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No Sign of Progress in CBS/Time Warner Cable Dispute (WSJ)
A blackout of CBS Corp.’s flagship network on Time Warner Cable Inc. systems in New York, Los Angeles and a few other markets dragged on through the weekend with no sign of any resolution. By Sunday afternoon the two companies couldn’t even agree on whether any talks were under way. A Time Warner Cable spokeswoman said negotiations were “ongoing,” while CBS said that “there are no negotiations taking place at this time.” TVNewser At 5 p.m. ET Friday CBS O&Os in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Denver and Pittsburgh were pulled from Time Warner Cable systems in those markets. Additionally, cable channels Showtime, The Movie Channel, Flix and Smithsonian Channel are blacked out on Time Warner Cable. NYT “There are several ways that you can still see your favorite shows, including using an antenna to get CBS free over the air.” An antenna? Where does that go, on top of the cathode-ray tube? That’s one of the tips Time Warner Cable put up on screen after it stopped showing CBS around the country on Friday. NYT The continuing impasse resulted in two popular shows on the pay cable channel Showtime, Dexter and Ray Donovan, being unavailable to fans in those areas on Sunday night. And it means that the most popular drama of the summer, CBS’ Under the Dome, is likely to be blocked to millions of viewers on Monday night. Several media analysts suggested the standoff might be protracted, with predictions ranging from about 10 days to as long as six weeks. The later date is associated with the start of the NFL season, a package of programming that everyone involved agrees cannot be denied to subscribers. Indeed, timing seems to be the dominant factor driving the dispute. Time In a tit-for-tat action, CBS responded by blocking videos of full episodes of its programming on CBS.com for Time Warner Cable broadband customers in the affected markets.
Newsweek Has Been Sold to IBT Media, Publisher of International Business Times; Will Remain ’100 Percent Digital’ (Capital New York)
IAC/InterActive reached a deal to sell Newsweek, which has been publishing since January as a digital-only version of the old magazine, to the owners of the International Business Times. The announcement ends weeks of speculation about who might purchase what remains of the 80-year-old journalism brand, which was on the block for the second time in just three years. FishbowlNY IAC will operate Newsweek for the next 60 days; after that, it’s all IBT Media’s. For better or worse. BuzzFeed In an interview with BuzzFeed, IBT co-founders Etienne Uzac and Johnathan Davis said they had been thinking about acquiring Newsweek over the last two years, pretty much right after the company ironically moved into the magazine’s offices at 7 Hanover Street in New York’s financial district after Newsweek moved into the lavish, Frank Gehry-designed IAC building. NYT From the beginning, Brown and Diller underestimated what it would take to revive Newsweek. When Jon Meacham, the magazine’s last editor under the Washington Post’s ownership, tried to turn Newsweek into an Economist-like ideas journal, the magazine’s decline accelerated. Between 2006 and 2010, the magazine’s total circulation shrank by half, to 1.6 million, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Advertising pages declined 79 percent between the first three months of 2006 and the same period in 2010. It lost more than $29 million in 2009.
Red Sox Owner’s Purchase of Boston Globe Worries Journalists (NYT)
As the list of potential purchasers of The Boston Globe leaked out, the newspaper’s longtime sportswriter and columnist Bob Ryan said his only thought was: Please, let it be anyone but John Henry. “This was the last circumstance anyone would want,” Ryan said Saturday of Henry’s purchase of the Globe and other media properties from The New York Times Company for $70 million. “It’s nothing anyone would wish. It’s scary, to say the least, for all involved.” Nieman Journalism Lab $70 million is a remarkable price. When The New York Times Company bought the Globe in 1993 from the Taylor family — which was one of the bidders to regain it — it paid $1.1 billion. With 20 years of inflation, that would be $1.78 billion today. That means the Globe is worth less than 4 percent of what it was then, without even including in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and other assets included in Saturday’s deal. CJR / The Audit Who knows? The man who turned around the Red Sox may be just the person to turn around the financial fortunes of the Globe, which has underperformed financially even among a damaged newspaper industry and even as it has more than held its own editorially. Henry hasn’t said much about how he intends to fix the paper, and it’s fair to wonder if even he knows. But, sad to say, the conflict of a baseball club owning a newspaper is even more acute than a newspaper owning a ball club. FishbowlNY Henry, a Boston resident for the past 10 years, owns Fenway Sports Group (FSG). That company owns the Boston Red Sox and the soccer club Liverpool F.C. FSG also owns Fenway Park and 80 percent of the New England Sports Network.
Chris Hansen Leaving NBC News (TVNewser)
NBC Dateline anchor Chris Hansen is leaving NBC News, a source close to the anchor confirms to TVNewser. Hansen, a 20-year veteran of NBC, is best known for his hidden camera reports such as To Catch a Predator and The Hansen Files. More recently, his personal life became tabloid fodder. TV Guide Hansen apparently became expendable after Dateline‘s increased reliance on narrative-driven, long-form stories, most of them murder mysteries. He had most recently been specializing in investigations into online-related crime and fraud. TheWrap / MediaAlley Hansen’s To Catch A Predator — in which he confronted men who tried to set up sexual encounters with children — was a ratings success in the mid-2000s, but was discontinued in 2007 after one man caught in a sting committed suicide.
Ellen DeGeneres Set as Oscars Host for 2014 Academy Awards (Variety)
And the next host of the Academy Awards is… Ellen DeGeneres. It will be DeGeneres’ second tour of duty as Oscar host, having previously emceed the 79th annual Academy Awards in 2007 and earning an Emmy nomination. The popular syndicated talkshow host also fronted the Emmys in 2001 and 2005 (co-hosting them in 2003). FishbowlNY There are so many show-open possibilities that come to mind for DeGeneres under the tutelage of telecast producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan.
No Mercy for an Erring Bloomberg Editor (NY Post)
Bloomberg LP fired an editor after he published an incorrect headline on the company’s terminals worldwide — saying a jury had found ex-Goldman Sachs banker Fabrice Tourre not liable for misleading investors, the Post has learned. In fact, the Manhattan federal court jury found Tourre liable for six of the seven claims brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Katharine Weymouth Takes Charge at The Washington Post (NYT)
In an exceedingly difficult climate for newspapers, Katharine Weymouth is charged with saving the crown jewels. In a city and a clan filled with expectations for her, that is no easy task. She is carving her path in a capital, and an industry, vastly changed from the one her grandmother inhabited when big-city newspapers were flush with advertising; the Post helped bring down a president; and for nearly four decades, Katherine Graham ruled social Washington, feting presidents and prime ministers in her elegant Georgetown manse, dining at the White House with kings and queens.
Al Jazeera America Sets Own Course (Politico)
Weeks ahead of its debut, Al Jazeera America is doing things the old-fashioned way. Today, the big-three cable news channels dedicate more airtime to opinion and analysis than they do to newsgathering. Fox News set the gold standard for heavily opinionated infotainment 17 years ago, and MSNBC has been following suit since 2007. Even CNN, which came to fame on its reporting on the first Gulf War, now spends as much time consulting partisan contributors as it does hearing from its own reporters. Al Jazeera America doesn’t want to compete with that.
How Justin Smith Remakes Media Companies — And Why The Atlantic Will Be Fine Without Him (paidContent)
Justin Smith has quietly become one of the most important figures in media today. One of his many strengths is building media companies that can thrive even after he leaves.
Gordon Ramsay Made Fox More Than $150 Million in The Last Year (Adweek)
His may not be the first name that comes to mind when the Fox Broadcasting Company is brought up in casual conversation, but let there be no doubt that Gordon Ramsay is one of the network’s singular personalities. His spit-flecked invective recalls Homer Simpson at his Bart-throttling best, his lacerating Scots tongue echoes Simon Cowell at the height of his withering reign as American Idol’s voice of derision, and his technical pedantry summons up images of Joe Buck nattering over a plate of inexpertly prepared gnocchi.
California Newspaper Staffers Lose Their Benefits When They’re Put on A 39-Hour Work Week (JimRomenesko.com)
Employees at the Antelope Valley Press — a family-owned daily in Palmdale, Calif. — were called into a meeting on Thursday and told by vice president and general manager Cherie Bryant that there would be big changes at the paper: Everyone on copy desk — I’m told there are four or five people on it — will be put on a 39-hour work week, she said, and they will no longer get benefits. Also, a news reporter and a sportswriter were put on “part-time” and lost their benefits.
Future of Cable Might Not Include TV (WSJ)
Predicting that transmission of TV will move to the Internet eventually, Cablevision Systems Corp. chief executive James Dolan says “there could come a day” when his company stops offering television service, making broadband its primary offering. His comments may be the first public acknowledgment by a cable CEO of the possibility of such a shift, long speculated about by analysts. It comes amid growing tensions between cable operators and channel owners over rising programming costs.
Wall Street Journal Becomes Latest International News Site to Be Blocked in China (The Next Web)
China has blocked access to the Wall Street Journal’s local language website, putting the US publication in the same position as Bloomberg and The New York Times which are also censored in the country.
Parodying Cable News With A Talk About Race (NYT)
On Tuesday night on MSNBC’s All In, Chris Hayes had a very direct conversation about race with Gawker writer Cord Jefferson. Prompted by a news report of a group of young people in Huntington Beach, Calif. who looted and vandalized property, the pair lamented the lack of community leadership and suggested that acting out in that manner was a learned behavior. It was a joke. Actually, there were two beats to the joke.
Good Comment, Bad Comment: Fixing A Broken System (Folio:)
One of the great promises of digital journalism is that it breaks down barriers between publications and readers. Too often, comment sections are cesspools of vitriol, magnets for haters and trolls and spammers. Threads get hijacked so they are only tangentially connected to the topic of the underlying post. The lack of friction — mere seconds elapse between furious keystroking and posting to the world — can privilege snark over enlightenment. The main issue here is whether comments create such a negative environment that they detract from the reading experience, a proposition to which many would answer yes. But some researchers fear the problem is deeper than that.
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