Morning Media Newsfeed: IBT Muzzling Speech? | Emmy Ratings Soar | LinkedIn Sued

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Newsweek’s New Owner Accused of ‘Illegally Muzzling’ Employees (Adweek)
IBT Media’s purchase of Newsweek seems to be off to an inauspicious start. The Newspaper Guild has accused the digital publishing company of “illegally muzzling” its employees by “prohibiting its journalists and other employees from discussing their working conditions or criticizing their employer,” in violation of U.S. labor law. The guild, which represents editorial employees at Newsweek and its former online counterpart The Daily Beast, said it filed an unfair labor practice charge Sept. 18. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media According to “The International Business Times Employee Handbook,” a copy of which was obtained by Politico, employees are prohibited from speaking negatively about their employer — a rule that the New York Newspaper Guild calls a violation of U.S. labor law. Per the handbook, each IBT staff member “has the responsibility of encouraging favorable public opinion to benefit the organization… Anything that reflects negatively on IBTimes will affect public opinion of our business.” FishbowlNY “The law gives all employees the right to discuss their pay and other terms of employment with one another, even if it means being critical of their employers,” said the Newspaper Guild’s president, Bill O’Meara, in a statement. “It’s especially disturbing that the owner of a news organization doesn’t seem to understand that.” Capital New York O’Meara told Capital that the benefits packages being offered to the transitioning Newsweek employees would require them to pay 100 percent of the premium for health insurance. “We are constantly working on improving benefits while making sure we make financially sound decisions,” an IBT spokeswoman countered.

Emmys Bring in 17.6 Million Viewers, Biggest Audience Since 2005 (THR / The Live Feed)
Sunday’s CBS telecast of the 2013 Emmys jumped 33 percent from last year’s audience, with final returns giving the kudos 17.6 million viewers — its highest viewership since 2005. The show, which clocked in at three hours and 15 minutes, saw one of the strongest lead-ins in recent memory thanks to football coverage running right up until the 8 p.m. ET start time, bleeding into the hour by a couple minutes. NYT Cable award winners like HBO’s Veep and Showtime’s Homeland, which have much smaller audiences than CBS, welcomed the exposure to millions of potential new viewers. The biggest winner of the night, AMC’s Breaking Bad, was competing with the Emmys somewhat — its second-to-last episode was shown at 9 p.m. ET, during the second hour of the ceremony. TVNewser Approximately 40 million people tuned into at least part of the program.

LinkedIn Sued for Allegedly Hacking Users’ Address Books (TheWrap)
A group of LinkedIn users has sued the social media networking platform for taking their information without consent and using it to send emails to their contacts urging them to sign up for the service. If you know someone with a LinkedIn account, you’re probably very familiar with the emails urging you to sign up for the service and connect with your friends or colleagues. Those emails appear to be at the heart of the proposed class action lawsuit filed Sept. 17. LA Times / Tech Now The lawsuit, which is seeking unspecified damages, has seen an outpouring of public interest. Many users don’t think LinkedIn does a good enough job getting their explicit consent to access that information. “LinkedIn took my EarthLink account and sent an email to each of those in my address book — and many have complained — something that I never would have consented to,” commented one reader, a retired FBI agent and private investigator.