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5:00 PM ET, February 28, 2012

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 Top News: 
Jeff Roberts / paidContent:
As Staff Flees, TechCrunch's Traffic Plummets  —  TechCrunch, the long-time darling of the digerati, is smashed to bits and all of AOL's horses and men will be hard-pressed to put it together again.  The site has lost almost every one of its top writers and traffic has fallen sharply, dropping by 35 percent from a year ago.
Discussion: VentureBeat and Boing Boing
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Tom Cheredar / VentureBeat:
AOL sees three more major talent departures  —  For some reason, tech/media company AOL usually experiences talent departures in waves.  Today for instance, people in three major positions announced that the were leaving the company for one reason or another.
Tom Harper / This Is London:
Rebekah's gift horse from Met shows its close ties to Murdoch newspapers  —  Scotland Yard loaned Rebekah Brooks a police horse, the Standard can reveal.  —  The 43-year-old former News International chief executive rode the retired horse for a year at her farm in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire before it was put out to pasture.
RELATED:
Lisa O'Carroll / Guardian:   News of the World ‘may have paid £850,000’ to Glenn Mulcaire
Lisa O'Carroll / Guardian:
Leveson inquiry: banning unofficial police interviews would ‘help abuse’
Discussion: Press Gazette
Dominic Rushe / Guardian:
News Corp faces threat of US legal action
Discussion: Street Fight, Crikey and New York Times
Jim Romenesko:
The Daily threatens to sue reporter for tweeting objection to story  —  Earlier this month, Luke Kummer tweeted this objection to the handling of his reporting, then resigned from The Daily, Rupert Murdoch's iPad publication.  He then received this warning from the HR manager for The Daily and New York Post:
BBC:
Syria unrest: UK's Conroy freed from besieged city  —  Briton Paul Conroy has been rescued from the besieged Syrian city of Homs, but France's President Sarkozy has withdrawn an earlier statement that wounded journalist Edith Bouvier is also safely in Lebanon.  —  Her whereabouts remain unclear, hours after she apparently left Homs.
RELATED:
Brian Stelter / New York Times:
Once Film-Focused, Netflix Transitions to TV Shows  —  Belying the “flix” in its name, Netflix is now primarily an Internet streaming service for television shows, not feature films.  —  TV series now account for more than half of all Netflix viewing.  That helps to explain why this Wednesday …
RELATED:
Tim Carmody / Wired:
Oscar Night Turns Into a Winning Night for Netflix, Too
Discussion: PC Magazine and GigaOM
Barry Petchesky / Deadspin:
“Twitter Is Not Your Personal Playground,” ESPN Reminds Its Employees  —  A mole sends along the following email, which was spammed out to ESPN talent on Monday: … Going unmentioned is the brow-mopping and relief in Bristol that controversies over childish Twitter fights over attribution …
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Julian Assange claims ‘intellectual property’  —  Julian Assange, the founder of the whistle-blowing organization WikiLeaks, may have been the subject of a U.S. government indictment, according to reports out today.  —  In 2011, the vice president of Stratfor, the private intelligence firm whose emails …
Discussion: Charlie Beckett and TPM Idea Lab
RELATED:
Mark J. Perry / CARPE DIEM:
Newspaper Ad Revenues Fall to 60-Yr.  Low in 2011  —  The chart above displays total annual print newspaper advertising revenue based on actual annual data from 1950 to 2010, and estimated annual revenue for 2011 using quarterly data through the third quarter, from the Newspaper Association of America.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
MTV Mobile Moves Into Social TV With Digital Agency AKQA  —  Viacom's MTV is making one more move into trying to capture the youth market on the platform where it's increasingly spending most of its time: the broadcaster, in partnership with digital agency AKQA, has launched “Under The Thumb,” a new social TV app.
Discussion: rbr.com
Robert Andrews / paidContent:
Interview: FT CEO Denies Sale And Braves Strike Ahead Of Social Launch  —  Financial Times CEO John Ridding rejects dinner-party chatter that the publisher may be sold to Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters.  —  Instead, he is pushing the group toward a digital subscription future that, he reveals, will soon incorporate social networks.
Discussion: Guardian and eMedia Vitals
Georg Szalai / Hollywood Reporter:
Former Top News Corp. Spokeswoman Teri Everett Joins Time Inc.  —  She recently left Rupert Murdoch's conglomerate and will now become executive vp at the Time Warner publishing unit, reporting to new CEO Laura Lang.  —  NEW YORK - Former News Corp. top communications guru Teri Everett …
 
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Could a Publicis-Criteo Takeover Transpire?  —  It wouldn't be the first summer weekend French agency holding company Publicis Groupe sent shock waves through the advertising ecosystem.
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Say Media / Say Daily:
The iPhone 6 Is Coming - Here's What It Means for Digital Media  —  We have passed the mobile Internet tipping point, where now more than 50 percent of digital media is consumed on mobile devices …
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 More News: 
Joe Pompeo / Capital New York:
Condé Nast leads the pack in just-released nominations for big digital-magazine award, the Digital Ellies
Discussion: MPA, Adweek, Folio and FishbowlNY
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Jennifer Granholm joins POLITICO
Discussion: MLive.com
Nicholas D. Kristof / New York Times:
Battling Sudan's Bombs With Videos
Discussion: Media Decoder
Steven Musil / CNET:
Yahoo picks patent fight with Facebook
Mike Reynolds / Multichannel News:
National Cable Ad Sales Grew 7.8% to $22.1 Billion in 2011: CAB
 Earlier Picks: 
Robert McMillan / Wired:
The Meta-Story: How Wired Published Its GitHub Story on GitHub
Amy Chozick / Media Decoder:
New Magazine Aims for ‘Luxury Customers’
Henry Blodget / Business Insider:
DEAR AOL: So, Did Patch Boss Warren Webster Really Not Write That Comment, Or Were You Just Saying That?
Discussion: Street Fight
 

 
From Techmeme:

Jason Del Rey / Re/code:
Apple partnering with American Express to let iPhone 6 owners use their phone to pay for goods in physical stores

John Paczkowski / Re/code:
Veteran Tech Journalist Anand Shimpi Headed to Apple

Farhad Manjoo / New York Times:
Uber and Lyft are becoming indistinguishable commodities to riders and drivers both

 
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