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Stephen Colbert to Succeed David Letterman as Host of The Late Show (TVNewser)
It’s official: Stephen Colbert will take over as the host of CBS’ The Late Show when David Letterman retires next year. Specifics of Colbert’s show — including the premiere date, producers and location — will be determined after the timeline is decided for Letterman’s retirement, CBS said. Capital New York The rank and file at The Colbert Report, his Comedy Central show, are operating on the assumption they are invited to follow the comedian to staff The Late Show and stay in New York, someone familiar with Colbert’s transition plan said. Variety When Colbert sits behind the desk of the CBS program, he will do it with a new presentation — not as the right-wing caricature he plays in his current perch on Comedy Central. “He is not going to play that character,” said Nina Tassler, chairman of CBS Entertainment, in an interview. THR / The Live Feed The Colbert Report, which launched in 2005, has earned an Emmy win for outstanding variety series (2013) and three Emmy wins for writing for a variety, music or comedy program (2013, 2010, 2008). Before that, Colbert spent eight years as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart as an on-air personality and writer of news satire. He also has written two books — I Am America (And So Can You!) andAmerica Again: Re-Becoming The Greatness We Never Weren’t — and won a Grammy for spoken word for America Again earlier this year. Mashable Several media outlets quoted network executives saying the deal came together quickly after Letterman’s retirement, including breakneck negotiations with several candidates. Craig Ferguson, whose Late Late Show comes on after Letterman’s, was never seen as a true contender for the slot; it remains to be seen whether he’ll stick around after being passed over. Other names thrown in the mix were Chelsea Handler and Neil Patrick Harris — but even as top contenders, they were dark horses at best. For nearly 18 months, Colbert was always CBS’ guy.

CNN Adds Shows From Mike Rowe, Lisa Ling, John Walsh to Primetime (TVNewser)
Two weeks after Piers Morgan signed off from CNN’s primetime lineup, the network announced plans for the 9 p.m. ET timeslot. Beginning this summer, CNN will air original series — like Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and Morgan Spurlock‘s Inside Man, as well as several new series that are in development — during the hour. Deadline Hollywood CNN also unveiled plans to tap into the current fervor for religious programming with The Jesus Code – a forensic and archaeological journey through the Bible. At its upfront presentation to advertisers Thursday in New York, CNN also detailed plans to bring back Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe to series TV inSomebody’s Gotta Do It, and Lisa Ling (Our America With Lisa Ling) will also join CNN with an original series. THR / The Live Feed With the shift, CNN president Jeff Zucker is officially abandoning the interview show, a staple on CNN since Larry King debuted on the network in 1985. “We believe that genre is no longer viable. There are just too many outlets with not enough big gets for a pure talk show to thrive any longer,” Zucker said. CNN Films projects also will fill the 9 p.m. hour, and the Tom Hanks-Gary Goetzman miniseries The Sixties is set to debut in the 9 p.m. slot this May. Variety The Time Warner-owned outlet said it would keep two hours of its primetime schedule as is. CNN said Erin Burnett would remain at 7 p.m. as host of Outfront, while Anderson Cooper will continue to hold forth in his 8 p.m. hour. The 10 p.m. hour will be devoted to a one-hour program, CNN Tonight, that will take on the most interesting stories of the day.

James Goldston Named President of ABC News (ABC News)
Ben Sherwood sent a note to ABC News staff Thursday morning announcing that James Goldston will be the next president of ABC News. FishbowlNY Goldston has been with ABC News since 2004, when he joined as a senior producer. He most recently served as senior VP for content and development, since 2012. FishbowlDC Prior to his gig as SVP, Goldston served as executive producer of both Good Morning America and Nightline. He will now be responsible for all editorial and business decisions in ABC’s news division, which includes all ABC News programs on ABC, ABC News Radio and abcnews.com. TVNewser Sherwood will assist with the transition over the next couple of weeks, before devoting his attention to his new job as co-president of Disney/ABC TV. He’ll fully take over the top job at the ABC network when Anne Sweeney steps down early next year.

Amazon.com to Acquire ComiXology (Tumblr / ComiXology)
Amazon.com announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement to acquire ComiXology, the company that enhanced the digital comics reading experience with its Guided View technology.GalleyCat The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close during Q2 2014. ComiXology will continue to operate under its name, as a subsidiary of Amazon. The firm will remain in its New York offices. GigaOM ComiXology lets users read digital comics and graphic novels from more than 75 comic book publishers on a number of platforms, including Web, iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Windows 8. It was Apple’s top-grossing non-game iPad app in both 2012 and 2013.

Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras Returning to U.S. for First Time Since Snowden Revelations (HuffPost)
Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, two American journalists who have been at the forefront of reporting on documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, will return to the United States on Friday for the first time since revelations of worldwide surveillance broke. Greenwald and Poitras, currently in Berlin, will attend Friday’s Polk Awards ceremony in New York City. The two journalists are sharing the prestigious journalism award withThe Guardian’s Ewen MacAskill and with Barton Gellman, who has led the Washington Post’s reporting on the NSA documents. Greenwald and Poitras interviewed Snowden last June in Hong Kong as he first revealed himself. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Greenwald said that part of what is motivating him to return is language from officials like director of national intelligence James Clapper that people like Greenwald are “accomplices” to Snowden, who is facing criminal charges for his leaks. “It’s just the principle that I shouldn’t allow those tactics to stop me from returning to my own country,” he said. Greenwald said he has not been informed of any potential charges or that he’s been named in any grand jury investigation tied to the NSA disclosures.Poynter / MediaWire Greenwald and Poitras are founding editors of The Intercept, along with Jeremy Scahill. The Intercept debuted in February.

Democrats Complain to MSNBC About ‘Double Standard’ on Hosts Speaking at Fundraisers (HuffPost)
The Democratic National Committee has complained to MSNBC after the network said it would allow host Joe Scarborough to speak at a GOP event in New Hampshire. Mo Elleithee, the spokesman for the DNC, wrote to MSNBC president Phil Griffin, saying he was curious why Scarborough was allowed to speak at the event when fellow host Ed Schultz was blocked from speaking at a recent Democratic fundraiser in Florida. The network said it didn’t regard the Scarborough event as a fundraiser, even though the dinner he was speaking at would be raising money for the GOP. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Elleithee put little stock in MSNBC’s justification: “It appears by MSNBC standards, a fundraising event is not a fundraising event if it does not call itself a fundraising event, even while raising funds at the event (through ‘nominal fees’),” he wrote. Mediaite Though the Cheshire County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner, where Scarborough is scheduled to speak, was originally described by the Huffington Post as a fundraising dinner, the organization said it would drop ticket prices from $50 to $25 to cover only the cost of the dinner itself.

ESPN’s Tony Reali Named Good Morning America Contributor in New Deal (THR / The Live Feed)
Nobody is pushing the mute button on Tony Reali. The ESPN personality, who’s brandished theAround The Horn silencer as host of the panel series since 2004, has re-upped his deal with the cable network — and scored a regular gig on Good Morning America in the process. Reali’s latest extension has given him the role of contributor on corporate sibling ABC’s morning flagship. Reali joins GMA as its first social media contributor and will appear in its recently unveiled “Social Square” to engage viewers online. TVNewser Reali was born on Staten Island and grew up in Morganville, N.J. He joined ESPN in 2000 as a writer and researcher for the quiz show Two Minute Drill.

Rupert Murdoch: NY Post ‘Likely’ Going All Digital in 10 Years (Fortune)
A week after turning 83, Rupert Murdoch sat down with Fortune senior editor-at-large Pattie Sellers for his first wide-ranging interview with the press since 2009. FishbowlNY Murdoch said, ”We’re looking at various plans for the Post. We are working very hard on the digital edition.”Fortune then asked if this meant the paper would cease printing in five years, to which Murdoch answered, “I would be surprised. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I would think it might be quite likely in 10 years.” Murdoch also said that he believed the Wall Street Journal would be digital only in 20 years.

CNNx Empowering Digital, Second Screen Viewers to Customize Experience(LostRemote)
Thursday afternoon, CNN unveiled CNNx, a new technology that empowers the digital and second screen viewer to virtually control the rundown of their news experience. The 24/7 program, which has been in the works for a year, allows authenticated viewers the ability to operate CNN TV’s rundown of previous and upcoming segments. FishbowlDC Features of CNNx include accessing 24 hours of CNN television rundowns to see segments you’ve missed or what’s coming up next, allowing you to preview or scroll back through the segments you want to watch, “go deep” on any topic or issue covered by accessing automatically curated related digital content in real time, such as articles, images and social commentary, and watch CNN TV live or on demand.

Egyptian Judge Dismisses Videos in Trial of Al Jazeera Journalists (HuffPost / AP)
Egyptian prosecutors presented their first evidence Thursday to back up charges that three journalists from the Al Jazeera satellite news network and their co-defendants participated in terrorism, playing to the court an assortment of videos found in their possession. They included news clips about an animal hospital with donkeys and horses, and another about Christian life in Egypt. Defense lawyers — and even the judge — dismissed the videos as irrelevant, while defendants shouted from the dock that the trial was “a complete joke” and “an embarrassment to Egypt.”

Aereo Coming to Google Chromecast (Variety)
Aereo, facing a showdown with broadcasters at the U.S. Supreme Court over its TV-streaming service, will be adding support for Google’s Chromecast adapter as another option for users to watch programming on HDTVs — unless the court rules the startup illegal before then. The startup, whose backers include IAC’s Barry Diller, announced that its live TV and DVR streaming service will be available for Chromecast on May 29. The court is expected to rule in the case by the end of June.

CBC to Cut 657 Jobs Over Two Years (THR)
Faced with less government funding and no more NHL game revenue from next season, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. on Thursday said it is cutting 657 jobs over two years and getting out of the competition for rights to professional sports. The latest job cuts at the unionized pubcaster come as the CBC looks to cut $130 million from its operating budget.

BuzzFeed Launches ‘Social Tune In Program’ With Bravo, IFC as First Partners(LostRemote)
In August we wrote about BuzzFeed accelerating the success of Netflix original Orange Is The New Black. Now the news and content platform is making an official and big leap into social TV with a new “Social Tune In Program” that “will create a full-circle TV, social and digital program for advertisers while leveraging BuzzFeed’s brand and unique voice on air.” Bravo and IFC are the launch partners.

Major Record Labels Sue Megaupload for Massive Copyright Infringement (Variety)
Major record labels Warner Music, UMG, Sony and Capitol Records on Thursday followed Hollywood studios in filing a copyright infringement suit against Megaupload, accusing the site of fostering and even promoting access to pirated music. The record labels are seeking unspecified damages, whether that be actual damages and Megaupload’s profits, or statutory damages, the maximum of which is $175,000 per case of infringement.

Ex-Maker Studios CEO Lawsuit Seeks to Halt Disney Sale (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
Disney’s proposed acquisition of digital video studio Maker Studios isn’t going off without a hitch. In response to the $500 million acquisition announced last month, Maker co-founder and former chief executive Danny Zappin is asking a California judge for a restraining order to delay a vote on the sale. Zappin is involved in a power struggle for the company after being deposed as chief executive in favor of Ynon Kreiz. Maker argues that the handoff was consensual, but last June, Zappin filed a lawsuit that alleges a conspiracy and a breach of fiduciary duties among the company’s board members.

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