Morning Media Newsfeed: Howard Kurtz Apologizes | Keys Gets Revenge | WaPo Earnings Plunge

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Howard Kurtz Apologizes on CNN For Errors (Politico)
Howard Kurtz took to his Reliable Sources show on CNN on Sunday to apologize for his “inexcusable” erroneous report last week about NBA player Jason Collins and for a string of past mistakes that the media critic admitted he was sometimes too slow to correct. During Kurtz’s extraordinary 15-minute long confession of journalistic sins, he repeatedly said he’s learned a lesson and promised to double and triple-check all his facts in the future to win back the trust of readers and viewers. TVNewser NPR’s David Folkenflik and Politico‘s Dylan Byers grilled Kurtz about Collins as well as other mistakes from the past that Kurtz admitted he had sometimes waited too long to correct. It was riveting, powerful, and frequently uncomfortable to watch. The live interrogation on CNN was not Kurtz’ idea. HuffPost / The Backstory Kurtz claimed Sunday that Daily Download, a site founded by USA Today veteran Lauren Ashburn, has “always been a limited venture for me.” The Knight Foundation provided a $115,000 grant for the Daily Download project in December 2011, via Maryland Public Television, and provided a second $115,000 grant in November 2012. A Knight Foundation spokesman told HuffPost that Kurtz’s “involvement was a factor in our support for the Daily Download.” Daily Download / Lauren Ashburn In a regular Daily Download feature where Kurtz and I comment on the day’s media news, he made a mistake. And so did I. As founder and editor-in-chief, I am responsible for what goes on Daily Download. I am committed to being more vigilant to ensure our facts are correct and that we are more transparent if issues arise.

Fired Social Media Editor Gets Another Social Media Editor Fired (NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer)
Matthew Keys might be having a meltdown. The former deputy social media editor at Reuters, once a budding Twitter celeb in the news business, was indicted on hacking charges in March and fired from his job last week. Friday, he decided to get one of his peers fired, too. Jared Keller was let go as director of social media for the notoriously strict Bloomberg Businessweek Friday afternoon, hours after Keys tweeted two-month-old private messages from Keller in which he disparaged his employer and said, “I f***ing hate it here.” Business Insider Keys posted the messages apparently in response to a nearly two-month-old Gizmodo story about Keys being charged with conspiring to help members of the hacker group Anonymous gain access to the Tribune Co.’s computer system, for which he was indicted in March. Keys accused Keller of leaking a private conversation to the website.

Washington Post Profit Plunges 85 Percent on Weak News, Education Revenues (Reuters)
Washington Post Co. reported an 85 percent drop in first-quarter net income on Friday on weakness in its education and newspaper businesses. Stronger results from the television and cable operations, however, helped the company squeeze out a 0.4 percent rise in total revenue to $959.1 million. Washingtonian / Capital Comment Beyond that, good news was hard to find. The Kaplan education division, the source of profits for many years, continues to lose money. But the biggest drag on profits came from the Post newspaper, where the decline worsened at many levels. The Washington Post Overall, the newspaper division reported an operating loss of $34.5 million in the first quarter, but on a cash flow basis it lost only $5.4 million. The cash flow was derived by subtracting from newspaper earnings $6 million for depreciation and $22.9 million for pension contributions the company does not need to make because its pension plan is over-funded.

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Layoffs Hit CQ Roll Call (FishbowlDC)
In addition to the buyouts of five CQ Roll Call staffers announced Thursday, there have been layoffs of several other employees, FishbowlDC has learned. A source familiar with the layoffs, who asked to speak on condition of anonymity, could not confirm the number of outgoing staffers but said it was “less than five.” We hear one person shown the door was staff photographer Chris Maddoloni, who won two awards earlier this year from the White House News Photographers Association.

For Media Moguls, Paydays That Stand Out (NYT)
What’s the difference between a media mogul and a chief executive elsewhere in the business world? About $10 million in compensation, give or take. Leaders in other industries may be well paid, but as the accompanying chart shows, they earn far less than their media counterparts.

Google Set to Unveil Subscriptions For Specialist YouTube Videos (Financial Times)
Google is on the verge of unveiling an a la carte subscription service for some of YouTube’s specialist video channels, to finance a broader range of content and add a second revenue stream to the digital video market leader. Mashable The service will include up to 50 YouTube channels, and subscriptions to each channel will start as low a $1.99 per month, FT reported Sunday, citing anonymous sources. In response to the report, a YouTube spokesperson told Mashable, “We have nothing to announce at this time, but we’re looking into creating a subscription platform that could bring even more great content to YouTube for our users to enjoy and provide our creators with another vehicle to generate revenue from their content, beyond the rental and ad-supported models we offer.”

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Rush Limbaugh May Leave Cumulus (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The Rush Limbaugh Program is considering ending its affiliation agreement with Cumulus Media at the end of this year, a move that would bring about one of the biggest shakeups in talk radio history, a source close to the show tells Politico.

Book Looks Behind The Scenes at Fox (NYT)
A few days before the presidential election last November, Roger Ailes, the chief executive of Fox News, ordered that Geraldo Rivera’s microphone be cut off after Rivera angrily defended the Obama administration against charges levied by others on Fox. So says a forthcoming book about the 2012 campaign by Jonathan Alter, a columnist for Bloomberg View and a contributor to MSNBC, a Fox competitor.

BuzzFeed Takes Steps to Expand Foreign News (NYT)
BuzzFeed, the swiftly growing social news site, has decided it is time to move beyond top 10 lists, animal videos and political coverage. It is going foreign.

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The Truth About Reddit And That (Unnecessary) Apology (Ad Age / Media News)
Reddit got a lot of bad press recently (which is why I’m writing about it now) for being a hotbed of rumors about the Boston bombings. In fact, Reddit’s management publicly apologized to the family of missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi (whose body has since been found) because some Redditors speculated he might have been involved in the bombings. You know what? Humans, especially during times of crisis and confusion, speculate.

Repairing The Credibility Cracks After Jayson Blair (NYT / Public Editor’s Journal)
The scandal that exploded 10 years ago last week was epic, as world-class as the newspaper where it happened. Jayson Blair, a young Times reporter, lied and faked and cheated his way through story after story — scores of them, for years. Much has happened since, and the Times is in its second round of new editorial leadership. But even now, when newspaper companies are preoccupied with long-term survival, it is still a touchy subject.

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