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Aereo Suspends Streaming TV Service, Weighs Next Steps (Variety)
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Wednesday in favor of broadcasters, Aereo announced early Saturday that it was pausing its streaming TV service at 11:30 a.m. ET. “We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps,” Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia wrote in a letter to subscribers. Deadline Hollywood The Barry Diller-backed company plans to consult with the U.S. District Court in New York, hearing broadcasters’ complaint against it after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the service violates station owners’ copyrights when it streams their over-the-air programming without permission. Users will receive a refund for their last paid month. Mediaite Notably, Kanojia calls the move a “pause” rather than a permanent end to operations, though it seems highly unlikely that the company will be able to move forward in any recognizable form following the decision. In an interview with Bloomberg TV earlier this year, he said the company had “no plan” to move forward if the court ruled against it. GigaOM Despite the obvious appeal of an Internet-based mobile TV service that offers a small bundle of channels, the TV industry is reluctant to change its current business model, which is based on selling large packages of channels, many of which consumers never watch. One option for Aereo may be to accept the Supreme Court’s declaration that it is a cable company, and seek a license from the broadcasters, although the economics of this might prove prohibitive. NYT The company had fewer than 500,000 subscribers in about a dozen metropolitan areas. Customers paid $8 to $12 a month to rent one of Aereo’s dime-size antennas that captured over-the-air television signals. They then could stream and record programs from major broadcasters using their mobile phones, tablets, laptops and Internet-connected televisions.
Transition Ahead for The View, as Two Hosts Depart (NYT)
The latest cast changes at ABC’s daily talk show The View may signal a more sweeping transition, as two hosts will depart by the end of the summer, and the new participants may include the show’s first permanent male host. Executives familiar with the changes said on Friday that the departures of Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy are part of a creative makeover planned in the wake of the retirement of the show’s creator and original star, Barbara Walters. TVNewser As speculation about who will replace Shepherd and McCarthy on The View grows, you can scratch at least one name off the list. MSNBC confirmed that there is no truth to the rumor that Mika Brzezinski could potentially be headed to the ABC chat show. Deadline Hollywood According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Shepherd’s decision was the result of unsuccessful contract-renewal talks — the two parties were too far apart. McCarthy, however, was destined to become the TV industry’s latest casualty of “a decision was made to move the show in a new direction creatively.” TheWrap Barbara Walters returned to The View Friday in a pre-taped segment that turned out to be her last with Shepherd and McCarthy before they announced their exits. In the segment, taped Wednesday, the former host talked about her interview with the UCSB shooter’s father, Peter Rodger. Shepherd and McCarthy said Thursday night they were leaving the show.
World Cup: 17 Million Facebook Users Come to Life During Group of Death, With 31 Million Interactions (AllFacebook)
The “Group of Death” at 2014 FIFA World Cup, Group G, wrapped up its games Thursday, with Germany and the U.S. moving on to the round of 16 following Germany’s 1-0 victory over the USA According to the Facebook Data Science Team, more than 17 million Facebook users were responsible for more than 31 million interactions (posts, comments and likes) during Thursday’s matches. In the U.S. alone, more than 3.8 million Facebook users accounted for more than 6 million interactions. Variety The match between the U.S. and Germany yielded its highest-ever online viewership — with 3.2 million live unique viewers — even though the heavy demand blocked many from accessing ESPN live stream. Univision Communications, which holds the Spanish-language World Cup broadcast rights in the U.S., reported a record 1.7 million unique viewers for its Internet stream of the USA-Germany content, with a peak of 750,000 concurrent live viewers, on its unauthenticated service. THR / The Live Feed Though it doesn’t quite compare to Sunday’s record-breaking game against Portugal, Team USA’s third appearance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup saw viewership surge again during Thursday’s early match with Germany — averaging 10.8 million viewers. The 1-0 loss came at quite an early hour for American audiences — with the game starting at noon ET/ 9 a.m. PT — one reason why it didn’t equal the audience of the previous game. An ideal Sunday evening kickoff time brought 18.2 million viewers to the cable network for USA-Portugal, making it the most watched soccer game in U.S. television history. Capital New York On Univision Deportes, some 3.4 million people tuned into Spanish-language broadcast of the USA-Germany game.
Carlos Slim Buys Out AT&T’s Stake in América Móvil (NYT / DealBook)
AT&T said on Friday that it was selling its $5.6 billion stake in América Móvil, the Mexican telecommunications company, back to its majority shareholder, the billionaire Carlos Slim Helú. The sale comes as AT&T seeks to acquire the satellite television operator DirecTV in a $48.5 billion deal. WSJ AT&T, a longtime investor in América Móvil and its forerunner Telmex, alerted the market in May of plans to unload the roughly $6 billion stake to facilitate regulatory approval of its $49 billion purchase of DirecTV, which competes with Slim’s company in pay television in Latin America. The intervention of Slim’s companies ensures that the billionaire will retain control of the wireless firm without stretching América Móvil’s balance sheet. Bloomberg Slim’s holding company, Inmobiliaria Carso, told América Móvil’s board it will acquire AT&T’s 8.3 percent stake, which includes 24 percent of the company’s voting shares. AT&T expects to report a gain of 8 cents to 10 cents a share from the sale of its holding in América Móvil.
Barbara Walters’ Return to ABC Wins Night (TVNewser)
Barbara Walters’ exclusive interview with Peter Rodger on 20/20 Friday was the No. 1 broadcast program of the night in the two young demos: adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. With 6.2 million viewers, it came in second among total viewers to a repeat of CBS’ Blue Bloods, which drew 6.3 million. Deadline Hollywood Nonetheless, among Walters’ 20/20 greatest hits in the ratings annals, the Rodger interview ranks behind her May 2 interview with Donald Sterling girlfriend V. Stiviano which drew 7.14 million and a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49. The most watched Walters interview on 20/20 ever was her March 3, 1999, interview with Monica Lewinsky. That edition of 20/20 was watched by an estimated 70 million viewers — a record for a news program.
Michelle Perry Named EP of Andrea Mitchell Reports (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
MSNBC has named Michelle Perry executive producer of Andrea Mitchell Reports, the network announced on Friday. Perry replaces Subrata De, who left the network earlier this month to become vice president of multiplatform newsgathering at ABC News. TVNewser Perry joined MSNBC in 2008, and has been senior producer of AMR since 2011, working with Mitchell in the field during the 2012 presidential campaign.
HLN Taking Over CNN’s Atlanta Studio (FTVLive)
More changes are on the way for CNN’s “World Headquarters” in Atlanta. Insiders say that all of the CNN domestic work space is being turned over to HLN, including the new, just opened, state-of-the-art Studio 7. TVNewser It hasn’t yet been decided which HLN shows will air in that studio. As CNN’s Carol Costello and Brooke Baldwin move from Atlanta to New York in August, their production staffs will remain in their Atlanta workspace. Nancy Grace, HLN Now, and Morning and Weekend Express currently originate from Atlanta.
Paramount Animation Hires Disney Vet as Creative Director (THR)
Paramount Animation has hired veteran Disney animator Lino DiSalvo as its new creative director. DiSalvo comes from a 16-year stint at Walt Disney Animation Studios, during which he most recently served as head of animation on best animated feature Oscar-winner Frozen. Variety Paramount said DiSalvo will be assisting Adam Goodman, who oversees animation as president of the Paramount Film Group, and the Paramount Animation team to build a “world-class feature animation studio.” Paramount Animation is releasing The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water in February and is currently in production on Monster Trucks, a hybrid of live action and CGI animation directed by Chris Wedge and set for release in May.
George Stephanopoulos Runs A Jeopardy! Category (TVNewser)
On Jeopardy! Thursday night, ABC’s chief anchor George Stephanopoulos was the focus of an entire category. In the category, “A Visit With George Stephanopoulos,” the GMA and This Week host played the part of Alex Trebek, reading all the clues. Most of them were about interviews Stephanopoulos has conducted. HuffPost The $800 clue, for example, featured Stephanopoulos saying, “In a 2013 one-on-one with President Obama, on the shifting situation in Syria, I had to ask, ‘Don’t you worry that this world leader and Bashar Assad supporter is playing you?’” The correct response was “Who is Putin?”
Hank Gilman Joins Reuters (FishbowlNY)
Hank Gilman, a veteran of Fortune for 16 years, is joining Reuters’ top news team in September. Gilman most recently served as a contributing editor for Inc. He previously served as deputy editor for Fortune and business editor for Newsweek.
Al Jazeera America EP Let Go (TVNewser)
Al Jazeera America morning senior EP Gary Konofsky has been let go for personnel reasons. Konofsky joined the network before its launch last year. Earlier, he’d worked for Bloomberg News, WCBS and spent 10 years at CNBC.
Furor Erupts Over Facebook’s Experiment on Users (WSJ)
A social-network furor has erupted over news that Facebook Inc., in 2012, conducted a massive psychological experiment on nearly 700,000 unwitting users. To determine whether it could alter the emotional state of its users and prompt them to post either more positive or negative content, the site’s data scientists enabled an algorithm, for one week, to automatically omit content that contained words associated with either positive or negative emotions from the central news feeds of 689,003 users. CNNMoney The study found that users that were shown more negative content were slightly more likely to produce negative posts. Users in the positive group responded with more upbeat posts. So it worked! Facebook was able to successfully change the emotional state of its users. While the mood changes were small, the researchers argued that the findings have major implications given the size and scale of the social network.
NBC, Dish Talks Ease Tensions Over Ad-Skipping (WSJ)
Dish Network Corp. is in discussions with NBC over Dish’s ad-skipping digital video recorder, say people familiar with the situation, the latest sign that a two-year-old standoff between Dish and major broadcasters is easing. While the talks are underway, NBC has put its lawsuit against Dish on hold, the people say.
Time Inc. Senior Editors Racing Out The Door (New York Post / Media Ink)
Time Inc. senior editors, especially those of long standing, appear to be stampeding toward the exits. Betsy Gleick, an executive editor at People and responsible for most of the non-celebrity covers in recent years, left on Friday.
The Right to Resell eBooks — Major Case Looms in The Netherlands (GigaOM)
A major lawsuit is about to take place in the Netherlands, dragging the issue of the resale of digital media back into European courts. Recently, a local startup called Tom Kabinet opened the virtual doors on its secondhand eBook bookstore. At the moment, it is generally accepted that eBooks cannot be resold, as is the case with music, movies and other digital media.
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