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Morning Media Newsfeed 09.07.12

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Barack Obama's Record-Setting Speech: 52,757 Tweets Per Minute, 9 Million Total DNC Tweets (TechCrunch)
The President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, spoke at the Democratic National Convention last night and broke some Twitter records (for politics) while he was at it, according to the company. Extra points to Twitter -- the site didn't go down or falter once during the entire speech. Financial Times Democrats are driving nearly two and a half times more chatter on social media during their national convention this week than Republicans did during their own. The social media activity surrounding the convention is as different as the tenor of the speeches themselves. The Democratic convention sparked more than 5.5 million tweets during its first two nights -– nearly a third more than the 4 million generated during the entire three days of the Republican convention. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Twitter also ran a political sentiment index during the conventions, which found that responses to both Obama and Mitt Romney grew more negative after their speeches, whereas responses to former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama grew more positive.

A Conventional Love Affair for Stars, Democrats (Bradenton Herald / AP)
Clint Eastwood's oddball GOP convention monologue didn't sit well, but Democrats proved they know how to exploit their unabashed love affair with Hollywood. The beautiful triumvirate of Scarlett Johansson, Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria thrilled the Charlotte, N.C., convention crowd Thursday with their looks and words. Mary J. Blige and James Taylor provided the tunes. And Mad Men star Jon Hamm looked happy just to be part of the crowd. THR / Bastard Machine Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair. Former President Clinton delivering a rousing speech. First Lady Michelle Obama doing the same. The president himself not quite reaching those lofty heights but, depending on which pundits you were listening to, either did exactly what he needed to do or failed utterly. Politico It was "vintage Barack Obama." It was "probably not the best speech of the convention." It was "one of the emptiest speeches" ever delivered on the national stage. There was no consensus across the cable news networks Thursday night after President Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

Are the Media Going Soft on the Democrats? (The Daily Beast / Howard Kurtz)
It was the '90s all over again: the media all but swooning over Bill Clinton as he was shaking and baking and rocking and rolling, with some carping about his self-indulgent ways but sheer gratitude that he is such colorful copy. BBC News The Democratic and Republican party conventions are highly scripted, no-news advertisements for their respective presidential candidates. So why does the media spend so much time and money covering them? The Washington Post For the economically challenged news industry, the calculation looks something like this: Seven days of coverage spread over two weeks. Thousands of reporters scrambling for a limited pool of stories. Enormous expenses. Limited viewer, reader and advertising upside. Voice of America Networks now have to compete with new media producers who can reach audiences at a fraction of the cost.

Democratic Convention Beats Football in Ratings (Yahoo! News / AP)
The second night of the Democratic National Convention beat the Republicans in television ratings and, perhaps more impressively, beat pro football. An estimated 25.1 million people watched the convention between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Wednesday, when former President Bill Clinton delivered an impassioned nomination speech for President Barack Obama, the Nielsen ratings company said. Reuters The total figure however was down from the 26.2 million TV audience for First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday night. On social media, Clinton fired up the Twitterverse, making hashtags like #arithmetic, #bill and #billclinton among the top trends in the United States on Wednesday evening. TVNewser On day two of the Democratic National Convention, which featured a 48-minute speech from former President Bill Clinton, MSNBC was once again the top choice for cable news viewers, while ABC News was No. 1 at 10 p.m. NBC was the big winner of the night, however, as it broadcast the first game of the 2012 NFL season.

Tom Brokaw Back on Camera at Democratic National Convention (NBC News)
After a brief health scare earlier Thursday, former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw was back on camera at the Democratic National Convention. Brokaw was taken to a Charlotte, N.C., hospital earlier Thursday after mistakenly taking a sleeping pill instead of an aspirin. NY Post Brokaw, 72, now a special correspondent and part of NBC's Democratic National Convention coverage team, was taken to Carolinas Medical Center "out of an abundance of caution" when he felt lightheaded on the set of MSNBC's Morning Joe. Yahoo! News / AP Brokaw offered his own diagnosis with this Twitter post: "All is well Early AM I mistakenly took a half dose of Ambien and made less sense than usual. Made a better comeback than Giants..." Ambien is a brand name for a sleep-inducer. New York Daily News Brokaw stepped down from his post as the anchor of NBC Nightly News in 2004, but has remained a fixture in election coverage. He has been covering the conventions for the cable network for the last week and a half, and has been making multiple television appearances per day.

Exclusive: USA Today to Redesign Paper, Relaunch Website (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
USA Today is planning a major relaunch of its newspaper, website and mobile platforms, complete with a new USA Today logo, Politico has learned. The redesigned USA Today newspaper is tentatively scheduled to debut on Sept. 14, the day after the company holds a 30th anniversary event at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

As Twitter Tightens Its Grip, HootSuite Buys Seesmic (Wired)
HootSuite, the popular Twitter and Facebook client for power users and social media managers, has acquired Seesmic, a consumer-focused Twitter and Facebook app company. It's a good move for Seesmic, which after changing its focus several times, has struggled with finding a business model that works. TechCrunch The companies are not disclosing the price, but we have been told it will be based on how well HootSuite manages to convert Seesmic users on to its own product. CEO Ryan Holmes tells me it's buying the company mainly as a customer play, not primarily a technology play, unlike many of HootSuite's past acquisitions. AllFacebook HootSuite boasts nearly 5 million users, including 79 of the Fortune 100 companies, adding that they send more than 1.5 million daily messages via its dashboard. And Seesmic allows users to simultaneously post content to more than 50 social networks.

Is the American Gamer Population Shrinking? (NBC News / In-Game)
Considering all the new smartphones and tablets, not to mention the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and the Wii, and don't forget the Vita and the Nintendo 3DS... considering just how many machines we have to play games on these days, researchers have made a surprising find: During the last year, the number of people who play games in the United States has shrunk. WSJ / MarketWatch Sales of new videogames, consoles and accessories in U.S. retail stores fell 20 percent to $515.6 million, down from $647.2 million the same time a year ago, according to survey data from NPD Group. LA Times Sales of console hardware such as Nintendo Co.'s Wii and Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 were hit hardest, registering a 39 percent drop, as consumers may have held back spending in anticipation of newer consoles on the horizon.

Apple's Next Target: Internet Radio (Yahoo! News / The Atlantic Wire)
With their television plans basically down the drain, Apple has started special negotiations with record companies to start a new online radio service that's designed to rival Pandora, the best service available right now. NYT Apple's service would probably take the form of a preinstalled app on devices like iPhones and iPads and might be able to connect to users' iTunes accounts to judge their tastes.

Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD Hit UK and Europe on October 25 (SlashGear)
Amazon has confirmed pricing and availability for the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD in the UK and across Europe, the first time its Android tablets will be launched outside of the US.

ASU Journalism Student Plagiarizes at The State Press, East Valley Tribune (Poynter / Regret the Error)
Two Arizona newspapers have apologized after learning they published plagiarized articles. The papers both say the writer was a student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. But only one paper identified the student who plagiarized, leaving it open to discussion whether this was the same person. Phoenix New Times / Media, Schmedia It turns out that Raquel Velasco, the Arizona State University student called out by the East Valley Tribune and The State Press for plagiarism, actually worked at a few more Valley media outlets in her likely short-lived journalism career.

The Big Business of Apple Blogs (Bloomberg / Tech Blog)
Amid a crowded field of websites dedicated to covering every move of Apple, John Gruber's Daring Fireball blog stands out. With about 5 million visitors a month, the 10-year-old site has grabbed the attention of those inside the $634 billion juggernaut and outside.

Lazarus: NBC Broke Even on Olympics (Adweek)
"From a financial point of view the Games, on a discrete basis, were a break-even proposition for us," said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, adding that the result was "far healthier... than we had planned on going in."

What's JMart Tweeting? (FishbowlDC)
As journos in Charlotte look for new and different ways to cover the DNC, Politico's senior political reporter Jonathan Martin has a unique idea. Write tweets that make you sound like a maniac. Just look at the gobbledygook he tweeted Wednesday night as America basked in the glow of the Bill Clinton speech.

Facebook Closes its Purchase of Instagram (Yahoo! News / AP)
Facebook has closed its purchase of Instagram, the wildly popular photo-sharing app that it agreed to buy before its initial public stock offering in May. The deal was valued at $1 billion when the companies agreed to it in April. But Facebook's stock price has lost half of its value since its IPO. With Facebook trading at $18.06 on Aug. 31 when the deal closed, it is worth about $715.3 million, $300 million of it in cash and the rest in stock. Even at the lower price, Instagram is by far Facebook's largest acquisition and the only one that Facebook has promised to keep going, rather than shutting it down.

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