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Posts Tagged ‘21st Century Fox’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Sony Pulls The Interview | 21st Century Fox Acquires TrueX

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9/11 Threats From Sony Hackers Cause Company to Drop The Interview (FishbowlNY)
In light of the recent threats of violence from those responsible for the ongoing cyber attacks against Sony Pictures (aka the “Guardians of Peace”), the company has decided to pull the plug on Seth Rogen and James Franco‘s latest movie, The Interview. The film was scheduled to premiere nationwide on Christmas day. PRNewser Tuesday, the hackers’ threats turned to violence, invoking 9/11 and implying that someone would attack theaters screening The Interview. The movie’s planned New York premiere was subsequently cancelled. Rogen and Franco also cancelled all further press dates. Time American officials have determined the government of North Korea is connected to the hack, a U.S. official confirmed Wednesday. Much remains unclear about the nature of North Korea’s involvement. The country, while lauding the hack against Sony, has denied being behind it. There were conflicting reports Wednesday evening, and officials are expected to unveil their findings Thursday. THR Sony decided to pull The Interview from all theaters Wednesday in response to the decision by the country’s major chains not to show the film. The country’s top five theater chains — Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment — chose to pull The Interview from their theaters Wednesday. Variety Sony is weighing releasing the film on premium video-on-demand, according to an insider. That would allow the studio to recoup some of the film’s $42 million budget and tens of millions in promotion and advertising expenditures. It would also enable the studio to experiment with the potential of VOD, something it has been hesitant to do at the risk of angering major exhibitors. TheWrap Wednesday, New Regency pulled the plug on its Steve Carell movie Pyongyang, which Gore Verbinski had been prepping for a March start date. Based on the graphic novel by Guy Delisle, Pyongyang is a paranoid thriller about a Westerner’s experiences working in North Korea for a year.

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21st Century Fox Buys Digital Ad Company

21st Century Fox logo G21st Century Fox has purchased TrueX Media for $200 million. TrueX — founded in 2007 as SocialVibe — is a digital advertising company which licenses its products to advertisers and media companies.

Some of TrueX’s clients include Microsoft, Visa, Apple, Disney, Coca-Cola, Kia, Kraft, Macys, Nestle, and Procter & Gamble.

“The connections between brands and consumers have continued to evolve within digital video environments, and True[x] is at the center of this vital area of innovation,” said James Murdoch, co-COO of 21st Century Fox, in a statement. “We’re thrilled at the opportunity to have true[x]’s talented team work with us as we set out together to create new experiences in what we believe is a very exciting time in digital video.”

Morning Media Newsfeed: Winkler Out at Bloomberg | Ebola Fighters Are Time PoTY

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Matt Winkler Steps Down at Bloomberg News (FishbowlNY)
More changes at Bloomberg News, this time involving veteran editor-in-chief Matt Winkler, who is stepping down. Winkler has been editor of Bloomberg News for the past 24 years. Capital New York John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of The Economist, will succeed Winkler, who co-founded the news service with Michael Bloomberg back in 1990. Micklethwait has edited The Economist since 2006. He will leave the company at the end of January. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The Economist is now searching for a replacement for Micklethwait, who joined the mag in 1987, a process that will very likely take several weeks. NYT On Tuesday, Bloomberg News named Winkler an editor-in-chief emeritus. One executive at Bloomberg, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said the change was a year in the making, but had accelerated since Bloomberg’s return to the company in September. Another Bloomberg executive said it was very much a joint decision based on the need for a cultural change in the news division, and that Bloomberg and Winkler remained close. HuffPost As editor-in-chief emeritus, Winkler will work with Bloomberg “on strategic initiatives, conducting high-profile interviews of global newsmakers and bringing his insights and expertise to the most important and market-moving stories.” Micklethwait will oversee editorial “across all Bloomberg platforms, including its news, newsletters, magazines, opinion, television, radio and digital properties,” according to a release. Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith, who is overseeing new consumer-facing sites for the company, like Bloomberg Politics, will continue reporting to Michael Bloomberg.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: YouTube Launches Paid Music Service | FNC Special Tops Tuesday

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YouTube Music Streaming Service Launches in Beta (SocialTimes)
YouTube music has faced some challenges lately; the company lost its product manager over the summer and had disagreements with indie music labels. While news of its music offering leaked in August, Google didn’t want to launch the new service until it reached a deal with indie labels. In a bid to compete with streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, Google is finally rolling out YouTube Music Key in invitation-only beta. Re/code The company is overhauling the free version of its Android app, and next week it’ll start inviting some of its users to try a new subscription feature, which it’s building into its Android and iOS apps. GigaOM For early adopters, it will cost $7.99 per month with the first six months free, and eventually it will cost $9.99 per month, the same price as Spotify Premium. YouTube Music Key’s banner feature is that it gives subscribers the ability to listen to music without ads, as well as run YouTube as a background app on mobile devices, allowing users to listen to YouTube videos while playing a game or locking their home screen. THR With the monthly fee, users also receive access to a Google Play Music subscription, which offers more than 30 million songs and playlists for streaming. Beginning Wednesday, YouTube is also rolling out new music features for free, ad-supported music video viewing. YouTube also plans to make it easier to find an artist’s discography through their official music videos and other songs uploaded to the streamer, so a user can play a full album straight through. NYT With its new service, YouTube hopes to reform its reputation in the music industry as a phenomenal free site to promote songs, but one that pays a pittance in royalties. As YouTube pushes into paid content, other online music outlets — under considerable pressure from the recording industry — are being forced to defend or change their business models to better compensate artists.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: ABC News to Oversee The View | NYT Reports Loss

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The View to Be Overseen by ABC News (TVNewser)
The View is moving from the entertainment unit of ABC to the non-fiction programming group of ABC News. THR New ABC News head James Goldston, who will now oversee The View, announced the move in a staff memo sent out on Thursday morning. Goldston is largely responsible for Good Morning America’s transformation to a multi-anchor ensemble, which helped the ABC morning show end NBC rival Today’s 16-year morning-news ratings winning streak. He’s also responsible for remaking Nightline into a multi-anchor, multi-topic program in the wake of Ted Koppel’s retirement. HuffPost / AP Following the retirement of Barbara Walters from an on-air role at the show she started, ABC brought in Rosie O’Donnell, Nicolle Wallace and Rosie Perez to join holdover Whoopi Goldberg. A new production team was named, led by Bill Wolff, Rachel Maddow’s former producer. Capital New York Still, after a strong first week, the program has begun to slip in the ratings. For the week of Oct. 12, CBS’ The Talk, which is clearly based on the format of The View, matched the program in two key demos: women 25-54 and women 18-49. Variety One of Goldston’s central goals, according to insiders, is to make The View more appealing to younger viewers. The show has fallen 10 percent in the last year among female viewers between the ages of 18 to 49, but it’s up 1 percent in total viewers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Seattle Affiliate Stays With Fox | Snapchat Announces Ads

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KCPQ Will Pay More to Stay With Fox (TVSpy)
Tribune Media has signed an affiliation agreement with 21st Century Fox to keep Seattle’s KCPQ on as a Fox affiliate until July 2018. Deadline Hollywood Last month Fox said that it would withdraw its programming on Jan. 17. It wanted more lucrative terms from — or possibly to buy — the station in the home of the NFL’s 2014 Super Bowl champions. Tribune says that it will “pay additional programming fees to Fox for the primetime and sports content provided by the network” beginning in January. New York Post Tribune said that even with the stepped up fees, the station would deliver pretax profits in excess of last year’s $13 million. The new deal gives Fox a bigger cut of the revenue from Tribune’s carriage agreements with cable companies and other pay-TV providers. Station owners kick back some of their fees to the network. With the soaring cost of sports rights, the networks are leaning harder on their affiliates to recoup some of their programming costs. Variety During the dispute, Fox even went so far as to start the process of acquiring another station on the edges of the Seattle market to ramp up the pressure on Tribune to hand over KCPQ. The Fox O&O group orchestrated a similar station swap with Cox Media in the San Francisco market earlier this year. WSJ Fox, which paid for the broadcast rights to the NFL’s National Football Conference, had set out to own more television stations in markets where there is an NFC team, such as the Seattle Seahawks. Those stations tend to have high ratings, and by owning them outright rather than contracting with affiliate stations owned by other companies, Fox is able to collect more of the fees that pay-TV operators pay these local stations — not to mention local advertising dollars.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Nielsen Reveals Ratings Glitch | NBC Crew Quarantined

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Nielsen’s Ratings Problem Is A Total Glitch (LostRemote)
Nielsen Friday announced internal “ratings irregularities” that date back to March 2, 2014 and were “generally imperceptible until [the company] saw high viewing levels associated with fall season premiere week.” TVNewser The company will now reprocess all of the impacted data going back at least to Aug. 18 — for entertainment, news and syndicated shows. TVNewser The company Saturday released updated data for the week of Sept. 22, which was the first week of 2014-15 TV season. As suspected, the inaccurate data favored ABC programs while hurting ABC’s competitors. The restated numbers are being most closely watched for revisions to the primetime ratings as new fall shows had their premieres. In the tight evening news race, World News Tonight With David Muir, had its numbers revised down, but it didn’t change the outcome. Muir’s newscast still won the week in the demo, and NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams won among total viewers. HuffPost Nielsen, the leading global measurement company and provider of television ratings data, said in a press release Friday that “a technical error” resulted in incorrect data over the course of about seven months. WSJ The difference in what was misattributed was less than 0.05 of a ratings point for about 98 percent to 99 percent of broadcast and syndicated TV shows, Nielsen said. The error didn’t affect overall TV viewership numbers, only how that viewership was credited to particular networks. Cable TV ratings weren’t affected by the glitch, it said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola | Disney Re-Ups Iger

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NBC News Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola (TVNewser)
A 33-year-old American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment. NYT As a precaution, NBC News ordered the production team working with the cameraman, which includes Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the network’s top medical correspondent, to return to the U.S. and enter quarantine for 21 days. Mashable The 33-year-old freelancer tested positive for the deadly disease on Thursday while on assignment in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, NBC News said in an emailed statement. The cameraman, whose identity is being withheld by NBC at the request of his family, was working with a three-person crew working alongside Snyderman. THR On Tuesday, Snyderman’s report from a Liberian hospital aired on NBC’s Nightly News, where the network’s chief medical editor narrated a video dispatch on the disease. In the video, Snyderman can be seen donning protective gear as she reported from an “Ebola Isolation Unit” at the medical area. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The cameraman is the fourth American to have contracted Ebola, and the first known case of an American journalist covering the story to be infected.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: SoftBank Eyes DWA Purchase | Marvel Settles With Kirby Estate

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DreamWorks Animation in Sale Talks With Japan’s SoftBank (THR)
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation in a deal that would value the company at $3.4 billion, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. NYT SoftBank reportedly offered $32 a share for the boutique studio DreamWorks Animation, a 45 percent premium over the share price. That would value it at $3.4 billion. A DreamWorks Animation spokeswoman, Allison Rawlings, on Saturday night said, “We don’t comment on rumor and speculation.” Re/code / Reuters An acquisition of DreamWorks by SoftBank would make the Hollywood studio that created Shrek part of a the communications and media company that, under founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, has shown a willingness to take big bets on combining seemingly unrelated businesses. Two weeks ago, SoftBank booked a $4.6 billion gain on the share listing of Alibaba Group in New York. SoftBank retains a 32 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce company, making it Alibaba’s biggest shareholder. Deadline Hollywood DreamWorks’ balance sheet had weakened in Q2 with $400 million in debt and $32 million in cash vs. Q2 2011, when it had no debt and $116 million in cash. DreamWorks also disclosed in July that its next two films – The Penguins Of Madagascar and Home – were costing them approximately $10 million more than planned: $135 million not including incentive-based compensation. Variety However, DreamWorks has scored considerably with its fruitful acquisition of AwesomenessTV, a digital network targeting a young online audience — that and its relationship with Netflix likely helped attract the attention of SoftBank. DreamWorks Animation has operated as a publicly traded company since 2004.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Sky Deutschland Slows Takeover | Vidra Named CEO of TNR

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Sky Deutschland: BSkyB Takeover Offer Too Low (THR)
BSkyB’s plans to build a European pay-TV empire hit some opposition on Wednesday. The supervisory and executive boards of 21st Century Fox-controlled German pay TV operator Sky Deutschland advised minority investors not to accept a multi-billion dollar takeover offer from BSkyB. NYT / DealBook The move comes after BSkyB, which is 39 percent owned by 21st Century Fox, agreed in July to acquire the 57 percent of Sky Deutschland that is owned by 21st Century Fox, for £2.9 billion, or $4.7 billion. As part of the deal, BSkyB, one of Europe’s largest pay-television providers, also offered to buy the shares of Sky Deutschland’s minority shareholders for €6.75, or $8.75, each, a small premium on the company’s current share price. Reuters But with only a small premium on the table, analysts have doubted that many will sell. Sky Deutschland would thus retain its stock market listing and BSkyB has not indicated any desire to squeeze out minority shareholders above and beyond the offer which it has set out. Management of the German company, advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, on Wednesday argued the offer fell short of its true value. WSJ On issuing its recommendation to minority holders on Wednesday, Sky Deutschland said its chief executive Brian Sullivan, the only executive board member holding shares, wouldn’t participate in the offer, which runs until Oct. 15. Two supervisory board members holding shares also don’t intend to accept the offer, the company said in a statement. Financial Times BSkyB has argued that it can implement its vision for Sky Europe, regardless of how many minorities tender their shares. Buying all minorities’ shares — 43 percent of the company — would cost the U.K. operator £2.1 billion, further increasing its leverage. The company raised £3.25 billion this month to help finance the acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s stakes in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. BSkyB said it welcomed Sky Deutschland’s “supportive comments on the strategic rationale for the transaction.” BSkyB shareholders are due to vote on the European deal on Oct. 6.

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