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Morning Media Newsfeed: Pakistan Suspends News Channel | Watterson Returns

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Pakistan Suspends License of Leading News Channel (NYT)
The Pakistani government on Friday suspended the broadcasting license of Geo News, a popular television channel, in a major escalation of Geo’s dispute with the country’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency. WSJ Pakistan’s media regulator said it would temporarily take off the air the country’s largest news channel after it aired allegations that the spy agency was behind the shooting in April of the channel’s star anchor. Bloomberg The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority ordered the closure of Geo for two weeks and imposed a 10 million rupee fine, according to a statement. “The authority further decided that in case of repeated violation by the said licensee, proceedings for the revocation of the license shall be initiated,” according to the statement. Al Jazeera Geo stayed on the air for a few hours and reported the news of its own license being pulled along with a graphic showing the Geo News logo wrapped in chains before the signal was cut. Rights group Amnesty International described the ban as a “politically motivated attack on freedom of expression and the media.” BBC News Geo argues that it has already publicly apologized to the ISI for its coverage in the aftermath of the shooting of Hamid Mir, one of Pakistan’s best known TV presenters. He was hit six times in the abdomen and legs after his car was fired on by men on motorbikes as he was leaving Karachi airport on April 19. It remains unclear who fired the shots and no group has said it carried out the attack. In May, a group of PEMRA board members had tried to suspend Geo TV’s license on the same issue, but that decision was quickly “disowned” by the regulatory body.

Calvin And Hobbes Creator Bill Watterson Returns to Comics Page (The Washington Post / Comic Riffs)
At the end of 1995, the beloved Calvin And Hobbes sledded off the comics page for the final time, and its long-reclusive legendary creator, Bill Watterson, retired from the business, never to draw another syndicated newspaper strip. Until now. Mediaite For three days, Watterson, one of the most beloved artists in the medium, was conducting a stealth mission right under our noses. Watterson had been secretly guesting in Stephan Pastis’ widely syndicated Pearls Before Swine strip. CNN The series of strips ran nationally this week with the premise that a small girl named “Libby” (or “Lib”) would stand in for Pastis. According to Pastis, having the legendary Watterson draw his strip is like working with “the Bigfoot of cartooning” — rare, and the highlight of his career. WordPress / Stephan Patsis Just getting an email from Watterson is one of the most mind-blowing, surreal experiences I have ever had. Watterson really exists? And he sends email? And he’s communicating with me? But he was. And he had a great sense of humor about the strip I had done, and was very funny, and oh yeah… he had a comic strip idea he wanted to run by me. If you had asked me the odds of Watterson ever saying that line to me, I’d say it had about the same likelihood as Jimi Hendrix telling me he had a new guitar riff. And yes, I’m aware Hendrix is dead. So I wrote back. “Dear Bill, I will do whatever you want, including setting my hair on fire.” Poynter / MediaWire They’ll auction off the artwork to benefit Team Cul de Sac, a charity co-founded by “Cul de Sac” author Richard Thompson that raises money for Parkinson’s disease research.

NBA Finals on ABC Dominate Thursday, Help Kimmel Top Fallon for First Time (Variety)
It was pretty much the NBA Finals and everything else on Thursday, as the opening game of the series on ABC towered over the competition. The strong showing in primetime also helped boost ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live to its first overnight victory over an original episode of NBC’s Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Mediaite Kimmel scored a 3.1 total rating despite a late start time of about 12:20 a.m. At their regularly scheduled times of 11:35 p.m., Fallon had a 2.6 and David Letterman had a 2.0. THR / The Live Feed Local People Meter markets had Kimmel besting Fallon with adults 18-49 with a 1.5 rating over a 1.0. Primetime special Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night was also strong with a 2.1 rating in the key demo. Deadline Hollywood Game 1 of the NBA Finals delivered a 10.4 overnight rating, peaking with a 12.7 in the final quarter. The game, in which the San Antonia Spurs defeated the Miami Heat 110-95, won the night for the 38th consecutive time, nearly doubling the broadcast competition in overnight ratings.

David Chalian Named CNN Political Director (FishbowlDC)
A Friday afternoon announcement within CNN named Crossfire supervising producer David Chalian CNN political director. TVNewser He replaces Mark Preston, who was promoted to executive editor of CNN Politics last month. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Chalian’s appointment comes just days after CNN hired Ed O’Keefe, editor-in-chief of NowThis News, to serve as vice president of CNNMoney and Politics. Chalian previously served as vice president of video programming for Politico, and before that as political director for ABC News, Washington bureau chief for Yahoo! News and political editor for PBS Newshour.

Press Crackdown — And Pushback — in Hungary (CJR / The Audit)
Hungarian press freedoms have been under pressure for a while as the right-of-center government has come under fire for ham-fisted meddling at the main public television station, abruptly canceling the license of the country’s leading opposition-leaning radio station and other moves that have cast what human rights groups characterize as a pall of self-censorship over the country’s few remaining independent news organizations. But what had been a tense standoff burst into open confrontation last week after the government imposed what critics say is punitive and politically targeted tax on media advertising, while the top editor of a leading independent website was ousted after the site published a series of scathing exposés documenting the lavish spending of a rising star in the ruling party of President Victor Orban.

Meredith Rollins Promoted to EIC of Redbook (FishbowlNY)
Meredith Rollins has been promoted from executive editor to editor-in-chief of Redbook. Rollins had served as executive editor of the glossy since 2010. New York Post Rollins is replacing Jill Herzig, who was recently tapped to be the editor-in-chief of Dr. Oz The Good Life – the high-profile launch Hearst has with TV celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz. WWD / Memo Pad Rollins also served as executive editor of Condé Nast’s Lucky. Prior to that, she was articles director at W.

Google in Talks to Buy Music Streaming Company Songza (New York Post)
Google is in talks to acquire Songza, a six-year-old Long Island City-based music curation and streaming service with 5.5 million active users. THR The deal would give the search giant company a new music property that could improve its Google Play Music All Access subscription service or a future YouTube product, as the Mountain View, Calif.-based company maneuvers against Apple, Spotify and Amazon to gain the upper hand in the streaming music sector.

Storyline’s Beatrice Springborn Joins Hulu as Head of Originals (Deadline Hollywood)
Hulu’s recently appointed head of content Craig Erwich has started building his team with the hire of Beatrice Springborn as head of originals. She starts Monday, overseeing the sourcing, development and production of original shows. THR Springborn will join the online streamer from Storyline Entertainment, where she served as head of television, developing and producing projects that include the upcoming MTV series Happyland.

CIA Joins Twitter (LostRemote)
Even the CIA is joining the second screen revolution, joining Twitter Friday. Its first tweet read, “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.” Mediaite The CIA will also be launching a Facebook account in an attempt more directly engage with the public.

Mashable Expands to Australia (FishbowlNY)
Mashable is growing down under. The tech/social media site is expanding its operations to Australia. The new offering will be led by Jenni Ryall, who most recently served as News.com.au’s multimedia editor.

Four Men Indicted for Killing Serbian Journalist Under Milosevic (HuffPost / Reuters)
Serbia’s top state prosecutor charged four former state security officers on Friday over the 1999 killing of opposition newspaper publisher and journalist Slavko Curuvija during the rule of late strongman president Slobodan Milosevic.

Jet Prints Final Issue (FishbowlNY)
Jet magazine, launched in 1951, is folding its print edition and going forward as an app, available June 30. Chicago Tribune The third-largest circulation magazine in the African-American market, Jet reduced publication frequency from weekly to roughly every three weeks in recent years. Last summer, Jet went through a major redesign, with more service-oriented stories, bigger photos, more graphics and a new website. But the changes were not enough to keep the print product cost effective, its publisher said.

Marshall Broadcasting Group Buys Three Nexstar Stations For $59 Million (TVSpy)
Marshall Broadcasting Group is buying three Fox affiliates from Nexstar — KMSS in Shreveport, La., KPEJ in Odessa-Midland, Texas and KLJB in Quad Cities, Iowa — for $58.5 million.

Simon & Schuster Introduces Online Community for Its Authors (GalleyCat)
Simon & Schuster has launched an online portal for its authors to connect with other authors called S&S InkedIn. The feature, which is currently only available to Simon & Schuster authors, allows writers to connect and have one-on-one or group discussions.

Close to Half of All U.S. Households Subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus (GigaOM)
Forty-seven percent of all U.S. households subscribe to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or a combination of these services, and 49 percent of all households have at least one TV connected to the Internet, according to a new study from the Leichtman Research Group about emerging video services. Four years ago, only 24 percent of all households had an Internet-connected TV.

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