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Wednesday, Oct 31

Morning Media Newsfeed 10.31.12

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Streaming Sandy Coverage Drives Record Traffic for Local TV Websites (TVSpy)
Stations who streamed their live coverage of Hurricane Sandy on their websites and mobile apps are reporting record traffic according to Broadcasting & Cable. Broadcasting & Cable The ABC O&O, WPVI in Philadelphia, hit a single day record of 13.1 million page views across mobile and desktop on Monday, Oct. 29 and had over 9 million page views on Sunday, Oct. 28. Meanwhile, the ABC owned WABC station in New York City also hit a record 7 million page views on mobile and desktop on Oct. 29, when it had 2 million unique visitors. AppNewser On Monday, The Weather Channel had its no. 1 all-time day across platforms, recording 450 million page views from all properties. THR Perhaps spurred by an op-ed in The New York Times, cable networks on Tuesday began expanding beyond their Sandy coverage to dip a toe back in the political pool. Philadelphia Inquirer In social media terms, Sandy is without a doubt the most-covered storm, in depth, breadth, and detail, in history. On Aug. 30, 2005, when Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, Facebook was a toddler of a year and a half, YouTube a babe of six months, and Twitter nonexistent. CNN Superstorm Sandy has been the year's second most-talked-about topic on Facebook, after the Super Bowl, according to data provided to CNN by the social network. WSJ As the power flickered off in millions of homes around New York and New Jersey, many like Ms. Ben-Shahar had been forced to give up on television and radio and rely almost exclusively on social media, where the storm played out on the tiny screens of mobile devices in a hugely fast-paced alternative narrative of destruction. GigaOM A New York man who used Twitter to send fake news reports during Hurricane Sandy is one of the city's biggest jerks. But should he also face criminal charges?

Disney To Acquire Lucasfilm and Promises Star Wars Episode 7 (GalleyCat)
Disney will acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, promising to bring Star Wars Episode 7 in 2015 ("with more feature films expected") as it takes control of the science fiction franchise. NYT / Media Decoder The sale provides a corporate home for a private company that grew from Mr. Lucas's hugely successful Star Wars series, and became an enduring force in creating effects-driven science fiction entertainment for large and small screens. THR Kathleen Kennedy, current co-chair of Lucasfilm, will become Lucasfilm's president, reporting to Walt Disney Studios chair Alan Horn as part of the stock and cash transaction. Ad Age "If Disney is really trying to focus on the tentpole, event pictures, and given that this is something that has huge carryover value in the parks and merchandise business, it certainly makes sense," said Matthew Harrigan, an analyst at Wunderlich Securities in Denver. "This is just the paradigm of the sustainable Hollywood franchise." TechCrunch Selling to a massive company like Disney would be a worthy goal for many standalone businesses, but this is an especially interesting situation because George Lucas was Lucasfilm's sole owner, controlling 100 percent of the company. That means that there was no investor pressure here for "an exit." The decision to sell was completely his own.

Political Ads Gear Up for Final Push of Campaign (Bloomberg Businessweek / AP)
The campaign ad war has intensified and expanded in the last week of the presidential contest, with President Barack Obama, Republican challenger Mitt Romney and allied independent groups making their final, full-throated advertising pitches to voters in the major battlegrounds. CNN / Political Ticker... Mitt Romney will soon run campaign advertisements on Pennsylvania television, a Republican source told CNN on Tuesday. The Romney campaign later released an energy-themed ad which specifically mentions Pennsylvania. The Detroit News The Obama campaign said Tuesday it is launching its first campaign ads in Michigan this week, just hours after a political action committee backing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney started running ads in the state. TIME / The Page Both sides have enough money for these end-game ad forays. The real issues remain candidate time/visits, the psy-ops involved here, and the belief of some Republicans that a combination of Minnesota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania could surprise on Election Day.

U.S. Newspaper Circulation Slips Further (WSJ)
Average daily circulation at the U.S.'s largest newspapers edged down during the six months ended in September from a year earlier, adding to declines for an industry that has been beset by weak advertising and competition from a swath of digital technologies, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. The Ledger Digital circulation now accounts for 15.3 percent of newspapers' total circulation mix, up from 9.8 percent in September 2011, according to the Audit Bureau. NYT / Media Decoder Those figures include readers using smartphones, tablets, e-readers or metered websites, the bureau said. HuffPost / AP The Wall Street Journal kept its position as the no. 1 newspaper. Its average circulation grew 9.4 percent to 2.3 million, largely because more readers are paying to read content on its website and mobile devices. Digital circulation grew about 257,000 from a year ago, more than making up for a loss of nearly 60,000 in print.

Websites Scramble As Hurricane Sandy Floods Data Centers (HuffPost)
As Hurricane Sandy made landfall Monday, the freak storm flooded data centers in New York City, taking down several major websites and services -- including the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Gawker -- that depended on them to run their businesses. Wired It may be the quickest cloud conversion in history. Monday night, news site BuzzFeed went down in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. By 6 a.m. EDT, BuzzFeed's flooded data center was still waiting to be bailed out by the Army Corps. of Engineers. But the site itself was back online -- hosted on Amazon's cloud computing platform. The Hill / Hillicon Valley Gawker didn't have as much luck. Its site was not fully restored by Tuesday afternoon, greeting visitors with the message: "Our New York City data center is still offline thanks to Hurricane Sandy. We are working as quickly as possible to restore the full site, but in the interim you can view updates at http://updates.gawker.com."

Google Introduces New Emergency Resources in Response to Sandy (NYT / Bits)
Google has scrambled to post online resources for people who want information about the deadly storm Sandy, including maps showing evacuation routes and shelters and a new service that sends emergency alerts to Google users. USA Today The Public Alerts system -- which provides warnings for natural disasters and emergency situations based on targeted Google searches and location-specific enquiries -- was planned for release later this week but the team decided to speed things "so they can be helpful to people," given the effects of the hurricane in New York. SlashGear Google gathers its Public Alerts data from "a network of partners," which includes the USGS and NOAA, which utilize the Common Alerting Protocol. More partnerships are planned in the future, according to the announcement. A list of all current public alerts are available on Google's main Public Alerts page.

Gmail Previews New Compose and Reply Interfaces (SocialTimes)
Gmail, while struggling with service problems Tuesday, launched a preview of a soon-to-launch change to the compose feature designed to make it easier for users to consult other messages while writing a new one. CNET The new pop out box works like a chat box -- you can write more than one email at a time and minimize a message box if you want to finish the email later, according to a blog post by product manager Phil Sharp. readwrite The new window is faster and allows for better multitasking. It still allows formatting, but all the knobs and buttons are hidden unless you need them. The simpler compose window is actually more powerful than the old one, since it now allows easy placement of in-line image attachments.

Can Crocs Make a Comeback? (PRNewser)
Though the popularity of Crocs appeared to peak as their novelty factor faded, the company recently implemented a marketing strategy designed to re-brand its products as (wait for it) an upscale alternative to competitors -- namely Skechers and Wolverine Worldwide -- offering similar but less expensive shoes. Chicago Tribune / Reuters Crocs is banking on new products such as its retro line to boost sales during the holiday season and will sell the shoes at a slightly higher price. Most of the company's products sell for $25 to $50. The company has been trying to reduce a pile up of its rubber clogs that enjoyed huge patronage in the early 2000s, but whose popularity has since declined.

Facebook Users Love To Check-in To Home, Pennsylvania (AllFacebook)
Most Facebook users utilize the check-in feature when they're on vacation or returning home from a trip. But the third-most checked-in place in the world, according to SocialBakers statistics, is an unincorporated town tucked into central Pennsylvania: Home.

Liberal Advocacy Groups Push for Free Wireless Internet (The Hill / Hillicon Valley)
Ten advocacy groups launched a coalition on Tuesday to promote the use of free, open Wi-Fi networks. The groups argue that widespread wireless Internet access would benefit users and lead to new technological innovations.

What Does 'Off the Record' Mean? (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Today's ethics question: Can a reporter report on the fact that he or she had an off-the-record conversation with someone?

Taylor Swift Raises the Bar With a Savvy 'Red' Marketing Campaign (Los Angeles Times / Pop & Hiss)
The multi-pronged delivery of Taylor Swift's album is part of a sophisticated marketing campaign that has contributed to the extraordinary first-week sales for "Red" of 1.21 million copies according to Nielsen SoundScan, the biggest first-week figure in more than a decade.

10,000 Apps in, Microsoft Tries to Find the Turbo Button for Windows 8 Development (TheNextWeb)
App stores are big, empty spaces that need filling; and much like a library shelf, even 10 percent empty space cries out loudly. In short, you either need to be bursting, or you're not even in the running.

EverySignal Launches to Help Cut Through the Social Media Clutter (SiliconBeat)
Every few days you're bound to see it. Someone posts on Facebook upset they're not seeing all their posts from all their friends. With 30 billion pieces of content shared on Facebook each month, well, it's all too much to keep up with, and yet, you can't but worry about what you're missing. That's where EverySignal comes in.

5 Apps To Help Document Post-Storm Insurance Claims (AppNewser)
As the East Coast begins to recover from Hurricane Sandy, there is a lot of cleaning up to do. To help you document property damage to your home or car, we've put together a list of apps that can come in handy. Below we've linked to iOS and Android apps that can help you with either documenting damage, filing claims or simply tracking possessions.

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