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Wednesday, Dec 21

Morning Media Newsfeed 12.21.11

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LA Times Fires Blogging Pressman Ed Padgett (FishbowlLA)
Ed Padgett, the founder and chief contributor to blog The Los Angeles Times Pressmen's 20 Year Club, got canned last week. No reason has been given, but it's worth noting that Padgett's blogging has long been a thorn in the sides of Los Angeles Times execs. LA Observed: Padgett, a Los Angeles Times employee for 39 years, has been in trouble with the bosses before for his blog posts. This time, he says, human resources called from out of nowhere to tell him he had been fired. "I had no clue I was under investigation, so it came as a shock to learn I was being investigated by human resources and terminated upon the completion of the so-called investigation," he posts. "I'm not at liberty to share why I was terminated or what my actions in response will be at this time, so stay tuned as this unfolds."

Legendary Columnist Bill Conlin Resigns Over Forthcoming Philly Inquirer Bombshell (Deadspin)
The Philadelphia Inquirer's top investigative reporter, Nancy Phillips, has written a story containing what we're told are allegations of child molestation against sportswriter Bill Conlin, a longtime columnist at the rival Daily News. Philadelphia Inquirer: Three women and a man say they were molested as children by Conlin, a Hall of Fame baseball writer and Philadelphia Daily News columnist. In vivid accounts, the four say Conlin groped and fondled them and touched their genitals in assaults in the 1970s, when they were ages 7-12. The 20: Conlin has apparently hired attorney George Bochetto, who tells NBC10: "Mr. Conlin is obviously floored by these accusations, which supposedly happened 40 years ago. He has engaged me to do everything possible to bring the true facts forward and to vindicate his name." Conlin, who signed on with the Philadelphia Bulletin in 1960 and moved to the Daily News just six years later, has been a staple in Philly sports journalism ever since. A spokesperson for the Daily News also confirmed to NBC10 that Conlin retired Tuesday (and did not resign), saying more details would be released later.

In New-Media First, Super Bowl To Be Streamed Online (AdAge / MediaWorks)
The next Super Bowl will be streamed online by NBC Universal, adding a new-media dimension to one of the oldest but most viable big TV properties on the primetime schedule. ReadWriteWeb: One of the biggest deal killers for would-be "cord cutters" has always been live sports. If you're a huge football fan, for example, there's no way around it: You need TV the old-fashioned way. That's still largely the case, but watching the year's biggest sporting event via the Internet just got a whole lot easier. The Super Bowl, which is the most-watched television broadcast in the United States, will be streamed live to computers and smartphones, the National Football League announced Tuesday. NY Post: The NFL, NBC, and Verizon Wireless have agreed to supersize the big game -- a change that will make it virtually impossible to escape football's biggest matchup, set for Feb. 5 in Indianapolis. paidContent: The NFL announced Tuesday that it is expanding its online offerings to include for the first time the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl, and NBC's Wild Card Saturday doubleheader. One intriguing twist in the announcement is that, although the online stream will be available everywhere in the United States, only Verizon subscribers will be able to watch it on their mobile phones through a special app. Wired / Epicenter: It also may signal the beginning of the next stage in the Web's transformation of television. Forget TiVo, iTunes, Hulu, and BitTorrent. Now even live events aren't safely confined to the boob tube. And where better to begin than with the biggest television event of the year?


Sun-Times Sale Expected To Be Announced Wednesday (Chicago Tribune)
The sale of Chicago's No. 2 newspaper is imminent, sources close to the situation said.

Information's Deadly Price: A Dangerous Year For Journalists (NYT / Media Decoder)
This is the time of year when you will read a lot of roundups of media news, but one thing that usually doesn't make those lists is the high price of getting some of the toughest stories.

Labor Unrest And Family Intrigue At Gray Lady (NY Post / Media Ink)
Labor unrest is simmering just below the surface at The New York Times Co., and the unions appear to be gearing up for a protracted fight.

Piers Morgan Testifies Before Phone-Hacking Inquiry (TVNewser)
CNN host Piers Morgan testified before the Leveson inquiry, which is looking into the still-expanding phone-hacking scandal in the United Kingdom. FishbowlNY: Tuesday Morgan gave what might be his most interesting performance since taking over Larry King's time slot in January. WSJ: Appearing Tuesday via video link from the United States, Morgan said he didn't believe illegal voice-mail interception, or phone hacking, took place at the British tabloid he oversaw most recently, Trinity Mirror's Daily Mirror. "To the best of my recollection, I do not believe so," he said. Yahoo! News / The Cutline: "I would say the average editor is aware of about 5 percent of what his journalists are up to at any given time," Morgan said during testimony via video from Los Angeles. Business Insider / Advertising: Most mysteriously, he declined to say how he got an infamous scoop about the divorce of Paul McCartney, which was based on his listening to a recording of Heather Mills' voice mail. New York / Daily Intel: Along with his time at News of the World, Morgan served as editor of another British tabloid, the Daily Mirror, for nearly a decade until 2004. There, he said, he never personally hired the sort of private investigators who have been charged elsewhere with breaking into private messages. "I was never directly involved," Morgan said, insisting that the job fell to the news or features desk. paidContent: If CNN wants an incisive big-name interviewer, it should consider hiring Robert Jay QC, who put Morgan through a far tougher interview than Morgan has managed on his primetime show on CNN. paidContent: News International said it had settled seven privacy claims against News Group Newspapers, the publisher of the now-defunct News of the World.

HollywoodLife.com Makes Up Justin Bieber Story (FishbowlLA)
It apparently wasn't enough for HollywoodLife.com to pass on a bogus MSN.com story Monday about Justin Bieber spending lots of time at the Playboy Mansion (and get called on it about five hours later). Tuesday, the Penske Media outlet plowed forward with exclusive details about some of the reasons why this 17-year-old loves to hang in Holmby Hills.

Jerry Sandusky Case: NBC Correspondent Arrested Courting Exclusive Interview (TMZ)
An NBC correspondent was arrested last week after allegedly getting wasted at a party thrown by Jerry Sandusky's lawyer.

Marcus Brauchli, Washington Post Editor, Gathers Veteran Staffers To Steady Uneasy Newsroom (HuffPost)
The Washington Post newsroom has changed dramatically in recent years, with hundreds of staffers leaving in a series of buyouts, and numerous star reporters and editors decamping to established competitors, such as The New York Times, or starting their own, like Politico. Just this past week, four Post staffers left the paper's national desk for other news organizations, including Reuters, NPR, and NBC News.

200 Printing Employees To Lose Their Jobs At Gannett (MediaJobsDaily)
Gannett has agreed to let the Columbus Dispatch print Gannett's The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Kentucky Enquirer starting in the fourth quarter of 2012.

1 Million Articles Auto-Shared Daily, So Yahoo! Expands Facebook Integration To 26 More Sites (TechCrunch)
Facebook's frictionless sharing integration has been a huge win for Yahoo! News U.S.

Twitter Adds Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, And Polish, Now Supports 21 Different Languages (AllTwitter)
Twitter was an all-English network until April 2008, when the platform added support for Japanese.

Facebook To Introduce Sponsored Stories To News Feed In 2012 (Inside Facebook)
Facebook will begin showing sponsored stories in the news feed in early 2012. AllFacebook: These promotions, which trigger users' engagement with a brand, until recently appeared only in modules specifically designated for advertisements. AdAge / Digital: The move will greatly increase the presence of marketers on Facebook, as well as provide new revenue for the social network months before its expected IPO. TechCrunch: Facebook hasn't shown ads in the news feed since 2008, so this has big ramifications for advertisers and the user experience.

Tennis Channel Wins Program Carriage Complaint Against Comcast (Multichannel News)
A Federal Communications Commission administrative law judge has ruled in favor of Tennis Channel in its program carriage complaint against Comcast. NYT: Comcast was ordered to carry Tennis Channel exactly as it does Versus and The Golf Channel. The ruling is particularly important because Comcast is the largest owner of cable systems in the United States. WSJ: In the decision, administrative law Judge Richard L. Sippel ruled that Tennis Channel proved that Comcast had discriminated against it by relegating the outlet to tiers of service available in fewer homes than Comcast's own Golf Channel and Versus sports channel. He ordered Comcast to stop discriminating against the channel as soon as "practicable," and to pay a $375,000 fine. NY Post: Comcast spokeswoman Sena Fitzmaurice said the company would appeal the ruling. THR: Late last year, the two parties failed to resolve a program dispute with the help of a mediator, and they had to turn to an administrative trial at the FCC. LA Times / Company Town: The full FCC must vote on the matter before Sippel's ruling becomes final. After the FCC takes action, the matter could be appealed to a federal court. LA Times / Company Town: Bloomberg, parent of cable business channel Bloomberg TV, thinks the FCC judge's decision regarding the small Tennis Channel will bolster its own fight against Comcast to be distributed similarly to CNBC, which is a unit of Comcast.

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