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Your Media Morning: Wenner Media Shopping Us Weekly? Huffpost Lays off 20, Popular Science Gets a Makeover, Facebook Adds Audio Streaming

POPULAR SCIENCE IS 144 YEARS OLD AND GOT A HIP NEW MAKEOVER UNDER NEW EDITOR IN CHIEF JOE BROWN
The January/February issue, which hits newsstands today, is the first under Brown’s leadership. A veteran in the tech and science journalism space, Brown began his career at Popular Science as an assistant editor before going on to editorial positions at Wired and overseeing Gizmodo. When Brown took over at Pop Sci, he had a mandate to update the brand. “I was really thinking about the place of the magazine in American media right now.

FACEBOOK ADDS LIVE AUDIO STREAMING TO APP
After throwing its weight behind live video, Facebook is now expanding to real-time audio streaming: The company added the ability to listen to live audio broadcasts to its iOS and Android apps this week, and is now testing the format with a group of select publishers including the BBC World Service and Harper Collins.

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST LOOKS TO THE KARDASHIANS FOR A LATE YEAR TRAFFIC BUMP
he Condé Nast-owned glossy released a video in which the Kardashian matriarch, Kris Jenner, opened her home to show off her holiday decorations designed by her friend, celebrity florist Jeff Leatham. His design concept included a trove of life-sized nutcracker statues, an enormous Christmas tree festooned with white lights, oversized striped candy ornaments and lollipops. A large, shiny red polar bear sculpture from Paris completes the look. The candy-themed motif caused Jenner to dub her foyer: “Kandyland Wonderland.”

HUFFINGTON POST LAYS OFF 20 EMPLOYEES AFTER SHUTTING DOWN 'RISE' VERTICAL
Only days before Christmas, AOL is shutting down the Huffington Post’s Rise site and laying off about 20 people who had produced its videos, Media Ink has learned. Some see it as the first of several underperforming sites to be closed in the days ahead as new HuffPo CEO Lydia Polgreen — recently poached from the New York Times — gets ready to take command early in 2017.

JANE PRATT'S LAST DAY AT TIME INC WILL BE DECEMBER 31
Jane Pratt will exit Time Inc. on Dec. 31 when her contract to run websites xoJane and xoVain expires. Pratt felt that the sites were not getting the support from Time that they needed, sources said.

AXIOS LANDS ANOTHER REPORTER FROM FORTUNE
Kia Kokalitcheva, a tech reporter for Fortune, has been hired by startup news site Axios to cover tech and tech deals. She joins Dan Primack, who left Fortune earlier this year to help Axios, which is being started by the Politico co-founders, get off the ground.

TWITTER LOSES ITS CTO
Twitter just lost another senior executive: The company’s longtime CTO Adam Messinger announced Tuesday that he is leaving the company. Messinger had been with Twitter since 2011, and filling the CTO role since early 2013.  He had been in charge of product, engineering and design at Twitter —  duties that will now be delegated tohead of product Ed Ho, according to Recode.

DISNEY CHANGES LEADERSHIP OF MAKER STUDIOS
The top executive at Maker Studios is stepping down to take on a new role at the company as Disney shifts the property to a different area within its consumer products and interactive media (DCPI) division, Variety has learned exclusively. Maker, which was moved under DCPI last year, will now be overseen by Andrew Sugerman, who is EVP of the division’s Content & Media area. Courtney Holt, outgoing head of the company, issued an internal memo in which he laid out the rationale for the shift.

TRIBUNE MEDIA IS SELLING GRACENOTE, ITS DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT AND DATA BUSINESS FOR $560 MILLION
Tribune Media Co. has agreed to sell Gracenote, its digital entertainment and data business, to Nielsen Co. for $560 million. Emeryville, Calif.-based Gracenote provides video, music and sports databases to power TV program guides, music search engines and other digital entertainment platforms. Tribune Media acquired Gracenote from Sony of America for $170 million in February 2014. The growing entertainment data company started out by providing information on music tracks for Apple's iTunes.

IS GOOGLE RUNNING AN INTERNAL SPYING PROGRAM
A Google product manager is suing the company over its internal confidentiality policies, saying they breach California labor laws. Among other things, the lawsuit alleges Google runs an internal “spying program” which relies on employees voluntarily reporting other employees who might have leaked information.

SPOTIFY IS DITCHING MIDTOWN MANHATTAN
While Midtown South remains a mecca for media and digitally driven companies, some firms are looking elsewhere — perhaps due to asking rents that have soared into the $80s per square foot and overtaken pricing prime areas in Midtown. The biggest possible exit from Midtown South would be Spotify. 

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Your Media Morning: Wenner Media Shopping Us Weekly? Huffpost Lays off 20, Popular Science Gets a Makeover, Facebook Adds Audio Streaming Reviewed by Editor on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 Rating: 5
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