A Twitter feed that allowed users to access online New York Times articles free, circumventing the pay gate set up in March, appears to be shut down. The feed's shuttering probably has nothing to do with complaints from the Times legal department, which initially requested that @FreeNYTimes remove the Times trademark "T" from its logo -- which it did. The feed's last tweet is dated May 19.
Ready to read and discuss Margaret Atwood's "The Blind Assassin"? You'll be joining up with fellow readers at 1book140, the new online book discussion group sponsored by The Atlantic that kicks off June 1. Discussions (with help from journalism professor and author of "Crowdsourcing" Jeff Howell) will be held mostly on Twitter (hashtag #1book140), and in the comments sections of theatlantic.com, with cross-promotion from the publication's Facebook and Tumblr pages. (That mostly Twitter thing is gold, we think -- guaranteed to shut down those boring longwinded comments we remember from college days as an English major.)
Along with stockholders, Chairman Sumner Redstone was rewarded for Viacom's good financial performance. The company increased its quarterly dividend by 67%, boosting Redstone's yearly pay to $41 million. "The dividend gains represent a partial restoration of income Redstone and other CBS shareholders received before the 2008 U.S. recession and financial crisis," according to Bloomberg.
Trade magazine Editor & Publisher, which covers the newspaper industry, will unveil its revamped Web site in early June, the company says. New features will include statistical charts and a video gallery.
Here's two pieces that are somewhat critical of Comcast in its new role as parent of NBCU, both in the L.A. Times
. First, Joe Flint takes the company to task for its hiring of FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker as a lobbyist
, just four months after she approved the Comcast-NBCU deal.Flint also discusses "The abrupt departure of Dick Ebersol as chairman of NBC Sports Group last Thursday," which "sent a not-so-subtle message to other top NBCUniversal executives: Get with the program or hit the road."
The broadcast TV system is "a needless expense, propped up not by customer demand, technical efficiency, or business necessity, but legacy regulation generations outdated." Fighting words indeed, as written by former FCC Chief Economist Tom Hazlett,in an essay circulated by American TV Alliance, a group of broadcast-unfriendly cable operators, satellite operators, and the like. This essay was authored partly in response to the FCC's call for comments on "its proposals to clarify the good faith bargaining it is empowered to enforce in retrans negotiations," according to Broadcasting & Cable.
Lisa Gersh will become president and chief operating officer of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia June 6, leading day-to-day business operations. She is set to become CEO within 12 to 20 months of her hire, finally replacing Wenda Harris Millard, who stepped down in 2009. Gersh was most recently president, strategic initiatives, at NBC Universal, which had acquired the company she co-founded -- Oxygen Media -- in 2007.
Bloomberg.com completes its revamp today with a rollout of the opinion section Bloomberg View. Paid Content's David Kaplan details how this move fits into Bloomberg's strategy "to bring all the various moving parts of Bloomberg's news operations together and do more than just compete against its financial news rivals -- it wants prestige." Another goal is to "reach a wider audience with a greater array of general news offerings" -- a tactic Bloomberg's rivals have also been using, writes Kaplan.
Interesting analytical piece on how sportswriting is expanding the future of journalism with experiments on the Web like Quickish, an aggregator of daily sports news and commentary, along with stylistic changes in the writing itself, from "pedantic" and "fetishistic" to "readerly."
Overall, ad spending in traditional media is rebounding a bit from its big plunge of 18.5% in 2009, with spending up 2% in 2010, according to eMarketer. Still, the type of media determines the level of good news in the forecast. TV will fare the best, since "it still takes up more time per day for the average consumer than any other medium," according to RBR.com/TVBR.com. "Radio will hold its own as well."All blue skies for the readers of that Web site, who presumably are in the biz. Not such a happy picture for the print medium, threatened by the …