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Morning Media Newsfeed: Oscar Ratings Soar | Gould Leaves NBC News | WaPo Branches to NYC

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Oscars Rise to 43 Million Viewers, Most-Watched in 10 Years (THR / The Live Feed)
ABC’s annual airing of the Oscar telecast dominated Sunday night. Final ratings for the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted show have the Academy Awards more than 2.5 million viewers ahead of last year, even in the key demographic. All told, ABC’s coverage of the Academy Awards averaged 43 million viewers and a 12.9 rating among adults 18-49. That’s a 6 percent boost in viewers and a virtual tie with last year’s adults-under-50 score. DeGeneres brought lifts among younger viewers and men — with ratings among adults 18-34 and men both at their highest since 2007. Variety DeGeneres also helped pushed the Oscars to new heights on Twitter on Sunday night: The total U.S. audience on the social platform was nearly one-third the TV draw, with a 75 percent jump in tweets related to the show over last year. About 13.9 million people saw a total of 1.04 billion tweets about the Oscars, according to Nielsen’s SocialGuide. LostRemote The ceremony also led to more than 25.4 million interactions (status updates, comments and likes) by some 11.1 million Facebook users, and the top social moment was the crowning of 12 Years A Slave as best picture. TVNewser ABC’s related programming also received a boost. Oscars Red Carpet Live, hosted by Good Morning America anchors Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer, was up compared to last year for all three half-hour segments of the show. The final half-hour pulled in 27.6 million viewers. Deadline Hollywood Coming on right after the big show for a ninth year in a row, Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Oscars was up 22 percent in total viewers and 20 percent in the key demo over last year, good for its best ever post-Oscars performance. With past Oscar winner Kevin Spacey among his guests, Kimmel was watched by 6.993 million viewers overall, with 2.423 million in the demo.

Cheryl Gould Departs NBC News (FishbowlNY)
Cheryl Gould, a 37-year veteran of NBC News, is leaving the company. Gould — the first female producer of NBC Nightly News – had been with NBC News since 1977, most recently serving as senior VP. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Gould helped create NBC News Overnight With Linda Ellerbee. She also spent four years with CNBC, where she served as a vice president. In recent years, she devoted her efforts to strategic projects like the NBC News archives department. HuffPost In the memo announcing her departure, Gould did not specify what her “proverbial ‘next chapter’” will involve, though she told NBC news president Deborah Turness, “I’m old enough to have had a wonderful career, and young enough to be excited about plotting a new course.” TVNewser “We have all benefited from Cheryl’s decades of successes and dedication to NBC News. Please join me in congratulating her on her impressive career and in wishing her well in the future,” Turness wrote in a note to NBC News Monday morning.

Washington Post Opens Tech Outpost in New York (Capital New York)
The Washington Post is expanding its New York footprint with the creation of a Manhattan-based design and development office. The new satellite hub, called WPNYC, will result in more than a dozen new hires including designers, strategists and information architects. FishbowlDC In the press release, WaPo announced that WPNYC will be led by director of digital strategy Sarah Sampsel and principal [software] architect Greg Franczyk. The team will be focused on the future of WaPo’s Web platform and creating a faster, more reader-focused product. Washington Business Journal / TechFlash That the District’s hometown daily took its tech recruiting efforts to New York underscores one of D.C. tech’s biggest challenges: It’s still perceived as a shallower talent market compared with its counterparts to the north. FishbowlNY “We have seen great success by embedding a fast moving engineering team directly in the newsroom, and now we want to foster that same environment of accelerated innovation by embedding engineering within sales in dynamic and vibrant New York City,” said WaPo‘s chief information officer, Shailesh Prakash, in a statement.

U.S. Government Supporting TV Broadcasters in Aereo Fight at Supreme Court (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
In advance of the April 22 hearing between television broadcasters and Aereo, the United States weighed in favor of the broadcasters on Monday. The coming dispute will examine whether Aereo is making a “public” or “private” performance of broadcasters’ content when capturing over-the-air TV signals via antennas and distributing programming to subscribers’ digital devices LA Times / Company Town In a brief filed at the Supreme Court on Monday afternoon, the department said Aereo is “clearly infringing” on the copyrights of the broadcasters whose content it is streaming without permission, and said a lower court ruling declaring the service legal should be reversed. The Wrap Aereo has claimed that because it uses antenna farms with thousands of individual receivers, it is not retransmitting TV signals and doesn’t have to pay retransmission fees. TV networks including ABC, NBCU, CBS and PBS have claimed that Aereo is engaged in copyright violation. Time Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia is “confident” in his company’s case as the upstart video firm prepares to defend itself in a Supreme Court battle against the nation’s top TV broadcasters, he told Time in an interview.

Dish to Curtail Ad Skipping on Hopper Devices for ABC Shows (WSJ)
Dish Network Corp. has agreed to curtail the use of a controversial ad-skipping feature on its latest digital video recorders for ABC shows as part of a new long-term programming deal with ABC owner Walt Disney Co., according to people familiar with the matter. Reuters The “Auto Hop” service on Dish’s DVRs allowed customers to automatically skip ABC’s commercials, which sparked a lawsuit between the two companies. As part of the deal, ABC will drop its litigation against Dish, while Dish will delay the time it allows customers to hop over commercials until three days after an ABC shows airs. GigaOM Consumers will still be able to manually fast-forward through ads recorded by their DVR. The three-day rule is due to the fact that broadcasters can monetize advertising until three days after a show aired on television. After that window, ads don’t get counted anymore, making them effectively worthless for broadcasters.

Cable Channels Hit With Nearly $2 Million Fine for Airing Movie Trailer (Re/code)
On Monday, the Federal Communications Commission proposed $1.93 million in fines against three programmers, Viacom ($1.12 million), NBCUniversal ($530,000) and Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN ($280,000), for airing a film trailer that used the Emergency Alert System tones. Adweek A promotional ad for the film Olympus Has Fallen has earned Viacom, ESPN and NBCU the largest aggregate penalty ever imposed by the FCC. Seven Viacom networks, three ESPN networks, and seven NBCU networks were fined. Each of the companies admitted to running the ad multiple times on multiple networks. Viacom was the biggest offender, airing the ad 108 times over five days. WSJ / Washington Wire The movie revolves around an attack on the White House that is foiled by a security guard played by Gerard Butler. In addition to using sounds similar to those used by the Emergency Alert System, the ad also displays text on the screen stating “This Is Not A Test” and “This Is Not A Drill.”

Russia Wages Media War Alongside Crimea Invasion (HuffPost)
One of the first casualties in the Russian invasion of Crimea was independent television. Black Sea TV, the peninsula’s only independent channel, was shut down on Monday. The head editor, Oleksandra Kvitko, said a Crimean governing body had decided to close the station, claiming there had been threats against its journalists. The crackdown on independent media is a hallmark of Kremlin-style manipulation. Such press tightening began early on during the presidency of Vladimir Putin and has continued, most recently, in the run-up to last month’s Sochi Olympics and threatened closure of opposition channel TV Rain. TVNewser Meanwhile, as tensions escalate, cable and broadcast networks are ramping up their presence in the region. Each of the broadcast networks have correspondents in Ukraine: Bill Neely is in Simferopol for NBC News, Alex Marquardt is in Crimea for ABC News and Elizabeth Palmer is in Sevastopol for CBS News. As for the cable networks: Anderson Cooper is headed to the region for CNN to anchor AC360. Fox News correspondent Amy Kellogg was live from Kiev Monday, and MSNBC has been using NBC’s Neely for live shots from the region.

MWW Launches LGBT Practice (Politico / Influence)
MWW has hired Stephen Macias to lead its new LGBT practice. Macias comes to MWW from the Macias Media Group, where his clients included Here Media. He’s also worked with United for Equality in Sports & Entertainment. Additionally, Macias’ team has created strategic partnerships for its clients in its public policy and not-for-profit division over the years with the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Equality California, Out & Equal, The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and the Point Foundation. PRNewser Here Media publishes The Advocate, Out, Out Travel and other gay-focused properties like Here TV and Gay.com, with recent big-name campaigns including a promo for the Netflix original series Orange Is The New Black.

Piers Morgan Says He’s Staying at CNN to Do ‘Big Name’ Interviews (Showbiz 411)
CNN’s Piers Morgan, who is ending his nightly show on the network, said that he’s also staying at the network. “I’ll make a deal to do 20 or 25 shows a year, all interviews with big names. That’s what I wanted to do in the first place, not reports on snow storms and that kind of thing,” Morgan said. TVNewser Morgan hosted a live midnight post-Oscars show for the network Monday morning. There is still no word yet from CNN on an end date for Piers Morgan Live or a replacement. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Morgan’s staff will remain at CNN, including executive producer Jonathan Wald, who has made a deal to stay with the network. Wald’s next role has yet to be determined. In terms of replacements for Morgan, potential replacements have been rumored to be Bill Weir, the former ABC Nightline host who CNN hired last year, and Jake Tapper, who recently began a 4 p.m. show with the network.

Tiny Digital Publisher to Put Newsweek Back in Print (NYT)
IBT Media, a small digital publishing company, sees a growth path for Newsweek, the struggling newsweekly magazine it bought for a pittance last summer. Etienne Uzac, 30, and Johnathan Davis, 31, founders of IBT Media, believed they could recreate Newsweek as a vibrant and profitable Web-only magazine. But now, having tripled Newsweek’s online traffic, they plan to punctuate the magazine’s comeback by turning on the printing presses again. Hard copies are expected to hit newsstands on Friday.

Major Newspaper Owner Buys Two Dailies, Four Weeklies (HuffPost / AP)
The Victorville Daily Press, Barstow Desert Dispatch and four Southern California weeklies have been purchased by New Media Investment Group, one of the largest owners of newspapers in the country. New Media bought the papers from Freedom Communications Inc., owner of The Orange County Register.

Hulu Hires Disney’s Tim Connolly as Head of Distribution (Variety)
Hulu hired Tim Connolly, who has run The Walt Disney Co.’s digital distribution initiatives for TV, to be head of distribution — as CEO Mike Hopkins returns to one of the joint venture’s parent companies for talent. Connolly most recently was VP of digital video distribution and new product development for Disney and ESPN Media Networks. In that role, he led the company’s digital distribution efforts spanning TV properties including ESPN, ABC Family, ABC and Disney Channel, including the group’s TV Everywhere and video-on-demand strategies.

ITV Hires BBC Host for Revamped Morning Show (THR)
U.K. network giant ITV on Monday announced plans to revamp weekday morning show Daybreak and rename it Good Morning Britain. The new breakfast show, set to launch later this year in the 6-8:30 a.m. time slot, will be led by Susanna Reid, the host of BBC One morning show Breakfast. She will be joined by Ben Shephard, Charlotte Hawkins and Sean Fletcher. Shephard is a host on ITV and Sky Sports, Hawkins was hired away from Sky News morning show Sunrise, and Fletcher is a former BBC news and sports presenter who currently works for Sky Sports.

Simon & Schuster Launches Book-Dedicated Review Site And Daily Email (GalleyCat)
Simon & Schuster has created a new website and daily email dedicated to book reviews called Off The Shelf. The site will publish an original book review or essay about a book every day. Simon & Schuster employees will be writing reviews as well as occasional guest writers. The site will feature books that were published at least one year earlier from any publisher in fiction or nonfiction for both adult and young readers. Readers can sign up to receive the daily review as an email.

To Revitalize Journalism, Give it Away (CJR / The Observatory)
For the last few months, word of British digital science journalism upstart Mosaic has been circulating quietly, as a roster of all-star science journalists have been talking about taking reporting trips for the long-form publication. Though Mosaic bills itself as covering the biomedical sciences, in practice its work has broader topics and grand aims. Its editors have sent freelance journalist and National Geographic blogger Ed Yong to Cambodia and Thailand to report on drug-resistant strains of Malaria and its launch publication, which goes live on Tuesday, includes a piece on the redevelopment of the female condom. But the most significant thing about Mosaic’s entrance to the marketplace is its unusual distribution model.

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