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Wednesday, Oct 24

Morning Media Newsfeed 10.24.12

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59.2 Million Watch Final Presidential Debate (TVNewser)
Between the 59.2 million that watched the final presidential debate across 11 TV networks, the 10.7 million watching Monday Night Football on ESPN and the 8.1 million watching the NLCS Game 7 on FOX, Monday night was no ordinary night on TV. That's 78 million watching just those three programs. But because of football and baseball, the debate moderated by CBS' Bob Schieffer took a viewership hit from the first two debates. NYT / Media Decoder All of the Nielsen numbers significantly understate the total viewing audience for the debates because they do not count viewers outside their homes, nor do they count those who viewed the debates on computers, tablets or cellphones. YouTube, for instance, said it served up millions of views of each debate, though it declined to say exactly how many. HuffPost NBC topped the broadcast and cable news networks overall on Monday, drawing 12.4 million viewers. ABC came in second with 11.7 million viewers, and CBS trailed with 8.4 million viewers. Fox News won the ratings battle on cable news with 11.5 million viewers. San Francisco Chronicle / Politics Blog The pundits have declared Barack Obama to be the winner of Monday's third and final presidential debate of the 2012 general election. The big loser? It's not Mitt Romney. The loser in the bid for buzz was social media itself. The Daily Beacon Primetime television slots, commercial spots, the Internet and newspaper space aren't the only mediums being filled with constant chatter regarding the presidential election. For UT students Katie Rall, sophomore in biology, and Matt Kyker, junior in accounting, Twitter and Facebook have become saturated with Obama vs. Romney talk, too. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Alec MacGillis, a senior editor at The New Republic, has written an essay on behalf of "the liberal media," explaining how "our" love of narrative has led us to overstate the former Gov. Mitt Romney's momentum for the sake of keeping ourselves entertained in an otherwise unexciting campaign season. The New Republic / Alec MacGillis We crave narrative. And let's face it, the narrative of the 2012 campaign was a real dud. THR In separate actions, the American Federation of Musicians, IATSE and the WGA West's PAC have endorsed President Obama's re-election bid.

Major Reorganization at Simon & Schuster (GalleyCat)
Simon & Schuster announced a major restructuring Tuesday, bringing together all its imprints into four publishing groups. Free Press publisher Martha Levin and Free Press editor-in-chief Dominick Anfuso will both leave the company as part of the reorganization. WSJ Free Press is best known for its nonfiction titles such as Sheila Bair's recently published account of the country's fiscal crisis, Bull by the Horns. But the imprint has struggled in recent years to make money, said a person familiar with the situation. NYT / Media Decoder According to a memo sent to employees on Tuesday by Carolyn Reidy, Simon & Schuster's chief executive, the reorganization "will lead to a sharper editorial focus for our imprints even as it takes consideration of the natural affinities among them." Simon & Schuster is part of the CBS Corporation. Publishers Weekly The major integration moves include bringing the Free Press imprint under Karp's S&S group, while the religious publisher Howard Books becomes part of the Atria group, and Touchstone, which had reported to Levin, will become part of Scribner.

Apple Introduces $329 iPad Mini (AppNewser)
Apple introduced an iPad Mini, a fourth generation iPad, a new version of iBooks, a new version of iBooks Author, and various Macs in a press conference Tuesday. Publishers Weekly The iPad Mini has a 7.9 inch screen (diagonally), and is basically equivalent in power and features to Apple's iPad 2, the second-generation iPad released in 2011. The device, which comes in both black and white, fits easily in one hand and in a pocket or purse. CNET / Ask Maggie I know people love Apple. And I'm sure there will be millions of people who will buy the iPad Mini this holiday season. But at a price of $329 for its least expensive model, I think the 8-inch tablet is still priced beyond many consumers' budgets. LostRemote In many ways, we can thank Apple for popularizing the second screen. To date, 100 million iPads have been sold in just over two years, accounting for 91 percent of all tablet Web traffic, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook in his presentation Tuesday. Yahoo! News / AP It only takes a few minutes playing with the iPad Mini to realize the scaled-down tablet computer will be a sure-fire hit with longtime Apple disciples and potential converts who've been looking for a more affordable entry into the mobile computing market.

MTV Slates President Obama Interview, Invitation Extended to Mitt Romney (TVNewser)
MTV will interview President Obama for a live half-hour special to air on the MTV channels Friday at 5 p.m. Yahoo! News / AP Viewers are being invited to submit questions for the president on MTV's Facebook page. MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway will interview Obama at the White House, while Andrew Jenks will be reporting from a Washington-area college campus. CNN / Political Ticker... The president's appearance on MTV will come two days after he sits down with Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, and just over a week after he sat in the hot seat on Comedy Central's The Daily Show. The Washington Post / The TV Column Obama's also in talks, as is GOP hopeful Mitt Romney, about being interviewed, separately, on the eve of Election Day, during halftime of ESPN's Monday Night Football.

Zynga and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (SocialTimes)
As Apple commanded the tech world's attention Tuesday, Zynga broke some bad news to its employees: Hundreds of them were being laid off, and The Ville was being sent out to pasture, as sister blog Inside Social Games reported. Bloomberg Businessweek Zynga Inc., the social-game maker that held an initial public offering last year, is cutting 5 percent of staff, shutting offices and ending more than a dozen titles to compensate for slowing sales growth. Forbes / The .0000001% Tuesday's cull is the latest sign that points to strife within the gaming company, coming a day before the company announces third-quarter earnings. In recent months, Zynga's poor performance on the stock market -- the stock is down more than 73 percent since May 17 -- has been punctuated by the departures of executives, lawsuits and pared financial outlooks.

Netflix Shares Slide as Subscriber Goal Falls Short (NYT / Media Decoder)
Netflix has reached a milestone: its streaming video service now has 25 million subscribing households in the United States, nearly a third of the homes that have broadband. But the service is not adding subscribers fast enough to satisfy investors or to match its own forecasts. The Washington Post / AP Netflix slashed its prediction for how many U.S. video-streaming subscribers it would add this year after subpar third-quarter results, causing a sharp sell-off in its stock in after-hours trading. The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company said it added 1.2 million net streaming subscribers in the U.S. in the three months through September, which was on the low end of its forecast for gains between 1 million to 1.8 million. Forbes / Moral Hazard Netflix now expects its U.S. streaming subscribers to be between 26.4 and 27.1 million in the fourth quarter, which is up more than 20 percent from the start of the year, but still short of their original estimate.

Facebook Continues Mobile Monetization Push in Third-Quarter Earnings Call (AllFacebook)
Over the past year, Facebook has made a more aggressive push to make money on its mobile platform. While overall revenues in the company are down, Facebook announced in its third-quarter report that it is making impressive progress in its shift to mobile, as 14 percent of advertising revenue in the third quarter came from mobile. Wired In after-hours trading, Facebook shares rose 10 percent on the news, indicating Wall Street is beginning to put behind its worries about Facebook's decelerating sales growth, driven by a shift from desktop usage to mobile usage and from U.S. growth to international growth. The Christian Science Monitor / AP Facebook's monthly user base grew 26 percent from a year earlier, to 1.01 billion. Some 60 percent of users access Facebook using a mobile device, the company said. At the end of the second quarter, less than 57 percent of its then-955 million users came from mobile devices.

Four Playwrights Win Whiting Writers' Awards (GalleyCat)
The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation has given $50,000 to 10 promising writers for the 2012 Whiting Writers' Awards. In a new record for the awards, four playwrights received awards. NYT / Arts Beat They include Danai Gurira, the Iowa-born and Zimbabwe-raised author of Eclipsed and The Convert, and Samuel D. Hunter, whose play The Whale is now in previews at Playwrights Horizons. Yahoo! News / AP Other playwrights announced Tuesday were Samuel D. Hunter, an Obie winner for A Bright New Boise; Mona Mansour and Meg Miroshnik. Alan Heathcock, whose story collection Volt was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, was among the fiction writers receiving a Whiting.

Shots Fired! BuzzFeed vs Breitbart (FishbowlDC)
In the hours leading up to Monday night's foreign policy debate, BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins dropped a bomb of a story about the empire that Andrew Breitbart built up in the years before his death. Coppins says that infighting and power struggles are plaguing the brand. BuzzFeed Less than a year after the sudden death of the conservative provocateur and pioneering blogger Andrew Breitbart, the Web empire he had begun to build under his own name is plagued by an unusual degree of disorganization and rampant infighting as his disciples battle for ownership of his legacy, according to current and former employees, and people close to the company.

Weather Channel Plans Programming Revamp (TVNewser)
At a company town hall meeting after its reorganization last week, The Weather Channel outlined a new name for its parent company and a revamp of its TV morning, dayside and primetime programming.

Jimmy Savile Scandal: BBC Awful... the Rest of Us Not So Great Either (The Guardian / News Blog)
It's not looking good for the BBC. It hasn't looked good since the ITV exposé of Savile's record first prompted denials from TV Centre and Broadcasting House that there had been any corporate cowardice or cover-up down the decades, let alone that Newsnight's investigation last year was canned because it might have skewered tributes to Saint Jimmy in the Christmas schedule. THR Mark Thompson, who left his role as the top executive of the BBC last month and is set to start as CEO of the New York Times Co. next month, continues to face questions about his role in the scandal about sexual abuse allegations against late TV host Savile.

Young and Old Differ on eBook Preferences (Yahoo! News / AP)
A new survey says there's a generation gap among eBook fans. Readers under 30 prefer cellphones and computers. Those over 30 like dedicated devices such as the Kindle.

Top European Facebook Exec to Leave in January (Mashable)
One of Facebook's top overseas employees announced she'll be leaving the company in January to serve as head of a UK technology investment organization. Joanna Shields, who has worked as Facebook's managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa since 2010, will now be overseeing Tech City, a British investment group aimed to support the growth of tech clusters in East London.

Todd Akin Campaign Posts Reporter's Email (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
In one of the stranger campaign moves of the 2012 cycle, Rep. Todd Akin's U.S. Senate campaign has published an email exchange with a local reporter regarding inquiries about four instances in the 1980s at which Akin was arrested during anti-abortion protests.

SiriusXM CEO Mel Karmazin to Step Down (The Wrap)
Mel Karmazin, the CEO of SiriusXM Radio, is stepping down from the company. Karmazin will depart on Feb. 1, following the expiration of his current employment agreement and a transition period.

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