10:31 am Jun. 7, 2012
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When I interviewed John Moody about a year and a half ago, he told me that being an executive at Fox News, a job he'd left a few years earlier, was "the best job I've ever had."
It should come as no surprise then that Moody is returning to Fox News as executive editor.
“John’s extensive experience in news for the past several decades both in television and in print remain unmatched in the industry," said Fox News chairman Roger Ailes in a news release issued late yesterday afternoon. "John helped us become the number one news network and I look forward to working closely with him again.”
As part of Moody's move back to Fox, the network is absorbing Newscore, the internal News Corp. wire service that Moody has been running since its inception in 2008.
Staffed by a few dozen journalists in New York, Sydney and London, Newscore distributes content made by News Corp. properties to the many far flung media outlets of Rupert Murdoch's global empire. It also churns out original, rewrite-style breaking news dispatches that are made available to all of the company's papers and TV stations.
“As our fiscal year comes to a close, I’ve determined that Newscore will operate more efficiently and effectively inside FOX News," said Ailes in a statement. "This move will strengthen our overall newsgathering capabilities and enable us to operate at an even higher level.”
The blog Inside Cable News wonders: "Will adding NewsCore to Fox News eventually make Fox News strong enough to not need the AP and was that also a factor in Ailes’ thinking?"
Ailes, after all, recently revealed that he's in the midst of negotiating a new deal with the A.P., which he admitted he no longer considers a "neutral news source." And it wasn't all that long ago that rival cable news network CNN, which also built out an internal wire service, terminated its A.P. membership.
CNN, of course, is a massive international newsgathering operation with many boots on the ground all over the world. Fox News, which rules in the ratings, is not, even if it has the potential to be.
"Given their profits, why not hire hundreds of reporters and turn foxnews.com into major source of journalism?" Gabe Sherman, who is working on a book about Fox News and Ailes, tweeted this morning. "Could become a global news destination. Could hire best reporters in the country, pay big salaries. Beat NYT, WSJ, WaPo."
Wishful thinking aside, it makes sense at the very least that Ailes would look to Newscore, which may not seem very palatable to outside clients, as a way for Fox News to beef up its breaking news potential.
When I profiled Newscore last year, Moody told me: "I have nothing against the Associated Press, but in a time when newspapers are right on the brink of extinction, editors and publishers realize that they're paying a lot of money for this service. We just think that there's an alternative."
A.P. senior vice president Sue Cross told me at the time: "A.P's breaking news drives enormous audience for many outlets. Content may be becoming ubiquitous, but for credible, authoritative breaking news coverage in real time, the situation is quite the opposite. Many outlets package or re-report news, but the supply of original, fast and accurate reporting has not increased, and we see demand for it that is higher than ever."
In other news...
Oliver North is mired in a plagiarism controversy. [The Washington Post]
The White House is disputing claims that it leaked stories to The New York Times to boost President Obama. [The Huffington Post]
Janet Robinson paid tribute to Anthony Shadid at Wheaton's commencement ceremony. [The Huffington Post]
The "strategic pivot" of Salon's C.E.O. shake-up. [Forbes/Mixed Media]
Another hire at Quartz. [Adweek]
New York mag is expanding The Cut. [The New York Observer]
CNBC's Darren Rovell got played by a teenager touting a fake escort service. [John Koblin/Deadspin]