Morning Media Newsfeed 09.14.12
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Legal Experts: 'Pink Slime' Defamation Lawsuit Filed Against ABC News Will Be Tough to Win (The Washington Post / AP)
Beef Products Inc. will face a steep climb in its "pink slime" defamation lawsuit against ABC News as the South Dakota-based meat processor works to rebuild its public image, legal experts say. Reuters In court papers, the company said ABC falsely told viewers that its beef product was not safe, not healthy and not even meat, resulting in the 31-year-old company's loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in profit and roughly half its employees. LA Times The lawsuit names as defendants ABC News, owned by Walt Disney Co., as well as anchor Diane Sawyer and reporter Jim Avila, among others. TVNewser The 257-page lawsuit cites 11 TV reports and 14 online reports between March 7 and April 3, 2012. WSJ ABC News senior vice president Jeffrey Schneider said, "The lawsuit is without merit. We will contest it vigorously." New York Observer Although ABC News is the target of the suit, the term "pink slime" first became popular in a 2009 article in The New York Times and has been covered by most major news channels and outlets. USA Today / On Deadline The company has tried to repair the product's image through a PR campaign that includes a website: www.beefisbeef.com.
California Bank Fraud Convict Linked to Anti-Muslim Video (Reuters)
Evidence mounted on Thursday that a Los Angeles-area man who served time in prison for bank fraud may have been involved in an anti-Muslim video that stoked violent protests in the Islamic world against the United States. NYT The man, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, who lives about 20 miles south of Los Angeles, was identified by federal authorities as part of a network of people involved in creating the video, a 14-minute trailer for a supposed full-length feature called The Innocence of Muslims. The Washington Post / AP The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation, said Nakoula was connected to the persona of Sam Bacile, a man who initially told the AP he was the film's writer and director. LA Times / L.A. Now An actor who appeared in the film told the Times he was paid $75 a day to appear in the film, which had a working title of Desert Warrior. He was paid by someone with the same middle and last name as Nakoula. Nakoula has operated under a dizzying array of aliases, including Kritbag Difrat. WSJ The movie has its roots with a Southern California group of Egyptian Christians associated with extremist critics of Islam. The film's assistant director, Jeffrey Robinson, said its production budget was just $250,000. TVNewser CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata delivered quite the scoop Thursday for CBS This Morning: video from inside the American consulate that was ransacked by attackers earlier this week, killing four, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.
Full Lincoln Trailer Premieres on Google Plus (WSJ / Speakeasy)
In an unusual move, Walt Disney Co.'s DreamWorks Pictures and Google Play jointly debuted the theatrical trailer for Lincoln Thursday. LA Times / Movies Now Director Steven Spielberg and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt took part in an interactive video chat hosted by Google Play Thursday to premiere the trailer for Lincoln, the highly anticipated historical drama starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president. Digital Spy The premiere, which was followed by a Q&A with Spielberg and Gordon-Levitt, marks the first time a movie trailer has debuted through the group video chat social service. CBS News / Celebrity Circuit The film also stars Sally Field, David Strathairn , James Spader, Hal Holbrook and Tommy Lee Jones. The screenplay, written by Tony Kushner, is based on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Kevin Costner Lands Book Deal (GalleyCat)
Actor Kevin Costner has signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster's Atria Books imprint for an adventure series. It begins with The Explorers Guild, Volume One: Passage to Shambhala in 2014. Publishers Weekly Rob Weisbach and Fonda Snyder at Rob Weisbach Creative Management brokered the deal for the star, and the series will launch, traditionally, in book format with plans in place to turn the story into an animated series, then live-action films. NYT / Media Decoder The publisher, describing the project as "reminiscent of Conrad and Kipling, with the epic sweep of Raiders of the Lost Ark," is aiming for a crossover audience that would include both teenage and adult readers. Deadline New York Publishing is a new foray, but Costner is no stranger to sprawling historical-based projects, from Dances With Wolves to the recent Emmy-nominated History miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, which he starred in and produced.
CBS, Showtime Teaming for Monthly Sports Newscast (Yahoo! News / AP)
CBS is teaming with Showtime to create a monthly version of 60 Minutes devoted to sports stories. TVNewser The program will air on Showtime, greatly bolstering the pay cabler's sports news output. THR 60 Minutes of Sports will feature the newsmagazine's correspondents including Steve Kroft and Lara Logan as well as contributions from CBS News and CBS Sports correspondents such as chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian (who joined CBS as a sports reporter) and James Brown, host of Showtime's Inside the NFL and CBS' The NFL Today. B&C The planned format will include two original pieces -- handled by a dedicated unit of producers -- and an in-studio interview as well as one updated archive 60 Minutes piece.
Netflix Unfazed by Growing Competition from Amazon, Exec Says (Deadline New York)
"We never thought we'd operate without competition. We're surprised it's taken this long," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told investors Thursday at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. And he says he's not concerned after the e-retail power doubled its video streaming library by cutting a deal with EPIX. Bloomberg Businessweek With Netflix, Amazon.com, and soon Verizon Communications and Redbox bidding for rights to stream movies on Kindles, iPads, and TVs, the studios are enjoying a boomlet that's taking the edge off declining disc sales and rentals. Variety Sarandos issued a warning to Hollywood on Thursday that the variability of windows around the globe for blockbuster movies like The Hunger Games is an open invitation to widespread copyright infringement online.
USA Today Unveils Redesigned Newspaper, Website, Apps (USA Today)
USA Today unveiled Thursday new designs for its newspaper, website and mobile apps in time for its 30th anniversary this weekend. 10,000 Words Here's a quick video intro to the redesign (complete with a cheesy voiceover). Ad Age / Digital The changes to its website, which will launch in beta on Saturday, feel the most drastic. USA Today sites registered 38.7 million visitors in August, up 48 percent from 26.1 million a year ago.
Facebook Exchange Is Out of Beta (AllFacebook)
Facebook formally announced Thursday that its Facebook Exchange real-time-bidding ad-purchase platform is out of beta, and the social network began allowing its FBX partners to release results they have achieved via the platform. Ad Age / Digital After Facebook announced that it would enable real-time bidding on its platform in June, allowing advertisers for the first time to use their first- and third-party data to target ads to Facebook users (though without any of Facebook's targeting options available on top of it), the company became tight-lipped about FBX. Wired Facebook Exchange is "exponentially better" than competing systems, says Zach Coelius, whose company Triggit places advertiser bids on Facebook Exchange and all its major competitors.
Pedro E. Guerrero Dies at 95; Fine Arts Photographer (LA Times)
Pedro E. Guerrero, a photographer whose early work with architect Frank Lloyd Wright sparked a long, distinguished career in the worlds of fine art and glossy magazines, died Thursday. He was 95. Yahoo! News / AP He published books on Wright, Calder and Nevelson and did freelance work for magazines such as House and Garden, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
Meredith Artley: Here's What We Look for When We Hire Young Journalists, J-School Grads or Not (Nieman Journalism Lab)
The managing editor of CNN's digital operations says coding and multimedia skills are becoming more common among new hires, but that specialized knowledge is getting hard to find.
Journo, Promote Thyself (CJR / #RealTalk)
Use your personal website and Twitter feed to get people to read your stuff without annoying them.
Never Say 'Let's Create a Viral Video' (Ad Age / Media News)
We asked Deborah Marquardt, senior VP of content strategy and partnerships for L'Oreal USA, whose content projects will start to roll out in the fourth quarter, why content matters to marketers more than ever -- and how to go about building content for marketing. One tip: Don't begin by saying "Let's create a viral video."
Ahead of the Bell: Amazon's Kindle Fire (ABC News / AP)
Today is the day the smaller versions of Amazon.com Inc.'s new Kindle Fire tablet computers become available. The devices represent Amazon's latest challenge to Apple and its iPad tablets, although larger models that are closer in size to the iPad won't be out until November.
My Eyes Were Heavy, but I Didn't Doze Off During the Show, Mike Francesa Says (NYT / Media Decoder)
Sports radio talk show host Mike Francesa -- who appeared to take a brief nap while conducting an interview on Monday on WFAN-AM in New York -- said on Thursday that while he had been tired from getting no sleep the night before, he had not actually fallen asleep while talking to Sweeny Murti, who covers the Yankees for the station. Newsday On the video from his YES simulcast, Francesa is seen lowering his head as Murti speaks, then suddenly jolts upward with his eyes wide open, seemingly disoriented. That led to a widespread assumption he had nodded off. New York Unfortunately for him, the Internet has a great appetite for nonsense: The video, titled "WFAN's Sweeny Murti Puts Mike Francesa to Sleep," has been viewed more than 225,000 times on YouTube since being uploaded on Tuesday.
Amateur Photographer Loses Contest but Lands Daily News Assignment After Kiss Goes Viral (New York / Daily Intel)
"The whole reason I entered the contest was to get some recognition and hopefully get a job for a newspaper," 42-year-old Last Kiss photographer Mo Gelber told Daily Intel Thursday, fresh off his first assignment for the Daily News. "I can't even keep up with the attention anymore."