Media News

Friday, Jun 20

The Morning Newsfeed: 06.20.08

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RobertThomson.jpgWSJ Creates 'Editorial Leadership' Team (E&P)
Wall Street Journal editor Robert Thomson has announced a new editorial leadership structure that he claims will "expedite decision-making and give increased authority and responsibility to reporters and bureau chiefs." Thomson announced the creation of a new "National, International, and Enterprise Team, a triumvirate which will report directly to me and to whom the bureau chiefs will report." WSJ: In connection with the organizational changes, the Journal announced a new central news desk to better coordinate domestic and international news coverage between the print and online arms of the Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. Guardian: WSJ to be "best in the world" says Rupert Murdoch. Politico: WSJ deputy managing editor Hays leaves.

Brian Williams Will Host Meet the Press on Sunday (AP)
Top NBC anchorman Brian Williams will host the next Meet the Press but the network hasn't chosen who will permanently replace Tim Russert, an NBC News spokeswoman said Thursday. The guests will be Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joe Biden, D-Del., who had been lined up to speak with Russert last week.

At Yahoo, the Exodus Continues (NYT)
For more than two years, senior employees have been leaving Yahoo at a steady, persistent trickle. The trickle has turned into a flood. After Yahoo's announcement last week that the company had instead chosen to sign a search advertising partnership with Google, three executive vice presidents, two senior vice presidents, and handful of other well-regarded employees have announced their intention to leave.

Hearst Rumors Rampant (NYP)
Aftershocks continue to shake the Hearst empire in the wake of the sudden departure of CEO Victor Ganzi. Most expect Frank Bennack, the previous and now current CEO, to hold the reins for a long stretch of time with no successor named for many months, possibly into 2009 — or beyond. Nevertheless, speculation is already swirling around who ultimately will land the top job.

60 Minutes Global Initiative Will Expand Brand To New Countries, Platforms (B&C)
CBS is looking to franchise its legendary 60 Minutes program with 60 Minutes Global, a new initiative designed to create versions of 60 Minutes in new countries, and expanding the program's presence online. Patti Hassler, currently executive editor of 60 Minutes, will take the helm of the initiative.

Facebook Loses a Top Executive (Time)
Bad news for Facebook: It lost its functional second-in-command. Matt Cohler, 31, who oversees the Facebook "product" and is generally perceived to be the core of the original management team, is joining Benchmark Capital, a powerful Bay Area venture capital firm. Cohler will be continuing to consult for Facebook.

Huffington Post Starts Local News Push (Guardian)
The Huffington Post is planning to expand into local news across the US, founder Arianna Huffington said last night, beginning with a site edited for the community of Chicago. Huffington said the Chicago site would aggregate news, sports, crime, arts, and business news from different local sources as well as contributions from bloggers in what will be the first of a series of projects in "dozens of US cities."

Magazine for Older Women Still on Tap From Martha (WWD)
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia still hopes to launch a magazine aimed at older women, but it's waiting out a tough advertising climate, said MSLO chief creative officer Gael Towey. She confirmed the magazine's working title is M and that a prototype has been produced, but said the time line was unclear given the economic downturn.

YouTube Teams With Indie Filmmakers (Variety)
Google Inc.'s YouTube is setting up a virtual screening room to bring the work of independent filmmakers to a global audience. Struggling filmmakers already use YouTube to kick-start viral marketing campaigns. The new feature, which debuts Wednesday, gives them an easy-to-find home — and makes them partners in drawing new ad revenue.

Wylie Agency Adds Nabokov Estate To Its Client List (NYO)
Less than a month after Dmitri Nabokov announced that he would publish his late father Vladimir's unfinished final novel, he has hired a new literary agent to represent the Nabokov Estate. That agent is Andrew Wylie, who is as famous for his expert handling of posthumous work by heavyweights like Saul Bellow as he is infamous for his tendency to lure high-profile clients away from less powerful agents.

Nielsen to Debut Out-Of-Home Viewing Data (MediaPost)
Nielsen's long-awaited service to track out-of-home viewing, a co-venture, will begin yielding data later this summer. The system offers the tantalizing prospect of measuring viewing in bars, hotels, and gyms — something networks have argued they don't receive credit for from advertisers.

CEO Shakeup at Hachette Raises Questions of Succession (Folio:)
The announcement that longtime Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. president and chief executive officer Jack Kliger was stepping down, to be replaced with Alain Lemarchand, raises questions. Is Lemarchand's appointment as HFMUS CEO a way for the French parent company to have more direct control over the day-to-day operations? Did parent Lagardére consider replacing Kliger with an internal candidate from HFMUS?

How the Press Gives John McCain a Pass (The Nation)
Eric Alterman: On issue after issue, and from every side of the journalistic political spectrum, a campaign of deception and distortion has helped to ensure that McCain's extreme positions and politically inspired flip-flops remain far from the consciousness of the average voter.

Moving Beyond The Hills (Forbes)
MTV's top-rated reality show The Hills consistently delivers a heavy dose of friendship feuds, workplace sagas, and late nights out. What it doesn't show: the cultural phenomenon it has created — and the opportunities that have come along with it. In addition to an audience of some 4 million viewers tuning into the Viacom-owned cable network, the top-rated docudrama has made stars out of its cast.

Time Was Right About 'You' (Marketwatch)
Jon Friedman: In the interest of fair play, I have a confession to make. Time was spot-on, dead-bang correct when it named "You" as its Person of the Year for 2006. I knocked the inspired choice, and I was way off base. There's no doubt by now that 21st century user-driven innovations are taking over the way people communicate with one another.

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