In your fall-like Friday media column: Harbinger is getting the hell away from the NYT, Tom Shales is leaving the Washingt Post, News Corp's "digital newsstand" didn't work out, and Peter Chernin might get a great new job.
- Harbinger Capital, the hedge fund that owned a fifth of the New York Times Co. not long ago, just sold another 3 million of its shares, cutting its stake down to less than 8% of the company. And hey, NYT shares make great Christmas presents, so if you need some, you know, Harbinger can hook you up, it's never too early to start holiday shopping. Great stocking stuffers, great for cleaning up spills around the kitchen!
- We won't have WaPo TV critic Tom Shales to kick around for being occasionally xenophobic and disturbing any more: He's taking a buyout and leaving the paper. Good luck to you in your future endeavors, sir.
- News Corp had had big hopes for its plan to launch a "digital newsstand" that would sell readers a package of publications they could read online. But now the company is putting the initiative on hold, apparently after having trouble rounding up cooperation. For example: "One publisher described the pitch as 'lame.'"
- Who will be the lucky chap who gets to take over the epically fucked Tribune Co.? The WSJ says former News Corp exec Peter Chernin is being considered as a candidate to head the company's board. But not as CEO; that job is reserved for Chicago's own Bozo the Clown.