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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - May 21, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 21 (download PDF version)

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MEDIA NEWS continued _____________


Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service on May 15 alleged that Rebekah Brooks, former News International CEO and editor of the News of the World, attempted to hide evidence from authorities investigating the hacking scandal that has rocked the U.K.

Brooks and husband Charles, who was also charged, said they “deplore this weak and unjust decision after the further unprecedented posturing of the CPS.” They were first told of the charges in January.

Alison Levitt, legal advisor to the CPS, announced the charges in the “interests of transparency and accountability.”

Brooks and an assistant are accused of removing seven boxes of material from the archives of NI. She is charged with husband, chauffeur and a security consultant with concealing documents and computers from detectives.

Earlier this month, Brooks, a mentee of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, testified about her close ties with British prime minister David Cameron.


Larry Kramer, former head of CBS Digital Media and founder of Dow Jones & Co.’s MarketWatch, is the new publisher/president of USA Today, the flagship of Gannett Co.

The 40-year media veteran currently is a consultant and adjunct professor of media management at the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.

Gracia Martore, CEO of Gannett, called Kramer a “distinguished journalist with a passion for the news business and has an entrepreneur’s drive to innovate and the business acumen needed to create value.”

Kramer, who is eager to “reinvigorate USA Today’s mission” takes charge of the multi-platforms of the brand including its sports/travel media groups and weekend offerings. He also will lead the search for an editorin-chief of USA Today, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in September.

Kramer worked as reporter/editor for more than 20 years at papers such as the Washington Post and San Francisco Examiner.

At CBS, he created “March Madness on Demand,” and established content relationships with Google, Apple, Amazon and Verizon.

Kramer founded DataSports, a hand-held sports info monitor company sold to Data Broadcasting Corp.


Bob Hall, who was publisher of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News when they were part of Knight-Ridder, has returned to the helm.

He takes over for Greg Osberg a month after the papers were purchased by a group of local investors.

Osberg will serve as a consultant on advertising sales and digital strategies on a short-term basis.

Hall, 67, is “known and respected throughout the industry as a first-class professional,” said a statement from Lewis Katz, a member of the new ownership team.


Susanne Reber, deputy managing editor of NPR’s first investigations team, is moving to the Center for Investigative Reporting as a senior coordinating editor in June.

She focuses on multiplatform projects and investigations for the 35-year-old Berkeley, Calif.-based journalism institution, which merged with the non-profit Bay Citizen this month. Her scope includes heading national and international investigative and enterprise reporting projects, and building CIR’s team of health and environment reporters.

At NPR, Reber led investigations as well as collaborations with CIR, ProPublica, PBS programs and other entities.

She previously built and led an investigative reporting program at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. from 2003-09.

CIR editorial director Mark Katches called Reber a “powerhouse in the investigative reporting community.”

CIR has 45 staffers.


HBO has partnered with VICE magazine for a weekly news magazine to be hosted by VICE founder Shane Smith.

Bill Maher, the comedian and HBO “Real Time” host, is an executive producer and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria is a consultant.

Michael Lombardo, president of HBO Programming, said VICE has emerged as a “premier new media brand through a savvy combination of irreverence, smarts and fearlessness.

He said the network is “excited to offer a forum for their groundbreaking style of news coverage and look forward to a show that’s like nothing else on TV.”

The program will be titled “VICE.”


The media relations staff of the Milwaukee Bucks won the Professional Basketball Writers Association’s annual award for the top PR department in the NBA.

The Bucks’ PR unit, led by PR director Dan Smyczek, won the Brian McIntyre Award, which goes to the league PR team that goes “above and beyond the call of duty” to work with the press and is named for the longtime NBA communications chief who is now an advisor to Commissioner David Stern.

Finalists for the PR honor were the PR staffs of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies.

Two awards are also given to a player and coach for strong ties with the press.

The basketball writers group gave the Magic Johnson Award to Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns, honoring the point guard for co-operation with media and fans, as well as on-the-court “excellence.” Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers won the Rudy Tomjanovich Award, a similar honor for a coach.

Smyczek, a 15-year veteran of the Bucks, was named PR director in 2007.

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