MediaFile

Tech wrap: RIM co-CEOs seen losing chairman role

RIM is close to a decision on stripping its co-chief executives of their other shared role as chairman of the board, The National Post newspaper said, a change that could meet a key demand from angry and disillusioned investors. The Post’s sources said Barbara Stymiest, currently an independent member of RIM’s board, is leading the race to replace Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie in the chairmanship. RIM shares jumped more than 7 percent on the news. But some analysts doubted Stymiest, if named to the chairmanship, would actually assume the transformational role that activist shareholders are calling for.

Groupon shares closed the day down 6.6 percent after a Susquehanna Financial Group – Yipit survey of almost 400 merchants found that while 8 out of 10 merchants enjoyed working with daily deal companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial, 52 percent were not planning to feature deals in the next six months and nearly 24 percent intended to feature only one deal during the same period.

Apple is planning an event to be held in New York later this month that will focus on publishing and eBooks, AllThingsD and Techcrunch reported. The event will unveil improvements to Apple’s iBooks platform, Techcrunch wrote.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch rung in the New Year with a new Twitter account, tweeting praise for Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, a socially conservative former senator who has risen sharply in the polls, describing him as the “only candidate with genuine big vision” for the country. Also via Twitter, Murdoch called President Obama’s decision on the detention of terrorism suspects “very courageous – and dead right!”. On Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, Murdoch tweeted: “Interesting but unfair, family must hate.”

Live Coverage: News Corp phone hack scandal

This liveblog has expired, updates past 10am on July 20th, 2011 can be found here.

Reuters.com is liveblogging House of Commons debate

Factbox on today’s committee hearings: uk.reuters.com

Timeline of events in the hacking scandal so far: uk.reuters.com
Who’s who in the hacking scandal: uk.reuters.com

Hearing highlights: uk.reuters.com
Analysts views: uk.reuters.com

July 20, 2011

Latest (10am ET)

Liveblogging the House of Commons debate : Reuters

Special report - Murdoch affair spotlights UK’s dirty detectives : Reuters

Rupert Murdoch’s global empire

A scandal rocking Rupert Murdoch’s media empire deepened on Thursday with claims his best-selling News of the World paper hacked the phones of relatives of British soldiers killed in action. The latest allegations prompted News Corp to shut down the 168-year-old tabloid. Here’s a look at the rest of the empire.

Thursday media highlights

Here are some of the day’s top stories in the media industry:

New York Times Asks Subscribers: Is It Wrong to Charge for Online Content? (Poynter)
Bill Mitchell writes: “The New York Times is testing a price point of $5 a month for access to nytimes.com, with a 50 percent discount for print subscribers. The Times e-mailed a survey to print subscribers Thursday afternoon inviting their reaction to that pricing plan and asking a range of questions about online pricing.”

Murdoch papers paid £1m to gag phone-hacking victims (Guardian)
“The payments secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public figures to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data, including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills,” writes Nick Davies.
UK police won’t reopen Murdoch paper phonetap case (Reuters)

A is for abattoir; Z is for ZULU: All in the Handbook of Journalism (Reuters)
Dean Wright writes: “The handbook is the guidance Reuters journalists live by — and we’re proud of it. Until now, it hasn’t been freely available to the public. In the early 1990s, a printed handbook was published and in 2006 the Reuters Foundation published a relatively short PDF online that gave some basic guidance to reporters. But it’s only now that we’re putting the full handbook online.”

How bad is local advertising? Ask Fox

We’re guessing Rupert Murdoch isn’t smiling quite so much right now. Not after News Corp reported a larger-than-expected drop in quarterly profit and cut its full year outlook.

The problem? In case you haven’t heard, advertising, particularly at the local level, is in terrible shape. Any company with local TV stations — and News Corp is one of them — is hurting right now.

Indeed,  Fox Television Stations’ first-quarter operating income fell 48 percent from the same period last year. Overall, News Corp profit fell 30 percent.