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Daily Archives: December 3, 2012

* What Murdoch’s failure means for iPad publishing. (readwrite.com)
* The Daily didn’t fail; Murdoch gave up on it, says Jack Shafer. (reuters.com)
* “There’s no room in today’s market for publications like The Daily,” writes Marco Arment. (marco.org)
* Tech, too, killed The Daily. (buzzfeed.com)

Stories that aren’t about The Daily….
* Gawker Media aims to increase international revenues from 5% to 20% in the next five years. (Business Insider via sfgate.com)
* Ex-NYTer Stephen Kinzer: During Iraq war, “we let Washington set our agenda for us, which I hate.” (newspaperalum.com)
* “There has never been a better time to be in journalism,” writes Chris Seper. (linkedin.com)
* Cute post from The Onion: Family forced to drop print edition of their Christmas newsletter. (theonion.com)
* Former editor of The Onion writes a Thing X farewell column; readers aren’t sure what to make of it. (thingx.tv)
* CBS’s “The NFL Today” show disgraced itself on Sunday, says Richard Deitsch. (sportsillustrated.com)
* Bangor Daily News highlights — then removes — blogger’s inaccurate post about restaurant inspector. (pressherald.com)
* TV station capitalizes on Idaho Statesman’s new paywall. (emiliersaunders.com)
* US Presswire becomes USA Today Sports Images (prnewswire.com)
* Remember Ranger Rick magazine? Now there’s Rick Jr. for younger readers. (nytimes.com)
* Halifax decides it wants locals taking customer service calls. (goupstate.com)

Here’s the memo that Rupert Murdoch sent to News Corp. employees today:

Dear Colleagues,

I have great news to report regarding the proposed separation of our company into two global leaders.

In keeping with our rich, 60-year heritage of bringing news to the world, the publishing entity will retain the name News Corporation. The media and entertainment company, which has excelled at engaging, entertaining and enlightening people around the globe for almost three decades, will be named Fox Group.

Murdoch pours Champagne over new WSJ managing editor Gerry Baker’s head. (photo credit: @kathrynlurie)

In addition to announcing the names of the two entities, we are taking an important step in advancing this separation process today by announcing several additional details. We have appointed Robert Thomson as Chief Executive Officer of the proposed publishing company. Robert, who has served as Editor-in-Chief of Dow Jones and Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal, is a true visionary, as proven by his outstanding leadership at the Journal, which has become the dominant newspaper in the U.S. and has greatly expanded its global reach through WSJ.com, which now publishes in eight languages.

In addition, today we are announcing key members of the leadership team for the new News Corporation, including Bedi Ajay Singh, who will assume the role of Chief Financial Officer, and Paul Cheesbrough who will serve as Chief Technology Officer (he holds the same title at News Corp. currently). Keisha Smith, formerly of Morgan Stanley, will be the new company’s director of Human Resources. I am excited about the appointments of Bedi, Paul and Keisha, as they bring incredible talents to the team and share with Robert and me the desire and will to bridge the triumphs of our past with the opportunities of tomorrow.

Many of you know that a belief in the power of the written word has been in my bones for my entire life. It began as I listened to my father’s stories from his days as a war correspondent and, later, a successful publisher. It deepened when, starting in grammar school, I rolled up my sleeves and worked alongside fellow students to publish school journals. I witnessed the hunger people had for well-written, thoroughly observed stories … stories that provide not just information, but insight. That hunger is alive and well today; my personal mission is to serve and satisfy the human need for insight as well as I possibly can. /CONTINUES Read More

Vanity Fair and “60 Minutes” surveyed Americans on comedy matters and report that “Seinfeld” was chosen just slightly ahead of “The Honeymooners” as the greatest sitcom of all time. The results:

- “Seinfeld” — 22% call it the greatest sitcom ever
“The Honeymooners” — 20%
“Friends” — 16%
“Cheers” — 14%
“Arrested Development” — 7%
“Mary Tyler Moore” — 6%; and
“30 Rock” — 5%

More comedy survey results, including “the funniest letter of the alphabet,” are after the jump. Read More

Peter Ha

Peter Ha, who was tech editor at The Daily from its Feb. 2011, launch until last April, notes that the iPad publication “was run like a newspaper from the top down, which isn’t a terrible idea. It just needed to go back a few more decades to a time when newspapers published multiple editions in a day, for instance.”

He writes on Gizmodo:

Troll all you want about News Corp — 90% of which is going to be wrong anyway — but a lot of good people were given pink slips today and that’s unfortunate. I imagine it’s going to suck to have to publish for another 12 days. I’m pouring one out for you, homies.

What about Richard Johnson, who left Page Six in October 2010 to do gossip for The Daily? “I’ll now be working for the New York Post, and will again have some readers,” he tells Nikki Finke. “I’ll be in LA for at least several more months. I think it depends if I can be of value here.”

* Peter Ha: What it was like launching The Daily (gizmodo.com)
* The Daily’s Richard Johnson is returning to New York Post (deadline.com)
* The Daily’s demise proves content, not platform, is king (adweek.com)
* Matthew Yglesias: How The Daily could have worked (slate.com)

— From an infographic that appeared in Adweek

Romenesko reader Théophanidis Philippe was skeptical about the above statistic, which ran in last week’s Adweek. “I tracked — or tried to track — the original study and it seems to be a problematic source,” he writes. “Adweek, which you linked to, has Tynt as the original source of the study.”

He continues:

As it happens, Tynt is a “publisher company solution” and guess what kind of services it offers:

“Tynt inserts a page URL when copied content is pasted into emails and social sites, allowing more than 600,000 publishers to improve SEO, site traffic, content insights, and brand attribution.”

That’s not all. Tynt is a 33Across company. In its “Press” section (at the bottom of the main page) one can read: “A new study from web advertising giant 33Across indicates that copy-and-pasting, not share buttons, is still the most popular way of sharing web content.”

So 1) Tynt has 33Across as the source for the study; and 2) The tagline of the study works as a sales pitch on Tynt homepage.

Also from the “Press” section of Tynt homepage, if one clicks on the “Read more” link, one gets to a Fast Company article about the 33Across study. However, at the very end of this article, one can read: “It should be noted that 33Across has a vested interest in promoting copy-and-pasting: Among the company’s holdings is Tynt, a copy-and-paste optimization firm.”

That’s a cautionary note that will most likely be lost in all the … copy and pasting.

Nadia Cho (at left) tweeted the above three days after writing about her Thanksgiving eve “sex tour through campus” in the Daily Californian, then reading the first comment about it: “I hope UCPD [University of California Police Department] reads this and arrests her for a violation of California Penal Code Sec. 314,” which prohibits exposing private parts in any public place.

The UC Berkeley journalist reports she had sex in the library (“Pick a section of books that people won’t ever think to look up, like the British Royal Academy archives”), a classroom (“It felt great to have sex in a classroom that I used to hate sitting in for hours without cellphone reception”), and other campus spots.

I sent Cho a few questions and will post her responses, if they come in.

* Cho: “Experience a few frisky things during your time here” (dailycal.org)
* Cho’s “Sex on Tuesday” archive from the fall semester (dailycal.org)
* Feb. 8, 2012: Sex on campus: actually doable? (dailycal.org)

“The Columbia Journalism Review might not like it, but when the 300-pound [Rick] Majerus cornered you for a hug, well, you were getting a hug.”

I wondered if ESPN columnist Gene Wojciechowski had this recent CJR piece (“ESPN’s unreality-based coverage”) in mind when he wrote the above line in his Rick Majerus tribute.

No, he tells me.

I wasn’t aware of the magazine piece. I wasn’t aware of anything when I wrote my column, other than one of my best friends had died.

I was at the SEC Championship, doing a little something for the College GameDay show, and then writing a column off the game later that night. I found out about Rick’s death in the Georgia Dome press box after I returned from the postgame locker rooms. I caught a ride back to the hotel with Tom Rinaldi, pulled out my laptop and started writing about my buddy.

As for the CJR and my column, it was an innocent coincidence.

Wojciechowski (pictured above) mentions that the late basketball coach loved his Sheboygan, Wis., boyhood friends “more than big-money boosters.” The Sheboygan Press interviewed some of those friends for today’s page one story. One pal recalls how Majerus would order three double-brats — without buns — and a pitcher of Pepsi. “He would get two Styrofoam cups, one filled with ketchup, the other with mustard, and would dip each of the six brats in both before devouring them, [the childhood friend] recalls.” (Here’s the Sheboygan paper’s front page with the Majerus story.)

* Rick Majerus gave his heart and help (espn.go.com)
* ESPN’s unreality-based coverage (cjr.org)

Trevor Butterworth, who wrote about tech and other matters for The Daily iPad publication, writes on his Facebook wall:

So, The Daily meets its doom on December 15. The editorial section, et moi, bit the dust over the summer, so not much of a shock. The single biggest failing?
You can’t create an entirely new brand and take it behind a paywall after 4 weeks, while limiting its footprint on the Internet, and then expect people to buy it. Where was the marketing? Second, it simply added more average-reader content to a market saturated with free average-reader content. It didn’t have the courage to be cool, quirky, nerdy, obsessive or snarky.

Its demise is a wake-up call for those who confuse cool technology with being cool – and those who think more of the sameness is going to produce a paying customer base for a mainstream media product.

* The Daily to cease publication Dec. 15 (wsj.com)
* Philip Elmer-DeWitt: We hate to say we told you so, but… (fortune.cnn.com)
* Why the world’s first iPad-only paper should be its last (slate.com)

New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson told her staff this morning that she’s seeking 30 managers who aren’t in the union to take buyout packages. “There is no getting around the hard news that the size of the newsroom staff must be reduced,” she says. “I hope the needed savings can be achieved through voluntary buyouts but if not, I will be forced to go to layoffs among the excluded staff.”

Her memo adds:

The Newspaper Guild has asked that we offer Guild employees the opportunity to apply for buyouts. We have agreed to do so. I will be sending all Guild employees a letter outlining the steps to take to be considered for a voluntary buyout.

Employees have until Jan. 24 to decide whether to take a buyout.

* New York Times seeks buyouts from 30 newsroom managers (nytimes.com) | The memos (observer.com)

Read the Guild’s memo to Times union members after the jump. Read More

Gerard Baker

Gerard Baker has been named Wall Street Journal managing editor, succeeding Robert Thomson, who becomes chief executive officer of News Corp.’s new publishing unit. Baker has been Wall Street Journal deputy editor-in-chief since 2009. Before that, he was Times of London U.S. editor and an assistant editor.

Baker says in a release: “I am honored and excited beyond words to be given the opportunity to lead the finest team in journalism.”

Read the press release after the jump.
Read More

Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily iPad publication is shutting down after less than two years. News Corp. says that “technology and other assets from The Daily, including some staff, will be folded into” the New York Post. The Daily editor-in-chief Jesse Angelo becomes Post publisher. (allthingsd.com)
* How much of Elisabeth Murdoch’s drive is motivated by a desire to impress her father, Rupert? (newyorker.com)
* Michael Wolff: “Rupert Murdoch, who has such great power in the UK, should have less.” (usatoday.com)
* Tom Mockridge, who oversees Murdoch’s UK newspapers, is stepping down. (telegraph.co.uk)
* Ken Doctor: Get ready for Thomson vs. Thompson (WSJ’s Robert vs. NYT’s Mark). (niemanlab.org)
* “Save The Plain Dealer” party is Thursday; the paper’s supporters include “Hot in Cleveland” star Valerie Bertinelli. (nytimes.com)
* Bill Keller: “My most haunting memories of the eight years I spent as executive editor are phone calls to parents and spouses to say a correspondent had fallen into the hands of bad people.” (nytimes.com)
* Brit Hume, Lou Dobbs and others didn’t care for Bob Costas’ halftime gun control comments. (hypervocal.com)
* Jeff Zucker needs to change CNN’s programming without destroying its ad-sales model. (adage.com)
* High school journalists take a crash course in newspaper economics. (washingtonpost.com)
* Nate Silver on Politico: “They want to create noise, basically.” (daily-download.com)
* The Vatican says the pope is going to start tweeting on December 12. (Reuters) | June 2011: The pope starts tweeting. (hollywoodreporter.com)
* Baltimore citizen journalist broadcasts his own police standoff. (citypaper.com) | (baltimoresun.com) | (@baltospectator)
* CJR’s Dean Starkman discusses investigative reporting at Yale event. (yaledailynews.com)
* “Tank McNamara” writer and longtime Houston Chronicle film critic Jeff Millar dies at 70. (chron.com)
* The Atlantic’s James Bennet is named Editor of the Year by Adweek. (adweek.com)