The Morning Newsfeed: 11.01.06
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Yet Another Editor Named to Run Fortune (NYT)
Time Inc. abruptly removed Eric Pooley as the managing editor of the magazine yesterday, and named Andrew Serwer, a senior editor at large, to succeed him, becoming the magazine's third top editor in less than six years. John Huey, editor in chief of Time Inc., a unit of Time Warner, gave no reason for the change. WWD: While many regard Serwer as a "good guy" and a "great television brand," many wondered whether he'd have the editorial clout to helm the biweekly business title. Crain's New York Business: Serwer, who has worked at Fortune since 1985, became a darling of the online journalism space in the 1990's. NYP: The move was described by one insider as "a lightning bolt out of the blue." FishbowlNY: Wall Street's "poet singer" inherits Fortune at a critical time.
Time Warner's November Surprise: Profits Way Up (BBC)
Time Warner's profits have almost tripled, boosted by strong advertising revenues at its AOL division. The world's largest media group saw its third quarter net profit jump to $2.3B from $853M for the same three months last year. Its revenues were up 7% to $10.9B, again compared with a year earlier, strengthened by its acquisition of cable company Adelphia Communications. AP via Business Week: AOL posted a 21 percent gain in profits despite a 3 percent decline in revenues.
With Circ Gains Established, NYP's Next Step Is to Turn a Profit (NYO)
While editor Col Allan declined to comment on exactly how much money the New York tabloid loses each year, he confirmed that the newspaper remains financially in the red. But Mr. Allan did make a bold prediction: The Post will soon turn a profit. "Clearly, I think that it is a year or so away," said Mr. Allan. "Two, maybe." Forbes: Do the New York Post and the Daily News represent the future of the U.S. newspaper industry? NYP: Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman, fuming over the latest circ numbers, held a private meeting with top execs. CJR Daily: Is Post's circ surge fuzzy math or an election weather vane? NYT: The gains for both tabloids appeared to have been spurred by aggressive marketing tactics, according to an analyst.
Six to 10 companies have made it into the second round of bidding on the 18 titles in the Time4 and Parenting groups. Survivors are said to include Bonnier, Charles McCurdy's Apprise Media, CurtCo CEO Bill Curtis, and Russell Denson, the former CEO of Gruner + Jahr.
Air America in Talks About Sale (AP via Chicago Tribune)
Air America Radio is talking to several parties about a possible sale, a lawyer for the network said at a bankruptcy hearing. Tracy Klestadt told the court that the privately held company was in discussions with seven different parties about a sale and was "very hopeful" of reaching a deal by Nov. 22, saying there was a "significant amount of interest."
Judge Cuts Source Harassment Settlement in Half (NYDN)
Don't count those Benjamins just yet. A judge yesterday lopped off nearly half of the $15.5 million verdict fired-editor Kimberly Osorio won from her ex-bosses. Manhattan Federal Judge Jed Rakoff ruled that the magazine's first female editor was really due about $8 million in damages after a jury found she was wrongfully fired for complaining about sexual harassment on the job.
Bob Barker is heading toward his last showcase. The silver-haired daytime-TV icon is retiring in June. "I will be 83 years old on December 12," he said, "and I've decided to retire while I'm still young." He'll hang up his microphone after 35 years as the host of show, and 50 years overall in television.
Al Jazeera International Set to Launch in Two Weeks (Guardian)
The Arabic news broadcaster al-Jazeera has said it will launch its new English-language channel on November 15. Al-Jazeera International, based in Doha, will broadcast a combination of 12 hours of live news plus interview programs, features and analysis. The channel has centers Kuala Lumpur, London, and Washington D.C., as well as and supporting bureaus worldwide.
Elections Offer News Anchors New Battleground (WSJ)
The new anchors have strong memories of their predecessors' botched calls in the 2000 presidential election, and they say in interviews that they are determined to get the calls right this time. "If we have learned anything from the last few outings, it is to call no race before its time," Mr. Williams says. "Getting it wrong is forever. Getting it four minutes late is forgivable."
The Harvard Crimson has suspended an undergraduate cartoonist after finding that at least four of her cartoons resembled work previously published elsewhere. The decision comes a week after it suspended a columnist for failing to properly cite material drawn from an online magazine.
U.S. Intel Agencies Use Wiki Technology (LAT)
The CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have created a computer system that uses Wikipedia software to gather content on sensitive topics from analysts across the spy community, part of an effort to fix problems that plagued pre-war estimates on Iraq. The system, dubbed Intellipedia, was launched earlier this year.
Diane Sawyer Is ABC's Last Diva, Ready to Roar (NYO)
After a protracted period of wavering, rumor and anticipation, she missed out on the full-scale game of musical anchor-chairs that happened this summer. And yet there she is! The old Diane Sawyer, after all that, is having an epic autumn for the news division. The big jobs the Diane Sawyer-sized jobs have passed by, but the big stories are there. And Sawyer has been getting them.
The media have been declaring Saturday Night Live dead since its second season. "Week to week, you're fighting it," says producer Lorne Michaels. "When people refer to it as an institution or part of the landscape that's not the way I view it." Right now, he says, the cast is in a "rebuilding" period, with few old familiar favorites to entice viewers and no big star like a Will Ferrell or a Mike Myers.
Analysts Not Spooked by Circ Shortfalls at Newspapers (E&P)
Scary things tend to be less and less worrisome when they pop up all the time. Case in point: when faced with Monday's report of circulation drops at newspapers across the country, analysts reacted with a shrug.
Haruki Murakami Wins Kafka Prize for Literature (Yomiuri Shimbun)
Writer Haruki Murakami, winner of the Franz Kafka International Literary Prize, voiced his respect for the Czech author, saying, "Kafka has been my favorite writer since I encountered his work when I was 15." Asked why he named a leading character "Kafka" in his work Kafka on the Shore, Murakami, 57, said, "It was to express my gratitude [to the author]."