Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.
ESPN Live Stream Crashes During USA-Germany World Cup Match (Variety)
Many users across the U.S. were unable to access ESPN’s WatchESPN video-streaming service as the USA-Germany match in the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off at noon ET on Thursday. An ESPN rep said the sports programmer was “investigating some limited issues due to unprecedented demand.” WatchESPN viewership for the first half of the USA-Germany match peaked at more than 1.4 million concurrent viewers. Re/code For context: During the Winter Olympics, NBCUniversal reached a peak of 850,000 concurrent viewers when it streamed the U.S./Russia Hockey game. TVNewser CNN’s Lara Baldesarra, Fox News’ Bryan Llenas, CBS’ Elaine Quijano, ABC’s Paula Faris and NBC’s Natalie Morales covered the World Cup for their respective networks. Mediaite The media world, like the rest of the country, apparently stopped what it was doing to gather around televisions and watch the match. Capital New York ESPN, which is a U.S. rights-holder, held a viewing party at its Bristol, Conn. campus. At ESPN sister network ABC, ABC News staffers were invited to watch the game, and the network provided food and red, white and blue rocket pops. At CBS News, CBS This Morning executive producer Chris Licht brought in pizza, with the game playing on a big screen. At NBC News, the executive team was advised to order in lunch and give their teams a chance to watch the game too. CNN also had a pizza party for staffers while the game was on.
U.S. Publishing Industry Earned $27.01 Billion in Net Revenues Last Year (GalleyCat)
The U.S. book-publishing industry generated $27.01 billion in net revenue in 2013, selling 2.59 billion units, according to a new report from the Association of American Publishers. This was down slightly from $27.12 billion in net revenue and 2.62 billion units in 2012. Deadline Hollywood The numbers were drearier if you just look at the trade sector, which includes general consumer fiction and non-fiction, and religion. Net revenues there fell 2.3 percent to $14.6 billion, with units down 1.7 percent to 2.3 billion. GigaOM Trade (consumer) eBook revenue in the U.S. was roughly flat between 2012 and 2013, even as the number of eBooks sold rose by 10.1 percent to an estimated 512.70 million. With more eBooks being sold, the seemingly contradictory 0.7 percent drop in revenue suggests they’re being sold at lower prices. Publishers Weekly The lack of growth in eBook sales is due to a large decline in sales of eBooks in the juvenile fiction segment, where sales declined 25.5 percent, to $347.7 million. In adult fiction, eBook sales rose in the year to $1.92 billion, a 2 percent increase over 2012. eBooks accounted for 38 percent of adult fiction sales in 2013, compared to 34.7 percent in 2012.
Rebekah Brooks Says She Is ‘Vindicated’ by Acquittal in Phone Hacking Trial (HuffPost)
Rebekah Brooks told a crowd of journalists on Thursday that she feels “vindicated” and “grateful” to the jury that acquitted her of a string of charges related to the phone hacking scandal. BBC News Speaking for the first time since the verdict, Brooks — found not guilty on all four counts — said it had been “tough” for all affected by the case. Appearing with her husband, Brooks said the police inquiry and trial had put their “troubles in perspective.” Royals, celebrities and crime victims were among those who had phones hacked. The Guardian “I am innocent of the crimes I was charged with and I feel vindicated by the unanimous verdicts,” the former editor of the Sun and the News of The World said to cameras and a press pack outside her home in central London. In a short statement punctuated by shouted questions from the media, she also promised to support former colleagues who were facing criminal trials. Bloomberg Andy Coulson, another former editor of the News of The World who went on to become a media adviser to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, was the only one of seven defendants convicted and was found guilty of one count of phone hacking.
MGM Closes on $300 Million Loan, Touts Wall Street Support (Variety)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has closed on a six-year, $300 million second lien term loan agreement with a consortium of lenders. Chairman-CEO Gary Barber touted the loan as a sign of Wall Street’s confidence in MGM, which emerged from a pre-packaged bankruptcy in late 2010. THR The amount is $100 million more than was originally anticipated. MGM said it planned to use the loan proceeds for general corporate purposes even though it is currently debt free and already has a bank line of credit for more than $600 million. Deadline Hollywood People who follow the company probably will wonder whether this makes it more or less likely that MGM will go public, whether the funds may be used to pay out its private investors who’ve been looking to cash out — or perhaps whether it might used for more productions or an acquisition. MGM indicated two years ago that it was seriously considering an IPO, but that looked less likely last month with the departure of Ken Schapiro — a deal guy who had been promoted in January to chief strategic officer.
CBC to Cut at Least 1,000 Jobs in Push for More Digital News (CBC/Radio-Canada)
CBC/Radio-Canada Thursday announced its new strategy for taking the public broadcaster to 2020 and beyond. Ultimately, the strategy aims to better position the public broadcaster to meet the fundamental shifts that are transforming the media universe. Poynter / MediaWire It plans to cut between 1,000 and 1,500 jobs by 2020 as it transitions to a digitally focused news strategy. The cuts will be paired with emphasis on distributing content digitally in order to “be even more local, at a reduced cost.” About 500 production jobs will be eliminated, said France Belisle, a spokesperson for the corporation. About 1,000 employees are eligible for retirement in the next two years and about 300 employees retire from the company every year. THR To attract a younger, networked generation, the cash-strapped CBC will do fewer supper-hour newscasts. Ceding the broadcast space to private sector rivals like Bell Media, Rogers Media and Shaw Media, the CBC said it will increasingly target TV audiences going forward. The radical shift will also call for more edgy cable-type dramas and “cutting-edge” comedies, rather than feel-good, family TV fare that in recent years has hardly connected with younger Canadians.
George Stephanopoulos Interviews Obama (TVNewser)
On the heels of his announcement as ABC News’ chief anchor, George Stephanopoulos interviewed the President Thursday as he embarks on his first “day in the life” visit in Minnesota. The interview took place in Minneapolis, but Stephanopoulos got in a few soccer questions while watching the USA-Germany game with the President on Air Force One. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The president will be participating in a town hall and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event. The interview will air on Good Morning America and This Week, an ABC News spokesperson said. Mediaite During the interview, President Obama revealed that the 2014 World Cup has helped shape some aspects of U.S. foreign policy. “We had elements — which I won’t detail — of our foreign policy that have been shaped around the World Cup,” Obama said. “Phone calls, meetings, initiatives we had to think about.”
John Seeley Out at WSJ Amid Newsroom Cuts (Capital New York)
John Seeley has been let go from his job at The Wall Street Journal, where he was founding editor of the paper’s metro section, Greater New York. One insider speculated the paper is making “strategic trims to free up money for hires” as it heads into a new fiscal year on July 1. FishbowlNY Seeley had been with the Journal since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, he served as deputy managing editor of The New York Sun.
Vladimir Duthiers Leaves CNN for CBS News (TVNewser)
CBS News has hired CNN international correspondent Vladimir Duthiers as a correspondent for the network, CBS News president David Rhodes announced Thursday. Duthiers will move from Nigeria, where he was based for CNN, to New York, where he will work out of the CBS broadcast center. Deadline Hollywood Most recently, Duthiers reported on the more than 200 girls kidnapped from their school in northeastern Nigeria by Boko Haram and was one of the first Western journalists to interview family members of the abducted children. He began his career at CNN in 2009 as a production assistant on the news program Amanpour before going on to serve as an associate producer for Anderson Cooper 360°.
Amazon Prime Acquires Exclusive Rights to Drafthouse Films (LostRemote)
Amazon Prime is going independent. The streaming content arm of Amazon.com and independent content distributor Cinedigm have agreed to an exclusive licensing agreement giving Amazon streaming rights to several independent films distributed by Drafthouse Films. Variety Titles available Thursday to Amazon’s Prime members in the U.S. include black comedy Cheap Thrills, Ben Wheatley’s psychedelic sorcery film A Field in England, sci-fi cult classic The Visitor and Abel Ferrara’s Ms. 45. Also streaming are rock-documentary A Band Called Death and coming-of-age film I Declare War.
Steven Levy Leaves Wired (FishbowlNY)
Steven Levy is leaving Wired for the blogging site Medium. Levy, in a post on Medium, explained that he will serve as editor-in-chief and senior writer of a TBD tech site. Levy served as a senior writer for Wired. Prior to that, he served as a chief technology writer and a senior editor for Newsweek.
InStyle Features Editor Jumps to Billboard (FishbowlNY)
Isabel González Whitaker will start as deputy editor of Janice Min‘s newest magazine makeover project July 14. Prior to her seven years with InStyle, González Whitaker served as editor-in-chief of Hearst’s bi-annual “outsert” Tu Vida and worked at Teen People, where she started the magazine’s Trendspotters program and served as special projects editor.
Sherri Shepherd Exiting The View (Deadline Hollywood)
Sherri Shepherd is leaving The View. Shepherd’s contract was coming up, and the two sides were talking. According to sources with knowledge of the situation, ABC and Shepherd’s camp were “too far apart” on terms of a new deal. In April, not long before she stepped down as the show’s on-air Den Mom, Barbara Walters — who remains exec producer — said in various interviews that Shepherd “definitely” was coming back next season, as were Jenny McCarthy and Whoopi Goldberg.
Time Inc. Sells Mexican Subsidiary (WWD / Memo Pad)
Time Inc. said it sold Grupo Expansión, its Mexican subsidiary, to Southern Cross Group, a Latin-American private equity firm, on Thursday. The terms of Southern Cross’ acquisition were not disclosed. GEx is Mexico’s second largest magazine publisher with 16 titles including Expansión, Quién, and Life & Style and 10 websites. According to Time Inc. chairman and chief executive Joe Ripp, his company’s “prime focus” is “growing core assets in the U.S. and U.K.”
Sony Pictures Television to Acquire U.K. TV Networks Group CSC Media (THR)
Sony Pictures Television said Thursday it has agreed to acquire U.K. TV networks group CSC Media. Financial details weren’t disclosed. The deal, which comes after the recent Viacom agreement to acquire U.K. broadcaster Channel 5, will add 16 channels in the kids, music and general entertainment space to Sony’s portfolio. Sony said the acquisition will make it the No. 5 cable/satellite/multi-channel player in the U.K. in terms of commercial ad views.
Simon & Schuster Makes All Its eBooks Available to Libraries, Following Successful Trial (GigaOM)
Another big publisher has decided that making eBooks available to libraries is worth doing: Simon & Schuster announced Thursday that it’s making its full catalog of more than 10,000 eBooks available for library lending. The decision follows a one-year pilot program in New York City.
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Sony to Release The Interview | Disney, DirecTV Strike Deal
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Columbia to Review UVA Rape Story | TWC-Comcast Merger Halted
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Hackers Applaud Sony | Fox News, FBN Pulled From Dish
- Morning Media Newsfeed: White House Talks Sony Attack | Abrams to Leave Nightline