The Morning Newsfeed: 04.03.07
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Tribune Staffers React to Zell Purchase (E&P)
Newsroom staffers at several of the Tribune Company's daily papers were unsure what yesterday's announcement of a chain-wide sale might mean to their futures, with some praising the return of private ownership, but others noting the newspaper industry's bleak future likely means tighter economic times. E&P: The Zell deal will bring a quick and big payday for top execs. NYT: Zell, who has never owned a newspaper before, insists that his interest in Tribune is not editorial but economic. NYT: The Los Angeles Times, a problem for Tribune, may be even more of a challenge for its new owner. NYT: Taking Tribune private will ease quarterly earnings pressures but operational challenges will remain. LAT: Inside and outside the LA Times newsroom, Angelenos assume a wait-and-see attitude. WaPo: Red flags. E&P: Analysts weigh in. Deadline Hollywood Daily: David Geffen is by no means out of this. Chicago Tribune: The matchup of Tribune and Zell couldn't be more improbable. The deal will place a motorcycle riding, epithet slinging multibillionaire atop of one of the most conservative, buttoned-down companies in America. FishbowlLA: LA Times, meet your new owner.
Giuliani to Media: Lay Off My Wife (CBS News)
The former New York City mayor is fending off increased media scrutiny of his third wife the former Judith Nathan. Rudy is now asking the media to back off. "Attack me all you want," Giuliani said. "There's plenty to attack me about. Please do it. But maybe, you know, show a little decency." That's a tough sell for a man who, if elected, suggested he might invite his wife into cabinet meetings. DISCUSS THIS STORY: Is Rudy's wife fair game?
Google Enters TV Ad Sales Market With EchoStar (Reuters)
Google Inc. has struck its first major deal to enter the television advertising business with U.S. satellite TV operator EchoStar, a move that promises to upset the cozy way TV ad impact has been measured. The two companies have partnered to create an automated system for buying, selling, delivering and measuring the impact of TV ads running on EchoStar's DISH Network.
NBC Nightly News weekend anchor John Seigenthaler signed off for good this weekend after the network decided not to renew his contract due to budget cuts. NBC said Monday it would name a successor soon someone whose duties will also include weekend work at NBC or MSNBC. TVNewser: The network doesn't have the luxury of a full-time weekend Nightly News anchor anymore.
Jeff Greenfield moves from CNN to CBS (AP via USAT)
CNN's loss is CBS' election coverage gain: Veteran reporter and analyst Jeff Greenfield is leaving the cable news channel to work as senior political correspondent for CBS News. Greenfield, who has been with CNN since 1998, worked at CBS News from 1979 to 1983 as its media commentator. He begins his new job May 1.
Ebert: Despite Setbacks, I Am Feeling Better Every Day (Chicago Sun-Times)
Roger Ebert: As I look at the date, I realize I was named film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times 40 years ago Sunday. I had no idea I was embarking on a lifelong career, but I was, and I can't think of a better one. [Following my recovery from salivary gland cancer nine months ago] I plan to gradually increase my duties in the months to come. I still love writing about the movies. Forty years is not enough.
The Internet will overtake radio by next year and become the world's fourth-largest advertising medium, a year earlier than forecast. Global spending on Internet advertising increased from $18.7 billion in 2005 to $24.9 billion last year, according to media-buying agency ZenithOptimedia. The report predicted a spike of 7.7 percent in spending in Asia in the run-up to the 2008 Olympic Games.
Research Firm to Release Report Outlining Argument Against Sirius/XM Merger (NYP)
The influential Carmel Group will release a new report today that outlines the strongest arguments yet against merging satellite radio companies Sirius and XM. Sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters, the 11-page independent white paper includes a point-by-point rebuttal to the six main arguments put forth by Sirius and XM in favor of a merger.
We're At War; That's Front-Page News Every Day (CJR Daily)
Paul McLeary: At different points over the past of couple of years, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan especially Afghanistan have for a variety of reasons fallen from the front pages of our major daily newspapers. And even with the recent increase in the number of troops fighting in Iraq, we inexplicably seem to be in another such stretch now.
David E. Kelley's Fox drama Bells, has halted production and will air at least one more time, while ABC's Six Degrees is off the air immediately. At NBC, Donnellys will be pulled to make room for a new reality take on Wedding Crashers. And the CW has again announced that it is pulling the plug on 7th Heaven for next season.
Freelance CBS Editor Charged in Bank Robbery (AP via WMGT)
Authorities say a freelance editor hired by CBS to help cover the Masters golf tournament this week was charged today in a bank robbery. Investigators arrested 31-year-old Michael Alan Crane along with two alleged accomplices, 31-year-old Jawone Reginald Bennett and 28-year-old Shelby Lee Wills. Both Crane's hotel room and the rental car used in the robbery were registered to CBS.
GQ Interviews Lohan Via Blackberry (WaPo)
Peter Carlson: For GQ's special "Love, Sex and Madness" issue, writer Marshall Sella conducted an interview with bad girl actress Lindsay Lohan entirely via BlackBerry messages. How did this high-tech experiment work out? Not so good. It turns out that Lohan's text messages are about as banal as anybody else's text messages.
Simon Dumenco: Every once in a while I'm not miserable. Not pissy. Not unhappy. I always make sure to take notes when such fleeting episodes of non-dissatisfaction occur, and then I add them to my running list of Simple Media Pleasures (SMPs). The latest batch includes the declining American Idol ratings, 30 Rock and households without the Internet.
ESPN Re-Signs 'The Sports Guy,' Adds TV (Sports Business Journal)
While looking to fill its editor-in-chief position and facing increasing competition from rival sports sites, ESPN.com has retained its most popular columnist, Bill Simmons, signing him to a multiyear contract. Simmons will continue his popular "Page 2" column on ESPN.com, continue to contribute to ESPN The Magazine, and help develop shows for ESPN Original Entertainment.
How Fox News Pits Democrats Against Their Own Party (Salon)
Alex Koppelman: Fox has a stable of regular commentators who pop up frequently as representatives of the Democratic viewpoint. Though they say they are trying to reach out and sway potential voters, they often seem to be used to further a conservative political agenda, fulfilling one of several roles that ultimately just helps the network's right-of-center hosts make their arguments against liberals.
Invasion of the Frat Boy Ads (Slate)
Seth Stevenson: For some time now, Crispin Porter & Bogusky has been the hottest ad agency in the country. And I sort of hate it. It's not personal. Every Crispin employee I've ever spoken with has been friendly and likable. And it has nothing to do with how effective Cripin's ads are as sales tools. The jury's still out on that. No, my distaste is purely aesthetic. Crispin ads annoy me. And I'm not alone.