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Morning Media Newsfeed 10.25.12

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Political TV Ads Shatter Records (Adweek / Election 2012)
Tired of all those political ads on TV? Brace yourself. The past few months were only a warm-up for the coming days leading up to Nov. 6, when about one-third of all the political advertising for the entire election cycle will air. USA Today The presidential race's ad wars are breaking campaign records, with more than 915,000 commercials aired on broadcast and cable stations since President Obama and Mitt Romney began competing against each other in earnest. UPI The number of political ads in that 143-day period represented a 44.5 percent jump from the 637,000 ads aired in the same period of 2008 and a 43.7 percent increase from the 634,000 ads aired that period in 2004, a University study found. The Daily Beast / Election Beast Romney may be gaining in the polls, but his campaign spots trail President Obama's, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks and analyzes political advertisement spending data. In the past three weeks, pro-Obama ads have outnumbered pro-Romney ads 112,000 to 97,000, with pro-Obama ads leading in 13 of 15 top media markets. The Guardian / Elections 2012 The research also found that the record number of ads is concentrated on fewer states than in 2008 -- meaning a small number of Americans in the swing states are being bombarded with campaign messages on a scale never seen before. Tampa Bay Online A new report shows the Tampa market has risen to No. 3 in the nation in the volume of presidential political advertisements, up from No. 4 last month and now joined by Orlando in the top five. Politico Republican strategists have suggested for months that Romney's campaign was saving its campaign cash for a major ad blitz in October when independent and undecided voters would finally be paying attention to the race. The Washington Post / Campaign 2012 The Obama campaign and its supporters spent $77 million on 112,730 advertisements from Oct. 1 to 21, according to the Wesleyan Media Project. Romney and his allies, by contrast, spent more, $87 million, on 15,000 fewer spots.

ABC News President Ben Sherwood: 'We Are Doing Exactly What Robin has Wanted Every Step of the Way' (TVNewser)
Ben Sherwood gives a detailed interview on the state of ABC News to the Hollywood Reporter's Marisa Guthrie. The network president gives his thoughts on GMA's competition with NBC's Today, the joint venture between ABC and Univision, and Martha Raddatz's performance as the vice presidential debate moderator. THR So far, Sherwood, 48, can tick off a content-sharing deal with Yahoo! that has grown ABC News' monthly page views 85 percent to 293 million, according to comScore; a joint venture with Spanish-language network Univision set to launch next summer; and GMA's snapping of Today's 16-year stranglehold atop the morning-news rankings. HuffPost The show was accused of attempting to capitalize on Roberts' illness for ratings, a charge the ABC News chief did not take lightly. "We are doing exactly what Robin has wanted every step of the way," Sherwood told Guthrie. "Every frame of video you see, every mention is our attempt to fulfill Robin's wishes. Chronicling her journey is a very important part, in her view, of her healing process." ABC15 KNXV Oprah is expected to guest host Good Morning America Thursday, while Roberts is on extended medical leave.

Donald Trump and the NBC News/Entertainment Industrial Complex (TVNewser)
On CNBC Wednesday afternoon, John Harwood said of reality TV host Donald Trump: "[Tuesday] Donald Trump was on our air saying he would have a major announcement about the race. It wasn't major at all, turned out just to be another publicity stunt by Donald Trump appealing to the crackpot fringe of American politics that raises questions about Barack Obama's American-ness." LA Times / Politics Now The big "reveal" from the sneering New Yorker turned out to be merely this: He would offer to give $5 million to Obama's favorite charity if the president would release his college applications and records and his "passport information." Politico Tweets spanning the political spectrum skewered Trump Wednesday after his much-publicized announcement about President Obama -- which he billed as a bombshell -- turned out to be a bust. HuffPost President Obama addressed his contentious relationship with Trump during an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Wednesday. When Leno asked about the reality TV show star's pledge to donate $5 million to charity if the president agrees to release his college records and passport application, Obama laughed off the challenge. ABC News / Political Punch "You know, this all dates back to when we were growing up together in Kenya," Obama joked, alluding to Trump's repeated birther claims. "We had constant run-in on the soccer field, and he wasn't very good at it. When we finally moved to America, I thought it would be over."

Incoming New York Times CEO Already in Trouble (FishbowlNY)
Mark Thompson -- the New York Times' new CEO -- hasn't officially started yet, but he's already facing some heat for things that happened in his past. Thompson was the former head of the BBC during Jimmy Savile's tenure. Savile, a celebrity who died last year, is now the target of allegations that he sexually abused hundreds of young girls. HuffPost / Reuters Incoming New York Times chief Mark Thompson said on Wednesday his U.S. employer had given him full support since a sexual abuse scandal erupted at Britain's BBC, where he had been in charge until last month. New York Daily News The investigation into whether Savile abused scores of children was killed by the BBC last year while Thompson was in charge, prompting Times public editor Margaret Sullivan to call on the paper to thoroughly examine Thompson and consider "whether he is the right person for the job, given this turn of events," she wrote. Philly.com / National News In a letter to conservative lawmaker Rob Wilson, Thompson laid out his defense, saying he never worked with Savile, never worked on any of the entertainer's programs, and indeed, never met the man.

Facebook, comScore Study Touts Benefits of Paid Media, Even for Larger Brands (AllFacebook)
Facebook is hoping to maintain the momentum it sparked with its third-quarter earnings call Tuesday by backing up the words of co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, and CFO David Ebersman with data in the form of a joint study with comScore, Understanding Paid and Earned Reach on Facebook. The social network and the Internet analytics outfit set out to demonstrate that paid media is maximizing the reach and value generated by brands advertising on Facebook. Forbes / The New Persuaders Essentially, the study says, brands can reach not only their fans but people very similar in their shopping behavior and affinity for the brands by buying Facebook ads, rather than relying mostly on page posts that in any case reach as little as 16 percent of fans and even fewer non-fans. The Washington Post Facebook stock closed way up Wednesday as optimistic investors reacted to Facebook's better-than-expected earnings report.

Barnes & Noble Has Credit Card Breach in Stores (GalleyCat)
Barnes & Noble has been attacked by hackers and the PIN pads in 63 of its stores have been compromised. In response, the book retailer has discontinued the use of PIN pads in all of its stores nationwide. Boston Globe / AP Barnes & Noble Inc. said Wednesday that the tampering of devices used by customers to swipe credit and debit cards in 63 of its stores was a "sophisticated criminal effort" to steal information, and reiterated it's working with federal law enforcement authorities. VentureBeat It did assure customers, however, that its "customer database is secure" and that no purchases made online were sullied by the hack.

Pinterest Debuts on comScore's Top 50 Websites (SocialTimes)
comScore released the list of the 50 most-trafficked U.S.-owned Web properties Wednesday, and Pinterest just made the cut. It's the first time the upstart social network has made the list, but MySpace still came out ahead, securing the 47th spot. CNET Using its Media Metrix survey service, research firm comScore found that Google was the top site in September, with 187 million visitors, and was closely followed by Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Facebook.

Windows 8: Make-or-Break Moment for Microsoft CEO (Time / AP)
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer can't afford to be wrong about Windows 8. On Thursday in New York, Microsoft will unveil a dramatic overhaul of its ubiquitous Windows operating system. If it flops, the failure will reinforce perceptions that Microsoft is falling behind competitors such as Apple, Google and Amazon as its stranglehold on personal computers becomes less relevant in an era of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. The Guardian Windows 8 is a significant shift from previous versions of the software because it is based on touchscreens and smartphones, rather than the traditional PC and mouse. Wired But there's another battle that's been brewing for years. It's in the cloud: the fight for the hearts and minds of the geeks who will be writing the online apps we'll be using on our desktops, notebooks, smartphones, iPads and, maybe, Microsoft's Surface tablets. So far, it's a battle that Microsoft is losing.

Martin Agency Officially Bestows CCO Title upon Joe Alexander (AgencySpy)
We were wondering why that sense of deja vu was creeping over us. Four months after first reporting that Joe Alexander was essentially replacing John Norman as the creative leader of the Martin Agency, the Richmond, Va. operation has finally anointed the former as chief creative officer. Adweek Alexander is a veteran of the Interpublic Group shop, having worked there since 1991. For years, he also has been a key player on Walmart, the agency's largest account by revenue. So, his promotion to the top creative job is not entirely surprising.

BuzzFeed Adapts its Branded Content Approach to Political Advertising, and Obama's In (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Add this to the signs that BuzzFeed is becoming a serious player in the media business: campaign ads. More specifically, native, BuzzFeed-y, campaign ads. This month Obama for America became the first political campaign to advertise on BuzzFeed.

Does PR Have a Creativity Problem? (PRNewser)
Our friends at the excellent Spin Sucks blog asked a pointed question earlier this week: "Will a lack of creativity be the demise of the PR industry?" Given the fact that our business continues to grow while so many others struggle, we see the "demise" aspect of this headline as a rhetorical glimpse into the distant future. But it's very interesting. Stated another way: Are PR and marketing professionals so scared of offending someone, anyone that they avoid all things colorful, interesting and remotely creative?

Newsweek and the (Relative) Health of Print Mags (CJR / The Audit)
Two key questions for magazines are whether they can transfer subscribers over to tablets while continuing to get paid for and how much advertisers will pay on that format compared to print. Newsweek is trying to transition as many of its 1.5 million subscribers over to digital all at once, which almost certainly won't work.

Self-Publishing Sees Triple-Digit Growth Since 2007 (Publishers Weekly)
The number of self-published books produced annually in the U.S. has nearly tripled, growing 287 percent since 2006, with 235,625 print and electronic titles released in 2011, according to a new analysis of data from Bowker. GalleyCat At the same time, the marketplace is dominated by four companies: CreateSpace, Smashwords, Author Solutions and Lulu.

Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! Fix Weakness in Email Services (SlashGear)
The three tech giants Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! have fixed a major weakness in their respective email systems that would allow spoofed messages to appear legit.

How Facebook Pages Are Still at a Disadvantage in the News Feed (AllFacebook)
So you're posting awesome content from your Facebook page at the correct times, but you still aren't getting many comments, likes, or shares? It might not be your fault. As Mike Maghsoudi of PostRocket points out, pages are competing for real estate on the news feed with user posts, which usually look a lot nicer and more inviting for engagement.

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