This week’s Mediatwits podcast includes a former Obama “regulatory czar,” a cornered Fox, a Tumblr of layoffs, and a ray of hope for — yes! — newspapers. Special guest Cass Sunstein was the former head of OIRA for Obama, helping to set, slim down and remove various rules at agencies. He’ll be talking about his new book, “Simpler,” where he describes the process of making government work without cutting it to the bone. Our roundtable includes host Mark Glaser, Guardian’s Ana Marie Cox, Seattle Times’ Monica Guzman and USC’s Andrew Lih. News Corp. execs are threatening to pull the Fox network off the airwaves because upstart Aereo (backed by Barry Diller) has been winning court cases and lets people watch broadcast shows on demand without having cable. Plus, Tumblr eliminated its editorial staff of four, and the Newspaper Association of America cleaned out newspapers’ couches and found $5.5 billion in change lying around! Who knew?

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Mediatwits Bios

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Ana Marie Cox is a senior political columnist for The Guardian. She is the founding editor of the Wonkette blog and has covered politics and the culture of Washington, DC for outlets including the Washington Post, Playboy, GQ, Mother Jones and Elle. She is the author of the novel Dog Days and lives in St. Paul, Minn. Follower her on Twitter @anamariecox.

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Mónica Guzmán is a columnist for the Seattle Times and Northwest tech news site GeekWire and a community strategist for startups and media. She emcees Ignite Seattle, a grab-bag community fueled speaker series. Mónica was a reporter at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and, its online-only successor, where she ran the experimental and award-winning Big Blog and drew a community of readers with online conversation and weekly meetups. Follow her on Twitter @moniguzman


Andrew Lih is a new media journalist, and associate professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism where he directs the new media program. He is the author of “The Wikipedia Revolution” (Hyperion 2009, Aurum UK 2009) and is a noted expert on online collaboration and journalism. He is a veteran of AT&T Bell Laboratories and in 1994 created the first online city guide for New York City ( Follow him on Twitter @fuzheado and buy his book here.

Special Guest

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Cass Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard University and Harvard Law School and the Director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy. From 2009 to 2012, he served as Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Obama Administration. Sunstein has authored or co-authored hundreds of academic articles and many books including
the bestseller “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness” (with Richard Thaler) and “ 2.0.” He is a columnist for Bloomberg View. You can follow him on Twitter @CassSunstein. (Photo of Cass by Richard Farnsworth.)

More Reading

1. Fox threatens to pull channel from airwaves over Aereo

News Corp threatens to take Fox off the air if Aereo service is allowed to operate (Guardian)

Fox, Univision Threaten to Move to Cable Over Aereo’s Tiny TV Antennas (Marketplace)

Nuclear Option: Would Fox Really Leave the Free Airwaves to Undercut Aereo? (The Verge)

Aereo presents challenge to broadcasters (NBC Nightly News)

2. Cass Sunstein and making government “Simpler”

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An Excerpt from Cass Sunstein’s ‘Simpler’: The Future of Government (MSNBC)

Sunstein’s Simple World: It’s Complicated (

Cass Sunstein to Leave Top Regulatory Post (NY Times)

Make Government Simpler, Not Smaller (Marketplace) Is the Net Polarizing U.S. Political Dialogue? (OJR)

3. Tumblr fires edit staff, Facebook managing editor quits

Tumblr Axes Editorial Team Behind Storyboard (The Next Web)

Tumblr Abruptly Closes Down Its Storyboard Project (PaidContent)

Orphaned Tumblr Storyboard Posts Find New Home on Mashable (Mashable)

Facebook Managing Editor Steps Down, Says Site ‘Doesn’t Need Reporters’ (MediaShift)

4. Newspaper revenues not dropping as quickly

Newspaper Revenues: Good News, Bad News (CJR)

US newspapers see more money from circulation as advertising revenue falls (Guardian)

Deeper Data Dive Finds $5.5 Billion in Uncounted Newspaper Industry Revenue (Poynter)


Be sure to vote in our weekly poll, this time about newspapers:

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian and fiancee Renee. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+