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Thursday, Aug 23

Morning Media Newsfeed 08.23.12

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Limited Convention Broadcasts Shut Out Ann Romney (NYT)
At 10:30 on Monday night, Ann Romney is scheduled to take the stage at the Republican National Convention, in Act 1 of her husband's four-day introduction to the nation. But tens of millions of people will not be able to watch. HuffPost The New York Times confirmed yesterday what anybody who has glanced through the schedules of the broadcast networks could have guessed. ABC, CBS and NBC are only airing three hours of convention coverage during both the Republican and Democratic gatherings -- the same as they did in 2004, but one less than they did in 2008. The Washington Post The networks plan to air an hour of convention coverage a night for three nights; the rest of the time they're showing reruns instead. USA Today / On Politics The New York Times reports advisers to presidential contender Mitt Romney are "angry" about the broadcast blackout. New York / Daily Intel In 2008 the three networks went live for an hour each night, but this year's convention isn't expected to draw as many viewers. After all, we've already elected the first black president, and while Paul Ryan is certainly adept at killing animals, noodling and fiscal policy haven't captured the nation's attention the same way that moose stew and Tina Fey glasses once did.

Parties' Challenge: Make Conventions Exciting TV (Yahoo! News / AP)
Patriotic music? Check. Balloon drop? Check. Sign-waving delegates? Check. Viewer interest in this summer's Republican and Democratic national conventions? Still unclear. Yahoo! News / AP Related: On the surface, television networks will cover the upcoming Republican and Democratic national conventions much like they have the past few election cycles -- a limited taste on the big broadcasters, more or less full time with the cable news networks. Below the surface, things are dramatically different. The Internet will give people more access to convention halls and a greater opportunity to become part of the political conversation. USA Today Welcome to the #conventions. Tweet at will. Twitter was just taking root when the two political parties convened four years ago. This year, it is in full flower. Ad Age / Media News The political conventions, which kick off Sunday when Republicans will gather in Tampa, Fla., will be a battle for more than just the presidential candidates. Cable news networks are making major pushes to use the quadrennial events to expand, shore up or win back audiences for the rest of the campaign.

Twitter and Tumblr Set Their Relationship Status to 'It's Complicated' (The Atlantic Wire)
Twitter's been kind of distant lately, what with all their new rules and everything, and now they're sort-of breaking up with Tumblr. But Tumblr doesn't want them to break up because they've been together for so long, and this was all so out of the blue. Things are very complicated right now. The Next Web The enormous blogging platform Tumblr appears to have become the next property after Instagram to have its friend-finding privileges revoked. The option to find people that you know using Twitter has been removed from the site after its axing was predicted by Matt Buchanan in an article on BuzzFeed Wednesday. BuzzFeed Twitter used to be something like a utility, but at some point along the way it decided to become a media company. And Twitter the media company looks a lot more like Facebook than the old Twitter. What that means is that Twitter wants -- needs, really -- to control every aspect of the Twitter experience. TechCrunch A Tumblr spokesperson confirmed the removal via email: "To our dismay, Twitter has restricted our users' ability to 'Find Twitter Friends' on Tumblr. Given our history of embracing their platform, this is especially upsetting."

Author Rowling Schedules NYC Appearance Oct. 16 (Yahoo! News / AP)
This fall, British writer J.K. Rowling plans to make her one and only in-person appearance in the U.S. to promote her first novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy. USA Today Once upon a time, Rowling set children's imaginations on fire. Can the creator of Harry Potter ignite a similar conflagration for a grown-up audience? The British author will find out on Sept. 27, when more than 2 million hardcover copies of her first novel for adults hit U.S. bookstores, along with the digital edition. THR The book has been described in press materials as "blackly comic." Rowling's American publisher, Michael Pietsch, told USA Today that the book reminds him of the works of Charles Dickens. EW / Shelf Life The Harry Potter author will be joined by State of Wonder author Ann Patchett for a conversation in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City. Does this sound like the best book club meeting ever?

Facebook Tests Makeover for Messages (AllFacebook)
Facebook really wants Messages to be like email. The social network announced Wednesday that it is testing some changes to make its Messages feature look a little more like email. The Next Web Facebook has just launched a nice-looking update to its Messages feature, introducing a two-pane layout that makes for a cleaner way to use the service. There's also support for multiple photos and a set of keyboard shortcuts. NBC News / Gadget Box The social network said Wednesday that its new look, as well as "improved" features, should make Messages more appealing to users: "The new side-by-side layout lets you click your most recent message on the left to see the whole conversation on the right. You can also bring conversations to life with multiple photos and emoticons."

Book on bin Laden Raid Coming Out Sept. 11 (Yahoo! News / AP)
A member of the U.S. Navy SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden has written a firsthand account of the operation, triggering more questions about the possible public release of classified information involving the historic assault of the terror leader's compound in Pakistan. NYT / Media Decoder A closely held secret within Penguin, the publishing house that is planning to release it on Sept. 11, No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden promises to be one of the biggest titles of the year, with the potential to rattle the presidential campaign in the final weeks before the Nov. 6 election. Politico / Politico 44 A new first-person account of the Navy SEAL raid that killed bin Laden is not an authorized narrative produced with the cooperation of government officials, according to White House and military officials -- nor was the book reviewed or vetted by government officials. THR A major rollout is planned, including a 300,000-copy first printing and primetime network TV interviews (with the author appearing in disguise), according to The New York Times. The book will arrive just as the presidential campaign is heating up with the conclusion of the two party conventions.

Coming in the Side Door: The Value of Homepages is Shifting from Traffic-Driver to Brand (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Moving on from newspapers, journalism industry soothsayers are now predicting the decline of something much younger: the homepage. As with newspapers -- which haven't so much disappeared as been pushed off center stage -- few are saying that homepages will disappear completely. But as more people enter news sites sideways -- via search engines, links they see in emails, or via Facebook and Twitter -- newsrooms are finding their homepages aren't the starting points they once were.

Philadelphia Newspaper Shrink Page Widths to Cut Newsprint Costs (
Journalists at Philadelphia's dailies received this "we're-shrinking" memo Wednesday from Inquirer editor Bill Marimow and executive editor Stan Wischnowski. Philadelphia Business Journal The width of the newsprint will be reduced from 48 inches to 44 inches, a move that follows some other newspapers like the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Miami Herald. As a result, the newspapers will need to be "more judicious" with story length, according to the memo, which was posted on

Kobe Bryant: NBA Champ, Gold Medalist... and Columnist? (Adweek)
Following in the footsteps of Michelle Obama, Kobe Bryant proves that the NBCUniversal shortlist for stand-in editorial talent is about as exclusive as it gets. As of Wednesday, Bryant joins women's lifestyle site iVillage as a guest contributor to Obama's "Back to School" themed week of content.

Forbes Names Most Powerful Women in Media (Adweek)
Forbes has released its World's 100 Most Powerful Women ranking, and once again, it includes a host of bigwigs in media -- 14 in all -- spanning the TV, digital and print worlds. Most are the usual suspects (Oprah, Sheryl Sandberg, Anna Wintour), but there are some changes. New Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang made the list for the first time; and Jill Abramson, who ascended to job of New York Times executive editor last year, moved up to the No. 5 spot (from 12 on last year's list).

David Cross on Arrested Development: 'Netflix Gets It' (FishbowlLA)
Six years after being cancelled by FOX, the brilliantly black TV series Arrested Development is getting a fourth season, set to air on Netflix in spring of 2013. Netflix is now officially forgiven for hiking those membership fees! And as cast member David Cross tells Rolling Stone, the online media subscription service is proving easier to work with than your average television network. Indiewire / The Playlist Said Cross: "Netflix is great. They don't meddle at all. They know what they want. They're happy to have it. The idea of Fox and NBC and being kind of studio- or network-loyal is absurd. People don't give a shit. What is it? It's on the plane. It's on Netflix. It's on Hulu. It's on YouTube. It's on the Internet. That's how people watch TV."

Obama White House Manipulating Local Reporters? (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
Matthew Sheffield of NewsBusters casts a disapproving glance on the alleged practice of the White House telling reporters "what topics to ask about." Here's the allegation.

Why Richard Prince and the 'Metro Seven' Took on The Washington Post (FishbowlDC)
After getting his start at New Jersey's Star-Ledger, Richard Prince (who is also in the running for our "Sexiest Journo" poll) went on to The Washington Post where he became part of the "Metro Seven," a group of African-American journalists who took issue with the paper's discriminatory practices.

NBC's Effort to Get Mitt Romney Interview for Mormon Rock Center Episode Fails (The Washington Post / AP)
NBC News unsuccessfully went back to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to request an interview for this week's prime-time special on the Mormon faith after he began to seem more open to talking about it. The single-topic Rock Center episode will air Thursday as originally planned, said the show's executive producer, Rome Hartman. TVNewser Related: Romney has been a bit more accessible in recent weeks with interviews, but now it looks like his campaign is going into the next phase: meet Mitt Romney, the person.

'Lolz,' 'Ridic' and 'Mwhahaha' Added to Oxford Dictionaries Online (Time / Newsfeed)
The velvet rope has been lifted for another hot young gaggle of words. This time, Oxford Dictionaries Online -- the online-only cousin of the venerable Oxford English Dictionary -- is the bouncer who let them in.

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