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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Dec. 03, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 48 (download PDF version)

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MEDIA NEWS ____________________


News Corp. announced the shutdown of its much-ballyhooed The Daily iPad app on December 15, 2012 due to lack of reader interest, according to a statement from CEO Rupert Murdoch.

“The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation. Unfortunately, our experience was that we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term,” said Murdoch in a release that mostly provided details of the corporate split-up between the company’s newspaper and TV/movie assets.

The Daily technology and some staff are to be folded into the New York Post. Jesse Angelo, founding editor in-chief of The Daily and executive editor of the Post, has been hiked to publisher of the Post, succeeding Paul Carlucci, who will focus on his duties as News America chairman.

Greg Clayman, who was publisher The Daily, is now in charge of global digital strategy, investments and distribution partnerships.

As expected, Robert Thomson, Dow Jones editor-inchief and Wall Street Journal managing editor, will helm the new publishing group composed of the WSJ, Times of London, New York Post, Australian newspapers and HarperCollins. The new unit gets the News Corp. name when it comes to life on Jan. 1.

Gerard Baker, deputy editor-in-chief of the WSJ, assumes Thomson’s titles. He was U.S. editor and an assistant editor of the Times of London. Before joining the Times, he was Tokyo correspondent and Washington bureau chief for the Financial Times.

Murdoch will serve as chairman of the new News Corp. and chairman/CEO of newly minted Fox Group.


Jeff Zucker, the 25-year NBC veteran, has been named president of CNN Worldwide, succeeding Jim Walton effective in January. He will report to Phil Kent, CEO of CNN parent, Turner Broadcasting.


Beginning as a researcher for NBC Sports’ 1988 Olympics coverage, Zucker rose to president of NBC Entertainment and then chief of NBC Entertainment, News & Cable and CEO of NBC Universal Television Group. Currently, he is executive producer of Katie Couric's syndicated daytime program.

At CNN, Tucker will oversee CNN/U.S., CNN International, and HLN, which reach a combined 2B people in 200 countries.

Kent said in a statement that Zucker’s “experience as a news executive is unmatched for its breadth and success. He built and sustained the number-one brand in


morning news, and under his watch NBC’s signature news programming set a standard for quality and professionalism.

“I couldn't be happier to welcome him or more excited about what he'll accomplish here.”


Wade Davis, executive VP-strategy and corporate development at Viacom Inc., has been promoted to chief financial officer. He succeeds Jimmy Barge, who will depart after a transition period.

Davis, 40, is in charge of accounting/financial reporting, planning, tax and treasury operations, while continuing his strategy/development duties.

He joined Viacom in 2005 as senior VP/mergers and acquisitions. Davis was involved in Viacom’s acquisition of Dreamworks SKG, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Atom Shockwave. He managed corporate relationships with Microsoft and Unilever and negotiation of Manhattan leases for Viacom.

Earlier, Davis worked at Wasserstein Perella & Co and Lazard Freres & Co.


Ben Feller is leaving the Associated Press’ Washington, D.C., bureau to explore opportunities in New York, including posts in the wire service’s Big Apple headquarters.

He's moving as his wife, Elizabeth, who has a new editor job at the New York Times.

Feller with Obama (Photo: White House Correspondents Assn.)

Sally Buzbee, AP's bureau chief in D.C, wrote a memo to staffers to say Feller “will be missed personally and professionally by his colleagues in Washington.”

Feller joined the AP in 2003 as national education writer. Earlier, he was with the Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.), News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.) and Tampa Tribune.

He began covering the White House in 2006 and was named chief correspondent in 2010.


Todd Lassa has joined Automobile Magazine as executive editor, and Michael Jordan has taken the senior editor slot at the Source Interlink Media publication.

For the past dozen years, Lassa worked as Detroit editor for Motor Trend, sister publication of Automobile.

He covered trends, wrote car reviews, penned op-eds and blogged as Motor City Blogman. Based at the magazine’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich., Lassa reports to deputy editor Joe DeMatio.

Jordan signed up for a second tour at Automobile. He started at Car and Driver, shifted to CycleGuide and then returned to C&D. Jordan was named Automobile’s west coast editor in 1986 and departed to for the executive editor slot in 2007.

Jordan is based in Los Angeles.

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