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Thursday, Dec 13

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Curry Could Add CNN Spice (NY Post / Page Six)
Incoming president of CNN Worldwide Jeff Zucker has plans to bring ousted Today show co-host Ann Curry to his new network as a high-profile anchor, sources tell Page Six. Zucker -- the former executive producer of Today and one-time NBC Universal head -- is interested in installing Curry in CNN's 8 p.m. time slot, we hear, which is currently occupied by Anderson Cooper. Business Insider In his new role as president of CNN, Zucker wants the scorned Today show anchor to come in as a high-profile personality but later transition to a "Christiane Amanpour role" as a globetrotting correspondent. "Jeff wants a headliner like Rachel Maddow or Bill O'Reilly in prime time," sources tell the Post. "He cannot allow the low ratings at CNN to continue... so he can't hire a nobody. Curry fits that CNN-smarty-pants-foreign-affairs type." The Atlantic Wire The move, if it happens, would actually be a good one. Even though she was dismissed by the Today show, Curry came out on the winning end -- fans rallied behind her and Today's ratings have dropped. (And we've seen NBC try, very publicly and on several occasions, to take the bullet for Matt Lauer.) Mediaite Much of that may be true but there is one big problem with this story. The Post's source is likely wrong. While Curry would certainly be a feather in the cap of CNN, and could be a great news anchor and reporter for them, CNN will likely be looking for opinionated or big personality hosts in its primetime slots. Chicago Sun-Times In checking with knowledgeable sources -- both at NBC and CNN -- it's clear Curry maintains a strong reserve of popularity with many viewers. "Ann has an uncanny ability to communicate her humanity to everyone, but it especially resonates with people watching her on television," said a longtime NBC producer who has worked with Curry. Added a source at the cable network, "I think she would bring a breath of fresh air -- tempered with a strong history with viewers -- if she does come to CNN." HuffPost There are many obstacles to this notion -- Cooper's status as the most popular figure on CNN and Curry's recently signed, long-term, multi-million dollar contract with NBC among them -- but it is a fun one nonetheless. To picture Curry bolting her still-awkward situation at NBC for the man who worked with her on Today and turning into the queen of cable? Delicious.

U.S. Ad Spending Rose in Quarter (NYT / Media Decoder)
There was a relatively strong increase in advertising spending in the United States during the third quarter, according to data released on Wednesday morning by Nielsen. Ad spending rose 7 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago, Nielsen reported, stoked by advertising related to the Summer Olympics and political campaigns. MediaPost Big growth came from automotive spending, a gain of 26 percent to $2.7 billion with auto dealerships up 22 percent to $1.0 billion. Nielsen says year-end promotions traditionally make the third quarter the biggest of the year, based on ad sales. It also notes that six of the top 20 companies in terms of advertising spending were auto manufacturers. Adweek More evenly distributed political dollars also swelled broadcast's coffers to some extent although the vast majority of the estimated $3.3 billion spent by various campaigns and SuperPACs was allotted to local TV. Research Magazine Ad-supported cable continued to outperform its free-to-view rivals, generating $5.55 billion in sales, up by 1 percent. Other notable categories included wireless/telecoms ($887.3 million, up 15 percent) and department stores ($772.8 million, up 1 percent).

The Best (and Worst) Media Errors and Corrections of 2012 (Poynter / Regret the Error)
If my annual tally of plagiarism and fabrication incidents is the depressing part of "Regret the Error's" year-end coverage, then this annual collection of the best of the worst in errors and corrections is the highlight. That's not to say the mistakes detailed below are minor or purely amusing; many are serious failures. TVNewser The "Error of the Year" award was shared by CNN and Fox News for wrongly reporting that the Supreme Court had declared the "Individual Mandate" in President Obama's health care bill unconstitutional. CNN is given particular criticism for making the mistake on TV, on its website, in email blasts and on social media, but is given praise for owning up and apologizing for the error. Fox News was criticized for not apologizing for the error, and for failing to acknowledge the original mistake.

Another Portrait of Imminent Death, but One Worthy of Publishing (NYT / Media Decoder)
Last week, there was a Web's worth of debate about the decision of the New York Post to publish a salaciously headlined photo of a man just before he was struck and killed by a subway train in New York. On Wednesday, many newspapers that cover New York, including The New York Times, published another photo of another man who was about to die. Poynter / MediaWire Brandon Woodard walks down West 58th Street, his attention on his phone. A man in khakis and a hooded coat approaches. In a moment, he will shoot Woodard in the head. The photo of this ghastly tableau ran in Wednesday's New York Times, courtesy the New York Police Department, which is attempting to gather information on the suspect. It's taken from security video, and the Times and other outlets have published video of the murder suspect getting out of his Lincoln and walking around the scene ominously. So what's different between this scene of a man in his last seconds of life and the picture of Ki-Suck Han that ran on the cover of the Post last week under the headline: "DOOMED: Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die"?

Hugh Howey Lands Simon & Schuster Book Deal (GalleyCat)
Formerly self-published science fiction novelist Hugh Howey has inked a book deal with Simon & Schuster to publish Wool in March 2013. Nelson Literary Agency agent Kristin Nelson negotiated the deal with senior editor Karyn Marcus. Since he self-published the book in July 2011, Howey has sold 300,000 eBook copies of his novella series, landed a book deal in the UK and saw his book optioned for film. Digital Book World Simon & Schuster is entering as-yet-uncharted waters for a big-six publisher: It is acquiring the print rights to an eBook hit and leaving the eBook rights with the author. "This is a modern twist on the old paperback license, but in this case Simon & Schuster will be publishing the hardcover and paperback editions simultaneously. We're thrilled to be able to help Wool achieve greater distribution at retail and bring this talented writer to a larger audience," said Julia Prosser, assistant director of publicity for Simon & Schuster. Publishers Lunch In 2011 Simon & Schuster agreed to distribute print books for another successful self-published eBook author, John Locke, and that unit also provided full-line distribution (this time including eBooks) to Tucker Max's Blue Heeler Books for his latest book, Hilarity Ensures.

The New York Times Names a New Business Editor (NYT / Media Decoder)
Dean E. Murphy, a reporter and editor with The New York Times for the last 12 years, has been named the next editor of the business section of the Times. The announcement was made on Wednesday afternoon in a memo from Jill Abramson, the executive editor. FishbowlNY Murphy succeeds Larry Ingrassia, who -- according to a memo sent by Abramson -- will take on a yet-to-be-named "larger role at the paper," starting next year.

Media and Banking Giant Joe L. Allbritton Dies (TVSpy)
Joe L. Allbritton, founder of Allbritton Communications, has died from heart ailments. He was 87. Allbritton was a self-made millionaire who made his fortune in banking. Allbritton Communications, the company he founded, owns eight ABC affiliates (including Washington, D.C.'s WJLA, which bears his initials) and political news site Politico. Politico "Joe was, first and foremost, a beloved and loyal husband, father, grandfather and friend," his family said in a statement Wednesday. "His life was defined by a love, wit, charm and attentiveness that will be forever cherished by all of us. Joe's life was also one of great achievement, as a businessman, innovator and philanthropist. He was fiercely passionate and unfailingly generous."

James Harding Out as Times of London Editor, Says It Was 'Made Clear' He Should Go (HuffPost / AP)
James Harding, editor of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's Times of London, announced he was resigning Wednesday, and said he was pressured to step down. Harding had led the British newspaper for five years. In a speech to his editorial staff, he praised the newspaper's coverage and said it had been an honor working there. "It has been made clear to me that News Corporation would like to appoint a new editor of the Times," he told his newsroom. "I have, therefore, agreed to stand down." NYT The same day that Harding said he would depart, regulatory filings showed that Rebekah Brooks, a former chief executive of News International, had received a $17.6 million severance package that included "compensation for loss of office" and "various ongoing benefits."

The Future of Television Has Arrived: It's Called the iPad (The Verge)
The future of the television is the iPad. That was the overwhelming message at the TV of Tomorrow conference in New York, which saw executives and decision makers from across the television industry gather for a lively day of discussion and debate about the state and direction of their business.

Tom Harkin: Conservative Media 'Manufactured' Fiscal Cliff Crisis 'to Scare People' (HuffPost)
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) joined HuffPost Live host Alicia Menendez to discuss the fiscal cliff, and blamed conservative media for blowing the crisis out of proportion as a means of scaring people. "The Rush Limbaughs and the echo chambers around the country have really manufactured this," he said, comparing it to the Y2K crisis. "This crisis has been manufactured to scare people so that we will do something here in a hurry."

As YouTube Renews Channels, Will Media Companies Make the Cut? (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Companies like Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and SB Nation took part in YouTube's original programming project. But their viewership can't always hit the high levels of more entertainment-centric options.

YouTube's 20 Most Watched Ads of 2012: Nike, Pepsi and VW Lead the Way; Old Spice Places Most Spots Overall (Adweek)
Nike, Pepsi and Volkswagen, three global marketers that are old pros at creating blockbuster video content, produced the three most-watched commercials on YouTube this year, according to the video site's 2012 Ads Leaderboard -- a list of top branded spots with at least as many organic views as paid views throughout the year.

Apple Moves Closer to Making TV Set (WSJ)
Apple Inc. is working with component suppliers in Asia to test several designs for television sets, people familiar with the situation said, suggesting that the company is moving closer to expanding its offerings for the living room. Executives at some of Apple's suppliers said the company has been testing designs for a large-screen high-definition set.

KTBS Fires Rhonda Lee for Violating Social Media Policy. Lee: 'I Have Yet to See This Policy' (TVSpy)
Former KTBS meteorologist Rhonda Lee, who was terminated at the Shreveport ABC affiliate last month for "repeated violations" of the station's social media policy, is firing back at station management, claiming she was unaware such a policy existed. Poynter / MediaWire Lee was fired after responding on Facebook to viewer comments, including one about her hair. Her employer, KTBS, says she was fired because responding at all is a violation of company procedure. During an appearance on CNN's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien, Lee says she's been denied job interviews because of her hair. "I even had a news director once say that my hair was too aggressive for Sacramento."

Europe's Newspapers Are Dying Too (CJR / Behind the News)
The staff of Financial Times Deutschland appeared on the back page of the newspaper on Friday, in a deep bow. With its last edition -- in which they renamed the paper Final Time Deutschland and announced "finally in the black" -- the 309 employees join what may well be an unprecedented number of journalists who have been laid off in Europe this year.

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