Beyond PR

Dec 06, 2011

December Media Moves and News

PR Newswire’s Audience Research Group 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.  Updates by region can be found here:

After four years, Philadelphia’s 6ABC Action News Facebook page ( has topped 100,000 likes. That may seem small, but WPVI-TV’s news page had 27 million post views in September and that number speaks volumes. The number one news station in town has become the number one go to news site in the Philadelphia area on Facebook to reach its viewers/readers online with Action News updates and breaking news. If you add up all of their talent pages they reach another 280,000 people as well. This has proved to be a successful model of the marriage between social and broadcast media. Their main website is: and their Twitter page is:

Gannett recently passed a new rule onto its readers: If you want to say something on any of their sites for example The Orange County Register and The San Diego Union-Tribune you must join Facebook to do so. This rule is mandatory for anyone to provide any online commentary to its stories for all of its newspaper sites and broadcast entities as well.

The axe has fallen again at the New York Daily News. As part of its down-sizing plan, the Daily News has let go the following personnel: Senior Features Writer Jane Ridley; Front Page Editor John Cochran; City Hall Reporters Frank Lombardi and Kathleen Lucadamo; Deputy Police Bureau Chief Bob Kappstatter; Reporters Jose Martinez, Mike Jaccarino and Barbara DiGiarmo as well as Scott Shifrel, who covered the Federal Courts. Also leaving the paper but not laid-off are Managing Editor Stuart Marques and Photo Editor Gretchen Viehmann, who resigned from their posts.

Alina Falcon makes a big switch leaving her role as President of News at Univision Network ( to become Vice President of News & Alternative Programming at Telemundo Network ( You can follow Telemundo on Twitter here: and on Facebook here:

Joining the other recently added programs on MSNBC such as “Up With Chris Hayes,” “NOW with Alex Wagner” debuted last month. On the show, Host Ms. Alex Wagner moderates a panel discussion. The panelists vary from show to show. The Executive Producer is Dana Haller. The show airs at noon and replaces “MSNBC Live.” Send story ideas to

News 12, Newsday and MSG Varsity are now combined under one umbrella. Cablevision, the owner of the three outlets, is combining both the news and sales staffs. Newly named VP Debby Krenek ( will be in charge of the news department. She has also been given the title of Editorial Director at Newsday while Debbie Henley ( takes over as Editor-in-Chief at the paper. In the sales department Publisher Fred Groser ( will now share his head of sales duties with David Kline. Kline is president and COO of Cablevision Media Sales.

After 30 years on-air, Regis Philbin, 80, said goodbye to viewers on Live! With Regis and Kelly. Although this marks the end of his days as Host on Live!, he plans on continuing his television career. Philbin hopes to host a primetime talent show and has formed a production company in hopes of creating a family competition show. Live! has yet to name a replacement for Philbin but potential candidates include Ryan Seacrest, Mario Lopez, Jeff Probst, Chris Harrison, Mark Consuelos, Chris Cuomo, Billy Bush, Neil Patrick Harris and Mike Rowe.

CNN – Cable News Network announces the death of its morning program and the birth of two new morning shows. After over ten years on the air, CNN has called it quits on “American Morning” and it will cease production sometime in January of 2012 . In replacement of the empty morning slot, CNN also makes the announcement that two new morning shows, whose names are yet to be titled, will air during the 5:00-7:00 a.m. time slot. Ashleigh Banfield ( and Zoraida Sambolin ( are going to anchor the morning shows. Soledad O’Brien, CNN’s Special Correspondent, will also anchor the 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. morning segment. Shannon High (, who has worked with NBC Television Network, is set to serve as Executive Producer for both morning programs. CNN has also launched a new program called “The Next List” hosted by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta ( The half-hour show, which is set to broadcast weekly on Sundays at 2:00 p.m., will feature guests from various industries. Jim McGinnis ( is set to serve as the show’s Executive Producer.

The Pittsburgh Press is back! The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has revived its deceased rival, The Pittsburgh Press, as an afternoon online edition available as a subscription to online readers. Breaking News Editor Tim McDonough ( will also be the Editor of this E-Edition. You can view a sample of it here:

The man who ran Engadget, Editor Joshua Topolsky (, returns to the technology field with an online site titled The Verge ( It covers the latest gadgets and high tech toys. Joshua has brought a lot of the Engadget staff on board for this venture including Managing Editor Nilay Patel ( The site provides breaking news coverage on all things tech, new products, reviews, social media and also features tech content from The Washington Post. The Verge tweets are here:

The launch of a new media company, MLive Media Group and Advanced Central Services Michigan has resulted in about 550 layoffs at Michigan-based Booth Newspapers and Here is the break down of employees let go for each newspaper in the Michigan area: The Grand Rapids Press released 146 employees; The Flint Journal 91; Kalamazoo Gazette 77; The Bay City Times 71; The Jackson Citizen Patriot 71: Booth Michigan 55; Valley Publishing 20; and The Saginaw News 12. There also were layoffs at The Muskegon Chronicle. The number of employees there was not disclosed. MLive Media Group will handle news and advertising, while Advance Central Services Michigan will handle production, distribution, and human resources. All employees that were part of the layoff are eligible to apply for new positions within the new media company.

Nexstar Broadcasting has terminated several people from WEHT-TV, the ABC affiliate in Evansville, Indiana. Nexstar arranged to acquire WEHT-TV from Gilmore Broadcasting in August. General Manager Doug Padgett and News Director Mark Glover are among those who were let go. Reporter and Weekend Sports Anchor Sean Clark-Weiss; Morning Co-Anchor Whitney Ray; Reporter Nick LaGrange; and Sports Director Mark McVicar will also be let go, as well as other producers, directors and editors. As the station merges operations with independent WTVW-TV, the newscasts will get a fresh look and new talent. WTVW-TV Evening Anchors Randy Moore and Julie Dolan will move to mornings on WEHT-TV and Meteorologist Ron Rhodes will join them.

Philadelphia Magazine ( has re-launched its old gossip page as a newly designed stand-alone website titled The Philly Post ( The site will offer news and opinion from its regular magazine staff along with outside contributors from the Philadelphia region. Janine White is the Editor ( and Victor Fiorillo ( is the main Reporter. The new site is designed to catch on with its younger readers and also keep its core group on top of everything in Philly.

The new Co-Host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” ( is Audie Cornish, She was previously hosting NPR’s “Weekend Edition” and will take the spot of Michele Norris who has taken temporary leave for a year. Audie joins longtime hosts Michele Block and Robert Siegel. ATC’s Twitter is:

Sorry to report Publisher Christopher Ma recently passed away from a heart attack at the age of 61. Christopher was not only a Publisher at the Express ( newspaper but also a Vice President at The Washington Post Company.

Two Denver Post employees, Religion Reporter Virginia Culver and Pulitzer Prize-winning Editorial Cartoonist Mike Keefe, have accepted the paper’s buyout offer. More staff is expected to take the buyout offer in the coming months.

The American Independent Network has merged all of its sites (The Minnesota Independent, The Iowa Independent, Michigan Messenger, New Mexico Independent) into one online outlet — The American Independent (

The Los Angeles Times is preparing to merge the design, news and web operations staff into one department after the first of the year. Layoffs are expected.

Real estate developer Douglas Manchester is the new owner of the San Diego Union-Tribune. It’s rumored that Manchester may have future plans to shut down the printing presses and go online only.

It is with great sadness that CNN announces the tragic death of longtime veteran anchor Stanley Wright Case. Fifty-nine year old Case had been hit in a head-on accident during a rainstorm in Birmingham when a truck collided with Case’s car. His wife remains in the hospital in critical condition. Case had served at the network since 1985 and served as the anchor for CNN Radio.

After two years on the air of the HLN network, “The Joy Behar Show” has announced that it will no longer continue production and it set to air its last show in mid- December of 2011. The show deputed on HLN with host Joy Behar back in September 2009. Behar will continue to serve as one of the hosts on “The View”.

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