Morning Media Newsfeed: Net Neutrality Invalid | Poynter Losing Money | Forbes Moves to NJ

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Court Strikes Down FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules, Agency May Appeal (GigaOM)
An appeals court in Washington on Tuesday ruled that the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules, which prevent companies like Verizon from favoring some types of Internet traffic over others, are invalid. The 81-page ruling, which was decided by a 2-1 vote with one judge dissenting in part, has big implications for content providers, consumers and the future of the Internet. Bloomberg U.S. Circuit Judge David Tatel, writing for a three-judge panel, said that while the FCC has the power to regulate Verizon and other broadband companies, it chose the wrong legal framework for its open-Internet regulations. “Given that the commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the commission from nonetheless regulating them as such,” Tatel wrote. NYT Internet service providers are free to make deals with services like Netflix or Amazon, allowing those companies to pay to stream their products to online viewers through a faster, express lane on the Web, the judges ruled. Federal regulators had tried to prevent those deals, saying they would give large, rich companies an unfair edge in reaching consumers. But since the Internet is not considered a utility under federal law, the court said, it is not subject to regulations banning the arrangements. BuzzFeed For years, the net neutrality nightmare scenario was as follows: Carriers, such as Comcast, could charge different amounts for access to different tiers of the Internet. The basic tier might include email and basic browsing; the next could include Facebook and Twitter; the final tier could include Netflix, YouTube or Spotify. These tiers would be divided not by bandwidth or speed requirements, but by content type. The Internet would become a club with various VIP sections, arbitrarily laid out to benefit providers. Wired / Threat Level If the decision stands, broadband providers are likely to implement pay-to-play plans like the one AT&T announced last week — plans that many said violated, at a minimum, the spirit of net neutrality.

Poynter Lost $1,747,581 in 2012, According to Newly Posted Documents (
Poynter’s IRS Form 1099 for 2012, which went online Monday, reports that the St. Petersburg school for journalists/media website lost $1,747,581 in 2012 — an improvement over 2011′s loss of $3,815,144. Poynter was able to cut its losses by slashing its payroll — from $4,406,865 in 2011 to $3,850,713 in 2012 — and nearly doubling its contributions. Gawker This is not, mind you, a loss incurred for running an actual popular news outlet — it is strictly the loss of the Poynter Institute itself. Poynter is a funny old relic that ostensibly exists to improve the state of journalism via training seminars, webinars, informative media blogs and the like. The Tampa Tribune The overall loss comes as Poynter has publicly stated that while the Tampa Bay Times had financially supported Poynter in the past, the newspaper was no longer a “viable” source of support, and Poynter soon after hired a full-time fundraising chief to bolster its financial position.

After 97 Years in NYC, Forbes Heads to New Jersey (NY Post / Media Ink)
Forbes Media surprised staffers Tuesday with the news that the “capitalist tool” is moving to New Jersey — vacating the Greenwich Village HQ it has occupied for 49 years. CEO Mike Perlis gave the word but said the company is looking for “strategically located office space in Manhattan to serve as a New York office.” WSJ The auction of Forbes Media LLC is drawing interest from an array of international companies, including Germany’s Axel Springer, Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. and Spice Global Pvt. Ltd., a Singapore-based holding company, according to three people familiar with the sales process.

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ESPN Restructures Content Unit (Capital New York)
ESPN is completely restructuring its content unit, which includes all of its original programming and production. Under the new order, John Wildhack will serve as executive vice president of programming and production, while Norby Williamson will become executive vice president of production, program scheduling and development. Both men will report to ESPN president John Skipper.

Chicago Sun-Times Will Test Bitcoin Paywall (The Domains)
The Chicago Sun-Times, the ninth largest newspaper in the U.S., is testing a social paywall that will accept both tweets and Bitcoin in partnership with the content monetization startup BitWall. For 24 hours on Feb. 1, Sun-Times readers will be prompted to donate Bitcoins to or tweet about the Taproot Foundation to test the functionality and acceptance of Bitcoins on the site.

Strange Twitter Hack Leads to Some Big News Sites Tweeting ‘f gwenifill’ (Mediaite)
Earlier Tuesday on Twitter, a number of prominent Twitter accounts tweeted out the same strange message: f gwenifill. It’s a very strange and very specific tweet, but lest you think everyone suddenly hates PBS anchor Gwen Ifill, worry not, because this was just a hack through one person’s Tweetdeck that ended up affecting all those accounts. On The Media / TLDR Kate Gardiner, who is a former colleague of ours at WNYC, says that her Tweetdeck account was hacked. Tweetdeck’s a third-party client that lets you manage multiple twitter accounts. So if Gardiner has access to a ton of Twitter accounts for various news outlets, someone could have gotten into her account and simultaneously tweeted the message from all of them.

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Time Inc. Names New Technology Chief
Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp continues to fill out his leadership ranks as he prepares to spin off the publishing company from Time Warner later this year into a public entity. On Tuesday, he named Colin Bodell as EVP and chief technology officer, a newly created role at Time Inc. Bodell will be charged with identifying and acquiring technology to be used across the company, with IT operations reporting to him. FishbowlNY Bodell comes to Time Inc. from, where he had been since 2006. He most recently served as the company’s vice president, digital store platform. Re/code The move is one of a series of management changes Ripp has made since he took the top job in September. Last week, for instance, Ripp announced that he was replacing Larry Hackett, the editor of the company’s flagship People magazine. Other moves include a new general counsel, a new CFO and the hiring of Bloomberg executive Norm Pearlstine as the company’s chief content officer.

Howard Kurtz Reportedly Lied About Business Ties to Fox News Contributor
Fox News anchor Howard Kurtz has repeatedly claimed, most famously during a live interrogation on CNN, that his relationship with Fox News contributor Lauren Ashburn amounted to a “limited venture” for which the MediaBuzz host was compensated on a piecemeal “freelance basis.” Confidential documents obtained by Gawker, however, tell a dramatically different story. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In documents Gawker obtained from the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission, each host of the Daily Download was allocated $100,000 in the initial budget and a revised budget showed even more pay (although Gawker says the documents indicate Kurtz intended to donated at least half of it back). The site, which was funded through the Knight Foundation and other donors, closed down in November when Ashburn said the grant from Maryland Public Television and the Knight Foundation ended.

Facebook Could Launch Its Flipboard-Like News Reader This Month (Re/code)
After years of experimentation, cancellations and redesigns, Facebook looks like it is finally going to launch in the coming weeks a news reading service built for mobile devices. The product is known as Paper, according to a source familiar with the matter, and it is similar to Flipboard, a buzzy mobile-focused news reading app. Paper looks to be either a standalone mobile application or a Web experience suited to mobile devices, according to this person. Inside Facebook If true, this falls in line with Facebook’s efforts to bring more and more features from outside the social network to inside, prompting users to spend more and more time within the site.

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Meredith Vieira: ‘Concerned’ About Sochi Security (THR)
Meredith Vieira admits she has concerns about security during the upcoming Sochi winter Olympic games, as well as anti-gay laws in Russia, but that won’t stop her from being at Matt Lauer’s side as NBC’s commentators for the opening ceremony Feb. 6. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t [concerned about security],” said Vieira in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. TVNewser Vieira also talks about one of her best friends being gay, and hoping there are shows of peaceful support for gay rights in Russia, where anti-gay laws have been pushed over the last year. “In terms of demonstrations and all that. I would love to see everybody walk out with rainbow ribbons. I think something will happen at the opening ceremony.”

Vinod Khosla Hits Back at 60 Minutes for Cleantech ‘Errors’
Last May, 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl ran into venture capitalist Vinod Khosla at the D11 Conference in Southern California. During a brief conversation on the lawn, they discussed how clean technology is at a crossroads due to a variety of factors (political gridlock, VC-backed busts, rock-bottom natural gas prices, etc.). So when Stahl decided to pursue the story, Khosla was one of the first people her producer contacted. Khosla agreed to be interviewed, and also to let 60 Minutes film at two portfolio companies: KiOR, a struggling biofuels company whose footage made the final cut; and View, a promising maker of electronically-tinting glass for commercial buildings (it just raised another $100 million), whose footage was left on the editing room floor. The decision to highlight KiOR and ignore View was in keeping with the piece’s revised focus. No longer was cleantech as a “crossroads” — a phrase used by the 60 Minutes producer in an earlier email to Khosla. Instead, it was about the cleantech “crash.”

Tammy Bruce to Be Featured Columnist for Washington Times (FishbowlDC)
Nationally-syndicated conservative talk show host and author Tammy Bruce will be penning an exclusive weekly column for The Washington Times, the paper announced Tuesday. Bruce is self-described as a “gay, gun-owning, pro-death penalty, Independent conservative.” She plans to spark a new and lively debate on current events which, she promised, will “astound the way the establishment thinks.”

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No, BuzzFeed Did Not Invent Native Advertising
(The Awl)
News curmudgeons relish blaming the Internet for things they don’t like, a pastime that is maddening, a little sad, and just ironic. These people who fetishize print media’s past are often selective in their memories of it. For instance, BuzzFeed didn’t invent coverage of silly animals, and it certainly didn’t invent native advertising — that is, advertising with a narrative structure that mirrors surrounding editorial content (You might also call this “sponsored content” or “advertorial”).

Study Shows Decline in News Quality at New Orleans Times-Picayune Since Shift to Digital, Cut in Print Schedule (CJR / The Audit)
When the New Orleans Times-Picayune announced it would cut back its printed editions to three days a week and shift to a digitally centered model based on free content, the response was immediate, loud, and, with few exceptions, hostile. Some complained the paper and its parent, Advance Publications, was abandoning the large segment of its readership — mostly poorer and less well-educated — that relied on the printed product. Others lamented the staff cuts that accompanied the changes and the ham-fisted manner in which they were carried out. Now a class of undergraduates led by a Tulane communications professor has weighed in with study that seeks to settle the debate.

The Troublemaker (Slate / Book Review)
Gabriel Sherman is part of a group of young media reporters — many starting out at the New York Observer under the tutelage of then-Editor Peter Kaplan, an avowed media nostalgist — who have seen their subject, the power of the media, pulled out from under them. The culturally dominant, class-conscious, politically influential, and largely liberal news business, the subject of big books of the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, started to die just as their careers began. A desire to recover that centrality, and to hold accountable the forces that diminished it, seems to motivate Sherman’s book about Fox News chief Roger Ailes, The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News — and Divided a Country.

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