Morning Media Newsfeed: Flipboard Buys Zite | BBC3 to Go Online-Only | Egypt Tries AJ Staff

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CNN Sells Zite to Flipboard (CNNMoney)
CNN has sold its news reader app, Zite, to Flipboard, a social magazine application. As part of the deal, Flipboard has also teamed up with CNN to launch custom magazines for CNN shows anchored by Fareed Zakaria, Jake Tapper and John King. The deal could be valued as high as $60 million over time, taking into account future advertising revenue, said a source familiar with the deal. TVNewser The sale occurred less than three years after CNN acquired Zite for $20 million. CNN and Flipboard’s partnership will allow CNN to expand its mobile reach and take advantage of Flipboard’s technology and mobile sales strategy. Re/code Zite itself will shut down, but CNN says most of its 20 employees will go to work for Flipboard. Zite CEO Mark Johnson will not be joining them. Forbes / Jeff Bercovici The deal merges two apps that let users aggregate news stories from all over into a single magazine-like experience. Of the two, Flipboard has been considerably more successful: It’s currently ranked No. 5 among free iPad news apps in Apple’s App Store, while Zite is No. 39. Flipboard will absorb the machine-learning technology that Zite uses to personalize news feeds for its users. Mashable The move also divests CNN of one of its most high-profile acquisitions while putting it in front of Flipboard’s users, which according to Johnson number more than 100 million.

BBC to Turn Youth Network Into Online-Only Channel (THR)
The BBC is planning to shutter youth-skewing TV network BBC Three and move its shows online amid the need for more cost savings. BBC director general Tony Hall last week told a TV industry conference in Oxford that the U.K. public broadcaster faces “tough choices” amid the need for an additional $165 million in annual savings. Financial Times BBC Three, the launch pad for comedies such as Little Britain and Gavin & Stacey, will become available only on iPlayer. A formal announcement is due on Thursday, said a person familiar with the situation. It would be the most controversial move yet by Hall, who is this week celebrating his first year as the organization’s director general. The Guardian Hall’s decision also signals a reprieve for its sister channel, the arts and culture specialist BBC Four, which has faced calls for it to be axed and merged into BBC Two — although it is not clear if the channels will subsequently be renumbered. GigaOM Despite the outcry, turning to the Internet for BBC Three could make sense. The channel is known for having a younger audience that is more likely to stream programming online as well. And the BBC’s iPlayer already has a sizeable audience: In January, the BBC clocked 315 million video and audio streams through the platform. Three out of four iPlayer streams are video programming and 25 percent of these video streams get accessed through a smart TV, game console or connected device.

Trial of Al Jazeera Reporters Resumes in Egypt (BBC News)
The trial of Al Jazeera journalists accused of joining or aiding a terrorist group resumed in Egypt on Wednesday. One asked the judge to free him on bail so he could receive medical treatment. In all, 20 people are on trial, 12 of them in absentia. Al Jazeera says only nine of the defendants are among its employees. They all deny supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which was designated a terrorist organization in December. Al Jazeera America Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, who have been held for more than two months, appeared in court for the second time on Wednesday when witnesses for the prosecution were heard. The trial was adjourned until March 24. LA Times / World Now Prosecutors on Wednesday displayed seized items such as cameras, cables and microphones as evidence in the trial of the journalists. Defendants in white prison uniforms looked on from inside a metal cage at a high-security Cairo prison. The prosecutors did not explain how possessing equipment commonly used for news gathering linked Al Jazeera’s team to the Brotherhood. The Guardian Al Jazeera has come under sustained vitriol from the Egyptian government and its supporters because it is owned by the state of Qatar, whose rulers are prominent supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. But Al Jazeera says its journalists are independent, and that the charges are absurd. TVNewser Last week, rallies were held in more than 30 cities to show support for the imprisoned journalists and call for their release.

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Ezra Klein Raids Washington Post for Vox Venture (HuffPost)
After leaving The Washington Post to start a new venture, Ezra Klein said he didn’t want to build a “super Wonkblog,” the popular policy vertical he launched for the newspaper in 2011. But Klein’s clearly looking back to Wonkblog, and the Post more broadly, in seeking talent for the still-unnamed “Project X.” On Wednesday, Post editors announced that designer and developer Yuri Victor was leaving for Vox. Victor joined the Post in 2011 and helped launch the Wonkblog spinoff site, KnowMore. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Since leaving the Post for the project at Vox Media, Klein has hired many of his former Post colleagues, including multiplatform specialist Melissa Bell and reporters Brad Plumer, Sarah Kliff, Max Fisher, Dylan Matthews and Tim Lee. He’s also brought on Slate blogger Matthew Yglesias, Politico education reporter Libby Nelson, U.S. News staffer Danielle Kurtzleben and New Yorker Washington bureau staffer Andrew Prokop. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In addition to Victor, Zack Beauchamp, a reporter at Think Progress, will join Vox.

A New Magazine for Fans of The Vatican’s Biggest Star (NYT)
Just a few days short of the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ election, there is fresh evidence that his honeymoon with the public persists: He is getting his own magazine. The 68-page Il Mio Papa (My Pope) hit Italian newsstands on Wednesday (Ash Wednesday), offering a glossy medley of papal pronouncements and photographs, along with peeks into his personal life. Each weekly issue will also include a pullout centerfold of the pope, accompanied by a quote. FishbowlNY The glossy is being produced by Italian publishing house Mondadori. Aldo Vitali, My Pope’s editor, said that the magazine won’t be sensationalistic. “We aim to be more respectful, more noble [than gossip magazines],” he explained. Reuters An editorial by Vitali said its purpose was “not so much to celebrate” the pope but to help him make the world a better place.

NSA Chief Criticizes Media, Hints at ‘Media Leaks Legislation’ (The Guardian)
The outgoing director of the National Security Agency lashed out at media organizations reporting on Edward Snowden’s surveillance revelations, suggesting that reporters lack the ability to properly analyze the NSA’s broad surveillance powers. General Keith Alexander, who has furiously denounced the Snowden revelations, said at a cybersecurity panel that unspecified “headway” on what he termed “media leaks” was forthcoming in the next several weeks, possibly to include “media leaks legislation.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media It’s not clear what specific “media leaks legislation” Alexander was talking about. The Reporter’s Committee for Free Press and other government watchdog groups have said they aren’t aware of any legislation, and journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted, “nobody has any idea what he’s talking about.” The Daily Caller According to the general, “media leaks” have been getting in the way of a congressional bill giving NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, which he also heads, the ability to communicate secretly with private organizations about cyber attacks and Internet data collection. The general originally expressed his support for a bill silencing journalists last October in an interview with the Department of Defense’s “Armed With Science Blog.”

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RT Anchor Quits On Air (The Daily Beast / Cheat Sheet)
An American anchor working for state-owned television station Russia Today quit on air after her 5 p.m. broadcast on Wednesday. Liz Wahl, in the network’s D.C. bureau, announced she could no longer be “part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin. I’m proud to be an American and believe in disseminating the truth, and that is why, after this newscast, I am resigning.” TVNewser Wahl talked about “the ethical and moral challenges” she faces as a reporter for RT. Her grandparents fled to the U.S. as refugees escaping the Soviet occupation of Hungary following WWII.

The World’s Largest Photo Service Just Made Its Pictures Free to Use (The Verge)
Getty Images is dropping the watermark for the bulk of its collection in exchange for an open-embed program that will let users drop in any image they want, as long as the service gets to append a footer at the bottom of the picture with a credit and link to the licensing page. It’s a real risk for the company, since it’s easy to screenshot the new versions if you want to snag an unlicensed version. But according to Craig Peters, a business development exec at Getty Images, that ship sailed long ago. “Look, if you want to get a Getty image today, you can find it without a watermark very simply,” he says. Gizmodo Getty Images’ new Embed Tool allows you to insert a huge portion of the wire service’s photos into your personal blog — as long as you’re not using the images for commercial purposes.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Puts More Money Into Business Insider (WSJ)
Business Insider raised an additional $12 million in funding from investors including Inc. chief executive Jeff Bezos, the online news site said. The site plans to use the money for growth efforts including hiring more journalists and photographers as well as to help finance a launch into the U.K., Business Insider chief executive Henry Blodget said. The money will also go to expanding the site’s subscription research and advertising staff. Reuters The latest infusion of capital values the media company at about $100 million — about five times its 2013 revenue, according to a source familiar with the company. Investors have been directing millions of dollars in capital to new media start-ups such as BI, Mashable, Vox Media and Refinery 29 as technology and social media has upended how news and advertising are distributed.

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Fox’s 24 Advertising Fees Among TV’s Priciest (Variety)
Fox is seeking as much as $500,000 for a 30-second ad in the debut of 24: Live Another Day, a revival of its groundbreaking spy drama, and between $325,000 and $350,000 for a spot in subsequent episodes, according to people familiar with the situation. At $325,000, 24: Live Another Day would be the second-most expensive program on broadcast television, beaten only by NBC’s Sunday Night Football, which notches an average of $628,000 for a 30-second spot. A 30-second ad in ESPN’s Monday Night Football, at an average of $408,000, also costs more.

New Patch Owner Running Company in ‘Lean, Entrepreneurial Mode’ (Street Fight)
After a tumultuous and mostly unprofitable three-and-a-half years under media giant AOL, hyperlocal publishing network Patch was acquired in January by Hale Global, a holding company that specializes in turnarounds, mostly with technology firms. Having lost hundreds of millions of dollars as it mushroomed into a nationwide network of 900 sites, Patch was ready for a turnaround. To find out how and where it’s going after 30 days, I put these questions to Hale Global co-founder and CEO Charles Hale.

The Washington Post Relaunches FW (FishbowlDC)
The Washington Post announced Wednesday that it is relaunching its glossy mag, FW: Fashion Washington, as a monthly with a new format and expanded coverage of lifestyle topics like design and travel. FW was previously published quarterly plus a holiday issue, with a couple of editors from Express splitting their time on editorial duties. The Post also announced a new editorial team for the mag: Janet Kelly and Nancy McKeon. Kelly was most recently a staff writer for the Post‘s magazine and Style section, while McKeon edited the paper’s lifestyle sections for 20 years.

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Elizabeth Vargas, Harold Ford And The Latest on The Matrix Awards (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
I was joined Wednesday by Liz Kaplow, president and CEO of the eponymous marketing communications firm she started in 1991. Kaplow’s client list is full of industry leaders, including Target, Unilever, Timex, CVS and Laura Mercier. I’ve known Liz forever and seen her presiding over many a power lunch — the last time with Microsoft executives who were meeting with her to talk about the latest technological innovations from Skype, another client. We chatted briefly that day and realizing we’d never had a proper sit down, decided then and there to make a date. So here we are.

BuzzFeed Joins Data-Journalism Bandwagon (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Nate Silver, Ezra Klein, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal… and now BuzzFeed. The highly trafficked social news site announced Wednesday that it has hired Wall Street Journal data reporter and programmer Jeremy Singer-Vine to serve as data editor, making BuzzFeed the latest in a string of news organizations to invest in data-driven analytical journalism. Singer-Vine will work as part of BuzzFeed’s new investigative unit headed by former ProPublica reporter Mike Schoofs.

2014 Olympics Social TV Advertising Winners: P&G, McDonald’s And Cadillac (LostRemote)
According to research from, six brands — Chevrolet, AT&T, Geico, McDonald’s, Visa and BMW — each spent more than $50 million to broadcast during the 2014 Olympic Games on NBC and its networks. Procter & Gamble was not a top-15 spender, yet it was the biggest digital winner of all brands that advertised during the Games. P&G’s “Thank You Mom” was viewed more than 17 million times and drove the most social actions — 205,000 across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and — since the Games began on Feb. 7.

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