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Sports Illustrated Lays Off All Remaining Staff Photographers (FishbowlNY)
This is the kind of news the National Press Photographers Association wishes it never had to report. But Friday morning, the organization confirmed that the six remaining staff photographers at Sports Illustrated were laid off the day before. New York Post The surprise move, which comes just over a week before the Super Bowl, the premier sporting event in the U.S., is believed to be part of ongoing budget cuts at Time Inc. Poynter / MediaWire The company plans to provide visual coverage of events including the Olympics and the NCAA basketball championship, said Sports Illustrated director of photography Brad Smith. Sports Illustrated will now rely increasingly on submissions from contributing photographers, said Scott Novak, a spokesperson for the magazine. HuffPost The magazine has undergone layoffs in the past, including hits to its photography staff in 2012. The layoffs are reminiscent of events at the Chicago Sun-Times, which cut its entire photography staff due to an increasing demand for “multimedia”; some 20 to 30 photographers were dismissed in April 2013. Capital New York Two senior writers, some copy staffers and two editors at Sports Illustrated Kids also made an exit the same day. Some of these employees took buyouts, a Time Inc. spokesperson said, characterizing the layoffs as part of a reorganization to direct funds toward new enterprises. Sports Illustrated previously let 12 staffers go in February.

Michael Bloomberg Tried to Buy NYT (New York / Daily Intelligencer)
For years now, it has been speculated in media circles that Mike Bloomberg could be a white knight and save The New York Times. Now it appears he may actually have tried to do it. FishbowlNY New York reported that Bloomberg tried to buy the company, but Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger rebuffed him. As with any rumor of this size, both sides deny this happened. A Times spokesperson told New York that Sulzberger \»can’t remember the last time he spoke with Bloomberg.\» New York Post The former mayor — who founded financial news agency Bloomberg News in 1990 — reportedly told Sulzberger near the end of his tenure that he wanted to buy the struggling paper. Bloomberg’s longtime political adviser Kevin Sheekey is said to be the driving force behind a potential deal. Re/code The Times may not be for sale today, but that could change soon. The company’s executives, including CEO Mark Thompson, have done a deft job of managing costs and paying down debt, but they still had to lay off staff after its app strategy wasn’t quite working.

Joe Franklin, Local Talk Show Pioneer, Dies at 88 (NYT)
Joe Franklin, who became a New York institution by presiding over one of the most compellingly low-rent television programs in history, one that even he acknowledged was an oddly long-running parade of has-beens and yet-to-bes interrupted from time to time by surprisingly famous guests, died on Saturday in a hospice in Manhattan. FishbowlNY Franklin, a veteran of WJZ-TV, WOR-TV and most recently the Bloomberg Radio Network’s Bloomberg on The Weekend, was 88. The cause of death was cancer. THR Franklin, who often is credited with developing the standard TV talk show format, started out with the afternoon show Joe Franklin — Disk Jockey on the ABC local station in 1951 and did his last show, then airing on WOR after midnight, in 1993. Deadline He continued to work in radio until just last Tuesday. Franklin played himself in several features, including Manhattan, Ghostbusters, Twenty Ninth Street and Broadway Danny Rose. He also appeared regularly on The Late Show With David Letterman and other talk shows, all spiritual descendants of his original program. Variety He earned a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 1991. Most recently, Franklin had a celebrity interview show on Bloomberg Radio.

Theodore Ross Joins The New Republic as Features Director (FishbowlDC)
In a staff email Friday, editor-in-chief of The New Republic Gabriel Snyder announced Theodore Ross would be added to the newly created position of features director — reflecting the unification of digital and print within the editorial team. Poynter / MediaWire Ross will work with writers, designers and developers to shepherd in-depth stories appearing in print and online. Ross, a longtime editor at Harper’s, was most recently a freelance writer for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Vice and others. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Reporter Jessica Schulberg is leaving The New Republic for the Huffington Post, marking the sixth departure from the beleaguered magazine in the last two weeks.

As Last Paid Editors Depart, Modern Farmer’s Future in Doubt (NYT)
Modern Farmer, the quirky 100,000-circulation quarterly and website that tried to link effete urban farmers’ market culture with the practicalities of actual farming, became a magazine without an editorial staff on Friday, when its remaining paid editors walked out its doors. Mashable The magazine was lauded early on as a bastion of stylish execution of a niche topic, proof that magazines and print media could survive in the digital world when done well. Cara Parks, Modern Farmer’s executive editor, confirmed the news. “It just wasn’t a good fit,” Parks said, noting a clash of “ideas about the publication and what our strengths were.” Parks departed, along with a senior editor and an editorial fellow. A second editorial fellow is expected to leave this week. There are four other non-editorial staffers still working there. Poynter / MediaWire Founder and editor Ann Marie Gardner left the magazine in December. Adweek The quarterly magazine was targeted at readers who, despite not necessarily being farmers themselves, had developed an interest in food politics and agriculture. It was a critical hit right out of the gate, as well as the occasional subject of mockery. FishbowlNY Meanwhile, at the Twitter end, @ModFarm is re-tweeting wistful snippets from present and former contributors as well as fans.

Sony Animation Production President Steps Down (Variety)
Michelle Raimo Kouyate, production president of Sony Pictures Animation, is leaving the slot and taking a first-look producing deal with the studio. Her new deal will cover animation and live action at Sony. Deadline Prior to joining Sony Pictures Animation in 2010, she had been a production executive at DreamWorks Animation. She also held SVP production posts at Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. Studio officials wouldn’t say why she’s leaving.

Gina Sanders Adds Role at Condé Nast (FishbowlNY)
Gina Sanders, who was appointed president of global development for Condé Nast last September, is adding \»developing investment strategies\» to her role. WWD / Memo Pad The London-based Condé Nast International, which is run by Jonathan Newhouse, will fill Sanders’ role in the global development group. Before her appointment as global head of development in September, Sanders, who is related by marriage to the Newhouse family, served as president and chief executive officer of Fairchild Fashion Media, a position she held since 2010. Sanders moved back to Condé Nast following the sale of FFM to Penske Media Corp. in August.

Chuck Todd Scores Best Ratings Since Taking Over Meet The Press (TVNewser)
CBS’ Face The Nation was the top-rated public affairs program on Jan. 18, up 52 percent in total viewers and 62 percent in the key adult 25-54 demo, compared to the same day last year. Face The Nation beat runner-up Meet The Press by more than a million total viewers, posting its largest audience since an Emmy award-winning JFK episode in November 2013. TheWrap Chuck Todd drew his highest-rated show on Jan. 18, drawing 3.051 million total viewers and 927,000 25-54 demo viewers. It was the highest rating for Meet The Press in 10 months, dating back to David Gregory’s embattled last few months as moderator.

Tensions Rising Over White House Press Corps Access in India (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Tensions between Indian and White House officials over press access are heating up, as the White House Press Corps tries to preserve its ability to cover President Barack Obama on his trip to India. Reporters who wish to cover Obama attending the Republic Day parade will have to give up all electronics, wireless access and even bathroom breaks for upwards of eight hours.

CBS Sunday Morning Has Biggest Audience in 21 Years (TVNewser)
Just as the weekday CBS morning show sees momentum, the venerable CBS Sunday Morning With Charles Osgood, too, is seeing strong growth. On Jan. 18, the 90-minute program averaged 6.79 million viewers and a 1.6/08 in the adult 25-54 demo, its largest audience since Jan. 23, 1994.

Politico Pro Announces Promotions, Additions (FishbowlDC)
Politico Pro has announced a \»reorganization\» of Pro Technology, as well as five additions to its health care team. The news came in an email Friday morning from Politico Pro editor Marty Kady.

CNN Unveils Digital Short-Doc Series (THR)
As CNN finds ratings success with a news/documentary combination, the cable news network on Friday launched a digital short-film series by emerging and established documentary makers.

Longtime ESPN Exec John A. Walsh to Retire (Deadline)
John A. Walsh, a fixture at ESPN since 1988, will retire Feb. 1, sources there confirm. A veteran sports journalist, Walsh is chairman of ESPN’s editorial board and helped launched ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Radio.

Vice News Debuts ‘Virtual Reality News Broadcast’ of U.S. Millions March (The Guardian)
The current wave of interest in virtual reality technology may be fueled by games, but Vice News is hoping that VR can play a role in news broadcasting too. The online broadcaster has teamed up with digital artist Chris Milk and filmmaker Spike Jonze for a \»virtual reality news broadcast\» filmed at December’s Millions March protest rally in New York.

Republicans Call on FCC to Release Net Neutrality Proposal Before Vote (Variety)
House and Senate Republicans are asking the FCC to release chairman Tom Wheeler’s net neutrality proposal before it comes to a vote on Feb. 26.

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