Former D.C. Bureau Chief Leaves NBC News (NY Post)
Antoine Sanfuentes, the former Washington bureau chief for NBC News, is exiting the network. The news was confirmed in a farewell note emailed to staff by Sanfuentes Monday morning. The journalist had been with the Peacock network for 24 years. His last day is Jan. 20, he said in the email, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Post. HuffPost His exit is the latest shakeup during what has already been a bumpy year for NBC News. Turness took over as president this past summer, and Today and Meet The Press have both struggled in the ratings. NY Post Turness is turning her attention to her troubled Sunday talk show, Meet The Press — asking staff to write a mission statement and explain what works and what doesn’t, the Post has learned. Turness has been reviewing individual shows one by one with the aim of having staff focus more clearly on winning the ratings wars, sources said. FishbowlDC But while Meet The Press has slipped in recent months from a strong first place in the ratings to third, NBC sources close to the matter tell FishbowlDC that scrapping the show — one of NBC’s marquee brands — is not on the table.
Jack Dorsey Joins Disney’s Board of Directors (TechCrunch)
The Walt Disney Company just announced that Jack Dorsey (co-founder and CEO of Square, as well co-founder and chairman at Twitter, as if you didn’t know) has joined its board of directors. “Jack Dorsey is a talented entrepreneur who has helped create groundbreaking new businesses in the social media and commerce spaces,” said Disney CEO Robert A. Iger in the release. Adweek Dorsey follows the footsteps of Steve Jobs, who sat on the board before his death. Dorsey, 37, co-founded Twitter, which is profiting greatly from its IPO this year, and is CEO of Square, the mobile payments company that’s expected to go public soon, too. Dorsey tweeted a quote from Walt Disney: “I only hope we don’t lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.” AllThingsD Dorsey will be replacing Judy Estrin, well-known technologist and former CTO of Cisco, who has been a Disney director for 15 years.
AOL Banks on HuffPost to Turn Profitable Next Year (Reuters)
It’s the holiday season and Arianna Huffington, the influential woman behind the popular news website that bears her name, is busy buying sweaters — some 700 of them — as gifts to her employees. From brands like J.Crew and White + Warren, the sweaters are placed at the desks of The Huffington Post staffers who can swap or trade them before posing for an annual group photo. When The Huffington Post was sold for $315 million nearly three years ago, Huffington told her new boss, AOL Inc CEO Tim Armstrong, that they had to uphold the tradition she started when she launched the site in 2005 and personally selected sweaters for her handful of employees. Capital New York “Going forward, things like The Huffington Post and the overall Brand Group will have to show they are real businesses and profitable,” Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter said. “I’ve been a broken record about it: Can they make content profitably? Up until recently the answer has been ‘no.'”
Confusion Reigns at The Washington Times (FishbowlDC)
The newsroom at The Washington Times is suffering from low morale and a pervading sense of confusion about the future of the organization, say current and former employees — all of whom requested anonymity to speak freely. Over the course of many interviews, including several with employees who were let go during the most recent re-org, a complicated picture emerges: TWT is now a fraction of the size it used to be, with only around 30 newsroom staff, less than half of whom are actual reporters.
Time.com Relaunch Delayed (Capital New York)
Time magazine’s Web relaunch, initially slated for 2013, has been pushed back into the New Year. Capital has learned that January is the latest target for the highly anticipated revamp of time.com, which has been in the works for much of the past 10 months. As with most endeavors of this nature, the relaunch has been delayed multiple times; it was originally slated for fall and was then pushed back to December, sources said. But with the clock ticking and the holiday dead-zone bearing down, there was still work to be done, hence the 2014 street date.
Meredith Buys Gannett TV Stations for $407.5 Million (FishbowlNY)
Meredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes & Gardens, Every Day with Rachael Ray and more, is expanding its TV business. The company has purchased Gannett TV stations located in Phoenix and St. Louis, for $407.5 million. The buy includes KASW in Phoenix and KMOV in St. Louis. Meredith also acquired KTVK in Phoenix, but is selling it in a different deal to SagamoreHill. Poynter / MediaWire In the deal, Sander Media will acquire KMOV once the Gannett-Belo sale closes. Sander will then sell the station to Meredith. For its part, Meredith will transfer KASW-TV to SagamoreHill of Phoenix, an LLC, that owns two stations in two markets.
A TV Anchor Tries to Gift Bitcoin on Air, Is Immediately Robbed (Gizmodo)
Friday, Bloomberg TV anchor Matt Miller took an on-air opportunity to give the gift of Bitcoin to two of his fellow anchors during his “12 Days of Bitcoin” segment. And in a beautiful twist of karmic justice, punishment for running such an absurd segment in the first place, every last digitally invested cent was stolen immediately. Each of the anchors were to receive $20 worth of the digital currency, but all that went down the drain the second anchor Adam Johnson absentmindedly exposed his QR code of the private key to the camera, which is basically like giving someone your debit card and writing down the pin number for them.
Justine Sacco And The Self-Inflicted Perils of Twitter (Forbes / Mixed Media)
A few weeks ago, I had a drink with my friend Justine Sacco and we talked about what makes for a good tweet. Justine is an easy person to like — frank, funny, quick to laugh. To a reporter, she’s the kind of flack who’s all too rare, the kind who doesn’t stop being a person when she badges in for the day at work. Although a tough and forceful advocate for her employers, I could trust her not to waste my time or feed me a line, even when we found ourselves at cross purposes.
(Almost) No One Is Reading Your Tweets (AllThingsD)
Do you like to post things on Twitter? That’s cool. As long you’re cool with the idea that almost no one will read what you type. That’s the gist of a report published last week by Jon Bruner, a data journalist working for O’Reilly Radar. Bruner surveyed Twitter accounts and concluded that almost all of them are all but ignored: “The median Twitter account has a single follower. Among the much smaller subset of accounts that have posted in the last 30 days, the median account has just 61 followers.” AllTwitter Women in the U.S. have, on average, 163 Twitter followers, reveals new research from SheKnows and Harris Interactive, which surveyed U.S. female social network users back in August. Twitter finished second overall behind Facebook, where female users boast an average of 250 friends, but ahead of blogs (149 friends), LinkedIn (89 contacts) and Instagram (89 followers).
Hulu Must Face Privacy Lawsuit, U.S. Judge Rules (Reuters)
Hulu has failed to persuade a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit accusing the video streaming service of illegally sharing users’ viewing history with Facebook Inc and business metrics company comScore Inc. In San Francisco on Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler rejected Hulu’s argument that viewers needed to show actual injury to recover damages, even if they qualified as “aggrieved” persons under a 1988 federal law protecting the privacy of video renters. That law, the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), was adopted after a newspaper published an article in 1987 about movies that Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork had rented.
Reuters Dodges Questions About Death of 17-Year-Old Photographer in Syria (The Guardian / Greenslade Blog)
Molhem Barakat, a freelance photographer reputed to be just 17 years old, has been killed while covering the conflict in Syria. He died on Friday in Aleppo during a battle at Kindi hospital between rebel groups and forces loyal to the president, Bashar al-Assad. Dozens of Barakat’s pictures have been published in recent months through Reuters since he starting sending the agency his work in May this year. Following his death, questions arose from other journalists on whether it was appropriate for Reuters to use the work of a teenager in a war zone.
Financial Times Weekend Mistakes Bahrain’s Foreign Minister for Khaled Sheikh Mohammed (HuffPost)
Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa, the foreign minister of Bahrain, and Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged architect of Al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks, are two very different people. Unfortunately, the weekend edition of the Financial Times had to clarify that after the newspaper mistakenly identified a photo of Bahrain’s foreign minister as the terrorist.
Fandango Scores Record-Breaking Year (TheWrap)
Fandango had the biggest year in its 13-year history, posting its strongest results in ticket sales, traffic to its site, mobile app downloads and gift card sales. The Comcast-owned company said that mobile ticket sales had increased by 57 percent, monthly visitors to its online and mobile destinations rose by 15 percent, and there were 39 million downloads of its mobile apps.
Jake Tapper Is The Sunday Show Host We Deserve (BuzzFeed)
So what’s the worth of a Sunday political talk show in 2013? Becoming the host of one is still the core status symbol for TV news journalists. But the shows as they stand right now are relics, with declining ratings and content that’s usually already been thoroughly hashed out online and on cable by the time Sunday rolls around. There’s very little innovation right now in the format.
MSNBC All Day Long: Lefty Volunteerism, Reporting, Fluff (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
Though MSNBC’s daytime stuff brims with softness, the network’s president, Phil Griffin, tells the Erik Wemple Blog that his folks come to play when something big happens. “I will tell you — when it counts,” says Griffin, referring to big news events of 2013, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, “take a look at our coverage and compare it to our competitors: We stand up to any of them.”
Journos: What do you want for Christmas?
MatteucciJ Sources who return calls and emails! And more time in the day would be nice too.
Solmaz Sharif A job! Thank you Santa! happy holidays.
Joshua Tanzer Circulation.
David Andrzejak BITCOINS
Carly Zimmer A Christmas day not spent in a newsroom.