NYT Correspondent Injured in Iraq Helicopter Crash (TVNewser)
New York Times reporter Alissa Rubin was injured when the relief helicopter she was traveling in crashed Tuesday, killing the pilot. The helicopter was on a mission to aid Yazidi refugees in Iraq. FishbowlNY According to crash survivors, the helicopter went down shortly after takeoff. The cause of the incident has yet to be confirmed. NYT Rubin, 56, the Times’ Paris bureau chief and a longtime war correspondent, apparently suffered a concussion, at least one broken wrist and possibly some broken ribs but was conscious. Adam Ferguson, 35, a freelance photographer working for the Times who was accompanying Rubin, said via cellphone text that he suffered a sore jaw and some minor bumps. HuffPost Rubin has a long history of war reporting. She was the bureau chief for the Times in both Baghdad and Kabul before transferring to Paris. Time Iraqi parliamentarian Vian Dakhil was among the survivors of the crash. Dakhil garnered international attention for her impassioned pleas on the floor of Iraq’s parliament to deliver aide to tens of thousands of Yazidis, a religious minority that fled into the mountains as ISIS fighters advanced northward into the Kurdish region of Iraq. A Kurdish official told the Times that the cause of the crash appeared to have been an accident and that no ISIS fighters were seen in the area at the time.
Tribune Broadcasting Revenues Up 63 Percent (TVSpy)
Tribune Media reported $425.8 million in broadcasting segment revenues for the second quarter of 2014, a 63 percent increase compared to the year-ago quarter. THR The media firm reported earnings of $82.9 million, up from $66.3 million in the year-ago period. Revenue rose 23 percent to $894.5 million, helped by the recent acquisition of TV stations. Operating profit fell 32 percent to $61.3 million from $89.6 million, but other factors boosted the bottom line. WSJ The television and digital-media company recently completed the spinoff of its print operations, which include the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, joining a series of media companies to separate their television and print operations. Tribune Media also has boosted its television assets with its $2.73 billion deal to buy stations from Local TV Holdings LLC. Capital New York Tribune Publishing began life as a standalone newspaper company with a dip in earnings and revenues for the second quarter of 2014. The Chicago-based company reported net income of $15.2 million, down from $21.9 million during the same three-month period the previous year. Total revenues were down 3.8 percent to $429.9 million from $446.9 million.
Apologies Surround Coverage of Robin Williams’ Death (TVNewser)
The hours-long news coverage of the death of Robin Williams Monday night into Tuesday included some reporting and much eulogizing. And as often happens after unscripted live TV news coverage, apologies were made. Case in point: Shepard Smith. At the end of his hour-long special, the Fox News anchor read a quote from the late actor/comedian about his children. Smith then surmised: “But something inside you is so horrible, or you’re such a coward, or whatever the reason, that you decide you have to end it. Robin Williams, at 63, did that today.” Smith was immediately criticized for using the word “coward.” Mediaite Tuesday, Smith apologized for using the word “coward” and tried to clarify what he meant: “I spent an entire hour talking about how much this man affected people’s lives and brought greatness to this world. I was just wondering aloud what could have made this man want to end it all.” TVSpy Additionally, Monday night, San Francisco owned ABC station KGO tweeted out that it had “Live Aerials” of Robin Williams’ home after the actor was found dead from apparent suicide. The viewer reaction was swift and negative. ABC News apologized Tuesday for posting a live video stream of Williams’ house on ABCNews.com. “When we realized there was no news value to the live stream, we took it down immediately,” read ABC News’ apology. Deadline Hollywood Meanwhile, CNN had entertainment reporter Nischelle Turner apologize on the air quickly after she went with the “demons” cliché Monday, as she diagnosed Williams’ mental state at the time of his death.
NYT Public Editor Rejects Plagiarism Charges Against Reagan Book (Mediaite)
New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan addressed complaints Tuesday over a recent article that took seriously plagiarism accusations against The Invisible Bridge, Rick Perlstein’s new book about the mid-70s Reagan insurgency. Craig Shirley, a fellow Reagan biographer, has accused Perlstein of “duplicating language” without attribution, while Perlstein maintained that Shirley’s scholarship was paraphrased, not quoted, and clearly cited in online endnotes. HuffPost Sullivan weighed in on the newspaper’s coverage of the plagiarism charges, saying that the Times should not have given the accusations the attention that it did. In the piece on Tuesday, however, Sullivan wondered, as critics have suggested, whether the accusations are merely “a political attack” from the opposite end of the political spectrum. For that reason, she argued that the newspaper should have approached the charges with more scrutiny, instead of covering them the way that it did. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “Yes, the claim was ‘out there’ but so are smears of all kinds as well as claims that the Earth is flat and that climate change is unfounded. This one comes from the author of a book on the same subject with an opposing political orientation. By taking it seriously, the Times conferred a legitimacy on the accusation it would not otherwise have had,” Sullivan wrote.
23 Million of Twitter’s ‘Active Users’ Are Bots (AllTwitter)
Earlier this month we looked at data from Twitter which revealed that 14 percent of Twitter’s monthly active users, which totaled 271 million as of its most recent earnings, used third-party apps to access the service. Which meant that almost 40 million Twitter users were never served ads. Twitter has clarified this metric in a new filing, breaking down that 14 percent into three important groups, one of which reveals a startling number who aren’t human. SocialTimes Twitter’s new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reveals that the social site hosts as many as 23 million monthly active bots, accounting for about 8.5 percent of its monthly active user base. Bloomberg Businessweek Twitter’s disclosure isn’t about a bot headcount. Nor is it something Twitter can be completely sanguine about, either. These 23 million users never visit Twitter, which means they never see any of the advertisements that the company counts on for almost 90 percent of its revenue. Twitter makes no money from their activity. The company has acknowledged that this is a potential concern, especially if the proportion of users that enjoy their tweets filtered through an intermediary grows.
Bloomberg Politics Taps Cummings in D.C. (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Jeanne Cummings, a deputy editor at Bloomberg News, has been tapped to serve as head of Washington operations for the Mark Halperin- and John Heilemann-led Bloomberg Politics project, sources said. Cummings will now serve as the point person between “Politics,” which will be run out of New York, and the Bloomberg News Washington bureau. Her appointment was announced in an internal meeting on Monday. FishbowlDC Prior to joining Bloomberg, Cummings was with The Wall Street Journal and later an assistant managing editor at Politico.
BuzzFeed Names National Editor (FishbowlNY)
Adam Serwer is joining BuzzFeed as its new national editor. Serwer was most recently a reporter for MSNBC. He previously worked for Mother Jones. Poynter / MediaWire Serwer will lead a small desk of “people whose beats kind of fall outside of the other things we have,” BuzzFeed deputy editor-in-chief Shani Hilton said in a phone call. Serwer’s mandate is to do “stories that matter to our country,” Hilton said.
Taibbi Expands Team for Upcoming Digital Magazine (First Look Media)
Matt Taibbi announced two hires for his yet-unnamed magazine Tuesday: Laura Dawn and Edith Zimmerman. Dawn is joining the First Look team as executive editor of multimedia and Zimmerman is joining as a senior writer. Both will be based in New York. Poynter / MediaWire Zimmerman founded The Hairpin. She has also written for Vulture, The New York Times Magazine, GQ, Elle and This American Life, the announcement says. Dawn was creative and cultural director of moveon.org from 2003-2011, where she produced more than 500 media pieces and two full-length documentaries that garnered more than 80 million views, according to the announcement.
Simmons to Host Grantland-Branded Show for ESPN (Capital New York)
Grantland, ESPN’s digital outlet that focuses on sports, entertainment and pop culture, and the intersections therein, will get its own branded TV series on ESPN, The Grantland Basketball Show, the network said Tuesday. Grantland founder Bill Simmons will host the show, joined by a rotating panel of commentators and contributors, starting Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. ESPN will air as many as 18 one-hour episodes this season, including specials tied to the NBA playoffs and draft. THR With his new hosting duties, Simmons will be exiting his post as analyst on ESPN’s NBA Countdown program. He will continue to serve as co-executive producer for the 30 for 30 series.
Increased Newsstand Sales, Website Traffic for The Atlantic (FishbowlDC)
While newsstand sales in the magazine industry have fallen nearly 12 percent since the start of the year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, single issue sales of The Atlantic were up 28 percent for its January-June/July issues, Atlantic co-presidents, editor-in-chief James Bennet and COO Bob Cohn announced Tuesday. July 2014 also bests March 2014 as the most trafficked month ever for TheAtlantic.com, with 17.8 million unique visitors. The Atlantic also reports that its website traffic has increased by more than 80 percent since July 2012 and that video plays have tripled since 2012.
Food Network Magazine Makes Editorial, Publishing Hires (FishbowlNY)
Food Network Magazine has made a few hires on the editorial and one on the publishing side. Editorial additions to the Hearst owned glossy include Steven Barbeau as deputy art director; Sarah Bruning as senior features editor; Erica Cohen as market editor; and Yasmin Sabir as senior editor. On the publishing side, Food Network has hired Kara Freisinger as sales director. She most recently served as a freelance account manager for Real Simple.
The Ann Arbor Chronicle, A Quirky Local News Startup, Is Shutting Down After Six Years (Nieman Journalism Lab)
The post announcing the news was published late Thursday night: The Ann Arbor Chronicle, a local news site covering the home city of the University of Michigan, would cease publishing on Sept. 2, the sixth anniversary of the site’s launch. (And, not coincidentally, the 25th wedding anniversary of the site’s publisher Mary Morgan and editor Dave Askins.) The Chronicle specializes in in-depth coverage of local government, including exhaustive recaps and analysis of the meetings of local government bodies ranging from the city council to the public library board. In its current iteration, the Chronicle was financially viable, Askins wrote in his column announcing the closure. But like many small online local news outfits, it took a lot of labor from its founders, and Askins and Morgan could no longer put in the effort needed to keep the Chronicle afloat.
Evening News Ratings: Williams, Sawyer, Pelley All Winners (TVNewser)
NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams wins another week in total viewers; ABC World News With Diane Sawyer wins another week (five of the last six) in the adults 25-54 demo and CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley is the only evening newscast to grow compared to the same week last year. Nightly held a 441,000 viewer lead (6 percent) on World News, while the ABC show’s lead on NBC in the demo was 77,000 (5 percent). As for CBS, their broadcast was up 4 percent in viewers vs. the same week in 2013 but down 1 percent in the demo. FishbowlDC According to Nielsen Media Research in the D.C. market on Sunday, Aug. 10, NBC’s Meet The Press with David Gregory was the most-watched Sunday show in the D.C. market in households, total viewers and the adults 25-54 demo. NBC led households and total viewers with 61,000 and 90,000 in the D.C. market, respectively, followed by Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace in second for all three categories in 34,000 households with 50,000 total viewers.
RealNetworks Cuts 10 Percent of Jobs (Re/code)
RealNetworks says it will eliminate 85 jobs, cutting its workforce by about 10 percent, “primarily relating to its legacy businesses.” The digital media company reappointed founder Rob Glaser as CEO last month.
SundanceTV Names Rob Friedman as SVP of Programming, Scheduling (Variety)
SundanceTV announced Tuesday that Rob Friedman has moved into the role of senior vice president of programming and scheduling. In his role, Friedman will be largely responsible for online content, including on-demand services and overseeing the strategic planning and scheduling for SundanceTV’s TV Everywhere. In addition, he will coordinate program acquisitions alongside AMC Networks’ sister channel IFC.