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Morning Media Newsfeed 12.03.12

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Murdoch's UK Newspaper Chief Resigns (Financial Times)
Tom Mockridge has resigned unexpectedly as chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper arm after being passed over for the chief executive position at the publishing company News Corp. is expected to spin off next year. NYT / Media Decoder Mockridge announced on Sunday that he would leave his post at the end of year. The day before, reports emerged that Robert Thomson, currently the top editor at The Wall Street Journal, was expected to be named chief executive of News Corp.'s planned spinoff publishing company. BBC News Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corp., said Mockridge's decision was "absolutely and entirely his own." The Wrap Mockridge previously ran the Sky Italia pay TV business before replacing Rebekah Brooks as head of News International, in the wake of the U.K. phone hacking scandal. News Corp. is planning to separate the publishing company from its entertainment assets, including its film studio, the Fox broadcast network and its cable networks. WSJ The publishing company is much smaller than the entertainment company. Only 11 percent of News Corp.'s operating income came from its publishing segment, which includes the bulk of the new publishing company's assets, in the fiscal year that ended in June. The split is expected to be completed by the end of next June. Daily Mail Last week Mockridge backed calls for a "tough" new press watchdog but warned that state-backed regulation would put too much power in the hands of politicians. Neiman Journalism Lab The pieces might be aligning -- a new CEO at News Corp.'s publishing spinoff, Tribune leaving bankruptcy, and a possible policy change at the FCC -- for Murdoch's influence to grow even further.

Letterman Up for Jabs with Kennedy Center Honors (WSJ / AP)
David Letterman's "stupid human tricks" and Top 10 lists are being vaulted into the ranks of cultural achievements as the late night comedian received this year's Kennedy Center Honors with six other artists. THR The Washington D.C. event bestowed the nation's highest award for individuals who have influenced American culture on bluesman Buddy Guy, actor Dustin Hoffman, late-night host Letterman, ballerina Natalia Makarova and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. CBS News The president spoke about each of the honorees and took the opportunity to jab a couple of them, especially Letterman, the one guy who jabs famous people each night on his show. "It's different when you're not the one with the mic, isn't it, Dave?" Obama said to laughter. "I'd also point out it's a lot warmer here than it is on Dave's set," the president added, referring to the frigid temperature inside the Ed Sullivan Theater, per Letterman's demand. Politico / Politico 44 Ticking through Letterman's iconic greatest hits -- hail "the size of canned hams" as an Indianapolis weatherman, stupid pet tricks and his ode to New York City a week after 9/11 -- Obama tied the funnyman, on whose show he has appeared seven times, to the legacy of his idol. "Earlier this year, Dave celebrated his 30th anniversary in late night television -- the only person to reach that milestone besides Johnny Carson," Obama said.

Magna, Zenith Say Ad Money is Shifting to Cable and Digital (B&C)
According to the latest forecasts from media buying agencies, 2013 will be a tough year for broadcasters with no Olympics, while cable should see modest gains. MediaPost / Media Daily News Global ad spending will pick up a little steam in the future, according to Publicis Groupe's ZenithOptimedia. Spending will climb from 4.1 percent growth in 2013 for a total of $518 billion to 5.6 percent growth in 2015, reaching $574 billion. THR Due to a presidential election, which brought in a record $3 billion, and the London Summer Olympic games helping to make 2012 a robust year domestically, year-over-year comparisons will cause U.S. growth to weaken next year. While the U.S. is expected to boast 4 percent growth to $153 billion in advertising revenue in 2012, it will grow just 0.6 percent in 2013, according to Magna. Ad Age / Media News "There is intense marketplace competition to develop new platforms and advance existing ones in an effort to drive scale and improve effectiveness," ZenithOptimedia said in its forecast, citing efforts from startups, traditional media companies trying to become more digitally powerful and "the big five": Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

Adweek Hot List 2012: The Atlantic's James Bennet Named Editor of the Year in Annual List (HuffPost)
Adweek named 14 magazines to its 2012 Hot List on Monday. The winners ranged from The Atlantic ("best magazine to be seen reading on the subway") and New York Magazine ("best embrace of digital by a print brand") to Bon Appétit (favorite destination for foodies) and Better Homes and Gardens (hottest magazine for women). Atlantic editor James Bennet was given the coveted "Editor of the Year" pick by Adweek. Atlantic publisher Jay Lauf was also named Publisher of the Year. Adweek We reserve the designation for those media brands and media people thriving despite competition, market forces and that bugaboo of every business: the ever-elusive consumer. Across weeks, we studied factors including advertising business, audience numbers, category supremacy, creativity, innovation, industry accolades and social buzz. We also invited you to chime in -- and that you did, to the tune of more than 1 million votes.

Fox News's Chris Wallace Praises Susan Rice (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
Anyone who's watched Fox News over the past, oh, 10 weeks or so may have concluded that there's a directive from on high regarding how to talk about U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice. Judging from the univocal coverage, that imaginary directive might well read: "Hammer Rice on every possible occasion for her famous Sept. 16 appearances on Sunday talk shows, where she attempted to explain the origins of the Benghazi attacks and mentioned several times an anti-Muslim video." UPI In an appearance on ABC's This Week, Dan Senor, senior foreign policy adviser to the Romney campaign, said Sunday Republicans -- both moderate and far right -- concluded Rice's Capitol Hill meetings last week about the U.S. consulate attacks in Benghazi, Libya did not go well. "Benghazi was a serious issue. We can debate whether or not Susan Rice should be blamed for it. But she was front and center on a very serious issue," he said. HuffPost Later, Senor said that "there's no full airing" of what happened in Benghazi, prompting cross talk between the panel members. "Hold on, hold on one second!" Stephanopoulos cried out. "That may be true. But is it really about a Sunday show? There are legitimate questions about what was the security situation at the mission in Benghazi, why wasn't there more security, but that's not her job."

Study Shows Growth in Second Screen Users (Yahoo! News / AP)
Television viewers were once called couch potatoes. Many are becoming more active while watching now, judging by the findings in a new report that illustrates the explosive growth in people who watch TV while connected to social media on smartphones and tablets.

A Spate of Rebranding for Spanish-Language TV (NYT)
It's a race to be the best of the second best. On Monday, Univision, the dominant Spanish-language network in the United States, will announce a new name and look for its second-largest network, TeleFutura. The move is a direct shot at Telemundo, a rival for second place among domestic Spanish-speaking viewers. TVNewser Univision's evening and late night newscasts had a strong November sweeps period, particularly among younger viewers. Noticiero Univision, the network's evening newscast anchored by Jorge Ramos and María Elena Salinas, averaged 2.1 million total viewers and 1.0 million adults 25-54 viewers during the November sweep.

Matthew Boyle: A Fitting Soldier for Breitbart.com (FishbowlDC)
It almost feels like destiny. Going back a few years, the left-wing media's worst nightmare, Andrew Breitbart, had pushed and pushed for Matthew Boyle to come work for him. In late-night phone calls. Visits. Pitchers of beer. Mentoring. Now, some 10 months after Breitbart's death, it's happening. Boyle has left The Daily Caller for Breitbart.com.

Newspaper Acquisition Market Keeps Churning: Colorado Springs Gazette Resold After Four Months (Poynter / MediaWire)
Aaron Kushner's 2100 Trust investment group is selling The Colorado Springs Gazette just four months after buying the paper. The company, led by former greeting-card entrepreneur Kushner, acquired the Gazette and six other papers when it bought Freedom Communications in July. But the sale to billionaire Philip Anschutz's Clarity Media Group isn't a sign that Kushner is losing interest in newspapers. The Colorado Springs Gazette / Our View Freedom has been a great company, and our parting is bittersweet. But it's difficult to find a downside to this transfer of ownership. Today, the Gazette is a Colorado-owned business that is controlled by a man who loves Colorado Springs.

A Cleveland Newspaper Takes Steps to Prevent Cuts (NYT / Media Decoder)
While workers at many newspapers owned by Advance Publications have tried to brace themselves for what seems to be the inevitable -- layoffs and the end of a daily print product -- reporters and editors at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland are fighting back in an unusual way: they are taking their case directly to the public.

PR Fail: Did the Red Cross Double Your Sandy Donation? (PRNewser)
Last week a LinkedIn editor's personal story highlighted a significant and previously unreported problem with the American Red Cross's uneven Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Due to a technical "issue," the organization's online payment system charged "an unknown number" of well-meaning supporters twice for the same donation. While the Red Cross claims to be "working quickly to resolve the issues" that affected "a small number of donors," its spokespeople have yet to release a statement despite reports of efforts to contact each affected individual.

Liberal Media and Obama's Second Term (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
For the better part of four years, progressive media has had President Barack Obama's back. Now that he's won re-election, it is faced with a choice: Should the left continue always to play the loyal attack dog against the GOP, blaming the opposition at all hours of the news cycle for intransigence? Or, should it redirect some of that energy on the president, holding him to his promises and encouraging him to be a more outspoken champion of liberal causes?

Book by Two from Google Takes a Deep Look at the Web (NYT / Media Decoder)
"The Internet is the largest experiment involving anarchy in history," begins a new book written by two top Google executives, which aims to explain how this experiment will play out in politics, business and even personal lives. Alfred A. Knopf publishers, a Random House imprint, said it would publish the book, titled The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, in April. While the book is not about Google, it does hope to benefit from the cachet of the Google executives who collaborated to write it: Eric E. Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, and Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas.

High School Journalists Take a Crash Course in Newspaper Economics (The Washington Post)
Consuming news and information has been easier than ever for a generation of kids with e-readers, smartphones, tablets and laptops at their fingertips. But for some Montgomery County students, nothing beats an old-fashioned print newspaper.

Mind the Gap: Retailer Fashions Brand Resurgence (Ad Age)
In the latter half of the 1990s, Sharon Stone topped best-dressed lists not once, but twice for her unorthodox pairing of a casual Gap top with a designer skirt at the Oscars. Nearly 15 years have elapsed since then -- years that saw Gap's fashion fizzle and its marketing lose relevance. But early signs indicate the brand may finally retake its position as the arbiter of casually cool, classically American style.

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