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Discovery Reports Higher First-Quarter Earnings (B&C)
Discovery Communications reported higher first-quarter earnings as international growth offset a decline in digital distribution revenue. First-quarter net income rose 4 percent to $231 million, or 63 cents a share, from $221 million, or 57 cents a share. The Wrap / The Box Discovery also said it expects Oprah Winfrey’s OWN to meet its previously stated goal of breaking even in cash flow in the second half of this year, Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said. OWN viewership was up 3 percent in its key women 25-54 demographic in the first quarter, even though the first quarter of 2012 included OWN’s highest-rated broadcast, Winfrey’s interview with Whitney Houston’s daughter. THR The latest figure was impacted by a range of factors in addition to what the company called “the strong underlying operating performance in the current year’s quarter.” Among the items affecting the latest profit were a $92 million gain from the consolidation of results for Discovery Japan and $46 million of improved equity earnings, but also higher equity-based compensation expenses and a $59 million loss from “hedging activities primarily associated with the acquisition of the SBS Nordic operations.”
Megyn Kelly Renews Fox News Contract (NYT)
Two of the best-known anchors on the Fox News Channel, Greta Van Susteren and Megyn Kelly, have renewed their contracts, possibly foreshadowing the first change to the channel’s prime time schedule in over a decade. Van Susteren, who signed a long-term contract this week, according to her husband, John Coale, may move out of the 10 p.m. time slot that she has held since 2002. That would open up the hour for Kelly, now an afternoon anchor, who has long been mentioned as a candidate for a prime time position. TVNewser A Fox News spokeswoman tells TVNewser, “We will neither confirm nor deny any contract discussions with Megyn Kelly.” The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Fox News chief Roger Ailes takes great pride in the stability of Fox’s schedule, which has undergone very few changes in recent years. Even so, bumping Hannity in favor of a 9 p.m. Kelly-anchored production this very afternoon would bring immeasurable improvements to the Fox product. Among them: Less shouting, less ridiculousness, less tendentiousness and more factual integrity, in spite of that Washington Monument thing.
Do You Still Trust Matt Lauer? Today Anchor Rated Low in Reader’s Digest Poll (Forbes / Mixed Media)
After the year that Matt Lauer has had, you might call it a win that he managed to sneak into the list of the “100 Most Trusted People in America,” as determined by Reader’s Digest magazine with the help of the Wagner Group, a market research firm. But look a little closer and it’s obvious that the well-documented internecine struggles at the Today show have taken their toll on Lauer’s nice-guy image. For one thing, only 41 percent of the more than 1,000 people surveyed said they trust Lauer. That’s the lowest number for any of the network news hosts who made the list. TVNewser At No. 12, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts is the most-trusted television news personality on the list. FishbowlNY Tom Hanks took the top spot. This is not surprising.
No One Watched Howard Kurtz’s Apology Sunday (BuzzFeed)
How many people do you think tuned in to watch Howard Kurtz’s public shaming on Reliable Sources Sunday? Go on, take a guess. Two million? One million? Five hundred thousand? Not even close. FishbowlDC “He certainly appeared to me to be visibly contrite,” NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik told FishbowlDC in a phone interview Monday. “I think his audience will have to reasonably think about what they saw and heard and figure out how to absorb what they’ve learned, to incorporate what seemed to be a contrite presentation and evaluate what they think about him going forward.”
Cumulus CEO Hits Limbaugh While Reporting $2.4 Million Revenue Loss (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Cumulus Media Tuesday reported a $2.4 million first-quarter decline in revenue related to talk programming, a loss that CEO Lew Dickey attributed, indirectly, to Limbaugh’s controversial remarks about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke.
NYT Editor Jill Abramson Likes ‘Snowfalling’ A Lot Better Than ‘Native Advertising’ (Capital New York)
Jill Abramson dropped some of the latest lingo being tossed around in the New York Times newsroom during a public appearance at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Battery Park City Tuesday afternoon. “Snowfall,” verb: To execute the type of expensive, time-consuming, longform-narrative multimedia storytelling.
Evan Williams on Medium: ‘The Magazine Is The Analog For What We’re Doing’ (paidContent)
Evan Williams sees Medium, the blogging platform that he and Biz Stone launched last year, as a modern-day magazine. While Medium will eventually open to everyone, Williams said he wants the site to be “a great place for professional writers.”
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes Says CNN’s Jeff Zucker Is ‘Working Out Great’ (THR)
Ratings at Fox News are bigger because viewers have traditionally tuned into shorter CNN segments, says Bewkes. Time Warner chairman and chief executive Jeff Bewkes gave an endorsement of Jeff Zucker, who was hired last November to lead CNN.
When Celebrities Take Over Publishing Companies (The New Republic)
Every age gets the publishing industry it deserves, whether it’s Babylonian scribes etching the Epic of Gilgamesh into stone tablets, medieval scribes toiling away at illuminated manuscripts or Maxwell Perkins laboring over the sentences of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Which is why, I suppose, today we have imprints from the comedienne Chelsea Handler, the rapper 50 Cent (Handler’s erstwhile beau, but I wouldn’t read too much into it), the chef Anthony Bourdain and actors Viggo Mortensen and Johnny Depp, not to mention mystery writer Dennis Lehane and former Men’s Health editor David Zinczenko.
WaPo Editor Has Rough Day (FishbowlDC)
Washington Post book world editor Ron Charles was having a pretty tough morning. Not only was it dark and dreary out there, but he couldn’t get onto WaPo‘s website. That’s right, before 8:28 a.m., he was locked out of his own paper’s website.
Five Months After Being Kidnapped There, Richard Engel Returns to Syria (TVNewser)
NBC News Chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and his production team traveled into Syria early Tuesday morning to investigate the reported use of chemical weapons there. Engel interviewed rebel leaders and their supporters about the ongoing civil war that has already claimed 70,000 lives.
Nancy Grace And Ashleigh Banfield Hold Split-Screen Interview in Same Parking Lot (The Atlantic Wire)
In a bizarre television and spatial anomaly on CNN Tuesday morning, the blanket coverage of two true-crime stories led two news anchors to conduct an odd “satellite” interview from the very same parking lot, background traffic and all. TVNewser The pair are there to cover the verdict in the Jodi Arias trial, which will happen when the jury decides her fate. We can only assume that some sort of obstacle (perhaps a parked car, or a row of shopping carts?) prevented Grace from joining Banfield on the same set. One thing is certain: we will never view a liveshot the same way again.
Most YouTube Subscription Videos Will Have Ads (AllThingsD)
Love YouTube, but hate the ads? Then you’re not going to be any happier with most of the subscription videos the site is going to start selling. They’re going to have ads, too, say people familiar with YouTube’s long-awaited plans.
Rogers Determined to Butt Heads With Netflix (The Globe and Mail)
Canadian television providers are planning to cut their own cords, with several of the country’s largest media companies developing subscription-based services to compete with online rivals such as Netflix Inc.
Is The New York Times Really Ignoring Benghazi? (NYT / Public Editor’s Journal)
If there’s a story — or even a word — that’s more fraught with divisive American politics than “Benghazi,” I’m unaware of it.
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