Tribune Co. Reorganizes Publishing Unit, Cutting Nearly 700 Jobs (Chicago Tribune)
Tribune Co. announced a restructuring of its publishing business Wednesday to focus on its digital efforts and streamline operations, resulting in nearly 700 job losses across the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and six other daily newspapers. TVSpy The layoffs, which did not affect the company’s television stations, come at the end of an eventful year for Tribune. The company emerged from bankruptcy in January with a plan to shift focus to its television stations, naming television executive Liguori CEO just weeks later. LA Times / Money & Co The reorganization is “not by any means a Hail Mary pass,” the company’s president and CEO, Robert Liguori, said, stressing that the newspapers are profitable. NYT The cuts, which represent about 6 percent of the company’s 11,000 employees, will affect mostly its business side. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “Unfortunately, organizing around functional lines rather than maintain what we’re doing locally, there is going to be some staff reductions,” said Liguori. “We are not going to be reducing any of our frontline reporters. Over time there will be some small reductions on the editorial side, but we want to maintain our best-in-class local journalism.” Poynter / MediaWire In its most recent financial report, Tribune noted it had eliminated 360 positions in 2013 across the company, which also has a broadcasting division. The reductions came “primarily in publishing,” the company said. NY Post “The move anticipates a tough 2014,” said Ken Doctor, an analyst and founder of Newsonomics. “Tribune is battening down the hatches, looking at another, similar high single-digit decline in print ads. Massive cutting is the only way to preserve meager profit.”
New York Times D.C. Shakeup: David Leonhardt Out, Carolyn Ryan in as Bureau Chief (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt will step down and be replaced by political editor Carolyn Ryan, sources familiar with the decision told Politico on Wednesday. Leonhardt, who was appointed bureau chief shortly after Jill Abramson became executive editor, served in that position for just two years. A Pulitzer Prize-winning economic columnist, Leonhardt was seen as a gifted writer with little editing experience, and thus an unnatural fit to lead the Times‘ bureau. FishbowlNY Abramson sent out a memo explaining the changes. Leonhardt will now oversee a new vertical that will focus on the intersection of data and news (read: a new FiveThirtyEight). Also, the Times is launching a “tip sheet” startup for fans of Washington. Carl Hulse will be managing it. HuffPost / The Backstory Abramson wrote that the Times morning tipsheet will “harvest the best tweets of bureau reporters and aggregate other elements from the Washington news report.” And she described Hulse, who just became the paper’s chief Washington correspondent, as knowing “every cranny of the Capitol and the inside dope about Congress and the White House.” FishbowlDC Both Leonhardt’s column and Hulse’s tip sheet have yet to be named. All of these changes will be effective Dec. 15.
AOL to Shut Down Winamp (CNNMoney)
Winamp, the iTunes predecessor you didn’t realize still existed, is alive and kicking — for one more month. AOL announced Wednesday that it will stop supporting the 15-year-old Winamp software, service and website as of Dec. 20. Ars Technica Former Winamp employees blame AOL mismanagement that began over a decade ago. TechCrunch Even if you don’t remember Winamp, you may remember the demo MP3 that played when you installed the app: “Winamp, it really whips the llama’s ass.” Mashable “Winamp was a trailblazer in the digital music revolution and iTunes wouldn’t exist without the groundbreaking work [it] did,” Michael Robertson, an early player in the online music space as the founder of MP3.com, told Mashable. “The guys behind Winamp were pioneers that deserve a place in the music hall of fame.” Slate / Future Tense I’m more than a little aggrieved that AOL appears to have given it the ax so casually. I don’t even need updates: Just keep the website up so that I can download another copy if for some reason I ever need one. How much money would it have cost AOL to keep maintaining the Winamp website? How much is AOL saving by shutting it down? The answer to both questions is not much at all.
MSNBC Cold to Alec Baldwin’s Return (NY Post / Page Six)
Alec Baldwin is not welcome back at MSNBC because of his infamous angry behavior, network insiders say — including complaining that “the air at 30 Rock is too dry.” Sources exclusively tell us that MSNBC chiefs are not exactly falling over themselves to get boisterous Baldwin back in the building. One insider said, “He would only show up at work an hour a week to prep for the show, and when he did turn up, he was in an angry mood, red-faced, and shouting at all the staff.” TVNewser Piers Morgan told TVNewser, “I happen to like the guy, I don’t think he has a homophobic bone in his body. I just think he has a temper, and he just gets enraged when he sees these photographers chasing after his wife and baby.” That’s in contrast to the feeling Morgan’s colleague Anderson Cooper holds for Baldwin.
Facebook Drives Massive New Surge of Traffic to Publishers (BuzzFeed / FWD)
Facebook has sent unprecedented levels of traffic to publishers across the Internet in recent months, a dramatic and unexpected increase affecting a large range of sites serving a wide variety of content. According to data from the BuzzFeed Network — a collection of sites including more than 200 publishers such as The Huffington Post, TMZ, The Onion, and Slate, with more than 300 million users each month — traffic from Facebook referrals to partner network sites is up 69 percent from August to October of this year.
Barry Diller Says He Would Sue Aereo if He Still Ran Fox (TVSpy)
Barry Diller told Bloomberg Media Group chairman Andy Lack at Bloomberg’s The Year Ahead: 2014 conference he would fight Aereo if he still ran FOX. “I would sue them and I would try and say something about consumers if I did so,” Diller told those in attendance.
NY1 to Rebrand as Time Warner Cable News NY1 by End of Year (Capital New York)
The rebranding of NY1 is officially happening. Time Warner Cable’s New York cable news channel will become Time Warner Cable News NY1 by the end of 2013, according to a memo sent to staff there. A new logo and graphics package will be rolled out alongside the wordy new name. TVSpy “The company really took notice after New Yorkers questioned the wisdom of a rebrand,” Pat Kiernan wrote in an email to Capital. “We’re getting a makeover in a few weeks that adds a Time Warner Cable logo, but the branding is still unmistakably New York 1. That’s what we’ll call it and that’s still the name in the corner of the screen.”
Maxim Sale in Big Trouble (Adweek)
Alpha Media Group’s sale of Maxim appears to be headed for the rocks, knowledgeable sources told Adweek. Cerberus Capital Management-controlled Alpha officially put the magazine on the market in March. In September, it announced that it had found a buyer in Darden Media Group, a new company headed by retired UPS SVP Calvin Darden. The deal was expected to close in the third quarter or early fourth quarter, but that deadline has come and gone, and the sources said they’ve been told the deal is off.
Philadelphia Newspaper Owners George Norcross And Lewis Katz Fail to Negotiate (HuffPost / AP)
The warring owners of Philadelphia’s two major newspapers failed to negotiate Wednesday in their fight for control of the media company, leaving a judge to sort out the tawdry public feud. Rival co-owners George Norcross and Lewis Katz are both rich, powerful and used to being in charge. Unless they find a way to work together, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News could be sold for the sixth time in seven years.
Snapchat CEO: 70 Percent of Users Are Women (WSJ / Digits)
Roughly 70 percent of Snapchat users are women, the chief executive of the messaging app said at a closed-door Goldman Sachs conference Wednesday. Co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel said Snapchat users are sending 400 million “snaps” a day on the service, where messages disappear after a few seconds, according to a person who was present at the meeting.
Capital News: We’re Relaunching Dec. 3 (Capital New York)
For the past 10 weeks, we have been working hard on some exciting new projects. We’re excited to show you what we’ve created. Our new site design will launch on Dec. 3. FishbowlNY As part of that, the site is debuting a new site, a daily newsletter called Capital Playbook and… a paywall.
Bob Woodward: Edward Snowden Should Have Come to Me Instead (HuffPost)
Edward Snowden may have helped blow the lid on the NSA’s secret surveillance programs, but Bob Woodward has one complaint: that Snowden should have come to him with the leaks. “I wish [Snowden] had come to me instead of others, particularly The Guardian,” Woodward told Larry King in an interview that airs Thursday on Hulu. “I would have said to him ‘Let’s not reveal who you are. Let’s make you a protected source and give me time with this data and let’s sort it out and present it in a coherent way.'”
Tales From A True Downton Abbey Thoroughbred (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
Wednesday I was thrilled to dine and dish with Harry Herbert, the second son of the 7th Earl of Carnarvon, who was in town on a whirlwind three-day visit to New York to meet a few Upper East Side swells and talk to them about his glamorous and highly successful racehorse syndication business, Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.
What Does John Oliver’s Departure Mean for The Future of The Daily Show? (The Wire)
There’s more than one reason John Oliver’s HBO deal is inconvenient news for The Daily Show. Here’s the obvious one: Jon Stewart has lost his trusty (and well-liked!) sidekick. Here’s the less obvious one: Jon Stewart has lost his eventual successor.
The Incredible Story of Marion Stokes, Who Single-Handedly Taped 35 Years of TV News (Fast Company)
In a storage unit somewhere in Philadelphia, 140,000 VHS tapes sit packed into four shipping containers. Most are hand-labeled with a date between 1977 and 2012, and if you pop one into a VCR you might see scenes from the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the Reagan Administration or Hurricane Katrina. It’s 35 years of history through the lens of TV news, captured on a dwindling format. It’s also the life work of Marion Stokes, who built an archive of network, local and cable news, in her home, one tape at a time — recording every major (and trivial) news event until the day she died in 2012 at the age of 83.
SarNoon No. Just no.
OrchardMedia We think “selfie” is a great choice for word of the year! Sorry, “twerking”
absolute_robert I find it silly and childish.
88_Chords This self-described queen of said selfie gives the Shine stamp of approval.