The Morning Lowdown 11.17.10

»  The Huffington Post has just celebrated its fifth anniversary and all of a sudden, two Democratic consultants are suing founders Arianna Huffington and Ken Lerer for “stealing their idea.” If the timing sounds off, it’s also because the accusation sounds a lot like the plot of The Social Network: the two consultants say Huffington and Lerer designed the website from a plan the consultants presented, and in doing so, violated a handshake agreement to partner on the site. [Politico]

»  As part of continuing moves designed to bring the print and web operations in closer sync, the NYT’s digital news editor Jim Roberts has been named assistant managing editor for news, while web newsroom editor Fiona Spruill has been named editor for emerging platforms. The announcement was made ahead of a wider reorg of the online newsroom. [The Cutline]

»  In a bid to soften some of the criticism it gets from publishers over the use of their articles through Google (NSDQ: GOOG) News, the search giant is testing out two new metatags for its news portal: syndication-source and original-source. The goal is to make it easier for publishers to find what outlets are using their work so that proper credit can be given. [Google News Blog]

»  A Nielsen survey finds more signs of cord-keeping, not cord-cutting: 84 percent viewers who watch some web video on their TVs say that they are watching the same amount, if not more, live TV since they started streaming or downloading. About 92 percent of these entertainment enthusiasts subscribe to a pay TV service, with only 3 percent planning to give up their subscription. [THR]

»  As the merger of Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) and NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) appears near, Sen. Bernie Sanders (Independent, Vermont) has asked the FCC to block the deal, arguing that allowing it to go through would create an “enormously powerful, vertically integrated media conglomerate, causing irreparable damage to the American media landscape and ultimately to society as a whole.” That said, the merger is likely to be approved. [NYT]

»  When it comes to building successful news operations, you need professional human beings with a point of view to provide direction, common sense curation and above all, a personality users can latch on to, writes Larry Kramer of the “secret sauce” that helped launch CBS (NYSE: CBS) MarketWatch and continues through the likes the soon-to-be-revamped Gawker Media and TalkingPointsMemo. [MarketWatch]