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Wednesday, Nov 28

Morning Media Newsfeed 11.28.12

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Jeff Zucker in Advanced Talks to Take Over CNN Worldwide (TVNewser)
Former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker is in talks to become president of CNN Worldwide, someone close to Zucker tells TVNewser. Zucker would replace Jim Walton, who announced last summer that he'd be leaving the company at the end of the year. LA Times / Company Town Discussions with Zucker have heated up in the last few weeks and Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes and Turner Broadcasting Chairman Phil Kent are hoping to have an agreement locked up either by the end of this week or early next week, one person said. Talks could still fall apart given the delicate nature of the situation. NY Post Zucker is currently executive producer of the daytime show Katie, featuring Katie Couric, the telegenic former co-host of Today, which Zucker oversaw for nearly two decades. Zucker's Katie obligation runs only to the end of the year, sources said, though any new gig, such as the CNN job, could be complicated by his part-ownership in the syndicated show, distributed by Disney. Reuters Zucker gained a reputation as a news-producing whiz when he worked with Couric on NBC's Today show. Now he will face the challenge of turning around CNN, the channel that pioneered around-the-clock cable news coverage when it was launched in 1980 by founder Ted Turner, but then saw its primetime ratings hit a 21-year low in this year's second quarter. New York / Daily Intel Zucker taking the lead may not be a good sign for those who want to see a more highbrow cable news network. CNN was already rumored to be shopping for flashier on-air personalities and considering ideas for reality programs.

Jill Abramson: NY Times CEO Mark Thompson 'Full of Energy and Ideas' (FishbowlNY)
New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson says she and new Times CEO Mark Thompson have a strong relationship, and that in meetings, Thompson "seems full of energy and ideas." Bloomberg Businessweek "I have every confidence in him as CEO of The New York Times," Abramson said in a brief interview after a presentation at Business Insider's media and technology conference Tuesday. Thompson, who came in to lead Times Co. this month, has come under scrutiny for his management of the BBC. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Thompson was the BBC director general when the Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile was spiked. He has said he was not briefed on the investigation and had no knowledge of it being spiked, although he later said a reporter briefly informed him of it in December 2011. The Wrap / Media Alley While Abramson acknowledged the scandal at the BBC, she drew a distinction between her newsroom and these two pieces by columnists not under her oversight. "The people who've been saying he perhaps isn't the best choice for this job are the public editor -- an ombudsman or ombudswoman who doesn't work in the newsroom -- and one of our columnists," Abramson said. "Columnists work for the editorial page. They toil in the opinion realm, which I have nothing to do with." Capital New York And Abramson's legacy? What does she hope people will think about her reign at the Times after it comes to an end? "I want people to say that I protected and expanded the depth and breadth of our news report," she said, "and some version of what [former Times executive editor] Abe Rosenthal said he wanted on his tombstone was that he kept the paper straight. It's not just the paper now, but I want them to think I kept the place straight."

Simon & Schuster Opens Self-Publishing Service (GalleyCat)
Simon & Schuster has created Archway Publishing to help writers self-publish fiction, nonfiction, business and children's books. They will run the new service with help from Author Solutions, the self-publishing company acquired by Pearson for $116 million in July. NYT / Media Decoder Self-publishing is a rapidly growing sector of the book industry, but big publishers have been tentative about entering the market, partly for fear of tarnishing their brand by allowing content they have not reviewed to be published under their name. The Washington Post / AP Archway will offer a range of services, from a basic $1,599 package that includes "editorial assessment" and "cover copy review" to a $24,999 "Outreach" program for business books that features an "author profile video" and a reception at BookExpo America, the industry's annual national convention. USA Today According to Bowker, a research firm, 211,269 self-published titles were released last year, up more than 60 percent from 2010. A vast majority sold fewer than 100 copies, but enough were successful -- even hitting USA Today's Best-Selling Books list -- to draw attention to self-publishing. paidContent Simon & Schuster will monitor the sales of Archway titles and may sign some authors for traditional publishing deals. In recent months, the publisher signed self-published romance authors Jamie McGuire and Colleen Hoover.

Author Denies Apologizing After Fox News Ends Interview (The Wrap / The Box)
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Thomas E. Ricks, who was cut off on Fox News after saying the network was "operating as a wing of the Republican Party," denies a report that he apologized off the air. THR Ricks was an on-air guest for FNC Monday, where he accused the top-rated cable news network of hyping the story of four Americans who were killed in Benghazi and questioned anchor Jon Scott about the number of U.S. security consultants who died in Iraq. After Ricks said FNC was "operating as a wing of the Republican Party" by over-covering Benghazi, Scott cut the interview short. TVNewser FNC executive vice president of news Michael Clemente called Ricks' response "utterly dishonest," and told TVNewser what Ricks told FNC staffers after his segment: "I'm surprised by the General's utter dishonesty," Clemente says. "I'll refresh his memory -- what he said following the segment was, 'Sorry... I'm tired from a non-stop book tour.' Perhaps now he can finally get some rest." Media Matters for America Blog By quickly ushering the national security expert off the air and then having a staffer castigate him for being "rude," Fox proved it's not interested in having open debate. (Isn't it "rude" to cut an interview short because you don't like what the invited guest is saying?) The episode, and Fox's nervous, angry reaction, illustrated how crucial it is for the channel to try to maintain the facade that it's somehow a newsgathering organization.

The New York Times Wants to Keep Nate Silver, 'Expand on What He Does' (FishbowlNY)
At the Business Insider Ignite media summit in New York, New York Times editor Jill Abramson said that she "would love" to keep FiveThirtyEight blogger Nate Silver in the company through at least the next election. "He got huge, huge readership. Half the people coming [to] searched for Nate, they weren't coming for the rest of the Times, they came for him," Abramson said. "You hope they will be tantalized by other things on the buffet table." Politico / Dylan Byers on Media "We know he began in sports anyway, so it is not an exclusively political product. I am excited to talk to Nate when he finishes his book tour about ways to expand that kind of reporting," said Abramson. Silver, who claimed fame after the 2008 elections and became a household name in 2012, was among three pundits to accurately predict the outcome of the electoral college in the 2012 elections, according to The Atlantic. Ad Age / Media News At one point during election week, one in every five visits to the Times' website included a visit to Silver's FiveThirtyEight blog. The Atlantic Wire In an email to The Atlantic Wire responding to those comments, Silver confirmed he was very happy with his spot at The Times, without going into specifics about FiveThirtyEight's deal. "Not going to discuss details of my contract, especially as I've barely had time to catch my breath since the election," wrote Silver, who is currently on tour promoting his new book, The Signal and the Noise. "There are many wonderful things about the Times, including Jill, and I appreciate her kind words."

Judge Bows Out of 'Pink Slime' Lawsuit Because Relative Works at Network Being Sued by Company (Washington Post / AP)
A federal judge has recused himself from presiding over a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit against ABC because his daughter-in-law works as a producer on one of the network's morning shows. Judge Lawrence L. Piersol recused himself from hearing the defamation lawsuit filed by South Dakota-based Beef Products Inc. against ABC because his daughter-in-law works as a producer on Good Morning America. TVNewser South Dakota-based Beef Products, Inc. is suing ABC News for $1.2 billion for the network's reports on its finely-textured beef products, referred to as "pink slime." Diane Sawyer, Jim Avila and David Kerley were all named defendants in the lawsuit, which ABC filed a motion to dismiss last month. The case has been reassigned to Chief Judge Karen Schreier.

Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present (CJR / Behind the News)
Tuesday we published our report, "Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present" from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School. [We] have concluded that, no matter what model of subsidy the American journalism industry adopts, it will be unable to replicate the money generated by the mass-advertising subsidy of previous decades. Instead, given that industry restructuring is a forced move, we have tried to understand how media organizations both old and new can take advantage of new opportunities to do good journalism in new ways. Neiman Journalism Lab The report aims to bring together a variety of threads around where news is headed -- at the levels of the individual journalist, the legacy news organization, and the startup -- and paint a picture of the forces pushing adaptation on each.

5 Things to Know About the Leveson Inquiry (THR)
After months of hearings and debate, judge Brian Leveson will deliver his final Leveson Inquiry report on U.K. media ethics and standards on Thursday, including recommendations for the regulation of newspapers. Launched in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, his inquiry, which included interviews with a range of top media industry executives and celebrities, has looked at the relationship of newspapers with politicians, other officials and the public. Here is a look at five things to know about the Leveson Inquiry and its final report and recommendations.

Obama Promoting Fiscal Cliff Agenda on Social Media with My2K Hashtag (Washington Post / AP)
President Barack Obama is introducing a new hashtag to the fiscal cliff debate. The White House plans to promote #My2K on Twitter and other social media -- a reference to the estimated $2,200 tax increase that a typical middle-class family of four would see if the Bush tax cuts expire.

'Resetting' The Plain Dealer (CJR / The Swing States Project)
The frenzy of presidential candidates and entourages overrunning the Buckeye State is history, but questions about how Ohio's largest newspaper will cover future political campaigns loom large.

Facebook Exec Explains Mixed Messages on Spam, Sort Of (Forbes / Mixed Media)
Facebook doesn't want brands spamming its users, but it does want them placing paid ads users never asked for in their Newsfeeds. I think that's an awkward and contradictory stance to be taking, so when I ran into Carolyn Everson, Facebook's vice president of global marketing solutions, at Business Insider's Ignition conference Tuesday morning, I asked her about it.

Angus T. Jones Backtracks, Apologizes for Wacky Condemnation of Two and a Half Men (New York Daily News)
He was merely doing the Lord's bidding -- and is very grateful for his hefty paycheck. The teen actor at the center of the latest storm raining down on Two and a Half Men backtracked Tuesday from his wacky hellfire-and-brimstone condemnation of the show. LA Times / Show Tracker "I apologize if my remarks reflect me showing indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and a lack of appreciation of the extraordinary opportunity of which I have been blessed. I never intended that," said Jones. PRNewser This little incident provided the Internet with more awkward chuckles than a Charlie Sheen rant while creating a huge headache for anyone who makes money producing, promoting or performing on what remains one of TV's top-rated sitcoms (and that's quite a few people). Based on follow-up reports, it seems like the only folks happy with Jones' online outburst are his friends at Forerunner Chronicles and the Valley Crossroads Seventh-Day Adventist Church -- because everyone loves free PR from a semi-famous "soldier of truth." Anyway, we had to ask: why would a massively successful actor pull a stunt like this? And how can the show's PR team contain the damage done?

Author Opens Your Old Text Messages in Book on Motorola RAZR (ABC News / Technology Review)
Thought you got rid of your old Motorola RAZR cellphone — you know, the chic-looking hot pink one you just had to have (not Motorola's recent Android version)? Do you remember that photo you snapped that you thought you deleted? Think again. You may just see it at a bookstore near you.

Discovery Buys Takhayal Entertainment (LA Times / Company Town)
Discovery Communications has developed a taste for Middle Eastern food. The cable programming giant whose holdings include Discovery Channel and TLC has struck a deal to acquire Dubai-based Takhayal Entertainment, the parent company of Fatafeat, a popular food network in the region.

What Kinds of Local Stories Drive Engagement? The Results of an NPR Facebook Experiment (Neiman Journalism Lab)
When you come across a story about your town, city, or state, what makes you want to share it? That's a question we've been asking here at NPR Digital Services. There are hints about what causes sharing -- we know emotion and positivity play roles. We know the headline can make or break a story's potential. But we want to know specifically about local content. What is it about certain local stories that make them more social than others?

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