In the wake of Popular Science's decision last month to ban comments from its website, Maria Konnikova looks more deeply into the psychology of online comments. "Removing comments also affects the reading experience itself: it may take away the motivation to engage with a topic more deeply, and to share it with a wider group of readers," she writes. Still, "incendiary rhetoric has long been a mainstay of public discourse..." she writes. "The medium may change, but people do not. The question instead is whether the outliers, the trolls and the flamers, will hold outsized influence..."
The Federal Communications Commission will vote Nov. 14 on whether it will loosen restrictions on foreign ownership of broadcast stations. CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co. (which owns ABC) are among the companies hoping for the change.
Spin Media will be making some layoffs, including losing a few staffers at Spin magazine, reports Andrew Beaujon.
Hear the clash of church vs. state! Last week, "the American Society of Magazine Editors updated its guidelines
to say sponsored stories on the web should not, among other things, use the same font or graphics as a site's editorial articles," writes Michael Sebastian. But this week, a panel on native advertising at The American Magazine Media Conference "seemed to agree that native ads must look and feel more like the editorial content that surrounds it, not less," according to Sebastian. "A very small group of people shouldn't over-police native advertising," …
Al Jazeera America will be available on Time Warner Cable systems in Los Angeles and New York this year, and in other markets starting in March, according to a just-announced deal between the two companies. This is the first carriage partnership the network has arranged since its debut two months ago. Terms were undisclosed, though Al Jazeera may be one of those channels that "have occasionally paid to be carried," speculates Brian Stelter. "In this case, Al Jazeera may pay Time Warner Cable for marketing and advertising sales support."
An influential fan (over 26,000 followers!) who blogs regularly about ABC's "Scandal" is actually an ABC sales director, according to Jethro Nededog. ABC is investigating, noting that "it take these allegations very seriously." The blogger has "crossed the line in her exchanges with fans and journalists who don’t share her opinions.... all unbecoming behavior for an employee of the network," writes Nededog.
OpenGate Capital is partnering with media consulting firm Kliger Media Associates to form OpenGate Media Group, which will focus on acquiring media companies "in need of significant rejuvenation or strategic repositioning," as well as expanding Open Gate Capital's "existing publishing and media-related activities," according to the New York Business Journal. OpenGate Capital's portfolio includes TV Guide magazine and PennySaver USA.
BBC News is joining Twitter's Amplify program to serve short-form sponsored videos on paid tweets, starting later this fall. BBC may be the first Amplify partner to create original content specifically for the platform. The videos, called "BBC Trending," "give viewers the inside story on trending news on social media that day," writes Jeanine Poggi. "Twitter's media partners in the Amplify program have typically tweeted clips from existing TV programming thus far."
Broadcast TV audiences are getting older, while younger audiences drift to cable, analyst Brad Adgate tells writer Gary Levin, citing as evidence median ages of viewers for such top new shows as "The Crazy Ones." Still, NBC's "Ironside," a remake of a 1967 show, "has the oldest audience among fall's new crop of shows, one reason its run is ending," writes Levin. For more evidence of this trend, some upcoming shows will definitely appeal to an older demo. Consider the "I Love Lucy Christmas Special," two newly colorized episodes of the 1950s show set to air
The New York Times
closed R&D Ventures, "a spin-off of in-house technology think tank, the R&D Lab,
" launched in early 2012, reports Joe Pompeo, citing anonymous sources. R&D Ventures worked closely with companies developing products that the Times
could use, "such as a digital-marketing technology called Ricochet that was introduced last April