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Wednesday, Dec 12

Morning Media Newsfeed 12.12.12

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Owners of Southern California Dailies Eye Tribune Papers: Sources (Chicago Tribune / Reuters)
San Diego Union-Tribune owner Doug Manchester and Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner are interested in acquiring Tribune's stable of newspapers, according to people familiar with the situation. The Tribune Co, owner of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, will be seeking buyers for its newspapers once it emerges from bankruptcy, expected by Dec. 31, these sources said. Bloomberg Selling some of Tribune Co.'s papers would bring an influx of cash to the company after four years of bankruptcy. The owners may hold onto the larger newspapers, such as the ones in Los Angeles and Chicago, and look to sell the smaller titles more immediately, said Reed Phillips, managing partner of investment bank DeSilva & Phillips LLC. "They'll look at their assets and start to monetize some of them," said Phillips, who isn't involved in the discussions and doesn't have direct knowledge of the matter. Crain's Chicago Business In an interview, Freedom CEO and Orange County publisher Kushner said he'll consider bidding for Tribune's newspapers. Tribune owns eight major dailies, including the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun, as well as 23 local TV outlets, including WGN-Channel 9, a nationwide cable channel and WGN Radio. "If they do decide to sell, we clearly are an active strategic buyer, maybe the only one in terms of large metro newspapers," Kushner said. "That said, there's a lot of due diligence that needs to be done." Deadline New York Rupert Murdoch is known to be interested in those two papers as he prepares to split off News Corp's publishing operations -- including The Wall Street Journal and New York Post -- into a publicly traded company.

Penguin to Publish 2012 Campaign Book from Authors of Game Change (NYT / Media Decoder)
Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, the political journalists behind the best-seller Game Change about the 2008 presidential campaign, will publish a book about the just-concluded election under the title Double Down: Game Change 2012, Penguin Press announced on Tuesday. Penguin also said that HBO had optioned the rights to the book, which is set to appear in fall 2013. TVNewser The original Game Change debuted on bookshelves in January 2010, and debuted on HBO in March of this year. The movie became famous for Julianne Moore's portrayal of Sarah Palin as much as anything else, and garnered a more-than respectable 2.1 million live viewers. The Washington Post / Post Politics Heilemann is the national affairs editor for New York Magazine, and Halperin is a political analyst for Time and MSNBC. The parts of Game Change focused on former Alaska governor Sarah Palin were adapted earlier this year into an HBO film that went on to win several Emmys, including one for best movie/miniseries. USA Today "John Heilemann and Mark Halperin reinvented the campaign narrative with Game Change," Penguin's Ann Godoff said in a statement. "Their new book, Double Down, will, of course, break news. But more importantly, it will create the lasting story of the 2012 race for the presidency." THR Director Jay Roach and writer Danny Strong are likely to return for the sequel. The Atlantic Wire Lots of political reporters complained all election that this campaign was too boring, too "small." We thought that was dumb -- when the election wasn't about the equitable division of scarce resources, it was about theodicy, or why a benevolent God lets evil happen. (For answers on that one, ask Richard Mourdock about God's role in rape pregnancies.) What these reporters were really complaining about was that there were no Rielle Hunters, no disastrous vice-presidential interviews that delighted us four years ago and made Game Change worthy of an HBO movie.

Lena Dunham Wages War with Gawker (FishbowlNY)
Despite what most would think, Lena Dunham is not a fan of Gawker. In fact, she had her lawyer contact the site after Gawker published her book proposal, which fetched her a cool $3.7 million. Gawker did take down the proposal, but that wasn't enough for Dunham. New York Magazine / The Cut In response, Gawker removed the proposal but kept up a handful of out-of-context quotes, adding a couple of lines of analysis to each. The commentary is, to a certain extent, a joke about the fair use exception, which allows you to violate something's copyright as long as you are commenting or criticizing the material. Entertainment Weekly / Inside TV Instead, Gawker writer John Cook has added snide commentary meant "to clarify our intent in quoting the above matter from Dunham's proposal" to each excerpt. Example: "The quoted sentence demonstrates that Dunham is incapable of conceiving a rationale for writing that doesn't serve the goal of drawing attention to herself." BuzzFeed You don't have to like Dunham. You don't have to like Girls. But this hate for Dunham and her work is such a clear-cut case of sexist jealousy that I'm having trouble wrapping my head around it.

Don Imus Re-Signs with Fox Business Network (TVNewser)
Fox Business has re-signed Don Imus to a multi-year deal. Imus' radio program, Imus in the Morning, will continue to simulcast on FBN weekdays from 6-9 a.m. ET. Radio & Television Business Report Cumulus has extended its relationship with Don Imus and Imus in the Morning will continue to anchor 770d WABC's line-up through 2015. Imus in the Morning is syndicated to all 50 states via Cumulus Media Networks and can be heard on WABC from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. NYT / Media Decoder Imus, who on his show recently discussed the impending end of his current five-year contract with Cumulus, commented on the extension with uncharacteristic pith: "I love it," he said. "Let's do it." Imus in the Morning is syndicated to 74 stations around the country, and heard by about 2.25 million listeners each week, according to Talkers, a radio trade publication.

Beth Hoppe to Head Programming at PBS (B&C)
PBS is shaking up its programming department, promoting Beth Hoppe to chief programming executive and general manager, general audience programming. She will report to PBS COO Michael Jones. Former programming head John Wilson, who has been with PBS since 1994, becomes senior vice president, pledge strategy and special projects. NYT / Media Decoder She replaces John Wilson, who is moving to a new job as senior vice president, pledge strategy and special projects, where, according to the memo, his role will be to "reinvigorate pledge programming," those shows that PBS stations use to solicit viewer donations. Wilson has worked in the PBS programming department since 1994. In a statement, Michael Jones, chief operating officer at PBS, said, "As we continue to execute on our strategic plan to revitalize our content, strengthen stations and encourage innovation, we are evolving our structure to better enable us to execute against our priorities and capitalize on opportunities." THR PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger has championed Hoppe; both previously worked at WNET, the flagship station in New York. At Discovery Studios, Hoppe developed series including Human Nature.

An Update on Sporting News for 2013 (Sporting News)
After 126 years of printing ink on paper with weekly, biweekly or monthly frequency, Sporting News will officially become a digital brand as of Jan. 1, 2013. Based on interest expressed by a number of longtime readers, Sporting News will continue to print six highly popular, sport-specific yearbook previews in 2013 -- Baseball, NFL, College Football and College Basketball plus Fantasy Football and Fantasy Baseball -- that will be available at newsstands across the country. NPR / The Two-Way Established in 1886, TSN, as it has come to be known, became the dominant American publication covering baseball. It later expanded its coverage to most other major U.S. sports. For much of its history, TSN was a decidedly nonglamorous, black-and-white newsprint publication considered the place serious sports fans went to follow their teams. It was only in October when the publication announced it was ending its biweekly publication and going monthly, but in the print world the situation changes fast.

Fred Dicker: Long-Serving Post Editorial-Page Editor Bob McManus to Retire (Capital New York)
Tuesday on his daily radio show in Albany, the New York Post's Fred Dicker announced that the paper's editorial page editor, Bob McManus, is retiring. "He joined the New York Post shortly after I did, about six months later," said Dicker, who is the newspaper's state editor. "I had given him a strong recommendation. He escaped the Times Union." FishbowlNY McManus will step down in January. He came to the Post as chief editorial writer. From 1990 to 2000 he served as deputy editorial page editor. In 2000 McManus was named editorial page editor. William McGurn, a vice president at News Corp. and former speech writer for George W. Bush, will succeed McManus.

Pawn Stars Lawsuit Claims Agent Stole Clients and History Channel Execs Helped (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
The stars of the History Channel's megahit Pawn Stars are the subject of a new lawsuit that claims they were improperly steered from one agent to another by some of the History Channel's top executives. Venture IAB Inc, a talent agency that alleges it signed reality stars Richard B. Harrison, Richard K. Harrison, Richard C. Harrison and Austen Russell to written contracts in 2007 and helped them score the hit reality series set in a pawn shop, filed suit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming $5 million in lost commissions based on its 10 percent interest in their income. E! Online "As a result of the intentional interference with agency agreements, Plaintiff has lost millions of dollars of income," the suit alleges. In early 2010, the network's top executive Nancy Dubuc and development and programming vice president Mary Donahue allegedly "interfered" with the written contract between Venture IAB and the reality stars, urging them to terminate their agreement "so that Dubuc's and Donahue's friend and agent, Michael Camacho of UTA, could take over."

Barnes & Noble is Giving Away Books When People Buy A Nook (AppNewser)
In a move to drive sales of its Nook devices, Barnes & Noble is running a charity-related promotion this holiday season called "Buy a Nook, We'll Give a Book." For every Nook purchased between now and Dec. 25, the company will donate one new print book to First Book, a non-profit that gives new books to children in need. Engadget Sure, it's probably not going to convince you to pick up a new device if you weren't already in the market for one, but that's not really the point, right?

NAA: FCC Rule Change Would Have Little or No Impact on Minority Ownership (B&C)
The Newspaper Association of America says FCC chairman Julius Genachowski's proposal to loosen the newspaper/TV cross-ownership rules and lift limits on newspaper/radio do not go far enough, but defended the move as thoroughly vetted and said criticisms that it would harm minority ownership are unsubstantiated. In fact, NAA said that the change would have little or no impact on minority ownership, or consolidation in general.

TWT Beefs Up Security, Email, Phone Surveillance Amid Impending Layoffs (FishbowlDC)
The Washington Times has bulked up security at the building and hired new guards. Security in the main lobby last week shifted from one guard to three, with another patrolling the parking lot. The reasoning? Sources tell FishbowlDC it's the impending layoffs.

Norman Ornstein on Mainstream Media's 'Significant Failure' Covering GOP (HuffPost)
How did the mainstream press miss the biggest story of the 2012 election? Norman J. Ornstein, political scientist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, talked to HuffPost Live host Abby Huntsman on Tuesday about the rightward lurch of the Republican Party and the media's failure to address it.

After a Strong 2012, DC Comics Looks Ahead (Publishers Weekly)
Looking back over a year of growth, DC Comics executives point to the continued popularity of The New 52, the wildly successful relaunch of its superhero universe, increased sales of print and digital comics, sales of its controversial Before Watchmen periodical series and a growing list of bestselling hardcover titles as the year comes to an end. Moving into 2013, fans and booksellers can expect new book releases of The New 52, volume two of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Before Watchmen series as well as a much-anticipated graphic novel adaptation of Quentin Tarantino's new film, Django Unchained.

Pepsi and Beyoncé: The New Sponsorship Model? (PRNewser)
PepsiCo recently signed a sponsorship deal with Beyoncé worth a reported $50 million -- but we're not terribly concerned with news about a pop singer promoting a soda company. We're more interested in the nature of the relationship between the two parties, which seems to have broken new ground when it comes to sponsorships and invites the question: Who is promoting whom?

Non-CNN Translation of Psy Lyrics: He's More Anti-Torture Than Anti-American (The Atlantic Wire)
So remember Friday, when we all discovered that Psy, (formerly) the world's favorite horse-dancing Asian pop star, had rapped some (seriously) anti-American lyrics in 2004? And remember Monday, when everyone freaked out that President Obama would still shake his hand at the White House? Well, about that: something may have been lost in the original translation -- including all of the explicit parts, and most of the parts about killing American soldiers.

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