Media News

Monday, Aug 31

The Morning Newsfeed: 08.31.09

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Cam1iM_8.31.jpgCBS' Cami McCormick Injured in Afghanistan (TVNewser)
CBS News correspondent Cami McCormick was injured Friday in Logar Province, Afghanistan, while on assignment for CBS Radio News. McCormick was traveling with members of the U.S. Army when their vehicle hit an IED. McCormick underwent surgery at a field hospital to stabilize her condition.

Military Terminates Contract With Firm That Did Journalist Profiles (Stars & Stripes)
The U.S. military is canceling its contract with a controversial private firm that was producing background profiles of journalists seeking to cover the war that graded their past work as "positive," "negative" or "neutral."

Jenna Bush Becomes Today Reporter (AP)
NBC's Today show has hired someone with White House experience as a new correspondent -- former first daughter Jenna Hager. The daughter of former President George W. Bush will contribute stories about once a month on issues like education to television's top-rated morning news show.

Tribune Chief Zell May Remain for Company's Cleanup (NYT)
The Tribune Company could well emerge from bankruptcy this fall with much of its current top management intact, according to people briefed on restructuring plans, but it remains unclear whether that might include Samuel Zell, the chairman and chief executive who took the company private.

Wikipedia to Color Code Untrustworthy Text (Wired)
Starting this fall, you'll have a new reason to trust the information you find on Wikipedia: An optional feature called "WikiTrust" will color code every word of the encyclopedia based on the reliability of its author and the length of time it has persisted on the page. NYT: Wikipedia looks hard at its culture.

Newspaper Owner Freedom Plans to File For Chapter 11 (WSJ)
Freedom Communications Inc., the owner of the Orange County Register, is expected to declare bankruptcy this week, according to people familiar with the situation, the latest in a string of Chapter 11 filings in the battered newspaper business.

Murdoch Son: BBC Threatens Independent Journalism (AP)
"In this all-media marketplace, the expansion of state-sponsored journalism is a threat to the plurality and independence of news provision, which are so important for our democracy," said James Murdoch, the 36-year-old executive in charge of News Corp.'s businesses in Europe and Asia. Guardian: But how much did Murdoch's speech reflect industry concerns?

Philly Newspapers, Top Creditors Agree on Several Points (Philly Inky)
After months of squabbling on multiple fronts, Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C. and its major creditors announced a series of accords yesterday that should quicken the pace of the company's bankruptcy case.

New Layoffs Imminent at SF Chronicle (San Francisco Business Times)
San Francisco Chronicle management representatives met Friday with the San Francisco Media Workers Guild to discuss the Chronicle's plans to slash additional jobs through both buyouts and layoffs, Guild officials said in an Aug. 28 statement.

Weather Channel Taps Former AOL Exec as New Chief (AJC)
The Weather Channel went outside the TV industry and tapped Michael Kelly, the former president of AOL Media Networks, as the company's new CEO. He replaced Lisa Gersh, an NBC executive and co-founder of Oxygen Media who had been the channel's interim CEO since February.

Can Yahoo Save the News (The Daily Beast)
Larry Kramer: There are new signs of a growing future for original content on online platforms. Existing media companies are now increasingly in danger of losing their one advantage -- the brand equity they have built as the "go-to" place for whatever category of content they dominate.

E-books Could Spell the End for Hardbacks, Warns Hachette Chief (FT)
Hardback books could be killed off if Amazon's e-books and Google's digital library force publishers to slash prices, Arnaud Nourry, chief executive of Hachette, has warned. Nourry said unilateral pricing by Google, Amazon and other e-book retailers could destroy publishers' profits.

Good Books Don't Have to Be Hard Work (WSJ)
Lev Grossman: It's not easy to put your finger on what exactly is so disgraceful about our attachment to storyline. Sure, it's something to do with high and low and genres and the canon and such. There was once a reason for turning away from plot, but that rationale has outlived its usefulness.

Despite Tough Economy, A Wave of Print Magazines to Launch (Folio:)
Just last week alone, 944 Media said it will launch editions in Atlanta and Detroit; Kevin Thomas, publisher of Maine Home & Design, relaunched Port City Life as Maine; and American Media Inc. said it partnered with Ultimate Fighting Championship to launch a bi-monthly national magazine called UFC.

Revolving Door Newsletter: A&E Buys Lifetime; AOL Gets New CFO (
A&E Television completes its purchase of Lifetime Entertainment. Abbe Raven, president of A&E, will head the new operation... Former Time Warner Cable exec Arthur Minson signs on as chief financial officer at AOL. The move will help the Internet company smoothly transition away from Time Warner.

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