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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.

Dish Asks FCC to Block Comcast-TWC Merger (NYT)
Dish Network, a satellite television provider, has urged regulators to reject a deal between its rivals that it said would reshape the country’s television and broadband markets. WSJ Dish chairman Charlie Ergen met with FCC chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday and made his case against the $45 billion deal, which would unite the nation’s two largest cable companies, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Among other things, Dish said, the merger “should be denied” because it would give the combined cable companies too much clout in the broadband marketplace. Deadline Hollywood Ergen said that Comcast could hobble Internet video services at three choke points: The cable company would control the last-mile connection to the home and the point where content providers access Comcast’s network. In addition, it could squeeze potential rivals by devoting lots of its Web capacity to special high-speed lanes for favored services. “Each choke point provides the ability for the combined company to foreclose the online video offerings of its competitors,” the filing says. Variety Dish also said that the pending merger between AT&T and DirecTV raised “competitive concerns,” as the companies will combine their market power to “leverage programming content, to the potential detriment of consumers.” But Dish did not explicitly say that it opposed that transaction. There has been speculation that Dish would seek its own merger partner if the AT&T-DirecTV transaction is approved.

Germany’s Stunning Rout of Brazil Results in Most Facebook Tournament Interactions (AllFacebook)
Host Brazil’s shocking 7-1 defeat at the hands of Germany in a semifinal match Tuesday at 2014 FIFA World Cup sparked the most conversation on Facebook of any of the tournament’s games to date, with 66 million of the social network’s users responsible for more than 200 million interactions (posts, comments and likes), including more than 52 million interactions from 16 million users in Brazil alone, according to the Facebook Data Science Team. AllTwitter Some 35.6 million tweets about Brazil vs. Germany were exchanged on Twitter during the matchup, making it Twitter’s most-discussed single sports game ever, peaking at a heady 580,166 tweets per minute. Deadline Hollywood With a 4.2 rating and 6.643 million viewers watching the afternoon game on ESPN, the match was both the highest-rated and most viewed World Cup semifinal in American TV history. Over on Univision, the stunning blow-out game drew 5.8 million viewers to be the top World Cup semifinal ever on the Spanish language network. THR Broadcast network ZDF said on Wednesday it reached nearly 32.6 million viewers on average, making the game the highest-rated program ever in Germany since data has been collected. The game gave ZDF an audience share of 87.8 percent of people watching TV in the country at the time, which is also one of the highest figures ever.

George Clooney Blasts Daily Mail (FishbowlNY)
George Clooney has had it with The Daily Mail. In a letter posted by USA Today, the actor blasted the Mail for publishing a story (which originally appeared on its site) about him, his fiancée Amal Alamuddin and her mother. The Mail article said that Alamuddin’s mother was against the two getting married based on religious beliefs. THR Clooney says he’s accustomed to the Mail “making up stories.” “They do it several times a week,” he says. But Clooney avers that in this instance the stakes are higher: The paper is attempting to exploit religious differences and latent intolerance to attract clicks. HuffPost The Mail yanked the story from its website and issued an abject apology to Clooney. “We accept Mr. Clooney’s assurance that the story is inaccurate and we apologize to him, Miss Amal Alamuddin and her mother, Baria, for any distress caused,” the paper said.

Argentine Journalist Dies in Brazil Car Crash (Reuters)
Argentine sports journalist Jorge Lopez was killed early on Wednesday after his taxi was hit by a stolen car fleeing police, making him the second reporter from his country to die in a wreck in Brazil during the World Cup. Poynter / MediaWire On July 2, reporter Maria Soledad Fernandez was killed in a car crash. The taxi Lopez was in was hit by a car with teenagers leaving a crime scene. NBC Sports / ProSoccerTalk Police inspector Paulo Roberto Poli told Globo TV network that Lopez flew out of the car, hit a concrete wall and was killed instantly. The taxi driver suffered minor injuries and the three occupants of the stolen car were arrested. Lopez was working for Argentine sports daily Ole and La Red radio station in Buenos Aires.

David Muir Scores World News Ratings Growth (TVNewser)
World News With Diane Sawyer, which saw David Muir sitting in Monday through Thursday, was the only newscast to show year-over-year growth in both total viewers and the adult 25-54 demo compared to the same week last year: up 4 percent in viewers and up 7 percent in the demo. THR / The Live Feed Also winning the younger demo, one of World News’ most notable feats was how close it scored its No. 2 status among viewers. The show’s 7.44 million trailed NBC by only 68,000 viewers, the closest finish in nearly two years. TheWrap NBC Nightly News hit its lowest ratings in key news demo since at least 1991 — when Nielsen’s electronic records began. It’s been a back and forth battle between the two networks’ primetime news offerings lately, with ABC winning seven of the past 13 weeks among those 25-54.

National Journal Hires Bob Moser, Ben Pershing (FishbowlDC)
National Journal‘s editor-in-chief Tim Grieve Wednesday afternoon announced internally the hiring of two editors: Bob Moser from the American Prospect as senior editor of the magazine and Ben Pershing as Washington editor to oversee NJ’s coverage of Congress and the White House. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Grieve emailed staff again later in the afternoon: “Minutes after I hit ‘send’ on my last email, I got word that [Roll Call congressional reporter] Daniel Newhauser has accepted our offer to join National Journal as a Congress reporter… [he] joins us in August.”

Josh Sternberg Named Content Strategist for Washington Post Brand Studio (The Washington Post)
The Washington Post Wednesday announced that Josh Sternberg is joining its Brand Studio as content strategist, where he will guide the development of multiplatform branded content concepts tailored for the Post’s unique audience of opinion leaders and decision makers. Based in the Post’s New York office, he will also oversee a network of writers, producers, videographers and interactive graphic designers. PRNewser While Sternberg’s most recent role was senior editor of Digiday’s own sponsored content studio (and he has been reporting on the site for some time), he was once a PR guy specializing in media relations and strategic comms.

Reuters’ Jeff Mason Elected WHCA President (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason was elected president of the White House Correspondents Association for 2016-2017 on Wednesday. Mason beat out Fox News White House producer Wes Barret 172 votes to 23 votes. Mason also beat Barret for the “at-large” seat on the Association board. Todd Gillman, the Washington bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, won the newspaper seat. Doug Mills, a New York Times photographer, won the photographer seat.

News Corp. Rumored to Be Putting Together New Bid for Tribune Newspapers (Poynter / Biz Blog)
Rumor has it that News Corp — with a $2.5 billion cash kitty for acquisitions — may be mounting a new bid for the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and the six other Tribune newspapers.

Paul Whitlatch to Join Hachette as Senior Editor (GalleyCat)
Paul Whitlatch is leaving Simon & Schuster’s Scribner imprint to join Hachette Books as senior editor later this month. He will be reporting to Hachette publisher Mauro DiPreta. The editor has worked with a number of bestselling authors including: actor James Franco, Harvard education expert Tony Wagner, novelist David Goodwillie and former CIA attorney John Rizzo.

Former BBC Chair Chris Patten to Advise Pope on Vatican Media Operations (THR)
Chris Patten, the former chairman of the BBC Trust, will take on the new role of advising Pope Francis on the Vatican’s media operations and how to improve them. The Vatican confirmed the appointment; in the part-time role, Patten will chair an advisory committee over the next year. It is expected to provide a report in the summer of 2015. Patten’s role is scheduled to start in September.

David Zinczenko on AMI’s New Deal, Ousted Obama Insider Turns Heads (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
Things were pretty quiet at Michael’s Wednesday as many of the media mavens, social swans and talking heads were still away in the Hamptons this week. We, not of the summer cottage set, ventured to 55th and Fifth for our lunch with David Zinczenko, who doesn’t have time for a vacation because building a media empire is a 24/7 endeavor.

NBC Dateline Defamation Lawsuit Revived by Appeals Court (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
On Wednesday, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a judge had too quickly dismissed an insurance broker’s defamation lawsuit against NBCUniversal, reporter Chris Hansen and others over a 2008 Dateline segment titled “Tricks of The Trade.”

Katie Rosman Joins NYT Styles Section (WWD / Memo Pad)
The New York Times has poached Katie Rosman from The Wall Street Journal. Rosman, who began her career at the Journal 10 years ago, joins the Styles section later this month and will report to Styles editor Stuart Emmrich. Her last day at the Journal will be Friday.

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