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Prometheus Global Media to Acquire Mediabistro (FishbowlNY)
Thursday morning, Mediabistro announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its editorial and e-commerce assets to PGM-MB Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prometheus Global Media, for $8 million cash. FishbowlDC As part of the deal, PrometheusGM will add to its portfolio mediabistro.com and editorial sites including FishbowlDC, FishbowlNY, TVNewser and PRNewser, as well as the Mediabistro Job Board, and Mediabistro’s education business. THR Prometheus Global Media is the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Adweek magazines. Mashable The deal still needs shareholder approval, which could happen by mid-July. The tradeshow portion of the company will remain with Mediabistro CEO Alan Meckler under a new company — Mecklermedia. The company’s 3D printing and bitcoin assets are also not a part of the deal. The site gained a following in media circles, particularly in New York and Washington, D.C., thanks in part to its job board and professional skill development courses. The acquisition provides Prometheus with a new cadre of editorial pieces that fit with the company’s other focused media assets. Prometheus also runs the Clio Awards for advertising and the movie event company Film Expo Group. Poynter / MediaWire Mediabistro alums include Brian Stelter, who wrote for TVNewser and now hosts Reliable Sources at CNN, and Patrick Gavin, who worked for FishbowlDC. In 2007, Laurel Touby sold Mediabistro.com for $23 million.
FNC’s Bret Baier, Greta Van Susteren Get Joint Interview With Hillary Clinton (TVNewser)
As part of her book tour, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton will be sitting for a joint interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier and Greta Van Susteren. FishbowlDC Hard Choices is set to be released by Simon & Schuster on Tuesday, June 10. In the book, Clinton offers an “inside account of the crises, choices and challenges she faced during her four years as America’s 67th Secretary of State, and how those experiences drive her view of the future.” Mediaite The half-hour interview will air on Tuesday, June 17, and will go from 6:45 p.m. ET (when Baier’s Special Report airs on Fox) to 7:15 p.m. ET (when Van Susteren’s On The Record airs). HuffPost Networks, of course, have been racing to interview Clinton, whose 2016 plans have been the subject of much speculation. Fox News — which has covered Benghazi zealously — said that the interview “will cover an array of topics, including Clinton’s forthcoming book, Hard Choices, the upcoming 2016 presidential election and the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.” Clinton has appeared on Fox News before. Her last interview on the network was with Van Susteren in January 2013 when she was leaving her post as secretary of state.
Kevin Reilly, Head of Programming at Fox, Is Stepping Down (NYT)
Kevin Reilly, who led the entertainment programming at the Fox network to high points that were followed by some recent lows, announced Thursday that he was stepping down at the end of next month. WSJ Reilly has overseen programming for Fox since 2007, launching shows like Glee, New Girl, The Following and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Peter Rice, the chairman of Fox Networks Group, will take over Reilly’s responsibilities in the interim while the company looks for a successor. Variety Rice and Reilly sought to cast the decision as a mutual one, but chatter about Reilly’s tenure has been ongoing for some time and picked up after the network had mixed reviews for its upfront presentation earlier this month. Still, word of his resignation caught most people on the Fox lot by surprise Thursday morning. THR / The Live Feed The move also comes as Reilly was looking to reimagine an antiquated pilot-season model that he believed was putting broadcast at a disadvantage. His campaign to do away with pilot season began with a speech of sorts at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in January. He has spent the months since focused on straight-to-series development, shorter seasons and a 52-week schedule.
Brian Williams’ Edward Snowden Interview Draws Nearly 6 Million Viewers (TVNewser)
According to preliminary Nielsen data, the Brian Williams interview with Edward Snowden averaged 5.91 million viewers in the 10 p.m. hour Wednesday night. (By comparison, Williams’ Nightly News has been averaging about 8.4 million viewers a night.) The special was No. 1 in the adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 demos and No. 2 in viewers behind a repeat of CSI on CBS. LostRemote The coverage didn’t end on TV, as Williams invited his audience to NBCNews.com for extended coverage from 11 p.m. – midnight ET. Williams hosted a roundtable featuring NBC News correspondents and former U.S. government intelligence officers; the network also leveraged social media to spark conversation around the controversial Snowden. Over a 36-hour period starting Tuesday, NBC News urged fans to take a stance on Snowden via Twitter, tweeting either hashtag #Patriot or #Traitor. During the actual interview, 500 users voted “Patriot,” 334 voted “Traitor.” As of 9 a.m. ET Thursday morning, it was 59 percent “Patriot” (5,966) and 41 percent “Traitor” (4,645). FishbowlDC And in case you missed it, Joe Scarborough asked Rep. Pete King on Thursday’s Morning Joe whether Snowden deserves any leniency. King referred to Snowden’s claims as a “myth.” “Unfortunately, Brian Williams almost added to that last night, basically giving him an infomercial,” said King.
Dish Network: We’re Now The Largest Company to Accept Bitcoin (GigaOM)
You can add paying your TV provider to the list of things you can do with bitcoin. Satellite-TV service Dish announced Thursday that it will begin accepting bitcoin later this year. Mashable Dish said it does not plan to hold any bitcoin, and will be using Coinbase to process the payments and immediately exchange them for U.S. dollars. Variety Dish’s move smacks of a PR effort to bring attention to the company that is seen as being the odd-man out amid the spate of merger deals in the MVPD arena. Its larger sat-TV rival, DirecTV, sealed a $67.1 billion merger agreement with AT&T earlier this month. Dish appears to be focusing its future on offering an expanded over-the-top package of channels via broadband, and has made progress in setting such carriage deals with Disney and a few other programmers.
theGrio.com’s Perry Bacon, Jr. Promoted to NBC News Senior Political Reporter (FishbowlDC)
An internal memo distributed to the DC bureau of NBC News Thursday named Perry Bacon, Jr. the network’s newest senior political reporter. Bacon will work closely with Chuck Todd and Mark Murray and lead in coverage of the 2014 and 2016 campaigns. TVNewser Bacon comes from NBC’s theGrio.com, where was the political editor and an MSNBC contributor. In his new role, he will continue to report on-air for MSNBC, as well as contributing to NBCNews.com. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Prior to NBC, Bacon covered the 2004 presidential campaign and Congress for Time magazine, then moved on to a similar role at The Washington Post, where he served as a national political correspondent and White House reporter.
Netflix to Launch New Seasons of DreamWorks Dragons Kids Series (Variety)
Netflix will bow new seasons of original series DreamWorks Dragons exclusively worldwide — including in France and Germany — starting in spring 2015 under its multiyear pact with DreamWorks Animation. The cartoon is based on DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon films, and has aired on Cartoon Network. GigaOM Netflix competitor Hulu is in discussions to revive Community after it got cancelled by NBC. Dragons is just one of a number of shows that DreamWorks Animation is producing for Netflix: The studio also premiered its show Turbo Fast on Netflix in December, and is commissioned to produce three additional shows, including a remake of the faith-based Veggie Tales franchise and a show based on the movie Puss in Boots, all of which are scheduled to come to Netflix in late 2014.
Lionsgate Shares Slide After Quarterly Earnings Miss Analysts’ Expectations (Deadline New York)
Lionsgate stock was down 6.6 percent in initial trading after the independent studio released its results for the first three months of 2014. THR The mini-studio, led by CEO Jon Feltheimer, posted earnings at $49.1 million for the three months to March 31, 2014, compared to a profit of $163 million in the year-ago period. The mini-studio posted full-year 2014 revenue of $2.63 billion, just off from $2.71 billion in the prior year, due to a domestic theatrical slate of 13 wide releases, compared to 19 releases in fiscal 2013.
LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow Kickstarter Already Exceeding Its Goal (GalleyCat)
LeVar Burton and the Reading Rainbow team raised more than $1.4 million on Kickstarter in one day. With these funds, Burton and his colleagues plan to “bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere.” PRNewser The response has been overwhelming; the campaign hoped to raise $1 million in just over a month. The funds will be used to resurrect Reading Rainbow in a new, Web-based format that would bring an unlimited digital library to kids everywhere and schools most in need.
Jon Hilsenrath Joins FBN as Contributor (TVNewser)
Jon Hilsenrath, the Wall Street Journal’s chief economics correspondent, is joining Fox Business as a contributor. In his new role, he will appear on both FBN and Fox News. Hilsenrath, who currently covers the Federal Reserve, has worked at the WSJ since 1997. Previously, he worked as a freelance reporter for The New York Times and Time.
Re/code’s Mike Isaac Joins NYT as Tech Reporter (Poynter / MediaWire)
Re/code editor Mike Isaac is moving to New York to report on tech for The New York Times, business editor Dean Murphy and technology editor Suzanne Spector told staff. Jenna Wortham is joining Sunday business full time.
Newsmax TV Signs Deal With DirectTV, Launching Next Month (TVNewser)
Newsmax has found a TV home, signing a deal with DirectTV for a soft-launch next month. Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy says the channel, which streams online from headquarters in Florida and studios in New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, will be “independent news with a mainstream conservative tilt.” At the outset, Newsmax TV will air nine hours of original programming a day.
Perseus Books Now Available Through Scribd’s eBook Subscription Service (GalleyCat)
eBook subscription service Scribd has announced a new partnership with Perseus Books. The partnership brings thousands of Perseus titles to the Scribd collection, including Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger, Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin and Belly Laughs by Jenny McCarthy.
Cristina Alesci Jumps From Bloomberg to CNN (TVNewser)
After five years at Bloomberg TV, Cristina Alesci is joining CNN and CNNMoney as a correspondent. She begins in her new role next month. Before joining Bloomberg in 2009, Alesci worked at Pfizer and law firm Sidley Austin LLP.
Amazon Prime to Offer Music Streaming Service — With 6-Month-Old Songs (BuzzFeed)
Amazon, the Internet’s largest retailer, is making an aggressive move into the booming and intensely competitive business of streaming music. The Prime music service, which is scheduled to launch in June or July, will not include recent releases but instead restrict its catalog to songs and albums that are 6 months old and older.
What do you think of Apple’s acquisition of Beats? Is it a smart move?
PixelProseMedia Yes; the company has likely grown as far as it can by itself. Apple’s acquisition will now take the brand to a whole new level
pug I’m worried that thousands of poor white earbuds will end up buried in New Mexico like those Atari “E.T.” cartridges.
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