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Tuesday, May 01

Morning Media Newsfeed 05.01.12

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Hulu, Networks To Change Model Of Free Streaming (NY Post)
Viewers who stream network TV shows may soon discover the free ride is not so free. Hulu, which attracted 31 million unique users in March under a free-for-all model, is taking its first steps to change to a model where viewers will have to prove they are pay-TV customers to watch their favorite shows. Mashable So does this mean that Hulu will soon require users to subscribe to cable to access content? Not exactly -- and at least, not for now. TechCrunch According to our source, Hulu and its content providers have talked about this move toward authentication since 2009. Our source noted that Hulu has no interest in being a first mover here and that a requirement for authentication is likely still a few years out. Hulu, however, does want to be a good partner and may have to give in to its partners' pressure soon or later. B&C Public interest groups were quick to jump on reports that Hulu was going to start requiring a cable TV subscription to access its content (the cable industry's "authentication" model for putting its programming online), though they differed over what that move meant. CNET Hulu is not the first free service to explore authentication. Last July, Fox Network announced that it was delaying Web access to many of its popular TV shows to give cable and satellite TV providers greater exclusivity with programming -- meaning that subscribers get new shows immediately, while non-subscribers have to wait. Chicago Tribune / Change Of Subject Let's review: In an effort to keep people from pirating TV shows online, the Comcast/Disney/News Corp. alliance known as Hulu put TV online -- legally! -- for free. It got hugely popular! Can anyone guess why? It wasn't the quality programming. You can get that anywhere if you know where to look. The appeal was in the price. When you start charging, there's nothing to stop consumers from going straight back to BitTorrent.

Facebook Is Urging Members To Add Organ Donor Status (NYT)
Nearly 7,000 people in the United States die each year while waiting for an organ transplant. It is a number that Facebook hopes to lower with its vast network of 161 million members in this country. The company announced a plan on Tuesday morning to encourage everyone on Facebook to start advertising their donor status on their pages, along with their birth dates and schools -- a move that it hopes will create peer pressure to nudge more people to add their names to the rolls of registered organ donors. ABC News Blogs / Headlines Conversations over the dinner table with his med-student girlfriend helped Mark Zuckerberg formulate his latest big idea -- harnessing the power of Facebook to help eliminate the critical shortage of organs for patients desperately in need of life-saving transplants. And it was his friendship with Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose life was extended by years following a liver transplant, in part, that spurred the 27-year-old Facebook founder and CEO to help put that idea into practice.

Rupert Murdoch Not Fit Person To Lead News Corp., Lawmakers Say (Bloomberg)
News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch is "not a fit person" to lead a major international company, U.K. lawmakers said, after his U.K. unit misled Parliament about the extent of phone hacking at its News of the World tabloid. HuffPost The report, by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, was highly divided along political lines, chiefly due to the unexpectedly harsh criticism of Murdoch. The final vote on the report was six to four. The Guardian James Murdoch is described as exhibiting a "lack of curiosity ... wilful ignorance even" at the time of the negotiations surrounding the 2008 Gordon Taylor phone-hacking settlement and into 2009 and 2010. The younger son of Rupert Murdoch is criticized for failing to appreciate the significance of the News of the World hacking when the "for Neville" email first became public in 2009 and during subsequent investigations by Parliament in February 2010 and a New York Times report in September 2010.

Navigating A Tightrope With Amazon (NYT)
Last Tuesday, Buzz Bissinger hopped the Amtrak train to Philadelphia from New York, where he had done a bit of publicity for After Friday Night Lights, a 12,000-word eBook that had been performing nicely since its release. But when he opened his laptop to check his ranking on Amazon, he found the book was no longer for sale there. GalleyCat Through an Apple and Starbucks promotion, customers could redeem the book for free. To compete with the lowest price available, Amazon dropped its price to zero. Unhappy with this move, Bissinger's publisher Byliner.com pulled the title. Philadelphia Inquirer Bissinger wrote the eBook for Byliner, a publisher specializing in electronic "long-form" books (say, 5,000 to 30,000 words). Byliner published it through Amazon and other venues -- including iTunes, the Apple shop -- and priced it at $2.99. It's also for sale at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and other digital stores. And it was doing pretty well. paidContent This means authors will have to make the decision: Will they gain more new readers and sales by having their book promoted in Starbucks, or will the sales lost through Amazon that week outweigh any Starbucks benefit? Fortune / Apple 2.0 I wonder if the Department of Justice is watching any of this.

The American Prospect Magazine May Close In May (HuffPost)
The American Prospect, an influential liberal politics and policy magazine, could shut its doors at the end of May unless the nonprofit publication raises a half million dollars to fill a current funding gap. Slate / Weigel This comes nearly two years after the think tank Demos took over the Prospect (a move that didn't end up changing content much at all), but the story of liberal funding is a bit bigger than TAP. FishbowlNY If you think The American Prospect hasn't made much of an impact, thus it won't be missed, here are just a few journalists who got their start there: Ezra Klein, Suzy Khimm, Joshua Green, Nick Confessore, Garance Franke-Ruta, Jonathan Chait and Ann Friedman.

Radio Royalties Fight Heats Up Again (NYT / Media Decoder)
A bitter fight between radio and the record industry that has lasted decades is flaring up again.

Good Morning America Poised To Win Another Week (TVNewser)
With the Nielsen Fast National numbers for Friday just released, Good Morning America is in a position to win another week in the morning show ratings race. For the week of April 23, GMA has a +165,000 (preliminary) total viewer lead over the Today show. THR / The Live Feed Today still bested GMA among viewers in the 25-54 demographic (2.23 million compared to 2.13 million) upon which most news programming is sold. TVSpy WNBC chief meteorologist Janice Huff bid farewell to the Today show on Sunday, after 16 years of forecasting the weather on the show's weekend broadcasts.

The Data Journalism Handbook: The Next Newsroom Staple? (10,000 Words)
Move over, AP Stylebook. A new handbook is in town and there's a good chance it will become a newsroom must-have. GigaOM Released at the 2012 International Journalism Festival in Italy, the handbook is a collection of testimonials, tips and in-depth case studies about data-oriented journalism -- and fittingly enough, the information was crowdsourced from dozens of leading practitioners of the craft, from the BBC and the Financial Times to the Chicago Tribune and The New York Times (both of whom have teams of developer/journalists who work on data-related projects).

Dan Rather: Mark Cuban Has The Guts My CBS Bosses Lacked (Forbes / Mixed Media)
Don't make the mistake of thinking that Dan Rather's angry. Sure, almost eight years after the events that led to his forced departure from CBS News, and three years after his defeat in a $70 million lawsuit stemming from those events, he still has plenty to say about his former bosses, George Bush's National Guard service and the refusal of the former to back his controversial reporting about the latter. But it's not anger that drives Rather's loquaciousness. It's just who he is.

Stephen King To Mitt Romney: 'You Couldn't Have Made It In America Without America' (GalleyCat)
In an expletive filled essay at The Daily Beast, novelist Stephen King warned wealthy Americans to pay their "fair share" of taxes before civil unrest deepens in the United States. The Daily Beast / Book Beast The iconic writer scolds the superrich (including himself -- and Mitt Romney) for not giving back, and warns of a Kingsian apocalyptic scenario if inequality is not addressed in America.

Cumulus, A Growing Radio Power, Sells 55 Scattered Stations (NYT / Media Decoder)
Cumulus Media, the nation's second-largest broadcaster, has sold 55 stations and gained 10 others as part of an effort to move into larger, more closely clustered markets. Radio Ink The stations being sold by Cumulus to Townsquare Media reside in the following markets: Augusta, Maine; Bangor, Maine; Binghamton, N.Y.; Bismarck, N.D.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Killeen-Temple, Texas; New Bedford, Mass.; Odessa-Midland, Texas; Presque Isle, Maine; Sioux Falls, S.D. and Tuscaloosa, Ala. Radio Ink As Cumulus has evolved over its 15-year history, it has transitioned from a smaller market operator to focusing on larger markets. And, as Townsquare celebrates its second birthday Thursday, it has taken up the original Cumulus game plan of operating in smaller- and medium-sized markets.

ABC/Yahoo! Partnership Succeeds, Sorta (Adweek)
Last October, ABC News and Yahoo! announced their content partnership, marrying ABC News' editorial clout with Yahoo's expansive network in the hope of creating an "unrivaled ability to reach across the Web." If comScore numbers are any indicator, they've done just that. Maybe.

New Circulation Numbers Likely To Show Sunday Strength, Impact Of Paid Digital (Poynter / Biz Blog)
When the Audit Bureau of Circulations releases six-month newspaper circulation totals Tuesday, it will be the first opportunity in 18 months to make valid apples-to-apples comparisons.

J.C. Penney, Cosmopolitan Magazine Team Up (WWD / Fashion Scoops)
Apparently, Ron Johnson's plans to dress up J.C. Penney include a major product launch with Cosmopolitan magazine. Staffers at Hearst's racier monthly are whipping up bags, lingerie, jewelry and accessories for a fall launch at Penney's.

Aaron Sorkin's Newsroom Gets An Intense New Trailer (TheWrap.com / The Dailies)
A new trailer for Aaron Sorkin's upcoming HBO series The Newsroom has been released, offering a deeper glimpse into the West Wing honcho's latest creation. AllThingsD The series -- by the man behind the hit television show, The West Wing and the Facebook movie, The Social Network -- is set at a cable news channel under siege in the new media age. TVNewser The trailer goes into a bit more detail about some of the story, opening with news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) speaking to his viewers (on a set reminiscent of ABC World News): "I am apologizing to the American people, for a failure of this news program during the time I have been in charge of it. The reason we failed isn't a mystery, we took a dive for the ratings. I am quitting this circus and switching teams, I am going with the guys who are getting creamed."

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