POLITICO Playbook: IOWA GOP UNVEILS BIG CHANGES to straw poll — WHY LEGACY NEWS ORGANIZATIONS are worse off than they realize

BREAKING — “It’s time to change the Iowa Straw Poll,” by Jeff Kaufmann, Iowa GOP party chair, writing on Politico: “[I]t is time to relegate the pay-to-play nature of the Iowa Straw Poll to the dustbin of history. … First on the chopping block is the traditional candidate ‘land auction,’ whereby campaigns bid for real estate on the straw poll grounds. … This year, … campaigns will be provided space at the Iowa Straw Poll at no expense. The auction will be replaced by a random lottery draw. …

“Previously, campaigns have had to engage in expensive culinary brinksmanship to provide … food for tens of thousands of hungry straw poll attendees. … [T]he Iowa GOP will be hosting traditional Iowa State Fair-style vendors and local civic organizations. … Finally, for journalists … The site has fantastic internet, sweeping vistas of Iowa farmland and a climate-controlled area for you to file as deadlines loom.” http://politi.co/1EjV4Xj

By Mike Allen (@mikeallen; mallen@politico.com), and Daniel Lippman (@dlippman; dlippman@politico.com)

Good Thursday morning. THE BIG PICTURE — TODD PURDUM in L.A., “Political answers scarce as water in parched California: The drought is having real consequences for the policies and political fortunes of elected officials”: “Dianne Feinstein, the state’s senior Democratic senator, has struggled to reconcile the views of liberal environmental groups with her longstanding support for growers … Conservatives like Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, the House majority leader, have seized on the drought to call for relaxation of the Endangered Species Act and other environmental laws … Carly Fiorina … called the drought … ‘man-made.’” http://politi.co/1bAgDf7

OUT THIS AM — Quinnipiac poll: “What trouble? Clinton has early lock on Iowa caucus … Sanders, Biden are only Dems over 3%”: Among Iowa likely Democratic Caucus participants, Clinton 60% (was 61% on Feb. 26), Sanders 15%, Biden 11%, O’Malley 3%, Webb 3%. http://bit.ly/1H3fB9N

HOT IN HILLARYLAND — “Clinton Inner Circle,” by Bloomberg’s Jennifer Epstein and Mark Halperin : “[A] draft memo from campaign manager Robby Mook … lists … staffers who make up the … daily 9 a.m. conference call for senior aides and a thrice-weekly 8 a.m. strategy session. … 17 senior staffers [are] invited to the 9 a.m. call. They include eight veterans of Clinton’s 2008 campaign …

“Eight people who have worked for … Obama are listed as participants on the campaign’s 13-person strategy call. That includes … John Anzalone, Joel Benenson, David Binder, and Jim Margolis, plus Teddy Goff on the digital side. Three more people on the strategy call-Podesta, Palmieri, and deputy communications director Kristina Schake-came from the Obama White House and never have worked full time for Hillary.” http://bloom.bg/1IhlJLG

— N.Y. Times A1, bottom of page, “Clinton Embraces a ‘Super PAC,’ Trying to Erode a G.O.P. Edge,” by Maggie Haberman and Nicholas Confessore: “Clinton’s allies hope that with her support … Priorities USA Action … will raise $200 million to $300 million. That is on par with what the largest Republican organizations, such as the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads, … spent in 2012. Mrs. Clinton is meeting with Priorities USA Action donors on her current … three-day trip through California.” http://nyti.ms/1H3b3jG

— “Clinton’s Bay Area visit limited to big donors,” by San Fran Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci: “Clinton’s three fundraisers Wednesday and Friday are all closed to the public and press.” With a Sergio Gor cameohttp://bit.ly/1zBGQ8A

— Paul Steinhauser, @steinhauserNH1: “For @HillaryClinton, it’s back to the future in #NH — new campaign HQ is just blocks from 2008 one”

GET SMART FAST: Because everyone who reads Playbook is a news junkie, I wanted to flag a couple of scary data points which make it clear that THE DISRUPTION IN MEDIA HAS ONLY JUST BEGUN — the legacy media organizations are going to face significant further shrinkage unless they invent something new.

— Pew Research Center’s annual “State of the News Media” report, out last week, was loaded with fascinating info (and triggered Paul Farhi’s intriguing article today about shrinking cable-news viewership, linked below). One graphic stood out. Click here and scroll down to the second graphic, “Newspaper Ad Revenue from Digital and Print.” The pink (print) will eventually vanish. What’ll be left is the burgundy (digital), and you can see that is basically flat — growing nowhere near enough to make up for print revenue, which is falling off a cliff. http://pewrsr.ch/1IjHYzg

— DO THE MATH, as @PottsMark tweeted … The Chicago Tribune reported yesterday: “Digital-only subscribers numbered 67,000 across Tribune Publishing’s 10 newspapers at the end of March.” http://trib.in/1zO99B3

— So you can see why POLITICO, which gets more than 80% of its revenue from digital and subscriptions, is much better positioned to survive and thrive than the historic brands.

CABLE NEWS ERODING — WashPost Style front, bottom of page, “Cable news appears to be past its prime time,” by Paul Farhi (online: “Has prime time faded for cable TV news?”): CNN Worldwide President Jeff “Zucker says his changes are paying off, with prime-time ratings surging 10 percent so far in 2015. ‘We’re having a fantastic year,’ he says … But it may not be such a fantastic decade, given the forces aligning not just against CNN but all of cable news. The general drift for cable news’ Big Three … has been downward. Cable audiences peaked during the 2008 election and have been eroding since. … [I]n 2012 they failed to come around.

“Since 2009, the median daily audience for Fox, CNN and MSNBC has fallen 19 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. The overall decline during prime-time … has been steeper, 26 percent. Even Fox News, long the king of cable news, … lost 2 percent of its overall audience last year … and is off 19 percent from its prime-time peak in 2009. The increasingly cloudy picture suggests that cable news has seen its best days. The news networks’ audience grew steadily throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s as more households signed up for cable and satellite TV. …

“[F]ast Internet connections have exploded, shifting the demand for instantaneous news from TV sets to smartphones, tablets … With its lengthy, linear storytelling style, cable news seems poorly adapted for social media, which emphasizes bite-size, shareable stories and clips. … [T]he changing media landscape threatens … the entire news-and-information category on cable — from … CNBC … and Bloomberg TV to tabloid-oriented networks such as HLN to smaller upstarts such as Fusion and Al Jazeera America … Even the Weather Channel is vulnerable. …

“CNN has made the most dramatic transformation of the three … news networks. … Zucker says the strategy is twofold. First, by creating ‘appointment’ shows starring the likes of [Anthony] Bourdain, [John] Walsh and Morgan Spurlock, CNN hopes to foster the kind of predictable and loyal audiences that flock to series on non-news networks. At the same time, CNN hopes to build … interest in an unfolding story with extensive live reporting. … [T]he goal is to entice viewers … for a few extra minutes each day — a result that would greatly please advertisers. … ‘Over the next couple of years, … CNN will look like it looks now,’ Zucker said. ‘We will emphasize the big story and the series and documentaries and films we’ve moved to.”

“But in five years, the picture could look very different, said Gabriel Kahn [of USC’s] Annenberg School. Three macro-trends — the aging of the TV news audience, changing technologies and news-consumption habits — will imperil cable news just as it has devastated … printed newspapers, he said. … Fox News … remains one of the most profitable channels of any kind … $2 billion in advertising and license fees … last year … It earned $1.2 billion — for a staggering 60 percent profit margin. … MSNBC … [turned] a $206 million profit on $501 million in revenue … CNN: earnings of $327 million on $1.13 billion of revenue.” http://wapo.st/1Jt15p4

** A message from the National Retail Federation: Quiz: How much do you know about small businesses?Small businesses are a big deal, employing more than half the working U.S. population. Are you a small business expert? Test your knowledge with this 6-question quiz: https://nrf.com/smallbizquiz **

HEADLINE HISTORY — “AP Was There: Germany surrenders to Western allies, Russia,” by Paris bureau chiefEdward Kennedy on May 7, 1945: “REIMS, France (AP) — Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Western allies and the Soviet Union at 2:41 a.m. French time today. … [Two German generals] were asked sternly if they understood the surrender terms imposed upon Germany and if they would be carried out by Germany. They answered yes.” http://bit.ly/1DTT1Jf

POLITICO PROMOTIONS — Editor Susan Glasser emails the staff : “Janet Michaud will be POLITICO’s first creative director, overseeing the establishment of a new presentation and visuals department for us. Janet … will remain the magazine’s creative director and the inspiration behind its powerful visual presence …

“[We are also] promoting Sushant Sagar to copy chief. … [O]n the web side … new additions including Diana D’Abruzzo, our homepage editor who joined us recently from Washington Post Express, where she was copy chief; Hanna Trudo, a new web producer who comes to us after stints at ProPublica and Foreign Policy; Ali Breland, a new web producer who joined us via NPR; and our own Trevor Eischen, who we are thrilled to promote to social media editor.”

FLORIDA MINDMELD, from Marc Caputo’s Florida Playbook , re Rep. Ron DeSantis, the first Republican to announce for Sen. Marco Rubio’s seat: “DeSantis’s team believes the Ponte Vedra Republican will be tough to beat in a primary … DeSantis, sitting on $1.1 million cash on hand, has a dream bio: An Ivy League education (Yale, Harvard Law) and was awarded a Bronze Star after his Iraq deployment — in effect, he could be this cycle’s Tom Cotton. Hailing from a conservative Jacksonville-area district, he has the right-leaning bonafides and tea party cred that led the Club for Growth, Freedom Works and Senate Conservatives Fund to back him.”

MAP DU JOUR: “The Wealthiest Zip Codes in America” http://bit.ly/1F60EmN

TRAILER OF THE DAY — “The Diplomat,” a documentary by the son of Richard Holbrooke, about his diplomat dad — 2 min. video http://ti.me/1PmrOp8

JEN PSAKI PROFILE — “Psaki Reflects On Her Time At The College,” by Aine Cain of the Flat Hat News, the student newspaper of The College of William and Mary : “Originally from Stamford, Conn., Psaki first heard about the College in eighth grade when a high school senior on her swim team was accepted. Several years later, Psaki applied when a friend gave her an extra application. … Psaki didn’t originally plan on joining a sorority, but … [u]ltimately, she joined the Omicron Beta chapter of Chi Omega at the College.” http://bit.ly/1OWfW26

OBAMA ALUMNI — ARUN CHAUDHARY was named to Washington Business Journal’s 40 under 40 young professionals — Caitlin Burke : He’s “a partner at Revolution Messaging, a political marketing agency, [who] was the first ever White House videographer under President Barack Obama.” http://bit.ly/1cn0R8P

“Bernie Sanders Hires Former Obama Aides After Raising $3 Million In Four Days,” by HuffPost’s Sam Stein: “The independent senator … has hired the firm Revolution Messaging to run digital ads and online fundraising. The staffers with the firm who will be working on Sanders’ campaign include Revolution Messaging’s founder, Scott Goodstein, who ran the 2008 Obama campaign’s social media and mobile programs; Arun Chaudhary, who was the first official White House videographer; Shauna Daly, who served as deputy research director on Obama’s 2008 campaign; and Walker Hamilton, who was a lead programmer for that campaign.” http://huff.to/1zNemJe Revolution release: http://bit.ly/1EhH6oQ

UK ELECTION TODAY — AXE INTERVIEW — “The Axelrod exit interview: Obama’s political mastermind, now working for Ed Miliband, finds UK conservative media more powerful than Fox News,” by Michael Goldfarb in Politico Europe: “POLITICO: What are the biggest differences? DA: First is money. It’s huge. I was a media consultant for 25 years and while I did all the things I’m doing here I also produced advertising. That’s a huge difference between American politics and British politics. Ads help define campaigns in America and they’re absent here — which may be better for the commonweal but it’s one less really powerful tool in the tool box. Second difference is length of campaign, which is quite short. So you have a short time to communicate your message. As a result there is a disproportionate power in the media and a much more aggressive media that you have to navigate.” http://politi.co/1E9VmB2

— “Britain heading for hung parliament,” by The Guardian’s Tom Clark and Patrick Wintour: “Britain is heading for a second hung parliament in succession after the most drawn-out election campaign since the war appeared to be ending in near deadlock with Labour and the Conservatives tied at 35% each … The Conservatives are still predicting that their dominant message warning against a Miliband government dependent on the votes of the Scottish nationalists will sway the many undecided voters as they enter the polling booths … [T]he long-promised swing back to the Conservatives in the final 72 hours before the election … has not materialised.” http://bit.ly/1EQNWVQ

DATA DU JOUR — “Capitol Hill’s Uber caucus,” by the Center for Public Integrity’s Dave Levinthal: “In all, some 275 federal politicians and political committees together spent more than $278,000 on at least 7,625 Uber rides during the 2013–2014 election cycle … That’s a roughly 18-fold spending increase from the previous election cycle, when federal committees together spent about $15,000 on Uber services.” http://bit.ly/1EQObjI

KGB FILE — “Eat, drink, whip,” by Kate Glassman Bennett: “It’s no secret that many restaurants in downtown Washington … are funded not just by big-spending lobbyists but more or less right out of the campaign bank accounts of power-brokering members of Congress. But the sums can still be eye-popping. … Rep. Kevin McCarthy … dropped more than $50,000 in the last election cycle at Ruth’s Chris Steak House; Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise … spent more than $57,000 at the New Orleans-themed Acadiana; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi spent $27,000 at the Italian eatery Acqua Al 2 and another $10,000 at the Occidental Grill …

“[T]he Pennsylvania Avenue outpost of the chain steakhouse Capital Grille … members of Congress collectively spent more than $650,000 during the last election cycle … A dozen members spent more than $10,000 apiece, including Reps. Ann Wagner ($35,215), Marsha Blackburn ($30,233) and Robert Brady ($23,100), but no one comes close to the $162,245 spent there by Illinois Rep. John Shimkus.” http://politi.co/1IjdKhn

REMEMBERING JIM WRIGHT — NYT’s Adam Clymer: “Jim Wright, a driven Texas Democrat who rose to the pinnacle of congressional power before ethics charges forced his resignation as speaker of the House in 1989, died Wednesday morning at a nursing home in Fort Worth. He was 92. … While his resignation was prompted by a yearlong ethics investigation, much of the enmity against Mr. Wright derived from the way he ran the House and saw his role as speaker. Beyond the specifics of the ethics charges, it was clear that Mr. Wright’s driven style of leadership in his two and half years as speaker was a crucial factor in his downfall, not only in the opposition efforts spearheaded by Representative Newt Gingrich of Georgia, but in the ultimate unwillingness of some Democrats to fight for him.” http://nyti.ms/1zCywWe

ERICK ERICKSON’s first sermon — He emails his list : “I started seminary last year at the Reformed Theological Seminary’s Atlanta campus. I did it because I find myself both on radio and at RedState talking and writing more and more about faith and culture issues. But I also did it because I’d been getting more and more requests to give sermons in churches and didn’t feel comfortable doing it without going to seminary. Well, this next weekend in Chicago I reach the milestone of giving my first sermon. … I’ll be preaching/speaking at an Apologetics Conference. … My text will be Acts 6:8 to 7:1. The topic is Christians in the public square.” To register: http://bit.ly/1IOWmQq

DAVID SHIPLER’s new book — Jack Shafer review in Sunday’s NYT Book Review: “[T]here’s trouble in paradise, the former New York Times reporter David K. Shipler finds in ‘Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword’ [out May 12]. … He crisscrosses the land to provide close-ups of five clashes: Parents are rumbling with teachers and administrators over which novels get assigned in class; federal prosecutors are muzzling whistle-blowers and journalists; a theater faces defunding for its edgy political work; on the Internet, bigots are testing our free speech principles; and across the nation, activists fear that the Citizens United decision will allow the moneyed to smother free speech with television commercials.” http://nyti.ms/1Qn7pma $21.11 pre-order on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1DSr5Fz

MEDIAWATCH — “L.A. Times taps David Lauter to run 2016 coverage,” by Dylan Byers: Editor Davan Maharaj and managing editor Marc Duvoisin emails the staff: “’David will work closely with Kim Murphy, assistant managing editor for national/foreign news, in shaping our coverage strategy and generating smart stories on themes of relevance to our readers. These include immigration policy, the courtship of the Latino vote, the money game in California and elsewhere, and the ways data science is reshaping campaigns.’ … Lauter has served as Washington bureau chief since 2011 and has covered four presidential campaigns for the Times. He’s also served as deputy metro editor, deputy foreign editor and assistant managing editor for California coverage.” http://politi.co/1DSrGak

— “Harris Faulkner considered rising star at Fox,” by AP’s Frazier Moore: “Harris Faulkner’s hobby may sound like a patriotic put-on, but the Fox News Channel anchor insists it’s legit. ‘The thing that I really love to do, that I now only do in the shower, is to sing the national anthem,’ said Faulkner, a regular on Fox’s daytime show ‘Outnumbered.’ … Faulkner, 49, is considered a rising star at Fox News after a decade there. Besides ‘Outnumbered,’ which just celebrated its first full year on the air, she regularly works six-day weeks by anchoring a Sunday evening newscast.” http://yhoo.it/1cn0tHf

— “Steve Cavendish Named Editor of Washington City Paper,” by Emily Q. Hazzard and Sarah Anne Hughes:”Cavendish, news editor of the Nashville Scene, has been named editor of Washington City Paper, interim publisher Eric Norwood announced to staff … A 1993 graduate of Belmont University, Cavendish worked at the Washington Post from 1999 to 2002 as a news editor and sports designer. After stints at the St. Petersburg Times and Chicago Tribune, he became editor of Nashville City Paper in 2011. … Cavendish will succeed former Washington City Paper Editor Mike Madden, who left the paper in March to join the Post.” http://bit.ly/1zMTcek

FUTURE OF NEWS — “Reddit launches a video division to create original content,” by The Verge’s Ben Popper: “The social news service Reddit has grown to a truly massive size, garnering 170 million monthly visitors and 6.7 billion pages view this January … Recently it has begun to venture into original content with a podcast and newsletter. Today it is going even further with the launch of its own video division. ‘Reddit’s mission is to connect people across the world through authentic conversations, collaboration, and community — video is an amazing storytelling medium and there’s no better wellspring of original stories than Reddit,’ said co-founder Alexis Ohanian.” http://bit.ly/1Ki21g8

TV TONIGHT — Tom Brokaw’s Dateline NBC report, “A Lucky Life,” at 10 p.m.

TRANSITIONS — “Kamala Harris Announces New Senior Staff Hires For Senate Campaign” — release: “Rory Steele will serve as campaign manager, Emily Mellencamp Smith will serve as finance director, and Nathan Click will serve as communications director.” http://bit.ly/1dNyZet

FIRST LOOK — New hires at Story Partners — forthcoming release: “Betsy Stephenson … joins the firm as senior vice president … [and] is a PR agency veteran with experience at Porter Novelli, Dittus Communications, Powell Tate and Ogilvy PR. … Also joining the firm is communications and digital media advisor Andrew Lee as director. Lee comes to Story Partners from Reingold.” http://bit.ly/1zCtqsO

SPORTS BLINK — USA Today front-page column, “DEFLATEGATE: THE WELLS REPORT — NFL must suspend Patriots QB Brady: For sake of integrity, star player better be taken off the field,” by NFL columnist Jarrett Bell: “[W]hen Brady refuses to turn over cellphone records to investigators, it does nothing to clear his name. The circumstantial evidence is damning. Jim McNally, New England’s longtime locker room attendant, and John Jastremski, the equipment staff assistant, implicated Brady … McNally … called himself the ‘deflator.’” http://usat.ly/1cpQ4uz

— BRADY’S DAD calls it “framegate”: “The league had to cover themselves.”

— ALL POLITICS IS LOCAL — Union Leader lead story: “NH man: I am the deflator.” http://bit.ly/1EjOdND

BUSINESS BURST — WSJ 1-col. lead, “Fed chief warns of bloated stocks,” by Dan Strumpf and Pedro Nicolaci da Costa: Fed “Chairwoman Janet Yellen weighed in on a growing debate among investors and market economists, suggesting the yearslong stock rally may have driven prices too high and raising concerns that debt-market investors are taking excessive risks.” http://on.wsj.com/1JRRueM

BIRTHDAYS: Rob Saliterman turns 33 (h/t Coco Pannell and many more) … Vince Harris of Team Rand digital turns 27 (h/t Joe Kildea) … NBC’s Mark Murray … Colm O’Comartun, co-founder of the bipartisan public affairs firm 50-State (along with Phil Cox), and former Executive Director of the Democratic Governors Association (h/t Lis Smith) … former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) is 83 … Bill Kreutzmann (Grateful Dead) is 69 … actress Dylan Gelula is 21 … Politico’s Christian Schaeffer … John Scofield, partner at Shockey Scofield Solutions … Liz Savage (h/ts Jon Haber) … Andrea Purse, V.P. of comms at Center for American Progress … Kristina Johnson, a former Under Secretary of Energy turned renewable executive/guru … former Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) … Katarina Alharmoosh … Andrea Purse of Center for American Progress, Pittsburgh Steelers super fan, avid runner, mom to Keaton and McKenna, wife to James … Jordan Stark of Resolute Consulting and a Hagel alum …

… Scott D. Lindlaw … Utah Gov. Gary Herbert … Joe Richards of CRAFT and a Lukens alum … Caitlin Carroll, comms. director for House Oversight Committee and Romney alum … Keith Stern, rules associate for House Rules Rep. Jim McGovern … Purple Strategies’ Bruce Haynes … Scott Conroy … Kelly Lanzara, managing the Writing Exemplar Project at Nottingham Elementary School and an ABC 7 alum … Dayo Olopade … Jeff Schechtman … Julia Payne, a Clinton White House alum … David Huebner of Arnold and Porter and former U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa … WUSA’s Shelia Wright … Alan Bernstein … Cathleen Farrell of National Immigration Forum … Nicholas Harrer

NEXT TUESDAY: Matthew Hiltzik … CNN senior producer Hardy Spire (h/t Becky Perlow)

DESSERT — “Chipotle’s flashy ban on GMOs is totally backfiring,” by Business Insider’s Ashley Lutz: “The move, which was initially praised, is being called ‘bad science’ and ‘opportunistic.’ Some are even pointing out that Chipotle sells soda with corn syrup from genetically modified corn. … [The anti-GMO] belief is not born out by the science, however. So far, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the European Commission all agree that GMO foods are safe to eat.” http://read.bi/1Pp3AdL

** A message from the National Retail Federation: Retail is Small Business. In fact, no other industry has more small businesses — more than 98 percent of retailers are small companies with fewer than 50 employees. Small Business Week 2015 is May 4–8, but we celebrate small business year round, with programs and resources including Retail Across America and the Small Business Retail Council. Learn more about NRF’s small business initiatives and check out the latest small business stories. http://nrf.com/smallbusiness **

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