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Soledad O’Brien Named Special Correspondent for Al Jazeera America (TVNewser)
As TVNewser first reported was in the works last week, Al Jazeera America has signed former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien to a development deal, and will feature her as a “special correspondent” for its primetime newsmagazine, America Tonight. O’Brien’s company, Starfish Media Group, will produce long-form documentary specials for AJAM when the channel launches in August, with O’Brien appearing on-air for shorter-form reports on AJAM’s newsmagazine. TheWrap “O’Brien’s career producing and reporting on the human side of many of the most important stories of the past decade will fit in perfectly with what Al Jazeera America will be covering every day,” said Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director of Al Jazeera’s international operations and the senior executive developing the new channel. “Her dedication to that type of journalism is what makes it so exciting to announce that she and her production company are joining the Al Jazeera America team.” HuffPost It’s a move that makes sense for O’Brien, who ended her day-to-day job at CNN amidst that network’s rebranding. Al Jazeera has promised a less celebrity- and politics-focused network, something that jibes with O’Brien’s high-brow approach to TV journalism. Deadline Hollywood Would a CNN alum hire in this post advance efforts to get the biggest distribution holdout, Time Warner Cable, to carry the network? Back in January, when Al Jazeera coughed up a reported $500 million to buy Al Gore’s little-watched Current TV and replace it with Al Jazeera America, Time Warner Cable said its deal with Current had been terminated and it would no longer carry the service — a big distribution hit for the network. Shortly thereafter, however, Time Warner Cable said it was keeping an open mind about Al Jazeera’s plans. Politico O’Brien’s morning show program on CNN struggled in the ratings and ended March 29. Last month, HBO announced O’Brien is joining the network’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
Statement From Edward Snowden in Moscow (WikiLeaks)
“One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful. On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.” The Atlantic Wire Snowden is dramatic. That is meant in both the traditional sense of the word as well as its more modern form, a truncation of “melodramatic.” That a 30-year-old is dramatic is neither a surprise, nor relevant to the documents he has turned over to the press. The documents, too, are dramatic, but in the quiet way of inanimate objects. LA Times / World Now Snowden met Monday morning with Russian diplomatic officials and handed them an appeal to 15 countries for political asylum, a Russian Foreign Ministry official told the LA Times. “It was a desperate measure on his part after Ecuador disavowed his political protection credentials,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer Even though Snowden’s chances with Ecuador look pretty slim and he’s started to search for asylum elsewhere, he’s still happy they’re considering him. HuffPost Glenn Greenwald hinted on Monday that Snowden has leaked all of the documents that he intended to pass on to news outlets. Snowden, who is currently holed up in Moscow’s airport, has so far given top-secret National Security Agency files to four outlets: The Guardian, The Washington Post, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post and, as of Monday, Germany’s Der Spiegel, which published an explosive story about the extent of NSA spying in Europe. The Guardian The US military has blocked access to the Guardian’s website for troops in the Middle East and south Asia, after disclosures about widespread US surveillance.
New York Times Blogger Demanded Travel And Expenses From Companies (Gawker)
A blogger for The New York Times has been requesting thousands of dollars in “expenses” and travel airfare from a public relations firm trying to get its clients covered in the Times, according to emails obtained by Gawker. “This is a minimum investment and shows the company has some skin in game,” wrote the blogger, Cliff Oxford, in an email last week to a PR executive representing tech companies. “My daily rate is 10 grand per day so I am putting my time on line.”
The Independent Dish: Six Months In (AndrewSullivan.com)
We promised to keep you up to date with the new independent Dish’s progress — and six months seems like a good time to summarize. The current number of subscribers to the Dish now stands at 27,349. I don’t think there’s a purely online site (that isn’t money or porn) that has that kind of subscriber base. That’s your achievement.
UK’s Observer Pulls Story About NSA Deal Based on Wayne Madsen Conspiracy Theory (Poynter / MediaWire)
The U.K.’s Observer raised eyebrows Sunday for publishing a story alleging the United States had been working with European Union countries and Britain to collect personal communications data, based solely on the allegations of conspiracy theorist Wayne Madsen. Daily Beast Shortly after going to press, and after a flood of tweets from outraged readers like me, The Observer realized that the story’s author, Jamie Doward, failed to conduct even the most perfunctory Google search on Madsen. That would have revealed him to be a paranoid conspiracy theorist in the tradition of Alex Jones, on whose radio show he often appears.
CNN Inadvertently Shows George Zimmerman’s Social Security Number During Trial Coverage (TVNewser)
CNN broadcast George Zimmerman‘s personal information to the world, as it appeared onscreen in a document during live trial coverage Monday afternoon. At 12:16 p.m. ET, the document was presented in the courtroom, with Zimmerman’s address, date of birth, phone number and social security number clearly visible. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “Routinely the evidence is first given to the Court Clerk for redaction, and that didn’t happen in this instance,” CNN communications SVP Allison Gollust wrote. “The Court is circling back to attorneys on both sides to make sure they give the Clerk’s office the opportunity to redact the necessary information.”
Former Newsweek Editor: There Never Was A ‘Golden Age’ of Journalism (Penobscot Bay Pilot)
On Thursday, June 27, people filled the pews of the Synagogue on Willow Street in Rockland to hear former Newsweek editors Lynn Povich and Stephen Shepard speak about the past and future of journalism. Stephen spoke predominately about the media’s transition into the digital age. He noted that while the landscape of journalism is radically altering, he remains optimistic about the future of journalism and the future of journalists. When an audience member alluded to a former golden age of journalism, Stephen shook his head. “I don’t think there was a golden age in journalism before the Internet,” he said. “More people are reading journalism now than ever before.” FishbowlNY As we get ready to celebrate that rarest of American work week wrinkles (an officially sanctioned four-day weekend), FishbowlNY would like to do its civic holiday duty by passing on some feel-good news about journalism. Or at least, some news that will make many of our readers hopefully feel not quite as bad about their current professional station.
Penguin And Random House Merger Complete (GalleyCat)
The merger of Penguin and Random House took effect Monday. According to the company, the new mega-publisher counts more than 10,500 employees in nearly 250 imprints and publishing houses. In all, they publish more than 15,000 new titles every year.
Why Every Company in TV Is Trying to Merge (BuzzFeed)
Content is king — which is why seemingly every company that distributes it, from local television stations to cable operators to satellite distributors, is trying to merge. Tribune on Monday agreed to buy Local TV Holdings’ collection of 19 television stations for $2.73 billion cash. It is the second $2 billion-plus deal in as many months, following Gannett’s $2.2 billion purchase of Belo’s television stations in June. Behind all this action is one thing: content.
Leela de Kretser Is Leaving DNAinfo (NY Observer)
Editorial director and publisher Leela de Kretser is leaving DNAinfo.com, founder Joe Ricketts announced Monday in an email to staff. “I wanted to let you know about a change at DNAinfo.com. After four years of dedicated work helping to establish the company, Leela de Kretser will be leaving DNAinfo.com,” Ricketts wrote. “I want to thank her for her contributions and wish her well.”
With 30 Million Uniques Under Its Belt, Upworthy Is Ready to Monetize (Forbes / Mixed Media)
The fastest growing news site ever is ready to start making money. Coming off its biggest month of traffic yet, Upworthy, the social news aggregator that pairs progressive politics with viral marketing savvy, is in the early phase of introducing advertising to its model. The 14-month-old site is talking to marketers about participating in a sponsored content pilot program.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Reborn as Publishing Arm Targets Smartphones (The Guardian)
News Corporation, the newly devolved publishing division in Rupert Murdoch’s global empire, launched on the New York and Sydney stock exchanges on Monday with the aim of dominating the smartphone market for news, entertainment and information. Robert Thomson, the chief executive of new News Corp, told investors in Sydney the company would retain “Murdochian magic” and would have “a permanent startup sensibility” with globalization and digitization its biggest opportunities for growth. TVNewser To mark the occasion, mimosas were served at the News Corp. building as employees walked in, and the companies bought full-page spreads in The Wall Street Journal (a News Corp. paper) and The New York Times.
Disney’s Chief Agrees to Hold Off on His Retirement Until 2016 (NYT)
Robert A. Iger will remain chief executive of the Walt Disney Company until July 2016, an extension of 15 months beyond his previously announced retirement date, the entertainment conglomerate said on Monday.
Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Joins The Verge to Host Web Series (THR)
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian is teaming up with Joshua Topolsky’s The Verge for a 10-part Web series that tells the stories behind the early days of New York-based tech startups.
Appeals Court Calls for ‘Fair Use’ Ruling in Google Books Case (paidContent)
In a victory for Google in its long-running fight with the Authors Guild, the Second Circuit of Appeals overturned a lower court’s decision to grant class action status, and told the judge in the case to rule on whether Google’s book scanning was “fair use” under copyright law.
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