Morning Media Newsfeed: Viner Named Guardian EIC | WABC Reporter Dies at 49

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Katharine Viner Named Guardian EIC (FishbowlNY)
Katharine Viner, most recently the deputy editor of The Guardian and editor-in-chief of Guardian US, has been named the new editor-in-chief of The Guardian. The Guardian Viner will be the first woman to run the newspaper in its 194-year history. She will take up the role in the summer from incumbent Alan Rusbridger, who is to stand down after 20 years. Capital New York In picking Viner, The Scott Trust, which owns Guardian Media Group, adhered to the will of Guardian and Observer staff. On March 5, Viner was announced as the winner of a staff ballot used to take the pulse of employees; Viner, in attracting 53 percent of the 964 votes cast, edged out Emily Bell, Janine Gibson and Wolfgang Blau, the three other would-be editors-in-chief who took part in the nonbinding ballot. Mashable Viner, who grew up in Yorkshire, England, lines up well with the paper’s legacy of activism in the coverage of liberal causes. She led the publication’s expansion into Australia with coverage of immigration and climate change as well as the addition of lighter features like a regular political cartoon. Poynter / MediaWire Rusbridger announced in December he was leaving his post to become chair of The Scott Trust, the sole shareholder of the Guardian Media Group. He will join the Trust next year.

Lisa Colagrossi, Reporter for WABC-TV, Dead at 49 After Suffering Brain Aneurysm on Assignment (New York Daily News)
WABC/Channel 7 reporter Lisa Colagrossi died Friday after suffering a catastrophic brain aneurysm while out on assignment, according to officials at the television station. TVSpy Thursday, Colagrossi was returning from a live report when she noticed something was wrong. A producer flagged down an ambulance that took her to the hospital. The Daily News reported her family was told it was unlikely she would recover. New York Post Colagrossi, whose two sons are 11 and 15, had been with the station since 2001, when she was hired as a freelancer to help cover the 9/11 attacks. Deadline She has served as a substitute anchor on various news programs on the station. Most recently, she has been a reporter for the Eyewitness News programs in the morning and at noon. Before joining WABC-TV, Lisa was a main news anchor for WKMG-TV in Orlando, Fla. She began her journalism career at WKYC-TV in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and later worked at stations in West Virginia and Alabama. She won several local Emmys and numerous awards from the Florida Associated Press and Society of Professional Journalists.

Durst Lawyer: Try Case on Facts, ‘Not on an Effort to Win an Emmy’ (TVNewser)
The Robert Durst TV specials continued into the weekend following Durst’s seeming murder confession in the conclusion of the docu-series The Jinx. Durst’s lawyer Dick DeGuerin gave his first sit-down interview since his client’s arrest to 48 Hours. Variety In the interview, DeGuerin insists that he was eager to get to court and prove that the case against Durst is “weak circumstantial evidence.” He also says he thinks “the case ought to be tried on the facts and not on an effort to win an Emmy,” alluding to the already-mounting award-season buzz for The Jinx. Mediaite Durst was arrested a day before the show’s finale aired and charged with murder in a case that had been a big focus of the series. The one moment that everyone’s been talking about all week is Durst, in the final moments of the series finale, muttering, “What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

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Barack Obama Asks Iran to Free Jason Rezaian, Other Americans (WSJ / Washington Wire)
President Barack Obama on Friday called on Iran to release a Washington Post reporter and two other Americans held there. Obama, in a statement released by the White House, said Iran must release Post reporter Jason Rezaian, who the White House said has been held “unjustly” by Tehran for eight months. The Washington Post / AP Obama said Iran should also immediately release U.S. prisoners Saeed Abedini of Boise, Idaho and Amir Hekmati of Flint, Michigan. Obama also says Iran should help find Robert Levinson, a former FBI agent who went missing eight years ago from the Iranian resort of Kish Island. Poynter / MediaWire Obama’s call echoes several others in recent months. Post executive editor Marty Baron, The National Press Club, legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and Rezaian’s mother have all spoke out on his behalf. Rezaian will face trial in Iran’s Revolutionary Court before Judge Abolghassem Salavati, a notoriously harsh official.

Reuters Site Blocked in China (FishbowlNY)
Reuters is the latest news site to be blocked in China. The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News have all had their sites previously blocked. Users attempting to access Reuters’ English and Chinese language sites noticed the problem Thursday. China’s Internet regulator, unsurprisingly, had nothing to offer on the issue. HuffPost / Reuters It was not immediately clear why users were hindered from using the Reuters sites. The websites of some major news organizations, including Reuters, have at times become inaccessible in China in whole or part, often after the publication of stories on issues about which the Chinese government is sensitive. “Reuters is committed to practicing fair and accurate journalism worldwide. We recognize the great importance of news about China to all our customers, and we hope that our sites will be restored in China soon,” a Reuters spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

Ted Cruz Announces Presidential Bid With Twitter Post, Video (Fox News)
Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz announced that he will run for president in 2016 via a Twitter post early Monday. CBS Local / AP Cruz became the first high-profile Republican to officially enter the 2016 contest even though, like others, he has been campaigning in all but name for many months. Ahead of a speech, Cruz turned to social media and tweeted: “I’m running for president and I hope to earn your support!”

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New Apple TV With Siri Reportedly Coming This Summer (BuzzFeed)
Apple is preparing to mount its effort to drag a TV experience that CEO Tim Cook once described as “stuck in the seventies” into an Apple-curated present. Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported the subscription Internet TV service Apple’s been trying to get off the ground since 2009 appears to be finally headed to market. And now sources familiar with the company’s plans say that a successor to its dusty and recently discounted Apple TV set top box is headed to market as well. Mashable The new device will reportedly feature an updated design, support voice control via Siri and will act as a hub for “a selection of HomeKit-enabled home automation devices,” according to BuzzFeed.

Rolling Stone to Publish Review of Disputed Rape Article (NYT)
Rolling Stone magazine plans to publish an external review of a widely disputed article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia “in the next couple of weeks,” its managing editor, Will Dana, said on Sunday. The 9,000-word article, which was published in November, was based on the account of a female student who described being sexually assaulted by seven men in a dark room during a fraternity house party.

Steven Alperin Leaving Vocativ (Capital New York)
Vocativ chief business officer Steven Alperin is leaving the company. Alperin joined Vocativ in February 2013, early in the digital media company’s existence. In early January, Vocativ’s management structure was reconfigured to create a tier of three individuals — Alperin, COO Danna Rabin and chief content officer Gregory Gittrich — who effectively lead the company. Poynter / MediaWire In an email, Alperin said the parting was amicable and motivated by a desire to go into business for himself.

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March Madness Breaks Ratings Record on Opening Day (Variety)
CBS and Turner are off to a great ratings start with their joint coverage of college basketball’s March Madness, as Thursday’s games produced the best-ever overnight rating for a first full day of action. The tournament saw a record five games decided by a single point — at least one apiece in the day’s four television windows — and that may have contributed to the strong numbers. Deadline Thursday night’s 7-9:53 p.m. game pulled in a 1.6/6 rating among adults 18-49 and had a total viewership of 5.514 million on CBS. That’s up 60 percent in the demo and 45 percent in overall audience over the first game in primetime on March 20, 2014. The game peaked in the 9:30 p.m. slot as it got down to the wire for both teams with a 2.8 rating and 8.938 million watching.

Washington Post Appoints Wesley Lowery to New Law Enforcement Beat (The Washington Post)
The Washington Post announced Friday that Wes Lowery is pioneering a new beat focused on the interactions between law enforcement officials and their communities. Poynter / MediaWire The announcement, which was made in conjunction with a series of job moves at the Post, comes months after Lowery was assigned to cover the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown. During his coverage of the story in August, Lowery was arrested along with the Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly.

Reuters Hires Jim Oliphant as Political Correspondent (FishbowlDC)
Jim Oliphant has been brought on board by Reuters to serve as a senior political writer, per a staff memo.

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More E! Layoffs: SVP Betsy Rott Exits (Deadline)
On the heels of the recent merging of E! and Esquire’s marketing operations, which resulted in E! layoffs, including the departure of SVPs Leigh Anne Gardner and Tim Rosta, the cable network is making cuts in original programming.

Rupert Murdoch’s Sun Journalists Cleared in Bribery Trial (THR)
Four journalists at the U.K.’s most widely read tabloid paper, The Sun, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, have been cleared of paying public officials for stories.

Fox News Wants Appeals Court to Examine Transformational Value of Social Media (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
On Thursday, Fox News requested a federal judge’s permission for an interlocutory appeal in a dispute concerning how it used a 9/11 photograph on Facebook.

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