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Peter Chernin, AT&T to Buy Majority Stake in YouTube Network Fullscreen (THR)
Peter Chernin’s The Chernin Group and AT&T have finalized a deal to acquire a majority stake in YouTube network Fullscreen. GigaOM Financial details of the transaction weren’t released, but Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos, who previously handled partner relations for YouTube, will retain “a material ownership stake in the company,” according to the release. Re/code The sale is supposed to wrap up in the next month; ad holding giant WPP, which invested in Fullscreen earlier, will remain as a “strategic shareholder.” The deal is likely to value Fullscreen, which says it has 4 billion monthly video views, between $200 million and $300 million. Earlier in the year, Disney bought YouTube network Maker Studios, which had 5.5 billion views, in a deal that could ultimately hit $950 million. That sale kicked off a new wave of investor interest in Web video networks, which for now generate most of their eyeballs and revenue on YouTube. Capital New York Dreamworks acquired YouTube channel AwesomenessTV in 2011 for $150 million, Discovery acquired Revision3 in 2012 for $30 million, and Legendary Entertainment bought Nerdist for an undisclosed sum in 2012. Variety Fullscreen, founded in January 2011, works with more than 50,000 content creators — including such YouTube stars as the Fine Bros., Connor Franta and O2L — who have an aggregate of 450 million subscribers. The Culver City, Calif.-based company has about 200 employees worldwide.
According to Keith J. Kelly, it’s an all-digital future for a trio of publications acquired by Townsquare Media from Harris Publications. Antenna magazine was relaunched as digital-only in July; XXL will go all-digital after the next bi-monthly print issue hits newsstands; and King-mag.com will be Web relaunched.
From Kelly’s item:
“We incubated something digitally, but the Townsquare people can take it to the next level with their digital expertise,” said Ben Harris, president of Harris Publications, which started XXL in 1997 to rival Vibe.
The Atlantic is shutting down its spinoff TheWire.com, and folding staffers into the magazine and TheAtlantic.com.
Important news on the digital front: In a couple of weeks, we will bring the staff of The Wire back into The Atlantic’s fold. We are very proud of what The Wire has accomplished editorially, and we think that joining its aggressive, deft news coverage with The Atlantic’s ideas-driven journalism will provide a richer experience for The Atlantic’s readers, a firmer foundation for our ambitions to cover the news, and greater opportunities for growth for The Wire’s team. This decision is also driven by a recognition that the business strategy behind separating The Wire from The Atlantic simply hasn’t proven out. Experimenting with new revenue streams to support our journalism – like experimenting with new forms of reporting, storytelling, and distribution — has been essential to our progress across the ever-shifting media landscape; so too has moving quickly to face the facts, and to adjust, when an experiment isn’t working as we’d hoped.
The Atlantic Wire was launched in 2009 and rebranded itself as The Wire last year. The decision to rename the site the exact same name as one of the most iconic TV shows of all time was probably the first sign that something was amiss.
You can read Bennet and Cohn’s full note below.
Sometimes, it’s all about the article updates.
Adding to a post this morning about the furor surrounding New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley‘s weekend piece on Shonda Rhimes‘ new ABC-TV program How To Get Away With Murder, public editor Margaret Sullivan has shared post-publication feedback from culture editor Danielle Mattoon and author Stanley.
Let’s start with Mattoon’s remarks. Rhetorical is all fine and dandy, but next time, she and her fellow NYT editors may want to make sure a question mark (or some other equivalent indicator) punctuates this approach. As written, the first-paragraph intent was not clear enough:
“Alessandra used a rhetorical device to begin her essay,” Mattoon said, “and because the piece was so largely positive, we as editors weren’t sensitive enough to the language being used…”
She told me that multiple editors — at least three — read the article in advance but that none of them raised any objections or questioned the elements of the article that have been criticized.
Will Lee has been named editor of People.com. Lee comes to People from The Hollywood Reporter, where he most recently served as VP, digital content and programming.
This will be a homecoming of sorts for Lee, as he worked as an editorial assistant at Time Inc.’s Entertainment Weekly in 1998.
In related news, Kristin Boehm, People.com’s director of news and engagement, has been promoted to deputy editor.
Lee begins his new role October 20.
Better red than dead? Not in this case. For his recent Times Square efforts, New York Daily News political reporter Adam Edelman (pictured) earned a measly total of just one dollar in tips.
As Elmo, Edelman tried several different sidewalk locations. He encountered some well-organized Smurfs before being unwittingly exposed:
Suddenly a woman noticed the tiny camera propped up in my Elmo mouth (we were after all, documenting this experience) and began to warn nearby mascots about my presence. Without warning, a Batman and a Spider-Man were in my face.
Eva Longoria’s production company — UnbeliEVAble Entertainment (yes, it’s really called that) — is joining forces with Condé Nast Entertainment to bring a political drama to ABC. The show was inspired by a Jacob Weisberg Vogue article, which profiled twins Julián and Joaquin Castro.
The yet-to-be-named project will follow the lives of Chris and Alex Reyes, two “Latino golden boys” who are best friends, yet political rivals. “The drama explores the American dream and the lies, blackmail and manipulation it takes to rise to the top of power in Texas — and perhaps someday DC,” reports Deadline.
Lies! Blackmail! Manipulation! Golden boys! Please inform your parents about this news.