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Posts Tagged ‘21st Century Fox’

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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Morning Media Newsfeed: Politico Expanding to Europe | Fox News Defeated in Fair Use Suit

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It’s Official: Politico’s Headed to Brussels (FishbowlDC)
A 12:44 p.m. ET email from Politico president Jim VandeHei confirmed expansion to Europe, joining with Berlin-based media company Axel Springer to cover European politics and policy. Capital New York The 50-50 joint venture will cover the European Union as well as “European politics and policy more broadly,” VandeHei and editor-in-chief John Harris told staff in the memo, confirming recent reports that the influential Beltway website and congressional newspaper was eyeing expansion abroad. HuffPost / Backstory Details have not yet been finalized for the new organization, though Politico‘s leadership has been working on the plan throughout the year. VandeHei, Harris and owner Robert Allbritton have met in Brussels with top European journalists and diplomats about the potential launch of Politico Europe, as the outlet is tentatively titled, according to sources familiar with the discussions. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media VandeHei and Harris called Axel Springer “Europe’s largest and most powerful media company.” “Axel Springer is a highly impressive, highly ambitious company that shares our obsession with building media companies that produce and can sustain nonpartisan journalistic excellence,” they wrote. “They do about $3.6 billion in annual revenue and house a number of digital start-ups in their Berlin-based offices. We are excited to join forces with them.” NYT Politico was founded in 2007 and rose quickly to become a player in the world of political reporting. It has recently been considering ways to grow and refine its journalism. Last year, it started a magazine that focused on deeper and more expansive stories. The site also hired an executive editor Rick Berke from The New York Times in October, but he resigned Sunday, citing differences with Harris and VandeHei. Axel Springer, which publishes Bild and Die Welt among others, said last year that it was selling two regional newspapers and several magazines to focus on digital media.

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Fox’s Chase Carey on Time Warner: ‘We’ve Moved On’

Chase Carey GChase Carey, president and COO of 21st Century Fox, wants everyone to know that his company is already healing from the heartbreak of not acquiring Time Warner. “We’ve moved on,” Carey said, during a London TV industry conference. “We don’t want to be revisiting something that is in the past or implying that we are continuing to be engaged.”

Carey and 21st Century Fox had tried to purchase Time Warner for $80 billion last month, but the offer was rejected. At the time, Rupert Murdoch put the blame squarely on Time Warner’s shoulders. “Time Warner management and its Board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling,” he explained.

According to Variety, Carey added that for now, at least, there are no other companies worth pursuing. “We don’t have an acquisition list,” he said. “Time Warner was a unique opportunity for us.” Hey, buck up buddy. There’s other media companies in the sea.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Fox, Time Warner Issue Earnings | Coulson Charged With Perjury

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ShutterstockRupertMurdoch

Fox, Time Warner Deliver Dueling Earnings Reports, Both Positive (NYT)
How dead is the Fox-Time Warner deal? So dead that Rupert Murdoch hopped on his company’s quarterly earnings call on Wednesday to drive home the point that his giant media company, 21st Century Fox, really is walking away. The collapse of the deal, which would have been the biggest media merger in a decade, set the stage for a day of dueling earnings reports and analyst conference calls on Wednesday, as both Fox and Time Warner sought to reassure investors that they were going to be just fine without each other. Capital New York “This is our resolute decision, which is why we formally withdrew our acquisition offer,” Murdoch said, citing Time Warner’s decision not to negotiate, the response from Fox’s board of directors, along with Fox’s stock price, which Murdoch said is “severely undervalued.” Variety Film and cable programming gains powered 21st Century Fox to strong earnings and revenue gains in the fiscal fourth quarter, despite a big decline at the Fox network from the collapse of American Idol. Fox reported revenue of $8.42 billion, a 17 percent gain over the year-ago quarter powered by stronger contributions from the film division. Operating income climbed 17 percent to $1.77 billion. THR During the regular session Wednesday, shares of 21st Century Fox rose 3 percent and another 4 percent after the closing bell. Shares of Time Warner, meantime, were crushed because of the failed merger attempt, falling 13 percent in regular trading Wednesday. HuffPost / AP Time Warner Inc. said Wednesday that its second-quarter net income rose 10 percent on strong results from its HBO and Turner properties. New York-based Time Warner, which owns TV channels like HBO and TBS as well as Warner Bros. studios, said profit increased to $850 million, or 95 cents per share, from $771 million, or 81 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

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