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Wednesday, Aug 08

Morning Media Newsfeed 08.08.12

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The Best Newsweek Cover Yet (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Tina Brown's shock-and-awe approach to Newsweek covers is so familiar now it hardly warrants mention. But the strategy is predicated upon ginning up false controversy and feigned outrage to call attention to the struggling print edition -- the future existence of which has recently been called into question -- and who am I to break tradition? So, venturing out of politics for just a second, I want to mention something: The latest Newsweek cover is really bad. HuffPost The magazine is celebrating its Foodie Awards with an issue dedicated to what Newsweek considers the best restaurants in the world. A photo of two pieces of asparagus dangle above a woman's open mouth in a far from subtle interpretation of food porn. Newsweek wrote about the issue on its blog, joking that "no asparagus were harmed in the shooting of this cover." Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting Umm, Newsweek? Really? Daily Mail As well as facing criticism for deploying shock-and-awe tactics once again, it was also highlighted that the very same titillating asparagus image has been used on magazine covers before. Eater The UK's Observer Food Monthly already used the same stock photo on its cover back in April 2008. This same photograph has also appeared in a May 2012 issue of Harper's Bazaar in Russia. It's sort of a boring recurring stock photo. Washington Post / ComPost Not only is the Newsweek cover this week a picture of some asparagus in, er, flagrante delicto, what Politico calls "food porn," but it's not even an original picture. It turns out that this is a stock photo. This fills me with questions.

Magazines Suffer a Brutal First Half (FishbowlNY)
The first half of the year is in the books, and unfortunately, the Audit Bureau of Circulations' report Tuesday morning showed most magazines suffered. paidContent Paid subscriptions (up 1.1 percent) and total paid and verified circulation (down 0.1 percent) are basically unchanged since the first half of 2011. NYT / Media Decoder Newsstand sales -- often seen as the best barometer of a magazine's appeal -- were down nearly 10 percent. HuffPost Reflecting broad changes in the print industry, digital editions more than doubled from the first half of 2011. NY Post / Media Ink There were 258 magazines reporting a combined 5.4 million digital editions. That is more than a 150 percent increase from a year ago, when there were just 2 million digital subscriptions sold. Capital New York At the same time, they accounted for a mere 1.7 percent of total circulation, suggesting consumer reading habits have yet to effect the type of seismic shift that could really mitigate the industry-wide slump in single-copy sales. WSJ In the first half of this year, all five of the magazines that sell best on newsstands saw declines, with top-selling Cosmopolitan's newsstand sales dropping 15.5 percent to 1.3 million, and No. 4-selling People's newsstand sales dropping 18.6 percent to 939,554. The Associated Press Here are the single-copy sales of the top 25 U.S. consumer magazines in the first half of 2012. minOnline Topping the 25 in total paid and verified circulation is AARP The Magazine, with 22,526,478 subscribers -- up 0.6 percent from the previous half -- followed by AARP Bulletin with 22,283,411 (+0.2 percent). Game Informer was the percentage leader (+37.2 percent), followed by Family Circle (+7.4 percent), but this time Woman's Day produced the largest decline (-10.7 percent). Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Of the top 25 magazines circulated in the U.S., only one has any real bearing on the national political conversation: Time.

Demand Media Racks Up Eight Billion Page Views (FishbowlLA)
That staggering headline statistic is part of Tuesday's 2012 second-quarter earnings report for Santa Monica digital content purveyor Demand Media, Inc. Overall financial results surpassed Wall Street expectations and were announced together with the news that exec Michael Blend has been promoted to the twin posts of president and CEO. AllThingsD Demand had a profit of $94,000, essentially break even on a diluted share basis, but it is its first quarter of positive net income as a company. That is up from a loss of three cents last year in the same period. But its adjusted earnings per share was nine cents, compared to an expected three cents. Forbes / Mixed Media Demand Media isn't doing so badly, all things considered. A year after a Google algorithm change knocked the legs out from under its business model and sent its nascent stock tumbling, the low-cost reference content producer is once again growing and even making a little money -- a very little of it, for now. In the second quarter, Demand took in revenues of $93.1 million, up 17 percent year over year. Bloomberg Businessweek / AP Blend, the Demand Media executive who orchestrated the company's content upgrades, is being rewarded with a promotion. The company said Tuesday that Blend is now its president and chief operating officer. In his new role, Blend's responsibilities will expand to include oversight of the side of Demand Media's business that registers website addresses.

CNN Hits 20-Year Ratings Low in Primetime (TVNewser)
It's been a challenging week in the ratings for just about any network not named NBC, but for CNN, last week was especially rough in the ratings department as the network experienced another 20-year low in primetime. Deadline Hollywood During the week of July 30 to August 5, Piers Morgan Tonight at 9 p.m. averaged 314,000 viewers overall, with a mere 81,000 in the 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen. That average is the lowest week Morgan has had since he took over Larry King's spot on January 17, 2011. During the same time slot over on Fox News, Sean Hannity averaged 1,749,000 total viewers and 324,000 in the 25-54 demo. THR / The Live Feed Anderson Cooper's 10 p.m. show earned 259,000 viewers, 97,000 of them adults 25-54. And though the latter was not a record low for the hour, it was its worst showing in over a decade.

Judith Crist, a Blunt and Influential Film Critic, Dies at 90 (NYT)
Judith Crist, one of America's most widely read film critics for more than three decades and a provocative presence in millions of homes as a regular reviewer on the Today show, died Tuesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 90. FishbowlNY Older readers may recall Crist from her days as a Today show contributor from 1964 to 1973. Others know Crist for her many years dishing out the best and worst at the movies for TV Guide. THR At the New York Herald Tribune, where she worked for 22 years, she became the first woman to serve as a full-time critic for a major American newspaper. LA Times Crist championed filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Altman, Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen, in whose 1980 movie Stardust Memories she made a cameo appearance. In 1971, Crist began hosting film weekends in Tarrytown, N.Y. She continued doing the popular weekend events, which included film screenings and appearances by actors and filmmakers, until 2006. CJR / The Kicker Crist was less well known for teaching at the Columbia Journalism School, where I was lucky enough to be accepted into her small "personal and professional style" class in January.

Sikh Temple Shooting: Why Do the Media Care Less About This Attack? (HuffPost / Riddhi Shah)
On Sunday night I turned on the TV to find that only CNN was covering the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin that killed six. Fox News had a program about a prison in Latin America, and MSNBC, something else that was equally irrelevant. Compare this with the coverage of an incident that happened only two weeks ago, the shooting that killed 12 people in Aurora, Colo. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media To be sure, there are significant differences between the two events, beyond the number of victims. In Colorado, the suspect was still alive (adding the promise of a dramatic court appearance). In Wisconsin, the suspect was killed on the scene. The Colorado suspect had also rigged his apartment with explosives, shot up a place of public recreation, and provided the added flair of claiming to be "The Joker." But the relative dearth of coverage has not gone unnoticed. TVNewser CNN's heavy coverage of the Wisconsin shooting continued Tuesday. The network had Anderson Cooper, Randi Kaye, Ted Rowlands, Poppy Harlow and Brian Todd on the ground in Wisconsin.

Sun Journalist Arrested in Corruption Probe (Reuters)
Police arrested a journalist working for Rupert Murdoch's British Sun newspaper on suspicion of corruption on Tuesday as part of a wide-reaching investigation centered on allegations of phone-hacking by newspaper reporters. HuffPost / AP So far, police have arrested a total of 43 people in a U.K. probe into press wrongdoing and corruption. The investigation is tied to a parallel probe into Britain's phone-hacking scandal, which has rocked the country's media and political institutions. The Telegraph The arrests follow information that was passed to the police by News International's Management and Standards Committee, which was set up by Rupert Murdoch's company to look into allegations of wrongdoing at the company.

Sirius XM's Second-Quarter Revenue Up, Raises Earnings Outlook (Reuters)
Satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio posted higher-than-expected quarterly revenue on Tuesday, boosted by price increases, and raised its earnings outlook for the year. Bloomberg Businessweek The company added 622,000 subscribers last quarter, bringing its total to a record 22.9 million. Forbes / Mixed Media Did Mel Karmazin just signal a ceasefire in his war of words with John Malone? The Sirius XM CEO and the Liberty Media chairman have been dueling for months, in the press and elsewhere, with Malone maneuvering to leverage Liberty's 46 percent stake in the satellite radio provider into operating control, and Karmazin accusing him of trying to cheat shareholders of the premium such a move ought to carry. NYT / Media Decoder In Sirius' quarterly earnings conference call Tuesday, Karmazin toned down his words, signaling that he would cooperate with Malone. New York Daily News On Monday, satellite radio shock jock Howard Stern filed a brief with the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division to put in motion a highly anticipated appeal against his employer, SiriusXM Radio, for an estimated $300 million.

Jonah Lehrer's Publisher is Reviewing All of his Books (Poynter / MediaWire)
All three of Jonah Lehrer's bestselling books are under review by publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, according to Lori Glazer, the company's vice president and executive director of publicity. The publisher pulled copies of Imagine and halted eBook sales last week, after journalist Michael Moynihan revealed that Lehrer had made up and mangled some Bob Dylan quotations. Forbes / Radical Management When I read the opening chapter of Imagine several months ago, I was struck by the freshness and immediacy of the writing. So it was "disconcerting," as Mitt Romney might say, to learn last week that some quotations from Bob Dylan had actually been fabricated by Lehrer. They weren't true in the sense that Dylan had actually said them. Arguably they were truer than the truth: Lehrer had put himself in Dylan's mind and written what Dylan should have said if he was as articulate as Lehrer. The Telegraph Michael Moynihan, the American journalist who exposed that the New Yorker's Jonah Lehrer had invented Bob Dylan quotes for his book Imagine, is a bit perplexed. He can't understand why his Lehrer story got more media coverage in Britain than an article he wrote last year asking questions about the methodology of British historian Dominic Sandbrook.

Nexstar Revenue Up 18 Percent (B&C)
Nexstar Broadcasting Group reported second-quarter net revenue of $88.9 million, 17.7 percent more than it posted in the second quarter of 2011. TVSpy Nexstar's core local and national revenue increased 6.7 percent during the second quarter, with a 16 percent jump in automotive advertising and a 194 percent increase in political revenue.

Facebook Pushing for Likes to be Considered Free Speech (AllFacebook)
Daniel Ray Carter, a sheriff's office employee in Virginia, filed a lawsuit after he was fired for liking the Facebook page of his employer's competitor, and he gained some key support in court. Facebook filed a motion in the United States Court of Appeals, saying that likes should be protected by the First Amendment. GigaOM Carter appealed the decision and this week Facebook filed to support him. In its brief, the social network says a "Like" is protected symbolic speech like a bumper sticker or a campaign lawn sign -- both low-cost ways for citizens to express their political opinions.

Samsung: Power, Corruption and Lies (Kernel Mag)
It's never a good idea to accidentally give journalists access to your internal reports about them. If I were to write a book on PR best practice, there would certainly be a page headed "Oh Boy, You Done Goofed."

Mitt Romney VP Selection Process Prompts Memories Of Veepstakes Past (HuffPost / The Backstory)
In July 1988, CNN's John King was camped outside the home of Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis when he got a sign the Democratic presidential nominee had just picked a running mate. King, then a 24-year-old Associated Press reporter, noticed that top Dukakis adviser Paul Brountas looked more relaxed as he left the house than he had on previous nights King spent waiting out there. So King raced back to the AP's Boston bureau around 10 p.m., worked the phones all night, and confirmed that Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen was the vice presidential pick just in time for the network morning shows.

Duluth's Fox 21 News Director Resigns over Facebook Flap (Duluth News Tribune)
The news director for Duluth television station Fox 21 resigned Monday after objections to what was called a racist Facebook post he made last week. TVSpy KQDS news director Jason Vincent, who came under fire last week after referring to a Native American man as an animal on his personal Facebook page, has resigned from his post at the Fox-affiliate in Duluth, Minn. Vincent wrote on his Facebook page last Wednesday: "Add drunk, homeless, Native American man to the list of animals that have wandered into my yard ... Then he proceed [sic] to wave at me and give me the peace sign when he spotted me in the window. Wow ..."

'Open' in the Age of Live Tweeting (CJR / Behind the News)
A routine board meeting became the biggest story of last week's UNITY convention after the National Association of Hispanic Journalists president Michele Salcedo refused to allow a student journalist to live tweet during NAHJ's open board meeting.

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