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Thursday, Sep 18

The Morning Newsfeed: 09.18.08

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rupert-m1111urdoch-media-journal-BZ01-vl-vertical.jpgRupe: I Don't Want To Buy NY Times (Silicon Alley Insider)
Like he has in the past, Rupert Murdoch declares that his newspaper and local TV ad businesses are doing terribly, but that the rest of the company is growing great guns. Or at least enough to ride out a downturn. And New York Times readers and/or employees who fear that Rupert was going to buy the crown jewel of American journalism can relax. Not going to happen, he says.

NY Times Picks up Breakingviews Column (Reuters)
The New York Times Co's flagship newspaper plans to start running a daily business opinion column provided by Breakingviews.com, a week after The Wall Street Journal dropped it to concentrate on its own Heard on the Street column. The column will run daily in the Times as well as the International Herald Tribune, which New York Times Co owns and calls its global edition.

Moonves: 150 Million Reasons to Love the Election (B&C)
CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves flew the broadcast flag before jittery investors in New York Wednesday, repeatedly asserting that the company is exceptionally well-positioned both for the uncertain economic landscape now and for the sunnier days down the road. Moonves acknowledged that the broadcast business is in a state of serious flux as online consumption increases dramatically. TVNewser: Couric to ask both candidates the same question each week.


Ex-CNN Producer Found Dead (NYDN)
Detectives were chasing down leads Wednesday night in the mysterious death of a former CNN producer whose body was found in her tony Manhattan apartment. Police are unsure if Julie Horner Lankamp, who was discovered on the floor of her 28th-floor Gold St. apartment Tuesday, was the victim of foul play or an accidental drug overdose.

Yahoo Tests Home Page Using Outside Content (WSJ)
Yahoo Inc. will begin testing a new home page that plays down its own content and allows users to customize it with services from other Web sites, as the Internet company tries to jump-start its growth. The site's new elements -- which Yahoo will begin showing in stages to less than 1% of its visitors -- is part of the company's push to revamp all of its major Web properties.

Slimmed-Down Trib Moves Toward Debut (Crain's Chicago Business)
The Chicago Tribune will keep its full name but condense the number of sections from five to three, according to an all-but-final prototype of the redesigned paper that was shown to staffers Tuesday. The paper's new look will hit newsstands Sept. 29, and a major marketing push is expected to start next week.

Putting Newspapers On Trial (Forbes)
Sam Zell was sued in Federal Court in California yesterday by a group of current and former Tribune Company employees. They did a lot more than go after the billionaire they say ruined their company--you could make the case that they've put the fast-changing newspaper business on trial, too. The suit is so much more than an angry lashing by frustrated journalists. WWD: Zell calls the lawsuit a "distraction."

How Fact-Checking Took Center Stage in the 2008 Campaign (E&P)
The fact-checkers have gone wild in the past two weeks, but even before Barack Obama and John McCain were officially selected for the final leg in the race for the White House, political editors and reporters had done some soul-searching, leading many to a new commitment to studying, and maybe correcting, the record when needed.

NYP's Steve Dunleavy to Retire (Gawker)
The time has finally come for Steve Dunleavy -- the problem-drinking right wing New York Post columnist who's been called "[Rupert] Murdoch's fiercest, most loyal, and longest-running attack dog" -- to officially hang it up. The Post is throwing him a retirement party October 1, putting a -30- on a career that really wound down months ago due to health problems.

Colbert Christmas Special Planned (AP via USAT)
O come, all ye Colbert faithful. Stephen Colbert will host his own Christmas special this year, Comedy Central announced Tuesday. A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! will air Nov. 23 as a one-hour special. It will be a musical special featuring John Legend, Elvis Costello, Toby Keith, Willie Nelson, Feist -- and Daily Show host Jon Stewart.

Bill O'Reilly's 'Shut Up' Revisionism (Slate)
Jack Shafer: The charge that he overflows with shut-ups obviously bothers O'Reilly, and he's protested the charge a number of times in recent years. But O'Reilly has said "shut up" dozens of times on his show. My unsolicited advice to O'Reilly: Accept that you are shut up and shut up is you. TVNewser: Fox's Neil Cavuto tell's O'Reilly "You're worse than the very politicians you castigate on your show."

Joost to Unveil Web-Based Beta Version (Mediaweek)
Joost, the mega-hyped, well-funded but (up until now) little-viewed Internet TV startup is stealing a page out of Facebook and other social networking properties' playbooks as it attempts to reboot its inert business. The company will finally unveil the beta version of its long rumored Web-based version on Sept. 18 with a host of social media-ready features.

Microsoft to Ditch Seinfeld Ads (Valleywag)
Microsoft flacks are desperately dialing reporters to spin them about "phase two" of the ad campaign -- a phase which will drop aging comic Jerry Seinfeld altogether. Microsoft's version of the story: they had always planned to drop Seinfeld. The awkward reality: The ads only reminded us how out of touch with consumers Microsoft is. NYT: Echoing the campaign of a rival, Microsoft aims to redefine "I'm a PC."

How I Learned to Stop Worrying That the Internet Will Consume Print (HuffPo)
Bob Guccione Jr.: Having spent the past three months focusing on the future of media -- as guest editor of a special double issue of Media magazine -- I'm ready to make some predictions. I'm ready, despite knowing how difficult it is to predict accurately the future of anything as mercurial as the media -- tossed, as it is, on the illogical seas of pop culture and pulled by the currents of technology.

Alan Ball Framing the World in Human Emotion (WaPo)
Tamara Jones: There is something disturbing about Alan Ball. His tireless scratch, scratch, scratching away at life's most fragile layers may leave the rest of us raw and reeling, but the acclaimed 51-year-old screenwriter knows how to spare himself such discomfort. Glibness does quite nicely, and Ball can carry it off whether he's talking about child pornography and art, or bigotry and loneliness, or vampires and popcorn.

Gawker Traffic Soars on Palin Email Post (FBNY)
We couldn't help but notice that over at Gawker the Sarah Palin email post has thus far received approximately 160,000 hits, meaning, if the Gawker pay scale of $5/1000 hits is correct, Pareene has pocketed $800 and counting on this post alone.

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