Morning Media Newsfeed: MSNBC Cancels Farrow, Reid | NYT Retires Page 1 Pitching

MSNBC cancels Farrow, Reid. NYT eliminates Page 1 pitches. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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MSNBC Shifts Ronan Farrow, Joy-Ann Reid; Thomas Roberts Returns to Dayside (TVNewser)
A year-old experiment at MSNBC is coming to an end. The Reid Report is being canceled, and we can now confirm that Ronan Farrow Daily is also being shelved. Both Reid and Farrow will take on new roles with the network. TVNewser Reid joined MSNBC as a contributor in 2011 and was given her own show in the 2 p.m. timeslot, The Reid Report, as the result of the last programming shake-up in early 2014. Variety The NBCUniversal cable-news outlet, which has suffered significant ratings declines in recent years, said it would transition Farrow into a role as a special correspondent who will contribute to primetime specials and other programs rather than host his own show, while Reid will take on a national correspondent position. THR From 1-3 p.m. ET, Thomas Roberts now will anchor a two-hour block of news programming every weekday. The new role, which starts March 2, will have Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski pinch-hitting at MSNBC’S Way Too Early until a permanent replacement is found. Tamron Hall is staying on at 11 a.m., as is Andrea Mitchell at noon. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Earlier this month, MSNBC registered its lowest full-day rating in nearly a decade, drawing an average of 55,000 viewers in the all-important 25- to 54-year-old demo. In January, MSNBC’s daytime ratings were down 20 percent in total and 37 percent in the demo when compared to the previous year. In primetime, total viewership was down 23 percent, while the demo dropped by 39 percent.

Dean Baquet: NYT Will Retire ‘System of Pitching Stories for The Print Page 1’ (Poynter / MediaWire)
New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet announced Thursday the Times is retiring its system of pitching stories for page one of the print edition in a memo to staff that outlines the paper’s growing emphasis on digital journalism. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The changes, Baquet wrote, “are intended to ensure that our digital platforms are much less tethered to print deadlines… This new system will, in particular, give us more flexibility in targeting readers on mobile (which now receives more than half of our traffic) and on platforms like Facebook (where we are rolling out new strategies for presenting our journalism).” HuffPost In the memo, Baquet said Times desk editors would “pitch their best enterprise pieces for digital slots on what we’re calling Dean’s List.” Each day, he wrote, the Times masthead editors would select which stories from this list “will receive the very best play on all our digital platforms — Web, mobile, social and others yet to come.” WWD / Memo Pad “It’s worth noting that the tradition of selecting page one stories under the old system has long made the Times distinctive,” the editor said, adding that this new system does not include news stories. “We are seeking to preserve the rigor of this process, but update it for the digital age. Desks will compete for the best digital, rather than print, real estate.” The Times will still have its afternoon meeting for page one, but that process will “play a less prominent role,” he offered.

Allison Williams Defends Her Dad (PRNewser)
Allison Williams spoke at an event at New York’s 92nd Street Y about recent events involving her father Brian. Allison Williams noted that the past weeks have been toughest on her dad, but she defended him via her own experience: “One thing this experience has not done is shake my trust and belief in him as a man. He’s a really good man. He’s an honest man, he’s a truthful man. He has so much integrity, he cares so much about journalism.” TVNewser The actress, who mentioned several times during an interview with Late Night host Seth Meyers that she is extremely close with her family, said the past weeks have been hard on all of them, but “toughest on my dad.” TVNewser It was announced Thursday that Brian Williams has resigned from the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation board of directors, according to a message on the foundation’s website. He had served the position since 2006. Mediaite Brian Williams stepped down just weeks after NBC News suspended him for six months for embellishing war stories. His ultimate fate is unknown at this point, as NBC has scrubbed his name from the newscast and there’s been some speculation he may not come back at the end of the six months.