The Morning Lowdown 10.19.10

»  Tribune Company’s board appears to have had enough and is preparing to ask CEO Randy Michaels to step down. The move follows last week’s ouster of Lee Abrams as chief innovation officer after he sent a company-wide e-mail that was considered highly offensive by staffers. [NYT]

»  The exploratory merger talks between IAC’s The Daily Beast and Newsweek are dead. after three main parties — IAC (NSDQ: IACI) CEO Barry Diller, Daily Beast founding editor Tina Brown and Newsweek’s new owner, Sidney Harman — couldn’t agree on how they would share power under one roof. Or in Tina’s words, they couldn’t get passed the pre-nup. [WSJ]

»  The Center for Public Integrity is joining forces the Huffington Post Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism arm of The Huffington Post. The merger, which calls for HuffPo to transfer $2 million in grants to the Center, will create one of the largest nonprofit investigative newsrooms in the country. [NYT]

»  So is there anything to the so-called “privacy breach” the WSJ says it found on Facebook via apps like Farmville. The tech media industry just yawns and says nope. [Techcrunch]

»  The world of Gawker’s Deadspin, filled with all sorts of tawdry details you never wanted to know about — not to mention the checkbook journalism. Is Howard Kurtz having second thoughts about leaving newspapers for the blogosphere? [WaPo]

»  A Reuters (NYSE: TRI) Breakingviews columnist has resigned his position after failing to disclose stock trades and securities holdings in companies he was writing about. And it’s not ending there; the company is investigating other Breakingviews columnists for similar violations. [Reuters, pCUK]