Morning Media Newsfeed: MSNBC Fires Staffer | Executive Travel Folds | Zynga Lays Off 300

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MSNBC Fires Author of ‘Unacceptable’ Tweet, Phil Griffin Apologizes to RNC Chair (TVNewser)
Responding to RNC chair Reince Priebus‘ demand for an apology over an offensive tweet suggesting conservatives are against interracial marriage, MSNBC has fired the author of the tweet, and network president Phil Griffin has apologized to Priebus. Griffin’s apology comes after Priebus banned all RNC officials from appearing on MSNBC. THR / The Live Feed The full tweet, sent Wednesday at 8:06 p.m. from the MSNBC Twitter account, read: “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/biracial family.” In an email to “interested parties,” RNC communications director Sean Spicer noted that Priebus and Griffin spoke by phone on Thursday. “We appreciate Griffin’s admission that their comment was demeaning and disgusting, and the chairman accepted his apology,” wrote Spicer, adding that the RNC “will aggressively monitor the network to see whether their pattern of unacceptable behavior actually changes.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Shortly before 11 p.m. ET Wednesday, MSNBC apologized for the tweet, which it called “offensive,” and announced that it would be deleting it. “Earlier, this account tweeted an offensive line about the new Cheerios ad. We deeply regret it. It does not reflect the position of msnbc,” the network wrote on Twitter. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Note, too, the wording in the apology regarding the firing: “We have dismissed the person responsible for the tweet.” It doesn’t say that they’ve dismissed the person who wrote the tweet, merely the person “responsible” for it. As argued earlier on the Erik Wemple Blog, “responsibility” for that tweet could well encompass many different folks at the network.

Time Inc. Is Shutting Down Executive Travel Magazine (Skift)
Time Inc. will shut down Executive Travel magazine, which it acquired in October when it purchased American Express Publishing, Skift has learned. Time Inc. is the largest magazine publisher in the U.S. and is preparing to spin off from parent company Time Warner Inc. in the first quarter of 2014. FishbowlNY Executive Travel was founded in 2002 and published six times per year. The title was pretty much exactly what it sounds like — a magazine about traveling in luxury. The magazine was sent to American Express Platinum cardmembers, but the high class target audience didn’t translate to readership or ad sales. Executive Travel’s ad revenue declined by 20 percent last year; ad pages dropped by 12 percent.

Zynga Shuts Down Seattle Office Amid Company-Wide Layoffs (GeekWire)
Zynga announced Thursday that it is laying off 314 workers and it looks like the company is shutting down its Seattle office in the process. A company spokesperson wouldn’t offer any specific details past what Zynga’s press release noted, which was a 15 percent reduction in workforce that was a “global reduction impacting multiple locations.” However, a source told GeekWire that Zynga’s Seattle engineering outpost is closing, and a quick look at the social media stream indicates the same. The Seattle Times San Francisco-based Zynga opened its Pioneer Square office in 2011 with about 50 employees. Zynga has already made significant cuts to its workforce. It has about 2,100 employees, down from a peak of 3,300 in 2012. Seattle Post-Intelligencer / AP Zynga has been cutting jobs and posting losses as game players increasingly turn to smartphones and tablets. The company’s biggest hits, including FarmVille and Mafia Wars, have mostly been played on desktop and laptop computers. By buying NaturalMotion, it hopes to bolster its mobile games as its core business deteriorates. King.com, the maker of the popular Candy Crush Saga, has replaced Zynga as the No. 1 maker of games played on Facebook.