9:33 am Jun. 26, 2012
The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.
News Corp. news
For a while this spring, pundits have been saying that it might be wise for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to spin off its newspaper business in the United Kingdom, which had been hit hard by the seemingly neverending government and police inquiries into phone-hacking, police bribery and other questionable practices. After all, the assets aren't nearly as profitable as the entertainment division of the company.
There have been reports that the News Corp. board wants a spin-off, too.
The storyline took on fuel in February when News Corp. chief operating officer Chase Carey told attendees at a conference in Florida that the company had considered such a move, and offered his opinion that it was a good idea. Speculation then turned to whether Murdoch would allow it.
(Carey walked it back a little in the company's most recent earnings call, when he said that News Corp. "has no plans" to spin off the U.K. newspapers.)
This morning, a spin-off looks a little closer to reality, with a flurry of reports that the company is in fact considering splitting off not just of the U.K. papers, but the entire News Corp. publishing portfolio, which also includes papers in the U.S. and Australia and the HarperCollins book-publishing unit.
As first reported by The Wall Street Journal (which itself would be subject to such a spin-off):
The split would carve off News Corp.'s film and television businesses, including 20th Century Fox film studio, Fox broadcast network and Fox News channel from its newspapers, book publishing assets and education businesses. News Corp.'s publishing assets include The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London and the Australian newspaper, as well as HarperCollins book publishing. If a separation occurs, the publishing company would be far smaller than the entertainment company.
A final decision on the split hasn't been made. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has previously opposed such a move, which has been discussed internally for several years, say people familiar with the situation. Mr. Murdoch has recently warmed to the idea, said one person familiar with the situation.
Meanwhile, close watchers of News Corp. seem to be seeing this as a sign of a possible general overhaul of the company:
As News Corp mulls split, another Q hanging over company: Roger Ailes, who runs a $14 billion asset. He hasn't signed a new contract yet— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) June 26, 2012
UPDATE: News Corp. just sent out a press release that reads: "News Corporation confirmed today that it is considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies."
Aaron Sorkin's new HBO drama, "The Newsroom," deubted Sunday night to pretty rotten reviews from critics. But viewers are what really matters. So for Sorkin, the show's inaugural Nielsen results must have felt like a ray of sunshine on an otherwise dark and rainy day.
The New York Times' Bill Carter reports:
HBO generated a huge amount of talk — positive and negative — about its new Aaron Sorkin drama, “The Newsroom,” and it managed some better-than-average audience totals for its premiere Sunday night.
The drama, about a fictional cable newscast, pulled in 2.1 million viewers for its 10 p.m. debut, a figure that put it toward the high end of recent drama premieres on the network — and much better than comedy premieres.
Some reviews have suggested that "The Newsroom" only goes downhill after episode one. The question is whether viewers will stick around to decide for themselves.
In other news...
John Cook has more from Anthony Shadid's cousin regarding the late New York Times reporter's fatal Syria assignment: "Did he want to go at that time? Did he feel like he had the logistical support necessary? The answer is no." [Gawker]
TMZ is reporting that Ann Curry will be bounced from "Today" as early as next week. [TMZ]
Is "Today" executive producer Tony Bell eclipsing NBC News president Steve Capus? [Mediaite]
White House staffers have been warned not to delete emails that may be relevant to the leak investigation. [BuzzFeed]
Frank DiGiacamo is leaving the Daily News for Movieline. [W.W.D.]
Artnet magazine is ceasing publication. [Gallerist NY]
Journalism and porn: Birds of a feather. [The Atlantic]
The magazine being produced by a handful of fired GOOD staffers raised $15,000 in five hours. [Poynter]
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