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Time Warner Cancels Shareholders’ Ability to Call Special Board Meeting, Guards Against Fox Acquisition (NYT / DealBook)
Time Warner is playing defense. On Monday, the company amended its corporate bylaws and removed a provision that allowed shareholders to call a special board meeting. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Time Warner said the change was effective immediately. Variety The media company’s board approved a measure to temporarily prevent a fraction of shareholders, some 15 percent, from forcing a vote on 21st Century Fox’s $85 per-share offer, according to public filings. The so-called special meeting provision may be re-instated at the company’s 2015 shareholders meeting. Deadline Hollywood The fear was that Rupert Murdoch — or anyone — could have tried to stampede short-term investors into accepting a deal even if the board concluded that it would not serve their long-term interests. Time Warner shares were down 1.6 percent in post-market trading following disclosure of the change. THR Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has bid about $80 billion to acquire Time Warner, but Time Warner’s board and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes have rejected the proposal. Some analysts predict that 21st Century Fox will eventually offer $100 a share for Time Warner. The conglomerate’s stock has climbed 23 percent in the past week on such speculation, and Monday it closed at $87.36. TVNewser People familiar with the original $80 billion proposal that was rejected said if 21st Century Fox took over Time Warner, it would sell CNN to prevent antitrust issues stemming from Fox News and CNN’s direct competitor relationship.
Netflix Hits Q2 Numbers, 50 Million Subscriber Mark (Re/code)
Netflix has a very, very lofty valuation — CEO Reed Hastings himself has suggested that it’s too high — so it can’t stumble when it comes to earnings. But the streaming video company appears to have done just fine Monday: It reported Q2 profits of $1.15 per share and revenue of $1.34 billion. Variety More importantly, Netflix added a total of 1.69 million net streaming subscribers in the second quarter of 2014, packing on 16 percent more customers for its video-streaming subscription service than expected to stand at 50 million worldwide. Deadline Hollywood The company says it had 36.24 million domestic streaming customers at the end of the quarter, up 570,000 from March, which it attributes to “our ever-improving content offering, including Orange Is The New Black Season 2.” Netflix expects an additional 1.33 million in Q3. On the international side, streaming customers increased by 1.12 million over the three-month period to 13.8 million. But the company lost 342,000 DVD-by-mail customers, ending the quarter with 6.17 million. GigaOM Netflix will introduce in-store gift cards in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Germany later this fall. This should help the company reach consumers without access to credit cards.
The New Yorker Launches Revamped Website (FishbowlNY)
The New Yorker’s website has a brand new look. The revamped newyorker.com has a good amount of white space — which makes reading easier — and highlights one featured article on the homepage and each subsection. GalleyCat The magazine is publishing its entire print magazine online for free through the end of the summer. The free giveaway is part of the magazine’s digital redesign. HuffPost The newspaper is taking a page from The New York Times, which also uses a paywall and offers limited access to non-subscribers. With the new system, New Yorker subscribers can access all content online while non-subscribers can only see a limited amount. The magazine also said that it would be amping up its archives, putting every story its published since 2007 on the website this week with a fresh format. Capital New York The current relaunch has been in the works for about a year, online editor Nicholas Thompson said, and it’s been in intensive development since the magazine brought on Michael Donohoe as director of product engineering in January. Donohoe, who was hired from Atlantic Media’s Quartz, has been working full-time on the new site for the past seven months, Thompson said.
Katie Nelson Named National Editor for HuffPost (FishbowlNY)
Katie Nelson has been named The Huffington Post’s new national editor. Nelson most recently served as the New York Daily News’ digital managing editor. She had been with the paper since 2009. WWD / Memo Pad Nelson will join HuffPost on Aug. 6 and report to managing editor Katie Palmer, who served as national editor for two years before being promoted last month. Capital New York In a statement, editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington said that the publication was looking for someone with both traditional reporting and editing skills as well as digital experience for the position. In May, Palmer replaced outgoing managing editor Jimmy Soni, who was dispatched to head up the Huffington Post’s new India office.
BBC Ordered to Tackle ‘Gender Imbalance’ Among Presenters (The Guardian)
The BBC has been told to tackle a continued “gender imbalance” among its presenters and talent following sustained criticism that it is failing to put enough women on air. The BBC Trust called on management to come up with a coordinated plan to tackle the shortcomings, despite various initiatives announced by director general Tony Hall since he took on the job last year. Poynter / MediaWire According to the report from BBC Trust, “we want the BBC to make measurable progress in reflecting better the diversity of the UK population in the BBC’s workforce and its output, in particular increasing the number of women on air.” Gender imbalance is also a problem for newspapers in the U.K. HuffPost A recent study by the Women’s Media Center illustrates this gender problem in one chart, highlighting that the news is anchored by a man about 60 percent of the time.
Yahoo! Buying Mobile App Analytics Platform Flurry (SocialTimes)
Yahoo! is buying the mobile app analytics firm Flurry. “[The acquisition] reinforces [Yahoo!'s] commitment to building and supporting useful, inspiring and beautiful mobile applications and monetization solutions,” Scott Burke, SVP of advertising technology, wrote in a blog post. WSJ The Internet portal has agreed to pay more than $200 million for Flurry, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The deal marks one of the largest acquisitions by chief executive Marissa Mayer and her boldest push yet into mobile advertising, a $32.7 billion market dominated by Google and Facebook. NYT / Bits Flurry’s analytics are used by 170,000 developers globally, and the deal will give Yahoo! important strategic insights into how various apps are used on the 1.4 billion mobile devices on which Flurry runs. Google, Twitter and Facebook are making similar efforts to sell ads beyond their own apps, both through acquisitions and internal product development.
Garrett Graff Joins Politico Magazine (FishbowlDC)
Garrett Graff, who left Washingtonian in April where he served as editor-in-chief for five years, recently joined Politico Magazine. Washingtonian in June named Michael Schaffer as Graff’s replacement. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Graff previously worked on Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign and was the founding editor of Mediabistro’s blog FishbowlDC. He’s also currently working on his third book about the Cold War and the government’s Doomsday plans.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Will ‘Work to Prevent Al Jazeera’ Operating in Israel (International Business Times)
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said that Israel will work to prevent Al Jazeera TV from operating in Israel. “Qatar (the Gulf state where Al Jazeera is based) has turned into a global problem. Al Jazeera is a central pillar of the propaganda apparatus of Hamas,” he said. TVNewser The news network employs several Israeli journalists.
TVGN Taps CBS Exec Debra Wichser as CFO (Deadline Hollywood)
TVGN has found a replacement for former chief financial officer Amy Thurlow, who took the CFO and COO gig at Dick Clark Productions last week. Debra Wichser has been appointed CFO at TVGN, where she will oversee the cable network’s finance and accounting, financial planning and administration, human resources, engineering and operations, and facilities. THR Wichser, who most recently was VP of corporate development for CBS Corp. in New York, will relocate to Los Angeles, reporting to David Wisnia, TVGN president of business operations.
CBS Outdoor Buys Van Wagner’s Billboards (FishbowlNY)
So how much is one of those big advertising billboards worth in the open market? Well, if you do the math — dividing the $690 million paid by CBS Outdoor for 1,100 Van Wagner billboards — it works out to a little over $672,000. Based in New York, CBS Outdoor was spun off in March from CBS Corp. The company said it plans to hire on some Van Wagner personnel to help manage the new billboards.
Slate Names Dan Kois Culture Editor (FishbowlNY)
Slate has named Dan Kois its new culture editor. Kois, a senior editor at Slate, was most recently editor of the site’s Book Review section. He is also a contributor to The New York Times Magazine. As the founding editor of New York’s culture blog, Vulture, Kois has plenty of pop culture chops. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Awl, Oxford American and Television Without Pity.
Janet Mock Named Marie Claire Contributing Editor (FishbowlNY)
Marie Claire has added Janet Mock, a New York Times best-selling author and transgender rights activist, as a contributing editor. Mock will contribute print and online articles and act as a Marie Claire brand ambassador. The move marks a bit of a return to Marie Claire for Mock. In 2011, she publicly came out as transgendered in a piece she wrote for the magazine.
Facebook’s Oculus VR Acquisition Is Now Official (AllFacebook)
Facebook’s virtual reality transaction is now an actual reality, as the social network and immersive virtual reality technology company Oculus VR announced that the former’s roughly $2 billion deal to acquire the latter, originally revealed in March, is now official. The Federal Trade Commission approved the acquisition in April.
Beamly Expanding to Android TV (LostRemote)
On the heels of recent growth, Beamly is set to expand its suite of mobile features to the first screen. The company announced Monday its app, which includes a personalized TV guide, content discovery and recommendation features, remote control, personalized news feeds and more, will soon be available for Android TV sets. It’s the first time the company’s technology will be available for TV sets.
Here’s How Many Subscribers Aereo Had Last Year (Re/code)
Aereo generated lots of attention from the media world in the run-up to its Supreme Court case this spring. Consumers may have been less interested: Paperwork filed with the U.S. Copyright Office this month indicates that the startup, which let users watch broadcast TV on the Web and mobile devices, ended 2013 with 77,596 subscribers, spread out among 10 cities, at the end of 2013, according to documents the company has filed with the U.S. Copyright Office, as part of its bid to be classified as a cable company.
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