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Media Watch: Justin Timberlake Tackles Myspace, Kindle's Lending Library, News Corp. Profit Dip

by Maggie Lange
November 3, 2011 4:37 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

Life imitates art: musician/actor Justin Timberlake, who played a media mogul in Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network, is set to revive the hulking mess of MySpace. He purchased an ownership share in the social media site in June of 2011 and just recently acquired an office and a staff of six to help him with the revamp. Timberlake wants to turn the website into a hub for musicians, entertainers, and fans to explore new content and connect over their favorite music.

- Amazon is launching Kindle Owners' Lending Library for Amazon Prime members, who can rent one digital book per month, with no due date. The library offers over 5,000 titles, including 100 New York Times best-sellers, reports Mediabistro's Galley Cat, from Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games trilogy to Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants.

- Even with advertising gains on its broadcast and cable channels, News Corp.’s profits fell from $775 million to $738 million because of recently instituted special charges, reports B & C. News Corp. reports that without these charges, which include a restructuring charge for its UK newspapers, the net profits would have increased from last year. This fall in profits shows that the U.K. newspapers are still feeling repercussions from the phone-hacking scandal.

- A new set of layoffs at the L.A. Times may downsize about a dozen employees when the news operations, design, and Web operations departments are merged, reports LA Observed.

- Columbia Journalism Review names Cyndi Stivers as their new editor-in-chief. Previously, Stivers served as the managing editor of EW.com, the hugely popular website for Entertainment Weekly, was founding president of Time Out New York, and was on the team that launched late lamented movie magazine Premiere.

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