Morning Media Newsfeed: Greenwald Partner Held | Fox Buys Vice Stake | 480 Out at Patch

[emailonly]{{{ sbox300x250 }}}[/emailonly]
Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.

Glenn Greenwald’s Partner Detained at Heathrow Airport for Nine Hours (The Guardian)
The partner of the Guardian journalist who has written a series of stories revealing mass surveillance programs by the US National Security Agency was held for almost nine hours on Sunday by UK authorities as he passed through London’s Heathrow airport on his way home to Rio de Janeiro. David Miranda, who lives with Glenn Greenwald, was returning from a trip to Berlin when he was stopped by officers at 8:05 a.m. and informed that he was to be questioned under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The controversial law, which applies only at airports, ports and border areas, allows officers to stop, search, question and detain individuals. The Guardian / Comment Is Free Greenwald: “This was obviously designed to send a message of intimidation to those of us working journalistically on reporting on the NSA and its British counterpart, the GCHQ. Before letting him go, they seized numerous possessions of his, including his laptop, his cellphone, various video game consoles, DVDs, USB sticks, and other materials. They did not say when they would return any of it, or if they would.” NYT The Guardian had paid for the trip, Greenwald said, and Miranda was on his way home to Rio de Janeiro. London’s Metropolitan Police Service, which had jurisdiction over the case, said in a statement that Miranda had been lawfully detained under the Terrorism Act and later released, without going into detail. Amnesty International “It is utterly improbable that David Michael Miranda, a Brazilian national transiting through London, was detained at random, given the role his husband has played in revealing the truth about the unlawful nature of NSA surveillance,” said Widney Brown, senior director of international law and policy at Amnesty International. AndrewSullivan.com My obvious question is: What could possibly lead the British security services to suspect Miranda of such ties to terror groups? I have seen nothing anywhere that could even connect his spouse to such nefarious contacts. Unless Greenwald is some kind of super-al-Qaeda mole, he has none to my knowledge and to suspect him of any is so close to unreasonable it qualifies as absurd.

21st Century Fox Takes Stake in ‘Gonzo’ Vice (Financial Times)
Twenty-First Century Fox has taken a 5 percent stake in Vice Media, the digital media and publishing group that brought basketball player Dennis Rodman to North Korea, in a deal that values the company at $1.4 billion. The $70 million deal will be announced on Monday, after being signed before 21st Century Fox was split from News Corp over the summer. TheWrap “We get to make all the content we want? With the best platforms in the world? Grow our brand exponentially? Become the next global media brand? And all the while own the vast majority of the company and vote 95 percent of the board? Where-do-we-f*cking-sign?!,” CEO Shane Smith said in a statement. The Atlantic Wire For a sense of scale: John Henry paid $70 million for the Boston Globe two weeks ago, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for The Washington Post several days later. To buy Vice, which was founded as a Canadian music magazine in 1994, you’d have to pony up more than triple the cost of both newspapers combined.

AOL Boss Tim Armstrong Says 40 Percent of Patch’s Workforce Will Be Laid Off (JimRomenesko.com)
AOL chief exec Tim Armstrong said in a nine-minute conference call Friday morning that 40 percent of the Patch workforce would lose their jobs Friday. (That’s about 480 people.) No questions were taken during the call. He said 60 percent of the Patch sites will continue, 20 percent of them will partner with other outlets, and 20 percent will be consolidated or completely closed. A tipster emails: “Regarding the call, the most telling thing was the song ‘Stormy Weather’ playing before the call got going.” Business Insider According to a source, here’s how the firings went down: AOL held simultaneous meetings in two different rooms. One room was full of Patch employees who were about to be fired and the other was full of employees who got to keep their jobs. Remote workers dialed into the meetings. Presumably, those who were about to be fired got a dial-in number to the room with the other doomed employees. FishbowlNY For those that are staying with Patch, this is one of those “Is this a good thing or a bad thing” scenarios, because we imagine with the closings they’ll now be asked to do more with less. AllThingsD Armstrong: “Patch has become an important brand across many towns in America. The Patch team across the country has served and will continue to serve communities with journalism and technology platforms. Unfortunately, with these changes we are announcing , we will be reducing a substantial number of Patch positions.” AllThingsD One of the many differences between old media companies and new media companies: It’s a lot cheaper to fire people at new media companies. AOL said it will spend between $14 million and $18 million on “cash restructuring charges” — read as “severance and related costs” — on the Patch layoffs. As Bloomberg’s Ed Lee notes, that indicates AOL is not spending a whole lot on severance for Patch employees, who have been running a network of 900 local news sites.