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Morning Media Newsfeed: Roker Slams NYC Mayor | Charter’s Next Moves | Maxim Nearly Defrauded

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Al Roker Rants About Mayor de Blasio, School Snow Policy (FishbowlNY)
Al Roker went on a Twitter rant Thursday morning, blasting mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s department of education for allowing schools to be open — and then ultimately closing early. Roker wrote that “It’s going to take some kid or kids getting hurt before this goofball policy gets changed.” When schools announced they were closing, he said “And how about all the parents and caregivers who have to scramble to get their kids home? Is there no one there with any common sense?” Politico Roker was especially critical of the mayor’s decision to keep schools open, complaining about his daughter’s school going to an early release day. “I knew this am @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools would close schools. Talk about a bad prediction. Long range DiBlasio forecast: 1 term,” Roker tweeted. NYT Told that Roker was bluntly predicting a one-term mayoralty, de Blasio ventured some humor. “I respect Al Roker a lot,” the mayor said. “It’s a different thing to run a city than to give the weather on TV.” NY Post Roker conceded he doesn’t have the skills to be mayor of New York City, but took one more shot at City Hall. “Mr. Mayor, I could never run NYC, but I know when it’s time to keep kids home from school,” Roker tweeted.

Charter Likely to Pursue Other Acquisitions (WSJ)
With cable’s top two operators hooking up, rival Charter Communications Inc. is likely to look at other suitors, said people familiar with the company’s thinking. Charter is unlikely to counterbid for Time Warner Cable, people familiar with the matter said, given the price gap between Comcast’s bid, which at Wednesday’s closing price valued Time Warner shares at $158.82 versus the $132.50-per-share bid that Charter had been contemplating. Capital New York Executives at Time Warner Cable attempted to reassure employees at NY1 that the station wouldn’t be tampered with, as news of Comcast’s bid to acquire the cable provider became public. Steve Paulus, Time Warner Cable’s senior VP of news and local programming, held a conference call with staff at the channel to let them know that everything would be OK, according to a source who was on the call. New York Daily News “In The Papers” will remain in our living rooms — at least for now. Pat Kiernan and his NY1 colleagues appear to be safe even as the beloved local news outlet’s parent company, Time Warner, was swallowed whole by Comcast in the $45 billion mega-media deal announced Thursday. Ad Age / Media News Assuming the deal is approved, it will make Comcast becomes a more important partner for advertisers, said Ken Doctor, affiliate analyst, Outsell. Its expanded role as both a content producer and content distributor will make it all the more competitive for ad dollars with companies like Yahoo!, AOL, Google and Facebook.

Man Charged in Scheme to Fraudulently Buy Maxim (Fox Business)
Calvin Darden, Jr. was charged by federal prosecutors Thursday for allegedly crafting an intricate scheme to defraud banks and impersonate his prominent father in an attempt to buy men’s magazine Maxim. The U.S. Justice Department alleges Darden lined up $28 million in loans from three lenders to scoop up the risqué mag. As part of the scheme, which nearly came to fruition, Darden allegedly impersonated his father, Calvin Darden, a director at Target and former executive at United Parcel Service. NY Post / Media Ink The troubled auction to sell Maxim is back on. The owners of Alpha Media and Maxim magazine had already dropped Darden Media Group as a potential buyer even before the arrest Wednesday of convicted stock swindler Calvin Darden Jr. on charges that he had duped investors into making them think that it was his wealthy father who was buying the magazine. Now talks with the No. 2 bidder, a joint venture involving Infinity Partners and Hilco Global, have also collapsed, sources tell the Post.

Matt Lauer’s Olympian Assignment for NBC Begins Early And Ends Late (NYT)
Matt Lauer pinch-hosted again Thursday night for Bob Costas, NBC’s prime-time anchor at the Winter Games in Sochi, as Costas continues to treat his infected eyes. Lauer, who is also co-hosting the Today show, said he had not considered the possibility of replacing Costas for the duration of the Olympics. But, he said, “Even if Bob can’t come back, they’d probably give me a day or two off.” TVNewser The infection may be spreading to other networks. On CBS This Morning Norah O’Donnell motioned to Jeff Glor, who was also uncharacteristically wearing specs on set: “Poor Jeff Glor has got a Costas infection going on.”

Media Industry Goes South — Manhattan (Capital New York)
Media companies are starting to make a bigger dent in the downtown real estate market. In 2013, media accounted for 15 percent of all leases signed in Lower Manhattan, up from 7 percent in 2005, according to the Alliance for Downtown New York’s latest year-in-review, which was released on Wednesday. By contrast, the combined category of finance, real estate and insurance accounted for 27 percent of leasing activity last year, down from 56 percent in 2005, the report shows.

TPM’s Hunter Walker to Business Insider (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Hunter Walker, a national affairs reporter for Talking Points Memo, is joining Business Insider as politics editor, the site’s editors told Politico on Wednesday. Josh Barro, the current politics editor, will turn his full attention to writing on economic policy issues, while Brett LoGiurato will continue to lead the site’s political news coverage. “[Walker] will bring an expertise in scoop-driven political reporting that will complement what Brett and I do now, and a particular focus on New York and New Jersey politics, where he’s broken some of the most interesting stories over the last year,” Barro wrote in an email, citing one of Walker’s reports on Anthony Weiner aide Barbara Morgan.

Drake ‘Disgusted’ at Rolling Stone, Which Dropped His Cover Shot for Philip Seymour Hoffman (PRNewser)
Last Friday Rolling Stone told Drake and his media team that it would pull his planned cover for one featuring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. The corresponding interview/profile, posted Thursday after a teaser, also included some negative comments Drake made about friend and collaborator Kanye West‘s most recent album — quotes he apparently meant to be off the record. For some reason, however, the rapper didn’t get pissed about it until Thursday morning. Billboard “They also took my cover from me last minute and ran the issue,” Drake tweeted. “I’m disgusted with that. RIP to Phillip Seymour Hoffman. All respect due. But the press is evil.” And, “I’m done doing interviews for magazines. I just want to give my music to the people. That’s the only way my message gets across accurately,” he said in his most recent tweet. The Washington Post “I never commented on Yeezus for my interview portion of Rolling Stone,” he added. Rolling Stone said in a statement to The Associated Press that “we stand by our reporting.”

Former Execs Sue Blouin Media (NY Post / Media Ink)
Two former top execs of Blouin Media, publisher of artinfo.com and Art + Auction, said the company withheld nearly $250,000 in pay and commissions due them over the past year. Art + Auction’s former publisher, Catherine Shanley, and associate publisher, Wendy Buckley, filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court earlier this week claiming that Blouin owes Shanley $137,431.32 and that Buckley is owed $90,025.65.

Microsoft PR Chief Shreds New NYT Columnist Over His Advice Column (Business Insider)
The New York Times recently hired former Slate (and former Wall Street Journal) technology columnist Farhad Manjoo. In his first column for the Times, Manjoo told readers to buy Apple’s hardware products (iPhones, iPads, Macs), use Google’s services (search, Gmail, Maps) and to buy media from Amazon (movies, books, music). He also mentioned Dropbox as the best storage service. Missing from that list? Microsoft. Microsoft’s head of communications wanted to leave a comment, but the Times‘ commenting system wouldn’t work, so he sent us his letter to Manjoo.

A New Web Series From PBS Digital Studios Mocks Its Own Conventions (CJR / The Kicker)
A sly Web series that pokes fun at the conventions of news shows like the PBS NewsHour is the newest creation, and first original comedy, out of PBS Digital Studios, the two-year-old online content arm of the public broadcaster. Everything But The News is the brainchild of Steve Goldbloom, a former NewsHour employee, and his childhood friend, Noah Pink. The duo stars as an up-and-coming on-air reporter and his cameraman, with Pink’s camera capturing the creation of what will supposedly become future NewsHour segments on tech, such as a story about online dating apps.

Lori Rothman Moving to Imus in The Morning on FBN (TVNewser)
The changes at Fox Business continue, with host Lori Rothman moving to Imus in The Morning to report business and news updates, TVNewser has learned. Rothman was previously part of a rotating cast of anchors for Markets Now, hosting primarily at 1 p.m. That show has been condensed down from four hours to one, so Rothman will join Imus’ team featuring news reader Connell McShane and markets update anchor Dagen McDowell.

Grief And Grievances at The Cleveland Plain Dealer (CJR / The United States Project)
Are the Cleveland Plain Dealer and new Northeast Ohio Media Group two separate companies? Both are owned by Advance Publications. Both contribute to the print newspaper (now delivered three days a week) and to Cleveland.com. But they have distinct editors and work from separate newsrooms. And, pointedly, while the Dealer is unionized, NEOMG is not. The two-company question is at the heart of a National Labor Relations Board charge filed in December by the local chapter of the Newspaper Guild, which argues that the Advance companies violated an agreement about how many union reporters would remain in the Dealer newsroom following major layoffs last summer. After those cuts, 110 employees were left, just as the agreement stipulated. But by 5 or 6 a.m. the next morning, emails started arriving in the inboxes of some remaining staffers. The messages were invitations to meetings later that day about job opportunities at NEOMG, a digital news company created simultaneously with the layoffs.

Facebook Withdrawal: Viral Publishers See Traffic Plunge (Digiday)
Platforms giveth and platforms taketh away. Publishers that rely on Facebook are finding that out the hard way. Facebook has proven in the past more than willing to pull the rug from under the feet of those who relied on the platform for massive viral growth — think Farmville. Now, it’s the turn of so-called viral publishers, which have used Facebook algorithms and a knack for shareable content to drive tremendous traffic growth in the past year. The good times appear to be ending.

Ready to Break The Internet? Netflix’s House of Cards Premiere Is A Big Test of How Video Gets to You (Quartz)
“My wife and I like to lay in bed and watch Netflix,” Tom Wheeler, chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, said the other day. But when their Internet connection slows down, breaking up the video feed, Wheeler’s wife is incredulous: “You’re chairman of the FCC,” she says to him. “Why is this happening?” Why, indeed. The buffering in Wheeler’s bedroom is familiar to any American who has tried to stream video over the Internet at night, when their neighbors are doing the same thing.

The Guardian‘s Unusual Take on Native Ads (Adweek)
The Guardian is jumping on the native ad trend — but, in character for the British newspaper, it’s doing so in its own way. Thursday it announced the first client, Unilever, of Guardian Labs, its in-house branded content unit. For the year-long, seven-figure campaign starting in March, The Guardian will create content to help connect Unilever with sustainability issues. The campaign will initially run in the U.K., although it’s not ruling out migrating it to the U.S.

Mediabistro Blogs

FishbowlNY Al Roker Rants About Mayor Bill de Blasio, School Snow Policy

FishbowlDC Al-Monitor and PBS Team Up for Mid-East Web Series

TVNewser Comcast CEO: Time Warner Cable Deal is ‘Pro-Consumer’

TVSpy How Did NBC Affiliates Balance the Storm and the Olympics?

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Lost Remote Kevin Spacey: ‘People Like to Be in Control’ of their Entertainment

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