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Friday, Nov 30

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Jeff Zucker's Vision for CNN: 'Broaden the Definition of What News Is' (TVNewser)
Soon-to-be CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker and his new boss, Turner Broadcasting chairman Phil Kent, held a conference call with reporters Thursday to talk about Zucker's hire. There were plenty of talking points, but reading between the lines, it was clear that Zucker had a vision -- at least a general one -- of what he thought CNN has to do to remain relevant in a competitive, multi-platform news environment. New York Daily News Zucker, the new worldwide president of the third-place news channel, said his top priority will be to make the once dominant broadcaster, "relevant, vibrant and exciting." Zucker, 47, who was named executive producer of the Today show when he was just 26, rose through the ranks at NBC to eventually become the chief executive of its parent company, NBCUniversal. The Washington Post / The TV Column Zucker not only assumes executive oversight of CNN/U.S., but also of CNN International, CNN.com and HLN, among the operation's 23 branded news and information businesses. He's replacing Jim Walton, who announced in July that he would step down at the end of this year, after his unsuccessful attempts to stem the flow of viewers from CNN in the United States. NYT / Media Decoder In a telephone interview, Zucker, who said he began discussing the job with CNN executives after Labor Day, summarized what would be his chief challenge: expanding the network's appeal beyond times when there is breaking news. "CNN has to find the right programming that exists in between the 25 nights a year when it is most relevant," he said. "Beyond the fact that we are committed to news and journalism, everything else is open for discussion." Bloomberg Businessweek The job offers a fresh start to Zucker after a stormy tenure at NBC Universal, now controlled by Comcast Corp. Under his management, NBC fell from first to last place in prime-time ratings. In hiring Zucker, Time Warner cited his success running the Today show earlier in his career. At the time, it was the most-watched morning news program and the most profitable show on television, CNN said. WSJ Kent called Zucker's bumpy experience at NBC's entertainment division "irrelevant" to his search. He said that it was Zucker's news chops and cable experience that got him the job.

Leveson Report Published: New Body Regulating British Press and Backed By Law Recommended (HuffPost)
The long-awaited report from the Leveson Inquiry into the ethics and practices of the scandal-scarred British media was published on Thursday. In the report, Lord Justice Leveson called for a new government law to back an independent regulatory body overseeing the press, which he said had acted in ways that "at times, can only be described as outrageous." The Guardian said that it would be the first press law in Britain since 1695. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The year-long inquiry conducted by Lord Justice Brian Leveson following the UK phone-hacking scandal found that Rupert Murdoch's newspapers, specifically, were reckless in the pursuit of sensational stories and criticized a "failure of systems of management and compliance" at Murdoch's now-defunct News of the World. NYT It also advocated for a new form of independent self-regulation for the newspaper industry that would be much tougher than the widely discredited system that has been in place for the past 60 years. Under the new plan, embraced by Prime Minister David Cameron and other party leaders, the existing Press Complaints Commission would be replaced with a body that would be independent of the newspapers and the government and have wide investigative powers and the authority to set fines of up to $1.6 million. THR Speaking in the House of Commons, Cameron said he was "wary" of any regulation that has "the potential to infringe on free speech." "We should think very, very carefully about crossing this line," he told ministers. The Prime Minister said a new system that "complies with the Leveson principles should be put in place rapidly" but he does not believe laws are necessary to do so. Time But on the biggest issue, and biggest risk, of creating new legislation, Leveson is clear in insisting that such legislation must contain protections against political interference. One obvious flaw in that plan is that it's up to politicians to decide, in Leveson's words, "who guards the guardians." The hacking scandal revealed an unholy alliance between the press and politicians. Leveson may have inadvertently forged some new ones.

National Journal Announces Newsroom Revamp, 10 Layoffs (FishbowlDC)
National Journal's newsroom operation is making big shifts. The news outlet will be divided into "two distinct teams" -- one for members, another for digital. Outgoing editor-in-chief Ron Fournier will be the "star reporter" on the digital platform. His titles are editorial director and national correspondent. Ronald Brownstein, who will also write for digital, is shifting into a new corporate-level role of editorial director for strategic partnerships for Atlantic Media. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media National Journal will also announce that it will eliminate 10 positions from the newsroom. The reorganization suggests an acknowledgment by Atlantic Media owner David G. Bradley that an experiment which began two years ago -- to refashion the pricey, policy-heavy weekly magazine into a direct competitor with Politico and other fast-paced Washington news outlets -- did not work.

Stephen King's Under the Dome Coming to CBS (GalleyCat)
CBS has ordered 13 episodes of a serialized television adaptation of Stephen King's Under the Dome. Coming next summer, the series will be produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television and CBS Television studios. NYT / Media Decoder The series represents a significant shift for CBS, which in past years has limited its investment in summer programming, relying largely on repeats and the long-running reality series, Big Brother. But with summer ratings showing steady declines, and cable networks proving that dramas in summer can attract big audiences, CBS seems to be forging a new summer strategy. Entertainment Weekly / Inside TV Based on King's bestselling novel, Under the Dome is the story of a small New England town that's suddenly and inexplicably sealed off from the rest of the world by an enormous transparent dome. The town's residents need to survive the deteriorating post-apocalyptic conditions while searching for answers to what this barrier is, where it came from, and how to make it go away. LA Times / Show Tracker Under the Dome was previously set up at Showtime. While it is not technically the first professional collaboration between the prolific novelist and the Lincoln director, it will in all likelihood be the first to actually come to fruition: Spielberg was on board to produce a miniseries of King and Peter Straub's 1984 novel The Talisman for TNT, but the project eventually stalled.

How to Submit Your Work to Random House's New Digital Imprints (GalleyCat)
Random House has released writer guidelines for four digital imprints, seeking submissions from romance, new adult, mystery, thriller, science fiction, fantasy and horror writers. paidContent The new imprints, which fall under the Random House Publishing Group division, are called Alibi, which will publish mysteries and thrillers; Hydra, which will publish science fiction; and Flirt, which will publish new adult titles. (The "new adult" genre, also growing in popularity, aims at college students and recent college grads.) RHPG will also relaunch a fourth digital-only imprint, Loveswept, which focuses on romance. Publishers Weekly "As publishing continues to evolve, with more authors finding their first home in digital, our challenge is to create new ways for readers to discover books," Gina Wachtel, vice president and associate publisher, said. "This dedicated team understands both the content and medium, and can effectively break out authors in the digital space."

CBS Sets Date for 2013 Emmys (Entertainment Weekly / Inside TV)
Time to begin your countdowns to TV's biggest night of the year. CBS has announced that it will air the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards live on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, the same weekend the show aired this year. The event will again be held at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. THR / The Race Nominations for the Emmys will be announced Thursday, July 18 from the Academy's Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood. B&C This year's Emmys, which aired Sept. 24 on ABC, drew a 3.8 rating with adults 18-49 and averaged 13.2 million total viewers.

Universal Sues over Fifty Shades of Grey Porn Adaptation (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
The copyright owner of the mega-selling book, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Universal Studios, which owns movie rights, aren't happy with a porn film titled Fifty Shades of Grey: A XXX Adaptation. Entertainment Weekly / Inside Movies Smash Pictures Inc., the makers of Fifty Shades of Grey: A XXX Adaptation, a porn movie version of the kinky bestseller, are being sued by Universal Studios (which acquired the rights to make a film version) and Fifty Shades Ltd. (a U.K. licensing company) for copyright infringement and false advertising, among other charges. E! Online Per the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles and obtained by E! News, the plaintiffs claim Smash Pictures and adult video director James Lane, who's credited onscreen as Jim Powers, have engaged in a "willful attempt to capitalize on the reputation of the book."

When Is Black Not Black? When You Would Rather It Be Green? (The Dallas Morning News / Photography Blog)
The boundaries of truth in photography continue to blur, this time in, of all publications, Sports Illustrated. The "Leading Off" section of the magazine displays a fine double-truck image of NCAA football by Matthew Emmons, a photographer shooting for US Presswire, of action from Baylor's upset of Kansas State in Waco. The problem? The Baylor jersey colors have been changed at the magazine from black to green for publication. JimRomenesko.com Sports Illustrated's response: "We've looked into this and due to a production error the uniform colors are misleading," writes Scott Novak, Time Inc. Sports Group senior vice president of communications and development. "We should have caught it and will run a correction next week." Deadspin Why change black to green? Does a higher-up have a personal grudge against black jerseys? The degree of manipulation necessary to make the green appear goes beyond basic editing and puts the image squarely in the camp of "photo illustration," yet no credit for the work is provided.

Drones: The Latest 'Must-Have' Toys for Your Newsroom (Radio Television Digital News Association / Vince Duffy)
We often joke in our newsroom about getting a station helicopter, but that's as unlikely on our public radio budget as a chartered jet to fly to the next EIJ Convention. But what if you could get aerial pictures and video for your website news stories or your television broadcasts at the fraction of the cost of a helicopter and professional pilot? TVSpy Drones can provide aerial pictures and video for much cheaper than helicopters.

As It Nears the End, Lessons from 30 Rock (Ad Age / Tuning In)
When the quirky comedy made its debut in 2006, few, if any, entries in the genre depended less on plot and more on rapid-fire non sequiturs, made as much fun of the advertisers paying handsomely to get their products inserted into the program, or focused so intently on a topic that was likely of more interest to the people producing and airing the show than those watching it.

Syria's Internet Shutdown Leaves Information Void, May Signal Escalating War (The Washington Post)
Syria's civil war went off­line Thursday as millions of people tracking the conflict over YouTube, Facebook and other high-tech services found themselves struggling against an unnerving national shutdown of the Internet.

Barnes & Noble Swings to Profit (WSJ)
Improved profit margins at Barnes & Noble Inc.'s retail stores helped the bookseller report a small profit for its second fiscal quarter ended Oct. 27 against a loss in the year-earlier quarter, despite a drop in revenue at the stores.

The Future of Factchecking: Here's What Journalists Should Learn from the 2012 Campaign (CJR / The Swing States Project)
As journalists close the books on 2012 and look forward to coverage of a second Obama administration, one important question is where the factchecking movement goes from here.

Alec Baldwin Calls NY Post 'Morally Bankrupt Trash' for Alleged Stalker Coverage (THR)
The liberal actor and the conservative tabloid have traded plenty of barbs over the years, and tensions were renewed Thursday. Baldwin launched a blistering tirade against the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper and gossip columnist Andrea Peyser, who called the 30 Rock star "a "bloviating psycho who seduces small women and bashes puny photographers" in a column on Thursday. Peyser was taking the side of Genevieve Sabourin, the Canadian woman who was arrested in April for allegedly stalking Baldwin and was re-arrested Tuesday.

FishbowlLA Set Visit: SoCal Connected (FishbowlLA)
The views from the fifth and sixth floors of KCET's glass-encased offices at The Pointe in Burbank are spectacular, offering panoramic vistas of next-door neighbors NBC LA, St. Joseph's Hospital, Forest Lawn in the southern distance and more. Another big difference from the station's previous red-brick HQ on Sunset Boulevard is that employees are now ensconced in an open-cubicle set-up as sleek as that of a Madison Avenue ad agency. But these are not the only reasons for the renewed sense of excitement at KCET.

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