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Wednesday, Oct 29

The Morning Newsfeed: 10.29.08

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magazine_stack.jpgTime Inc. Plans About 600 Layoffs (NYT)
Time Inc., the world's largest magazine publisher, plans to cut 6 percent of its work force -- more than 600 positions -- and will revamp the organization in a way that could radically alter the culture at the company. The company outlined the overhaul on Tuesday evening in a memorandum to employees. The layoffs will begin in about two weeks. NYP: CEO Ann Moore unveiled a restructuring that essentially blows up the old corporate hierarchy at Time Inc. and starts fresh by splitting the company into three new business units: news, style and entertainment, and lifestyle. Each of the new units will get a new bean-counting general manager -- widely expected to be responsible for the job cuts -- who will report to the Time Inc. CFO Howard Averill. AdAge: "This is a challenge, unlike any we've seen before," Moore said in a staff memo tonight about the reorganization. "And after much careful study and consultation with many of you who run our businesses, I have concluded that it is no longer possible to operate our company with the same decentralized management structure that served us so well during our many years of sustained growth."

Christian Science Monitor to Go Web-Only (CSM)
The Christian Science Monitor plans major changes in April 2009 that are expected to make it the first newspaper with a national audience to shift from a daily print format to an online publication that is updated continuously each day. The changes at the Monitor will include enhancing the content on CSMonitor.com, starting weekly print and daily e-mail editions, and discontinuing the current daily print format. WaPo: "Everyone who grew up with print, and everyone who worked in print like me, you feel a little sad," editor John Yemma said in an interview. But he said the Church of Christ, Scientist, which has heavily subsidized the $26 million annual cost of running the Boston-based paper, wants to stem the flow of red ink. Forbes: While other print publications have folded in favor of online in recent years, the Monitor's change is perhaps the most poignant acknowledgment thus far of the radical transformation in the newspaper business.

Gannett Will Cut 10 Percent of Newspaper Jobs (Reuters)
Gannett Co Inc, the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, is planning to cut about 10 percent of jobs at its local papers as it fights advertising declines made worse by the global financial crisis. It is the second round of layoffs that Gannett has planned in the past two months. In August, Gannett said it would eliminate 1,000 newspaper jobs, with 600 being laid off. Bloomberg: Gannett cuts won't affect USA Today.


McGraw-Hill Cuts 270 Jobs (Folio:)
As part of its third quarter financial statement, BusinessWeek publisher the McGraw-Hill Companies said yesterday that it eliminated 270 jobs company-wide in an effort to "contain costs and mitigate the impact of the current and expected future economic conditions." More than half of the cuts -- 140 -- come from its media and information division.

Google Settles Book-Scan Suit (AP)
Google Inc., the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers have settled a class-action lawsuit over Google's book-scanning project. The company and the book groups said Tuesday that Google will pay $125 million to resolve claims by authors and publishers and to pay legal fees.

CNN Rejected Obama Ad; Fox News Not Asked (Hollywood Reporter)
CNN says the Barack Obama campaign tried to purchase airtime tonight on the network to run its 30-minute primetime ad. The news network says it rejected the request. Fox News, sources say, was not approached by the Obama campaign. Sources point out that the ad is already airing on the Fox broadcast network. MSNBC, however, is airing the ad despite it running on its broadcast partner NBC. NYT: Obama will use his prime-time half-hour infomercial on Wednesday night to make what is effectively a closing argument to a national audience of millions. TV Week: As the Obama campaign readies to air a half-hour TV program at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday on major broadcast and some cable networks, the question is will it actually work?

CNN Courts Newspapers With New Wire Service (E&P)
CNN is courting newspapers -- and possibly competing with The Associated Press -- with a new wire service the cable network plans to launch soon. CNN is boasting its new CNN Wire will "provide stories of interest to your newspaper and online readers -- breaking news, national, international, business, politics, consumer, medical, and more."

McCain Campaign Accuses LA Times of 'Suppressing' Obama Video (LAT)
John McCain's presidential campaign Tuesday accused the Los Angeles Times of "intentionally suppressing" a videotape it obtained of a 2003 banquet where then-state Sen. Barack Obama spoke of his friendship with Rashid Khalidi, a leading Palestinian scholar and activist. Russ Stanton, the editor of the paper, said he didn't publish the video because of a promise made to a source.

Mourning Old Media's Decline (NYT)
David Carr: For readers, the drastic diminishment of print raises an obvious question: if more people are reading newspapers and magazines, why should we care whether they are printed on paper? The answer is that paper is not just how news is delivered; it is how it is paid for. More than 90 percent of the newspaper industry's revenue still derives from the print product.

After Year One, Hulu's Success Shows (USAT)
Hulu launched just a year ago and is the sixth-most-viewed online video channel, bypassing more established sites Veoh, Joost, and Fancast. The service showed nearly 150 million video streams in September, over one-third more than August's 107 million streams, according to Nielsen. NYT: "The notion that less is more is absolutely playing out on Hulu," Jason Kilar, the chief executive of the site, said. "This is benefiting advertisers as much as it is benefiting users."

After Disappointing Year, Random House's Doubleday Division Cuts 16 Jobs (NYO)
16 people at Random House's Doubleday division have been laid off, according to a report on Publishers Marketplace. Doubleday spokesman David Drake said that jobs were cut in editorial, marketing, publicity, art, and ad promo departments across all of the group's imprints.

Ad Bigs See Downturn, Layoffs Into 2009 (NYP)
Ad chiefs are taking a dim view of the fourth quarter and beyond and are bracing for cutbacks, including more layoffs. Three agency holding companies -- Interpublic, Britain's Aegis, and French firm Publicis -- reported solid third-quarter results yesterday but said the ad business is looking a lot shakier headed into 2009.

Special 'Investment Fund' to Increase Business Coverage at The Times? (NYO)
Why, one questioner asked Bill Keller at a recent State of the Times meeting, was Business Day suddenly increasing in size while everyone else was being told they couldn't hire? ... He said: "It's been money that comes from an investment fund, if you will, that was set up to try and expand some of the business verticals that the company hopes have the potential to make good money down the road."

Strike TV Launches Shows From The Office, Daily Show Scribes (Wired/Underwire)
After multiple delays, Hollywood online video startup Strike TV is finally open to the public. Currently, Strike TV has only a handful of shows, including Global Warming, an off-kilter romantic comedy between Saturday Night Live star Kristen Wiig and The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi; dramatic murder mystery Unknown Sender; and teen horror show 5 or Die.

RadarOnline's Sensibility Evaporates With New Ownership (NYO)
Radar has ever been sold as an heir to Spy: poppy and irreverent and, most of all, smart, as though OK! had gone to college and majored in semiotics. But in the days since the Web site has been acquired by AMI, the proprietors of The National Enquirer, it seems to have dropped a few grades behind.

Bravo Plans Docu-Soap in Dubai (TV Week)
There may not be peace in the Middle East, but if executives at Bravo get their way, juicy reality show drama could soon be coming to the Arab world. The cable network has teamed with Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey's World of Wonder to develop the tentatively titled Dubai Project, a docusoap reality show set in the desert kingdom. Casting on a pilot for the project has already begun.

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