Jul 05, 2011

Media Moves and News for July

PR Newswire’s media research team continually updates the media database that powers our MEDIAtlas service, and our popular Microlists, which let you target niche audiences on the fly.  Here’s a summary of recent media and blogger updates.

Hearst Corporation acquired six titles from Hachette Filipacchi Media including Woman’s Day, Elle, Elle Decor, Road & Track, Car and Driver and Cycle World. The latter title is already up for sale by Hearst. One of the first moves Hearst executives made after the purchase was to lay off 25 people. Meanwhile, they promoted James Meigs (jmeigs@hearst.com) who now holds the dual roles of Editor-in-Chief of Popular Mechanics as well as his new title of Editorial Director of the men’s enthusiast group of magazines.

Gannett Co., Inc. plans on laying off 700 employees in an effort to cut costs due to the weakened economy and loss of advertising revenue. The cuts are expected to affect the daily newspapers that fall under Gannett’s U.S. Community Publishing division. Gannett says layoff decisions are being determined by individual publishers. Gannett also owns USA Today, which will not be affected.

ABC has announced that Katie Couric will be hosting a new syndicated daytime talk show. Couric has signed a multiyear contact to host and produce the show, which is expected to air in fall 2012. Former NBC Chief Executive Jeff Zucker will be the show’s Executive Producer. ABC continues to look for a replacement for Regis Philbin. The Live with Regis and Kelly Host has announced his plans to leave the show in November. Although no official replacement has been named, a source says that the network is considering candidates such as Ryan Seacrest, TV Host Andy Cohen and Actor Mark Consuelos.

Meredith Corporation’s Advertising Age (http://adage.com/) is scheduled to lay off 75 employees to trim production and operating costs. On a brighter note, Meredith has acquired Eating Well magazine (http://www.eatingwell.com) and recently debuted its Better Homes & Gardens redesigned website, featuring new tech attributes (http://www.bhg.com).

Tribune Broadcasting Company (WGN-TV/ WGN-AM) (Chicago, IL) — Nils Larsen has been named Chief Executive Officer of the broadcasting division. He will supervise the strategic vision and day-to-day operations of the company’s television stations and national cable network, WGN America and WGN-AM.

“LX New York” on WNBC-TV is now “New York Live” (http://www.nbcnewyork.com/shows/newyorklive/). The two-year-old show has changed its name to better fit its objective of local, live news and entertainment. The hosts remain the same with Sara Gore (sara.gore@nbcuni.com) and Jane Hanson (jane.hanson@nbcuni.com). It now airs two hours earlier at 3:00 p.m.

The Fox Business Network bureau in Chicago has moved. It now resides just above the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It was previously located on Wacker Drive. So far members of the bureau include: Reporter Jeff Flock and Producer Ellie Heckman. They can be reached at jeff.flock@foxnews.com and Ellie.Heckman@foxnews.com, respectively.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has announced that New Jersey government run station WNJN-TV will be transferred to New York’s WNET-TV management as of July 1st, laying off the stations entire staff.

Public Broadcaster WITF in Harrisburg, PA has layed off 18 employees from their radio (WITF-FM) and television (WITF-TV) divisions including WITF-FM Anchor/Reporter Melanie Hirschorn and Program Director Craig Cohen. These public stations have lost state and federal funding of over a million dollars in the last year and this has led to these layoffs.

Time Out Chicago (Chicago, IL) — The lifestyle outlet (http://timeoutchicago.com) has a new look. Check out the debut of its redesign with bigger features and more extensive content at http://www.timeoutchicago.com.

Atlantic Live (TBA) — Steve Clemons is the Editor-in-Chief of this new events/ideas enterprise of The Atlantic. He can be found on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/SCClemons

The United Kingdom’s “The Guardian” is coming to the U.S. with a new digital expansion plan. They are going to be based in New York and are looking to hire over 20 Editors for their Fall launch.

Hey greasy spoon fans! The Baltimore Sun has a new blog, “Baltimore Diner” (http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/dining/baltimore-diner-blog/) penned by its Restaurant Critic Richard Gorelick (rgorelick@baltsun.com). This new blog goes beyond the famous spoons and explores all the delicacies of fine food in the Charm City. This blog replaces the Dining@Large. It also provides the latest food industry and local festival news too. Richard also tweets food news at: http://twitter.com/#!/gorelickingood

Tom Raponi has been named General Manager at KTVU-TV, an Oakland, California-based Fox affiliate that serves the San Francisco market. He replaces Tim McVay, who departed to become General Manager of WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia. Both stations are owned by Cox Communications.

Current TV (http://current.com) has officially launched the nightly news program of Keith Olbermann. The newscaster, who abruptly left MSNBC early this year, was hired by the cable and satellite network to help raise its profile and reach. Olbermann is reportedly taking in $10 million per year at Current, which was founded by Al Gore in 2005. Follow Keith on Twitter @KeithOlbermann and Current TV @current.

Eric Schurenberg, once Editorial Director for CBS Interactive sites BNET and CBSMoneywatch, has left the company. The web properties are being folded into CBSNews.com, which is being led by Dan Farber. Follow Dan on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/#!/dbfarber.

The San Francisco Chronicle has lost its Business and Technology Editor, Marcus Chan, who has become Technology Editor at Bloomberg.com. Follow Chan on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/mchan.

Chicago-based Tribune Company is once again in talks with Freedom Communications to purchase the Orange County Register, after a recent negotiation breakdown with MediaNews Group to purchase the Irvine-based newspaper.

944 Magazine has ceased publishing. The magazine chain filed bankruptcy last year. The online edition will continue and there are plans to revamp the Las Vegas edition at a later date.

Former OC Weekly Publisher Will Swaim has launched a new local news website called Republic of Costa Mesa. Contact Swaim at will@republicofcostamesa.com.

July MEDIAware updates by region: http://www.prnewswire.com/knowledge-center/mediaware/July2011MEDIAtlasUpdatesbyRegion.html

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