Layoffs Ahead at Time Inc. (Capital New York)
Time Inc. staffers were informed Monday that layoffs lie ahead in the New Year, Capital has learned. The publishing giant has implemented cuts in recent years while reining in costs. Less than a year ago, 500 jobs were slashed from the company, which owns magazines including Time, Sports Illustrated and People. During Time Inc.’s quarterly management meeting Monday morning, which convened the company’s top executives and other high-level employees, chief content officer Norm Pearlstine confirmed during an interview with Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs that the cuts will continue next year, according to three sources who were present. Ad Age / Media News Contrary to a report over the weekend, the spinoff is still on track for the second quarter of 2014, according to Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp, who appeared at the meeting along with Pearlstine and CFO Jeff Bairstow. minOnline In third-quarter 2013, Time Inc. revenue fell to “$813 million from $838 million [in third-quarter 2012], which is part of a pattern that extends back at least to 2008,” according to a recent document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that was a preliminary to the initial public offering. Adweek Fortune has a meager online presence, having been a channel of JV partner CNNMoney.com over the course of their eight-year partnership. (Fortune doesn’t say what its dedicated traffic is, but one person familiar with the business estimated it to be around 2 million monthly uniques.) Come next May, that partnership is set to dissolve, leaving Fortune on its own to start a new financial news website.
AllThingsD Editors Are Said to Complete NBCUniversal Deal (Bloomberg)
AllThingsD editors Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, who are leaving News Corp. at the end of the year, completed a deal with NBCUniversal for a news and conference business that will bring their current staff to a newly named website, according to people familiar with the matter. Mossberg and Swisher will have majority control of the venture, with NBCUniversal and another unnamed investor together taking about a third of the business, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is still private. The new business tentatively plans to announce the agreement on Jan. 2, they said. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Mossberg and Swisher, who announced their intention to split with Dow Jones in September, will have majority control of the venture and will move their staff with them en masse. Variety Swisher and Mossberg founded AllThingsD in 2007 as an offshoot of the WSJ’s “D: All Things Digital” conference. Following the split, Dow Jones will retain the rights to the AllThingsD brand.
Fox News Paid Fired Executive $8 Million to Keep Quiet (Gawker)
Roger Ailes’ secrets command a heavy price. Last week, The New York Times reported that Fox News had reached an out-of-court settlement with Brian Lewis, the former Roger Ailes aide who was abruptly fired in late July. A Fox News executive with knowledge of the negotiations told Gawker that Lewis was paid approximately $8 million in hush money. PRNewser The biggest scoop in the Gawker reveal is that Lewis’ firing had absolutely nothing to do with accusations of “financial improprieties,” which were apparently as fake as that New Jersey waitress’ story about a customer who refused to tip her because she was a lesbian. It was all about Lewis’ relationship with New York magazine’s Gabe Sherman and his upcoming book about the network. Seems the Fox PR team couldn’t agree on how to discredit Sherman and that Lewis’ insistence that the team engage rather than ignore ultimately led to his firing. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple It’s tempting to dismiss the dollar figure cited by Gawker. After all, it hinges on a single anonymous source. Then again, The New York Times story adheres to that same standard.
Natasha Curry, Carlos Diaz Out at HLN (TVNewser)
The changes continue at HLN: Anchors Natasha Curry and Carlos Diaz have left the network, TVNewser has learned. Curry, the anchor of Weekend Express, joined HLN in 2008 from KYMA in Yuma, Ariz. She became the solo anchor of the weekend newscasts, as well as the fill-in anchor for Morning Express with Robin Meade in 2010. A spokesperson for HLN says Curry decided to move back west to be with her family. Diaz joined HLN in 2011 from ESPN. He is also relocating, moving to the West Coast after two years as an Atlanta-based sports anchor.
Scripps Buys Newsy for $35 Million to Expand From TV, Newspapers to Digital Video (TechCrunch)
Another exit for a new media startup into the arms of the old media industry: E.W. Scripps, the storied owner of 19 local television stations and daily newspapers in 13 markets across the U.S., Monday announced that it has acquired Newsy, a digital video news platform, for $35 million in cash. TVSpy “Scripps is committed to participating in the future of digital media,” Adam Symson, senior vice president and chief digital officer for Scripps said in a statement. “Newsy is built for the digital audience, especially on the platforms we’re seeing emerge now with highly connected consumers.”
Marissa Mayer’s Next Big Acquisition Could Be Imgur, The Photo-Sharing Site Reddit Loves (Business Insider)
This fall, Yahoo! began serious talks to buy photo-sharing site Imgur, a source with first-hand knowledge of those discussions tells us. Since she joined Yahoo! in July 2012, CEO Marissa Mayer has acquired dozens of startups. Most of these acquisitions have been acqui-hires. The buy that cost Yahoo! the most was its $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr. Yahoo! bought Tumblr because it has a deeply engaged, youthful audience, that uses the product on mobile. It would buy Imgur for all the same reasons.
George Norcross Now Majority Owner of Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, Philly.com (Philadelphia Magazine)
In a move that has deep ramifications for Philadelphia’s entire media ecosystem, George Norcross III has become the majority owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com. The move, which doubles Norcross’ holdings, figures to have massive implications for the ongoing battle for control of the papers between himself and Lewis Katz.
American Journalism Review Is Back, All Online (10,000 Words)
Back in July, the American Journalism Review, which is published by the University of Maryland’s Phillip Merrill College of Journalism, announced it would become a digital-only publication due to high production costs and readers who went straight to the Web for AJR stories. Last week, the online magazine launched again with a new look and what it’s calling a fresh take on journalism commentary.
Publishers Nervously Await The Facebook ‘Correction’ (BuzzFeed / FWD)
Recent changes to Facebook’s News Feed algorithms have lavished online publishers with unprecedented referral traffic, creating a ripple effect throughout the news industry. In September, stately newspaper sites set a digital traffic record, seeing an 11 percent gain in visitors since June, while Facebook referrals from BuzzFeed’s diverse partner network of sites increased by 69 percent from August to October. In other words, things are going great. But traffic-bound publishers are growing anxious that yet another algorithm change could erase the big gains of the last few months — that traffic could disappear just as quickly as it came.
If A Story Is Viral, Truth May Be Taking A Beating (NYT)
Truth has never been an essential ingredient of viral content on the Internet. But in the stepped-up competition for readers, digital news sites are increasingly blurring the line between fact and fiction, and saying that it is all part of doing business in the rough-and-tumble world of online journalism. Several recent stories rocketing around the Web, picking up millions of views, turned out to be fake or embellished.
How Will Jeff Zucker’s Programming Moves Impact CNN in 2014? (TVNewser)
CNN’s Jeff Zucker has had a busy first year at the helm at CNN, attempting to bring more “attitude” to the network while “not being so obvious.” Part of that is moving away from what CNN has built up over the last three decades.
Without Notice, Putin Dissolves A News Agency (NYT)
President Vladimir V. Putin exerted new control over Russia’s state news media on Monday, dissolving by decree one of Russia’s official news agencies, RIA Novosti, along with its international radio broadcaster as he continues a drive to strengthen the Kremlin’s influence at home and abroad.
Stephen King Joins Twitter, Gets 30,000 Followers in 90 Minutes (AllTwitter)
You can now follow the most famous horror author on Twitter — Stephen King has signed up, and he’s already starting to get comfortable. You can follow King at @StephenKing. His website claims that he originally wanted the handle @StephenKingAuthor, but that it was too long for the network’s 15-character limit. Also from his website, his team notes that he might not be tweeting as much as fans would like, since he’ll still be focusing the majority of his writing efforts on penning his next masterpiece.
New York Times Columnist David Carr to Join BU Faculty (Boston Globe)
Boston University has landed star New York Times media columnist David Carr to fill a new endowed chair dedicated to exploring creative business models to support journalism in the digital era. Carr, who starts in January, will keep writing for the Times but will spend two days a week at BU, where he will teach one class each semester in the College of Communication and participate in public events.
Netflix to Debut Mitt Romney Documentary in January 2014 (Deadline Hollywood)
Netflix has acquired the just-announced Sundance 2014 documentary Mitt, which follows Republican nominee Mitt Romney through the beginnings of his presidential aspirations in 2006 to his defeat to Barack Obama on Election Night 2012. The film from director Greg Whiteley (New York Doll, Resolved) spans seven years as Whiteley gains intimate access to the former Massachusetts governor and his family on and off the campaign trail through Romney’s quest for the White House.
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