Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.
Barbara Walters’ Final Scheduled Television Appearance Announced (ABC News)
Almost a year after she announced her plan to depart daily television, Barbara Walters is preparing to say farewell. Her last day co-hosting The View, a program that she created, will be May 16, and ABC will air a two-hour special highlighting her life and career that night, from 9-11 p.m. ET. TVNewser Walters will continue to executive produce The View and will contribute to ABC News as the news warrants. THR / The Live Feed The ABC News headquarters in New York City will also be named in her honor, as the Barbara Walters Building, during a dedication ceremony this spring. Walters acknowledged that she’s sad to leave but that “it feels right for me,” repeating what she’s previously said about wanting to leave before people complained about her being on television too long. Reuters Walters, 84, has suffered from health problems recently, including a concussion after she fainted and hit her head last year and a bout of chickenpox. In 2010, she had open heart surgery. Since announcing her retirement, she hosted 20 Years of The 10 Most Fascinating People, the final show of her yearly special program about intriguing personalities. During her long career, Walters was known for her interviews on U.S. television with world leaders including Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein of Iraq and every U.S. president since Richard Nixon. She also interviewed celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise. Mediaite Walters joined ABC in 1976, when she famously became the first female anchor ever on an evening news program. She later became a co-host of 20/20 and launched The View in 1997.
Vox.com, Led by Ezra Klein, Goes Live (FishbowlNY)
Vox Media’s Vox.com, a general news site being led by Ezra Klein, is now live. It’s an impressive looking site and certainly more advanced than what Klein was used to at The Washington Post. Appearance aside, the most notable thing about Vox is something called “Vox Cards.” According to Klein, Melissa Bell and Matt Yglesias — the founders of Vox — the site’s mission is to “explain the news,” and a big part of that is the Cards. At any point when you’re reading an article, a Vox Card could be available through highlighted text. Clicking the text brings up the Card, which provides additional context to the article you’re currently reading. The Cards also exist on their own. Poynter / MediaWire Reached by email, Klein said Vox Cards “will be added as changes are made” to others. On Twitter, Vox senior editor Timothy B. Lee said the card solution will be in place “until we have tech to do it gracefully.” The new site “isn’t perfect, and it isn’t anywhere near complete — not editorially, and not technologically,” Klein, Bell and Yglesias wrote in an introductory post. Adweek Klein explained to The New York Times that his former employer lacked the technology to be able to bring stories to the next level. In his belief, the company was mired in the routine of reporting day-to-day events, which came through in its publishing platform. There was no way to update stories to reflect additional developments. “The biggest source of waste is everything the journalist has written before today,” Klein explained. GigaOM Ever since Klein left his perch as the editor of the Post‘s Wonkblog to strike out on his own, media insiders have been wondering what exactly he would build as part of Vox Media, the fast-growing parent company of The Verge and SB Nation. While there has been somewhat less hype about Klein’s venture than Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, there is still a lot riding on it, if only because the former Post blogger has been repeatedly referred to as a “wunderkind” and reportedly asked for a fairly impressive package from his former newspaper before leaving for Vox Media.
Movie Studios Sue Defunct Piracy Site Megaupload, Seeking Millions in Damages (Variety)
Six major U.S. movie studios have sued Megaupload — which U.S. law enforcement officials shut down in January 2012 — seeking to collect the $175 million the site and its principals allegedly earned from copyrighted works illegally shared on the cyberlocker site, and even more. NYT The suit was filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in Alexandria, by 20th Century Fox Film, Disney Enterprises, Paramount Pictures, Universal City Studios Productions, Columbia Pictures Industries and Warner Bros. Entertainment. It names Megaupload and its founder, Kim Dotcom, among others, as defendants, and lists about 30 feature films — including Avatar, Transformers and Cars 2 — as having been among what it said were thousands of copyrighted works illegally downloaded through the site. The suit made various demands for damages that it said could include a maximum statutory award of $150,000 for each infringement. LA Times / Company Town “When Megaupload.com was shut down in 2012 by U.S. law enforcement, it was by all estimates the largest and most active infringing website targeting creative content in the world,” said Steven Fabrizio, senior executive vice president and global general counsel of the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Deadline Hollywood This case starts up as the Department of Justice case against Megaupload and New Zealand-based Dotcom languishes in the courts. Since the early 2012 action, Dotcom has fought the DoJ and so far resisted attempts to extradite him to the U.S. The studios decided to bring their case home and went after Megaupload in Virginia because of the site’s business dealings with Carpathia Hosting. The Dulles, Va.-based company allegedly provided at least 525 servers to the defendants in the court’s jurisdiction.
BT Poaches Ex-BSkyB Executive Delia Bushell to Strengthen Sports Team (The Telegraph)
BT has poached a former BSkyB executive to lead its multibillion-pound investment in television and sport as the rivals prepare to go head to head in a crucial auction of Premier League football rights. Delia Bushell will join BT as managing director of BT TV and Sport after a short stint as chief commercial officer at Sky Italia. The Guardian The announcement comes a couple of weeks after BT announced the departure of TV chief Marc Watson. In her previous role at BSkyB, Bushell is credited with the transformation of the pay-TV broadcaster into a “triple play operator” — offering broadband and telephone services as well as TV. As director of broadband and telephony, she took BSkyB’s broadband service from launch to more than 3.5 million subscribers. WSJ To boost its core telephony business, BT has spent billions of dollars over the last couple of years acquiring premium sports rights to fill its sports channels, launched eight months ago. BT Sport is offered free to existing BT broadband customers.
Broadcast Your Point of View With Livestream’s New Google Glass App (Engadget)
The National Association of Broadcasters show wouldn’t be the same without Livestream, one of the Internet’s most popular broadcasting services, introducing new hardware or software. As such, Livestream announced another way for users to share video on its site: an application for Google Glass. Mashable The app is much simpler than its existing iOS and Android ones. While Livestream’s mobile apps let users upload text and photo updates to events and add filters to videos, the Glass app lets users share what they’re looking at in real time. The app also displays viewers’ comments to the wearer. To begin broadcasting, users simply pair Glass with an event and say, “OK Glass, Livestream,” and tap the side of the device to begin recording. Viewers can tune into live broadcasts via the Web or the company’s smartphone and Roku apps. CNET “It’s a balance between privacy and journalism,” said Phil Worthington, Livestream co-founder and chief product officer. “Yes, maybe there are privacy concerns, but I think the information it shares with the world is much more valuable than that,” he said.
YouTube Files Complaint in Turkish Court About Ban (Mashable)
YouTube has lodged an official complaint in the Turkish Constitutional Court regarding the website’s ban throughout the country. The lawsuit demands that the government cancel its ban. The Turkish government blocked access to YouTube on March 27 after an anonymous user uploaded 15 videos of leaked government meetings that discussed military options in Syria. WSJ Google filed its appeals on Friday to Turkish criminal, administrative and constitutional courts, according to people familiar with the filings. Google is arguing that the block on YouTube is “overbroad” under Turkish law, and seeking a constitutional challenge “based on freedom of speech,” one of those people said. RT Google recently claimed that its services are being effectively blocked by Turkish Internet providers, who reportedly are using all means to prevent the users from circumventing the ban. Turkish providers are also believed to be still blocking Twitter despite the Constitutional Court’s ruling last week lifting the ban, which Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he has to obey but “do[es] not respect.”
Stephanopoulos Frustrated With GMA Staff Changes (NY Post / Page Six)
Good Morning America co-anchor George Stephanopoulos is frustrated with staff changes as he begins to negotiate his contract with ABC, sources tell Page Six. Multiple sources told us Stephanopoulos, the last man standing at the morning show after Sam Champion and Josh Elliott departed in recent weeks, is concerned about the softer direction of GMA — and the addition of yet more entertainment personalities. TVNewser Stephanopoulos denies being unhappy with the on-air changes at GMA, telling Page Six the rumors aren’t true. “So much of what you’ve been told is false. What I can say is that I’m proud of our continued success at GMA, This Week and ABC News, and I’m confident that will continue,” he told Page Six. HuffPost One thing’s for sure: Stephanopoulos has faced the soft-news question ever since he came to GMA in late 2009. He’s developed something of a standard answer. “It’s fun to stretch,” he told the New York Observer in 2010. “I have had to stretch,” he told New York magazine in 2012 (adding that he liked the “variety”).
CNN Hires New Digital Correspondent (FishbowlNY)
Rachel Crane is joining CNN as a digital correspondent, focusing on pop culture and innovation. Crane comes to CNN from Bloomberg, where she served as reporter covering technology and innovation. She also served as host of Bloomberg’s Brink, a show highlighting new ideas and tech. HuffPost While at Bloomberg, she interviewed Elon Musk and Google’s Ray Kurzweil among other tech pioneers. CNN’s digital network is, of course, one of the its strongest assets. The organization touted its Web traffic in a release in January calling 2013 its “best year ever.”
CBS Appoints New SVP of Communications (PRNewser)
Monday brought word of a new corporate communications manager for CBS New York. Shannon Jacobs, who has been with the CBS team since 2005 when it split from Viacom, will serve as SVP of communications and continue to report to EVP Dana McClintock. In addition to her handling of media relations for CBS Television, she will now also create and direct communications strategies across each of the company’s businesses. As manager of the company’s New York corporate team, she’ll be responsible for everything from ad sales and research to governmental and legal affairs. Variety Before joining CBS as VP of communications, Jacobs served for four years as director of corporate communications at NBCUniversal, where she led media relations for divisions including research, standards and practices, legal and regulatory affairs. Earlier in her career, Jacobs spent four years on Capitol Hill and worked as a press aide to U.S. House Democratic leader Richard A. Gephardt and later as communications director and chief spokesperson for congressman Earl Blumenauer.
Tony Gervino Named Editor of Billboard (FishbowlNY)
Tony Gervino has been named the new editor-in-chief of Billboard. Janice Min, chief creative officer and co-president Guggenheim Media’s Entertainment Group, tweeted the news. Gervino is a contributor to The New York Times and has served as Hearst Magazines International’s executive editor since 2011. Gervino tweeted that he was “so excited” to join the magazine.
Tapper Takes Morgan’s Time Slot for A Test Drive (FishbowlDC)
With Piers Morgan Live now but a distant memory, the competition for Morgan’s old slot has begun in earnest. Monday night, Jake Tapper began a week of double shift duty, hosting both a 4 p.m. and a 9 p.m. version of The Lead in an effort to show that he can be the primetime star Jeff Zucker is looking for. While we hear that Tapper is the favorite for the gig, Zucker will also reportedly try out Michael Smerconish, Bill Weir and Don Lemon in the hour.
We Need to Talk: 26 Awkward Questions to Ask News Organizations About The Move to Digital (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Here are 25 awkward questions (and one counter-question) that I wish media reporters/critics would routinely ask of editors and mainstream news organizations, each year. These might be uncomfortable, if truthfully and publicly answered, but even if you “no comment” your way out of that query, the questions might actually help spur newsroom leadership to focus on what really matters.
Venezuelan TV Journalist Reportedly Kidnapped by Armed Men (HuffPost / AP)
The father of a Venezuelan TV journalist says his daughter has been kidnapped by armed, masked men in the western section of the capital of Caracas. Luis Pinto said Monday that his daughter Nairobi Pinto was taken hostage Sunday afternoon at the entrance to the building where she lives. She is the chief of correspondents for the Globovision news channel and her whereabouts remain unknown.
TheAtlantic.com Has Best Month Ever (FishbowlDC)
It seems Q1 has been kind to The Atlantic this year. The mag touted what it says are record numbers across its digital properties. According to an announcement by newly minted co-presidents James Bennet and Bob Cohn, March was “the best month of traffic in the history of the site.” Bennet and Cohn also said that advertising revenue across all platforms was up 39 percent over this same time last year and that print circulation had increased from last year.
Cynthia McFadden Says Good Morning to Today (TVNewser)
A week after signing off ABC News, Cynthia McFadden made her first appearance on NBC News. McFadden, NBC’s senior legal and investigative correspondent, was on the Today show talking about the Oscar Pistorius trial. “Cynthia McFadden, good morning and welcome to NBC,” Savannah Guthrie said. “It’s a pleasure to be here, Savannah,” McFadden replied. McFadden, who spent 20 years at ABC, is one of three high-profile ABC News talent hired away by NBC in the last few months: Sam Champion joined the Weather Channel in December and Josh Elliott jumped to NBC Sports last week.
Who do you think should succeed David Letterman?
evelinav no one. Why not let that historic show end and create something entirely fresh and new to run in its timeslot.
- Morning Media Newsfeed: 16 Million Watch Ferguson Grand Jury | Orman to Leave CNBC
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Journalists Cover Ferguson Grand Jury | Sony Pictures Hacked
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Aereo Files for Bankruptcy | MSNBC Hires Ex-WH Staffer
- Morning Media Newsfeed: Fager to Step Down, Return to 60 Minutes | WaPo, Kindle Partner Up