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Morning Media Newsfeed: ESPN Dumps Frontline | Manning Puzzles Journos | Kochs Walk From LA Times


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ESPN Pulls Out of Frontline Concussion Investigation (Deadspin)
For a while now, ESPN’s big alibi, the thing Bristol would trot out any time someone questioned the company’s journalistic bona fides, was its joint investigation into NFL head injuries with PBS’ Frontline. Now that’s done with. ESPN said in a statement: “Because ESPN is neither producing nor exercising editorial control over the Frontline documentaries, there will be no co-branding involving ESPN on the documentaries or their marketing materials. The use of ESPN’s marks could incorrectly imply that we have editorial control. As we have in the past, we will continue to cover the concussion story through our own reporting.” PBS / Frontline “…[We] regret ESPN’s decision to end a collaboration that has spanned the last 15 months and is based on the work of ESPN reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, as well as Frontline’s own original journalism. Over that time, we’ve enjoyed a productive partnership with ESPN’s investigative program, Outside the Lines, jointly publishing and co-branding several ground-breaking articles on our respective websites and on their broadcast. We’ve been in sync on the goals of our reporting: to present the deepest accounting so far of the league’s handling of questions around the long-term impact of concussions. This editorial partnership was similar to our many other collaborations with news organizations over the years.” TVNewser The partnership resulted in a number of long-form articles about the NFL’s response to concussions, as well as a number of reports on Outside the Lines, ESPN’s acclaimed newsmagazine. NYT The NFL was not supportive of the documentary. Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the league, said it declined to make commissioner Roger Goodell and other executives available for it. The league allowed the doctors who advise it on concussions to decide themselves if they wanted to take part. The Atlantic Wire ESPN has previously faced criticism over its coverage of the impact of concussions and head injuries on NFL players. Because the network makes a lot of money from broadcasting NFL games, there is concern of an acute conflict of interest going on between the editorial and business sides of the Connecticut-based company.

Media Torn in Manning ‘He’ or ‘She’ Pronoun Debate (USA Today)
Bradley Manning told the world he identifies as a woman and wants to be known as Chelsea Manning, a revelation that has sparked a debate on social media and sent journalists scrambling for a refresher on pronoun style. The Huffington Post, the London Daily Mail, MSNBC and Slate have all started using the feminine pronoun. NYT / Public Editor’s Journal The development sent New York Times editors scrambling to their stylebooks and to past articles on other transgender cases of well-known people for guidance. But there is no precise comparison, given the extraordinary prominence of the United States Army soldier who was sentenced to 35 years in prison this week for his leaking of documents. NY Mag / The Cut Why is it so hard for people to type an extra “s” when they write about Manning? We updated our nomenclature for “Snoop Lion” and “the Artist Formerly Known as Prince.” “Ali Lohan” and “Lil’ Bow Wow” became “Aliana” and “Bow Wow” to reflect personal growth. We accept typographical requests from branded products like iPhone, PowerPoint, and eHarmony — and from branded humans like Ke$ha, A$AP Rocky, and ‘N Sync. TheWrap / Tim Molloy By declining to call Manning what she wants to be called, news agencies are signaling that they will decide, on a case-by-case basis, who is what gender — and when. Politico paraphrased an AP spokesman Thursday suggesting that the agency would start to be refer to Manning as a she “once he begins to present himself as a woman.” But it might be decades before that happens. How is Manning, who is in prison, supposed to “present himself as a woman”? NY Observer The Daily Beast added an editor’s note and changed some of the most offensive parts of a controversial story it published Thursday afternoon titled “How Will Chelsea Manning Be Treated in Prison” after the piece was criticized for trivializing rape.

Sources: Koch Industries Not Buying LA Times, Chicago Tribune (The Daily Caller)
Koch Industries will not be buying the Tribune Company’s eight newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times, The Daily Caller has learned. Sources with knowledge of the business proceedings told The Daily Caller that Koch Industries, after conducting its due diligence, has not been interested in buying the newspapers for “a couple months.” The company determined that purchasing the newspapers was “not economically viable” and that both parties walked away from the negotiations, they said. NYT Tribune declined to comment on the news reports about the Kochs on Thursday, but a spokesman said the company’s plan to spin off the newspapers was proceeding apace. That plan was announced in July as an alternative to selling the newspapers right away, though a sale of all or some of the papers could still happen.


Washington Post Goes on Lockdown
(Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Normally journalists have to chase the news down. On Thursday, the news came right up to one newspaper’s door. An anti-Muslim Brotherhood protest which started at the White House made its way up 15th Street Northwest and ended at the Washington Post‘s building at 1150 15th St. NW. The building went on lockdown, some Post reporters tweeted. According to a Post spokeswoman “the front lobby was closed for a very short time for safety.”

Tina Brown Contract Set to Expire in January (THR)
Having just completed the sale of Newsweek to the International Business Times, Barry Diller’s IAC faces another big decision: what to do with Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown. Brown, who oversaw the newsweekly as well as The Beast for IAC, has a contract that is up in January 2014, informed sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. It’s unclear whether she’ll continue in the Daily Beast job, a position she has held since founding the site in 2008, or move on to a new endeavor.


With NASDAQ Out, CNBC Opens The ‘Decabox’
(TVNewser)
The NASDAQ was out of commission for a few hours Thursday, the result of a computer malfunction. Suffice it to say, this was a big deal in the world of financial news. It was so big, in fact, that CNBC had no choice but to bring in 10 analysts at once to talk about it. Yes, CNBC brought out the “Decabox.” That’s two more talking heads than the “Octobox,” if you keep count of that sort of thing.

Is Yahoo!’s Mayer Turning Into A Media Mogul With Katie Couric Web Video Deal? (AllThingsD)
According to numerous sources inside the company, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer has turned her attentions of late to goosing the site’s media efforts. That includes personally shepherding a new deal to put a Web interview show by high-profile television news personality Katie Couric right on its home page. In addition, said sources, Mayer — who is pretty mediagenic herself — has also recently met with execs from Condé Nast for very preliminary talks, and has expressed interest in cooking up some kind of content deal with its flagship Vogue magazine.

Apple, Closer to Its Vision for A TV Set, Wants ESPN, HBO, Viacom And Others to Come Along (Quartz)
Years of halting negotiations with cable companies haven’t gotten Apple much closer to its grand vision for television. But a newer strategy of talking directly to content providers seems more promising.

With Guardian Facing Reporting Restrictions, Rival UK Paper Outs Latest Snowden Scoop (paidContent)
The UK lacks free speech laws, which appears to be why The Independent rather than The Guardian has been the conduit for the latest Snowden revelation regarding a Middle East spy station.

Aaron Sorkin Slams Mother Jones (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Aaron Sorkin slammed Mother Jones on Thursday for posting a story with the headline “Aaron Sorkin in Washington, D.C.: The Huffington Post Sucks.” “I certainly did not say that. The headline writer didn’t take me out of context. The headline writer didn’t exaggerate. The headline writer lied,” the famed television producer and writer said on MSNBC. Sorkin, who occasionally blogs for the Post, said that he hopes “Arianna and everybody at the Huffington Post knows that I did never and would never say that.” FishbowlNY According to Mother Jones, Sorkin said the site is a perfect example of “a genuinely damaging force in our culture.” Interesting. We feel the same way about The Newsroom!

What’s Taking Time Warner And CBS So Long? (Adweek)
CBS made a point of announcing Thursday morning that it had signed a three-year deal with Verizon for distribution over its FiOS TV service, which closed out the second quarter with 5.04 million subscribers. The subject line on the email was a pretty straightforward “everyone is happy and no one shouted” agreement declaration, but it might as well have said “at least someone’s being reasonable.” TVSpy Time Warner Cable and CBS have suspended their prolonged dispute over retransmission fees long enough to allow WCBS, the CBS-owned station in New York, to air its share of televised debates in the upcoming New York elections.

New York Times Experiments With Tweetable Highlights in SNL Story (Poynter / MediaWire)
Dave Itzkoff’s oral history of Saturday Night Live auditions has a new feature for a New York Times article page: highlighted sentences that you can click to tweet. “It’s a one-off experiment on this story,” Times deputy editor of interactive news Marc Lavallee told Poynter by phone. “It’s not like a feature that’s in the pipeline to be rolled out sitewide.” The Times is continuing to experiment with article presentation online in advance of a redesign next year.


The New York Review of Books Publishes Mostly Men, Responds to Criticism With Condescending Form Letter
(The Village Voice / Runnin’ Scared)
The New York Review of Books publishes mostly men, and in that, they’re not alone, joined by pretty much every major print magazine in this country. But the NYRB‘s editor, Robert Silvers, responded to a criticism of their mostly-maleness this week with an amazing, somewhat baffling form letter. The letter, which was sent to multiple people who complained about a specific issue of the magazine, lists every woman the NYRB has printed in the last year. That didn’t take long, considering there were 40 of them total, compared to 215 or so male reviewers. Happy now, ladies?

Michael Hastings’ Dangerous Mind: Journalistic Star Was Loved, Feared And Haunted (LA Weekly)
Michael Hastings was intensely interested in government surveillance of journalists. In May, the story broke about the Department of Justice obtaining the phone records of Associated Press reporters. A couple weeks later, Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance program became public. Hastings was convinced he was a target. His behavior grew increasingly erratic. Helicopters often circle over the hills, but Hastings believed there were more of them around whenever he was at home, keeping an eye on him.

NewsHour at A Crossroads (CJR / Behind The News)
After a two-year holding pattern following the gradual retirement of Jim Lehrer from on-air duties, PBS NewsHour is entering a transformative period. On Sept. 7, the program will expand to seven days a week, debuting a weekend edition of the NewsHour and ending years of frequent questions from viewers, along with the service’s own ombudsman, about the lack of scheduled weekend news programming. The following Monday, Sept. 9, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will begin their tenure as permanent co-anchors, ending the five-anchor rotation that’s been in place since Lehrer stepped away.

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