Morning Media Newsfeed: Fox News Wins in Court | Twitchy Sold to Salem | Gannett Adds USA Today

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Fox News Reporter Won’t Have to Testify in Colorado (TVNewser) reporter Jana Winter cannot be forced to testify in a Colorado court. New York State’s highest court has ruled Winter cannot be compelled to testify about her reporting in the case of Colorado movie theater killer James Holmes. Winter’s story revealed the existence of Holmes’ diary that he reportedly gave to his psychiatrist before he went on his shooting spree. Fox News In a 4-3 ruling based on New York’s shield law, the state Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s decision that could have resulted in Winter being forced to appear in the Colorado murder trial of Holmes. TheWrap “Today’s ruling is a major win for all journalists,” Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said Tuesday in a statement. “The protection of Jana Winter’s confidential sources was necessary for the survival of journalism and democracy as a whole.” FishbowlNY Lawyers for Holmes wanted Winter to testify about her confidential sources because they said it violated a gag order on the case. Winter’s lawyers claimed that New York’s shield laws should prevent Winter from having to speak up. They were right. Poynter / MediaWire There exists “no principle more fundamental or well-established than the right of a reporter to refuse to divulge a confidential source,” New York’s State Court of Appeals said in its decision Tuesday.

Twitchy Sold to Owners of Townhall And Hotair (BuzzFeed)
Twitchy, the conservative Twitter aggregation site, has been sold for an undisclosed amount to Salem Communications, the Christian radio conglomerate and owners of and Jonathan Garthwaite, general manager and editor-in-chief of, confirmed the news to BuzzFeed Tuesday, saying he was “excited” to be folding Twitchy into existing Salem news properties. Twitchy Founder Michelle Malkin: “As with Hot Air, I conceived and financed Twitchy completely on my own. But as a small, independent business owner, there’s only so far I can take the company. Salem’s mighty resources and corporate know-how will enable Twitchy to grow by leaps and bounds… I’ll step down as CEO, but will continue to play an active role supporting and promoting Twitchy.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Salem is considering a series of acquisitions that would consolidate several of the conservative blogosphere’s most influential brands under one corporate tent, Politico has learned. On Tuesday, Salem announced its acquisition of Twitchy. Sources familiar with the company’s plans now tell Politico that Salem is also in talks to buy Eagle Publishing, which owns the websites RedState and HumanEvents, as well conservative book publisher Regnery.

Gannett to Add USA Today to Local Papers (NYT)
Gannett Company, one of the nation’s largest newspaper chains, will try to expand its advertising and circulation revenue by inserting parts of its flagship newspaper, USA Today, into its local newspapers. Beginning in January, Gannett will add 12 to 14 pages of USA Today content each day to 35 newspapers in its largest markets, including The Journal News in White Plains, N.Y., The Tennessean in Nashville and The Cincinnati Enquirer.

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NYT Co Expects Digital Ad Growth in 2014 (Ad Age / Media News)
New York Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson intends to restore growth to the company’s digital advertising revenue next year after recent declines, he told a meeting of investors Tuesday. To spur growth, the Times is introducing branded content solutions for advertisers, according to Thompson, who spoke at UBS’ media and communications conference taking place in New York City. Capital New York Thompson told attendees to watch for developments in the paper’s sales department. He wasn’t kidding: Minutes after Thompson walked off the stage, the Times blasted out an announcement highlighting four internal promotions on the ad side.

Outerwall to Cut 8.5 Percent of Workforce, Redbox Chief Leaves (Reuters)
Outerwall Inc said the president of its Redbox video rental kiosks division had left the business after just over a year and that it would cut 8.5 percent of its workforce. The company, giving no reason for Anne Saunders’ departure, said it expected to fill the position in the coming months. Redbox, which competes mainly with Netflix Inc, contributes more than 80 percent to Outerwall’s revenue. Redbox offers self-service movie rentals at about 43,700 kiosks, where consumers can rent or buy movies and video games.

Getting Mags to Canada May Become More Expensive (NY Post / Media Ink)
The News Group, a magazine wholesaler run by James Pattison, one of the wealthiest men in Canada, plans to push American publishers to pay more to get their magazines to newsstands next year. The company, which in the U.S. is known by the acronym TNG USA, controls more than 50 percent of the North American magazine wholesaler market.

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FiveThirtyEight Adds Deputy Editor, Director of Data And Technology (FishbowlNY)
FiveThirtyEight, the forthcoming site from ESPN that will be edited by Nate Silver, has named Andrei Scheinkman deputy editor and director of data and technology. Scheinkman was most recently data editor for The Huffington Post. Prior to that he worked on the New York Times’ interactive news team. Capital New York Scheinkman will be in charge of hiring additional journalists, designers and developers to join FiveThirtyEight’s data visualization team.

Brian Stelter’s CNN Debut Gets Bumpy Ratings Start (TheWrap)
Brian Stelter’s debut as the new host of CNN’s Reliable Sources drew less than stellar numbers on Sunday, drawing an underwhelming 400,000 total viewers and 118,000 viewers in the key 25-54 news demographic, according to Nielsen. Compared with the average for the fourth quarter of the year, Stelter’s Reliable Sources premiere was down 10 percent in total viewers and 9 percent in the demo. And versus the most recent airing on Nov. 24, Stelter’s premiere was off 35 percent in total viewers and 49 percent in the demo. TVNewser Compared to the last four broadcasts of Howard Kurtz‘s Reliable Sources before he joined Fox News, Stelter’s show was down 7 percent in total viewers but up 5 percent in the adults 25-54 demo.

Beastie Boys Countersue as Fair Use Fight Over ‘Girls’ Song Escalates (GigaOM)
A copyright case between the Beastie Boys and toy maker GoldieBlox just got nastier: the rap group claims in a court filing that rewriting its “Girls” song for a video commercial does not count as “fair use,” and says GoldieBlox must hand over the profits it earned from using the song without permission. If you missed it, the controversy started two weeks ago after GoldieBlox rewrote the song “Girls,” a catchy but sexist Beastie Boys tune from 1989, with empowering new lyrics as part of a video that celebrates girls who build things — but a video that is also clearly a commercial for GoldieBlox toys. CJR / The Audit I really didn’t think the Beastie Boys would risk the bad PR to sue GoldieBlox for ripping them off in an ad for its toys. Boy, was I wrong.

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Discovery Mulling Bid for Owner of Food Network, HGTV (Variety)
Discovery Communications is mulling a bid for Scripps Networks Interactive, parent company of Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel and other lifestyle-oriented cablers. A source with knowledge of the situation said the prospect of Discovery making a run at Scripps Networks was discussed Tuesday at a Discovery board meeting.

Judge Tosses Booksellers’ Suit Against Publishers, Amazon (Publisher’s Weekly)
Federal judge Jed Rakoff has dismissed a lawsuit filed by independent booksellers against Amazon and the big six publishers that alleged a murky conspiracy to restrain trade via Amazon’s use of proprietary DRM in its Kindle e-reading platform. In his 18-page decision tossing the suit, Rakoff found that the booksellers’ core claim — that the publishers had engaged in a conspiracy with Amazon to keep rivals from selling eBooks on the Kindle — had no supporting evidence, and no plausible motive.

Food Magazine Cooking Up New Digital Initiative (NY Post / Media Ink)
The foodie market looks like it is continuing to be a tasty and pleasing spot in the magazine and digital spheres. Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp alluded to Cooking Light cooking up a new digital initiative in the near future and Condé Nast’s Bon Appetit recently snagged the No. 1 food title on the Adweek Hot List. Meredith, which already has the top digital food site,, said the magazine it spun out of the website is growing. Now after only two issues, Meredith is cranking up the rage base to 650,000. Although it’s third issue is not due out until April, it was already named the hottest launch of the year by Media Industry Newsletter.

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The Story Behind ‘That Selfie’ (AFP / Correspondent)
So here’s the photo, my photo, which quickly lit up the world’s social networks and news websites. The “selfie” of three world leaders who, during South Africa’s farewell to Nelson Mandela, were messing about like kids instead of behaving with the mournful gravitas one might expect.

Facebook Wants to Be A Newspaper; Facebook Users Have Their Own Ideas (AllThingsD)
Most people think of Facebook in a similar way: It’s a place to share photos of your kids. It’s a way to keep up with friends and family members. It’s a place to share a funny, viral story or LOLcat picture you’ve stumbled upon on the Web. This is not how Facebook thinks of Facebook. In Mark Zuckerberg’s mind, Facebook should be “the best personalized newspaper in the world.” He wants a design-and-content mix that plays up a wide array of “high-quality” stories and photos.

BBC to Axe More Than Half of Its Management Boards (The Guardian)
The BBC will on Wednesday announce a series of changes to its system of governance and the appointment of former Sony boss Sir Howard Stringer as one of two new non-executive directors, in the wake of a turbulent year. The changes come at the end of what culture secretary Maria Miller described as an “annus horribilis” for the national broadcaster with controversies over the multimillion-pound payouts to former staff, the £100 million Digital Media Initiative fiasco and the continued fallout from the Jimmy Savile scandal.

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Publish date: December 11, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT