Morning Media Newsfeed: Keller Departs NYT | Armstrong Apologizes | Intercept Launched

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Bill Keller, Former Editor of The New York Times, Is Leaving for News Nonprofit (NYT)
Bill Keller, a columnist at The New York Times and its former executive editor, will leave the paper to become editor in chief of The Marshall Project, a nonprofit journalism start-up focused on the American criminal justice system. “It’s a chance to build something from scratch, which I’ve never done before,” Keller said, “and to use all the tools that digital technology offers journalists in terms of ways to investigate and to present on a subject that really matters personally.” NBCNews.com He is slated to begin his leadership position at The Marshall Project on March 1. The nonprofit venture was formed late last year by Neil Barsky, a journalist turned Wall Street hedge fund manager, who will serve as publisher. The Washington Post / Style Keller began his tenure by overseeing coverage of the lead-up to, and aftermath of, the U.S. military invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Times later acknowledged that its reporting on this period — particularly on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq — was flawed. Under Keller’s editorship, the Times published excerpts of sensitive U.S. military and diplomatic files obtained by WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy organization that had received them from then-Army Pvt. Bradley Manning. The paper also published stories disclosing the George W. Bush administration’s practice of “warrantless wiretapping” of suspected terrorists in 2005. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “Bill has made so many contributions to the Times over his 30 years here, it’s difficult to quantify them,” Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the Times‘ publisher said in a statement. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media For all his feats, including leading the paper out of one of the most tumultuous periods in its history, Keller had a vexed relationship with members of the Times leadership: its publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., and its editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, who Keller has reported to since 2011.

AOL Reverses 401(k) Matching Plan After Outcry (Capital New York)
In a memo to staff Saturday evening, AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong reversed last week’s announcement that effectively rolled back the company’s 401(k) employer matching. That decision started to gain notoriety as Armstrong made a television appearance linking the decision to Obamacare. Later, in a staff-wide conference-call first reported by Capital New York, he mentioned two employees’ difficult pregnancies and neonatal care needs as having cost the company $2 million. Armstrong also apologized for those remarks in his memo. Re/code Armstrong: “I made a mistake and I apologize for my comments last week at the town hall when I mentioned specific health care examples in trying to explain our decision-making process around our employee benefit programs.” Slate / DoubleX One of those “distressed babies” was our daughter. We pay our premiums for a family health plan through AOL, which is why we had coverage on the morning I woke up in acute pain, only five months into what had been a completely smooth pregnancy.

Glenn Greenwald’s First Look Media to Release Snowden-Themed Digital Mag (Adweek)
First Look Media, the journalism venture led by former Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, has announced that it will launch its first digital magazine this week. The magazine, which will be the first in a series of single-topic online publications from First Look, will focus on Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks. Greenwald, journalist and filmmaker Laura Poitras and the Nation‘s former national security correspondent, Jeremy Scahill, will oversee editorial operations. First Look Media / The Intercept We are very excited to welcome everyone to The Intercept, a publication of First Look Media (FLM). The Intercept, which the three of us created, is the first of what will be numerous digital magazines published by FLM. The Intercept has a two-fold mission: one short-term, the other long-term.