Julio Ojeda-Zapata, a technology reporter and blogger with St. Paul, Minnesota’s Pioneer Press, dug into his newspaper’s archives today upon learning of the sad news of Leonard Nimoy’s death. He wrote a couple of articles about Spock back in the day, beginning with a locally flavored piece that must be logged at the opposite end of the technology spectrum celebrated in Star Trek.
As the reporter wryly notes in his blog post, the article dates back to a time when the Internet was known as the \"World Wide Web.\" Here’s an excerpt:
Nimoy is among a growing number of photographers who are pursuing a digital strategy for achieving greater [photographer] exposure.
This month, about a dozen of Nimoy’s nudes are being exhibited on a St. Paul-based World Wide Web page dubbed \"F-64\" that is the online equivalent of an art gallery – a site that selectively displays the works of accomplished photographers in a gallery-like environment.
\"Some [photography-oriented] sites sell space like a mall,\" posting the work of any amateur for a fee, says F-64 creator Scott Bourne, a photographer and a former Internet-oriented entrepreneur who recently opened a photo studio in St. Paul’s Lowertown District. \"But they can’t buy their way onto F-64.\" In this regard, f-64 is similar to a \"real-life, street-level gallery,\" Bourne says. \"Its precious retail space wouldn’t be available to just any photographer.\"
F-64 has drawn kudos from the likes of Chuck Delaney, dean of the prestigious New York Institute of Photography, who calls Bourne \"a visionary\" and says, \"Exhibiting photographs in a cyber-gallery is an innovation that is here to stay… Though the sale of fine-art photography (online) is in its infancy, others will follow.\"
Ojeda-Zapata is promising to share the other Nimoy piece he wrote shortly. Read the rest of the first one here.
FYI, the publishing use of the photography lens-aperture term \"F-64\" (or f/64) dates back many more decades. To wit, check out this manifesto published on behalf of a 1932 group that included Ansel Adams.
[Photo: Carla VanWaggoner/Shutterstock.com]
This is sickening and deeply upsetting news.
Per a report in the New York Times, a pair of machete-wielding attackers swooped down Thursday night at a book fair in Bangladesh’s capital on author-blogger Avijit Roy, 42, and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya, 45. He died as a result of the attack; she remains in critical condition. From the article:
Roy was a prolific writer on secularism and condemned religious extremism, particularly through his blog, Mukto-Mona, the Bengali words for Free Mind. He also wrote on the website of the Center for Inquiry, an organization based in the United States dedicated to humanist thinking and critiques of religion.
The Times report references a ‘recent article’ by Roy for the Center, but that item has in fact not yet been officially published. “The Virus of Faith,” which will appear in the April/May issue of the Center’s Free Inquiry publication and addresses reaction to the release of Roy’s 2014 book Biswasher Virus, is very sadly prophetic:
The death threats started flowing to my email inbox on a regular basis, he wrote, describing reaction after the book came out. One extremist, he wrote, “issued death threats to me through his numerous Facebook statuses.” In one, the extremist wrote: “Avijit Roy lives in America and so it is not possible to kill him right now. But he will be murdered when he comes back.”
Roy, a U.S. citizen, was born in Bangladesh. Read the Center For Inquiry’s statement here.
In December, Roy began a Mukto-Mona blog post with this quote from Salman Rushdie: “Religion, a medieval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms.” RIP.
[Photo via: Center For Inquiry]
Understandably, folks in that Canadian province are going to be less than thrilled with passages like this one (bolding is ours), involving the St. Anthony outpost of restaurant chain Jungle Jim’s:
Several TVs were on with the sound muted, showing a hockey game between Sweden and Russia, a semifinal for the World Junior Championship. Everyone in the place, except the waiter, was fat, some of them so fat that I kept having to look at them. I had never seen people that fat before. The strange thing was that none of them looked as if they were trying to hide their enormous girth; quite the opposite, several people were wearing tight T-shirts with their big bellies sticking out proudly.
So Who is this Knausgaard fellow, who presently calls Sweden home? Per the New York Times footnote, the title of the two-part series (concluding in the March 15 issue) echos this Norwegian-descended vagabond’s six-volume (!) autobiographical novel My Struggle. Volume Four is set to arrive in English this April.
This was definitely a killer assignment. As the article author, he was tasked by the magazine with starting in Newfoundland, where the Vikings once settled, and driving south into the U.S. and then westwards to Minnesota, the settling choice of a great many Norwegian-American immigrants.
Tajikistan holds parliamentary elections on 1 March and Reporters Without Borders is concerned about the toxic climate in which news organizations are forced to work in the country, noting that democratic elections cannot take place unless there is freedom of information.
More than 4 million voters are called to the polls to choose 63 members from among 288 candidates. Although the vote has the appearances of democracy, the dire state of freedom of information surrounding the ballot is indicative of the draconian behaviour of President Emomali Rakhmon, who has been in office since 1992. Tajikistan is ranked 116th of 180 countries in the 2015 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders.
“There can be no democracy without media pluralism and without free access to news and information,” Johann Bihr, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk, pointed out.
“It should be noted that freedom of information continues to deteriorate in Tajikistan, to the point where it is a cause of considerable concern on the eve of the elections. We urge the authorities to ensure Tajik citizens have the right to report and receive news and information. We call on the international community to remind Dushanbe of its commitments and hold it to account for the large-scale violations of this basic democratic principle.”Campaign marked by bullying tactics
Several independent journalists have told Reporters Without Borders they have received threats from the intelligence services in the weeks leading up to the vote. They have been warned in emails and text messages to “stop writing critical stories” or face public exposure of their private lives. A smear tactic that points to the existence of a vast surveillance system in the country.
Other independent journalists have been the targets of campaigns to discredit them in the official media and on social networking sites, often also using elements from their private lives. In one recent instance, a report by the State TV station TVT accused some independent news organizations of supporting the mayor of Dushanbe in exchange for benefits in kind, such as apartments or land.
In a joint statement on 16 February, the National Association of Independent Mass Media in Tajikistan (NANSMIT), the Journalists' Union and the Media Council of Tajikistan called for an end to “attacks and moves aimed at intimidating and obstructing the professional activities of journalists”, the manipulation of the media for political ends and repeated intrusions into the private lives of independent journalists.Media pluralism undermined
Given the lack of media pluralism, the election campaign was bound to be dull and political competition one-sided. The authorities control almost all broadcasting outlets. Three campaign spots by the opposition party Islamic Renaissance of Tajikistan were barred from the airwaves on the grounds that they were not made in one of the few officially authorised studios.
The appeal by convicted businessman Zayd Saidov, arrested and tried soon after he set up an opposition party in 2013, is being held in camera. Saidov, a former industry minister, was sentenced to 26 years' imprisonment after being found guilty of sexual offences, polygamy, and fraud and corruption.
The Asia Plus media group, which has a weekly, a news agency, a radio station, a television studio and a news website of record, is one of the few sources of independent news in Tajikistan. Access to its website has been regularly blocked inside the country in recent years. In spring last year, the weekly and its editor Olga Tutubalina were found guilty of insulting the country's intellectuals in a farcical trial and ordered to pay the three plaintiffs 30,000 somoni (4,500 euros). The number of trials of independent journalists has risen in the run-up to the parliamentary electionsFreedom of information targeted by paranoid authorities
The temporary blocking of access to social networks and independent news sites has been a frequent occurrence since 2012, yet in October 2014 access to more than 200 websites was cut off for two weeks, including Facebook, Vkontakte and YouTube, as well as the main Tajik, Russian and Central Asian news sites.
Access was blocked soon after the opposition movement Group 24 announced it would hold an anti-government demonstration. It was restored a day after the event, which did not take place.
This unprecedented blackout was accompanied by drastic restrictions on telecoms networks. Text messaging was suspended for several days and Internet access was cut off completely in the northern region of Sughd.
Such disproportionate and oppressive responses stem from the authorities' visceral fear of destabilisation, using the spectre of the civil war that tore the country apart between 1992 and 1997 to justify their fear of the opposition.
Aleksandr Sodiqov, an academic and specialist in conflict prevention arrested in June last year, has paid the price for the authorities' paranoia. The netizen's only offence was to have interviewed an opposition leader in the autonomous south-eastern province of Gorno-Badakhshan as part of his research. The province was the scene of violent clashes in 2012, which were shrouded in secrecy. Accused of spying, he was held in custody for a month and was released only after a massive international campaign.
NANSMIT, a partner organization of Reporters Without Borders, has published recommendations for journalists aimed at ensuring impartial and objective coverage of the elections.
(Photo: AFP Photo / STR)
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) February 27, 2015
You’re goddamn right it is.
Like many others this week, we have been actively hoping and praying that the search for missing 21-year-old Rochester Institute of Technology student Max Maisel has a happy ending. The son of espn.com writer Ivan Maisel was last seen Sunday evening near the shores of Lake Ontario.
From a report by Rochester Democrat & Chronicle staff writer Jeff DiVeronica:
Max was thinking of majoring in history or psychology at RIT, but at the end of his first semester he knew photography was for him. A strong student, he earned a merit scholarship, too, but he’s far from boastful about his work. In fact, he’s quite private, his family said.
His family saw some of his landscape portraits for the first time on Wednesday. They included one of sunlight shining through tall forest trees and a long pier with some wicked clouds over water. The photos are now spread out on a pool table at the Beach Avenue house.
Residents in Fairfield, Connecticut (where Ivan and his wife, Meg Murray, live) have affixed red ribbons to trees as a show of support for the efforts to locate young Max. Dad Ivan has been with ESPN since 2002. He previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, Newsday and the Dallas Morning News.[Photo via: rti.edu]
After men with machetes killed writer and blogger Avijit Roy, founder of mukto-mona.com ((« free thinking ») and seriously injured his wife, Rafida Ahmed Banna, on a Dhaka street yesterday, Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to take unprecedented measures to protect bloggers and combat impunity for those who attack them
Roy, who had US and Bangladeshi dual citizenship and normally resided in the United States, had just left a book fair near the University of Dhaka with his wife when they were attacked.
After dealing Roy a mortal blow to the head and severing one his wife's fingers, the attackers dropped their machetes and fled. Roy was rushed to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital where he was pronounced dead on the operating table.
The Islamist militant group Ansar al Islam claimed responsibility for Roy's murder in a series of messages on its Twitter account, Ansar Bangla 7. One of the tweets said: “The target was an American citizen.. 2 in 1. #America recently martyred 2 of our brothers in #Khurasan & #Shaam. #Revenge+#Punishment.”
“We are shocked by this act of barbarity and offer our condolences to his wife and his family,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.
“The measures so far taken have not led to the arrest and trial of the perpetrators and instigators of crimes of violence against journalists and bloggers. The police and judicial authorities need to focus on the right target. It is unacceptable for them to spend so much time searching news outlets, arresting journalists, censoring news and investigating bloggers, when the many attacks on bloggers are still unpunished.”
Nineteen bloggers were openly threatened on Islamist websites and in street demonstrations in February 2013, while several former leaders of Jaamat-E-Islami and other Islamist parties were on trial. The militants accused the bloggers of blasphemy and demanded their execution.
The authorities responded to the threats by arresting bloggers and closing sites. The blogger Asif Mohiuddin was interrogated by the Dhaka police detective branch on 23 March 2013, two days after the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission blocked access to his blog (http://www.somewhereinblog.net/blog...). Bloggers on Islamist hit-list
The author of such books as “Biswaser Virus” (Virus of Faith) and “Sunyo theke Mahabiswa” (From Vacuum to the Great World), Roy had often been the target of vitriolic criticism from Islamist groups, which had repeatedly threatened to kill him in connection with this writing.
Roy's murder recalls that of Rajib Haider, a blogger who was hacked to death near his home in the Dhaka neighbourhood of Palashnagar on 15 February 2013.
In a Facebook entry on 15 November, Ansar al Islam claimed responsibility for three murders, including Haider's and posted a list of future victims, which included Mohiuddin.
According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, the blogger Subrata Audhikary Shuvo could the next target of the radical Islamists, who sentenced him to death after he was arrested under the blasphemy law in May 2013 and have been threatening him ever since.
Bangladesh is ranked 146th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
Reporters Without Borders and Civil-Centre for Freedom strongly condemn the illegal wiretapping of journalists in Macedonia and demand immediate measures to restore justice and the rule of law. According to opposition leader Zoran Zaev, the Macedonian government illegally eavesdropped on some 100 journalists in order to cement control over the media.
“This large-scale spying on journalists constitutes a massive assault on media freedom, threatening every aspect of the rule of law,” said Christian Mihr, executive director of Reporters Without Borders Germany. “If the government's professed desire to join the European Union means anything, those responsible for this massive assault on the fundamental rights of Macedonian journalists and all citizens must be identified and brought to justice without delay.”
At a press conference on 25 February, opposition leader Zaev played six audio recordings to demonstrate the extent of government spying on the media. According to Zaev, those wiretapped included both the editors of pro-government media and critical journalists like the deceased former editor of Fokus magazine, Nikola Mladenov.
Such practices violate Macedonia's constitution and laws, as well as the international standards and laws to which it is bound. They also violate the rights and freedoms of journalists, and call into question such basic principles as media freedom, protection of journalists' sources and the basic rights of Macedonian citizens in general.
Zaev's accusations are the fourth in a series of disclosures since early February in a major scandal allegedly involving the wiretapping of more than 20,000 people in this small country with a population of some two million. According to Zaev, who was charged last month with plotting to bring down the government, the operation was ordered and commanded by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Gruevski's cousin Saso Mijalkov, the head of the State Security Service.
The prime minister's response has been to accuse Zaev of being used by a foreign intelligence service, which he claimed was itself behind the wiretaps. He declined to name this intelligence service but said the Macedonian intelligence services knew the answer to this question. Gruevski did not deny the authenticity of the recordings.
Media freedom has declined dramatically in recent years in Macedonia, whose ranking in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index has fallen from 34th in 2009 to 117th in the 2015 index. An interim EU report in October on Macedonia's candidacy criticized the media situation, including the misuse of defamation laws and the fact that the state places almost no advertising in independent news media.
Reporters Without Borders and Civil have also condemned the conviction of Macedonian journalist Tomislav Kezarovski, who was sentenced on appeal in mid-January to two years in prison for allegedly revealing the identity of a protected witness in an article published in 2008. Having already spent several months in prison and more than a year under house arrest, Kezarovski has been spared the remaining prison time since the appeal ruling on health grounds.
There are bucket lists. And then there are bucket shopping lists.
Mimi Sheraton, former food critic for the New York Times, is currently on a tour to promote her book 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die. The book took ten years to compile and, as she recently told Connecticut Post contributor Christina Hennessy, it began with an extremely unusual culinary combo:
“The first two items that I wrote down, that I wanted in the book, was the frozen Milky Way bar and caviar,” Sheraton said. “That kind of describes the range of the book. There are wonderful low-down, very good things that we remember as kids, and then there are the luxuries, each as evocative as they were the first time and as exciting to have again and again.”
Sheraton will be giving a free talk tomorrow afternoon at Connecticut’s Westport Library. Also participating with her in the discussion will be local chef Matt Storch, a Westport native who has a hand in the South Norwalk eatery Match as well as The Chelsea in Fairfield.
[Photo courtesy: Workman Publishing Company]
CNNMoney has promoted seven staffers. Details are below.
- Stephany Cardet has been promoted from webmaster to web developer. She served as webmaster for the past two years.
- Melanie Hicken has been name a staff writer. She joined CNNMoney in 2012 and most recently served as a personal finance reporter for the site.
- Greg Wallace has been promoted from reporter to associate editor.
- Jose Pagliery has also been promoted to staff writer.
- Richa Naik has been upped from production assistant to associate producer.
- Alanna Petroff has been promoted from international business reporter to senior reporter/producer.
- Peter Valdes-Dapena has been promoted from senior writer to digital correspondent. He has been with CNNMoney for 15 years.
Reporters Without Borders is disturbed to learn that Portuguese journalist Rui Cruz is being held in connection with his coverage of hacking. The Judicial Police arrested him and six other people yesterday in an investigation into recent cyber-attacks.
Cruz is the founder and editor of TugaLeaks, a news and information website based at his home in the Lisbon suburb of Pinhal Novo, where the police arrested him after conducting a search. Exactly what he is alleged to have done is not known. He was due to appear before a judge today.
Judicial Police criminal investigation coordinator Carlos Cabreiro said at a press conference that TugaLeaks “divulged information about cyber-criminal practices.” He also said that a representative of the journalists' union was present when Cruz was arrested, as required by law.
TugaLeaks has had several exclusives about the feats of Portuguese hackers affiliated to the international hactivist network Anonymous, who have hacked into a series of Portuguese private companies and state bodies since April 2014.
Their targets have included the power utility Electricity of Portugal (EDP), the Bank of Portugal, the Espírito Santo Bank, the public prosecutor's office and the commission that issues press cards to journalists. After the last two entities were hacked, masses of personal data of prosecutors and journalists were posted online.
TugaLeaks' reports have included links to the hacked pages and data, which were posted on file-sharing sites. Its articles have also covered the shortcomings of public services in the Lisbon region.
Reporters Without Borders points out that journalists cannot be arrested just for covering criminal activity.
The six other suspects arrested yesterday are accused of carrying out Distributed Denial of Service attacks on websites, defacing sites, gaining illegal access to sites and publishing data illegally.
Portugal is ranked 26th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
(photo : foto DR, jn.pt)
The hot media story of the moment is that New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman is considering selling the tabloid. The logical question that emerges out of that is who in their right mind would want to buy it? Especially considering Capital New York’s report that the Daily News loses about $20 million a year.
The first person that comes to mind is Rupert Murdoch, if only because there were rumors of a New York Post/Daily News merger a few months ago. Another potential buyer could be Cablevision. Or there’s always the old fall back — Michael Bloomberg.
FishbowlNY’s take? We don’t see anyone or any company buying the Daily News. It just doesn’t make any sense. It loses way too much money and there’s really no answer for that. There simply aren’t pockets deep enough to dig it out of a hole that has no bottom.
The most likely scenario is that Zuckerman retains the paper for another year or two before deciding to shutter the print version. The potential sale story is fun for now, but it in reality it’s the Daily News’ last rites.
Time Inc. is expected to name a president to oversee People and Entertainment Weekly “soon” according to the New York Post.
The move will likely be welcomed with open arms by staffers, who weeks ago received word that the two magazines would be merging teams. Once a president is named things should — hopefully — calm down. People is also Time Inc.’s money machine. Allowing a behemoth like that to go directionless for so long is just not a good idea.
As for the two magazines, recent casualties of the merger include PR staffers Nancy Valentino and Amy Galleazzi and EW online editor Kyle Ryan.
The Financial Times is famous for a few things — its business content, its pink paper and its fierce paywall. The latter of those is about to change.
The FT’s paywall typically only allows a non-subscriber access to three articles per month before prompting them to pay up. Starting today, readers can opt for a month-long trial for $1 that gives them full access to the site.
This is the FT’s way of enticing readers to subscribe. Instead of stonewalling after a measly three articles, give them a real taste and they’ll want more.
According to the FT, research has shown that using this paid trial system will boost subs anywhere from 11 percent to 29 percent. That’s a business move worth taking.
“Most of the big web apps provide their API in JSON format (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) however, as you may know if you’ve ever tried to use these, they often require an OAuth login in order to access the API.”
IFTTT, you see, allows you to add a new row to a Google spreadsheet every time a particular criteria is met on, for example, Twitter (e.g. a particular account tweeting, or a hashtag being used). You only have to authorise IFTTT for the particular service once.
It is, basically, row-by-row scraping.
Combine the two and you have a regularly updated live JSON feed from a social media service based on a criteria of your choosing.
Filed under: online journalism Tagged: api, Google Drive, ifttt, JSON, Nick Moreton, scraping
For Day of the Journalist, celebrated on 1 March in Nicaragua, Reporters Without Borders has taken a look at the current state of media freedom in this Central American nation, where journalists critical of the government often encounter restrictions on their access to information.
No journalist has been killed in connection with their work since Daniel Ortega was returned to power in 2007 but this should not divert attention from the fact that many journalists are the victims of stigmatization, threats and violence.
A journalists' collective complained to the national police last July about the failure to protect them from violence by “pro-government groups” when they cover opposition demonstrations.
When they go to demonstrations, journalists are often regarded as supporters rather than independent observers. The public tends to see their presence as the expression of a personal political position, and therefore think that they only have themselves to blame if they are targeted.
A resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on 28 March 2014 called on governments “to pay particular attention to the safety of journalists and media workers covering peaceful protests, taking into account their specific role, exposure and vulnerability.”
Media freedom in Nicaragua is also restricted by article 52 of its constitution, which limits the right of criticism to “constructive” criticism. In effect, this enshrines the idea of “permitted information” and state control of the media, inasmuch as the state assumes the exclusive right to decide what is “constructive” and what isn't.
The Nicaraguan state should instead be guaranteeing a transparent and pluralist debate that allows it citizens to make free choices about their future.
“As regards recently initiated development projects such as the Interoceanic Grand Canal, the government has a duty to provide its citizens with all the tools they need to understand the political challenges determining the country's long-term future,” said Claire San Filippo, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Americas desk.
Despite Law 621 on access to public information, adopted in 2007, the authorities continue to grant news media access to state-held information in a discretionary manner.
“On Day of the Journalist, Reporters Without Borders urges the Nicaraguan authorities to grant access to information to all the media, without discrimination,” San Filippo added. “The state must foster faire media access to public information and end practices that encourage self-censorship.”
In the absence of any regulation, state advertising continues to be allocated unfairly. Media that do not criticize the government are more likely to get state advertising and the extra income that entails. This undermines media pluralism and fosters self-censorship.
Nicaragua is ranked 74th out 180 countries in the 2015 press freedom index that Reporters Without Borders published in February.
Net Neutrality: FCC Reclassifies ISPs as Common Carriers (SocialTimes)
After months of planning and political wrangling, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finally voted on net neutrality rules to reclassify Internet service providers as \"common carriers,\" which means that ISPs are subject to the same rules as other utilities. FishbowlDC It was a 3-2 decision. This vote preserves for now the principle of net neutrality, the idea that Internet service providers should not be able to provide preferential treatment, such as Internet fast lanes to those willing to pay for it, or slow down or block the sites of those who are not willing to pay for faster speeds. Court challenges to the rules are expected. Deadline Supporters say the changes are essential to protect competition as media and communications increasingly reach people via a handful of cable and phone companies — often local monopolies or oligopolies. The Internet \"has redefined commerce and entertainment\" and is \"the ultimate vehicle for free expression,\" FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said. It \"is too important to be left without rules and a referee on the field.\" WSJ The FCC also voted to overrule laws in two states that made it harder for cities to offer their own Web service. Netflix said the day was a win for consumers. Telecom and cable industry groups said the decisions opened the door to heavy-handed regulation that would hurt innovation. The Verge President Obama said, in a statement, that the FCC’s decision “will protect innovation and create a level playing field for the next generation of entrepreneurs.” Adweek Mitchell Baker, executive chairwoman of Mozilla, was optimistic: “This is an enormous step forward in helping us all protect the openness and innovation that has made the online life and the Internet so remarkable to date.” Comcast, which will probably have to radically realign its blueprint for the next few years, issued a fairly imperious statement asserting the exact opposite of Baker’s assessment; that the openness of the Web thus far has entirely been a function of market freedom. The New Yorker It is a substantial achievement for the Obama Administration and Wheeler, and also for the many groups that fought hard for the outcome. But it also is a moment to reflect back on the process over the last year that led here, and figure out why what so many people thought they knew turned out to be wrong.
Zuckerman Seeks Buyer for NY Daily News (Financial Times)
Mort Zuckerman, the billionaire real estate mogul, has hired Lazard to find a buyer for the New York Daily News, the tabloid newspaper he has owned since 1993. FishbowlNY Zuckerman began by explaining that although he had not been in the market, a recent inquiry about interest in selling the paper led him to decide to more formally look into the possibility. Capital New York “I have not come to this decision easily,” Zuckerman wrote to staff Thursday. “But I believe the immense hard work in turning the business around in an extremely challenging period for the industry, has put the Daily News in as strong a position than it has ever been, particularly online.” WSJ With splashy photos, screaming headlines and a tabloid format that appeals to subway commuters, the Daily News has long had a prominent place in New York’s media scene, offering up a mix of political, celebrity and sports news. It has been engaged for decades in a cutthroat battle for supremacy with the New York Post, which is owned by News Corp. Both papers have struggled financially. NYT The Daily News’ print and digital circulation was 427,452 on weekdays and 558,057 on Sundays for the six months ending in September, the most recent figures available, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. The Post had a circulation of 497,878 during the week and 454,007 on Sunday, by the same measure.
Jay Carney to Amazon (Politico)
Former White House press secretary Jay Carney joins Amazon on Monday as senior vice president for Worldwide Corporate Affairs. The new position brings the e-commerce giant’s worldwide public relations and public policy shops into one department under Carney. PRNewser The company’s PR chief Craig Berman and VP of public policy (aka top lobbyist) Paul Misener will report to Carney and he will report directly to Jeff Bezos himself. Mashable Carney, a former Moscow correspondent for Time magazine, stepped down from his post as White House press secretary last May and was at one point rumored to be considering taking a top PR job at Apple. He later joined CNN as a political commentator in September, a role that he is now said to be forfeiting for Amazon. Mediaite Carney isn’t the only former Obama official to take a job in Silicon Valley: David Plouffe, a campaign manager in 2008 and 2012, recently took a job at Uber as its \"campaign manager.\"
Greg Gutfeld Leaving Red Eye for New FNC Show (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel has announced that Greg Gutfeld will be leaving Red Eye to host a new one-hour weekend primetime show. Gutfeld will sign off from Red Eye Friday night, hosting his final episode of the late-night show at 3 a.m. ET. Capital New York Gutfeld will continue on The Five, and will make regular appearances on The O’Reilly Factor. A rotating slate of guest hosts will fill in on Red Eye after Gutfeld’s last show. The show in development, which does not have a name or timeslot, will highlight “Gutfeld’s whimsical nature and political satire,” according to the announcement from Fox. It will also “focus on his strong libertarian values and social commentary.” Variety Prior to joining FNC, Gutfeld was a staff writer at Prevention and editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine. He later became the editor-in-chief of Stuff. Gutfeld led Maxim in the U.K. and was a contributor to the Huffington Post. He is the author of several books, including The Bible of Unspeakable Truths, The Joy of Hate and most recently Not Cool: The Hipster Elite And Their War on You.
The Walking Dead Powers AMC Networks’ Q4, Full-Year Earnings (Variety)
The Walking Dead drove a nearly 25 percent gain in advertising revenue at AMC Networks in the fourth quarter, powering the cable group’s earnings and revenue well past Wall Street’s expectations. AMC Networks said Thursday that fourth quarter ad revenue at its five U.S. cablers grew 24.3 percent to $255 million, led by AMC, which saw more record ratings from the first half of the zombie drama’s fifth season in October-November. WSJ / CMO Today Excluding gains from a recently acquired stake in BBC America, ad growth was in the mid-teens. Executives also highlighted demand for other shows like IFC’s Portlandia and BBC America’s Doctor Who and Orphan Black as contributors to the company’s ad growth in a soft advertising marketplace. Deadline The programming company reported net income of $77.62 million, up 119 percent versus the last three months of 2013, on revenues of $609.4 million, up 40 percent. Analysts expected the top line to hit $602.4 million. Earnings from continuing operation, at $1.06 a share, beat Wall Street’s target for 99 cents.
Sony Pictures Fires Digital Chief Bob Osher (Variety)
Sony Pictures Digital president Bob Osher, who oversaw Sony Animation and Imageworks for the past seven years, has been fired, according to knowledgeable sources. THR The move was months in the making and likely not a surprise to astute Sony watchers. That it happened the same week as Tom Rothman taking the reins from fired Amy Pascal shows that Sony is in full housecleaning mode. Osher had been with the studio since 2004. Deadline In emails leaked out from the massive hacking of Sony in November, the now recently re-upped Michael Lynton hinted to Pascal that Osher should be departing. Osher, the former co-president of production at Miramax, already had seen his realm reduced when Kristine Belson was brought in as president of Sony Pictures Animation last month.
Is Controversy Helping Bill O’Reilly? (TVNewser)
Bill O’Reilly has been putting up monster numbers since being accused of exaggerating his experience as a reporter decades ago. The O’Reilly Factor averaged 705,000 viewers in the key adult 25-54 demo Wednesday night, easily his best demo performance of 2015. THR The last time O’Reilly pulled such a big number was during the riots in Ferguson, Miss., in November. He was up 62 percent in the demo compared to the same day last year and 24 percent to the same day last week. Among total viewers, he brought in a relatively steady 3.08 million viewers.
Meet The Press Gets A Taste of Victory (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
NBC’s Meet The Press has achieved its first ratings victory since Chuck Todd took over as moderator. The Feb. 22 broadcast brought in 3,271,000 total viewers and 907,000 viewers in the 25- to 54-year-old demo. That put it in the top spot for total and the top spot for the demo when rated by the full hour. Deadline That said, ABC’s This Week beat Meet The Press in the news demo for the February sweep — the first time that’s happened in 22 years. The ABC Sunday Beltway show turned in its strongest sweep performance in the news demo in six years, and its smallest news demo gap against the frontrunner, CBS’ Face The Nation, during a February ratings derby in four years.
Fox News Calls Out Eric Holder for Skipping Network in Exit Interviews (Mediaite)
Attorney general Eric Holder is conducting exit interviews with many major news outlets — CNN, ABC, NBC, CNN and Politico – but not Fox News. Fox News executive vice president Michael Clemente released this statement on Holder overlooking Fox: \"The attorney general’s decision does a deep disservice to America’s largest cable news audience and the interests of a free press.\" FishbowlDC The news does not come as a complete shocker, considering the less than friendly relations that exist between Holder and Fox News. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In his statement, Clemente suggested that Holder’s decision may have been influenced by the Justice Department’s investigation of James Rosen, a Fox News reporter. In 2013, The Washington Post reported that the DOJ had labeled Rosen and “co-conspirator” in a leak probe and monitored his emails, phone records, and comings and goings at the State Department.
Rajiv Chandrasekaran Leaves WaPo for New Seattle Venture (FishbowlDC)
Longtime Washington Post senior correspondent and associate editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran is headed west to Seattle, where he will launch a media startup.
Bloomberg TV to Launch Canadian Channel (TVNewser)
Bloomberg TV is going north. Bloomberg TV Canada will launch later this year with studios in the heart of Toronto’s financial district in a partnership with Canadian media company Channel Zero.
FBN Already Gives Strange Inheritance A Spin-Off Show (TVNewser)
Strange Inheritance With Jamie Colby has been a big hit for Fox Business Network, premiering as the network’s highest-rated show launch ever. Only one month later, the network is launching a spin-off show.
TiVo, Others Buy Scraps of Aereo at Bankruptcy Auction (WSJ)
Aereo Inc., the defunct TV-streaming service that once promised to revolutionize the way consumers watch network television, was sold for parts this week to TiVo Inc. and other buyers at a bankruptcy auction.
Fox Networks Group Appoints TrueX CEO to Leadership Role (THR)
Two months after 21st Century Fox acquired advertising technology firm TrueX, the company’s founder and CEO is taking an in-house role at the company. Joe Marchese has joined Fox Networks Group as president of advanced advertising products.
Paramount Confirms Adam Goodman’s Exit, Begins Search for Successor (THR)
Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman is officially out. In a memo sent to staff Thursday afternoon, Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey confirmed Goodman’s exit and said a search for his replacement is underway.