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Morning Media Newsfeed: North Korea Doesn’t Deny Breach | ABC News Debuts GoStream

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North Korea Refuses to Deny Sony Pictures Cyber Attack (BBC News)
Sony is investigating after its computers were attacked and unreleased films were made available on the Internet. When asked if it was involved in the attack, a spokesman for the North Korean government replied: “Wait and see.” THR Asked about the cyber attack, a spokesman for North Korea’s U.N. mission told BBC News, “The hostile forces are relating everything to the DPRK [North Korea]. I kindly advise you to just wait and see.” The FBI said on Tuesday that it is currently part of the investigation into the cyber attack. Variety Among other scenarios, Sony Pictures is looking into the possibility that hackers with ties to North Korea were responsible. That is presumed to be retaliation for the studio’s scheduled Dec. 25 release of The Interview, a geopolitical spoof starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, in which the duo are approached by the CIA about assassinating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. An unofficial North Korean spokesman decried the film earlier this summer. Mashable A group calling itself GOP (Guardian of Peace) hacked into Sony Pictures Entertainment’s website last week, taking down nearly all of its internal systems with it. Nearly a week later, the fruits of the raid are beginning to trickle out into the public. More than 27GB of documents that appear to be from internal Sony Pictures Entertainment file servers have already been leaked. NYT The documents contained the pre-bonus annual salaries of senior executives, 17 of whom are shown earning more than $1 million a year. The breach exposed two things the secretive movie industry loathes the most — the piracy of films and details about executive compensation — and sent a ripple of dread across Hollywood. On Pastebin, hackers released what they said were “tens of terabytes” of internal Sony data. The post — titled “Gift of G.O.P.” — included links to various data archives which appeared to contain Sony employees’ passwords, Social Security numbers, salaries and performance reviews. The studio has offered to enroll employees in a fraud protection program.  Executives at the entertainment company said they were also making progress in fighting the apparently related Internet pirating of five complete films, including the unreleased Annie.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: World News to Cast on Facebook | Veteran Staff Take NYT Buyouts

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ABC World News Tonight Launches Facebook Newscast (TVNewser)
ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir will host a social media newscast every weekday on Facebook called “Facecast: The One Thing.” Starting Monday, Dec. 1, the one-minute news update aims to give Facebook users a summary of the day’s top stories and trending topics. AllFacebook ABC News said “Facecast: The One Thing” will be shot behind the scenes at its New York headquarters. It will be the first social media daily newscast hosted by an evening news anchor. THR “We are grateful that our audience engages with David Muir and World News Tonight on social media all day long,” said World News Tonight executive producer Almin Karamehmedovic. “We’re very excited to launch a newscast that is exclusively for Facebook, where users can continue the conversation beyond the evening newscast at any time.” HuffPost / AP The “Facecast” will usually be posted in the early afternoon. ABC said Facebook users will see the report in their news stream if they have “liked” World News Tonight, or else will be able to find it on the newscast’s Facebook page. Variety ABC News makes its move as other traditional broadcasters have taken steps to burnish their “traditional” news efforts in digital venues. CBS last month unveiled CBSN, a live streaming-video newscast that offers CBS News reporting between 9 a.m. and midnight eastern each day.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Sony Probes North Korea Link to Hack | Ex-CBC Host Charged

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Sony Pictures Investigates North Korea Link in Hack (Re/code)
Sony Pictures Entertainment is exploring the possibility that hackers working on behalf of North Korea, perhaps operating out of China, may be behind a devastating attack that brought the studio’s network to a screeching halt last week, sources familiar with the matter said. Mashable The thinking is that the hack may be in response to Sony’s upcoming film, The Interview, which is premised on a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The comedy, which is set to be released on Christmas Day, stars Seth Rogen and James Franco who play entertainment journalists recruited by the CIA to kill Kim after it comes out the two men are planning an interview with the North Korean leader. THR North Korea has been vociferous in its complaints about the film and even called the movie an “act of war” in a letter to the United Nations. This isn’t the first time North Korea has also threatened retaliation for something that it didn’t like or felt was insulting. In July, a Chinese viral video led to Pyongyang demanding the video be taken down and action taken against the makers. And in September, North Korea slammed the makers of the documentary Opposite Number and called on the U.K. to punish those behind that project. NYT One person with knowledge of the situation said a Hollywood executive from a company other than Sony had contacted Homeland Security to suggest that the attack might be related to a piracy investigation involving a movie that was not even made by Sony. But the department was not mobilized as a result of the query. The attack apparently did not use sophisticated techniques that might be expected from a hostile government. Rather, it employed a common form of so-called ransomware, according to a security researcher with knowledge of the breach, who did not have permission to speak publicly about the findings. Variety At least five new movies from Sony Pictures are being devoured on copyright-infringing file-sharing hubs online in the wake of the hack attack. Copies of DVD screeners of four unreleased Sony movies including the upcoming Annie are getting some unwelcome early exposure, but nothing compared with the frenzy enveloping Fury, the war pic still in theaters that bowed in October.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: 16 Million Watch Ferguson Grand Jury | Orman to Leave CNBC

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16 Million Tune in to Cable News for Ferguson Grand Jury Announcement (TVNewser)
The news surrounding the grand jury’s decision in the Darren Wilson case gave cable news channels a ratings surge Monday. While the decision had been reached by mid-afternoon, news channels had seven hours to consider the result as it was not announced until the 9 p.m. ET hour, when daytime viewership peaked. Capital New York During the 9 p.m. hour, when the decision was revealed, Fox News averaged 7.26 million total viewers, including 2.19 million adults 25 to 54. CNN averaged 6.26 million total viewers, including 3.16 million adults 25-54, and MSNBC averaged 2.20 million total viewers, including 742,000 adults aged 25 to 54. Mediaite The peak for CNN came not at 9 p.m. when the decision was announced, but instead during the second half of the 10 p.m. hour when the network reached 3.558 million demo viewers. With 7.256 million viewers during the 9 p.m. hour, Fox’s The Kelly File was the overall winner for the night. Variety Both The Kelly File and Hannity scored all-time highs in terms of overall viewers and audience in the advertiser-desired demo of 25 to 54. CNN’s Anderson Cooper was able to trump Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in the 25-to-54 demo at 9 p.m. In late-night viewership, CNN lured more viewers overall and in the demo at both 11 p.m. and midnight, according to Nielsen. THR / The Live Feed Many TV networks chimed in, with some broadcast nets interrupting primetime with President Obama’s remarks on the matter and each of the cable news outlets covering it well into the night. Some segments from the center of the embattled town even got too close, with CNN’s Sara Sidner being hit with a rock on air.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Journalists Cover Ferguson Grand Jury | Sony Pictures Hacked

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Ferguson Grand Jury Decision: How The Cable Networks Covered It (THR)
White Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. The cable networks have been covering the lead-up since Monday afternoon and carried the announcement live. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Nearly every major news organization had reporters on the ground, some with upward of two dozen staffers. High profile anchors like Jake Tapper, Don Lemon and Chris Hayes have also been dispatched to cover the grand jury decision and any resulting turmoil. The major broadcast and cable networks, The Washington Post, The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Huffington Post, Reuters, USA Today, The Daily Caller and BuzzFeed all have reporters on the ground, and some have sent additional photographers and videographers as well. TVNewser As President Obama called for calm, angry protesters tried to flip a police cruiser. Less than an hour after the President’s remarks, that police cruiser was on fire. Police told CNN correspondent Jason Carroll and his crew to leave the scene as live rounds in the cruiser started going off. Mediaite Before St. Louis prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that there would be no indictment for Wilson in the shooting death of Brown, he spent a few minutes railing against the media for its role in the process leading up to Monday night’s announcement. “The most significant challenge encountered in this investigation has been the 24-hour news cycle and its insatiable appetite for something, for anything to talk about,” he said, “following closely behind with the non-stop rumors on social media.” TVNewser As CNN coverage from Ferguson moved into the 10 p.m. ET hour, Anderson Cooper passed off to Don Lemon, who appeared on camera wearing a gas mask on his forehead. Within moments, canisters of gas were thrown into the streets as police moved in and pushed away crowds of protesters. Chris Cuomo, who was live with gas flowing toward his camera position, threw back to Lemon, who was wearing the mask over his face — gas swirling in the air behind him — and was unable to continue. He asked for water. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos is currently poised to land the first interview with Wilson. TVNewser The announcement came a day after CNN’s Brian Stelter reported a collection of network news anchors had met privately with Wilson. Variety Stephanopoulos prepared to offer a special report on ABC News Monday night. NBC News’ Brian Williams and CBS News’ Scott Pelley anchored special reports covering the announcement.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Aereo Files for Bankruptcy | MSNBC Hires Ex-WH Staffer

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Aereo Files for Bankruptcy (TVSpy)
With a post on the company’s blog Friday morning, Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia announced the company had filed for bankruptcy protection. THR The digital TV service, which broadcast network owners battled in courts for offering access to broadcast TV signals via digital devices, made a voluntary Chapter 11 filing, it said in the statement. “We encountered significant challenges from the incumbent media companies,” said Kanojia in the statement. Mashable Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is typically expensive and allows for the company to restructure its debt. While filing for bankruptcy does not necessarily mean the end of the business, Kanojia struck a tone in a statement on Aereo’s website that insinuated the company was done. Variety New York-based Aereo had raised about $97 million, from investors including IAC chairman Barry Diller, media investor Gordon Crawford, Himalaya Capital Management, Highland Capital Partners and FirstMark Capital. Earlier this month Aereo laid off a majority of its staff, including employees in New York and Boston. The company said a small executive team of about a dozen people would remain. GigaOM Aereo’s bankruptcy petition shows it owes roughly $2 million to a list of creditors that include Internet companies like Level 3 and Google, as well as several law firms. But the most significant creditors on the list are names like ABC and Fox, the TV networks that are continuing to sue Aereo over copyright infringement. Aereo’s filing simply states “unknown” in the amount owed to the “litigation party” TV stations, which also include PBS, Telemundo and NBC.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Fager to Step Down, Return to 60 Minutes | WaPo, Kindle Partner Up

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Jeff Fager Stepping Down as Chairman of CBS News, Returns Full Time to 60 Minutes (TVNewser)
Jeff Fager is leaving his role as chairman of CBS News and turning his “full attention” to 60 Minutes. FishbowlDC Fager served as CBS News’ chairman for four years, and had worked as the executive producer of 60 Minutes for seven years before that. THR / The Live Feed Fager has also extended his current contract as executive producer through 2019. As for a replacement, president David Rhodes now assumes sole leadership of CBS News. Fager assumed the role of chairman at a pivotal time for CBS, on the eve of Katie Couric’s exit from the CBS Evening News. June of 2011 saw current anchor, and longtime 60 Minutes correspondent, Scott Pelley, assume the role of lead anchor for the nightly news telecast. NYT CBS cast the moves as an orderly transition that was set in motion four years ago when Leslie Moonves, the CBS chief executive, asked Fager to take over supervision of the news division while remaining as executive producer of 60 Minutes. In his own memo, Fager said of Rhodes, “I hired him almost four years ago with this moment in mind, and he has exceeded all expectations.” Capital New York Fager’s dual roles as chairman of CBS News and E.P. of 60 Minutes did lead to some controversy. Last year, a flawed report about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya led to an internal investigation and the suspension of Lara Logan, who has since returned to the network.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Cancels Cosby Project | Today Firings Rumor ‘Wrong — Period’

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Cosby’s New NBC Show Is No Longer in Development (HuffPost)
NBC has confirmed to HuffPost Entertainment that a planned sitcom project with Bill Cosby is no longer in development. The network had no further comment on the matter. THR / The Live Feed NBC handed out a script plus significant penalty for the comedy earlier this year, tapping Rules of Engagement alum Mike Sikowitz and Mike O’Malley (Shameless) to write and produce the comedy. O’Malley was eyed for a co-starring role on the comedy, which NBC Entertainment topper Bob Greenblatt envisioned for a summer or fall 2015 debut. Deadline The Cosby NBC multi-camera comedy project, executive produced by The Cosby Show’s Tom Werner, would’ve had Cosby starring as Jonathan Franklin, a patriarch of a multigenerational family who shares his many years of wit, wisdom and experience to help his daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren navigate their complicated modern lives. In light of the slew of rape accusations, it would’ve probably been hard for viewers to accept Cosby as a lovable family man and for NBC to sell the project to advertisers. The Associated Press / The Big Story A TV Land spokesperson said reruns of The Cosby Show will stop airing immediately for an indefinite time. The Cosby Show also was to have been part of a Thanksgiving sitcom marathon. PRNewser Both NBC and Netflix, who decided that it would be best to postpone the planned launch of its comedy special Bill Cosby 77, which had been planned to go live the day after Thanksgiving, have clearly made their respective decisions with their brands in mind. The allegations show no sign of going away anytime soon. In fact, the talk about them seems to be escalating the more we hear from the alleged victims and others surrounding the issue. FishbowlNY It started this week with a Vice article by Tracie Egan Morrissey, who excerpted passages about Cosby from former supermodel Janice Dickinson’s 2002 autobiography No Lifeguard on Duty. It quickly escalated with Dickinson shockingly filling in the blanks in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight co-host Kevin Frazier. While the additional, shared details were immediately dismissed by Cosby attorney Marty Singer as “a defamatory fabrication,” some earlier legal wrangling with Cosby apparently kept these allegations from surfacing well before 2004 accuser Andrea Constand filed suit. TVNewser CNN’s Don Lemon has issued an on-air apology for remarks he made during Tuesday night’s interview with Cosby accuser Joan Tarshis. Lemon, who is a victim of sexual abuse himself, caused a social media uproar by telling Tarshis, “there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Netflix Ups Global Expansion | Turner, CBS Prep for Dish Blackout

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Netflix to Expand to Australia, New Zealand (THR)
Netflix is continuing its march worldwide, unveiling plans on Tuesday to expand to Australia and New Zealand. The streaming service said that it will expand to those countries in March 2015. Variety Pricing for a subscription to Netflix in the countries will be announced “at a later date.” In a press release, Netflix said the Australia and New Zealand collection will include upcoming original series Marco Polo, animated BoJack Horseman and kids titles including DreamWorks Animation’s All Hail King Julien. Movies and TV shows will be available in high definition and in 4K where possible. GigaOM The launch will bring the number of countries Netflix is available in to more than 50 and the announcement is not unexpected: Netflix CFO David Wells said earlier this month that the company plans a “sizeable expansion” for 2015 and Netflix has reportedly been preparing to enter Australia by hiring local agencies for a launch campaign. WSJ He said over the next three to five years, Netflix believes it is possible to generate 50 percent of its revenues from countries outside the U.S., up from about 28 percent now. Assuming that Netflix signs up 10 percent of broadband households outside the U.S., Wells says, it is possible for the company to have about 50 million to 60 million non-U.S. subscribers or even more. The company had 14.4 million international paying customers at the end of the third quarter, compared with 36.3 million U.S. customers. Deadline The initiative positions Netflix for an interesting fight: Only about 30 percent of Australian households subscribe to pay TV, far less than in the U.S. and even less than in the U.K., where about half subscribe. Australia’s leading distributor, Foxtel, expected to see some competition from streaming services and recently halved the price of its basic service.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Horowitz Out at NBC News | Charles Champlin Dies at 88

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Jamie Horowitz Out at NBC News (TVNewser)
Jamie Horowitz, the recently-hired SVP and GM of the Today show, is no longer with NBC News. A source tells us Horowitz and his boss, NBC News president Deborah Turness, were not seeing eye to eye, leading to Horowitz’s departure from the network late Monday. THR / The Live Feed Originally set to join the network in December, Horowitz started taking meetings at Today in September, overseeing the network’s flagship morning show. Variety “He’s a talented producer and executive, but, together, he and I have come to the conclusion that this is not the right fit,” Turness said in a memo to staffers. In the wake of Horowitz’ departure, Turness said, she will continue working closely with Don Nash, the executive producer of Today, and Jen Brown, the vice president and general manager of Today.com. She expects to find a new general manager of Today, she said. Deadline Hollywood In August, NBC agreed to let Bill Wolff, VP primetime programs at MSNBC and executive producer of The Rachel Maddow Show, out of his contract to move to ABC, in order to get that parent company to allow top ESPN programmer Horowitz take the helm at Today. Before joining ESPN, Horowitz worked at NBC Sports; he started his TV career as an NBC Olympics researcher. Turness came to the network from the U.K. in August 2013 to help turn around the news division’s once-dominant but now struggling franchises. NYT Early reports of new turbulence at Today were especially upsetting for NBC News because the show is the news division’s biggest profit center, and NBC has been touting a comeback in the ratings for the show, which has trailed ABC’s Good Morning America since Today lost a seemingly impregnable lead in the morning ratings in 2012. Turness has been portrayed as embattled in some reports, and Horowitz’s name surfaced quickly as a possible successor, despite his short tenure and the fact that he has no network news background.

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