media deathwatch

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The L.A. Times and other media outlets are giving ads more prominent placement, and sometimes even disguising them as stories! More on the ongoing media meltdown in our daily wrap-up, which is lovingly sponsored, as always, by your mom.

True/Slant, a new news website by a former AOL exec, has launched with an interesting ad platform: &ldquo[T]he site plans to offer advertisers their own entire pages where they can run blogs and try to attract a network of followers. These will have the same design and features of the journalists’ pages, but will be labeled as ad content.” [WSJ via FishbowlNY/Mediabistro]

• One-upping that concept: today, the L.A. Times ran a front-page ad for NBC’s Southland, inexplicably void of a Benjamin McKenzie photo, in the format of a front-page news story. [Variety via Gawker]

• For the first time in its history, the Columbia University School of Journalism will host a blogger as its graduation speaker: Talking Points Memo founder Joshua Micah Marshall will be leading the ceremony’s annual Henry Pringle lecture. [Mixed Media/Portfolio]

• The New York Times Company siege on the Boston Globe continues. Cutbacks “could include pay cuts of up to 20 percent, the elimination of seniority rules and lifetime job guarantees, and millions of dollars in cuts to retirement and healthcare plans.” Unsurprisingly, people are less than pleased. “We’re willing to consider some concessions but not the draconian amount they put forth,” said Daniel Totten, the union’s president. [, Mediabistro]

• Another creative and arguably unethical (or just weird) money-making idea: The Daily Bruin, UCLA’s student newspaper, came wrapped in a full, front-page advertorial closely resembling the actual front page of the paper. The paper’s editors said, “many of us volunteered to forfeit our pay in order to ensure that the ad would not run, but because some of our staff members could not afford to use their paychecks to make a statement, we have been forced to go along quietly.” [College Media Innovation via Gawker]

• The Associated Press doesn’t get mad — it gets even. The wire service plans to build its own online aggregator of local and national news to compete with Google. Participating news sources would share the site’s revenue. [Business Week]

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