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Thursday, Nov 29

Morning Media Newsfeed 11.29.12

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Jeff Bewkes Has No Comment on Zucker, but Says CNN Will Be 'One of the Fastest Growing Networks' (TVNewser)
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes declined to talk about the rumors of Jeff Zucker taking over CNN during a discussion at the Business Insider Ignition conference Wednesday afternoon, only saying "well, we are going to have an announcement soon." Business Insider / The Wire And Bewkes shrugged off the countless reports that CNN currently has its worst ratings since 1982, stating matter of factly that "ratings are not tanking, they're going up." Bewkes argues that the network's cable ratings, subs, daily watching, earnings, profit, quality of programming and engagement with audience are all up. Canada Free Press By taking on CNN, Zucker will face a monumental challenge of turning around a moribund primetime news lineup that even in an election year has seen its audience fall 16 percent and is considered largely irrelevant by cable subscribers, as evidenced by the ratings. Bloomberg The CNN job would give Zucker a chance to prove himself again. Even so, his high-profile career in television potentially makes him overqualified to run the network, said Todd Juenger, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. CNN currently gets lower ratings than MSNBC, which once was a small part of the conglomerate that Zucker oversaw. The Baltimore Sun / Z on TV Seriously, this is a decision that truly matters –- not just for CNN and Time Warner, but for the future of TV journalism. NYT / Media Decoder Seemingly, every executive and analyst in the media business has an idea or three for CNN/U.S., the United States outlet of the cable news pioneer, which has lagged in the ratings for several years now. And this year's executive change (Zucker is in line to replace Jim Walton, who has been in charge for nearly a decade) has been an excuse to dust them off. It's as if CNN is a blank canvas of sorts -- something to project hopes, dreams and business models onto.

Leveson Inquiry Report Due to be Published Thursday (HuffPost / AP)
Britain's rambunctious press braced Thursday for censure and tougher scrutiny as an ethics inquiry triggered by tabloid phone hacking released its wide-ranging report. Lord Justice Brian Leveson was due to release the findings of his yearlong inquiry, which heard evidence from hundreds of journalists, politicians, lawyers and victims of press intrusion. NYT The findings of the inquiry, named for Lord Justice Sir Brian Leveson, the judge who conducted it, is also depicted by victims of phone hacking and intrusive reporting, particularly by tabloid newspapers, as the potential herald of a new era of press responsibility enforced by statute. BBC News On Wednesday, David Cameron and Nick Clegg were given advance copies. The prime minister and his deputy met twice ahead of the report's publication in an effort to agree on a unified government response to Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations. However, the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson says, according to sources, the two men will agree on some things but both will refer to the areas on which they disagree when they speak in the Commons. AFP The British press currently regulates itself through the Press Complaints Commission, a body staffed by editors which critics say is toothless. Actor Hugh Grant, who has become a vocal campaigner against press intrusion in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal, said the current system effectively allowed newspapers to "mark their own homework." Cameron told parliament on Wednesday that the current system of self-regulation by newspapers was unacceptable but declined to say whether he supported new laws.

Fox Chief on the TV Industry: 'We Have Our Head Up Our Ass' (THR)
The behavior of television viewers is changing, but the industry is not changing with them fast enough or in the right ways. That was the consensus of panelists at the HRTS newsmaker luncheon Wednesday in Century City. "A lot of us -- the way we conduct ourselves -- we have our head up our ass," said Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment at Fox Broadcasting Co., during the panel, which was titled "The State of Broadcast." Deadline Hollywood Reilly, who can be unfiltered and entertaining at such events, dominated the session at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. The "head up our ass" comment came during a discussion about the effects of new services and platforms on the industry. "We're looking too myopically at the business," he said, adding that networks "are too obsessed with our competition with each other and not the consumer." Variety "We don't spend enough time thinking of the consumer in the chain, we think about the audience in a clump," he said. "If you ask execs how they watch TV, they're either not watching a particular product or they just watched five seasons on Netflix. So, why is (this exec) any different than anyone at home? We are way too obsessed with one another and not with the consumer."

The New York Times Censures Jerusalem Bureau Chief (WWD / Memo Pad)
On Wednesday, The New York Times informed the chief of its Jerusalem bureau, a 14-year veteran of the paper, that she can't be trusted with her own Facebook account. HuffPost Jodi Rudoren, the Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times, ascended to the prestigious but highly controversy-prone post in February, and instantly raised the hackles of pro-Israel columnists like Jeffrey Goldberg, who criticized her for tweeting with anti-Zionist or pro-Palestinian commentators. NYT / Public Editor's Journal Now add Facebook and Twitter, which allow reporters unfiltered, unedited publishing channels. Words go from nascent, half-formed thoughts to permanent pronouncements to the world at the touch of a key. The result is very likely to be problematic. And for that bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, who moved to Israel from New York earlier this year, and her editors at the Times, it has been.

Jerry Finkelstein, Publisher, Power Broker, Dies at 96 (Ad Week)
Jerry Finkelstein, the Democratic power player who had a wide-ranging career in business, real estate and newspapers, died at age 96. Finkelstein's media holdings included The New York Law Journal and The Hill. NYT Finkelstein was born in New York on Jan. 26, 1916. His father, Albert, ran a small business. He attended George Washington High School and New York University and graduated from New York Law School in 1938, but did not take the bar exam. He became a reporter for The New York Daily Mirror, and with a colleague, Seward Brisbane, son of the Hearst editor Arthur Brisbane, founded The Civil Service Leader, a newspaper for public employees, in 1939. NY Post He later bought The Law Journal, the bible of the city's legal profession, acquired a string of weekly papers on Long Island and in the city, and in 1994 opened a Congress-watching Washington publication, The Hill.

Bob Saget, aka Danny Tanner, Is Writing a 'Dirty' Book (Entertainment Weekly / Shelf Life)
Bob Saget, father to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (well, in my mind), is writing a book. That's right, Full House fans, Danny Tanner's getting into the publishing biz, but be warned -- if you only know Saget for his family-friendly fare, then you'll be in for a nasty surprise. THR / The Live Feed The rights to the untitled book were acquired by It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, and the deal was negotiated by executive editor Mark Chait and Paradigm Agency's Alyssa Reuben. USA Today Beyond his family-friendly shows, Saget is also known for his profane comedy. "With this book he truly lets it all hang out -- the full monty of his crazy self, his dirty humor unique personality," Chait said in a statement.

November 2012 Ratings: Fox News Daytime Shows Have Best Months Ever (TVNewser)
November makes it 131 straight months -- since January 2002 -- that Fox News Channel has been the most-watched cable news network in total viewers. Fox News had nine out of the top 10 programs in cable news based on total viewers, and seven out of the top 10 in adults 25-54 viewers. HuffPost The month also saw positive results for MSNBC, which grew 76 percent among total viewers during primetime and more than doubled its primetime viewers in the coveted 25-54 demo. All of the network's primetime programming saw huge gains: The Rachel Maddow Show increased its total viewers by 72 percent, Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell by 66 percent and PoliticsNation With Al Sharpton by 58 percent.

Hollywood's 25 Most Powerful Authors (THR)
When THR contacted James Patterson about being on its inaugural list of the 25 most powerful authors in Hollywood, he scoffed. "Power list? More like powerless list." But while conventional wisdom puts writers far down the totem pole, the truth is that from The Hunger Games to the upcoming Hobbit movies, books remain the most durable source of content for films and TV. GalleyCat The top five writers on the list are all literary brand names. Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, Nicholas Sparks, EL James and Suzanne Collins hold the top five spots, respectively. However, the magazine also listed a number of "Authors To Look Out For," a list filled with up-and-coming authors.

More Than 90 Jobs to be Cut at Bloomberg TV Europe (TVNewser)
Bloomberg TV is in the process of laying off as many as 94 people in the network's London bureau, multiple sources tell TVNewser. A spokesperson for Bloomberg TV declined to comment on a specific number of layoffs, but said fewer than 100 people will be affected by the cuts, which are the result of an operational efficiency review in the network's engineering and back office productions.

How Much Facebook Might Make Through Gifts (NYT / Bits)
Facebook's Gifts product can be lucrative for the data it can offer to Facebook. But whether it can be a moneymaker for the company remains a mystery. Facebook has not offered any estimates of revenue through Gifts. But a thought experiment, with a back of the envelope calculation, yields some rough answers.

How the $550-Million Powerball Jackpot Went Viral, by the Numbers and Photos (The Atlantic Wire)
A sure sign that Wednesday night's now-$550 million drawing reached peak saturation? Well, the tens of thousands of people hoping you got all of your numbers wrong have made the drawing an unavoidable thing, thanks to the numbers being bandied about on social media -- and that's not even including the officials busy jacking up the pot. Here's a sampling from across the Web.

'Silver Fish Handcatch!': Detroit Anchor Uses Twitter to Engage TV Audience (TVSpy)
While many TV stations use social media like Facebook or Twitter to connect with their viewers, Detroit anchor Stephen Clark may have found a way to translate those clicks and tweets into viewership.

Atavist Begins Offering In-App Subscriptions to Its Stories (Neiman Journalism Lab)
Atavist, publisher of both technology and eBook-esque stories, is taking a cue from the world of magazines and newspapers by getting into the subscription business. Starting Wednesday, readers can sign up for a three-month subscription for $6.99 through The Atavist app, which will give customers access to newly released multimedia stories as well as material from its archives.

How to Use Rhetorical Moves in Your Writing and Why They Matter (Poynter / Writing Tools)
I fear we have lost the word "rhetoric" in its good and original sense, defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as "the art or study of using language effectively and persuasively." That meaning still applies if you are studying Cicero or taking a good English composition course. But a semantic shift is under way, described by a tertiary definition: "Language that is elaborate, pretentious, insincere, or intellectually vacuous."

ABC to Broadcast Dick Clark Special on New Year's Eve (NYT / Media Decoder)
ABC will show a two-hour retrospective of Dick Clark's life on Dec. 31, hours before the ball drop broadcast that bears his name, the network said Wednesday.

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