Morning Media Newsfeed: White House Talks Sony Attack | Abrams to Leave Nightline

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White House Approaching Sony Hack as ‘National Security Issue’ (THR)
During a press briefing in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that the hacking of Sony’s internal computer system has become a “national security issue” involving federal law enforcement and diplomatic personnel. Earnest also confirmed revelations from the latest batch of internal Sony emails released by the hackers that two members of the administration had screened “a rough cut” of The Interview — the impending release of which may have prompted the attack — at Sony’s request, but Earnest said Thursday that they had made no recommendations about changes or how to proceed. Time Earnest said there have been a number of daily meetings at the White House about the hack, and that there are “a range of options that are under consideration right now” for a response. Earnest would not rule out a U.S. cyber counterattack on those behind the Sony hack, saying officials are mindful of the need for a “proportional response.” The Washington Post Public attribution of the attack could come as early as this week, one national security official said. U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that the government of Kim Jong Un is behind the attack. North Korea has publicly denied involvement. The attack came in apparent retaliation for Sony’s planned Christmas Day release of The Interview, a comedy built around the assassination of the North Korean leader. PRNewser The group (or country) behind the massive Sony hack sent out a warning that there would be repercussions for any theater that shows The Interview on its screens. Right away, the largest theater companies, from AMC Entertainment to Regal Entertainment and beyond, said they wouldn’t show the film. So Sony killed the whole thing. The outrage from Hollywood has been fast and furious on Twitter, with many expressing anger and disappointment that there wouldn’t be a bigger stand for freedom of expression. Deadline Sony has no plans to release the film anywhere for the foreseeable future. The news comes despite the lack — at least in public — of the same kind of terrorist threat against Sony’s international operations as was made against the studio’s U.S. release. The Interview had been set to open across all major European territories in January and February. Those plans are now off.

Changes at Nightline as Dan Abrams Exits, Byron Pitts Steps in (TVNewser)
ABC has announced that Nightline anchor Dan Abrams will be stepping down from that role to be chief legal analyst at ABC News, and to return his attention to his company, Abrams Media. THR Chief national correspondent Byron Pitts has been set as his replacement, ABC News president James Goldston announced in a memo on Thursday. Abrams was announced as Nightline co-anchor in a shake-up at the news show in June of last year, when he replaced Terry Moran, who was named chief foreign correspondent. Incoming Nightline co-anchor Pitts joined ABC News in 2013 from CBS News. HuffPost / AP Pitts joins Dan Harris and Juju Chang on the anchor team. He will replace Abrams beginning on Friday night’s edition of the late-night news program. Variety The Abrams Media Network is a collection of websites covering various tech and lifestyle topics, including Mediaite, Geekosystem, Styleite and Jane Dough.

WaPo Partnering With Texas Tribune (FishbowlDC)
Starting in January, The Washington Post will be teaming up with The Texas Tribune for a partnership that will include the sharing of editorial content, collaboration on events and more. The Washington Post The Tribune will also join the more than 220 newspapers currently participating in the Post’s digital partner program, offering their subscribers 52 weeks of free and unlimited digital access to the Post. Poynter / MediaWire The Tribune, a non-profit newsroom based in Austin, will give the Post “exclusive outside-of-Texas access” to its stories, writes Post executive editor Martin Baron. Tribune reporters will also contribute to a broad swath of sections on the Post’s website, including The Fix, Post Politics, GovBeat and PostTV. In return, the Tribune will get “early budget lines on Texas-specific journalism” from the Post and permission to cross-post that content, Baron wrote in a staff memo. The Tribune’s D.C. bureau chief, Abby Livingston, will also work from the Post’s newsroom. Texas Tribune The Tribune and Post will also team up to pursue a presidential debate and a suite of other co-sponsored events. The first of these, a half-day symposium dubbed “Texas on the Potomac,” is slated for Jan. 29 in D.C.

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NPR Hires Tasneem Raja as Senior Digital Editor of Code Switch (FishbowlDC)
Tasneem Raja will be joining NPR as senior digital editor of Code Switch, announced Lynette Clemetson, director of editorial initiatives, and Carline Watson, executive producer of Culture And Identity Unit, in a staff memo Thursday morning. Capital New York Raja comes to NPR from Mother Jones, where she served as interactive editor. She officially joins NPR Jan. 26. Poynter / MediaWire Raja was previously an interactive producer at The Bay Citizen and a features reporter at The Chicago Reader.

Fox News Radio Hires Two Correspondents, Moves One (TVNewser)
Fox News Radio has made some hires. Jon Decker joins as a White House correspondent and Gurnal Scott joins as a national correspondent based in New York. At the same time, Fox News Radio’s Jessica Golloher will move from New York, where she was a national reporter, to Jerusalem, where she will be Middle East correspondent. Scott joins from WUNC-FM in Chapel Hill, NC, where he was assistant news director. FishbowlDC Decker will make his debut with FNR on Jan. 5, 2015 and will represent the station in the White House press corps. As FNR’s White House correspondent, he will be based in Washington, D.C. and cover all White House related news. Decker is joining the station from SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s White House Insider program, where he served as a White House correspondent.

NYT Layoffs Watch, 2014 (Capital New York)
After finishing the buyout process, The New York Times began laying off staffers this week. Media reporter Leslie Kaufman announced on Twitter Thursday that she will leave the Times. “Farewell to my beloved Times. It was a great run. Peace and love,” she tweeted. HuffPost Joel Lovell, who served as a New York Times Magazine deputy editor and was most recently working on special projects for the paper, is leaving Friday to take on two new roles in narrative journalism. Lovell plans to split his time between This American Life, the public radio show and popular podcast, and The Atavist Magazine, a digital publication from the media startup.

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Amazon Now Delivers Books in an Hour in Manhattan (GalleyCat)
Amazon is testing a new delivery service that is practically real time. So called “Prime Now” promises one-hour delivery on certain Amazon products within Manhattan. Mashable Though the service is now up and running, it’s only available in a very select region of Manhattan, the ZIP Code 10001, the area west of Fifth Avenue between 24th Street and 36th Street. That zone is close to the 34th Street location Amazon recently leased. Prime Now, which is available to Prime subscribers in that region of Manhattan, promises free two-hour delivery and $7.99 one-hour delivery of “products like paper towels, shampoo, books, toys and batteries,” according to a press release from the company. Customers order these products through a dedicated app.

Magazine Launches, Closures Both Up in 2014 (FishbowlNY)
It was both a good year and a bad year for magazines. Because we’re magazine fans, let’s start with the good news: The number of new titles launched in 2014 was up from last year. Now, the bad news: The number of closures also increased. HuffPost Though 99 outlets folded this year, 190 new magazines also launched in the past 12 months, MediaFinder, a large, online database for U.S. and Canadian publications, announced in a press release. The stats are consistent with a period of stabilization the magazine business has been experiencing since a whopping 428 publications shut down in 2009.

FCC Won’t Penalize Broadcasters for Saying ‘Redskins’ (Mediaite)
A challenge to the name of the Washington Redskins was shot down by the Federal Communications Commission, which ruled that broadcasters can say the word “Redskins” on-air. Re/code The agency has rejected a September petition by George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf III to deny a Washington-area radio station’s broadcast license renewal because announcers there routinely use the word “Redskins” when talking about the team. The petition argued that the word is akin to an obscenity or hate speech and shouldn’t be used on the air.

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Oyster Adds 1,000 Bloomsbury Books to Library (GalleyCat)
Oyster now carries more than 1,000 books from Bloomsbury. Subscribers to this service can access the eBook editions of Salvage The Bones by Jesmyn Ward, Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. The full Oyster library contains a selection of more than 500,000 titles.

AP Vet Linda Deutsch to Retire (FishbowlNY)
Linda Deutsch, a 48-year veteran of the Associated Press, is retiring. During her tenure, the courts reporter covered countless iconic news stories, such as Charles Manson’s murder conviction, the trial of the Exxon Valdez captain and O.J. Simpson’s acquittal.

Ian Bremmer Joins Time (FishbowlNY)
Ian Bremmer is joining Time as a foreign affairs columnist and editor-at-large. Bremmer is the president and founder of Eurasia Group, a political risk research and consulting firm. He is also a global research professor at NYU.

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BuzzFeed Gets $4 Million Tax Credit to Expand (And Stay) in New York (Capital New York)
New York’s chief economic development agency has entered an agreement with BuzzFeed that gives the company $4 million in tax credits to promote the creation and retention of in-state jobs, the agency said in a statement Thursday.

As Serial Adjourns, The Internet Gives A Collective Shriek (Poynter / MediaWire)
Serial, the podcasting phenomenon that launched a thousand hot takes, has just ended its first season — if you could call what happened Thursday morning an ending.

The AP Creates Team of Statehouse Reporting Specialists (The Associated Press)
The Associated Press is creating a team of state government specialists. As announced Thursday to AP staff, the specialists will collaborate with statehouse reporters, as well as on their own projects and stories focused on government accountability and strong explanatory reporting.

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