Morning Media Newsfeed: Roberts Comes Out | A&E Ends Duck Suspension | Time Faces Challenges

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

In Year-End Message of Gratitude, Robin Roberts Thanks Longtime Girlfriend (TVNewser)
Robin Roberts surprised her Facebook followers Sunday afternoon in an end-of-year post. She came out publicly for the first time, mentioning her longtime girlfriend Amber Laign. Roberts has been out to her family, friends and co-workers for years, but this is the first time she’s publicly acknowledged her sexuality. People “I am grateful for my entire family, my longtime girlfriend, Amber and friends as we prepare to celebrate a glorious new year together,” she wrote. Laign, a San Francisco Bay-area native, is a licensed massage therapist and has a private practice specializing in patients recovering from injuries. They have been together for 10 years after meeting through mutual friends. Variety Roberts isn’t the first Good Morning America personality to come out. Before leaving the show, weatherman Sam Champion led the way in October 2012, and the GMA anchors, Roberts included, attended his wedding in December of that year. BuzzFeed / Entertainment ABC News issued a statement of support: “We love Robin and Amber, who we have all known for a long time. We were so touched by Robin’s Facebook message and so thankful for all the loving support she has in her life.”

A&E Welcomes Phil Robertson Back to Duck Dynasty (THR / The Live Feed)
Phil Robertson, the patriarch of A&E’s Duck Dynasty clan who was suspended from his hit reality series on Dec. 18 following some incendiary comments about gay people, won’t be put on hiatus after all. The network and the Robertson family announced Friday that Robertson will still be part of the series — and since he didn’t miss any filming, his temporary suspension will have no effect on the upcoming fifth season. Adweek “After discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups, A&E has decided to resume filming Duck Dynasty later this spring with the entire Robertson family,” the network said. ABC News A&E said the network would “use this moment to launch a national public service campaign promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people, a message that supports our core values as a company, and the values found in Duck Dynasty.” Variety Details of the campaign, which will run across A&E, History, Lifetime and other A&E outlets, were sparse on Friday. There was no word if any of the Duck Dynasty family members would appear in the spots, or if any of the issues would be addressed in the future episodes of the show. Ad Age / Media News For A&E, the financial stakes for Duck Dynasty were significant. The reality series premiered to 11.8 million viewers in August, and while ratings eroded a bit during the season, the October finale still pulled 8.4 million viewers. A recent Christmas special drew 8.9 million viewers. PRNewser Merry Christmas to all of you who took serious issue with Robertson and his seemingly anti-gay and anti-Jim Crow law stances during the past few weeks. If you were trapped in your bomb shelter over the holidays or just bombed on that spiked egg nog your lush grandmother brought to the party, you may have been watching A&E TV’s Christmas gift to America: A 24-hour Duck Dynasty marathon, which of course, came with a colossal middle finger hailing in the Christmas sky.

Time Inc. Preparing to Head Out on Its Own (NYT)
Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the United States, with properties like People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune, is preparing for one of the most pivotal periods in its 91-year history. Within the next six months, its parent, the media conglomerate Time Warner, hopes to spin off Time Inc. into a separate public company. But if the plan succeeds, Time Inc. will become independent at a difficult moment.