Beyond PR

Mar 02, 2011

Media Moves & News for March

PR Newswire’s audience research team makes thousands of updates daily to MEDIAtlas, our easy-to-use, all-online media database.   Following is a selection of noteworthy recent updates – plus key media moves on the horizon, and a synopsis of interesting media news.

TBD (which is short for “To Be Determined”) was the new kid on the Internet newsstand in Washington last year. It had solid backing from Albritton Communications Company (WJLA-TV) too. But it recently announced layoffs and the breakdown of most of its site’s offerings. TBD will now be a DC area arts and entertainment site only now with news feeds from outside sources. The news, sports and social media reporters were all let go. TBD was a site that was an interesting live media lab experiment. It was an attempt to be a financially successful local news site and after early promise and splash the cord was pulled by its owner Albritton. You can check out the A&E only version here:

Hit the Kill Switch! Who knew there was an off switch for the Internet? Egypt’s former leaders used it to cut the communication cord for the demonstrators. But luckily the power of the people prevailed in their overthrow. This “kill switch” is an interesting bit of news though and obviously can be used in different ways of course if a “Fearless Leader” so chooses. Check out The New York Times story.

MSNBC has replaced Keith Olbermann’s Countdown with The Last Word, a new program hosted by Lawrence O’Donnell. Meanwhile, Olbermann has announced plans to join Current TV as Chief News Officer and Host in late Spring. The move will help raise the profile of Current TV, a San Francisco-based cable and web outlet founded by Al Gore. A former sportscaster, Keith blogs about baseball at Follow Olbermann on Twitter at and O’Donnell at

After much speculation of unconfirmed rumors, CNN Cable News Network confirms that co-host Kathleen Parker splits from the four month show “Parker Spitzer”. Beginning early March, the show will adapt its new name titled “In the Arena” which will continue to feature Elliot Spitzer as its primary host and have an ensemble format with newsmakers, guests, and contributors joining Spitzer each night. Prior to CNN’s decision to drop Parker from the show, it was reported that ratings increased at a 68 percent jump in 25-24-year-old viewers in the month that Spitzer hosted the show on his own while his co-host was reportedly out sick. However, the network has also announced that its decision to drop Parker was mutual, stating that she has decided to refocus on her syndicated column and would occasionally continue to appear on CNN as a contributing guest. “We have decided to take the show in a new direction,” states CNN’s President Ken Jautz. Set to join “In the Arena” are two conservative contributing panelists former Fox News Channel host E.D. Hill and National Review Columnist Will Cain ( launched a Health & Wellness section that focuses on fitness nutrition, health, and the medical industry. Health Reporter Deborah Kotz also writes “The Daily Dose” blog in this new section. You can contact her at and you can access the new section here:

As the situation in Egypt deteriorates, many journalists are braving conditions to get the story out. Among them is Western New Yorker Brian Hartman. Hartman is a Producer for ABC News. He and his photographer were kidnapped by a group of men. Fortunately for the duo, the cameraman, Akram Abi-hanna, is Middle Eastern and was able to defuse the situation. Both men were let go unhurt.

Landmark Community Newspapers in Shelbyville, KY has just announced that its three locally owned newspapers, The Roane County Press, the La Follette Press, and the Morgan County News will soon make the switch to subscription-based internet content.  “A major portion of revenue for our news and information efforts each month is derived from subscription revenue…We feel as we improve our services to our readers that they should help pay for them, whether it’s in print our online.”, stated Johnny Teglas, publisher of the Roane County News. Customers are required to sign up for an online account or sign to receive delivery to be able access unlimited content of these publications.

There’s a new magazine in the city of Syracuse. It is called Syracuse Woman Magazine. The monthly magazine is aimed at professional woman in the Syracuse area. The Editor is Farah Jadran while the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief is Barbara McSpadden. Send any story ideas to or follow them on Twitter at

KCBS-TV reporter Serene Branson had what some thought was a stroke during a live broadcast after the Grammy awards. Ms. Branson has return to work after suffering a condition called a complex migraine which can mask the signs of a stroke.

KNBC-TV’s assistant news director, Keith Esparros was instrumental in having a stretch of freeway named for popular traffic reporter, Paul Johnson who passed away several months ago. A stretch of the 55 freeway in Orange County has been named the Paul Johnson Memorial Freeway.

WPRO-AM changed its lineup. A new morning show debuted hosted by Tara Granahan, who previously produced the morning show hosted by John DePetro, and Andrew Gobeil, former Weekend Anchor for WLNE-TV. John DePetro moved to the 9:00 a.m. – noon slot.

Tom Abate, who previously wrote about technology and biotechnology for the San Francisco Chronicle, has left that paper to head North Coast Journal, a Eureka, California-based weekly publication he helped found in 1990. Reach Tom at

Check out more media updates by region here:

About MEDIAtlas: Create, edit, save and distribute to media lists 24/7 with this easy-to-use web-based global media database and automated distribution system. Updated continuously, MEDIAtlas™ contains fully searchable contact details of hundreds of thousands of journalists and bloggers worldwide.  Tens of thousands of Pitching Tips from Bulldog Reporter help you learn exactly how and when to send your story for the greatest likelihood of pickup.

Authored by Kevin Frey, Senior Audience Researcher/Mid-Atlantic Region, Audience Research Group,  PR Newswire

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