Morning Media Newsfeed: FNC Wins 13th Straight Year | Four More Resign From TNR

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2014 Ratings: Fox News Channel Wins 13th Straight Year (TVNewser)
Fox News remained on top in 2014, capping off its 13th consecutive year as the most-watched cable news network among both total viewers and the adult 25-54 demo. FNC averaged 1.05 million total viewers and 213,000 in the demo. FNC beat CNN and MSNBC combined in both total day and primetime viewers. Variety The network had the top five programs in cable news in both total viewers and adults 25-54. In total viewers, O’Reilly Factor (2.667 million) was followed by The Kelly File (2.204 million), The Five (2.057 million), Special Report With Bret Baier (1.985 million) and On The Record With Greta Van Susteren (1.749 million). And in the demo, O’Reilly (426,000) was followed by Kelly File (374,000), The Five (324,000), Hannity (311,000) and Special Report (303,000). In primetime for the year, Fox News ranked second in total viewers (behind only ESPN) among all ad-supported basic cable networks. TVNewser In a year of change for CNN, with primetime programming being re-shaped, documentary programming replacing Piers Morgan Live, and layoffs and cutbacks impacting the network’s news staff, CNN ends 2014 with a few success stories, including beating MSNBC in the primetime demo for the first time since 2008. CNN trailed MSNBC among total viewers in primetime, with the network hitting its lowest ratings since 1992. TVNewser While Rachel Maddow posted both demo and total viewer wins over CNN, Maddow’s ratings in the demo were down 18 percent — their lowest since the show’s launch. Meanwhile, Hardball fell behind CNN’s Erin Burnett in the demo, Chris Hayes lost in the demo to CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Last Word trailed CNN at 10 p.m. ET. TVNewser HLN ended 2014 down 13 percent in total viewers and down 6 percent in the demo compared to last year. HLN’s highlight is in the morning, where it tied for second in the daypart with sister network CNN and surpassing MSNBC’s Morning Joe in the adult 25-54 demo.

Four More Resign From TNR (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Four more members of the New Republic’s masthead resigned this week, dealing yet another blow to the already depleted magazine. FishbowlNY The departures include managing editor Linda Kinstler, deputy editor Amanda Silverman, assistant literary editor Becca Rothfeld and reporter Yishai Schwartz. Silverman and Schwartz will leave this week; Kinstler and Rothfeld in January. FishbowlDC Earlier this month, editors Frank Foer and Leon Wieseltier submitted their resignations as a direct result of disagreements with TNR’s new owner Chris Hughes and CEO Guy Vidra over the vision for the magazine’s future. Since then, a massive wave of TNR’s top editors and contributors have left the magazine in solidarity with Foer and Wieseltier. HuffPost Sources said that while editors were offered $1,000-2,000 bonuses to stay with the magazine following the first wave of resignations, Kinstler, Silverman, Rothfeld and Schwartz ultimately chose to leave the publication because of frustrations with the leadership of Hughes and Vidra. In December, shortly after the magazine’s 100 year anniversary, Hughes and Vidra announced that The New Republic would be reinventing itself as a “vertically integrated digital media company.”

FBI Fixated on North Korea for Sony Hack Despite New Evidence (The Daily Beast)
In spite of mounting evidence that the North Korean regime may not have been wholly responsible for a brazen cyber assault against Sony — and possibly wasn’t involved at all — the FBI is doubling down on its theory that the Hermit Kingdom solely bears the blame. Politico A briefing for FBI agents investigating the Sony Pictures hack by a security firm that says its research points to laid-off Sony staff, not North Korea, as the perpetrator provided no usable new evidence, an official said Tuesday. The news that the FBI had taken the three-hour briefing Monday added to the chorus of well-qualified skeptics who said the unprecedented decision to release details of an ongoing FBI investigation and President Barack Obama publicly blaming the hermit authoritarian regime hasn’t convinced the cybersecurity community. TheWrap On Monday, security firm Norse Corp alleged that in an independent investigation of the hack, it has identified six individuals involved, including one former Sony employee based in America as well as participants from Canada, Thailand and Singapore. Variety “There is no credible information to indicate that any other individual is responsible for this cyber-incident,” an FBI spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday. “The FBI is committed to identifying and pursuing those responsible for this act and bringing them to justice. While it remains an ongoing investigation, no further information can be provided at this time.” A spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council said, “The administration stands by the FBI assessment.”