Morning Media Newsfeed: Snyderman Apologizes on Air | Elliott Takes NYT Buyout

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Dr. Nancy Snyderman Apologizes: ‘Good People Can Make Mistakes’ (TVNewser)
Dr. Nancy Snyderman returned to NBC News Wednesday morning to report a story on depression in America. But the segment began with Matt Lauer pressing her on why she violated a voluntary quarantine following an Ebola reporting trip to Liberia. PRNewser Rather than just saying she was sorry for breaking the rules, she and Lauer got more specific about what exactly went wrong. Besides “scaring my community,” she says she was guilty of “adding to the confusion of terms.” THR Snyderman initially apologized for her team violating its voluntary quarantine, but now, almost two months later, she’s admitted that she, herself, broke the rules and apologized for that. “I’m very sorry for…scaring my community and the country,” she said on Wednesday’s Today, later adding, “I stepped outside the boundaries of what I promised to do and what was expected of me and for that I’m sorry.” HuffPost Snyderman had been absent from the network since October after traveling to Liberia with an NBC News crew — which included cameraman Ashoka Mukpo, a former Ebola patient — and then failing to voluntarily confine herself to a 21-day quarantine. Her actions caused outrage and heightening fear among the public after discovery that her colleague had contracted the virus. Snyderman issued a statement shortly after breaking quarantine in October, but questions lingered about the date of her return to the network (or whether she would return at all). Variety Snyderman’s colleague eventually recovered from the disease, and Snyderman and the rest of her team remained symptom-free. Wednesday, she added that she hopes her mistake hasn’t drawn attention from the bigger story.

Stuart Elliott Takes New York Times Buyout (AgencySpy)
From now on, agency PRs everywhere will no longer be pitching Stuart Elliott for coverage in The New York Times. As Elliott announced on his Facebook page Wednesday morning, he has chosen to take early retirement. Variety In the wake of news that Elliott, who has led the Times’ “Advertising” column since 1991, is among tens of staffers taking a buyout, a spokeswoman for the publishing company said a decision about the feature is not likely to be made for several weeks. If the Times were to discontinue its “Advertising” column, it would mark the end of what was once a staple in many large American newspapers. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Veteran labor reporter Steven Greenhouse is also taking a buyout. His departure means that there is only one full-time labor reporter left at a major U.S. newspaper — Melanie Trottman of The Wall Street Journal. Elliott and Greenhouse join a growing list of veteran Times reporters who are taking the buyouts, which are part of a plan to eliminate some 100 positions in the newsroom as part of the Times’ larger effort to stem costs and restructure for a more digital future. Capital New York Others who announced their departures on Wednesday include Sasha Koren, an editor who focuses on social media and community development, Maria Newman, an editor in the Food section, Patty LaDuca, an editor, and Nadia Taha, a senior staff editor for The Upshot.

November 2014 Ratings: For First Time Ever, Megyn Kelly Is No. 1 Show in Demo (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel was the second most-watched cable channel, only topped by ESPN, in the month of November. FNC saw slight 2 percent growth for total day viewing, but experienced double-digit (20 percent) growth in the adults 25-54 demo in primetime. FNC delivered its highest rated month in total viewers since May 2013 and in the adults 25-54 demo since April 2013, when the Boston Marathon bombing occurred. THR / The Live Feed Just over a year after launching, FNC’s The Kelly File, anchored by Megyn Kelly, posted its first month as the highest-rated show on cable news. She beat out long-reigning champ (and lead-in) The O’Reilly Factor by a margin of 5 percent. TVNewser Spurred on by coverage from Ferguson, Mo. and, to a lesser extent, the midterm elections, CNN was the No. 2 cable news network in November. CNN showed the most growth of the cable news networks: up 34 percent in total day viewers and up 55 percent in the demo compared to November 2013. TVNewser Despite the midterm elections, The Place for Politics saw a decline in viewership vs. November 2013. MSNBC was down 13 percent in viewers and down 16 percent in the adults 25-54 demo for total day viewing for the month. The losses were less severe in primetime, where the network was down 6 percent in viewers and down 8 percent in the demo.

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The Atlantic Adds Matt Thompson (FishbowlNY)
The Atlantic has named Matt Thompson deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. Thompson comes to The Atlantic from NPR, where he served as director of vertical initiatives. He also founded NPR’s Code Switch blog. Prior to joining NPR, Thompson was deputy Web editor for The Star Tribune. FishbowlDC Thompson will serve as deputy editor and help oversee editorial operations and strategic development, J.J. Gould, the site’s editor, announced Wednesday. Poynter / MediaWire Thompson follows a number of high-profile departures from NPR in recent months. Chief content officer Kinsey Wilson left in October (and later landed at The New York Times). Senior VP for news Margaret Low Smith announced in July she would leave (she headed to The Atlantic, too). And Joyce MacDonald, who works for the adjacent organization National Public Media, announced last month she would become vice president of journalism at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

FCC Restarts Clocks on Comcast-TWC, AT&T-DirecTV Merger Reviews (Variety)
The FCC has restarted the clock on its review of the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, as well as that of AT&T and DirecTV, establishing new deadlines for comments to be filed on the transactions. Deadline The FCC set its informal 180-day merger review clock at Day 85 for Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable, and Day 70 for AT&T’s deal with DirecTV. Commissioners decided they could move ahead after several content companies — including CBS, Disney, Time Warner, Fox, Univision, Viacom, and Discovery — agreed to let some outsiders see, under controlled circumstances, parts of their programming deals with the pay-TV companies. The information, which must be kept private, will not include financial terms that the programmers deem to be confidential. Variety A clutch of public interest groups, unions and media companies including Dish Network and Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze have formed the “Stop Mega Comcast” coalition to advocate against federal approval of the $45 billion cable merger.

BuzzFeed News Hires Wired’s Mat Honan as San Francisco Bureau Chief (BuzzFeed)
BuzzFeed News announced Wednesday it has hired Mat Honan as San Francisco bureau chief. Honan joins from Wired, where he was a senior staff writer covering the biggest stories on the business and cultural impact of technology. Honan will be responsible for building ambitious expansion plans for the bureau, leading a world-class team of reporters and driving the vision and future of the San Francisco bureau. Re/code In addition to the Honan hire, BuzzFeed said it plans to hire an investigative reporter in San Francisco, as well as expand its gadget coverage. And current tech editor Charlie Warzel will become a senior writer focusing on that old chestnut — the fabled intersection of tech and culture.

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Time Inc. Shuffles Managers (Re/code)
Time Inc., which has been a standalone company for less than a year, is moving around its top managers. The shuffle means that Todd Larsen, the executive in charge of the publisher’s People, Time and Sports Illustrated titles, is out. Capital New York In February, as Time Inc. reorganized in anticipation of its spinoff from parent company Time Warner, Larsen took on the management of the titles. He shared responsibility for the newly consolidated Time Inc. U.S. portfolio — which had once been divided into three groups — with executive P.P. Evelyn Webster, who also oversaw IPC Media, the company’s U.K. division. As of Wednesday, Webster cedes management of the U.K. division and assumes management of the entire U.S. portfolio, excluding People and Entertainment Weekly. WWD / Memo Pad In a memo to staff, chairman and chief operating officer Joe Ripp noted that Time Inc. will reorganize its corporate sales team, consolidating technology and product engineering operations, in order to “remove” barriers that “stood between the creative and business sides” of the organization.

Robb Report Acquisition Is Good News for Detroit (FishbowlNY)
Wednesday, thanks to some news involving Malibu luxury publication Robb Report, there will soon be some reverse Malibu/Motor City synergy. As a result of the magazine’s acquisition by private equity firm Rockbridge Growth Equity, a Robb Report office will open in downtown Detroit sometime next year. New York Post Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has purchased the Robb Report, ending months of negotiations over the 38-year-old magazine for the ultra rich. The billionaire, who made the deal through his Rockbridge Growth Equity, is said to have paid around $60 million for a majority stake in the one-magazine company CurtCo Robb Report.

CNN Prepares for Digital ‘Reboot’ (Capital New York)
For CNN’s digital operations, the word of 2014 could be “reboot.” In June, the company launched CNNMoney.com as a standalone financial news destination. Now it is building out a “war room” for CNN Money just off of the main newsroom floor in New York. Come early January 2015, CNN.com is getting a reboot, as the news site gets a much-needed design refresh. FishbowlDC Although the redesign is not finalized, one addition that is certain is a live “ticker” on the site with scrolling headlines, much like the one already on CNN TV. The site is also taking the lead of the popular politically-focused “Hambycast” for other digital series.

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Nielsen: Even The Olds Are Watching More Digital Video (Capital New York)
Younger viewers continue to slowly migrate from more traditional methods of watching TV toward broadband and mobile options, according to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report, issued Wednesday. Even more surprising: older consumers, including those age 55 and older, are also embracing new technologies when it comes to TV viewing. Variety According to the report, the average adult spent four hours and 32 minutes watching live TV in the third quarter, down 4.4 percent from four hours and 44 minutes in the year-ago frame. The amount of time spent on time-shifted viewing via DVR rose to 30 minutes, from 28 minutes in Q3 2013.

Wendell Goler Leaving Fox News (TVNewser)
Wendell Goler, a Fox News original, is leaving the network. Goler, who has been a D.C. bureau correspondent since 2011, joined FNC as a foreign affairs correspondent in 1996.

ABC’s World News Tonight Wins First November Sweep in Younger Demo in 18 Years (TVNewser)
ABC’s World News Tonight won its first November Sweep in the adults 25-54 demo in 18 years. November also saw the lowest Sweep in that younger demo for NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams since at least 1991, when electronic records began.

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Disney Boosts Dividend Following Strong Results (WSJ)
Walt Disney Co. raised its annual dividend by 34 percent following a string of record results at the media and entertainment company. The increase — to $1.15 a share from 86 cents — will cost the company an extra $500 million a year and brings the dividend yield to 1.2 percent.

The Designer Who Showed Cory Booker How to Turn Bullets Into Bling (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
Its Thanksgiving bounty décor having disappeared like last week’s leftovers, Michael’s was festooned with lush garland and poinsettias Wednesday, helping to kick the air-kissing up a notch as the regular roundup of mavens, moguls and strivers embarked on the “We have to get together for the holidays” lunch season.

Verizon Shuts Down SugarString, Site That Had Drawn Journalistic Criticism (NYT)
As journalism and corporate promotion merge, there have been many interesting experiments. Some work and some do not. This week one of the more controversial efforts, a site called SugarString which was backed by Verizon, was shut down.

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