Media News

Friday, May 04

The Morning Newsfeed: 05.04.07

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rupert_murdoch_portrait.jpgNews Corp. Plans Strategy to Woo Family, Journalists (WSJ)
News Corp., launching a two-pronged offensive, is planning to take its case for buying Dow Jones & Co. to the media company's controlling shareholders, the Bancroft family, and directly to the newsroom of the Wall Street Journal. NYT: Murdoch insists he won't meddle in [Dow Jones'] journalism or slash-and-burn the staff. "We're not coming in with a bunch of cost-cutters," he said, but added: "I'm not saying it's going to be a holiday camp for everybody." BusinessWeek: "Rupert wakes up in the morning and thinks about how he can change the media world and where there are white spaces," says media consultant Peter Kreisky. "He had a plan that made [the Dow Jones] assets worth more than they would in just about anyone else's hands." LAT: Dow Jones staff urged to show support for family. Guardian: Financial Times owner Pearson could have cause for concern if Murdoch's bid for the Journal succeeds. Economist: Is Murdoch's bid for Dow Jones just about vanity? DISCUSS: Would you want Rupert Murdoch as your boss?

Bid to Buy Reuters — Could It Be From Google? (Guardian)
The world's largest news and financial information service confirmed it had "received a preliminary approach from a third which may or may not lead to an offer being made." Reuters would not name the third party but traders cited Canadian information group Thomson Corporation while Internet giant Google was also mentioned. News Corp. was seen as unlikely.

Lawyer: Imus to Sue for Nearly $40M (AP)
Disgraced radio host Don Imus will sue CBS Radio for the huge portion of his $40 million contract that was left unpaid after he was fired for racist and sexist comments, his attorney said. Martin Garbus, a First Amendment attorney, said he plans to file the breach of contract lawsuit by the end of next week. NYT: Garbus said the language in the clause he cited proved "they were creating a shock jock," and Imus was doing "exactly what they wanted him to do." WaPo: Sources familiar with CBS' legal strategy say that other contract language allowed for the nationally syndicated host to be dismissed without warning.

Clark Hoyt Named New NYT Public Editor (NYT)
The Times yesterday named its next public editor, Clark Hoyt, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and editor who oversaw the Knight Ridder newspaper chain's coverage that questioned the Bush administration's case for the Iraq war. E&P: Hoyt plans to write often.

YouTube Extends Revenue-Sharing to Most Popular Users (YouTube Blog)
"Some of your favorite YouTube members, including LisaNova, renetto, HappySlip, smosh, and valsartdiary, will begin to participate in the same revenue sharing and promotional opportunities that are available to YouTube's other partners. These include thousands of mid-sized to large content creators who range from video game companies to universities to production houses."

Negative Numbers Up for Couric (AP)
One-third of Americans say they have a negative view of Katie Couric, her personal popularity lagging behind rivals Charles Gibson and Brian Williams just as her evening news program trails in the ratings. The Gallup Poll survey released Thursday found that 51 percent of Americans said they had a positive view of Couric, who jumped from NBC's Today show to CBS last fall.

Ion Approves NBC Sale Amid Unrest (NYP)
Television broadcaster Ion Media Networks yesterday approved a takeover offer from NBC Universal and hedge fund Citadel Investment Group, despite three opposing board members and threats from a dissident group of shareholders. The deal, which will allow NBC to keep a minority stake in Ion, was approved by a majority of the broadcaster's board in a heated meeting.

Gilmore Girls Canceled (Reuters)
Sources said Thursday that an offer had been put on the table for the show's two stars — Lauren Graham and her TV daughter Alexis Bledel — to return for an eighth season, but an agreement could not be reached. The show, which debuted on WB Network in 2000 and this season became part of the CW's inaugural schedule, will have its series finale at May 15.

Deadline for Primedia Enthusiast Group Auction Draws Heavy Hitters (NYP)
Today is the deadline for billionaire investor Henry Kravis to receive final offers in the wild auction for Primedia Enthusiast Group, a process that has gotten a lot more complicated now that two potential suitors — tabloid publisher American Media Inc. and billionaire supermarket mogul Ron Burkle — are in merger talks of their own.

New Army Regulations 'Put Media in Same Box as Al Qaeda' (CJR Daily)
Paul McLeary: While Rush Limbaugh would surely rank the American press up there with Bin Laden, for the Army to do so is shocking, displaying a deep ignorance on the part of at least some segments of the uniformed military over just what the media's role in a democracy is, while sending the unambiguous message to soldiers that reporters are to be treated as enemies.

Next Venture From Martha Stewart: Costco Food (NYT)
The long, fastidious reach of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia extends into the magazine, television, furniture, bedding, paint, glassware, and even home building businesses. Now the queen of all things domestic is turning her voracious appetite to perhaps the riskiest industry of all: groceries. NYP: Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. posted a wider first-quarter loss on costs to pay Mark Burnett, creator of her syndicated program.

Condé's Is Building an Audience (WWD) has a long way to go before it catches up to MySpace, but the teen networking site the publisher launched in February is getting a following. The site gathered 288,000 unique visitors in March, up from 183,000 in its first month. That's more than's 281,000 unique visitors and's 101,000, but less than's 745,000.

Halberstam Taught a Generation of Reporters to Ask the Hard Questions (Economist)
David Halberstam's truth-telling about the Vietnam war caused such anguish to officialdom that President Kennedy tried to get him fired. Journalists, and the general public, were less skeptical of government back then; but this young man's copy, soon turned into books, started an erosion of trust that has only gathered pace since.

I Owe My Left-Wing Punditry Career to Bill O'Reilly (LAT)
Rosa Brooks: Two years ago, I was not a member of the Left-Wing Media. I was just a lowly member of a somewhat different left-wing conspiracy, otherwise known as academia, from whence I wrote the occasional radical op-ed article, supported various far-left causes and strove ceaselessly to poison the minds of young Americans. Then one day, I got a call inviting me on the O'Reilly Factor.

If Someone Wanted to Publish My Blog Entries For Money, I Wouldn't Say No (The Onion)
Ben Tiedeman: My blog is more of a hobby than anything else, something to do for fun when I get home from my bookstore job. I've never dreamed of making a living from it. Though hypothetically speaking, if the New Yorker — a publication that I'm sure pays top dollar — wanted to publish my August 9, 2005 post "Creative Thinking Spots" in its "Shouts And Murmurs" section, I'd consider it.

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