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Morning Media Newsfeed: Vargas Detained, Released | Abramson Books Two Interviews

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Jose Antonio Vargas Released From Federal Custody in Texas (TVNewser)
Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was the focus of the recent CNN documentary Documented, was released from the custody of U.S. Border Patrol agents Tuesday evening. FishbowlDC Vargas was detained in McAllen, Texas Tuesday, days after speculating that he may be stuck in the border town. On Friday, Vargas wrote an essay for Politico, where he described his visit to a children’s shelter for Central American refugees. FishbowlNY Vargas was leaving the town to go to a screening of his film in Los Angeles when he was arrested. He was brought to a border patrol station for questioning. Supporters and members of the media gathered across the street, and were warned that if they approached the station any closer, they would also be arrested. HuffPost Vargas flew to the border last week to interview and film undocumented immigrants who have fled their home countries in Central America due to escalating violence. A TSA agent at the McAllen-Miller Airport initially cleared Vargas’ Philippines-issued passport when he attempted to board a flight Tuesday morning. He was placed into custody soon after, however, when he couldn’t produce a U.S. visa at the request of a border patrol agent. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Vargas, who won a Pulitzer as part of a Washington Post team in 2008, has become an outspoken advocate for undocumented immigrants after “coming out” as undocumented in a New York Times story in 2011.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: World Cup Sets Ratings Records | Plotz Resigns From Slate

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World Cup Shatters Facebook Engagement Records (LostRemote)
The World Cup set single-event Facebook engagement records within the tournament’s first week. Now, with the tournament over, it is official: the 2014 World Cup is the most talked-about event in Facebook history. From June 12-July 13, 350 million people generated 3 billion World Cup-related interactions. AllFacebook These numbers make the 2014 World Cup the most-talked-about sporting event in the social network’s history. The tournament’s final match, which resulted in 280 million interactions from 88 million users, was the top sporting event in Facebook’s history. Capital New York All told, 26.5 million people watched the match Sunday via either ABC or Univision, making it the most-watched men’s World Cup final ever. ABC drew an average of 17.3 million viewers according to Nielsen Fast National ratings, the best numbers ever for a World Cup final, and the third best for any World Cup game. The two games that beat it were U.S.-Portugal from earlier in this year’s tournament (18.2 million viewers), and the 1999 Women’s final between the U.S. and China (17.9 million viewers). Deadline Hollywood Both ABC/ESPN and Univision had their best World Cup ever this year, with ESPN/ABC up 39 percent in viewership over the 2010 World Cup and up 96 percent over the 2006 World Cup. Over the 64 games of this year’s tournament, Univision was up 34 percent from its total audience from 2010. Variety The combined 26.5 million for Germany’s 1-0 victory is a larger audience than the deciding game for the most recent World Series on Fox (19.2 million) and NBA Finals on ABC (18.0 million), and also tops the BCS Championship game in college football on ESPN in January (25.6 million).

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Morning Media Newsfeed: SI Scores LeBron James Scoop | The View Considers Cupp

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LeBron James Announces Cleveland Return Via Sports Illustrated (FishbowlNY)
Everyone in the sporting world — and many others outside of it — were awaiting word on where LeBron James would play next season, and Sports Illustrated got the scoop Friday. In an article by James (as told to SI’s Lee Jenkins), James explained his reasons for returning to Cleveland to play for the Cavs. LostRemote After the story went up, James posted on Instagram a photo of himself with the caption “I’m Coming Home.” #GoodforLebron and #Cleveland also started trending on Twitter quickly. TVSpy Cleveland CBS affiliate WOIO reported the news at 12:25 p.m. Friday, just after James’ announcement was posted to SI.com. “The newsroom is abuzz right now,” Paul Orlousky said. The station remained in coverage through the 1 p.m. hour. PRNewser Jenkins reportedly helped James write the essay Thursday night, and the mag didn’t let any of its advertisers know about what will almost surely be the biggest traffic driver in recent history. HuffPost “My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball,” James told Jenkins. “I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.” James, an Akron, Ohio native, was selected by the Cavs with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. After reaching the NBA Finals just once in those seven seasons, James infamously announced that he would be joining the Miami Heat in July 2010 during a televised interview dubbed “The Decision.” Both James’ choice of team and his choice of venue for the announcement led to a virulent backlash in Ohio that included fans burning his jersey and a public repudiation from Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: O’Donnell’s Return Official | Emmy Noms Favor CNN, Social TV

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Rosie O’Donnell Officially Returning to The View (TVNewser)
Rosie O’Donnell is returning to The View as a co-host in the fall, ABC confirmed via Twitter Thursday. Variety O’Donnell will join moderator Whoopi Goldberg. ABC execs are in the midst of a extensive search for new producers to take the reins of The View as the show prepares to replace panelists Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy, who recently exited the daytime program. THR / The Live Feed O’Donnell, who was a panelist on The View for the 2007-2008 season, left after just one year. O’Donnell had a notably stormy tenure on the show, often fighting with conservative panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who suggested on Fox News on Wednesday that O’Donnell had been plotting her return to the show for “a very, very long time.” HuffPost TMZ reported Tuesday that the former co-host would be returning, claiming that O’Donnell had been in “active talks” with the show. This will be ABC’s first move to put back the pieces after the major overhaul that left Whoopi Goldberg as the show’s only remaining co-host. In June, Shepherd and McCarthy announced that they would be leaving, and ABC implied in a statement that their departures were not voluntary. Barbara Walters, the show’s creator, retired in May and Joy Behar and Hasselbeck both exited the show in 2013. NYT O’Donnell’s name immediately arose as most likely to be the first-named replacement. Her outspoken and often politically oriented commentary helped spark a surge in the show’s ratings. A committed liberal with strong views on numerous topics, she also got into some widely publicized feuds, with Donald Trump and others.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Aereo Plans Survival | Dish Makes Anti-Merger Case to FCC

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Aereo Signals Path to Survival if Classified as Cable System (WSJ)
Aereo Inc., the online video company that was widely expected to go out of business after losing a high-stakes Supreme Court case in June, signaled Wednesday that it sees a path to survival if it is classified in legal terms as a cable system. Mashable Aereo lost its case before the U.S. Supreme Court because a majority of the justices said its resemblance to a cable company meant it had violated copyright laws. Re/code The video streaming company told a U.S. district court in New York Wednesday it now thinks it’s entitled to be licensed as a cable system because of the Supreme Court’s decision. That would allow the company to stay alive although it would have to pay licensing fees in addition to costs to restart its stalled business. Aereo allowed consumers to watch local TV channels over the Internet for a monthly fee of up to $12 until shutting down its service a few weeks ago after the Supreme Court sided with broadcasters. Capital New York The broadcasters responded with their own argument, calling Aereo’s decision “astonishing.” “Whatever Aereo may say about its rationale for raising it now, it is astonishing for Aereo to contend the Supreme Court’s decision automatically transformed Aereo into a ‘cable system’ under Section 111 given its prior statements to this Court and the Supreme Court,” lawyers for the broadcasters wrote. Deadline Hollywood At issue is whether the District Court will lift a stay that allowed Aereo to remain in business while the case made its way to the Supreme Court. Broadcasters want it lifted so they can collect damages from Aereo’s infringement of their copyrights — a two-year period during which they say they “suffered irreparable harm.” Aereo faces additional hurdles even if the District Court agrees with its view. The FCC also might have to agree to define Aereo as a cable operator for it to qualify for the compulsory license — and it would have to be granted by the U.S. Copyright Office.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Rosie to The View | Amazon Woos Hachette Authors

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Rosie O’Donnell to The View (TMZ)
Rosie O’Donnell has made a deal with The View, sources say. The show is likely to make the announcement shortly. TVNewser In the wake of TMZ’s report, there is increased speculation that the new right-leaning panelist will come from the cable news ranks. Abby Huntsman, co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle and Margaret Hoover, a CNN contributor, are being considered as co-hosts. Mediaite O’Donnell was famously one of the show’s co-hosts from 2006 to 2007. The TMZ report also says The View is actively seeking out conservative women to join the show. Sarah Palin put herself out there this week as a possibility. HuffPost O’Donnell left the show after a notorious on-air fight with Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She has been a guest on the show since then. O’Donnell’s return is the first step in the show’s overhaul. The View has seen the exit of all of its co-hosts except Goldberg this season: Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy recently announced their exits, and Barbara Walters retired in May. Variety ABC daytime execs are in the midst of a extensive search for new producers to take the reins of The View as the show prepares to replace most of its panelists for its 18th season.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Palin Eyes The View | Rolling Stone Appoints Publisher

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Is Sarah Palin Pitching Herself to The View? (THR / The Live Feed)
Sportsman Channel has picked up a second season of Amazing America With Sarah Palin, the network announced Monday. Palin’s program, which has her introducing viewers to the great outdoors as well as the country’s unsung heroes, has brought significant attention to the niche cable channel, propelling Sportsman to triple-digit year-over-year growth in households and key male demographics. In an interview with THR, Palin names The View as a show that might “need a punch of reality and a voice of reason from America’s heartland to knock some humble sense into [its] scripts.” TVNewser The rumor mill on who will replace ousted View hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy is in full force, and former Vice Presidential candidate Palin seems to be throwing her hat in the ring. In the interview, Palin mentioned that The View might be better if it goes “rogue.” FishbowlDC Palin said, “Maybe. But the politics would have to be interspersed with a whole lot of fun and real life and inspiration showcasing American work ethic, because those topics are all pretty much the antithesis of today’s politics, which I find incorrigibly disastrous!” She went on to add, “It’d be so much fun to shake it up taking on issues that make audiences objectively consider all sides, and I’d do it with my own real-life groundedness, candor and commonsense that I’m known for.” Mediaite With Barbara Walters’ semi-retirement underway and the pending departures of Shepherd and McCarthy, The View is actively looking for new co-hosts. MSNBC The program’s women co-hosts discuss a variety of political and social issues. Moderator Whoopi Goldberg is the only host not departing the daytime show. The series also previously included journalist Lisa Ling, television personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and comedians Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar as co-hosts.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Coulson Gets 18 Months | SiriusXM Fires Opie & Anthony‘s Cumia

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Andy Coulson Gets 18 Months in Tabloid Phone Hacking (NYT)
Andy Coulson, a former senior editor in Rupert Murdoch’s news empire and a onetime adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron, was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison for his part in the phone hacking scandal that convulsed Britain’s press, police and political elite and inspired calls for tighter regulation of journalists. HuffPost / AP Coulson was convicted June 24 after an eight-month trial triggered by a tabloid-wrongdoing scandal that led Murdoch to shut down the News of The World in 2011. Another former editor, Rebekah Brooks, and four others were acquitted. The Guardian The offense carries a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment, but Coulson received a discount of several months for his previous good character. He could be out in less than nine months because, as a non-violent offender, he is required to serve just half his sentence. THR Three other former News of the World staffers and one private investigator who hacked phones for the paper also pleaded guilty to hacking and also received their sentences Friday. They are former news desk editors Greg Miskiw, James Weatherup and Neville Thurlbeck, as well as Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator who was used for hacking. Miskiw and Thurlbeck were sentenced to six months each, Weatherup got a suspended sentence of four months, and Mulcaire was given a suspended sentence of six months. Variety Coulson faces a retrial along with former royals editor Clive Goodman on separate charges that they made illegal payments to police officers to obtain royal phone directories. Over a period of more than a decade, journalists at the now-shuttered Sunday paper listened in on thousands of voicemails belonging to celebrities, politicians and crime victims.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: USA Loss Draws 22 Million | WSJ Cuts Newsroom Staff

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21.6 Million Watch USA-Belgium Match on ESPN, Univision (TVNewser)
Between ESPN and Univision, 21.6 million viewers watched Tuesday’s USA-Belgium World Cup match — 16.5 million on ESPN and another 5.1 million on Univision. New York Post The broadcast’s workday time slot meant ESPN’s coverage of USA-Belgium was only the second most watched World Cup game so far. ESPN said the viewership of Tuesday’s nailbiter failed to top the USA-Portugal game, which drew 18.22 million viewers. That game aired on a Sunday evening. Deadline Hollywood While not the record-breaking 10.4 million who tuned in for Mexico’s loss on June 29 to the Netherlands nor the 6.5 million who saw Portugal tie Team USA, Tuesday’s Univision viewership was better than the 3.4 million who watched America’s 1-0 loss to Germany on June 26. Online, Univision Digital saw a record-breaking 1.8 million unique viewers watch Tuesday’s game. AllFacebook The Facebook Data Science Team reported that the match yielded 21 million interactions (posts, comments and likes) from 13 million users globally, including more than 6.5 million interactions from some 4.1 million U.S. users. Variety For the World Cup through the Round of 16, ESPN and ABC averaged 4.08 million viewers — a record audience for the tournament, up 44 percent from 2010 (2.84 million) and 122 percent from 2006 (1.84 million).

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Google Buys Songza | MSNBC Holds Second Place

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Google in Deal for Songza, A Music Playlist Service (NYT)
In a sign of growing consolidation in the digital music business, Google announced on Tuesday that it had bought Songza, a three-year-old app that competes with Pandora and others in making customized playlists of recommended songs. Re/code The New York Post reported in June that the deal could be worth $15 million. Unlike some acquired startups, Songza won’t be shutting down. Its team will be joining Google in New York and helping with contextual recommendation features for Google Play and possibly YouTube down the line. GigaOM Songza offers custom curated playlists based on categories like genre, mood, decade and activity (“Drinking at A Dive Bar,” “’60s International,” etc.) and offers song suggestions based on the time of day and week. The service is free and songs aren’t interrupted by ads. THR The acquisition comes on the heels of Apple’s deal to purchase Beats Electronics and its streaming music service for $3 billion. Amazon also has jumped into the music streaming market with the launch of the Prime Music service, which comes as part of its $99 annual Prime subscription. The move appears to be part of Google’s plans to compete in this increasingly crowded music-streaming space, which is already dominated by Spotify. Variety Google said it plans to use Songza to make its Play Music service more attractive. The Songza purchase also comes as marketers are spending more on online and mobile radio services in the U.S. Ad sales generated $1.65 billion in the U.S. last year, a gain of 26.3 percent, according to digital research group eMarketer. That’s expected to increase another 23 percent to $2 billion this year.

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