Morning Media Newsfeed: Cuts Hit CNN, HLN | Nielsen Revision Puts Nightly News on Top

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Layoffs Begin at CNN (TVNewser)
Layoffs have begun at CNN. As many as 300, or 8 percent, of CNN’s workforce is being cut in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York and Los Angeles. FishbowlDC Up to 28 positions are rumored to be eliminated Tuesday and Wednesday from CNN’s Washington bureau. In August, Turner sent out an email to staff including those at CNN, offering a voluntary separation program to employees 55 and over who have worked for Turner for 10 or more years. Mashable CNN has cut Christiane Amanpour’s entire staff in New York as part of the cable news channel’s restructuring. Amanpour, CNN’s chief international correspondent and anchor of a nightly foreign affairs program, will continue to produce international news segments for the network. TVNewser Jane Velez Mitchell’s nightly HLN show has been canceled as part of the cuts. Velez Mitchell will be leaving the network, as will the staff of the show — in all about 15 HLN employees. Capital New York In addition, CNN has shuttered its entertainment news unit, with some staff being laid off and others being folded into other departments. In addition, Darius Walker, VP and Northeast bureau chief, will leave the company. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The cuts are hitting all of CNN’s bureaus, with several back-office and corporate layoffs hitting Atlanta last week. Turner Broadcasting is restructuring under a “2020” plan, which will cut the company’s total workforce by 10 percent, eliminating nearly 1,500 positions across their channels. CNN is expected to reduce its workforce by about 8 percent. More layoffs are expected Wednesday.

With Nielsen Ratings Revision, NBC Nightly News Winning Streak Continues (TVNewser)
Revised Nielsen data for the week of Sept. 29, 2014 shows NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams was No. 1 in total viewers while World News Tonight With David Muir remains No. 1 in the adults 25-54 demo. HuffPost / AP The ratings reversal is the most visible example of a software error that Nielsen said had affected its measurement of television audiences since March. Because of the error, in many cases Nielsen had overestimated ABC’s viewership in comparison to its rivals. Variety NBC’s decades-long winning streak over ABC and CBS in the evening-news wars remains intact as a result of the revision. Though ABC believed World News Tonight won more viewers overall than NBC’s Nightly News for the week ended Sept. 29 — potentially marking the first time in about five years when the NBC show was not the evening newscast preferred by more total viewers — it turns out ABC was misled. Revised data provided by NBC state that an average of 8.283 million people watched Nightly News that week, while an average of 8.113 million tuned into ABC’s World News. Previous data suggested ABC had attracted an average of 8.416 million while NBC had notched an average of 8.25 million. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media That being said, ABC has been steadily catching up in ratings and consistently winning the 25-54 demo since before Diane Sawyer handed over the anchor chair to Muir. Even with the recalibrated ratings, World News still won the demo for the week of Sept. 29, with 2.07 million viewers versus NBC’s 1.94 million.

BuzzFeed’s Growth Czar Now Its Publisher (Re/code)
For the last couple of years, Dao Nguyen has been the person in charge of data and growth at BuzzFeed, which means she has done a very big job very well — the site says it’s now attracting 150 million users a month. So CEO Jonah Peretti is giving her a bigger task: The 40 year old is now BuzzFeed’s publisher. FishbowlNY Nguyen was promoted from VP of growth to publisher, a new role at the company. NYT In a memo to the staff, Peretti said the title of publisher at BuzzFeed would not mean the same thing it does for other media companies. “Dao is a new type of publisher,” he wrote. “She isn’t the heir to a newspaper baron and she won’t be responsible for the business, selling ads or physical newsstand distribution. Instead, she’ll lead publishing for the social Web, in the most modern sense.” Peretti’s memo added that Nguyen would “oversee tech, product, data and everything related to our publishing platform” and would be on an equal footing with the company’s president and editor. GigaOM In many ways, Nguyen’s job sounds like what a technology company would describe as “head of platform” or “head of product,” in the sense that she is going to be looking at all of the non-editorial aspects of the business. And this is fitting, because as Chris Dixon — a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, which led BuzzFeed’s recent $50 million fundraising round — described it, the company is more of a technology platform than it is a traditional media company.

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Michael Dimock Named Pew Research Center President (FishbowlNY)
Michael Dimock has been named the new president of the Pew Research Center. Dimock most recently served as its executive vice president. He was named associate director for research in 2004, and was elevated to director of Pew’s political polling in 2012. Prior to his time at Pew, Dimock was a professor at North Carolina State University. FishbowlDC Dimock replaces Alan Murray as president, who left the Pew Research Center in July to join Fortune as editor. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Dimock, who has a Ph.D. in political science, joined Pew in 2000 and has published scholarly articles on public opinion, voting behavior and survey methodology.

SoftBank Buys DramaFever (Re/code)
SoftBank has purchased DramaFever, the Web video site that specializes in Korean movies and TV shows. Last week, the site had been talking to potential buyers including IAC. Deadline Hollywood The purchase is SoftBank’s latest move in its effort to become a global Internet power, following its recent $250 million investment in Legendary Entertainment, talks with DreamWorks Animation and acquisition of wireless provider Sprint. DramaFever’s been shopped around for months, at a time when many large companies are eager to buy their way into the fast-growing Internet video business. DramaFever streams 700 titles and 15,000 episodes from 70 global broadcasters and studios and has syndication agreements with Hulu, Netflix, Amazon and iTunes. Variety According to DramaFever, most of its viewers are women 18-24. Roughly 40 percent of the site’s users are white, 30 percent are Hispanic, 15 percent are black and 15 percent are Asian. Paying subscribers to the service watch an average of 53.9 hours per month on DramaFever — more than Netflix.

The SF Bay Guardian Is Printing Its Last Issue (San Francisco Bay Guardian)
The San Francisco Bay Guardian has stopped publishing. The San Francisco Media Company, which has published the Guardian since 2012, will publish the final issue on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014. San Francisco Chronicle The end came in a hurry. Even before the public announcement was made, the newspaper’s website and Facebook page were shut down and all employee email services dumped. The closure is a blow to the progressive side of San Francisco politics, where the Bay Guardian has been a leading player since 1966. SF Weekly “The amount of money that the Bay Guardian loses each week is causing damage to the heart of the company and cannot justify its continued publication. The success of this company, providing the highest quality journalism for our readers along with superior results for our advertisers, is my sole priority,” wrote SFMC publisher Glenn Zuehls in an interoffice communique.

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Pew Looks at 2014 Newspaper Coverage of Potential 2016 Presidential Candidates (FishbowlDC)
The Pew Research Center released a study Tuesday on media coverage of potential candidates in the 2016 presidential election. Using LexisNexis, Pew analyzed mentions of potential presidential campaigns in 15 of the top U.S. newspapers from Jan. 1 – Sept. 27, 2014. Capital New York Hillary Clinton and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have gotten more media attention as potential presidential contenders than any other politicians. Both Clinton and Christie were mentioned in 82 stories about their potential 2016 bids. Mitt Romney, who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2012 and has been tipped as a potential comeback candidate, has been mentioned in 74 stories. Romney is trailed by a slate of potential Republican presidential candidates, including Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Tribune Media to Buy Back $400 Million in Stock (Chicago Tribune)
Tribune Media Co., which has seen its valuation fall by more than a third since spinning off its publishing assets, has authorized a $400 million stock repurchase program, the Chicago-based company said Tuesday. Deadline Hollywood Interesting timing, as the TV production and distribution power prepares to move its stock trading to a major exchange, instead of over the counter. Tribune Media shares have lost about a third of their value since early August, when it spun off its newspaper publishing business, and are down 26.4 percent so far in 2014. CEO Peter Liguori says the repurchase reflects his belief that Tribune Media shares are undervalued.

Condé Nast to Lay Off 70 to 80 Employees (WSJ)
Magazine publisher Condé Nast is expected to lay off 70 to 80 employees within the next week or two, primarily from the group that oversees ad sales, according to people familiar with the matter. The layoffs follow the recent appointment of Edward Menicheschi as chief marketing officer and president of Condé Nast’s media group on Aug. 21.

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James MacGregor Named Publisher of Washington Business Journal (FishbowlDC)
The American City Business Journals, the parent company of the Washington Business Journal, Tuesday announced that James MacGregor, publisher of its Silicon Valley Business Journal, has been named publisher of its Washington brand. MacGregor replaces Alex Orfinger, who in September was promoted to EVP of the parent company after serving for 18 years as publisher of WBJ.

OWN, theSkimm Form Digital Content Partnership (LostRemote)
Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN, and theSkimm — a fast-growing daily newsletter with a mostly female subscriber base — will announce a digital content partnership Wednesday. theSkimm founders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg will appear in a weekly Web series called “Things to Know,” based on a section of their newsletter, which will live on Oprah.com and the OWN YouTube channel.

Survey: Most Millennials Watch TV Shows on Actual TVs (SocialTimes)
A survey by comScore released Tuesday as part of its U.S. Total Video Report found that 55 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds watch original TV series on an actual TV, while only 13 percent relied on the Internet. Thirty-two percent used a combination of traditional TVs and the Internet, meaning that 87 percent of respondents in this age group regularly tune into the tube.

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Carlos Lozada Named Nonfiction Book Critic at The Washington Post (GalleyCat)
Carlos Lozada has been appointed the nonfiction book critic at The Washington Post. His start date is scheduled for the end of this year. Currently, Lozada serves as the editor of the publication’s “Outlook” section. In his new role, he will write weekly reviews and share in the responsibilities of covering both nonfiction books and long-form nonfiction.

Disney’s Maker Studios Expands Deal With Morgan Spurlock (Variety)
Maker Studios, the Disney-owned YouTube multichannel network, has greenlit two new series from documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s Warrior Poets production company. The two series — each comprising 12 five-minute episodes — are: Spark, covering inventors and entrepreneurs and their dealings with altruistic venture capitalists, and Everything Must Go, an irreverent look at the world of advertising and marketing.

Rentrak Widens Ties With Fox Networks Group (Variety)
Rentrak, a provider of viewership data that has recently been moving aggressively to strike pacts with a number of major media companies, said it had expanded its relationship with 21st Century Fox’s Fox Networks Group.

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Publish date: October 15, 2014 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/morning-media-newsfeed-cuts-hit-cnn-hln-nielsen-revision-puts-nightly-news-on-top/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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