Morning Media Newsfeed: The Onion Hacked | Kurtz Pay Hit | Scripps Revenue Down

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The Onion‘s Twitter Feed Hijacked by Pro-Syria Hackers (The Wrap / Media Alley)
The Onion, America’s finest fake news organization, was the latest victim of cyber hacking on Monday when the Syrian Electronic Army took over its Twitter account to tweet a slew of anti-Israel messages. NYT / Bits A member of the Syrian Electronic Army who goes by the hacker handle “Th3 Pr0” told The New York Times that the group aimed at The Onion because of a recent Onion parody post, purportedly written by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, titled: “Hi, In The Past 2 Years, You Have Allowed Me To Kill 70,000 People.” “The Onion is a satire news organization and quite often is more trusted to reflect the news than the corporate media is known to,” Th3 Pr0 wrote in an email. The Onion Following Monday’s incident in which the Syrian Electronic Army hacked into the Onion‘s Twitter account, sources at America’s Finest News Source confirmed that its Twitter password has been changed to OnionMan77 in order to prevent any future cyber-attacks. “We have taken the necessary measures to ensure this kind of thing never happens again,” said Onion IT specialist Nick Abersold.

Howard Kurtz’s Bad Reporting About Jason Collins Cost Him A Lot of Money (Forbes / Mixed Media)
Contrary to appearances, Howard Kurtz didn’t lose his job at the Daily Beast over his boneheaded reporting about gay basketball star Jason Collins, or over his excessive extracurricular work. What he did lose was money — quite a lot of it.The Atlantic Wire So it turns out Kurtz wasn’t exactly fired by the Daily Beast just for his egregious Collins story — but Kurtz’s defense that his exit “was in the works for some time” still wasn’t pretty: Tina Brown had been “putting together a file” of excuses to fire him, and the big gay cover-up heard ’round the media world let her dump Kurtz and his quarter-million-dollar contract, quickly and affordably.

Scripps Q1 Revenue Down 3 Percent (B&C)
Scripps reported first quarter television station revenue of $96.9 million, down 2.7 percent from the same quarter last year. The 2013 numbers were up against $5.5 million of political and Super Bowl-related advertising in 2012. Increases in retransmission fees and digital and national advertising were not enough to offset declines in political and local advertising. TVSpy Local advertising revenue was down 4.9 percent to $53.7 million and national advertising revenue was up 4.6 percent to $26.9 million. Digital revenue increased 23% and retransmission revenue increased 35 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.

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‘They Stole It’: Dr. Phil Sues Gawker Over Manti Te’o Hoaxer Video (Deadline Hollywood)
Dr. Phil claims that Gawker caused his ratings to drop by lifting video from his show and he’s going after them for it. The copyright infringement suit is over the TV shrink’s interview with the man who says he fooled Heisman Trophy runner-up Manti Te’o into thinking he was his fake dead girlfriend.

Who Will Run Al Jazeera America? Who’s in, Who’s out, Who Passed (The Wrap / WaxWord)
One of the biggest jobs in media is a new position and a high-risk opportunity: running Al Jazeera America. The job running the Qatar-based network recently bought from Current TV has high visibility and no doubt a high salary attached. But it also bears the burden of building an audience in mainstream American with the name of a Middle Eastern brand unfamiliar to most U.S. viewers and probably off-putting to some. The Wrap has learned of several of the candidates that Al Jazeera has contacted for a job that needs to start ASAP for the network to get on the air and running this year, as is planned. TVNewser Current TV chief David Bohrman is said not to be in the running, while Steve Capus is said to be “skeptical.” One of the leading candidates, according to Waxman, is former CNN/U.S. chief Jonathan Klein.

Fox News Disputes Geraldo’s Mic Was Cut (TVNewser)
Fox News is disputing Jonathan Alter’s account that Geraldo Rivera’s mic was cut during a contentious segment in November. Apparently Bill Shine — not Roger Ailes — called the control room and told them to end the segment, because it was getting too long and divisive.

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TJ Holmes: I’m A Free Agent (The Root / Journalisms)
Black Entertainment Television finally acknowledged that 
it will not bring back T.J. Holmes’ Don’t Sleep! late night news/talk show, eight months 
after its initial launch. Holmes told Journal-isms on Friday, “I’m a 
completely free agent.” TVNewser Holmes filled in on MSNBC in December.

Steamy Novel Mentions D.C. Journos (FishbowlDC)
CNN’s Starting Point calls it “The Fifty Shades of Grey of political novels,” which is definitely a stretch. Still, Domestic Affairs, by Bridget Siegel, a political consultant who has worked on local, state and national campaigns, is hard to put down as FishbowlDC quickly learned after finishing it in a few days.

Why Do NPR Reporters Have Such Great Names? (The Atlantic)
What makes NPR reporters’ names so particularly mellifluous? There’s that pleasing alliteration — Allison Aubrey, Louisa Lim, Carl Kassell, Susan Stamberg. And it’s hard to match those mouth-filling double-barrelled names.

[emailonly]{{{ sbox02 }}}[/emailonly] Announces New Hires (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media) on Monday announced several new hires including Mother Jones‘ Adam Serwer, Talking Points Memo’s Benjy Sarlin and The Washington Post‘s Suzy Khimm. Richard Wolffe, vice president and executive editor of, wrote in a memo to staffers that “we’re continuing to build an exceptionally talented and accomplished digital team as we approach the launch of later this year.” TVNewser Other additions include Amy Pereira as director of photography, Jason Fields as director of design, Emma Margolin, Evan Puschak and Michele Richinick.

Aereo Makes Pre-Emptive Legal Move Against CBS (Adweek)
It’s getting close to a verbal and legal bloodbath yet between upstart pay-TV service Aereo and broadcast owners. In the latest twist to the ongoing legal feud, Aereo on Monday went back to the same court that ruled in its favor against New York broadcast owners and filed a new lawsuit against CBS and all its owned stations. TVSpy CBS has said it will challenge Aereo in each market where the company introduces its technology.

Newspapers: A Cautionary Tale For Local TV (
The parallels between TV stations today and newspapers in 2005 should be heeded by local TV executives. The trends are equally troubling and there is much they can learn from newspapers’ experience and response. Clearly, audience and advertisers are moving to digital platforms.

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Wall Street Journal Memo Advises Staff to Visit The Makeup Artist Before Going on ‘WSJ Live’
Wall Street Journal staffers who appear on “WSJ Live” are reminded that “you should take into consideration your appearance both in terms of journalistic content and on-air presentation” and that “a quick visit to our resident makeup artist on the 6th floor is encouraged before each appearance for both men and women — even for just a quick dash of powder.” FishbowlNY The nudging was needed because apparently some at the paper don’t own irons, have issues with combs, and actively cultivate face grease.

Jason Collins’s Ex-Fiancée to Write A Book About How His Coming Out Was For Her (NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer)
Jason Collins has not capitalized monetarily since his Sports Illustrated cover story, scheduling only an appearance at an LGBT fundraising event for Democrats, co-headlined by Michelle Obama. His former fiancée, meanwhile, has stolen some of the spotlight for herself and is beating him to writing a book, or at least announcing it.

Anderson Cooper’s LI Home ‘Swatted’ (NY Post)
Anderson Cooper has become the latest victim of the “celebrity swatting” pranking craze — after a flurry of cops descended on his Hamptons home over a bogus report of a shooting. A 911 caller last month told Southampton Town cops a man had just shot his wife at the CNN anchor’s home in Quiogue. Cops from four departments flooded the streets but found no signs of a shooting, sources said. Cooper was not at his home at the time.