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Sunday, Sep 25

Morning Media Newsfeed 09.25.11

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Fox News/Google Debate Most-Watched GOP Primary Debate Yet (TVNewser)
Thursday night's Fox News/Google GOP debate was the highest-rated primary debate yet, averaging more than 6 million total viewers during both the 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. hours. In the key adults 25-54 demo, the debate ranked second behind MSNBC's Sept. 7 debate. Yahoo! News / The Cutline: The debate, which aired from 9 p.m.-11 p.m. ET, was up against fall network television premieres, including NBC's slate of new shows. TVNewser: What did the media reporters and observers think of the format and questions?

CNN Under Fire (American Journalism Review)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry isn't the only one under fire this primary season. CNN is facing a flurry of questions from media critics nationwide after its decision to co-sponsor a debate with the Tea Party in Florida.

AP Investigates NYPD Spying On Muslims Amid Tabloid Swipes, Scant NYC Media Follow-Up (HuffPost)
For several weeks, The Associated Press has reported extensively on the New York Police Department's secret surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods, including a lengthy report Thursday about an initiative specifically targeting Moroccans where they eat, shop, and pray. New York's top tabloids, however, aren't applauding the AP's dogged reporting in the face of early denials from the police department. Instead, they've given support to the NYPD's just-revealed methods for monitoring Muslims.

Tabloid's Ex-Editor Sues News Corp. (WSJ)
Andy Coulson, former editor of News of the World and a former aide to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, filed suit against a unit of News Corp. in Britain's High Court over payment of his legal fees, people familiar with the matter said. Sky News: Coulson stepped down as editor of the now-defunct tabloid in 2007 after Royal editor Clive Goodman and a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, were jailed for intercepting messages on the phones of royal aides. He insisted he had been completely unaware of any wrongdoing and landed a job as David Cameron's director of communications six months later.

Changes Coming To Wall Street Journal (Adweek)
The Wall Street Journal is about to get a new look, one that will bring more color to the traditionally staid business paper, and that could help it attract advertisers.

Jess Cagle On The Launch Of 'The EW Interview' (FishbowlLA)
It was somewhat unfortunate that all of those media misinterpretations of comments made by Brad Pitt to Parade magazine about Jennifer Aniston hit the wire just one day before a Sept. 16 announcement that the actor was the inaugural cover-story beneficiary of a new Entertainment Weekly feature called "The EW Interview." However, FishbowlLA is pretty sure that in the long run, it is the latter conversation that will stand the test of time. TVNewser: After Matt Lauer's Today show interview aired Thursday, actor Pitt went on NPR's Fresh Air, where the Missouri native talked about his days at the University of Missouri journalism school.

Google News Releases Standout, A Way To Flag Your Best Work (10,000 Words)
Google News unveiled a major new feature at the Online News Association Conference Saturday, which will allow publishers to mark their top content, as well as give credit to others who have a major scoop. Google News Blog: Every day, news organizations and journalists around the world dedicate significant time and resources toward some of the most critical types of coverage: exceptional original reporting, deep investigative work, scoops and exclusives, and various special projects that quite clearly stand out. Saturday, during a Google News workshop at the Online News Association Conference in Boston, we introduced a new content tag for the U.S. edition that will help us better feature this "standout" content and give even more credit where credit is due.

Vacancies Open Up For The Lead Roles At And (paidContent)
Big changes atop digital at two major news sites Friday: Kevin Krim, the head of, is leaving the company, while Jim Frederick, who oversaw operations at as the site's managing editor, is the new editor of Time International. FishbowlNY: Via an internal memo, Rick Stengel said Frederick will fit perfectly in the new role. Poynter / Romenesko: Stengel: "As a former senior editor for Time in London, he helped coordinate coverage of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East for both the magazines and; as Tokyo bureau chief, he reported on and wrote about Japanese culture, society, government, economics, and international politics." minOnline: Frederick fills the 18-month vacancy first created by 2004-2010 predecessor Michael Elliott becoming Time's deputy managing editor. Elliott then left the magazine in June to become CEO of musician Bono's One Foundation. Adweek: Time International has lost some of its prowess in recent years, but Stengel, managing editor of Time, said he plans to "go all in" with the brand.

Blockbuster Adds Streaming Service For Dish Subscribers, But No Netflix Killer (Yet) (AdAge / MediaWorks)
When Dish Network bought Blockbuster out of bankruptcy protection last spring, it signaled its intent to compete with online streaming services such as Netflix. But what Dish rolled out Friday, a new streaming and DVD-by-mail service called Blockbuster Movie Pass, seems more designed to protect and grow its satellite TV service than to challenge Netflix directly in the near term. Multichannel News: Dish Network is throwing in access to more than 20 premium movie channels as part of its $10-extra-per-month Blockbuster Movie Pass service for satellite TV customers, including linear networks and online content from Starz, Epix, and Sony Movie Channel. The Blockbuster Movie Pass service -- available for no extra charge to Dish subscribers who sign up for a two-year contract and take the America's Top 200 package -- includes a DVD-by-mail service with 100,000-plus titles, 3,000 movies on TV, and 4,000 movies on PCs. After the promotional period, the movie package starts at $10 per month for one DVD out at a time. paidContent: The timing of Dish Network's and Blockbuster's introduction of new a streaming video venture couldn't be more perfect. With Netflix reeling from subscriber losses and discontent after successive PR failures following the move to a bifurcated DVD/streaming video pricing and branding system, this deal could represent Blockbuster's best chance for a comeback since Dish bought it for the bargain price of $320 million in April. TechCrunch: This isn't Blockbuster's or Dish Network's first foray with streaming video. The then-alive (but quickly sinking) Blockbuster launched On Demand back in 2008 complete with its own dedicated player. It's still up and running and features a robust platform support second only to Netflix. Likewise, Dish Network has long offered on-demand video content and was the first to offer 1080p videos. Multichannel News: "We're totally focused on the needs of the consumer and the vulnerabilities of our competitors," Dish CEO Joe Clayton said at a press conference in San Francisco Friday. TechCrunch: For years, I've pointed to Netflix as one of the shining examples of the subscription economy. But in two painfully long weeks, Netflix has taken a huge misstep, violated the trust of its customers, and even opened the door to its supposedly long-vanquished elder, Blockbuster! AllThingsD: But best as I can tell, this is a service that might appeal to some Dish satellite TV customers who are paying for Netflix and want to save some money -- they can get more or less what Netflix offers, at the price Netflix used to charge before its 60 percent price hike. That's not a terrible thing for Dish to offer. And if it does cost Reed Hastings and company some subscribers, then that's certainly not a good thing for Netflix. ReadWriteWeb: The offering Dish unveiled Friday is not a stand-alone video streaming and DVD rent-by-mail service like Netflix, but rather it's a $10 add-on for Dish subscribers. This might be a really nice added value for existing subscribers, but it doesn't look as attractive to other consumers.

How ESPN And The New York Times Build A Second Screen For Readers (10,000 Words)
At the Online News Association Conference Saturday morning, Brian Hamman and Tyson Evans of The New York Times and Patrick Stiegman of ESPN hosted a session about how to dominate the "second screen" experience.

Financial Times Proves HTML5 Can Beat Native Mobile Apps (ReadWriteWeb)
In the ongoing debate over Web vs. native mobile and tablet apps, it would appear that the Web just racked up a few major points.

Baltimore Sun To Put Up Paywall Next Month (Poynter / Romenesko)
The Baltimore Sun's paywall goes up Oct. 10. "To encourage readers to sign up at launch, we will offer a special introductory rate of 99 cents for the first four weeks," says publisher Tim Ryan's memo. "After that, digital-only subscribers will have a cost of $2.49 per week or $49.99 for 26 weeks. Print subscribers will receive a special reduced rate of 75 cents per week or $29.99 per year. Nonsubscribers will have free access to 15 Web pages per month."

Comcast Working On iPad TV Streaming Service Called AnyPlay (MacRumors)
Comcast, the United States' largest cable and Internet provider, is working on a television streaming solution for iPads, to compete with Cablevision and Time Warner. The streaming product was announced earlier this year, but details haven't been released until now.

AOL Cuts Budgets At Patch, 'Sniper' Layoffs Elsewhere, Too? (Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider)
During a conference call Friday, Arianna Huffington and the management team announced that freelance budgets have basically been slashed to the point of extinction, a source said. Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider: One self-described "riled" Patch editor from the East Coast tells us that in addition to his or her normal job responsibilities, this editor has also been asked to start drumming up ad sales leads.

Facebook Forming A Political Action Committee? Registers, (Fusible)
Is Facebook officially forming a political action committee in order to influence federal elections? It looks like Facebook may be taking the first steps ahead of the 2012 elections, as the company has registered the domain names and AllFacebook: Where do some Republican presidential hopefuls, and even a member of the Kennedy clan, turn to boost their Facebook brand? To North Social, whose clients include GOP candidates from the Hermanator (aka Herman Cain), to Newt Gingrich and former California First Lady Maria Shriver. AllFacebook: Facebook users "Like" former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney more than President Barack Obama. AllFacebook: Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton took to her new Facebook page to interview her mom on the last day of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York Thursday. AllFacebook: Facebook's f8 developer conference got mentioned 116,465 times by the news media and consumers posting online this week. AllFacebook: A national survey by Poll Position confirms that five times as many Facebook users dislike the site's new look as those who don't. AllFacebook: But some demographics dislike things more than others. AllFacebook: Thursday Facebook announced the new profile, Timeline, but the beta version won't come out until at least the end of this month, if not later, and you have to sign up for it in advance -- but there's a way to activate it right now, without the wait. Inside Facebook: Timeline, the redesigned version of the profile that Facebook launched Thursday at f8, gives users much more flexibility in how they present themselves. Users can customize their banner image, make certain types of content more prominent, and decide what moments of their life they want to feature. Everything users have ever posted to Facebook is now much more accessible, so most will want to browse through their Timeline and ensure that all their content is appropriate and has the right privacy settings. AllThingsD: You could look at this new offering from Facebook in a lot of ways, from a new supersized version of its existing profiles, to a digital scrapbook of memories, to a geek version of a daily planner. AllFacebook: Facebook users are forwarding posts about how Timeline allegedly shows who has unfriended you, which is very ironic, in addition to being misleading at best, but really just inaccurate.

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