Media News

Wednesday, Jan 16

The Morning Newsfeed: 01.16.08

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34749622.jpgOprah Winfrey and Discovery to Create New Cable Network (NYT)
Oprah Winfrey, the daytime talk show host whose media empire also includes a television production company, radio show, magazine, popular Web site, and other ventures, will soon be getting her own TV network. Winfrey and Discovery Communications said on Tuesday that they would jointly create OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, a cable TV channel to make its debut in 2009 on what is now the Discovery Health Channel. NYP: Winfrey, who will turn 54 at the end of the month, will serve as chairman of the new channel, which will debut next year in about 70 million homes, and have complete editorial control over its programming. LAT: The venture could be Winfrey's encore once she exits daytime television. Winfrey's show is scheduled to air through May 2011, but the talk-show host said Tuesday that she had an option that would allow her to end her show a year early, in May 2010.

WGA: No Strike Waiver for Academy Awards (B&C)
In the wake of the cancellation of the traditional Golden Globe Awards ceremony, Writers Guild of America West president Patric Verrone reiterated Tuesday that he does not anticipate granting the Academy Awards a waiver unless the striking writers and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reach a deal.

Sick in the Mid-East, Dowd Gets Help From WH Doc (WaPo)
Having made a living for years skewering President Bush, New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is almost certainly not one of the White House's favorite columnists. This did not, however, dissuade White House aides and medical staff from leaping to help Dowd when she fell ill during Bush's eight-day swing through the Middle East.

Did Blender Blur Ad-Edit Line? (Folio:)
In its Jan.-Feb. issue, Blender published the "2008 Rock & Roll User's Guide," a 16-page new music preview sponsored by Sync, Microsoft's in-car voice-activated technology. In it, a small logo that reads "Presented by Sync/Powered by Microsoft" appears on five of the section's 10 editorial pages, with the other six pages devoted to Sync-related ads. Four of those logos ask readers to log onto for free MP3 downloads.

Defections Brewing at Every Day With Rachael Ray (NYP)
The mag's executive editor Maile Carpenter resigned last week — just in time to go on her honeymoon with chef Wylie Dufresne. Also, lifestyle editor Tracy Saelinger turned in her resignation earlier this week. One source with knowledge of their plans said they were going to work on a new magazine now being developed at Hearst.

German Brothers Take Stake in Facebook (TechCrunch)
Serial German entrepreneurs Alexander, Marc, and Oliver Samwer have invested in Facebook — presumably as part of Facebook's recent $15 billion valuation round with Microsoft. In November Facebook added to the $240 million investment from Microsoft with another $60 million from Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.

Solomon Introduces Himself to Washington Times Newsroom (FishbowlDC)
From an internal memo: "Rest assured I do not share the bleak assessments of many industry leaders that the Fourth Estate has entered an era of inevitable decline. The news industry's greatest times still lay ahead of us. The next several years offer an unprecedented opportunity to liberate all of our products from the confines of two-dimensional story telling."

Jewish Feminists Slam Ms. Mag for Rejecting Ad (NY Sun)
Jewish feminists are criticizing Ms. for refusing to run a full-page advertisement submitted by the American Jewish Congress that features three prominent Israeli women. Calling the decision "contemptible" and "hostile" toward Israel, the women said that the decision seemed to be motivated by anti-Israel sentiment among the publication's staff and its readers.

Anschutz Not Bidding for Metro Newspapers (Denver Business Journal)
Philip Anschutz's newspaper company is not bidding for a trio of three free East Coast papers, Anschutz's spokesman said Tuesday. "There's no truth to this," said Jim Monaghan, the Anschutz spokesman. Metro International S.A., an international publisher which produces free newspapers in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia under the name Metro, is said to be offering the U.S. papers for sale.

MPA Chairman: Mags Need Audience-Based Metrics (Mediaweek)
Stepping up as chairman of the Magazine Publishers of America, John Q. Griffin repeated his predecessor's rallying cry to move from a circulation- to audience-based measurement in hopes of pushing media buyers to evaluate magazines on a par with broadcast media. "We're never going to be able to produce overnights, but we can get a lot faster than we are," said Griffin. Folio:: "We know there's this tremendous change and we can't predict anything," Griffin said. "We have to rely on the power of what we have. We have the best brands in media."

Reality Steps It Up as Top Shows Run Out of Episodes (USAT)
Enjoy last week's CSI and Grey's Anatomy? We hope you did, because none are left. The 10-week-old writers' strike has finally emptied the cupboards of most top sitcoms and dramas. Apart from Fox, which ushered in American Idol on Tuesday, other networks are expected to become the "biggest losers" in coming weeks with a steadier diet of repeats and reality and the end of prime-time football.

CNN's John King Responds to Criticism of His McCain Interview, Calling It 'Biased Uninformed Drivel' (Salon)
Glenn Greenwald: It's worth noting how often journalists' responses to criticisms contain so many of the same elements which King's email to me contains. ... They invariably point to criticisms from both Left and Right as proof that they're unbiased straight-shooters. ... They close by telling you that you have no standards, no ethics, no understanding of their Complex Profession, and no decency.

Murdoch Rethinks Journal Strategy (NYO)
At the annual WSJ bureau chiefs' meeting, Mr. Murdoch spelled out a theme he's been emphasizing since last year, but in renewed terms: that front-page feature stories are too long and might be better suited for a weekend reader who has more time to read them.

Diane Keaton Slips, Drops F-Bomb on GMA; FCC Stammers (Hollywood Reporter)
The nation's top TV regulator said it would be difficult for the FCC to take action against ABC stations that aired Good Morning America on Tuesday when actress Diane Keaton used the f-word. Last year's court decision that threw out the FCC's policy on "fleeting references" complicates any action the commission might want to take against the stations or the network, chairman Kevin Martin told reporters.

Which is Better at Covering Drug Addiction, The Wire or The Baltimore Sun? (STATS)
Maia Szalavitz: As The Wire brings a fictional version of the Baltimore Sun to life, the real paper recently "exposed" abuse of the new addiction medication, buprenorphine. But as it turns out, HBO's dramatic series does a far better job of examining the complexities of addiction than what appeared to have the factual power of a real journalistic investigation. WaPo: Baltimore Sun's Wire portrayal fuels a hot debate.

Hillary-ious: Press Bias Against Female Candidates (Inside Higher Ed)
"On the average," writes author Erika Falk, male candidates each "had twice the number of articles written about them as did the women, and these articles were on average 7 percent longer... In addition, the coverage that men received was more substantive (regarding issues) and its content was less tangential (e.g., about physical appearance or family) than was the coverage of women."

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