May 12, 2015

Good morning. Here are nine media stories.

  1. The sale is for $4.4 billion

    Verizon announced Tuesday it will purchase AOL, the owner of news sites including The Huffington Post and TechCrunch. The deal is expected to go through by the end of summer. (Bloomberg) | In an internal memo, CEO Tim Armstrong — who will remain with the company — said the acquisition will position AOL for future growth. “Just as AOL has propelled The Huffington Post,, TechCrunch, and other companies we have acquired, Verizon will propel AOL and comes to the table with over 100 million mobile consumers, content deals with the likes of the NFL, and a meaningful strategy in mobile video.” (TechCrunch) | “AOL’s stock was up more than 18 percent after the announcement. Verizon’s stock was down about 1 percent.” (CNBC) | Previously: Verizon launched Sugarstring, a tech news site that folded about a month into existence. “The technology-focused news site ran afoul with critics almost immediately after its launch in late October for reportedly prohibiting its contracted authors from writing about topics like domestic surveillance or net neutrality.” (The Verge)

  2. Seymour Hersh bombshell comes under scrutiny

    A story by legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh that accuses the Obama administration of misleading the world about the details surrounding a predawn raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden has drawn serious pushback from the White House and others. “‘There are too many inaccuracies and baseless assertions in this piece to fact check each one,’ White House National Security spokesman Ned Price said in a statement to reporters.” (CNN) | NBC News on Monday published a story that bears out one of the claims in Hersh’s story: that a Pakistani “walk in” told the CIA where bin Laden was hiding. (NBC News) | The New Yorker, where Hersh is a contributor, passed on the article. “‘I said, ‘I don’t want to do a blog.’ It’s about money.'” (New York) | Hersh’s story has also drawn an allegation of plagiarism from a blogger, R.J. Hillhouse. (Politico)

  3. Ex-CIA officer gets three years for leak

    Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA officer, was sentenced to three years for providing sensitive information to a reporter from The New York Times. “Mr. Sterling was convicted in January of disclosing the operation to James Risen, a reporter for The Times, who had revealed it in his 2006 book, ‘State of War.’ Mr. Risen described it as a botched mission that may have inadvertently advanced Iran’s nuclear program.” (The New York Times) | “The sentence, while one of the longest for a leaker in the Obama era, was far lower than some people had expected.” (The Intercept)

  4. New details of Facebook’s deal with publishers

    A forthcoming partnership between social networking giant Facebook and news organizations like The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic involve a revenue split if Facebook sells the ads, Lukas Alpert reports: “So far, the economics Facebook is offering sound compelling: publishers that sell ads against an article posted on the site can keep 100% of the money, or they can keep 70% of the revenue if Facebook sells the ad, people familiar with the matter have said.” (The Wall Street Journal)

  5. Former CIA bosses bash the NYT

    Twenty former directors and deputy directors of the CIA sent a letter to The New York Times, published Monday, faulting the paper for its decision to print the names of undercover agents involved in the agency’s drone program. “Nothing is gained by ‘outing’ career operations officers, who carry out such policies. They operate in the shadows, not because they want to; indeed, a life under cover can be enormously burdensome to family and loved ones.” (The New York Times) | New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet justified his decision to run the names in an interview with Lawfare blogger Jack Goldsmith. “I think this is largely a military operation. Since September 11, the CIA has started to play a little bit of a different role. And I think the drone program represents that in part. It’s a military operation.” (Lawfare) | Here’s the Times story. (The New York Times)

  6. NBC News chairman addresses Brian Williams decision

    A decision on the fate of suspended “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams is coming soon, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said Monday. “‘He said the end is in sight,’ recounted an attendee of the closed-door meeting at Manhattan’s AXA Equitable skyscraper, a couple of blocks from Radio City Music Hall, where network executives had just unveiled its prime-time offerings for next fall and the 2016 mid-season.” (The Daily Beast) | Williams was suspended earlier this year after making false claims about his overseas reportage. (USA Today)

  7. Senate calls on Iran to free Jason Rezaian

    Ninety senators voted Monday for a resolution calling on Iran to release three imprisoned Americans, including Washington Post Tehran Bureau Chief Jason Rezaian. (The Associated Press) | Rezaian has been held since July and currently faces espionage charges. (The Washington Post) | His access to his lawyer has been curtailed. (The Washington Post) | Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron: “The grave charges against Jason that Iran has now disclosed could not be more ludicrous.” (The Washington Post)

  8. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    The Poughkeepsie Journal devotes the front page to a remembrance of Timothy Gunther, a firefighter who died after pulling a man from a burning home.
    (Courtesy the Newseum)

  9. Job moves, edited by Benjamin MullinJustin Carissimo is now a U.S. reporter at the Independent. Previously, he was a contributing editor at (Email) | David Mastio will be deputy editorial page editor at USA Today. Previously, he was forum editor there. (Email) | Mark Luckie is leaving Twitter. He is manager of journalism and news at Twitter. (Poynter) | Emily Rauhala will be China correspondent for The Washington Post. She is a Beijing correspondent for Time. (The Washington Post) | Tracy Clark-Flory will cover gender, relationships and sex at Vocativ. She’s a staff writer at Salon. Gerald Rich will be an interactive producer at Vocativ. He is an interactive reporter at The Marshall Project. Ryan Beckler will be a growth editor at Vocativ. He was a social media manager at the New York Daily News. Katka Lapelosova will be a growth editor at Vocativ. She is director of social media and managing editor at Matador Network. Jennings Brown join Vocativ’s news and justice team. He is an associate editor at Esquire. Sarah Lynch will be a news editor in Vocativ’s Tel Aviv bureau. She is a contributor to USA Today. (Poynter) | Job of the day: The Cape Cod Times is looking for a digital producer. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves:

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
Benjamin Mullin

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