The Morning Lowdown 01-28-11

»  The Newspaper Guild of New York, which represents Newsweek edit staffers, has given its assent to merger between the magazine IAC’s Daily Beast. [Release]

»  Granted, it was noteworthy that Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) handily beat analysts’ Q4 estimates. But the really interesting thing was that the results mysteriously leaked out before the scheduled after market release. The culprit was real-time search engine Selerity, which picked it up as part of its usual scan of investor relations sites. [WSJ]

»  Display ads are coming to your Gmail, as the search giant quietly began testing the insertion of image ads as part of its e-mail service this past week. [SearchEngineLand]

»  Tribune Company chairman Sam Zell doesn’t regret the way things have turned out for the bankrupt media company. What he does mind is the intense press scrutiny he’s received as a result. “The media loves nothing more than to cover the media,” he says. “That’s fine for the media. . . . I just don’t need to be the media’s bitch anymore.” [Forbes]

»  Here’s an idea CNN has surely mulled: with Parker-Spitzer still tanking in the ratings, maybe the network will wait until MSNBC’s gag comes off ex-Countdown bloviator Keith Olbermann? [Jon Friedman’s MediaWeb]

»  With the merger between Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) and NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) expected to close today, a companies held a celebration heralding the combination. But NBCU staffers sensed something was missing: the iconic NBC Peacock, which has served as the network’s symbol for decades. It appears that, at least internally, the new logo doesn’t come with feathers. However, publicly, NBCU will still carry the peacock as a signifier. [NYT Media Decoder]