Mashable Names Jim Roberts to Oversee Content Expansion (NYT)
Mashable, the digital media site, said Wednesday morning that it had hired Jim Roberts as executive editor and chief content officer, part of its push to expand the range of its content. Mashable’s announcement comes as many digital websites are looking to deepen their content by adding professional journalists in foreign bureaus and on investigative teams. Roberts spent much of his career at The New York Times, where he most recently served as assistant managing editor before taking a company buyout in January. He then worked briefly at Reuters. In both jobs, Roberts championed a digital strategy that included using interactive tools, social media and video to augment traditional storytelling techniques. paidContent The news about Roberts — whose most recent job was trying to reinvent Reuters online, until the wire service company decided to mothball the venture — came as a surprise to many, since he is a veteran newsman and Mashable is seen by some as a pageview-driven source of entertainment rather than a place that does serious journalism. Mashable Roberts: “Although this is the beginning of a new journey, it also feels like the natural progression for an editor who loves the news and loves even more the opportunity to experiment with new and innovative ways of spreading it to an audience — and growing that audience in the process.” FishbowlNY Roberts joins editor-in-chief Lance Ulanoff and a Web braintrust that includes Adam Ostrow, Mike Kriak, Stacy Martinet, Robyn Peterson and Seth Rogin.
Digital Subscriptions Up 24 Percent at Financial Times (Poynter / MediaWire)
The Financial Times “reached its highest circulation in its 125-year history,” owner Pearson PLC’s nine-month trading report says. Circulation is up 5 percent over the same period in 2012, and digital subscriptions are up 24 percent, “to almost 387,000,” the statement says. But advertising “remains weak and short-term,” Pearson says. The Guardian / Greenslade Blog The Times‘ strong digital growth comes within weeks of the announcement by editor Lionel Barber that the paper will be revamped in the first half of next year when it launches a single global edition. Perhaps the most eye-catching statistic is that newspaper circulation “has achieved profitability this year for the first time.” It means that, despite falling print sales, the revenue exceeded the cost of print production and distribution.
Three Ex-Murdoch Journalists Plead Guilty to Phone Hacking (Reuters)
Three former senior journalists from Rupert Murdoch’s British tabloid the News of the World have pleaded guilty to charges relating to phone-hacking, the trial of two of the media mogul’s former editors heard on Wednesday. Rebekah Brooks, Murdoch’s former British newspaper chief and Prime Minister David Cameron’s ex-media head Andy Coulson are on trial at London’s Old Bailey court accused of conspiring to illegally access voicemail messages on mobile phones, charges they deny. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The pleas, which were made at earlier hearings but not made public, are the first guilty pleas since the inquiry into phone-hacking practices began in 2011. The now defunct tabloid was accused of hacking into the phones of celebrities, politicians and crime victims. The journalists who plead guilty are ex-chief correspondent Neville Thurlbeck, former assistant news editor James Weatherup and ex-news editor Greg Miskiw.
San Francisco Chronicle to Stop Using ‘Redskins’ (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The San Francisco Chronicle will stop using the name “Redskins” for the Washington, D.C. NFL team, managing editor Audrey Cooper confirmed to Politico. “Words are powerful, and so is how we choose to use them,” Cooper said in an email. “Our long-standing policy is to not use racial slurs — and make no mistake, ‘redskin’ is a slur — except in cases where it would be confusing to the reader to write around it. For example, we will use the team name when referring to the controversy surrounding its use.” TheWrap At least 76 media outlets and journalists are boycotting the name of Washington D.C.-based football team considered by many to be a racial slur, according to a Pew study released on Wednesday.
Time Inc. Signs on With Flipboard (Adweek)
No. 1 magazine publisher Time Inc. announced plans to put its magazine content on Flipboard. People and InStyle will roll out this week on the mobile news aggregator app, with Time and Fortune scheduled to follow in December. Some publishers have pulled out of Flipboard, questioning its value as a revenue driver.
Consumer Reports Is Struggling to Change as It Faces New Competition (JimRomenesko.com)
A memo to Consumer Reports‘ top managers in February of 2012 was blunt: “CR is not growing revenues or subscribers, and we are losing money. We must right the ship.” The ship began veering off course in 2011 after many blockbuster years. Consumer Reports and Consumers Union, the policy and action division of the magazine, showed a hefty profit of $21,414,103 for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2008. The next two years were profitable, too — $6.9 million and $912,031 — but the declines caused concern. Why the decline? “There are many more new competitors who are doing interesting things,” the memo said.
Politico‘s Glossy Magazine Arrives Next Month (Ad Age / Media News)
Politico, the high-metabolism news site covering Beltway politics, will introduce a glossy, six-times-a-year magazine and companion section of its website next month, the company said Wednesday. Unlike traditional publishers that rely on subscriptions to build the large circulations that advertisers covet, Politico Magazine seems set to begin, at least, as a small, free-distribution affair aimed at influential readers.
Variety Stakeholder Dan Loeb Tried to Get Nikki Finke Fired ‘at Least Three Times’ (TheWrap)
Dan Loeb, a principal in the Third Point hedge fund and a Variety co-owner, tried to have Deadline editor-in-chief Nikki Finke fired “at least three times,” according to a new Vanity Fair profile of the outspoken investor. Loeb bought Variety with Jay Penske, whose parent company also owns Deadline, last October. Since then, relations between Penske and Finke have been on a downward slide, to say the least.
Facebook Admits It’s Seen A Drop in Usage Among Teens (Forbes / Mixed Media)
Mark Zuckerberg is a pretty smart guy, but he doesn’t know everything. If he did, he probably would not have insisted it’s “simply not true” that Facebook is losing its hold on users in their teens, as he did in July. On the company’s third-quarter earnings call Wednesday, Zuckerberg ate those words. Actually, he left the eating to David Ebersman, his chief financial officer. “Our best analysis of youth engagement in the U.S. reveals that usage of Facebook among U.S. teens overall was stable,” Ebersman said, noting that adolescents’ tendency to fib about their age makes any analysis tricky. However, he added, “we did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens.”
Just Who Is Meddling With The Philadelphia Inquirer? (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
George E. Norcross III, part owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, likes data. He is a prominent insurance executive and a massive force in New Jersey Democratic politics, not to mention the chairman of the board of trustees of the Cooper Health System and Cooper University Hospital in Camden, N.J. In all of those positions, he needs detailed information to make key decisions. “We all think we know,” he once told Steve Volk of Philadelphia Magazine. “But until we do the research, we don’t know.” So what’s the deal with these meddling charges?
‘We’re Still Babies at It': BuzzFeed Video’s Strategy Relies on Identity, Emotion And Sharing Content as Communication (Nieman Journalism Lab)
A year ago, Ze Frank — Internet “virologist,” creator of the beloved the show with zefrank, and online video pioneer — was tapped to head BuzzFeed’s video department, based in L.A. Since then, Frank has been striving to create video content with the same impossible-to-ignore qualities that BuzzFeed’s lists have become known for. With 2.5 million subscribers and around 500 million views, Frank has made some progress, and in a webinar last week, he attempted to describe the elements of social video, both in terms of how to create the content and how to release it into the world.
A Year After Sandy, NY Daily News Is Moving Back to 4 New York Plaza (Capital New York)
Almost a year to the day after they were flooded out of their Financial District headquarters, employees of the Daily News are starting to return to their offices at 4 New York Plaza. The News was displaced by extensive flooding from Superstorm Sandy this same week last year. Since then, employees have worked out of various temporary offices, first in Jersey City and then in Midtown, as well as remotely.
The Phone That Helped Andy Carvin Report The Arab Spring Is Now in The Smithsonian (Smithsonian Magazine / Around The Mall)
Andy Carvin is a man of many titles — “digital media anchor,” “real-time news DJ” and “online community organizer,” to name a few — but the one he is most comfortable with is “storyteller.” Carvin has donated his old phone to the American History Museum, which will include it in “American Enterprise,” a 2015 exhibition on the role of innovation in the nation’s emergence as a world power.
Jon Stewart Mocks CNN for All The Wrong Reasons (New Republic)
In a video clip that went viral Wednesday, Jon Stewart rips into CNN for asking the same question of its guest: “Is X good or bad?” Whether the subject is Obamacare, the war in Syria or the balance between liberty and security, CNN analysts seem intent on defining things in this somewhat simplified manner. Stewart, who clearly hates CNN (and not without reason), plays a bunch of clips and then mocks various anchors. Some of these clips are just cheap shots.
Pedantry And Numeracy in Journalism (Reuters / Felix Salmon)
Anthony DeRosa retweeted a photo on Wednesday morning, which came with the caption “Math is difficult for many journalists.” I was genuinely confused: I couldn’t see any math errors in the screenshot. So I asked DeRosa where the error was. Just as I couldn’t see a math error, I couldn’t see anything remotely egregious. Thus began quite a long Twitter conversation, large parts of which DeRosa Storified for me. I proved very bad at getting my point across in tweets, so I promised to explain everything in this post.
James Taylor No thank God.
Vy Chazen Hmm… we’ve been doing Halloween for a long time, I don’t think there will be a problem here. It’s too fun! Even the executives go all out.
Brian Carrell Sure, why not?
Catrina Sharp YESSS! And we have contests