Profit at Los Angeles Times Owner Tribune Co. Plummets 41 Percent (LA Times / Money & Co.)
Earnings at Tribune Co., parent of the Los Angeles Times, fell sharply in the first quarter as advertising revenue continued to slide and the company incurred a big tax bill. The company reported net income of $58.4 million in the three months, a 41 percent plunge from the $99.1 million in the year-earlier period. Revenue slid 3.3 percent to $705 million and pretax income declined 7.8 percent to $80.2 million. SCPR / The Breakdown The Los Angeles Times laid off an unspecified number of employees Friday, newspaper spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan confirmed to KPCC. Sullivan declined to specify how many employees lost their jobs or which departments were affected, saying only that the paper “undertook a modest staff reduction.” Times staff members — who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the company — said about 20 employees were laid off. The graphics department took a huge hit, the employees said. TheWrap / MediaAlley In a letter to the newsroom obtained by TheWrap, editor Davan Maharaj and managing editor Marc Duvoisin called the layoffs “difficult” before describing a plan for a more sweeping overhaul of the website and alluding to “new recruits.”
Howard Kurtz Signs Off From CNN’s Reliable Sources (TVNewser)
After 15 years as the host of the program, Howard Kurtz signed off from CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday. At the end of the program Kurtz looked back at some of the its most memorable and important moments. “I haven’t changed, and I will be continuing my independent brand of media criticism [at Fox News],” he said.
New Yorker‘s Bert And Ernie DOMA Cover Sparks Controversy, Homophobia (HuffPost)
To celebrate the death of the Defense of Marriage Act, the New Yorker featured an illustration of Sesame Street‘s Bert and Ernie snuggling on a sofa on the cover of its upcoming issue. The response to the cover hasn’t been all positive, however. Slate / BrowBeat It’s a cute image. Everyone loves Bert and Ernie. But it’s a terrible way to commemorate a major civil-rights victory for gay and lesbian couples. Flavorwire First of all, the notion that Bert and Ernie are gay lovers is ridiculous, and the propagation of the narrative is a childish statement that says more about the sexually obsessed and slightly homophobic tendencies of our culture. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer You could replace Bert and Ernie with a drawing of a famous real-life gay couple, or even an anonymous gay couple whose sexuality is communicated to the reader. But to have a closeted gay couple lends the image deeper meaning: In an intimate moment in the privacy of their home, away from the public eye, they feel heartened that society is finally coming around to accepting them for who they are. THR Mia Farrow tweeted it’s “one of the best New Yorker covers ever,” and Seth Meyers called it “great.”
Acquisition to Make Tribune Co. Largest U.S. TV Station Operator (Chicago Tribune)
Tribune Co. has agreed to acquire Cincinnati-based Local TV LLC for $2.725 billion in cash, the companies announced Monday. The deal will add 19 television stations in 16 markets to Tribune Co.’s television portfolio, making it the largest commercial television station owner in the U.S., with 42 properties across the country.
95 Percent of Citysearch Laid Off, Leaked Email Reveals (Eater)
A tipster sends along an email from Citysearch’s “Content & Community Guru” David Israel that reveals “95 percent of the company has been laid off,” including Israel himself. This particular email was sent to the website’s Scouts, local editors who provided guides to restaurants, bars, and more. Israel writes the layoffs occurred because “traffic has been declining steadily over the last 12 months to the point where the site is now down roughly 80 percent YOY” and he describes himself as “crestfallen.”
From Texas Statehouse to YouTube, A Filibuster Is A Hit (NYT)
Wendy Davis turned into a progressive political hero in the span of about 12 hours last Tuesday as a result of the stand (literally) that she took against a Texas Senate bill that would have placed strict new limits on abortions in that state. By Sunday, the two-term state senator was a guest on the Sunday political talk shows on ABC, CBS and NBC. But her abortion rights advocacy and her pink sneakers might have never gained national attention had she been in a state without a reliable live stream of the Legislature. Mozilla Open News / Source Before the night was over, we had more than 15,000 concurrent users on texastribune.org and more than 183,000 people watching our YouTube live stream on various places around the net as the proceedings wound down shortly after midnight local time (we peaked at 12:03, as the final votes were cast too late).
What Does Barnes & Noble Do Next? (Publisher’s Weekly)
With Barnes & Noble completing a difficult fiscal 2013 with a bad fourth quarter, publishers are continuing to wonder what is next for the nation’s largest bookstore chain and second-largest source of book purchases behind Amazon. While B&N’s results for the full fiscal year were down, what seemed to worry publishers and investors the most was the fourth quarter, when sales in the trade retail and Nook segments were noticeably worse than for the full year.
Ezra Klein’s Case Against Getting Your News From Twitter (The Atlantic)
Ezra Klein is one of the biggest new media success stories of his journalistic generation: Thanks to a keen understanding of the digital landscape, an ability to explain complicated policy in digestible posts, and a relentless work ethic, he’s gone from a college student with a progressive blog to leading an impressive digital team at one of America’s most prominent newspapers. But there’s at least one new media trend where he breaks from a lot of his tech savvy peers: he worries about people using Twitter as a main way to shape the news that they read on the Internet.
Meet The Law Firm Driving The Intern Lawsuits (Ad Age / Media News)
The law firm Outten and Golden is representing clients in the bulk of lawsuits brought against media companies by former unpaid interns. The firm is currently litigating cases against Hearst Magazines and Condé Nast. It represents clients who filed suit against Fox Searchlight Pictures, a case in which the judge in June ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. And it represented unpaid interns who sued Charlie Rose, who agreed to settle the case and pay his former interns. According to Sally Abrahamson, an associate at Outten and Golden, the firm is not trying to destroy the intern system, but instead it seeks to reform it.
The Post And Courier, in Transition (CJR / The United States Project)
The Charleston Post and Courier, South Carolina’s oldest and largest daily, is a newspaper in transition: A new editor. A new(ish) paywall. A new “aggressive online approach.” A new print design, with a new emphasis on local, state, and regional coverage. And a new vacancy on the State House beat — after the third departure from the paper of a talented young reporter in about a year.
Gawker’s Plan to Buy Crack Video Goes Up in Smoke (GigaOM)
Gawker’s strange experiment in crowd-funded journalism has come to an end. No one, it turns out, was willing to come forward to collect $200,000 in exchange for a video of Toronto’s mayor smoking crack cocaine. The tabloid website, which raised the money through a crowd-funding project known as the “Rob Ford Crackstarter Fund,” will distribute the money to a Canadian charity now that a 30-day window to collect the money has expired.
Oldest Bookstore in Los Angeles to Close (The Daily Breeze)
The oldest-operating bookstore in the city of Los Angeles managed to survive two world wars, recessions and trendy chain bookstores with coffee bars. But ultimately, changing technology and the Internet looks like it will land the fatal blow.
Journalism, Even When It’s Tilted (NYT)
In a refracted media world where information comes from everywhere, the line between two “isms” — journalism and activism — is becoming difficult to discern. As American news media have pulled back from international coverage, nongovernmental organizations have filled in the gaps with on-the-scene reports and websites. State houses have lost reporters who used to provide accountability, so citizens have turned to digital enterprises, some of which have partisan agendas.
Daily Mail‘s Story About Alec Baldwin’s Wife Tweeting Is No Longer Up (HuffPost)
The Daily Mail story that led to Alec Baldwin’s Twitter tirade was no longer up online on Sunday. Baldwin unleashed a series of angry, homophobic tweets after the Daily Mail‘s George Stark accused Baldwin’s wife Hilaria of tweeting while the couple was attending James Gandolfini’s funeral. The story turned out to be incorrect, and could not be found on the Daily Mail‘s website, which showed the message, “Sorry…The page you have requested does not exist or is no longer available.” PRNewser After further investigation, it turns out that Stark, who’s in Los Angeles, didn’t take the time difference between the East and West Coast into account. The tweets actually went up after the funeral.
Why The Startup Wibbitz Could Wipe Out Some Publishers’ Video Businesses (paidContent)
Every so often you stumble upon a concept or service that makes it clear that major change is afoot. In this case, if you’re a publisher, Wibbitz just sent your entire video department pink slips. Via a stunningly accurate algorithm, the text-to-video service takes any lovingly written article or blog post and turns it presto-magico into a very appealing, 60- to 120-second vignette, complete with images, quotes and animated infographics (and potentially other video in the future) viewable on your iOS device. And it does it all on the fly, in seconds.
In the digital age, do you think it matters who reports breaking news first?
DanielleBlevins Yes. See Nat’l Enquirer & Paula Deen.
_SheScribes No, but personally I consider all online breaking news as a rumor until it’s recanted by a more credible source.
Mary Dickey Not really. Only the media think its important.
John Curtis Smith it matters but at the same time, i think social media is doing a better job of breaking news that matters more so than the old forms of media.
Stephanie Romanski No. It only matters who reports it accurately