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Media Roundup: Google in Talks With Washington Post and New York Times, Gannett's Biggest Shareholder Cashes Out and More

Google in talks with Washington Post and New York Times -- According to reports, Google is in talks with the Washington Post and The New York times over some sort of collaboration, and maybe even investment. In recent weeks, several newspaper executives, particularly at the Wall Street Journal, have accused the search giant of being a "parasite" and collecting revenue by displaying newspaper content. Google discussed ways to work with the Washington Post, and was approached about taking a financial stake in the New York Times. The meetings were said to be informal. [Source: CNET]

NYT launches Twitter-like service, new reader -- The New York Times has launched a section of its Web site that updates the news in real time named Times Wire. The page automatically adds the latest story on the top of a running list of links, reminiscent of the micro-blogging site Twitter. Users can choose to view the full feed, or cherry pick sections of the paper to be displayed. There is also an option to display the latest photos. The paper also launched a new version of its e-edition built on the Adobe Air platform that can be downloaded to the desktop. [Source: ReadWriteWeb]

Gannett's biggest shareholder cashes out -- International insurance company AXA sold the majority of its 13 percent stake in Gannett, the country's largest newspaper publisher. Because the AXA's stake is less than five percent, it is unknown how many shares, if any, the company retained. Last month, Chicago-based Ariel Investments increased its investment in the company to 12.5 percent from 4 percent. Shares of the company's stock have fallen 25 points in the past 12 months. [Source: Editor and Publisher] views up 50 percent -- Usually the least-trafficked cable news site, saw its Web traffic increase 50 percent in April. While still behind competitors and by a wide margin, the News Corp-owned cable news channel is less than a million users behind The site also saw a 75 percent jump in pageviews in the same period and led all news sites in time spent on site. [Source: MediaWeek]

New Zune ad takes aim at iPod over price -- A new ad for Microsoft's Zune media player follows in the footsteps of the company's laptop advertisements and accuses Apple products of being overpriced. The advertisement alleges that an 125 GB iPod would take $30,000 of iTunes purchases to fill, while a Zune can be filled using the device's subscription service for $14.99 a month. The ad is the latest Web video to respond to the "Mac versus PC" ads that Apple has been running for the past 18 months that portray Microsoft products and uncool and buggy. Microsoft has been criticized for not responding quickly enough to Apple's campaign. [Source: CNET]

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