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Morning Media Newsfeed 10.26.12

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Random House and Penguin Consider Combining Forces (GalleyCat)
Thursday Pearson confirmed that the publishing company is considering "a possible combination of Penguin and Random House." Pearson had this statement: “Pearson confirms that it is discussing with Bertelsmann a possible combination of Penguin and Random House. The two companies have not reached agreement and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate." Publishers Weekly Their combined American operations would have sales of about $1.8 billion, giving Random House Penguin about a 16 percent share of the trade market based on BookStats industry estimates of trade sales of just under $12.5 billion (excluding religion). The Guardian A merger would bring together two of the world's "big six" publishers to create a new powerhouse that would publish 25 percent of all books sold in the UK. NYT / Media Decoder The potential consolidation comes as traditional publishers try to compete with dominant technology companies like Amazon, Apple and Google that have gained power in the eBook market. Bloomberg Businessweek "Strategically it makes sense for Pearson as there are synergies to be gained from the merger," said Ian Whittaker, an analyst at Liberum Capital Ltd. in London. "In an industry that is facing structural problems, the easiest way to get profits are synergies and cost cutting." LA Times / Jacket Copy The rise in eBooks had an effect on Random House's bottom line: A significant 25 percent of its revenues came from eBooks. It's fair to note that its eBooks sales were propelled by the major international erotic blockbuster 50 Shades of Grey and its two sequels. New York Daily News / Page Views But the book industry is steadily on the decline and has already faced massive layoffs. Some analysts have wondered whether Pearson, which focuses primarily on education materials, would sell off Penguin. THR Given the size of the two companies any deal is likely to face regulatory scrutiny in the United States and Europe.

'Frankenstorm' Could Wreak Havoc on Morning Show Halloween Plans (TVNewser)
As we told you Wednesday, two of the three morning shows are going all-out next week with outdoor Halloween-themed shows -- Today at Rockefeller Plaza and GMA in Times Square. Even if the storm passes, it will likely be a major news story that morning affecting tens of millions of people in the Northeast. I mean, do you really want to be dressed like Snooki, talking about how thousands are without power? The Washington Post / Erik Wemple The debates are over, the campaigns are hugging their talking points and the polls are moving in micro-increments. In other words, it's an ideal time for some other news story to sweep in and wash the almost-over presidential campaign to the side for a few days. New York / Daily Intel As adherents of journalism, we have a sacred duty to our readers -- nay, to society as a whole -- to keep the public informed while remaining calm and level-headed, to report the news without sensationalism, and to avoid panic-mongering at all costs. But holy shit, everyone, a giant storm is going to destroy New York next week and everyone needs to start freaking out immediately!

Networks, AP Changing Exit Poll Strategy for Election Night (HuffPost / AP)
A growth in early voting and a tough economy for the media are forcing changes to the exit poll system that television networks and The Associated Press depend upon to deliver the story on Election Night, all with the pressure-filled backdrop of a tight presidential race. AllFacebook And as we close in on the end of what's been dubbed the first social election, Facebook continues to prove that it's more than just a place to tag friends in photos or share updates about family. The social network is a tool used in the presidential campaigns' get out the vote efforts, known as GOTV to politicos. TheNextWeb There are numerous places on the Web where you can find election results, but there's not just one place to get the complete and balanced picture. Thursday, Microsoft announced it has put together a solution to help get rid of the noise on the Internet while also giving you a place to get a "holistic and balanced view" of what's happening in the world of politics: Bing Elections. CBS Denver You would think that your friends would be a refuge from this ugliness. However, more people than ever before are finding that their own social media accounts are as bitter as a battlefield for politics as any TV screen or radio station. ReadWrite Call this the first post-PC U.S. presidential election. Sure, in 2008 we had iPhones and Android was celebrating its first birthday, but the smartphone revolution was just beginning and the iPad was still a gleam in Steve Jobs' eye. We've come a long way. But as radically as mobile devices are changing our relationship with media, the experience still has a long way to go before it matches the power and convenience of plain old TV. TVNewser Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism has a new study out looking at where Americans get their campaign news fix. The good news for TV: cable news and local news still hold the No. 1 and No. 2 slots, respectively.

How the Networks Handled Trump's Publicity Stunt (TVNewser)
Reality TV host Donald Trump launched a new publicity stunt Wednesday in which he said he would give $5 million to a charity of President Obama's choice, so long as the president releases his school and passport records "To Mr. Trump's satisfaction." Trump appeared on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight and FNC's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren to talk about his ridiculous offer. Obama himself responded on The Tonight Show. HuffPost Barbara Walters had a personal message for her friend Trump on Thursday: stop the birther antics. LA Times / Show Tracker Even die-hard Republican Elisabeth Hasselbeck wasn't impressed with Trump's stunt. "If anything, why aren't you asking for something that's really important?" Hasselbeck wondered. "Like the information about Benghazi?" New York Daily News Trump took his obsession with President Obama's background to a new level with an appearance on CBS' Late Show With David Letterman on Thursday night. One day after his "bombshell" announcement that he would donate $5 million to the charity of Obama's choice if the president would release his college transcripts and passport records, Trump told Letterman he would be willing to shell out even more dough.

Keith Olbermann Casts a Wide Net in Job Search (Forbes / Mixed Media)
Think Keith Olbermann has burned his last bridge in the television business? He doesn't think so. Seven months after he got dismissed by Current TV, the temperamental host is aggressively job-shopping, and he's not being too picky about it. TVNewser Forbes' Jeff Bercovici cites people familiar with the matter as saying that Olbermann "has expressed interest in taking over as anchor of existing shows and in starting a new show." HuffPost The broadcaster was fired from Current TV in March and is currently embroiled in a nasty lawsuit with his former employer. Before landing at Al Gore's news channel, Olbermann abruptly exited MSNBC amidst public clashes with network management.

Windows 8 Reception Varies Among Magazines, Newspapers (WSJ / Digits)
There is little agreement in the publishing world on how to greet Microsoft's arrival Thursday into the increasingly crowded field of tablets. Just two of the magazine publishers, Condé Nast and Bonnier, made apps out of their titles available through the Windows Store at launch, though a third, Meredith, launched apps of non-magazine content for the new operating system. CNN Money Since its 2010 debut, no tablet has come close to unseating the mighty iPad. The many contenders can all be tossed in two piles: "Me too" devices or cheaper/smaller tablets. Neither has dealt Apple a serious blow, and the iPad Mini -- unveiled on Tuesday -- is likely to solidify Apple's dominance. But Windows 8 offers a compelling third way to take on the iPad: by putting a full PC experience on a tablet. AppNewser Microsoft's new operating system officially launched Thursday, and the first native apps are being announced in anticipation of the moment when consumers get it in their hot little hands.

Apple Meets Sales Forecasts, but iPad Sales Slump (CBS News / AP)
Apple missed Wall Street earnings expectations for the second straight quarter, as iPad sales fell short of analyst forecasts. The slowdown in the growth of iPad sales was not unexpected, as the rumor mill correctly predicted that Apple would launch a smaller, cheaper iPad. The Guardian With signs of consumer demand reviving in the UK and US, analysts hope Apple's next quarter will benefit from a revamped iPad, its iPhone 5, which chief executive Tim Cook called "the largest product ramp-up in Apple's history" and its new iPad Mini announced this week.

CNN Takes Down 'Do Hormones Drive Women's Votes?' Story After Twitter Backlash (Yahoo! News / The Ticket)
A CNN.com story headlined "Do hormones drive women's votes?" sparked a social media backlash that lasted for seven hours Wednesday before the network removed the post late that night. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Here's a taste of what the piece said: "New research suggests that hormones may influence female voting choices differently, depending on whether a woman is single or in a committed relationship."

LinkedIn Is Betting on Video Content to Boost Engagement in B2B Marketing (SocialTimes)
Professional networking site LinkedIn recently added self-serve video ads that connect to YouTube to give marketers a way to insert their videos into LinkedIn's existing ad units.

Amazon's Q3 Results Fall Short of Analyst Expectations (AllThingsD)
Amazon's revenue in the third quarter narrowly missed analyst projections, and its losses were wider than expected.

Twitter Drives the Most Traffic, Facebook the Most Revenue, Says Study (AllTwitter)
Twitter drives the most traffic of all the major social networks, but it's Facebook that generates the most revenue, reveals a new study by Eventbrite. Shares made on Twitter trigger, on average, 33 visits to websites, compared to 14 for Facebook and 10 for LinkedIn. But the value of that share skews heavily in Facebook's favor, with its $4.15 revenue rate more than twice that of Twitter's ($1.85) and four times that of LinkedIn ($0.92).

Chanel No. 5 Surges on Viral Video Chart, Aided by Brad Pitt Parodies (Ad Age / Digital)
When Chanel hired Brad Pitt as its first spokesman for its signature fragrance, Chanel No. 5, the choice seemed in keeping with the glamorous brand, which had used Nicole Kidman and Audrey Tautou as spokeswomen in the past. But where those ladies starred in ads that were gorgeous mini-films, Pitt's commercial has turned out to confuse many viewers.

BBC Trust Chairman Predicts Resignations in Wake of Jimmy Savile Abuse Probes (THR)
The chairman of the BBC Trust in latest TV interviews predicted resignations at the U.K. public broadcaster amid probes in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal. And he said new BBC director general George Entwistle and others have questions to answer in connection with the scandal, which he called a "tsunami of filth."

The Mobile Shift is Happening (SiliconBeat)
Recent earnings reports by some big tech companies (Google, Yahoo!, Facebook among others) have focused attention on the fact that increasing numbers of people use mobile devices instead of desktop computers to go online. That's not a news flash to anyone who's been paying attention. But a study released this week by the research firm eMarketer helps make the point.

New Study Reveals Working from Home Bolsters Happiness and Productivity (MediaJobsDaily)
This just in... a new study published by Stanford indicates working from home results in a spike of productivity and happiness. Keep in mind the study was only conducted at one company.

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