Media Briefing for Tuesday, November 28, 2006

November 28th, 2006

The most viewed items on YouTube are not skateboarders crashing into walls, but clips of CBS shows. Media Daily News reports clips of David Letterman and other CBS shows are the most viewed.

YouTube is offering a new service: a channel with clips of its television shows and videos, to be provided by Verizon wireless. The Washington Post reports YouTube’s video service will be offered on cellphones. A $15 a month subscription will be required, reports the New York Times.

Former GE chairman Jack Welch and his group are unphased by their initial rejection in their attempt to buy the Boston Globe from the New York Times Co. The competing Boston Herald reports Welch and his group will aggressively pursue the Globe.

The Baltimore Sun and its parent Tribune Co. are also not ready to sell. The Washington Post says bids will not be accepted for the Sun at this point in time.

Bucking the George W. Bush administration, NBC television news is now describing the situation in Iraq as a civil war. The Boston Globe says Matt Lauer on the Today show described the war this morning as a civil war. NBC’s move is making waves, according to the Los Angeles Times.

On commercial television and radio, it seems the number of back-to-back ads can seem staggering sometimes. Now, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams will have one sponsor and just 3 ads. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on this throwback to the early days of TV when newscasts and shows often had just one sponsor.

Maryland’s courts are planning to webcast the court’s sessions so the general public may listen in. Associated Press reports Mryland’s court system hopefully will beup and running by Monday when a high profile gay marriage case begins.

In Toronto, Ontario, Canada a new device has been created to allow computer users to bypass government censorship. Restrictions on the internet originally began with crackdowns on erotica and have extended to political and news sites. The New York Times reports that with the device there will be no record on the computer that a site was ever visited.

Researchers are working on a translation device, which U.S. intelligence services and other agencies are pushing strongly for. The device has software that would translate Arabic or Chinese broadcasts into English, and then beyond that, offer summaries of the key points, according to Associated Press.

There was a time when podcasting was considered just something for a lunatic fringe of geeks. Now, it is even reaching into the graying baby boomer generation. The San Jose Mercury News reports one in eight baby boomers has downloaded a podcast.

Birds flying in the air are slamming into broadcast and communications towers. Millions of birds are being killed, according to the Baltimore Sun. During bad weather birds in migration sometimes mistake tower lights for stars they use to navigate, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In the wake of the Michael Richards incident last week in which his use of racial slurs was caught on videotape, activists are now seeking an end to the use of the ?n? word by everyone, including comics. The Los Angeles Times reports.

A study conducted by a unit in the Pew Research Center found that newspapers and TV stations are lagging in their use of the internet for breaking election night news. The Baltimore Sun says TV outlets and newspapers are aware of the great potential of the internet in the future, but are not utilizing its full power now.

The Washington TV news Web site today reports on a new PBS series next year, ?America at the Crossroads,” being launched by WETA channel 26 Washington. The site quotes as saying the new show will be hosted by Robert MacNeil.

A conservative columnist in the Boston Herald says the use of a transgender character in the ABC series ?All My Children? represents a major move to the left. Here is the Boston Herald story.