Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT, AP Snub Holder, Musto’s New Gigs, MSNBC Ratings Crash

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New York Times, AP Won’t Attend Off-The-Record Eric Holder Meeting (HuffPost / The Backstory)
The New York Times and Associated Press said Wednesday that they will not attend a meeting this week between attorney general Eric Holder and the Washington bureau chiefs of several media outlets to discuss guidelines for journalists in leak investigations. Times executive editor Jill Abramson cited the Justice Department’s request that the discussion be kept off the record as a reason for not attending. NYT Even as Holder has sought to regain his footing, Republicans have resumed their criticism, accusing him of misleading Congress in testimony over whether the Justice Department has considered prosecuting journalists under the Espionage Act for publishing government secrets. HuffPost / The Backstory Associated Press president and chief executive Gary Pruitt told staff at a Wednesday town hall meeting that the phone records obtained by the government included “thousands and thousands” of calls in and out of the news organization, according to a staffer who attended. BuzzFeed Leading civil liberties groups criticized comments made by the Democratic Party’s communications director that media groups refusing to attend the off-the-record meeting are giving up their “right [to] gripe” about the Department of Justice’s pursuit of journalists’ records under Holder’s leadership.

The Show Musto Go On (NY Post / Page Six)
Venerable Village Voice columnist Michael Musto — whose departure from the weekly this month caused outrage from devotees — tells us he’s starting a slew of new gigs. “I’ll be doing a weekly interview feature for Gawker, covering all manner of celebs and viral sensations,” he said. “I’m also doing a weekly column on called ‘Musto the Musical!’ It will span gossip, Broadway, movies, nightlife, everything. Also, I’ll do a column in Advocate magazine.” HuffPost The Voice prompted outrage from readers when it fired Musto — the most high-profile staffer left at the paper. Musto said the outpouring of support from fans since then has been “amazing,” and teased his future plans in an interview with HuffPost Live, saying, “the second this was announced, people started knocking my door down. I’m very optimistic.” FishbowlNY We figured Musto wouldn’t have a tough time finding work. Now let’s see how this all goes.

TV Ratings: MSNBC Falls Below HLN in May, Rachel Maddow Hits Lows (THR / The Live Feed)
HLN’s wall-to-wall coverage of the Jodi Arias trial has had substantial ratings legs. Surging around the time of the May 8 verdict, the network notched an extremely rare monthly victory: It topped MSNBC in total day and primetime. And with CNN posting its second consecutive month as a distant primetime runner-up to Fox News Channel, MSNBC is in a very precarious fourth place. NYT One other trend was noticeable in May: Covering a sex-drenched trial wall to wall is exactly why HLN is in business. The news ratings for May, which was packed with events that played extremely well on television — the freeing of three kidnapped women in Cleveland, the deadly tornado in Moore, Okla., and, for HLN especially, the Jodi Arias murder trial and conviction — were clearly helped by the public interest in those events. TVNewser CNN claimed the second-place spot among the cable news networks in primetime in May — behind only Fox News Channel. The network also topped MSNBC in both total day and primetime for the second month in a row. The network — which hit a 20-year low last May — was up 61 percent in total day viewership and up 70 percent in primetime viewership.