Netflix’s Momentum Continues With 2.33 Million New U.S. Customers in Q4 (The Verge)
Netflix revealed its fourth quarter earnings Wednesday, capping off a banner year that saw the streaming service surpass HBO in subscriber count and earn critical acclaim for its original programming. In Q4, the company handily beat Wall Street expectations with revenue of $1.18 billion and earnings per share of $0.79. During the same period last year (before viewers had streamed a single episode of House of Cards), Netflix earned 13 cents per share on revenue of $945 million. Bloomberg Businessweek Netflix said Wednesday that it expects to sign up another 2.25 million subscribers in the first quarter, with “years of member growth ahead of us,” according to a company letter to shareholders. Netflix shares soared nearly 18 percent in trading after the market’s close, following a 1.5 percent gain to $333.73 in the regular session. NYT The strong growth came even though the service did not add a prominent, exclusive program like the drama House of Cards. One new animated series, TurboFAST, was introduced and the quarter contained the second season of the service’s initial drama series, Lilyhammer. But Netflix did maintain much of its media momentum by being prominently mentioned in award nominations and end-of-the-year best lists. The Guardian Netflix has been experimenting with different subscriber options including different streaming offerings and a lower-priced $6.99 plan for new U.S. customers to get a single stream of standard definition video. On a call with analysts Reed Hastings, chief executive officer, said eventually he would like to have “three simple options to fit everyone’s taste”. He said the company had no plans to run advertising, as does rival Hulu.
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographer Banned by AP After Photo Alteration (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The Associated Press announced Wednesday that it has ended its relationship with Narciso Contreras, a Pulitzer Prize-winning freelance photographer who altered a photo that he took last September in Syria. The alteration in question: “The removal of a video camera seen in a corner of a frame showing a Syrian opposition fighter taking cover during a clash with government forces.” Though a seemingly benign alteration, it fell beneath the guidelines of the AP’s News Values & Principles, which states that AP pictures “must always tell the truth.” The Guardian Contreras was one of a team of photographers working for the AP who shared in a Pulitzer last year for images of the Syrian war. None of the images in that package were found to be compromised, according to the AP. The Associated Press “I took the wrong decision when I removed the camera… I feel ashamed about that,” Contreras said. “You can go through my archives and you can find that this is a single case that happened probably at one very stressed moment, at one very difficult situation, but yeah, it happened to me, so I have to assume the consequences.”
TiVo Lays Off Most of Its Design Team as It Transitions to The Cloud (Wired / Gadget Lab)
TiVo has been bullish lately about releasing new software products beyond its core DVR boxes. Wednesday, we found out why. The company laid off nearly all the industrial designers of those products. According to sources within TiVo, most of the hardware team has been let go. So far, that’s five employees. A skeleton crew of two engineers has been retained to handle support for current and upcoming third-party devices. The sources told Wired that TiVo is getting out of the hardware business altogether and making a big direction change. Engadget In a phone conversation, VP of PR Steve Wymer told Engadget the company remains “fully committed” to Roamio, and called it the crown jewel of TiVo. In his view, it’s not accurate to say that TiVo is exiting the hardware business as it continues to expand current products and plan future ones, but that it is reallocating resources with an eye towards the future.
Sally Kohn Officially Joins CNN as Contributor (HuffPost)
Sally Kohn is CNN’s newest contributor, it was announced Wednesday. The network confirmed the deal, which was in the works earlier this week, to The Huffington Post. Kohn, who left Fox News last year, has changed her Twitter bio to include “@CNN contributor.” The commentator appeared on MSNBC and CNN after leaving her former network, and has also written for CNN.com.
Reuters to Hire 50 in 2014 According to Memo (FishbowlDC)
A memo sent out Wednesday by Reuters editor-in-chief Stephen Adler announces that the news agency will hire 50 people in 2014. This comes after the outlet let go 5 percent of its staff late last year. No word yet if the outlet will revisit hiring former employees.
The Daily Telegraph Fires Its Editor (CJR / The Kicker)
The Daily Telegraph, one of the U.K.’s papers of record, sacked its editor, Tony Gallagher, on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. A statement released by the Telegraph Media Group, which owns the Telegraph, said that Gallagher was “leaving the company as the business moves to the next phase of its digital transformation.”
CNN Has Lowest Rated Week in The Demo in 20 Months (TVNewser)
On Wednesday afternoon, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker held a town hall meeting marking his first year on the job. This comes as ratings from the final week of his first year show CNN experienced new lows since he took over. CNN averaged 78,000 adult ages 25-54 total day viewers, its lowest rated week since the week of May 14, 2012, and 99,000 demo primetime viewers, the least since the week of July 30, 2012.
Court OKs Subpoena for Nola.com Commenters’ Identities (NOLA.com / The Times Picayune)
The attorney for former New Orleans Affordable Homeownership director Stacey Jackson is seeking private information from NOLA.com / The Times-Picayune about two anonymous online commenters. U.S. magistrate judge Joseph Wilkinson granted a request Tuesday from Jackson, who faces federal corruption charges, to subpoena NOLA Media Group for information related to two specific online handles, “aircheck” and “jammer1954,” including names, addresses and phone numbers. Poynter / MediaWire Ellyn Angelotti, a lawyer and Poynter faculty, said that there aren’t clear standards on First Amendment protections for online commenters. Like with the Crystal Cox ruling Friday on First Amendment rights for bloggers, it depends on the jurisdiction the case falls under, Angelotti said.
Trove Is A Treasure for News Junkies (NYT / Bits)
Donald E. Graham has sold The Washington Post, but he’s not quite done shaking up the news business. On Wednesday, Graham Holdings — the education and media company that used to be called the Washington Post Company before it sold the newspaper to Jeff Bezos — unveiled an overhauled version of its long-running social news app and website, Social Reader. The new product, Trove, combines human curation and computer algorithms to present a mix of news and features to its users, organized by topic. And it’s the most promising attempt I’ve yet seen to address the problem of data overload that plagues news junkies trying to manage the flow of information from Twitter, Facebook, news sites and blogs.
Maria Bartiromo Starts at Fox Business Feb. 1 (NY Post / AP)
Former CNBC anchor-reporter Maria Bartiromo officially joins Fox Business Network as its global markets editor Feb. 1. She will anchor a daily program for that network, plus a weekly business-oriented show for Fox News Channel. She begins at the network next month, but both programs won’t be launched until April, the network said Wednesday. TVNewser In the move, Bartiromo re-joins Fox News co-founder and chairman Roger Ailes. Says Ailes, “I tapped Maria to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange while at CNBC, and I am delighted to have her join me once again alongside our star line-up at Fox Business.”
CNN.com Tests New Ideas on Its Arabic-Language Channel (Capital New York)
CNN has just launched the redesigned CNNArabic.com, the network’s only Arabic-language outlet (and a small territory in its digital portfolio). But it’s more important than that. The new features introduced on the Dubai-based Arabic news portal serve as a test run and a “direct hint” of what the redesign of CNN.com and all its digital offerings will look like, CNN digital general manager K.C. Estenson told Capital. “We decided to use it as a region to test and try out some new and innovative features,” he said.
Purdue University Police Detain Student Journalist, Seize Camera (The Exponent)
In the midst of Tuesday’s shooting at Purdue University, an Exponent employee was detained by the police while trying to fulfill his journalistic duties. Exponent photo editor Michael Takeda, a junior in the College of Technology, was slammed to the ground by the Purdue police after being found in the Electrical Engineering Building taking photos. The area had not been closed off to the public at the time. The officers confiscated Takeda’s camera and photos, detained and questioned his whereabouts within the building, which was then on lockdown after being held by the police for roughly three hours.
Maybe Ezra Klein And Jeff Bezos Are Both Right (The New Yorker / Rational Irrationality)
The rumors were true: Ezra Klein, the creator of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, is leaving the paper to start a new venture with a couple of his colleagues. In my bit of the Twitterverse, the general reaction appears to be that Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Post, made a huge mistake in letting Klein go. “Insane failure to keep an asset,” Thomas Edsall, the former Post writer, tweeted. “Ezra Klein leaves The Washington Post. Last shred of Post relevance leaves, too,” added Bruce Bartlett, the former Reagan Administration official. The critics may be right, but it may also be worth trying to look at things from the perspective of Bezos and the Post’s management.
The Journalist And The Con Artist (Gawker)
It wasn’t even a well-executed story about a golf club. Most people agree now, broadly, about Grantland’s failings toward transgender people in its telling of — and creation of — the tragic story of the golf-club inventor Essay Anne Vanderbilt. Bill Simmons, the founder and editor-in-chief of the prestige-sportswriting website, signed off on that agreement Monday with a long note of apology.
Why Does Ad Tech Advertise on Piracy Sites? (Digiday)
When advertisers purchase media from exchanges, they can never be exactly sure where their ads will show up. But it seems even the companies selling programmatic buying technology have the same problem. Ads for demand-side platforms, ad exchange companies and other ad technology providers are regularly served on websites that facilitate piracy or feature otherwise questionable content.
What’s your most useful productivity hack?
qcmny Drink a ton of water throughout day, the quick trips to the bathroom are a great way to clear head and stay fresh!
kevindepew I print out all my emails to make shredding them easier.
julieedow Never using the word “hack” unless I’m (1) cutting meat roughly or (2) in a 90s technology thriller.