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Thursday, Dec 06

Morning Media Newsfeed 12.06.12

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THR's Women in Entertainment 2012: Power 100 (THR)
Who's in charge? Once again, THR's annual list ranks the town's top females, from execs to a new TV "It" girl, in order of empire, influence and intimidating intelligence. TVNewser For the third straight year, Anne Sweeney, co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television, tops the list. Sweeney says her proudest moment this year was ABC's Day of Giving across all the network and syndicated programming. The network raised $19 million for the Red Cross for victims of Hurricane Sandy. "She has a unique combination of professionalism and warmth," Katie Couric -- who also makes the list this year -- says of Sweeney. Entertainment Tonight Sweeney had a word of advice for young women just entering the business. "Don't do it unless you really, really love it. Because if you love it you're going to spend the time, you're going to spend the energy, you're going to meet and get to work with amazing people, and you're going to have a great life." Indiewire / Women and Hollywood As in the past, women hold more powerful roles in TV than they do in film. Boston Globe / AP When Diane Keaton learned she would receive the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award, the 66-year-old actress immediately began panicking about her speech. Keaton accepted the diamond-and-ruby-encrusted prize Wednesday at the Hollywood Reporter's 21st annual Women in Entertainment breakfast honoring the most powerful women in Hollywood. THR / The Race On the same day that The Hollywood Reporter hosted a breakfast to honor the most powerful women in entertainment and the progress of women in Hollywood, in general, as well as the misogyny target-turned-women's rights activist Sandra Fluke, Bret Easton Ellis demonstrated just how far the fight against sexism and ignorance still has to go. At 11:32 p.m. PT, the novelist/screenwriter and Academy member took to Twitter to assert about the first woman to ever win a best director Oscar: "Kathryn Bigelow would be considered a mildly interesting filmmaker if she was a man but since she's a very hot woman she's really overrated."

Anguished Fotog: Critics Are Unfair to Condemn Me (NY Post / R. Umar Abbasi)
I was on an assignment, waiting for a train at the 49th Street subway platform, when I suddenly heard people gasping. The announcement had come over the loudspeaker that the train was coming -- and out of the periphery of my eye, I saw a body flying through the air and onto the track. USA Today R. Umar Abbasi, the New York Post freelance photographer who took the now-infamous photos of a man about to be struck by a subway train, says he never wanted to be at the center of this news event. Or any news event, for that matter. He prefers to be behind the lens and behind the scene. "I would rather not be the story," he told USA Today. "I would prefer to be the storyteller." CNN In his Wednesday piece for the Post, Abbasi said people who've criticized him for the shot have no idea what they're talking about. "I had no idea what I was shooting. I'm not even sure it was registering with me what was happening. I was just looking at that train coming," Abbasi said in the piece. He said he was trying to get the train operator to slow down by furiously firing off his camera flash. International Business Times It was the Post's decision to run the photograph, not his. "It's a chilling photograph," he acknowledged. "It is a man facing his end." He also knows that many people are upset with his actions. "There are people who are just passing judgment," he said and then added that the photos have "started a debate -- a conversation." Washington Post / Guest Voices From a business perspective, one can only assume that the Post's editorial team believed that this photograph would be good for business, good for sales -- beneficial for the bottom line. After all, tragedy sells. Simply consider all of the press that the image has received.

My Petraeus Interview Firestorm is Silly, Off-Base (Fox News / K.T. McFarland)
The past 24 hours have taught me more about the media than all my years working for Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan, or contributing to Fox News. A conversation that began in jest and that led to a passing comment at the end of my interview with General David Petraeus has turned into a firestorm of speculation and an attempt to denigrate Fox. TVNewser Fox News contributor K.T. McFarland took to to discuss the imbroglio involving General Petraeus. In case you missed it, Bob Woodward obtained audio of McFarland talking to Petraeus, and mentioning that Fox News CEO Roger Ailes wanted him to run for president. In her column, McFarland explains the circumstances surrounding the incident. HuffPost On Wednesday, McFarland responded to criticism aimed at her, Ailes and Fox News. She described herself as "bewildered" by the press' reaction but admitted that she "now" knows Ailes "was joking" about suggesting Petraeus run for office, "but at the time... wasn't sure." Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Reached for comment regarding the audio tape, Ailes had dismissed the proposal to Petraeus as "more of a joke, a wiseass way I have." Ailes also said McFarland "was way out of line" and even disclosed her salary, noting she was a contributor making less than $75,000 a year. Washington Post / Erik Wemple Just listen to the audiotape of the conversation, though. In the give-and-take, McFarland comes off as being very earnest about her job as emissary from Ailes to Petraeus. She repeatedly circles back to the rules of engagement, the secrecy of the message-relaying and so on. It doesn't sound like a jocular mission.

Bob Costas Keeps His Focus on Guns and Violence (NYT / Media Decoder)
After stirring some intense debate with his comments last Sunday about how the easy access to a gun may have contributed to the murder committed by Jovan Belcher of the Kansas City Chiefs and his subsequent suicide, NBC sportscaster Bob Costas has continued to take his argument to more forums -- including his own. Yahoo! Sports / Shutdown Corner On Thursday night, Costas will again consider the issue, this time on his own Costas Tonight on the NBC Sports Network. His guests for the pre-taped special are Charles Barkley and John McEnroe, both of whom had some fascinating comments on guns and gun control. USA Today On Costas Tonight, Barkley addresses broader issues. He says, "Especially in the black culture, it's a crime culture. We, as black people, and I always say 'we', we won't have respect, we don't have respect for each other. We have more black men in prison than we do in college, and crime in our neighborhoods is running rampant. I know everybody reacts when something like the Belcher thing happens. But being black, this is something you deal with all the time, and it's just sad. I'm a guy and I carry a gun." Washington Post / AP The reasons for the pushback were familiar when a celebrity -- be it musician, sportscaster, even news anchor -- bypasses what the public believes is that star's area and expounds on issues in the larger world. But as our world grows into a place where anyone with a smartphone and an Internet connection can rant far and wide, celebrities, it seems, are still held to a higher standard -- or a different one -- than the rest of us.

Cosmopolitan and Harlequin to Publish Red Hot Reads (GalleyCat)
Cosmopolitan magazine and Harlequin will publish a line of romances called Red Hot Reads, a series that "will present independent, adventurous women in contemporary settings and feature fast-paced plots, great dialogue and compelling romance." The snappy eBooks will all be about 30,000 words apiece. NYT / Media Decoder Obviously looking to get a piece of the overheated erotica market generated by the mega-best-selling 50 Shades trilogy, the publishers promise that their series entitled Cosmo Red Hot Reads will feature "free-spirited women" committed to an "outgoing lifestyle." Digital Book World The two join a long list of non-book-publishing media companies to do the same. Most recently, Newsweek/Daily Beast entered into a partnership with Vook to publish eBooks. Playboy launched a series of shorts for the Kindle, The Washington Post announced an eBook program, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, a trade publication focused on the higher education field, launched an eBook business.

UBS Global Media Conference: Media General Introduces New Profile, New Boss (B&C)
Media General's executives introduced the company's new profile as a pure-play broadcaster, and the incoming CEO George Mahoney, to investors at the UBS Global Media Conference in New York. Besides selling its newspapers, Media General discontinued its digital ad services business and broadcast equipment subsidiary. It is wholly invested in TV stations as president and CEO Marshall Morton retires at the end of 2012, and Mahoney -- currently VP and COO -- succeeds him. Deadline New York The 40th annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference wrapped up Wednesday, and I can't recall when I've seen so little energy at this industry institution. Sessions highlighted the growing fissures between pay TV distributors and programmers. But the debates weren't filled with passion.

Press Kicked Out of Obama Q&A (Washington Post / Post Politics)
At a meeting with the Business Roundtable on Wednesday morning, President Obama publicly warned Republicans that he would not negotiate over the debt ceiling. But after those opening remarks, reporters were ushered out of the room so Obama could talk to the gathered CEOs in private. "Yeah, I think the press is... they've probably got enough there to spin a story," Obama said as the reporters were kicked out of the room. HuffPost Reporters found themselves kicked out of multiple Business Roundtable events during the 2012 campaign. They were not allowed to cover a Q&A session with Obama in March, or one with Mitt Romney in June.

32 Economics Journalists You Should be Following on Twitter (HuffPost)
We can't blame you for finding the economy complicated. Thankfully, there are good economics reporters available to explain what is happening out there and why. Want easy access to their articles and what they're reading? Just follow them on Twitter. Business Insider Politico reporter Ben White, who writes the must-read "Politico Morning Money," is furious after being left off Huffington Post's 32 Economics Journalists You Should Be Following On Twitter list. The list contains names like NYT's Annie Lowrey and Matthew O'Brien of The Atlantic. For three hours, he went on a Twitter tirade saying the website is "dead to him." Washington Post / Erik Wemple There'll be no attempt here to judge the contents of the Huffington Post list; the Erik Wemple Blog, after all, has an insufficient command of the relative merits of business writers between ranking places No. 25 through No. 50. Nor will there be an attempt here to judge the Huffington Post's approach to business coverage. Nor will there be an attempt to gauge, as people did on Twitter, the importance of "boobie pics" to the business model of the Huffington Post. There'll merely be an observation that when you want some attention on the Internet, try a list.

50 Best Journalism Schools and Programs at U.S. Colleges and Universities (College Media Matters / Dan Reimold)
Here is a listing of the 50 undergraduate journalism programs I consider to be the best in the country at this moment, aka places I would strongly consider enrolling if I woke up tomorrow back in high school. It is the 2013 edition, updated and expanded from my previous list. 10,000 Words It's a broad list of 50 undergraduate programs with a few notable exclusions -- Columbia, Georgetown, Stanford, etc. -- mainly because their j-schools are graduate programs or they don't have specific journalism majors.

Ken Burns: My First Big Break (MediabistroTV)
When you hear a letter written by Thomas Jefferson being read by actor Sam Waterston or see a photograph showing the intensity in the eyes of a Civil War soldier, you know you're watching a Ken Burns documentary. In this episode of "My First Big Break," the iconic filmmaker tells the MediabistroTV crew how he channeled his feelings of humiliation into his first masterpiece on the Brooklyn Bridge and reveals how his mother's death sparked his need to bring the dead back to life, shaping the style we know today as the "Ken Burns Effect."

Netflix Eyeing More Output Deals (Variety)
Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos hopes to follow a landmark pact with Walt Disney with more big studio output deals including Warner Bros. and maybe Sony and Universal once their current agreements expire. But new pacts would require exclusivity and condensed windows, a lack of which is why Netflix didn't renew with Epix in September.

29th Street Publishing Wants to Make Selling Magazines for iPads as Easy as Blogging (Nieman Journalism Lab)
There was a time when blogging wasn't easy. Before the days of Tumblr, WordPress, and Blogger, you likely needed to be a coder if you wanted to write online. Thanks to people like Ev Williams, the Trotts, and Matt Mullenweg, that barrier fell away -- but a new one popped up if you want to publish your writing in a nifty package on a smartphone or tablet. If you want an app, you'll likely need a developer. 29th Street Publishing is one of a number of startups that aims to change that by making it (relatively) simple for publishers to make magazine apps for Apple's Newsstand.

Glenn Beck and Vince Vaughn Join for Online Reality Series Pursuit of the Truth (Deadline Hollywood)
Glenn Beck and Vince Vaughn are going into the reality TV business together. The former Fox News host and the actor-producer will be executive producers of Pursuit Of The Truth, a competition series for Beck's online network TheBlaze.

The Spatter Pattern: Does All the Good Television Have to be so Bloody? (NPR / Monkey See)
Every year, I watch plenty of films that rely on the creation of high stakes simply forged from the fact that human beings are complicated and fallible and break each other's hearts and want things they will never have. I will watch Walter White kill and perhaps even be killed, and I'm certainly grateful to have him. But I long for more brilliant television with the same vibrancy and creativity and talent that gives me those personal stories without the part where I have to watch people shot, stabbed, raped, eaten, beaten, and dissolved in acid. Ad Age / Tuning In AMC's The Walking Dead is a monster, and not just because of its outsize ratings. It's a TV-industry horror, too: an ultra-violent cable drama that racks up massive amounts of coveted young viewers despite breaking every rule in the boob-tube Bible.

Most Overlooked Books of 2012: A Literary Mixtape (GalleyCat)
What book do you wish more people had read this year? People love to create Best of the Year lists every December, but we prefer to spotlight the most overlooked books each season.

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