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Australian DJs Apologize for Royal Hoax Call (USA Today / AP)
They expected a hang-up and a few laughs. Instead, the Australian DJs behind a hoax phone call to the U.K. hospital where the pregnant Duchess of Cambridge was treated were in tears Monday as they described how their joke ended up going too far. The phone call -- in which they impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles -- went through, and their station broadcast and even trumpeted the confidential information received. Whatever pride there had been over the hoax was obliterated in a storm of worldwide public outrage after Friday's death, still unexplained, of the first nurse they talked to. "There's not a minute that goes by that we don't think about her family and what they must be going through," 2DayFM radio host Mel Greig told Australia's A Current Affair, her voice shaking. "And the thought that we may have played a part in that is gut-wrenching." HuffPost / AP The reverberations from the death of a nurse who accepted a hoax phone call about the ill Duchess of Cambridge spread through two countries Sunday, as Australian authorities said London police had contacted them about a possible investigation. The Australian radio station behind the call also announced an immediate review of its broadcast practices after the debacle, which began with a prank call made Tuesday to the hospital where the former Kate Middleton was being treated for acute morning sickness. The Age Following a crisis meeting on Sunday night, the radio station released a letter that chairman Max Moore-Wilton had written to the chairman of King Edward VII's Hospital, Lord Glenarthur. Lord Glenarthur had earlier written to the station denouncing the stunt as "truly appalling" and that it should "never be repeated." ABC News The two Australian DJs who pulled the prank call on the U.K. hospital where Kate Middleton was staying are now in hiding and may soon have to face police after the death of a nurse caught in the hoax. Sunday morning there were also new questions about whether DJs Greig and Michael Christian, radio shock jocks at Sydney's 2Day FM, broke laws after they recorded the private conversation when they pretended to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. The Daily Beast / Kent Sepkowitz This is not, however, yet another story about media hypocrisy as articulated by the media, but rather a scary reminder of just how unpredictable human behavior can be. Daily Mail / Bel Mooney The consequences for everybody involved -- from the distressed royal couple, to the shocked and hounded Australian DJs, and most of all to the tragic nurse Jacintha Saldanha and her family -- are a reminder that every thoughtless prank has a victim and that nobody can predict how a vulnerable individual will react to what somebody else thinks of as "a bit of fun."
R.I.P. Jenni Rivera (Deadline Hollywood)
Latin singing and TV star Jenni Rivera died early Sunday in a plane crash in Northern Mexico, Univision and AP confirmed. Cable TV network mun2, which airs a docu-series that starred Rivera, and Telemundo Media issued a statement that said "Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Rivera family and the families of her team, as we await details." LA Times / Show Tracker Mexican American singer Rivera knew how to get people talking with her bold, outspoken lyrics and stage presence -- but by early Sunday, the talk would take a grim turn as word spread that a small plane carrying the singer went missing in northern Mexico, with the singer believed to be dead. Rivera had performed a concert in Monterrey on Saturday night. Though the 43-year-old songwriter became a force in Latin music with her female-empowered songs, Rivera had also become a growing presence on television. NBC Latino Rivera was the star of a reality show, I Love Jenni, on mun2. The popular show was one of the network's top-rated programs. Rivera also had a show on mun2 about her daughter Chiquis, Jenni Rivera presents Chiquis and Raq-C. Just a few days ago the bilingual, bicultural Latina star had recently announced she had signed on with ABC to do a comedy, Jenni, about a middle-class single mother and business owner. Rivera was also a coach on the Televisa show, The Voice Mexico.
George Will: 'Quite Literally, the Opposition to Gay Marriage is Dying' (HuffPost)
During ABC's This Week, conservative panelist George Will weighed in on what he called the "growing consensus" of public opinion regarding same-sex marriage. On Friday, the Supreme Court decided to take up two big cases. The court will hear one case challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, and a case on Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California. Towleroad More polls are showing popular opinion shifting toward marriage equality. Public Policy Polling found majorities in Oregon (54 percent) and New Jersey (53 percent) and a near majority in Illinois (47 percent) support extending marriage to same-sex couples. In Illinois, 58 percent of people under 45 years old say "yes" to gay weddings. Meanwhile, Politico found 40 percent of Americans support letting gays and lesbians marry. Again, young people are leading the way. Politico The generational gap on the gay marriage question persists. Younger people, who tend to view this as a civil rights issue, overwhelmingly supported gay marriage. A full 63 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds backed marriage, and only 14 percent wanted no legal unions for gay couples. It dropped off to 36 percent support among both 30-to-44-year-olds and 45-to-59-year-olds. Only three in 10 seniors supported gay marriage. Another three in 10 supported civil unions. And 28 percent wanted no legal unions. Mediaite Even Mary Matalin, conservative political consultant, agreed with Will and James Carville, saying it makes sense for the Supreme Court to endorse gay marriage in the face of changing public opinion because, "Americans have common sense." The Daily Beast "Quite literally," powerhouse pundit George Will proclaimed on This Week, "the opposition to gay marriage is dying." But with the Supreme Court set to rule on two major same-sex marriage cases this year, the old fogies might have the last laugh.
New York Film Critics Online Hail Zero Dark Thirty (THR / The Race)
The New York Film Critics Online added its endorsement to Zero Dark Thirty on Sunday, voting it the year's best picture and also naming Kathryn Bigelow best director. The film also won an award for Mark Boal's screenplay. Deadline Hollywood Sony Pictures' Zero Dark Thirty was named best picture in voting Sunday by the Boston Society of Film Critics. Bigelow took the best director trophy for Zero Dark Thirty, which was also honored its editing by William Goldenberg and Dylan Tichenor. LA Times / Movies Now Meanwhile, Zero Dark Thirty, Bigelow's Osama Bin Laden drama which has been a favorite with critics groups, only received one award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association -- best editing. (Bigelow was also a runner-up for director.) The Wrap / Steve Pond Last week, Zero Dark Thirty was named the year's best by the New York Film Critics Circle and by the National Board of Review (which is not a critics' group).
Yahoo!, NBC Team on Sports (Variety)
The sports divisions of Yahoo! and NBC are aligning for both newsgathering and programming. Reporters employed by Yahoo! Sports, including Dan Wetzel and Adrian Wojnarowski, will team with on-air Peacock talent, such as Bob Costas and Mike Florio, to work on major stories. The website and the network will, however, retain separate newsrooms and control of their own digital properties. B&C While Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports Group will remain as separate entities, they will develop together original, made-for-Web programming that will appear on both websites. Yahoo!'s reporting will be featured on NBC TV and Yahoo! Sports will promote the "NBC Sports Live Extra" video player. NBC Sports will also leverage Yahoo!'s Rivals.com college website.
Brand Veteran Michael Francis Joining DreamWorks Animation (THR)
Michael Francis is joining DreamWorks Animation in the newly created role of chief global brand officer, responsible for the company's licensing and consumer products efforts, as well as franchise management. Francis, who is relocating to Los Angeles from Minneapolis, rose to prominence at Target Corp., where he spent 26 years, rising through the ranks to serve as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Variety DWA describes the appointment as representing "a singular new focus" for the studio: "to leverage the strength of its brand equity around the globe" as it looks to grow the appeal of its characters through films, TV shows, live events, theme park attractions, consumer products and licensing. Ad Age / Media News DreamWorks Animation has turned its attention to consumer products and branding in recent years, forming partnerships with Royal Caribbean and Gaylord Hotels for a DreamWorks Animation experience, as well as working with theme parks. "We feel we have only literally scratched the surface," DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said.
Jimmy Fallon Partners with Lincoln to Write Super Bowl Commercial on Social (Lost Remote)
Ford's Lincoln brand is preparing for a major launch and rebranding in 2013. The autobrand's goal is to make their cars relevant again. They not only bought their first Super Bowl spot ever, but have begun scripting that commercial by tapping into Jimmy Fallon's comedic and social expertise. Ad Age / Super Bowl Ad sales for what is just the second live-streaming of the Super Bowl are nearly complete, with CBSSports.com nearly sold out as advertisers seek to dangle their promotions in front of consumers whose familiarity with streaming video and "second screen" experiences has grown exponentially since the 2012 event.
Good Housekeeping Gets a Facelift (Adweek)
Women browsing the magazine racks at the supermarket checkout line are in for a big shock: The iconic Good Housekeeping logo is no more. The nearly 130-year-old monthly is getting a major facelift with its January issue, featuring a new layout, new content, and, yes, a very new cover. As far as magazine revamps go, this isn't subtle.
Losing in the Ratings, Soledad O'Brien Longs 'To be on a Team that Strategizes How to Win' (TVNewser)
Safe to say CNN's Soledad O'Brien is excited about her new boss. When she heard that Jeff Zucker -- also her old boss -- had been named president of CNN Worldwide, "I thought, 'Yes!,'" O'Brien says. "He knows news. He knows winning. He knows morning TV." That's the ultimate trifecta for O'Brien, whose struggling morning show, Starting Point, sometimes loses to HLN, and always loses to Fox News and MSNBC.
College Football's Big-Money, Big-Risk Business Model (WSJ)
The story of college sports in 2012 is the tale of an arranged marriage between two increasingly anxious kingdoms. On one side are the nation's largest universities, which face sharp declines in public funding. On the other, the cable and broadcast television networks, which are struggling to hold on to viewers and advertisers.
Economist Magazine Faces Contempt in Bangladesh (ABC News / AP)
A Bangladesh war crimes tribunal has accused the British magazine The Economist of hacking the computer of its presiding judge to record conversations and read emails he exchanged with a lawyer. The magazine did not directly address the charges, but said it was in possession of conversations and documents that raised serious questions about the workings of the tribunal.
Does Michael Bloomberg Really Need a Newspaper? (The Atlantic Wire)
Michael Bloomberg's got a lot going on. He's the mayor of New York City, one of the most powerful cities on the planet. He owns 90 percent of the wickedly profitable media company that bears his name. He's No. 10 on the Forbes 500 list. Can't he just quit while he's ahead? Not a chance, suggests The New York Times. In a scoop that feels like it's stretching at times, the Times' Amy Chozick and Michael Barbaro make the case that Bloomberg is angling himself to make a bid for the Financial Times, the widely respected, pink-paged newspaper that says it's not for sale.
WMVY-FM Aims to Shift to Web Streaming as a Nonprofit (NYT / Media Decoder)
The radio station WMVY-FM in Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts is beloved by many listeners for its eclectic alternative programming and local news and sports, but since 2008, that affection has not translated into enough advertisers to keep it profitable. So the owner, Aritaur Communications, is staking out an unusual path to keep the music alive: If it raises $600,000 in donations by the end of January, it will try to reinvent WMVY as a nonprofit Web-streaming venture.
In a BuzzFed, Gawkerized World, Photos of Naked Celebs and Barnyard Animals Are Interchangeable (Ad Age / The Media Guy)
Newspapers have historically served up, in the words of journalist Alan Barth, "the first rough draft of history," while magazines, I suppose, serve up second and third drafts, thanks to their longer lead times. And while newspapers have published and continue to publish plenty of important photojournalism (particularly so-called conflict photography), magazines, with their better paper stock and full-bleed printing -- and more intensive focus on commissioned work from a broader range of photographer-artists -- have the upper hand in presenting what you might call the first rough draft of art history.
Op-Ed: Technology is Not Enough -- What Marketers Can Learn from The Daily (AgencySpy)
What's left to say about The Daily? As everyone knows by now, News Corp. announced plans to shut down its iPad newspaper last week. While media coverage has included speculation about causes like debatable editorial quality and residual fallout from the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal in the U.K., to me the failure is a salutary example of what happens when a company employs technology for technology's sake.