Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Unveils Redesign | MSNBC to Rotate Noon Cast | Thompson In, Klein Out?

[emailonly]{{{ sbox300x250 }}}[/emailonly] Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.

New York Times Redesign Points to Future of Online Publishing (CNNMoney)
The last time The New York Times embarked on a wholesale redesign of its website, in 2006, the iPhone wasn’t on the market. Tablets like the iPad were still years away. So the new design that the Times unveiled Wednesday is generating much interest within the journalism industry, both for what it says about the Times and about the future of online publishing. Mashable There are no drastic changes. Gone are the blue headlines and the lengthy sidebar in favor of a grayer digital lady with more white space. But the site feels more like The New York Times than “We’re leaning more heavily on the site to maintain our identity,” says Ian Adelman, the director of digital design for the Times. Capital New York It will take a while for the redesign to settle with critics, but judged by the usual Day One tests, it’s a success: It was delivered on time, and to us seems relatively bug-free. But the process, which took two years and the work of 40 people round the clock (and 80 people all together over the life of the project), wasn’t easy. NYT / Public Editor’s Journal Many readers and outside commentators called the redesign cleaner and easier to navigate. One reader, Larry Hollon, wrote to me, in part: “The new digital format is fantastic. It’s clean, easy to read, lots of white space and it organizes information in a way that is very accessible. Thank the appropriate designers. It’s great.” Still, not everyone was happy. Slate / CultureBox No doubt a large reason for the collective shrug at the Times redesign is the fact that little has changed that affects our strategies of consumption. The Times’ editors still signal what they judge most important through the front page, which remains three columns of text with a big picture. Gone, finally, are the blue-hued headlines, which at this point were so outdated they’d nearly traveled past obsolete to retro-chic, a living monument to the Web of Yore, when primitive browsers would not click anything that wasn’t blue. Now, headlines look as they do in the Times’ print edition.

Rotating Cast to Host MSNBC’s Noon Hour (TVNewser)
Ari Melber, of MSNBC’s The Cycle, will be among a rotating cast of hosts for the network’s noon hour, when Alex Wagner moves to 4 p.m. ET. Joy Reid, who had been filling in at 4pm since the departure of Martin Bashir last month, is also expected to fill in at noon. The network also has a vacancy at 11 a.m. as Thomas Roberts moves to the early morning hours starting Monday. MSNBC has tried out hosts temporarily before permanently giving them a show in the past, including Rev. Al Sharpton, who filled in at 6 p.m. for most of the summer in 2011 before being named permanent host. Deadline Hollywood MSNBC has not yet said who’s getting its 11 a.m. slot, which is being vacated by Roberts, who’s hosted MSNBC Live in that time period since 2010. This week, MSNBC president Phil Griffin announced Roberts is taking over the pre-dawn Way Too Early program starting Jan. 13. Meanwhile, MSNBC also has not yet elaborated as to what it is going to do with Brian Shactman, who had the Way Too Early gig for a way-too-short eight months. Shactman got the job when NBC named Way Too Early anchor Willie Geist the new anchor of the 9 a.m. hour of Today. Nor has MSNBC announced where it is going to put new hire Ronan Farrow. HuffPost The moves also come at a time of broader change at the network. Griffin had laid out his vision for the network in recent months, stating that MSNBC is “not the place” for major, breaking news and that he wanted to focus intensely on politics. But MSNBC experienced several disappointing months in the ratings this year.

Washington Post Seeking Ezra Klein’s Replacement (HuffPost / The Backstory)
The Washington Post has approached the Atlantic‘s Derek Thompson to be the next editor of Wonkblog, according to a source familiar with the matter. Thompson has not yet accepted the job, but the Post‘s recruitment of a replacement suggests that Wonkblog editor Ezra Klein is leaving the paper. Thompson declined to comment. Klein also declined to comment. A Post spokeswoman told HuffPost that “Ezra is still at the paper.”

[emailonly]{{{ jodslot01 }}}[/emailonly]

Andrew Golis Named General Manager of The Atlantic‘s ‘The Wire’ (FishbowlNY)
Andrew Golis has been named general manager of The Wire. Golis has been with The Atlantic since last year, when he joined as entrepreneur-in-residence. Golis’ role is a newly created position. “In just six months as the Atlantic’s entrepreneur in residence, Andrew has provided key strategic guidance to our editorial and digital strategy teams, advising on our expanding video and paid-content initiatives, as well as several forthcoming new ventures,” wrote Atlantic president M. Scott Havens. NY Observer Snyder, a former editor-in-chief of Gawker, was hired in 2011 to run The Atlantic Wire and build up the legacy magazine’s Web presence by adding aggregation and breaking news.

Boston Globe Publisher Christopher Mayer to Step Down (Boston Globe)
Boston Globe publisher Christopher Mayer said Wednesday that he plans to step down after nearly 30 years at the newspaper and four years at its helm, as part of a business transition under new owner John Henry. “It’s a new year and with it comes the promise of change,” Mayer said in an email to employees. “New ownership brings the opportunity of greater investment in the business and a new way to look at tackling the challenges that face us.”

Yahoo!’s Mayer Looking for TV-Sized Hit (Adweek / VideoWatch)
At CES, Marissa Mayer had some fun hanging out the cast of Saturday Night Live. Turns out, she wants her own 30 Rock. The Yahoo! CEO is aiming big when it comes to original programming. Per multiple sources, the company is talking to various studios and talent agencies in Hollywood in search of a breakthrough series project. Ideally the company would like to develop around three half-hour comedy series that it would present at this year’s NewFronts in New York.

[emailonly]{{{ sbox01 }}}[/emailonly]

Washington Post Reader Representative Departs, Replacement Unclear (Media Matters / Blog)
Less than a year after taking the newly created post of reader representative at The Washington Post, Doug Feaver has left the paper, editorial page editor Fred Hiatt confirmed Wednesday. Feaver, who had served in other positions at the Post but retired in 2006, took the part-time job in March 2013. That announcement came one month after the paper had eliminated its ombudsman position, a mainstay at the paper for more than 40 years.

Post-Stelter, Has NYT Changed Its Tack on Lauer’s Today? (Salon)
The New York Times, on Monday, published the most stunning piece of meta-journalism since Janet Malcolm met Joe McGinniss. And it’s all about the newspaper’s former punching bag Matt Lauer. It seems that the Today anchor and the paper of record are putting the past behind them. Lauer, you may recall, was the subject of much reporting by Brian Stelter, the paper’s former media reporter and now a CNN host. That reporting, which ended up becoming a book about the morning-TV wars, indicated in a New York Times Magazine cover story that Lauer was uncomfortable working with co-host Ann Curry. Bill Carter, the paper’s seasoned media reporter, published Monday a take that would seem to slightly walk back Stelter’s reporting from last year on the story. Lauer, here, is a man trying to recover his reputation after “presumed” misdeeds ended up in unnamed media outlets.

Saturday Night Live Adds Two African-American Female Writers (THR / The Live Feed)
Saturday Night Live has just added a new African-American woman to its cast, and now the show is adding two to its writers’ room as well. LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, who were discovered during the sketch show’s recent auditions, will join SNL‘s writers’ room starting on Monday, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

[emailonly]{{{ sbox02 }}}[/emailonly]

Barnes & Noble Shutters 5th Ave Store in NYC (GalleyCat)
Barnes & Noble has closed its store on 5th Ave in New York City. Signs in the window of the store directed shoppers to its larger Union Square location, which is located around the corner from the 5th Ave. location. The news does not come as a surprise. The company has been suffering losses over the past couple of years. In November, Barnes & Noble’s reported that its consolidated revenues for the second quarter were down 8 percent.

Last Pink New York Observer to Be Published in March (Capital New York)
The New York Observer‘s radical redesign, first reported by Capital, is now scheduled to debut in late March. The makeover was originally scheduled to debut next month, but sources familiar with the plans told us it’s been pushed back. It involves reverting to tabloid format from broadsheet and ditching the distinct salmon-colored paper the Observer’s been printed on since it was founded in 1987. Management also is still considering whether the cover will be printed on glossy or standard newspaper stock, our sources said.

Phoenix New Times Critic to Be Replaced by Freelancer (Eater)
The world is short yet another full-time restaurant critic. Laura Hahnefeld at the Phoenix New Times has put in her notice and will be replaced by a freelancer. Hahnefeld has been the critic since 2011 and now she’s “starting a new adventure”. According to a help wanted post for a “freelance restaurant critic” by New Times managing editor Amy Silverman, the Village Voice Media-owned outlet is looking for someone to “build on the success of our award-winning food coverage.”

[emailonly]{{{ sbox03 }}}[/emailonly]

The First Interview With Dr. Oz on His New Hearst Title (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
We wanted to start our new year of celebrity confabs off on the right foot, so who better to whip us into shape than Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Emmy-Award winning daytime television host, author of seven New York Times Bestsellers and dispenser of daily doses of helpful medical tips on 1010WINS.

How Has Bust Magazine Survived? (The Awl)
Bust magazine operates out of a loft on 27th street and Broadway, above an awning that says Reiko Wireless Accessories. On the evening I visited, a bit before Christmas, young staffers rode up with me in the elevator, sharing swigs from a plastic bottle of whiskey. In the office they broke away, laughing and chatting, settling down at computers underneath walls covered in posters and stickers. One featured a giant image of Joan Crawford from Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and the text “Bust Magazine says no wire hangers ever!”

What It Means to Be A Public Intellectual (The Atlantic)
On Tuesday, Dylan Byers, Politico‘s media reporter, sent out this tweet: “Ta-Nehisi Coates’s claim that ‘Melissa Harris-Perry is America’s foremost public intellectual’ sort of undermines his intellectual cred, no?” Byers’ contenders were all white men and a white woman disqualified on account of death. This was caricature — a pose not wholly unfamiliar to Byers — and it was greeted with all the mockery which #blacktwitter so often musters. But black people — and #blacktwitter — mostly laugh to keep from crying.