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Posts Tagged ‘20/20’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Gore Sues Al Jazeera | MTP Pays Tribute to Gregory

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Al Gore Sues Al Jazeera Over $500 Million Current TV Deal (Bloomberg)
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has sued Al Jazeera, claiming the satellite news provider owned by the Qatari royal family owes him and a partner $65 million from a deal to buy his network, Current TV. TVNewser “Our outside counsel is reviewing the complaint,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson said. “We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America. We may have further comment once they’ve fully reviewed everything.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Gore and business partner Joel Hyatt, the co-founders of Current Media, say that Al Jazeera has unlawfully refused to turn over tens of millions of dollars currently located in an escrow account. That money is owed to Current Media shareholders per the terms of the $500-million merger agreement made in January 2013, the plaintiffs say. New York Post Gore, 66, was set to personally pocket an estimated $100 million on the sale of his 20 percent stake in the network, which he helped found in 2004. Mediaite In a statement, Gore’s lawyer said, “Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago. We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.” It should be noted that last year, Gore himself was sued for the sale of Current TV.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AP Journalist Killed in Gaza | Williams 20/20 Special Draws 7.2 Million

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AP Video Journalist, Freelance Translator Killed in Gaza (FishbowlNY)
Simone Camilli and Ali Shehda Abu Afash — an Associated Press video journalist and a freelance translator, respectively — were killed in Gaza Wednesday while covering the conflict there. TVNewser Camilli, an Italian national, and Abu Afash, his Palestinian translator, were killed after ordnance left over from fighting in Gaza exploded. Following the news, AP president Gary Pruitt sent a note to the AP’s global staff about the dangers of their work. Associated Press / The Big Story Police said three police engineers also were killed. Four people, including AP photographer Hatem Moussa, were badly injured. Moussa told a colleague that they were filming the scene when an initial explosion went off. He said he was hit by shrapnel and began to run when there was a second blast, which knocked him out. He woke up in a hospital and later underwent surgery. NYT Camilli, 35, a video journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon, who started as an intern at The AP in 2005, was the first international journalist killed in the latest Gaza conflict. Abu Afash, 36, helped train local journalists through the Doha Center for Media Freedom and worked regularly with visiting foreign correspondents. BBC News The incident happened in the town of Beit Lahiya, in the north of the Gaza Strip. It came hours before a three-day ceasefire agreed between Israel and the Palestinians was due to expire. Some 2,000 people have died since the fighting in Gaza began on July 8. Those killed include more than 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to the UN.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Aereo Suspends Service | The View Loses Two

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Aereo Suspends Streaming TV Service, Weighs Next Steps (Variety)
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Wednesday in favor of broadcasters, Aereo announced early Saturday that it was pausing its streaming TV service at 11:30 a.m. ET. “We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps,” Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia wrote in a letter to subscribers. Deadline Hollywood The Barry Diller-backed company plans to consult with the U.S. District Court in New York, hearing broadcasters’ complaint against it after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the service violates station owners’ copyrights when it streams their over-the-air programming without permission. Users will receive a refund for their last paid month. Mediaite Notably, Kanojia calls the move a “pause” rather than a permanent end to operations, though it seems highly unlikely that the company will be able to move forward in any recognizable form following the decision. In an interview with Bloomberg TV earlier this year, he said the company had “no plan” to move forward if the court ruled against it. GigaOM Despite the obvious appeal of an Internet-based mobile TV service that offers a small bundle of channels, the TV industry is reluctant to change its current business model, which is based on selling large packages of channels, many of which consumers never watch. One option for Aereo may be to accept the Supreme Court’s declaration that it is a cable company, and seek a license from the broadcasters, although the economics of this might prove prohibitive. NYT The company had fewer than 500,000 subscribers in about a dozen metropolitan areas. Customers paid $8 to $12 a month to rent one of Aereo’s dime-size antennas that captured over-the-air television signals. They then could stream and record programs from major broadcasters using their mobile phones, tablets, laptops and Internet-connected televisions.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Time Inc. Struggles | Netflix Shareholders Back Hastings

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Time Inc. Stock Falls in Its Debut (NYT)
Shares of Time Inc., the magazine company that began trading Monday after being spun off from Time Warner, got off to a rough start, falling nearly 7 percent before recovering somewhat. Bloomberg The shares, trading under the ticker symbol TIME, slid less than 1 percent to $23.30 at the close in New York, after earlier dropping by as much as 6.7 percent. Shares of Time Warner, which owns the Warner Bros. movie studio and cable networks such as HBO and CNN, rose 1.2 percent to $68.99. FishbowlNY Last week, Time Inc.’s execs met with editors and asked them to begin the process of cutting 25 percent of editorial spending. That means staffing cuts are coming by the bunches. HuffPost Time Inc. laid off hundreds of employees in 2013 and earlier this year. Some titles, such as People, appear to have already started with their layoffs. Time Inc. is also set to leave its longstanding home, the Time-Life Building, for a cheaper downtown pad. THR Dealmaking could be on the agenda, but unlikely in the form of big acquisitions. Time Inc. was spun off with $1.3 billion in debt. Analysts have compared that to the lack of debt that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp got when the mogul’s empire was split into two last year. Moody’s recently rated Time Inc.’s debt below investment grade, but other observers said the debt will also allow Time Inc. to show that it can be trusted financially.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Jansing Promoted | CBS Crew Detained | News Corp. Buys Harlequin

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Chris Jansing Named Senior White House Correspondent for NBC News (TVNewser)
Changes are coming to NBC’s Washington bureau. NBC News president Deborah Turness has named Chris Jansing as the new senior white house correspondent and Peter Alexander as national correspondent. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Jansing, who will report primarily for NBC Nightly News, will relocate from New York to Washington and will stop hosting her MSNBC show Jansing & Co. The network said her replacement will be announced in the coming weeks. Variety Both Jansing and Alexander will work as part of a unit that also comprises Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director and chief White House correspondent, and Kristen Welker, who will continue to report for NBC Nightly News and Today. HuffPost It will be the latest of a string of changes at that network, which has recently reshuffled its daytime lineup and added Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid to its roster. Deadline Hollywood Jansing joined NBC News in June 1998, and has also anchored Jansing & Co. on MSNBC since October 2010. She anchored MSNBC’s coverage of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 as the events unfolded, extensively covered several presidential campaigns for both NBC News and MSNBC and hosted a series of reports called Battleground America.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: 538 Announces Hires | Vargas Leaves Rehab | Tapper Subs for Burnett

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FiveThirtyEight Adds Managing Editor, Others (FishbowlNY)
FiveThirtyEight, the upcoming site to be helmed by Nate Silver, has added to its staff. The big names: Mike Wilson is joining as managing editor and Kate Elazegui is coming aboard as creative director. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media On the writing side: Wall Street Journal “Numbers Guy” Carl Bialik will serve as senior writer for news; the Guardian‘s Harry Enten will serve as senior writer for politics; and Walter Hickey, late of Business Insider, will serve as senior writer for science and lifestyle. TheWrap The new FiveThirtyEight will be focused around five distinct content verticals: Sports, Politics, Economics, Science, and Lifestyle. The verticals will be led by a team of writer/columnists, with additional content from staff writers as well as external contributors. SaintPetersBlog The Tampa Bay Times tends to brag about how often its editors and reporters make their way to and from many of the leading newspapers in the country, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. But after an interesting announcement on Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Times will have to add ESPN and Nate Silver to the list of poachers of its best talent.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Blockbuster Stores Done | Vargas Goes to Rehab | Star-Telegram Layoffs

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Blockbuster, Outdone by Netflix, Will Shut Its Stores And DVD Mail Service (NYT)
Blockbuster, which had more than 9,000 retail stores across America just nine years ago, is closing the few hundred video-rental stores that it still has, the company’s owner, Dish Network, said on Wednesday in a bittersweet but long-expected announcement. Dish, which acquired Blockbuster through a bankruptcy auction in 2011, after the retailer had already been crushed by digital video distributors like Netflix, said it still saw value in the brand name and would use it in limited ways. But it will close all Blockbuster locations — it says there are about 300 left — and the distribution centers that support its DVD-by-mail service, which is also being dismantled. Ad Age / Media News “This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment,” Dish CEO Joseph Clayton said in the statement. “We continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings.” LA Times / Company Town Founded in 1985, at its peak Blockbuster had close to 10,000 stores. It put smaller retailers out of business and gobbled up bigger competitors. In 1994, Viacom acquired Blockbuster and later spun it off in 2004.

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