San Diego Free Press Doing? (OB Rag)
On June 4, the San Diego Free Press was launched as an online news source for the San Diego area, promising in its byline, "Progressive views and neighborhood news." It was the latest effort in citizen journalism to hit San Diego. So how is it doing, two months into its re-birth? FishbowlLA Two months ago, Ocean Beach, Calif. Web newspaper OB Rag resurrected the San Diego Free Press, a publication with brief, historic origins. The progressive paper was put out in 1968-69 by UCSD students following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and was sold for a quarter on campus and city streets.

Golf's Final Major of the Year Goes Digital (Adweek)
Golf is not an easy sport to cover, which is why the PGA Championship just got a digital overhaul.

Longtime WWL Sports Director Signs On with Crosstown Rival WVUE (TVSpy)
Jim Henderson, the longtime radio voice of the New Orleans Saints who retired from his sports director post at WWL earlier this year after 34 years with the CBS-affiliate, has signed on with Fox-affiliate WVUE as a football analyst. WVUE New Orleans Henderson's duties will include providing his popular commentaries every week during the Saints season. You will also be able to get Jim's thoughts on our Fox 8 morning show the day after every Saints game as well as a weekly Web chat, a preview of each Saints game and he'll be a regular guest on our Fox 8 Live Tailgate shows and Final Play on Sunday nights.

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