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Morning Media Newsfeed 10.04.12

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Reviewing the Debate on TV: Paging Jim Lehrer... (USA Today)
Apparently, Jim Lehrer thinks the best moderator is no moderator at all. Politico Lehrer, the executive editor of PBS Newshour, sat behind the desk for the 12th time in the history of televised presidential debates on Wednesday night -- and drew some of the most blistering reviews of his career. The consensus: Lehrer did not control the debate, failed to enforce the time limits, did not press the candidates enough and generally was steamrolled by the presidential candidates, Mitt Romney in particular. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Lehrer's real problem was that, for one night, he had to play stand-in for the entire American media. And if there's one thing the American public enjoys, it's bashing the American media, no matter how it performs. San Jose Mercury News / Elections 2012 Let the fact-checkers do their thing. Let the pundits judge who won. For the television audience -- and, after all, we are the real target for the debate, particularly the undecideds on the couch -- there are more visceral cues we'll seek before anointing a winner. NYT Theater seats? Check. Shrimp cocktails and crudités? Check. Flat-screen television with the volume low just waiting for the big show to start? Check. People who have been un-friended on Facebook by relatives because of their political views? Oh, yes. Seattle Post-Intelligencer / AP "Tonight is a game, it's not the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is in November... I'd say Romney got a pretty solid lead in this game," said Republican Art Rotelli, a 35-year-old advertising product designer. Even some Romney opponents begrudgingly gave the debate "win" to the Republican. TVNewser Following the debate, however, things got interesting on MSNBC. The hosts pretty much agreed with the consensus that a fired up Mitt Romney triumphed over a laid back President Obama. NYT Presidential debates are customarily scored and picked apart the instant the moderator says "good night" at 10:30 p.m. But the Web is speeding up time. When the first of this season's debates started on Wednesday in Denver, the scoring began at 9:01 p.m., as soon as Lehrer said "good evening." HuffPost / AP Social networks lit up Wednesday as users argued over who emerged as the key character from Wednesday's first president debate. The candidates? Forget it -- most attention focused on Lehrer, or the cherished children's TV character Big Bird. ABC News / OTUS According to Twitter data, the words "Big Bird" were tweeted 17,000 times per minute and "PBS," the channel that airs Sesame Street, peaked at 10,000 tweets per minute. "Big Bird" was also the fourth highest-rising search term on Google. Romney's comment sparked the hashtag #SaveBigBird, which was trending worldwide, and spawned at least three pro-Big Bird Twitter handles, @BigBird, @BigBirdRomney and @FiredBigBird. Ad Age / Campaign Trail TV ads in this year's U.S. presidential race are more negative in tone than in any of the previous three White House campaigns, according to a report Wednesday by the Wesleyan Media Project. Almost two-thirds of presidential ads on the air between June 1 and Sept. 30 were negative, compared to about 40 percent during that period in 2008. PRNewser What's the real PR value of a debate? We can't imagine that too many voters would honestly describe themselves as "undecided" at this point, but an estimated 50 million people will watch the events live -- and an audience that big has to be worth something, right?

Fast, But Not Magical Sales for Rowling Book (Yahoo! News / AP)
Sales for J.K. Rowling's first adult novel were hardly magical during its first six days. But the publisher isn't complaining. Entertainment Weekly / Shelf Life Rowling's The Casual Vacancy is reportedly "on track to become the year's bestselling novel in hardcover," according to EVP of Little, Brown Michael Pietsch. Which is another way of saying it'll be one of the best-selling novels of the year other than E L James' paperback Fifty Shades trilogy. THR / Heat Vision Little, Brown and Company announced that the book sold 375,000 copies across all formats, print and digital, in its first six days on the market.

MediaPost: NBC News Plans to Launch Ads 'That Blur the Line Between Editorial and Brand Content' Update: Or Not? (TVNewser)
MediaPost reports that NBC News (specifically NBC News Digital) is planning a shift away from advertising targeting demographics (i.e. adults 25-54, women 18-49, etc.) and towards "personas" of news consumers, with names like "Always On," "Skimmers," "Veterans" and "Reporters." MediaPost / Online Media Daily "Essentially, we've discovered there are four archetypes of news consumers," Kyoo Kim, vice president of sales at NBC News Digital, explained in an exclusive interview with Online Media Daily unveiling the new persona-based targeting concept. "Why does this matter to advertisers?" he continued. "Because focusing on behavior vs. demographics gives our customers better insights into the tendencies of our viewers."

Facebook Launches Test of Promoted Posts for U.S. Users with Fewer Than 5K Friends/Subscribers (AllFacebook)
What can $7 buy these days? If you're a Facebook user in the US with fewer than 5,000 friends and subscribers, $7 can buy you a Promoted Post, as the social network officially announced the launch of a test of the feature. CNN Money That price tag is part of the experiment: A company spokeswoman said that Facebook is "considering a variety of prices." TechCrunch Promoted Posts could help surface important announcements and earn Facebook money. However, I worry that Promoted Posts could change the atmosphere of Facebook from one where the most beloved content gets seen most to one where the rich can dominate the News Feed. WSJ / Digits Why would you do that? Because as Facebook has grown, the homepage News Feed of users has become increasingly cluttered with status updates from friends and paid ads from marketers. Posts from some friends can get lost in the weeds, or never even show up. So if you've got a big announcement -- say, you've lost your cat -- you can pay to make sure more friends see it.

27-Year Veteran Jeff Morrow Out at Weather Channel (TVNewser)
Meteorologist Jeff Morrow, who has been a staple at The Weather Channel for 27 years, is leaving the network, according to an email sent to staff Wednesday. Morrow has been a regular not only in-studio, but in the field at the channel, including a number of visits to the middle of hurricanes, such as Katrina. New York Daily News "We appreciate the many years of forecasting and live field coverage Jeff has delivered as part of the best weather provider in the country," vice president of live programming Helen Swenson wrote. "I hope you join us in thanking Jeff for his many contributions and wish him the best in his future."

Apple's Asian Suppliers 'Have Begun Mass Production of the iPad Mini,' Stoking Rumors the Tech Giant Will Announce New Tablet Soon (The Daily Mail)
Apple's Asian suppliers have reportedly started mass production of a new tablet computer smaller than the iPad, raising expectations that the tech giant is set to unveil its iPad mini within weeks. WSJ The smaller tablet will have a 7.85-inch liquid-crystal display with a lower resolution than the latest iPad, which was released in March, two executives said. The screen on the current iPad measures 9.7 inches diagonally, a size that hasn't changed since the first model was released in 2010. CNET The smaller tablet will allow Apple to compete with the budget Android-powered models from Amazon and Google.

Jerry Seinfeld's Letter is No. 1 -- Really! (JimRomenesko.com)
A letter to The New York Times has never before hit No. 1 on the paper's Most Viewed list, letters editor Thomas Feyer tells Romenesko readers. "I was amazed at how this went viral with all the tweets and Facebook posts," he said over the phone. "I've never seen anything like this." Today In a piece that ran in Monday's Times, Neil Genzlinger opined about his dislike for the use of the word "really" as a comedic tool. "I'm not talking about 'Really?' as a request for more information or an expression of surprise," he wrote. "I'm referring to the more recent, faddish use of it: delivered with a high-pitched sneer to indicate a contempt so complete that it requires no clarification."

Internet Use Disorder Coined by American Psychiatric Association (MediaJobsDaily)
OK, so now that we know the Internet is critical to our job, um, we must face the facts: We may be addicted to it. According to the New York Post, the American Psychiatric Association is going to add "Internet Use Disorder" to the latest edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The Takeaway Christopher Lane is a professor of literature at Northwestern University and author of numerous books on psychology, including Shyness: How Normal Behavior Became a Sickness. He takes issue with the disorders being considered for the Manual and talks about why continually expanding the list of recognized disorders can become harmful in society.

Steve Harvey on Hosting Michelle Obama, His New Talk Show and More (The Daily Beast / Sexy Beast)
Steve Harvey is elated. Just a few weeks into his eponymous new talk show, the former stand-up comedian has wrapped a taping at Chicago's NBC Studios with his biggest and most famous guest to date: first lady Michelle Obama. The Hill / Hill Tube Michelle Obama on Wednesday said the country is in the midst of big change, as illustrated by the president's historic election, but that "we take it for granted" because of what is still undone. "We're becoming a bigger, more accepting country," she said on The Steve Harvey Show in an episode aired Wednesday.

Estée Lauder Turns the Internet Pink (FishbowlNY)
Just as the iPhone 5 frenzy was subsiding, the outside of the Apple Store at 59th and Fifth was abuzz again for the kick off of the 20th anniversary of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The campaign has now gone global -- and even digital -- as the company raises awareness and money for breast cancer research through the use of social media sites and live events in cities all over the world. CBS News A newly launched social network aims to connect an estimated 227,000 women who will develop breast cancer in the United States in 2012 with other women who have or survived the disease. MyBreastCancerTeam launched in September ahead of October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The site aims to connect women with breast cancer to others, to learn more about their experiences or just lend an ear to listen.

Publication of Gen. McChrystal's Book is Delayed (Yahoo! News / AP)
A memoir by retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been delayed pending security clearance from the U.S. Department of Defense. Portfolio announced Wednesday that McChrystal's My Share of the Task is still being reviewed by the Pentagon.

What BuzzFeed's Evolution Says About the Future of Longform Journalism (Poynter)
It's not often that a job posting creates such a tizzy. But BuzzFeed's search for a longform editor signifies more than just a new hire. The announcement, which spawned headlines such as "BuzzFeed (yes, BuzzFeed) begins search for 'longform editor,'" aggravated ongoing tensions between the intersecting worlds of print and online journalism. The question became not whom would BuzzFeed hire, but how the site previously known for memes and cat photos could delve deeper into investigative, in-depth reporting.

Roll Call's Next Editor: Who Will it Be? (FishbowlDC)
As Roll Call searches high and low for a new editor, we bring you the prospects and tell you why each candidate will get the job offer and why he or she will not. CQ Roll Call has faced a lot of changes, layoffs and departures this year and more tweaks are on the way with the official merging of CQ Today and Roll Call in November.

Two Ways Agencies Can Make Their Clients' Lives Easier (Ad Age)
During Advertising Week, much of the content on panels is theoretical -- execs ponder compensation models and what mobile advertising's share of market will be in five years. But in a rare moment, one panel on Wednesday delivered some practical, actionable advice from senior marketers.

Nothing Wrong with a Little Media Chaos -- Clear Channel CEO (paidContent)
The key to media investing is driving towards what consumers are crazy about, according to MTV founder and Clear Channel CEO, Bob Pittman. "If consumers love something, we'll figure out a way to scale and monetize it. If not, it's a house of cards," said Pittman, who has invested in successful companies like Thrillist and Zynga.

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