Morning Media Newsfeed: Hackers Threaten Violence Over Interview | NYT Layoffs Begin

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Sony Hackers Threaten Violence Over The Interview (Re/code)
A new message from the hackers who have infiltrated Sony Pictures Entertainment appeared to threaten violence at or near movie theaters where the studio plans to show The Interview. The group mentioned the film for the first time by name and threatened to take unspecified actions against its premiere, set for Dec. 25, writing, “The world will be full of fear” and “Remember the 11th of September.” WSJ A Department of Homeland Security official said Tuesday afternoon the agency was aware of the threat but added: “at this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States.” Variety “We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment,” the message reads. There have been suspicions that the attack may have been launched by North Korea in retaliation for the Interview’s depiction of an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un. The country has denied involvement but praised the attacks. THR The Sony hackers also made good on their promise to release a so-called Christmas gift by posting an eighth batch of documents to the Internet on Tuesday. The documents appear to be the entire email account of Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton. Lynton’s email account contains 12,466 messages, which presumably contains deleted messages, dating from Nov. 12, 2008 to Nov. 21, 2014, three days before the hack was first noticed by the studio. A special screening of the film took place in Los Angeles last week without incident. Deadline Landmark Theatres said Tuesday night that the New York premiere of the film has been canceled. The event was set for Thursday night at the Sunshine Cinema on the Lower East Side. BuzzFeed The film’s stars, Seth Rogen and James Franco, have withdrawn from all media appearances in the lead-up to the release of the film.

NYT Layoffs Begin (FishbowlNY)
Those layoffs at The New York Times that we’ve been hearing about have officially begun. According to a memo from the Newspaper Guild of New York, the Times is cutting 21 union members, with employees receiving notice Tuesday or Wednesday. NYT The newspaper accepted buyout applications from 57 members of the Newspaper Guild of New York, the Guild said in an email, and from nearly 30 nonunion members. Though the precise number of staff members who will lose their jobs was not yet clear, the Guild said, “the company clearly will exceed its stated goal of 100 job cuts.” New York Post / Media Ink The fired employees are getting far skimpier buyouts than those who opted for the voluntary packages. To get veterans to accept the buyout, the Times offered a one-time bonus equal to 35 percent of the final year’s pay for employees with 20 or more years’ employment. In contrast, the fired employees with 20 years will get about 28 percent of their final year’s pay. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The layoffs are the final element of a plan to eliminate some 100 positions in the newsroom as part of the Times‘ larger effort to stem costs and restructure for a more digital future. Media reporters Bill Carter and Christine Haughney, labor reporter Steven Greenhouse, editorial page writer David Firestone and chief financial correspondent Floyd Norris are among those who accepted buyout offers.

New York Mag Apologizes for Completely False Story on Teenage Stock Trading Whiz (Mashable)
New York Magazine has issued an apology after running a recent story about a high school student’s $72 million fortune amassed through stock trading turned out to be entirely false. The original story focused on Mohammed Islam, a senior at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. Islam purportedly had put together a net worth in the “high eight figures” through his market magic, a fact that the magazine said they believed confirmed by a Chase bank statement. PRNewser Once the lie was exposed by the New York Observer, Islam did what any embarrassed teenager in the spotlight would do: He hired 5WPR for crisis communications. TVNewser Just hours earlier, Islam and his friend, Damir Tulemaganbetov, were at CNBC prepared to do an interview about their multi-million dollar stock trading prowess, when the teens decided it was time to come clean. FishbowlNY Jessica Pressler, the bylined author of the New York magazine item, was hired by Bloomberg earlier this month.