Morning Media Newsfeed: Greenwald Partner Held | Fox Buys Vice Stake | 480 Out at Patch

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Glenn Greenwald’s Partner Detained at Heathrow Airport for Nine Hours (The Guardian)
The partner of the Guardian journalist who has written a series of stories revealing mass surveillance programs by the US National Security Agency was held for almost nine hours on Sunday by UK authorities as he passed through London’s Heathrow airport on his way home to Rio de Janeiro. David Miranda, who lives with Glenn Greenwald, was returning from a trip to Berlin when he was stopped by officers at 8:05 a.m. and informed that he was to be questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The controversial law, which applies only at airports, ports and border areas, allows officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals. The Guardian / Comment Is Free Greenwald: “This was obviously designed to send a message of intimidation to those of us working journalistically on reporting on the NSA and its British counterpart, the GCHQ. Before letting him go, they seized numerous possessions of his, including his laptop, his cellphone, various video game consoles, DVDs, USB sticks, and other materials. They did not say when they would return any of it, or if they would.” NYT The Guardian had paid for the trip, Greenwald said, and Miranda was on his way home to Rio de Janeiro. London’s Metropolitan Police Service, which had jurisdiction over the case, said in a statement that Miranda had been lawfully detained under the Terrorism Act and later released, without going into detail. Amnesty International “It is utterly improbable that David Michael Miranda, a Brazilian national transiting through London, was detained at random, given the role his husband has played in revealing the truth about the unlawful nature of NSA surveillance,” said Widney Brown, senior director of international law and policy at Amnesty International. My obvious question is: What could possibly lead the British security services to suspect Miranda of such ties to terror groups? I have seen nothing anywhere that could even connect his spouse to such nefarious contacts. Unless Greenwald is some kind of super-al-Qaeda mole, he has none to my knowledge and to suspect him of any is so close to unreasonable it qualifies as absurd.

21st Century Fox Takes Stake in ‘Gonzo’ Vice (Financial Times)
Twenty-First Century Fox has taken a 5 percent stake in Vice Media, the digital media and publishing group that brought basketball player Dennis Rodman to North Korea, in a deal that values the company at $1.4 billion. The $70 million deal will be announced on Monday, after being signed before 21st Century Fox was split from News Corp over the summer. TheWrap “We get to make all the content we want? With the best platforms in the world? Grow our brand exponentially? Become the next global media brand? And all the while own the vast majority of the company and vote 95 percent of the board? Where-do-we-f*cking-sign?!,” CEO Shane Smith said in a statement. The Atlantic Wire For a sense of scale: John Henry paid $70 million for the Boston Globe two weeks ago, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for The Washington Post several days later. To buy Vice, which was founded as a Canadian music magazine in 1994, you’d have to pony up more than triple the cost of both newspapers combined.

AOL Boss Tim Armstrong Says 40 Percent of Patch’s Workforce Will Be Laid Off (
AOL chief exec Tim Armstrong said in a nine-minute conference call Friday morning that 40 percent of the Patch workforce would lose their jobs Friday. (That’s about 480 people.) No questions were taken during the call. He said 60 percent of the Patch sites will continue, 20 percent of them will partner with other outlets, and 20 percent will be consolidated or completely closed. A tipster emails: “Regarding the call, the most telling thing was the song ‘Stormy Weather’ playing before the call got going.” Business Insider According to a source, here’s how the firings went down: AOL held simultaneous meetings in two different rooms. One room was full of Patch employees who were about to be fired and the other was full of employees who got to keep their jobs. Remote workers dialed into the meetings. Presumably, those who were about to be fired got a dial-in number to the room with the other doomed employees. FishbowlNY For those that are staying with Patch, this is one of those “Is this a good thing or a bad thing” scenarios, because we imagine with the closings they’ll now be asked to do more with less. AllThingsD Armstrong: “Patch has become an important brand across many towns in America. The Patch team across the country has served and will continue to serve communities with journalism and technology platforms. Unfortunately, with these changes we are announcing , we will be reducing a substantial number of Patch positions.” AllThingsD One of the many differences between old media companies and new media companies: It’s a lot cheaper to fire people at new media companies. AOL said it will spend between $14 million and $18 million on “cash restructuring charges” — read as “severance and related costs” — on the Patch layoffs. As Bloomberg’s Ed Lee notes, that indicates AOL is not spending a whole lot on severance for Patch employees, who have been running a network of 900 local news sites.

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Fox TV Studios Won’t Produce NBC Hillary Clinton Miniseries (THR)
The tantalizing spectacle of Fox Television Studios producing a Hillary Clinton miniseries for NBC has been canceled, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. In a statement to THR, NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt noted: “The Hillary Clinton movie has not been ordered to production, only a script is being written at this time. It is ‘in development’, the first stage of any television series or movie, many of which never go to production. Speculation, demands, and declarations pertaining to something that isn’t created or produced yet seem premature.” TVNewser NBC had been talking to Fox about producing the series, while letting them retain international rights. With Fox out, the future of the miniseries is now unclear. NBC would need to quickly line up another production company willing to invest in the programming.

Egyptian Government Slams Foreign Press as Journalists Come Under Assault (HuffPost)
Facing a wave of international condemnation for its approach to a Muslim Brotherhood protest movement, and the soaring violence that followed in its wake, Egypt’s government opened a sustained broadside against Western journalists over the weekend, accusing them of ignoring facts and “biased coverage.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer Will Move Its Newsroom (Poynter / MediaWire)
Multiple staffers tell Poynter that Cleveland Plain Dealer managing editor Thomas Fladung told staffers in a meeting Friday morning the newspaper’s newsroom will leave its downtown Cleveland building. There’s no time frame for the move — it could be eight weeks, it could be eight months, Fladung said, according to staffers. Fladung reportedly said the staffers in the building’s first and fourth floors, which contain its newsroom and copy and production hubs, could move to the Plain Dealer‘s suburban production facility on Tiedeman Road in Brooklyn, Ohio, or possibly a downtown office.

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Time Journalist Apologizes for Julian Assange Drone Strike Tweet (THR)
Michael Grunwald, a senior national correspondent for Time magazine, wrote on Saturday: “I can’t wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange.” In a statement, a Time spokesperson wrote: “Michael Grunwald posted an offensive tweet from his personal Twitter account that is in no way representative of Time‘s views. He regrets having tweeted it, and he removed it from his feed.” Grunwald’s account appeared to be inundated with messages from Assange supporters, with some pointing to his tweet as representative of a media attitude toward the WikiLeaks founder.

Switching to Gmail May Leave Reporters’ Sources at Risk (NPR / All Tech Considered)
In the digital world, almost everything you do to communicate leaves a trace. Often, emails are stored on servers even after they’re deleted. Phone calls create logs detailing which numbers connected, when and for how long. Your mobile phone can create a record of where you are. If you’re a journalist trying to protect a confidential source, this is a very difficult world to work in.

Condé Nast’s Style Bible Is Still in Vogue as Upmarket Publisher Sits Pretty (The Guardian)
Autumnal tones have replaced summer pastels, and with the dawn of a new fashion season comes the biggest style bible of the year. Thumping in at 430 pages, the September issue of Vogue is the largest since the financial crash of 2008. More significantly, it carries more advertising than any edition in the past five years, with 272 pages bought by luxury brands including Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Dior. Is this a return to the boom-time at Vogue House?

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Al Jazeera America Promises A More Sober Look at The News (NYT)
Fourteen hours of straight news every day. Hard-hitting documentaries. Correspondents in oft-overlooked corners of the country. And fewer commercials than any other news channel. It sounds like something a journalism professor would imagine. In actuality, it is Al Jazeera America, the culmination of a long-held dream among the leaders of Qatar, the Middle Eastern emirate that already reaches most of the rest of the world with its Arabic- and English-language news channels.

Counting The Change (The Economist)
After years of wreaking havoc, the Internet is helping media companies to grow. PricewaterhouseCoopers, a professional-services firm, reckons that revenues for online media and entertainment will increase by around 13 percent a year for the next five years. Even in music, which took the biggest hit from the Internet, downloads are something to sing about. For the first time in more than a decade global music-industry revenues grew last year, by about 0.2 percent, according to the IFPI, a trade group.

Expecting The Unexpected From Jeff Bezos (NYT)
There is a reason that not even the most imaginative press critics ever thought that Jeff Bezos might one day buy The Washington Post: He has never seemed much of a fan of journalism or journalists. He gives interviews only when he has something to promote, and always stays on message. He likes his privacy; there are no “at home with” magazine features with him lounging with his wife, MacKenzie, and four children at his luxurious Seattle lakeside estate. Amazon’s quarterly earnings calls with analysts and journalists are festivals of vagueness. Even a number as basic, and presumably impressive, as how many Kindle e-readers the company sells is never released.

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The TV Recappers: From Breaking Bad to Honey Boo Boo (WSJ)
If a TV series has mustered enough of a following to stay on the air, it has likely attracted scribes that churn out the episodic plot summaries known as recaps. In a reflection of how we devour and digest television now, the number of TV recaps has exploded in recent years. Unlikely outlets from political magazines to local news affiliates are publishing CliffsNotes-style summaries of Under the Dome and Big Brother, piggybacking on the shows’ popularity and thrusting themselves into competition with established entertainment sites and individual bloggers.

James Truman, A Crown Prince in A New Kingdom (NYT)
Of all the new careers one might expect for a 55-year-old former publishing executive, part-time record producer is not the most likely. Yet there was James Truman one night last winter, standing in the Boom Boom Room on the top floor of the Standard Hotel, sipping a vodka gimlet as he awaited a performance by Sebastien Leon, the young musician with whom he had been working for 18 months.

Newspapers Will Break Your Heart (Medium / Eric Chiu)
As with any hometown daily, you develop a relationship over time. My family has been lifelong Flint Journal subscribers and it was always an event whenever someone we knew made it into an A1 story or the local insert. My ties to the Journal also weren’t only as a reader: If it wasn’t for a middle school career day presentation from a Journal arts reporter, I’m sure I’d have ended up on another job track.

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Mediabistro Chats


Do you ever regret going into the media industry? (via @Poynter)

twitter thawrite1 As if! 🙂

twitter Piotr Azia Once I got over the first few difficult years – never. Would do it all over again, no question

twitter Greg Hazard I was lucky to get out and go into medicine! Now even that looks sort of bleak…..

twitter Jason Motz It’s hard to see the upside most days. Job openings are scarce and when one is open, the competition is like Battle Royale.

twitter Burt French No fun being told what to say!!!

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