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Morning Media Newsfeed: Hearst Tower Drama | Gannett Buys Belo | Soledad’s New HBO Gig


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Hearst Tower Scaffolding Collapses, Stranding Workers (FishbowlNY)
Scaffolding that was being used by two window washers on the Hearst Tower collapsed Wednesday, leaving them stranded. The scaffolding began to fall around 2:40 p.m. 57th St. at 8th Avenue closed to car and pedestrian traffic. TVSpy New York City stations broke into afternoon programming Wednesday with dramatic pictures of two window washers stranded on a scaffolding near the top of the Hearst Tower. TVNewser CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King was at her other day job, O: The Oprah Magazine in Hearst Tower Wednesday afternoon when two men got trapped outside the 45th floor after a window washing scaffold collapsed. NBC New York The two workers — identified by law enforcement sources as Victor Carabello, 26, of the Bronx, and Stephen Schmidt, 49, of Brooklyn — underwent a medical evaluation once they were brought inside. Moses Nelson, one of the attending FDNY paramedics, said the workers were fine and in good spirits. “They were all smiles, thankfully,” said Nelson. “No major injuries, no complaints.”

Gannett Agrees to Buy Belo for $1.5 Billion (NYT / DealBook)
The Gannett Company agreed on Thursday to buy the Belo Corporation for about $1.5 billion in cash, in a deal that almost doubles Gannett’s television operations. Under the terms of the deal, Gannett will pay $13.75 a share in cash, 28 percent above Belo’s closing price on Wednesday. Gannett will also assume $715 million of Belo’s existing debt. USA Today Belo owns and operates 20 TV stations — nine in the top 25 markets — and their associated websites, including in Texas and the Pacific Northwest where Gannett does not have a major presence. Reuters Gannett, already the largest newspaper chain in the United States, said the deal would generate significant free cash flow and increase its non-GAAP earnings per share by about 50 cents in the first year. It will also result in about $175 million of annual savings within three years after closing.

Soledad O’Brien Inks HBO Deal, Joins Real Sports (THR / The Live Feed)
Soledad O’Brien has inked an overall content development deal with HBO and also will join the network’s award-winning sports journalism program Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. The deal lets HBO have first look at scripted projects and long-form programming concepts developed by O’Brien’s Starfish Media Group. TVNewser O’Brien has a similar first look deal with CNN for doc series, such as the In America series. The deal with HBO actually keeps O’Brien in the Turner Broadcasting family, as HBO and CNN are sister networks under the Turner Broadcasting umbrella, which is owned by Time Warner.

Steve Harvey Talk Show Gains an Extension (NYT)
Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show, which had its debut last September, will remain on television through at least 2016 thanks to a series of deals announced Wednesday by its distributor, NBCUniversal. The long-term deals demonstrate how successful the show, Steve Harvey, has been for NBC and for the local stations that carry it. B&C “Steve Harvey’s engaging, funny and warm style has been a hit with our audiences, and we couldn’t be happier to continue our partnership with Steve and his great team,” said Valari Staab, president, NBC Owned Television Stations, in a statement.

Time Warner Cable Content Incentives Thwart New Web TV (Bloomberg)
Time Warner Cable Inc. and other pay-TV operators are offering incentives to media companies that agree to withhold content from Web-based entertainment services such as those pursued by Intel Corp. and Apple Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said. The incentives can take the form of higher payments, or they can include threats to drop programming, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Greek Workers Strike to Protest Shutdown of State Broadcaster (NYT)
Thousands of Greeks walked off the job on Thursday in the third general strike of the year, this time an action called by unions to protest the surprise decision by the government to close the state broadcaster, putting around 2,900 employees out of work. The nationwide walkout shut tax offices, left hospitals with only emergency staff and was expected to disrupt international travel for several hours Thursday afternoon.

If It’s Wednesday, Peter King Is Accusing The Media of Treason (Slate / Weigel)
New York Rep. Peter King, who used to head the Homeland Security committee in the House, is calling the reporting of the Snowden leaks “treasonous.” What he said: “Not only did [Guardian reporter/blogger Glenn Greenwald] disclose this information, he said he has names of CIA agents and assets around the world and threatening to disclose that… I think [prosecuting reporters] should be very targeted and very selective and a rare exception. In this case, when you have someone who discloses secrets like this and threatens to release more, yes, there has to be legal action taken against him.” The Guardian “We are surprised and disappointed by comments from Rep. Peter King, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, saying ‘legal action should be taken’ against Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald for his reporting on NSA surveillance. This is especially troubling in light of comments from Eric Holder, US Attorney General who stated: ‘As long as I am attorney general, we will not prosecute any reporter for doing his or her job.’”

Senator Pauses NSA Testimony to Read Tweet From BuzzFeed Reporter (The Guardian / US News Blog)
While some say social media is the great communication tool of the century — breaking class boundaries to enable conversation between the elite and the huddled masses — most tweets to the famous go ignored. This is especially the case with politicians, who are presumably spending their days building a better democratic institution. But not on Wednesday. During a Senate hearing on cybersecurity — featuring testimony from National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander — Senate appropriations committee chairwoman Barbara Mikulski paused the hearing to respond to a tweet. “I want to respond to a tweet about me from Rosie Gray,” Mikulski said, referring to BuzzFeed reporter Rosie Gray. Politico After catching a glimpse of Gray’s Twitter critique, Mikulski said, “Not everybody might be watching C-SPAN, so I want to say to Rosie and to others who might read it from Rosie: There is no attempt here to muzzle [or] stifle any senator from asking any line of questioning.”

ESPN 3D Shutting Down at Year’s End (TVNewsCheck / Playout)
ESPN is shutting down its ESPN 3D channel at year’s end, a company spokesperson confirmed to TVNewsCheck. ESPN 3D Launched in June 2010 with the 3D broadcast of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In an interview with TVNewsCheck two weeks ago, ESPN CTO Chuck Pagano said the sports network was still actively involved in pushing the service, but added that he thought 3D would evolve as part of a 4K infrastructure. Poynter / MediaWire “Due to limited viewer adoption of 3D services to the home, ESPN is discontinuing ESPN 3D,” the network said in a statement. “We are committing our 3D resources to other products and services that will better serve fans and affiliates. Nobody knows more about sports in 3D than ESPN, and we will be ready to provide the service to fans if or when 3D does take off.”

DOJ Misfires on Jobs Email in Apple eBook Case — It Was A Discarded Draft (AllThingsD)
So that seemingly smoking gun email from Apple CEO Steve Jobs to SVP Eddy Cue in the Department of Justice’s eBook price fixing case against Apple? The one that appeared to undermine the company’s argument that it was indifferent to the pricing model publishers used with other retailers like Amazon? According to new evidence submitted by Apple, it’s hardly warm, let alone smoking. The document cited by the government is simply a draft message that was never sent. What Apple entered into evidence late Wednesday is the final version of that message, the one that was actually sent to Cue, and it differs significantly from that apparently damning draft.

Global Study Shows More Journalists Embrace Social Media — Germans, Not So Much (paidContent)
The Oriella Digital Journalism Study asked 553 journalists in 15 countries about their outlook and their publications, and reflects some interesting geographic differences. Here are some highlights: 59 percent of journalists are tweeting in 2013, versus 47 percent in 2012. Twitter use is highest in English-speaking countries, while barely a third of German journalists have a Twitter account. FishbowlNY The report found that Twitter was also the most popular social media platform, and it’s not even close.

Myspace Relaunches With $20 Million Ad Campaign (Adweek)
Wednesday marked the official relaunch of Myspace, and the once-dominant social media property has invested in a $20 million ad campaign to reintroduce itself to the masses. The campaign will run across broadcast, cable, radio and digital properties — a marketing push that might be necessary to reach consumers who are already busy on the myriad other social platforms available.

Chris Hayes Apologizes After Labeling Segregationist Governor A Republican (TVNewser)
MSNBC All In host Chris Hayes apologized on Twitter, after a graphic on Tuesday night’s program labeled segregationist Alabama governor George Wallace a Republican, instead of a Democrat. “This was a stupid, inexcusable, historically illiterate mistake. I should have caught it and apologize for failing to,” Hayes tweeted.

David Seifman to Be Named Political Editor at New York Post (Capital New York)
The New York Post is undergoing a seismic shift on its politics desk following a recent bloodletting that reduced the newsroom’s headcount by about two dozen. David Seifman, the Post‘s longtime City Hall bureau chief, is said to be in the process of transitioning to political editor at the paper, Capital has learned.

Mitch Glazer And Kelly Lynch on Magic City‘s Second Season (FishbowlNY)
It’s been a sizzling spring season at Michael’s with plenty of celebs (Isabella Rossellini, Naomi Campbell and Tony Goldwyn to name a few) breaking bread with us over lunch, but Wednesday’s dine and dish session was one for the books. Joining me for an exclusive chat were screenwriter/director Mitch Glazer and actress (Drugstore Cowboy, The L Word) Kelly Lynch, in town from Los Angeles to promote the second season of Magic City, the STARZ hit series which Mitch created and Kelly co-stars in as the cool, aristocratic Meg Bannock.

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FishbowlNY Hearst Tower Scaffolding Collapses, Stranding Window Washers [Update]

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