Morning Media Newsfeed: Eldon Out at TechCrunch | Barnes & Noble Struggles | Hall Gets Rude Question

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Co-Chief Eric Eldon Leaving TechCrunch (ValleyWag)
One half of the heavyweight duo operating Silicon Valley’s industry blog of record is making his exit. After a little more than two years at the helm alongside Alexia Tsotsis, TechCrunch co-editor Eric Eldon will soon depart the site. He planned to make the news official next week. TechCrunch Eldon: “It’s time to try something pretty different. I’ve been in tech since everybody wrote it off as a dying industry town about to be fully outsourced, to a scarily mainstream phenomenon. Back in the old days when my media-tools startup got covered by TechCrunch, or over the years when I’ve competed against this publication, we all seemed a little innocent, hopeful and idealistic. The dreams came true. Almost too true.” TechCrunch Clearly Eldon will leave a huge hole, and therefore we’re going to be making a couple of editorial changes to make sure TechCrunch meets 2014 staffed up for greatness. Our esteemed senior editor Leena Rao will become managing editor as part of these changes.

Holiday Sales Slide 60 Percent at Struggling Barnes & Noble Nook Unit (NYT)
In late 2009, Barnes & Noble introduced its first e-reader, the Nook, and within a relatively short time had picked up 25 percent of the eBook market, slicing into Amazon’s dominance. Now those gains seem to have faded. On Thursday, Barnes & Noble, the nation’s last remaining major bookstore chain, said that it had steep sales declines in its digital division during the holiday period, continuing a steady decline for a unit that was once the centerpiece of its growth strategy. Bloomberg Businessweek There are plenty of reasons for the stunning decline of the once-promising Nook. Barnes & Noble has found itself unable to compete with the likes of Apple and Amazon in the broader arena of multipurposed tablets. The New York-based retailer has also been undermined by the continuing migration of its customers from physical stores to online book-buying and by the desire of its risk-averse institutional shareholders to support deep, profit-draining, long-term investments in new frontiers. GalleyCat Barnes & Noble’s retail business, which includes sales from Barnes & Noble bookstores and, earned $1.1 billion in revenues during the nine-week holiday period ending Dec. 28, 2013. The earnings represent a 6.6 percent decrease over the prior year, which the company attributed to a 5.5 percent decline in comparable sales and store closures.

Tamron Hall Handles Rude Question While Opening Up About Sister’s Murder (TVNewser)
At a Television Critics Association panel Thursday morning, MSNBC’s Tamron Hall opened up about her sister’s murder while facing an insensitive question from a reporter. “One of the reasons I wanted to do Deadline: Crime is to show compassion,” Hall tells TVNewser about hosting the Investigation Discovery show. “Victims and survivors deserve more than a person seeking a headline.” TheWrap Philadelphia TV critic Jonathan Storm asked Hall how she split her time between her full duties for NBC News — which include anchoring NewsNation daily on MSNBC — and investigating and reporting for Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall on ID. The host responded with an intimate story to illustrate why she finds it so important to dedicate time to the Investigation Discovery show, even with the demands of her day job. The TCA audience was visibly moved, but Storm responded, “That’s all very nice, but can you answer my question?” Before carrying on with her story, Hall responded to Storm’s comment, saying, “It’s not ‘nice,'” and asking him how he would feel if he got a call telling him his sister had been beaten and murdered. HuffPost Those who witnessed the panel said that although the moment was difficult to watch, Hall remained calm.