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Josh Elliott Exiting ABC’s Good Morning America for NBC Sports (TheWrap)
After months of speculation over Josh Elliott’s future at ABC News’ Good Morning America, contract talks broke down over the weekend and he will leave his anchor spot for a gig with NBC Sports. Amy Robach will be promoted to news anchor, effective immediately. TVNewser Elliott’s jump to NBC and return to sports comes at the end of intense contract negotiations with ABC News. Elliott will work on most high-profile NBC Sports programs including Sunday Night Football, NBC Olympics and Triple Crown horse racing. NBC is expected to reveal more later this week. Deadline Hollywood Elliott, who had been making about $1.2 million salary at GMA, turned down an offer to stay with the show for $4-$5 million. After his fellow anchor Lara Spencer nailed down a lucrative multiyear contract Thursday, Elliott raised his ask to $10 million a year. Per the terms of Elliott’s exit, he cannot appear on NBC’s Today show for six months. NYT Elliott is the second member of the GMA team to be recruited away from the show by NBCUniversal. Sam Champion, who had been the weather anchor for GMA, was hired by the Weather Channel to start up a new morning show on that cable channel, which is owned by NBCUniversal. ABC did make a strong effort to retain Elliott, offering him about $5 million a year, according to one executive with knowledge of the negotiations. Variety Robach, Elliott’s replacement, began her career as a general assignment reporter in South Carolina and moved on to become a morning anchor in Washington, D.C. She spent five years at NBC where she was an anchor at MSNBC and co-host of Weekend Today. Co-anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos remain as the leads of the show.
Piers Morgan Live Officially Ends, Host Rails Against NRA in Big Farewell (Mediaite)
Piers Morgan Live came to an end Friday night and Piers Morgan himself ended the show by thanking the people who helped make the show possible and loyal viewers who stayed on to watch. He said, “We gave it everything we had and I loved every minute. Well, maybe not every minute.” But Morgan went out swinging at the NRA, in a final monologue hitting on the same point he has been hammering from the start of his tenure at CNN: gun laws. TVNewser “I’ve made my point. I’ve given it a tremendous whack,” said Morgan. “Now it’s down to you. It is your country. These are your gun laws. And the senseless slaughter will only end when enough Americans stand together and cry, enough.” Morgan ended with: “God bless America, and while I’m at it, God bless Great Britain, too.” The Guardian For 58 of his 60 minutes, Morgan talked exclusively about Malaysia Airlines flight 370, spending the last two minutes of his show in a rant against the National Rifle Association. Morgan made his decision to retire shortly before a disappeared airliner threw CNN a ratings lifeline. “It’s been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings,” he told The New York Times in February, while announcing his plans to vacate. In the same interview, he attributed his failure to connect with American audiences to his accent, and the sense that Americans don’t enjoy having a Brit explain — or lecture — their own culture to them. Variety Morgan succeeded longtime CNN host Larry King in 2011. Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, Michael Smerconish and Bill Weir will fill in for Morgan during CNN’s search for a new host. Morgan is currently in discussions with the network regarding a new position.
New York Times Names Jake Silverstein as Magazine Editor (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Texas Monthly editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein has been hired to serve as editor of The New York Times Magazine. Silverstein will replace Hugo Lindgren, who was pushed out late last year and took a job with The Hollywood Reporter. As of earlier this month, there were at least three other candidates for the position, including deputy Times Magazine editors Joel Lovell and Lauren Kern and New York magazine editorial director Jared Hohlt. FishbowlNY The title had been without an editor since Lindgren left in January. Silverstein had been editor of Texas Monthly for the past six years. During his time there it received 12 National Magazine Award nominations and won four times. NYT With Silverstein’s appointment, the Times is rethinking the relationship between the magazine and the newspaper. Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the Times, who supervised the selection process, said that in the past the magazine operated separately from the newspaper. But under Silverstein, he said in an interview on Friday, that relationship will become closer.
Rep. Mike Rogers to Retire, Launch National Radio Show (The Washington Post / Post Politics)
Rep. Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, plans to retire from Congress after his current term to host a national radio show syndicated by Cumulus Media, he announced Friday. CNN The Michigan Republican made the announcement on Detroit’s WJR radio station, saying he will host a syndicated radio program that will talk about national security issues and other news of the day. Rogers, who has held a seat in Congress for more than a decade and is close to House speaker John Boehner, has been a staunch supporter of National Security Agency surveillance programs, which came under fire after leaks by Edward Snowden publicly disclosed their sweeping nature. WSJ Cumulus provides content to 460 owned and operated stations and more than 10,000 radio affiliates, as well as digital channels. Cumulus said Rogers would play “a leading role” across each of those platforms. FishbowlDC Rogers’ retirement is going to be a loss not just for the Republican caucus, but also for the Sunday show circuit. There will certainly be a lot of free television air-time to fill once Rogers makes his move to radio.
Former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly Joins ABC News (ABC News)
ABC News president Ben Sherwood sent a note to the news division Friday morning announcing that Ray Kelly, former Police Commissioner of the City of New York, will join ABC News as a consultant for all platforms. TVNewser Ray served as police commissioner from 1992-94 under mayor David Dinkins and from 2002-13 under mayor Michael Bloomberg. Ray is the first person to serve two non-consecutive tenures as police commissioner. Ray’s son, Greg Kelly, is a former Fox News anchor who currently anchors Good Day New York on WNYW, the Fox-owned station in New York City. NYT Ray will provide insight into “national security and intelligence issues at home and overseas,” Sherwood, who was recently named to the top executive position there, said in a statement. Several television news organizations had been seeking to hire Ray since he left his post.
Ebony Magazine Apologizes for Editor’s Racial Snipe at RNC Staffer (Mediaite)
Ebony magazine has issued an apology to RNC deputy press secretary Raffi Williams after its editor Jamilah Lemieux slammed Williams (a black man) on Twitter as a “White dude telling me how to do this Black thing.” The Washington Times In a series of tweets, Lemieux, senior editor of Ebony.com, told Williams that she did not care about his opinions because he was white. When she learned that Williams is actually black, Lemieux tweeted her apology, but continued to dismiss his political views. “I was looking at your avi without blowing it up. I apologize for that. However, I care about nothing you have to say.” Thursday, Ebony issued a formal apology to Williams and the Black Republican community on its website. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The magazine’s apology came after RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote a letter to the magazine’s editor-in-chief demanding that Lemieux apologize for attacking Williams. “Ebony strongly believes in the marketplace of ideas. As the magazine of record for the African American community, Lemieux’s tweets in question do not represent our journalistic standard, tradition or practice of celebrating diverse Black thought,” the statement said.
Charter, After Losing Out on TWC, Urges Its Shareholders to Reject Comcast Deal (TheWrap)
Charter Communications, which tried and failed to buy Time Warner Cable, is urging the company’s shareholders to reject a pending takeover of TWC by Comcast. Charter is essentially asking TWC’s shareholders to pressure the company’s management to back out of the proposed $45 billion Comcast deal. Bloomberg Comcast, which outbid Charter this year with a $45 billion stock offer, is too susceptible to regulatory hurdles because it’s the biggest in the cable industry, Charter said Friday in a filing. Time Warner Cable, meanwhile, refused to engage with Charter to develop a merger deal, Charter said.
CBS Outdoor Shares Rise in Market Debut (Reuters)
Shares of CBS Outdoor Americas Inc. rose 9 percent in their market debut Friday, valuing the outdoor advertising company carved out of broadcaster CBS Corp. at about $3.65 billion. CBS Outdoor raised about $560 million after its initial public offering was priced at $28 per share, the top end of the expected price range. NYT / DealBook CBS Outdoor, a subsidiary of CBS, is one of the largest advertising companies in the country, operating thousands of billboards, airport signs and digital displays from New York to Los Angeles.
Social Reading Platform Readmill to Close (GalleyCat)
Dropbox has acquired the social reading platform Readmill and is shutting down the site. Readers can no longer create a new account and current users will have until July 1 to transition their account to another service. The Readmill team will join Dropbox. GigaOM Readmill was a Berlin-based startup that had become popular for the clean, streamlined eBook reading service it provided; its support for Adobe DRM meant readers could buy eBooks from platforms like Kobo and Nook and then read them on Readmill’s apps. In recent months, Readmill had added a book discovery feature and partnered with nearly 100 independent publishers and digital bookstores to let them sell eBooks directly through their websites. Readmill’s technology also allowed users to share and leave notes for each other within eBooks, which appears to be the reason for the acquisition.
Amazon Denies Plans for Free Video Streaming Service (LostRemote)
Amazon is denying a Wall Street Journal report that it’s planning a free, ad-supported streaming TV and music service. If created, it would be a stark departure from linking video content to an Amazon Prime subscription service, which costs $99 annually. The free service would include original and licensed content. Music video streams might also be offered for free, with a search for a popular artist bringing up their most recent videos. The speculation continues Amazon’s digital push, which recently extended to social TV.
Journalists, Media Under Attack From Hackers: Google Researchers (Reuters)
Twenty-one of the world’s top 25 news organizations have been the target of likely state-sponsored hacking attacks, according to research by two Google security engineers. While many Internet users face attacks via email designed to steal personal data, journalists were “massively over-represented” among such targets, said Shane Huntley, a security software engineer at Google. The attacks were launched by hackers either working for or in support of a government, and were specifically targeting journalists, Huntley and co-author Morgan Marquis-Boire said in interviews. Their paper was presented at a Black Hat hackers conference in Singapore on Friday.
FiveThirtyEight Apologizes on Behalf of Controversial Climate Science Writer (HuffPost)
Two prominent climate scientists say Roger Pielke Jr., a controversial writer at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, sent emails threatening possible legal action in response to their criticism of his findings for the data-driven news site. Pielke says it’s “ridiculous” to characterize the emails as threats against Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, and Dr. Kevin Trenberth, a distinguished senior climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. FiveThirtyEight, however, apologized to both men.
Yahoo! Hires Vulture’s Josh Wolk as Entertainment Editor (Variety)
Yahoo! has recruited Josh Wolk, entertainment editor for New York magazine’s Vulture.com website, to head up showbiz coverage as executive editor. Wolk replaces Scott Robson, who ankled as Yahoo!’s editor-in-chief of entertainment earlier this month after joining the company in July 2012 from MTV Networks. In a blog post Friday Wolk wrote that it was his last day at Vulture, which he joined in November 2009, and that he was “off to new adventures at Yahoo!.”
Sony Corp. Replaces CFO (THR)
Sony will replace its CFO, with Kenichiro Yoshida taking over from Masaru Kato on April 1. The conglomerate, led by CEO Kaz Hirai, announced the personnel change on Friday. Sony continues to look for cost-cutting measures after predicting a $1.1 billion loss for the financial year that ends this month and looking to return to profitability. Yoshida, 54, joined Sony in 1983 and has been deputy CFO since December. Kato will remain a director at Sony and become vice chairman, but will also relinquish his title of executive VP.
Jonathan Mahler Joins New York Times as Media Reporter (FishbowlNY)
Jonathan Mahler — author of Ladies And Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning — is joining The New York Times as a corporate media reporter. Mahler had been a contributor to Bloomberg View, The New York Times Magazine and The New York Times Book Review. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The New Republic, New York magazine and The Washington Post. Mahler has also written two other books — The Challenge and Death Comes to Happy Valley. He tweeted that he was “very excited” to join the paper.
Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV: What’s your favorite way to connect your TV to the Internet?
SophiaZaft Roku AND Apple TV. Why can’t Apple just play nice with Amazon?!
alexqeditor more interesting question: What’s the best way to watch TV on your computer. Elgato? Mohu?
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