Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.
Twitter Goes Dark in Turkey Hours After Country’s PM Threatened to ‘Wipe Out’ Service (TechCrunch)
After Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan promised that he would “wipe out” Twitter after it apparently ignored court orders asking the site to remove certain corruption allegations, the service has gone dark in the country. WSJ The move, confirmed by the telecommunications regulator and the state news agency, sent shock waves across Turkey, which is one of the top 10 users of Twitter worldwide with more than 10 million users. Turkish citizens have increasingly turned to the medium to voice opposition to the government and organize demonstrations as mainstream media have avoided criticism of Erdoğan. Variety At a rally in Bursa, Erdoğan pledged to do away with Twitter completely. “We will eradicate Twitter,” he said. “I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.” Tensions between Erdoğan and Twitter had been building for some time. On Feb. 25, the prime minister claimed a “robot lobby” was targeting government through Twitter. He also threatened on March 6 to shut down both Twitter and Facebook in Turkey “if necessary.” Bloomberg Businessweek Erdoğan said the microblogging service ignored court orders to remove content related to a government corruption scandal. The tweets targeted by the premier are from an anonymous user going by the name of Haramzadeler, a Turkish phrase that means Sons of Thieves. The person or persons have been leaking documents and audio files described as the results of a 15-month prosecutor-led investigation into corruption in Erdoğan’s government. Time Those who tried to access Twitter Thursday were taken to a statement from Turkey’s telecommunications regulator that cites court orders allowing the government to ban Twitter. In 2013 during the Occupy Gezi protests, Erdoğan called all of social media “the worst menace to society.” The Washington Post / Morning Mix After Turkey’s Twitter was apparently disabled, the hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey went supernova, though Twitter is still accessible via the site’s SMS service, which allows Turks to text in a tweet.
Netflix Blasts Comcast, Verizon on Net Neutrality: ‘Some Big ISPs Are Extracting A Toll’ (The Verge)
Last month Netflix decided it would pay off huge Internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast to make its service better for customers, but it’s clear that the popular streaming company doesn’t want to be forced to cut similar deals in the future. In a measured and strongly worded article issued Thursday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that “net neutrality must be defended and strengthened,” calling out giants like Comcast and Verizon for bad behavior. Adweek Hastings took to his company’s blog to call for Washington and the Federal Communications Commission to pass stronger net neutrality rules so that Netflix doesn’t have to keep paying “Internet tolls” to powerful ISPs to deliver its content to consumers. THR The blog post is part of Netflix’s effort to support the FCC’s enforcement of an open Internet, known as net neutrality. The agency is in the process of drafting new anti-discrimination rules. Technically, the FCC’s net neutrality rules would not affect the deal signed in February between Netflix and Comcast. Variety What Hastings called “weak” net neutrality were the previous FCC rules that an appeals court struck down in January. Those prohibited ISPs from blocking or degrading traffic based on source. But Comcast is still bound to abide by those rules until 2018, under its agreement with the U.S. government in connection with its deal for NBCUniversal.
White House And Its Reporters Rush to Debunk Claim About Submitting Questions in Advance (The Washington Post / Post Politics)
The White House and reporters who cover it on Thursday corrected a local reporter’s claim that the correspondents submit their questions to White House press secretary Jay Carney in advance of daily briefings. The claim was made by a local reporter who was part of a team of local journalists granted interviews with President Obama on Wednesday. She said in her report that she was told correspondents submit questions to Carney in advance and are often given written responses. HuffPost Carney refuted the claim on Twitter Thursday, with several members of the White House press corps also denying there was any truth to the idea. TVSpy KPHO reporter Catherine Anaya was in Washington, D.C. as part of a presidential interview junket where local reporters get an audience with the commander in chief. She told the anchors back in Phoenix about her off the record visit with Carney, which she revealed, “And then [Carney] also mentioned that a lot of times, unless it’s something breaking, the questions that the reporters actually ask… or the correspondents… they are provided to him in advance.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Anaya later retracted her claim, saying that she “inadvertently” gave the impression that all reporters submit questions ahead of time, when in fact she meant only to say that she had provided her question ahead of time. The statement has since been removed from the KPHO website.
Overnight Developments Keep Networks on The Air Covering Malaysia Airlines Mystery (TVNewser)
Around 11:30 p.m. ET Wednesday night we got word out of Australia that satellite images turned up two large objects, which immediately led investigators to believe it might have something to do with missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370. In the ensuing hours, Australian and Malaysian officials held news conferences as the U.S. cable news networks went in to overtime. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple CNN aired eight news alerts during primetime East Coast sleeping hours Wednesday night. The network’s content ranged from an 11:30 p.m. missive about the objects found in the Indian Ocean to a 5:32 a.m. pitch to tell people to tune into CNN for a press conference. NYT CNN ratings continued to show enormous audience increases, though as of Wednesday it was no longer topping the perennial leader, Fox News, anywhere in primetime. Fox News had always won in terms of total viewers, but CNN had been doubling its usual audience among the group favored by news advertisers, viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, and topping Fox News in some isolated hours.
Liberty Media Ranks as 2013’s Most Profitable Media/Entertainment Company (Variety)
Liberty Media Corp. emerged as the most profitable media and entertainment company in 2013, according to SNL Kagan’s rankings for the year. Liberty Media’s net income of about $8.99 billion came mostly after a one-time gain associated with its takeover of Sirius XM Satellite Radio, according to the survey. THR With a $142 billion market capitalization, Wall Street has determined that the Walt Disney Co. is the most valuable traditional media conglomerate on the planet. But, according to the report, it is no longer the most profitable one. Disney’s net income in 2013 rose 7.5 percent to $6.6 billion while Liberty’s soared 537 percent. Disney’s mediocre improvement in net income, in fact, caused it to drop to third place, as 21st Century Fox also showed a meteoric surge of 434 percent to $7.3 billion in net income, despite having spun out of News Corp. at the tail end of that company’s fiscal year.
Bloomberg Chair Questions Articles on China (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
In an astonishing admission for a news executive, Bloomberg LP chairman Peter T. Grauer said Thursday that the company should have reconsidered publishing critical articles about Chinese President Xi Jinping because they harmed Bloomberg’s bottom line. Mediaite Last year, Bloomberg News got some flak for reportedly killing stories it was worried would anger the Chinese government. One of the journalists who wrote an article critical of China was suspended, and a few weeks later journalists were openly laughing at Bloomberg CEO Daniel Doctoroff for highlighting the importance of press freedom. NYT The comments by Grauer represented the starkest acknowledgment yet by a senior Bloomberg executive that the ambitions of the news division should be assessed in the context of the business operation, which provides the bulk of the company’s revenue. They also signaled which of those considerations might get priority.
Tumblr Woos TV Networks, Teaming Up With Viacom (CNET)
Tumblr is the latest social network to woo television as an advertising partner, announcing Viacom as the first television programmer to strike an marketing partnership with the Yahoo!-owned blogging site. LostRemote The partnership will launch as early as the MTV Movie Awards, which air April 13. MTV will integrate promotional content onto Tumblr, including images, videos, and animated GIFs. The content will showcase everything from Movie Awards categories, presenters, nominees and winners, to historic, buzzworthy moments.
CBS Evening News EP Shevlin to Step Down (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Pat Shevlin, the executive producer of the CBS Evening News, has sent a memo to colleagues announcing that she will step down, sources at the network said Thursday. She will remain with the network in another role. TVNewser Shevlin has been EP since June 2011, when Scott Pelley took over as anchor. The show, which remains in third place among the evening newscasts, has seen ratings growth under her tenure, and has won three Emmys. Asia bureau chief Marsha Cooke recently returned to New York and is likely to take over as EP.
NBC News ‘Doubling Down’ on David Gregory as Meet The Press Expands Online (HuffPost)
David Gregory has heard the rumors, too. “This comes with the territory. I understand it,” Gregory said Wednesday. “I see speculation out there. I just try to pay attention to the stuff I know is real.” Gregory assumed the Meet The Press throne in 2008 following the death of Tim Russert, and has long been dogged by comparisons to his predecessor — a figure who still casts a shadow over Washington media. But grumblings about Gregory’s continued stewardship turned into audible criticisms this past year, as the once indomitable Sunday morning show plummeted in late 2013 to its lowest ratings in decades. TVNewser Last week, NBC News president Deborah Turness held a meeting with Gregory and his EP to discuss the state of the show. This past Sunday, Meet The Press was in third place, losing ground year-over-year in total viewers, down 6 percent.
Public Radio International to Stop Distributing This American Life (Variety)
After 17 years, Public Radio Intl. announced March 20 that it will end distribution of one of its most popular shows, This American Life. The Ira Glass-hosted program, which has been distributed by PRI since 1997, has a weekly audience of 2.2 million listeners and appears on 587 public radio stations in the U.S. “During our most recent negotiation, it became clear that our organizations’ expectations regarding our futures were different,” said PRI executive Julia Yager in a statement. This American Life will be available for public stations to broadcast, according to Yager. The show will end its relationship with Public Radio Intl. on July 1.
Tribune’s Newsbeat App Will Read News for You (10,000 Words)
News apps for mobile have become must-haves for media companies. Newsbeat, the latest app from Tribune Digital, wants to make accessing the news on your mobile device easier than ever. It does this by reading the news for you. The Pandora-esque app can stream roughly 7,000 stories each day, which you can customize by topic or publication. You can also specify unique topics to follow, like your favorite sports team, TV show or celebrity. You can even go back if you miss part of a story and, most importantly, you can skip a story if it doesn’t interest you. So far, Newsbeat has deals with 600 U.S. publications like CNN, Fox News and of course, Tribune newspapers
The Huffington Post Might Start Charging for Content (FishbowlNY)
Would you pay for access to The Huffington Post? That question is currently rattling around inside the head of Jimmy Maymann, HuffPost’s CEO. Speaking at the Guardian’s Changing Media Summit, Maymann admitted that a subscription system could be coming to all HuffPost sites sometime in the future. “I do believe in paid journalism,” said Maymann. “I do believe there are things that users should pay for. I do believe investigative reporting, things that are unique. There should be value on it.”
CNN Signs Miles O’Brien as Aviation Analyst for Two Weeks (Mediaite)
Former CNN anchor/reporter Miles O’Brien will be temporarily returning to the network, a CNN source said. O’Brien has been signed for two weeks as an aviation analyst amid the network’s coverage of the ongoing search for the missing MH370 flight. O’Brien worked at CNN from 1992 to 2008, and being a pilot himself, he covered aviation issues and several plane crashes during his initial tenure.
CBS TV Distribution Taps Development Chief (Variety)
Syndication and cable veteran Elaine Bauer Brooks has joined CBS TV Distribution as executive vice president of development. Brooks will oversee program development for the Eye’s syndication unit under the direction of Hilary Estey McLaughlin. Brooks comes to CBS from NBCUniversal’s Style Network, which was shuttered last fall to make way for Esquire Network.
Discovery Founder John Hendricks Retiring as Chairman of Board (THR)
John Hendricks is officially departing Discovery Communications. The 61-year-old founder of the massive media company, who stepped down as CEO in 2004, will retire from his role as chairman of the board of directors and director of the board this spring. He will remain in the position through the May 16 annual meeting of shareholders.
beesham I’m all for exclamatory excess!! Except for biz emails, which shld only have 1, if at all, for the closing thanks.
Helen_Jonsen Time to take it down a notch!!!!!! Ooops…. too easy to do!
Naomi Chapman it’s only because of the lack of tone to posts. How else can we convey that?
katylindy LOVE it!!!!
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Vice Sells Stake to A&E | Chelsea Clinton Leaves NBC News
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Wolff Named EP of The View | Wright to Exit Turner Broadcasting
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Sawyer Signs Off World News | Freed Journalist Arrives in U.S.
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Emmys Post Strong Ratings | Pew Reports on 'Spiral of Silence'