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Tuesday, Oct 04

Morning Media Newsfeed 10.04.11

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Media Drop Everything To Cover Amanda Knox Verdict (Yahoo! News / The Cutline)
It wasn't quite on the level of the media frenzy surrounding the O.J. Simpson verdict, but the press collectively stopped whatever else it was doing to cover the verdict in the Amanda Knox murder trial Monday, as an Italian court overturned a murder conviction and cleared the American college student of the charges against her. The court's decision returns Knox into U.S. custody. TVSpy: Three Seattle stations spent the afternoon reporting on an international story with a local angle: Seattle native Knox was acquitted of murder charges shortly after 12:45 p.m. PT Monday. paidContent: The Internet makes it possible to broadcast breaking news at a pace unlike anything we've ever experienced. Unfortunately, that includes the ability to rapidly transmit reports that never should have been written, much less published. Monday's case in point: the Daily Mail's hasty -- and largely apocryphal -- report that Knox had lost her appeal of a murder conviction, quickly captured for posterity by Malcolm Coles.

Hank Williams Jr. Pulled From Monday Night Football After Comments Made On Fox News (TVNewser)
Musician Hank Williams Jr. -- who doubles as the voice of ESPN's Monday Night Football -- was pulled from Monday night's broadcast as a result of statements he made on Fox News early Monday morning. / Media Alley: In an interview on Fox's morning show, Fox and Friends, Williams, an outspoken Republican, compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler. Williams was criticizing Obama for playing golf with House Speaker John Boehner over the summer, saying it was like "Hitler playing golf with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu." He later dubbed Obama and Vice President Joe Biden "the enemy." ESPN, in a statement, said: "While Hank Williams Jr. is not an ESPN employee, we recognize that he is closely linked to our company through the open to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments, and as a result we have decided to pull the open from tonight's telecast." THR: The singer issued a statement Monday afternoon in which he claims his remarks were "misunderstood." "Some of us have strong opinions and are often misunderstood," he said. "My analogy was extreme -- but it was to make a point. I was simply trying to explain how stupid it seemed to me -- how ludicrous that pairing was."

Peacock Poaches Ruffle CBS Feathers (NY Post)
CBS News boss Jeff Fager is angry after losing some talent to rival NBC as the Peacock network gears up to launch a primetime newsmagazine this fall.

YouTube Goes Professional (WSJ)
Google's YouTube is going Hollywood. The Internet company is finalizing deals with well-known personalities, such as skateboarder Tony Hawk, and major media companies to produce original content for its popular video website, as it seeks to become a next-generation cable provider that oversees dozens of free online "channels" with professional-grade shows. AOL unveiled a slate of 15 Web series Monday, boasting partnerships with the likes of Michael Eisner's Vuguru and Mark Burnett. GigaOM / NewTeeVee: Netflix continues to invest in content that will help it stand out from the growing crowd of streaming video services and traditional cable TV networks. The latest evidence is a deal that will bring Norwegian-produced mobster TV show Lilyhammer to its original programming lineup.

Editor: August 2011 Wall Street Journal Ad Revenue Up 24 Percent Over August 2010 (Capital New York)
The Wall Street Journal saw a 24 percent increase in print ad revenue in August when compared with August of 2010, an increase that occurred "while other national newspapers have reported distressing declines in advertising," managing editor Robert Thomson wrote in a memo to staff Monday morning. 10,000 Words: In the short amount of time since WSJ Live launched -- barely three weeks ago -- the interactive video news app from The Wall Street Journal has already skyrocketed to the top of the charts at Apple's App Store and been hailed as a "milestone product." This is making the editors at the Journal very happy.

Road To Decision 2012: Election Advertising And Technology (B&C)
The road to Decision 2012 is paved with gold for cable news nets and local cable. Poynter / Romenesko: PolitiFact, the St. Petersburg Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking operation, will now allow newspapers to syndicate its content through what it calls the PolitiFact News Service.

Analysis: For ABC News And Yahoo!, New Partnership Requires A Long-Term Investment (TVNewser)
Fox News, The Huffington Post, Current TV, Gawker, Turner Sports, CBS and CBS News, Microsoft, Granite Broadcasting,, and ABC News -- twice. These are just some of the major media companies that have partnered with Yahoo! over the past 15 years. Many of the agreements have been small ones, and some of them have been significant, but almost all have quietly ended. Some of the deals -- like the one with Current TV -- were dead before ever getting off the ground. NYT: One company dominates online news, sports, and finance. It has more visitors to its news site than the runner-up in the category, CNN, more in sports than ESPN, and more in finance than Dow Jones, owner of The Wall Street Journal. That online media colossus is Yahoo!, and it is in distress. GigaOM: Although it isn't being described as a merger, it might as well be one -- but is it going to work any online magic for either entity? It's difficult to see how.

Fox News Gives Glenn Beck's Temporary Replacement A Permanent Slot (Yahoo! News / The Cutline)
Fox News' temporary replacement for Glenn Beck has become a permanent one. The Five and its panel of lesser-known personalities will continue in the 5 p.m. slot, the network announced Monday. TVNewser: The Five launched in July as a temporary replacement in the time slot formerly held by Beck. Since that time, it has performed well enough to warrant a continued presence, although it is still down from the ratings peaks of Beck's time at the channel. Business Insider / Silicon Alley Insider: Want to see the future of television, today? Watch what Beck is doing. Adweek: Fifteen years ago this month, Rupert Murdoch launched Fox News. At the time, cable industry executives were skeptical of the idea -- News Corp. had to buy its way on to cable, paying system operators an estimated $300 million just to get them to carry the new network. Those taking Murdoch's money thought they were getting a sweetheart deal.

Prometheus Selling Back Stage; The Hollywood Reporter's Parent Company 'Dropping Assets Like Flies Now' (
Prometheus Global Media is now confirming what I reported Sunday night; that it's unloading yet another showbiz asset. Instead of calling this a sale, it's calling this a financial "alliance" with a group of investors led by John Amato, who used to be president of a New York City taxi advertising company called Show Media. Amato now becomes CEO of Back Stage. paidContent: Prometheus -- the publisher of Adweek, Billboard, and The Hollywood Reporter -- struck a strategic alliance with a group of investors led by Amato to run performing arts title Back Stage magazine. In an interview, Jimmy Finkelstein, Prometheus' chairman, and Amato, who will be the magazine's CEO and chairman, outlined a plan to give the 50-year-old title more digital focus. Separately, I asked Finkelstein about the waves of speculation over the past few weeks about the status of Adweek editorial director Michael Wolff. "Michael's name is still on the masthead," Finkelstein said. "He's not being fired. If I were going to fire someone, it would not be in the pages of the magazine or a news site. We do have differences, but we're working through them to continue to build Adweek." / Media Alley: Prometheus said it wants to expand Back Stage, but it is not clear how.

Scripps Grabs McGraw-Hill Stations For $212 Million (B&C)
Scripps has agreed to acquire one of the choice station groups on the block, snagging the McGraw-Hill batch for $212 million in cash. The group includes ABC affiliates KMGH Denver, WRTV Indianapolis, KGTV San Diego, and KERO Bakersfield, Calif., along with low-power Azteca America affiliates in San Diego, Bakersfield, Denver, and Colorado's Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. TVSpy: Scripps owns six ABC-affiliated stations: WXYZ in Detroit; WEWS in Cleveland; WCPO in Cincinnati; KNXV in Phoenix; WFTS in Tampa, Fla.; and WMAR in Baltimore. Scripps also has three NBC affiliates: Kansas City (KSHB); West Palm Beach, Fla. (WPTV); and Tulsa, Okla. (KJRH); as well as independent station KMCI in Lawrence, Kan.

Hearst Magazines Boss: We've Made Giant Strides Toward Becoming 'The Magazine Company Of The Future' (Poynter / Romenesko)
In a letter sent Monday morning to all Hearst Magazines employees, president David Carey says Tuesday's HGTV Magazine tryout "is a testament to our conviction that every sector, every corner of the magazine industry, and every part of our company, is ripe for fresh thinking," and that "our philosophy that risk is necessary for both growth and continued success remains one of our core beliefs." Adweek: Hearst has raided Meredith's magazine unit for a senior integrated sales executive, Maureen Polo.

Forbes, Legends Of The Fall (Adweek)
Stewart Pinkerton's new book, The Fall of the House of Forbes, reveals a lot about the magazine's history -- including the fact that its longtime publisher, Malcolm Forbes, died from suicide, and not heart failure, as reported. But the real story here is about a nearly century-old institution that splintered in the face of technological change and financial recession.

Hyperlocal Publishers Form A Trade Group (Street Fight)
A new trade association aims to unite independent hyperlocal publishers around common business interests and offer services that small publishers may not have access to on their own, such as health insurance.

MG Siegler Will Become Our Apple Columnist, And Join CrunchFund As A VC (TechCrunch)
When I first reached out to MG Siegler to join TechCrunch two-and-a-half years ago, I knew he was an amazing talent who could help cement our place as the premier technology blog on the Internet. Over the past few months, a lot of venture capital firms have been trying to hire him, as well. This time, the lure was too great. He decided to change careers and will become a VC, just like Michael Arrington. In fact, Michael is the one who is hiring him as a general partner at the CrunchFund (beating out offers from several other top-tier VC firms MG was considering). But MG will be the first to tell you that his decision to become a VC predates all the recent drama around Michael leaving TechCrunch. paidContent: Arrington's CrunchFund raise, which included $10 million from TechCrunch owner AOL and $10 million from investors TechCrunch covers, set off the chain events that led to him leaving AOL and TechCrunch; public drama with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and Arianna Huffington; columnist Paul Carr quitting and getting an investment from Tony Hsieh for a Las Vegas startup; Arrington writing as an "unpaid" blogger (with that $20 million fund) at his new Uncrunched; and so on. parislemon: Siegler: "In the midst of my venture meetings, CrunchFund became a reality. Given that Mike knew my interest in venture, we started talking -- again, before the drama started. Then the shit hit the fan. But in many ways, that made any decision to leave TechCrunch harder. It was something I had worked hard to build with everyone else over the past few years. I didn't want to see it weakened any further. None of us did. With that in mind, I was also able to keep the dialogue open with TechCrunch, and we figured out a way for me to keep doing what it is that I do best -- the Apple beat -- while also pursuing this new career."

DealBook Grabs Will Alden From The Huffington Post (NY Observer)
The New York Times' DealBook, edited by the poachable Andrew Ross Sorkin, has poached William Alden from The Huffington Post Business vertical.

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