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Media Roundup: Baltimore Sun Announces Layoffs, Disney Officially Joins Hulu and More

Baltimore Sun announces layoffs, hints toward online-only future -- The Baltimore Sun has announced it is cutting nearly a third of its newsroom, or 61 positions, including 18 editors. The Sun's parent company, Tribune Co., filed for bankruptcy late last year and has been cutting costs ever since. The layoffs are also the latest indication that the Sun is considering moving to an online-only operation, much like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Editors have been quoted saying that the Sun should focus on other platforms and stop being a newspaper company. [Source: MediaBistro]

Disney officially joins Hulu -- After weeks of negotiating, Disney has agreed to contribute content to Hulu in exchange for a 27 percent share in the online video site and a seat on the company's Board of Directors. Previously, the site had been a joint venture between News Corp. and NBC Univsersal. Disney, especially its ABC brand, had been streaming most of its content on proprietary platforms and through iTunes. The agreement mostly includes Disney's broadcast programming with a few Disney Channel shows. ESPN content is not included in the deal. CBS, owner of similar video streaming site, is now the only large network not possessing a stake in Hulu. [Source: CNET]

The Washington Post posts double digit losses -- Revenue at the newspaper is down 22 percent in the company's latest filings, an eight percent jump from the forth quarter. Online revenue was also down eight percent. The net loss is the second ever for the newspaper, however the company announced a .7 percent gain in its Monday through Friday subscribers. The Post Co.'s magazine division also posted losses and the company's cable television division increased revenue by five percent. [Source: AP]

USA Today likely to feature paid Web content -- Recently appointed president and publisher of USA Today has hinted that he will begin charging for sections of USA Today's Web site. David Hunke, former CEO of the Detroit Media Partnership, also said that he does not plan on cutting the paper's delivery days as he had done in his previous job with the two Detroit dailies. Hunke did say that the company was looking at ways to modify the papers nationwide delivery coverage to be more cost effective. [Source: Editor & Publisher]

Apple to focus on gaming -- As sales of game applications for Apple's iPhone continue to soar, the company is placing an increasing emphasis on the gaming market. The company just announced the hire of Xbox's former head of European gaming strategy. While there are still more Nintento DS's and PSP's out in the market, the iPhone's touchscreen, GPS and motion sensor capabilities have made it a unique gaming device and a large percentage of the top selling applications of all time are games. The company's lower barrier of entry into its App Store has also made it attractive to independent game developers. [Source: Gizmodo]

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