Morning Media Newsfeed: HuffPost Live Axes Staff | Inquirer to Cut Opinion? | Media Wary on Syria

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HuffPost Live Laying Off Staff And Shuttering LA Office as It Expands Internationally (The Verge)
According to several sources familiar with the matter, HuffPost Live will be shutting down its Los Angeles office. About 20 staffers worked at the LA outpost, and a number of those losing their positions on the West Coast will be offered the opportunity to move east and join the HuffPost Live team in New York. Los Angeles Business Journal The studio launched last summer to supply four hours of daily programming for HuffPost Live. The programming features discussions about current events, with some coming from studios in New York and Washington. TheWrap / MediaAlley Huffington Post told TheWrap that more than two-thirds of HuffPost Live’s L.A. staff were offered positions in New York. The LA operation had 26 staffers, putting the cutbacks below 10. TVNewser HuffPost Live has lost a number of hosts in recent months, mostly to the world of TV news. Alicia Menendez joined Fusion, Abby Hunstman joined MSNBC and Jacob Soboroff joined Pivot. While it has been transformative in terms of the content it presents, its live viewership has remained low, instead relying heavily on after-the-fact tune-in.

Philadelphia Inquirer Reportedly Cutting Opinion Pages (Poynter / MediaWire)
The Philadelphia Inquirer will cut its opinion section to one page next month, sources at the paper tell Daniel Denvir. Denvir’s sources tell him the purported move is a reaction to a survey that “found that readers think the Inquirer is ‘biased.’ Cutting down on opinion is the supposed remedy.” Philadelphia City Paper “I have heard from a number of credible places that there was a desire to eliminate the entire opinion section — all of the opinion pages — going back quite a while,” says one newsroom source.

After Iraq, Media Skepticism on Syria (Politico)
For a moment, it looked like the media were going to follow quietly along as America bombed Syria. But then the Iraq War — the bad intelligence, the disastrous fallout, the regret — stretched its shadow over the span of 10 long years, and the press sprung into action. Now, pundits and thought leaders from across the political spectrum, many of whom were beating the war drums in 2003, are urging caution, calling for evidence and demanding a plan. On Thursday, the New York Times editorial board, which had initially endorsed a limited strike, said the Obama administration “has yet to make a convincing legal or strategic case for military action against Syria.” The Guardian / Greenslade Blog British newspapers were swift to react to the commons vote against taking military action in Syria, changing late print editions to run new splashes and comment. The front page headlines make uncomfortable reading for prime minister David “I get that” Cameron. Every title refers to him being humiliated and that his authority has been diminished.

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Klout Apologizes for Retweeting That MLK Would Have Had ‘an Awesome Klout Score’ (Slate / Future Tense)
Martin Luther King Jr. was many things: a clergyman, an orator, an anti-war activist, a civil rights leader — but above all, he was an influencer. Or at least, he would have been, had he lived to see the day when people were assigned virtual badges and numerical scores by Silicon Valley startups based on their tweets and LinkedIn endorsements. Such, at any rate, was the thinking of a young Utah woman who on Thursday opted to share the following insight with her Twitter followers: “I bet Martin Luther King would have had an awesome Klout score.” The observation would have slipped quietly into the dustbin of Twitter history, had not the social media minds at Klout itself seen fit to engage with the young woman’s tweet and wield their influence on her behalf. “Definitely!” agreed @Klout, and retweeted her. TheWrap / MediaAlley Klout’s tweet was deleted about an hour later. “The tweet was written with the best of intentions, but was in poor taste and removed shortly after it was posted,” a company spokesperson told TheWrap. “It was an honest mistake and we sincerely apologize.”

Domino to Relaunch as Quarterly Publication And E-Commerce Site (FishbowlNY)
Domino, the decor magazine that Condé Nast folded in 2009, is staging a comeback. According to WWD, Project Décor — a social media platform for design fans — is relaunching the magazine as a quarterly print publication and e-commerce site. Condé will retain an ownership stake in the brand. WWD / Memo Pad Project Décor, a quasi-shoppable Pinterest that allows users to design rooms and also shop for furnishings, was founded in 2012 by three well-known entrepreneurs and angel investors. There’s Andy Appelbaum, one of the cofounders of Seamless; Cliff Sirlin, and Aaron Wallace.

What Happens When A Movie Marketer Gets Caught Trying to Game Reddit? (Ad Age / The Media Guy)
Reddit, as I wrote back in May, is one of the most powerful forces on the Internet — a place where memes are born, a crib sheet for the mainstream media (especially Gawker and BuzzFeed) and a generator of massive amounts of traffic for sites that are lucky enough to capture the imagination of the Reddit community (such that it is). But when marketers push their luck by attempting to manipulate Reddit — by, for instance, planting posts and links and generating fake conversations about their offerings in an attempt to pique the interest of real Redditors — it seldom ends well.

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Silicon Valley’s Richest People: Why They’re The Target of Gawker Media’s Valleywag (Slate / Technology)
It was a day that ends in Y, so last week Sam Biddle, editor of Gawker’s tech-gossip site Valleywag, decided to post a quick hit on Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer. In a profile of Mayer in Vogue — a piece by The Slate Group editor-in-chief Jacob Weisberg that had already merited a Valleywag post — Biddle found a nugget proving that the chief executive of a multibillion-dollar company does not live like you or me.

Former Tumblr Media Director Mark Coatney Going to Al Jazeera America (NY Observer)
Mark Coatney, former Tumblr “director/media evangelist“ has been named Al Jazeera America’s senior vice president of digital media, the recently-launched channel announced Thursday. “It’s critical to have someone who knows the importance of digital content and how people are consuming it in today’s information environment,” Al Jazeera America’s president Kate O’Brian said in an announcement .

Esquire’s Paywall Experiment
Esquire made big news in the world of paid Web content in July, putting one of its magazine features behind a paywall. “The Prophet” — for sale on for $1.99 — wasn’t the title’s first experience with a paywall though. Esquire has been testing paid content models for eBooks and anthologies since last year. More recently, they’d solicited more than 100 stories for a similar project with the charity Narrative 4. Tyler Cabot, articles editor for Esquire, has been behind each of the recent paywall initiatives. He admits they’re still very much in the experimentation stages, but they’re learning about models, distribution and security with each step.

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Bill O’Reilly Apologizes for ‘Mistake’ About March on Washington Celebration (HuffPost)
Bill O’Reilly apologized Thursday night for his erroneous comments about the 50th anniversary celebrations of the March on Washington the previous day. O’Reilly had complained that no Republicans had been invited to the event. In fact, many, including both living Republican presidents, John McCain, Jeb Bush and John Boehner had been asked to attend. All declined for various reasons.

Gawker Tries Native Ads in Comments, With Help From Bill Nye (Ad Age / Digital)
Sometime Wednesday, celebrity scientist Bill Nye will take a seat in front of a computer and invite the Internet to ask him whatever it wants. But he won’t be taking the questions on Reddit, a medium famous for its “Ask Me Anything” sessions. Rather, Nye will be operating within the comments section of Gizmodo, a Gawker Media website, on a page sponsored by State Farm. The entire interaction, from start to finish, will be an ad.

A Tale of Two Online Business Models (NYT / Bits)
Over the weekend, the tech blogosphere was in a tizzy over a profile of Marissa Mayer, the chief executive of Yahoo!. While some readers slurped up the content in the piece, titled “The Truth About Marissa Mayer: An Unauthorized Biography,” others seemed more excited by where it was written and published: Business Insider, routinely the home of kitten videos and endless lists of Top 100 slide shows. For many, finding this piece on Business Insider was like going to a vegetarian restaurant and being served a bloody, rare steak sprinkled with bacon bits.

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Fired Reporter Sues KAKE for Defamation, Breach of Contract (TVSpy)
Two months after he was fired from KAKE, Jared Cerullo has filed a defamation and breach of contract lawsuit against the Wichita ABC affiliate. According to the Wichita Business Journal, Cerullo is seeking more than $75,000 in damages in the suit, which names KAKE parent company Gray Television and news director Michael Sipes.

Troubles Ahead for Internet Advertising (NYT / Bits)
When it comes to advertising, the Internet is at war with itself. Much of the Web relies on advertising income, but anti-ad technology could put a dent in that revenue. A recent report from the Web service PageFair said that on average 22.7 percent of visitors to 220 websites were using ad-blocking software, which automatically removes most ads from a Web page.

I’ve Read 500 Cover Letters for Entry-Level Media Jobs (Slate / MoneyBox)
Over the last five years, I’ve read something like 500 applications for entry-level media jobs. Over time, I’ve spotted many talented people, including a number of recent college graduates who are now valued Slate employees. Slate is a small company, so when it’s time to make a hire, a list of three great HR-approved candidates does not magically appear on my desk. I write the ads and read all of the responses myself — and after scaling mountains of cover letters I’ve developed some opinions I can no longer hold back.

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