Morning Media Newsfeed: Bashir Resigns | Sambolin Out At CNN | Shakeup at HLN?

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Martin Bashir Resigns From MSNBC (Mediaite)
Just over two weeks ago, MSNBC host Martin Bashir delivered a harsh piece of commentary that culminated in the suggestion that someone should “s-h-*-t” in former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) mouth. Bashir offered an abject apology on his next broadcast, but a chorus of critics continued to demand action against the host. After a reported “vacation” for the host earlier this week, Bashir announced, in a statement to Mediaite Wednesday afternoon, that MSNBC and Martin Bashir are parting ways. TVNewser “After making an on-air apology, I asked for permission to take some additional time out around the Thanksgiving holiday,” Bashir said. “Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the president of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments. I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers – who are the smartest, most compassionate and discerning of all television audiences.” Bashir joined MSNBC in the summer of 2010, after six years with ABC News, part of that time as a host of Nightline. Fox News In his own statement, MSNBC president Phil Griffin said: “Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with MSNBC. Martin is a good man and respected colleague — we wish him only the best.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media MSNBC spokesperson Lauren Skowronski told Politico that Joy-Ann Reid, who has been hosting while Bashir was out for Thanksgiving vacation, will continue to serve as substitute host. The network will have “an announcement about a permanent replacement host in the coming weeks,” she said. Reuters Bashir is the second high profile host to leave the network in a matter of weeks. MSNBC canceled actor Alec Baldwin’s late night talk show in late November after Baldwin was caught in a video posted on the celebrity website TMZ using a homophobic slur during a confrontation with a New York photographer.

Zoraida Sambolin Leaving CNN (TVNewser)
Zoraida Sambolin, who joined CNN two years ago, is leaving the network and returning to Chicago, TVNewser has learned. Sambolin, the host of Early Start, said battling cancer this year put life in perspective. “I love my job and the gifted and committed people I’ve had an opportunity to work with but life is beckoning me back to Chicago,” she wrote in a note to staff. THR / The Live Feed Her final day will be Dec. 13. Sambolin joined the cable news network from Chicago’s NBC 5 in November 2011 to co-anchor the 5 to 7 morning block. This past May, she revealed on the air plans to undergo a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. “Zoraida Sambolin is one of the best journalists in the business,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement about the anchor’s exit. “Her insightful reporting, kind nature, strength and resilience are universally admired. Although we will miss her, we understand and support her decision and wish her and her family only the best.” TheWrap Sambolin said that she will continue to raise breast-cancer awareness and raise funds to find a cure. A replacement for Sambolin will be named soon. HuffPost Her departure is the latest shakeup for CNN, which is slated to see some other changes in the coming months.

CNN Expects a Big News Update From Jeff Zucker (New York Daily News)
CNN boss Jeff Zucker is a step closer to shaking up HLN, the cable news network’s sister channel, sources told the Daily News. While Zucker has remained elusive about changes in mind for HLN, a source close to the situation said that “nothing is off the table.” That includes possibly dumping firebrand Nancy Grace, whose acerbic personality was a huge part of last winter’s highly rated coverage of the Jodi Arias murder trial. TVNewser HLN Network president Albie Hecht is in Atlanta for a two-day network meeting with all production staff, TVNewser has learned. We heard the plan includes making HLN the “social media network,” bringing the immediacy of social media and translating it to TV. Most of Wednesday’s shows were on tape or replaced by weekend programming. LostRemote What would the “social media network” look like? Could hosts, producers and bookers take their story cues from social media users? Will HLN look to its reporters and producers to break news, or empower social media to be the citizen digital journalists?

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For News Media, a Mostly Cautious Approach to Newtown Tapes (NYT)
Media outlets reacted mostly with caution on Wednesday to the release of 911 calls from inside Sandy Hook Elementary School during last year’s shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn. While two local Connecticut newspapers rushed to make the full recordings available on their websites, the state’s largest paper, The Hartford Courant, initially posted only a story about the tapes, before adding a video with excerpts later in the afternoon. On television, national news organizations held off from broadcasting any excerpts as they were released Wednesday afternoon. Both CNN and MSNBC led their 2 p.m. newscasts with reports about the release of the tapes, but in both cases refrained from airing them. The Fox News Channel did broadcast several seconds from the calls. TVNewser “This is an extraordinarily difficult story to cover today. The release of the 911 tapes obviously extremely sensitive,” CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin, who covered the shooting from Newtown, said at the top of the 2 p.m. hour. On MSNBC, Tamron Hall said NBC News is “choosing not to air them out of respect for the families and the sensitivity of the issue.” TVSpy Hartford-New Haven stations are being cautious about broadcasting the audio from the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting 911 tapes. CBS affiliate WFSB, which said earlier this week it would honor Newtown’s request to stay away on the first anniversary of the shooting, announced on Facebook it would not air the audio of the 911 calls. Same for NBC-owned WVIT, which is consistent with the policy NBC News announced. TVSpy Hartford CBS affiliate WFSB would not report from Newtown on the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, anchor Dennis House wrote on his blog.

New York Observer to ‘Tweak’ Pink Paper Stock (Capital New York)
The New York Observer is getting ready for yet another makeover. Plans are in motion for a redesign of the weekly paper that’s expected to debut in February, Capital has learned, though sources cautioned (as is always the case with these sorts of the things), that the street date could end up changing. One of the most notable aspects of the new design, according to people familiar with the plans: The Observer will likely tweak the signature salmon-hued paper that has distinguished it on the newsstand (or confused it with The Financial Times), since its creation in the late ’80s.

Joel Johnson Named Gawker Media Editorial Director (Capital New York)
Joel Johnson, founding editor of Kotaku, Gizmodo and The Consumerist, has been named editorial director of Gawker Media, Nick Denton told staff in a memo Wednesday. Johnson, currently an editor-at-large at Gawker and contributing editor at The Wirecutter, will report for duty in January. The position had been unfilled since the respective departures of Lockhart Steele (2007) and Noah Robischon from Gawker. FishbowlNY Johnson tweeted that he was “Happy to return to my ancestral homeland Gawker Media.”

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Anthony Weiner in Talks to Host Radio Show (New York Daily News / Confidential)
At least he can’t embarrass himself with crotch shots on radio. Confidential has learned exclusively that disgraced mayoral wannabe and Twitter enthusiast Anthony Weiner is in talks to host an NYC radio show. Sources close to the deal said Weiner is mulling an offer to host a drive-time chat show on either WOR or WABC radio, focusing on local politics. “We’re looking at a lot of people,” said WABC operations manager Tony Mascaro, denying that Weiner is one of them.

Daily Download Founder Confirms Site Has Ended Publication (Poynter / MediaWire)
“Ashburn Media Company has decided to stop publishing,” Lauren Ashburn told Poynter in an emailed statement. “Our grant from Maryland Public Television and the Knight Foundation ended and, as everyone knows, operating an advertising-based niche website without additional funding is tough going in this economy,” Ashburn said. Gawker “Lauren told me that at one point it had a half million views per day,” said Lorraine Murphy, a Vancouver web consultant who wrote for the site between May and August of this year. Her final contact with Ashburn, Murphy added, “was reminding her for the umpteenth time about my invoice from August. I finally got that money last week” — that is, in late November. Before that, Murphy offered to take over daily editorial duties, a proposition Kurtz and Ashburn briefly entertained before going radio silent.

A Blunt Assessment for Bloomberg TV (Capital New York)
Early next year, Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel is expected to present his findings to executives at parent company Bloomberg LP, outlining a program for revamping its television channel, Bloomberg TV. What does he think of the current programming of the network? It’s “sh*t,” two people familiar with comments Tyrangiel has made told Capital he has said. (Since this article was published, Tyrangiel has refuted these accounts in an email to Capital, “[Your] story is an insult to a lot of really hard working, talented people,” he wrote in part, requesting a retraction.)

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After Financing Hiccup, Maxim Sale Set to Close Friday (Adweek)
After a hiccup, the Maxim sale appears to be set to close Friday, and publishing vet Bob Guccione Jr. said he’s set to take the reins as CEO. Alpha Media sold the bawdy lad magazine to retired UPS exec Calvin Darden over the summer. The deal was expected to be completed by last month but things apparently hit a snag. “We’re scheduled to close Friday,” Guccione said by phone. “I’m the guy they’re bringing in.” The Maxim news marks Guccione’s return to publishing and is likely to draw interest in the brand.

ABC Brass Nixed Barbara Walters’ Pick of Edward Snowden as Year’s Most Fascinating Person (New York Daily News / Confidential)
It’s a leak Barbara Walters doesn’t want you to know about. The ABC News doyenne pushed hard to have NSA leaker Edward Snowden at the top of her list of 10 most fascinating people of the year — but in the end was overruled by network brass, a source told Confidential. Snowden, who did land further down on the list, is particular about his outlets, relying mainly on journalist Glenn Greenwald — formerly of The Guardian — to tell his stories, and would not participate. Instead, the network did a write-around with old interview clips for his part, much like they did with Gen. David Petraeus in 2012.

Media Insiders Are Laughing About New Site ‘The Information,’ But Founder Jessica Lessin Will Laugh Last (Business Insider)
Former WSJ tech reporter and editor Jessica Lessin officially launched a tech news site Wednesday morning. It’s called The Information. According to a letter from the editor, its intended audience is “professionals in technology and in industries being upended by it.” To read its articles, you’re going to have to shell out $399/year or $39/month.

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New Haven Advocate, 1975-2013 (New Haven Independent)
The New Haven Advocate, a weekly newspaper once known for a mix of gutsy investigative journalism, edgy political commentary, magazine-style feature writing, and savvy arts coverage, died Wednesday following a long illness. It was 38 years old. The cause of death was a changed media landscape combined with corporate cluelessness and cupidity.

White House Taps PolicyMic to Engage Millennials on A.C.A. (Capital New York)
The White House is participating in a project with New York City-based media company PolicyMic as part of its outreach effort to Millennials, seen as a crucial element in the success or failure of the Affordable Care Act. The site, a platform that combines a core group of paid and unpaid regular writers as well as a broader user base totaling about 2,500 Millennials and claiming to reach 10 million unique visitors a month, launched an “Open Mic” competition in which young people are asked to submit ideas about how to make A.C.A. insurance programs more accessible to them. Submissions will be accepted for one week only.

AP Apologizes for Using Fake Vin Diesel Quote in Paul Walker Obit (PRNewser)
These are the challenges of modern-day PR. The Associated Press issued an apology and a correction Wednesday after Vin Diesel‘s publicist called to let them know that a quote about Paul Walker that supposedly appeared on his Instagram account was, in fact, not a real quote at all.

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