• YAHOO WILL BUY TUMBLR “Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business,” a Yahoo announcement this morning says. The acquisition cost Yahoo $1.1 billion, “substantially all of which is payable in cash.”
— marissamayer (@marissamayer) May 20, 2013
“We’re not turning purple. Our headquarters isn’t moving. Our team isn’t changing,” Tumblr founder David Karp writes to staff. He signs the note “Fuck yeah, David.”
- Why it won’t work: Tumblr’s style of advertising doesn’t make as much as display, and other reasons from Peter Cohan.
- Why it may work: Tumblr’s audience is young and uses mobile a lot, which squares with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s strategy for the company, Dan Farber writes.
- “If Tumblr goes to Yahoo, I will seriously consider moving my personal blog to Medium, if that’s possible,” TechCrunch Co-Editor Alexia Tsotsis says. This Tumblr may remain, though.
- Alexis C. Madrigal charts “The Race for Second Place”: Facebook is “five times larger than” Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and “about twice as big as all of them combined.”
- “Sad but true: there’s a long history of Yahoo making companies it buys uncool, rather than acquisitions making Yahoo cool.”
• ANOTHER LEAK INVESTIGATION TARGETED A REPORTER: During a probe of contacts between State Department arms expert Stephen Jin-Woo Kim and Fox News reporter James Rosen, Justice Department officials “used security badge access records to track the reporter’s comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit,” Ann Marimow reports. “They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporter’s personal e-mails.”
Documents Marimow obtained “raise the question of how often journalists have been investigated as closely as Rosen was in 2010,” she writes.
• COMPLICATED BENGHAZI TALKING POINTS STORY GETS MORE COMPLICATED: In a draft, CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson said she’d obtained a characterization of government emails about last year’s Benghazi attack from “handwritten notes” made by Congressional committees that had seen them before the White House released the emails last week. “Therefore, parts of the quoted emails may be paraphrased,” Attkisson wrote in advance of her May 10 report, Noah Rothman reports. That note didn’t run with the story.
“It is unclear why the fact that Attkisson had disclosed that the quotes were from handwritten notes and could be paraphrases was not included in the edited CBSNews.com piece and not made clearer in the subsequent CBS Evening News report,” Rothman writes.
ABC News’ Jon Karl published a story on the morning of May 10, also based on a source’s description of the emails. His story now bears a gruesome editor’s note:
Editor’s Note: There were differences between ABC News’ original reporting on an email by Ben Rhodes, below, and the actual wording of that email which have now been corrected. ABC News should have been more precise in its sourcing of those quotes, attributing them to handwritten copies of the emails taken by a Congressional source. We regret that error. The remainder of the report stands as accurate.
Jay Rosen says Karl “got played” and asks: “If a reporter for your network tells the public he has ‘exclusively’ obtained evidence he has not in fact obtained, causing other reporters for the network to repeat that untruth, and part of his report turns out to be wrong, in a way that a.) is politically consequential and b.) would have been avoided if the evidence was actually in the reporter’s possession… what is the proper penalty?”