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Posts Tagged ‘aereo’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Aereo Files for Bankruptcy | MSNBC Hires Ex-WH Staffer

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Aereo Files for Bankruptcy (TVSpy)
With a post on the company’s blog Friday morning, Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia announced the company had filed for bankruptcy protection. THR The digital TV service, which broadcast network owners battled in courts for offering access to broadcast TV signals via digital devices, made a voluntary Chapter 11 filing, it said in the statement. “We encountered significant challenges from the incumbent media companies,” said Kanojia in the statement. Mashable Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is typically expensive and allows for the company to restructure its debt. While filing for bankruptcy does not necessarily mean the end of the business, Kanojia struck a tone in a statement on Aereo’s website that insinuated the company was done. Variety New York-based Aereo had raised about $97 million, from investors including IAC chairman Barry Diller, media investor Gordon Crawford, Himalaya Capital Management, Highland Capital Partners and FirstMark Capital. Earlier this month Aereo laid off a majority of its staff, including employees in New York and Boston. The company said a small executive team of about a dozen people would remain. GigaOM Aereo’s bankruptcy petition shows it owes roughly $2 million to a list of creditors that include Internet companies like Level 3 and Google, as well as several law firms. But the most significant creditors on the list are names like ABC and Fox, the TV networks that are continuing to sue Aereo over copyright infringement. Aereo’s filing simply states “unknown” in the amount owed to the “litigation party” TV stations, which also include PBS, Telemundo and NBC.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: CBSN Launches Glitch-Free | Aereo to Downsize, Cut Staff

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CBS Launches Digital News Network CBSN (LostRemote)
After announcing a subscription-based streaming service, CBS launched an all-digital streaming news network, CBSN, on Thursday. So now you can watch live, anchored news whenever you want, for free. TVNewser It didn’t look like launch day at CBSN, and that’s a big achievement. Freed from the burden of launch day hoopla and high expectations, CBS News turned on its brand new live streaming news channel, and did so without a hitch. Capital New York The company is stressing that the move is not meant as a way into the 24-hour cable-news channel fray. “We are not endeavoring to start a cable news channel online,” CBS News president David Rhodes said. “We are trying to create something that is native for connected devices.” Those devices include laptops and PCs, smartphones and tablets, and, yes, Internet-connected TVs. The target audience: younger viewers, some of whom may not subscribe to a pay-TV service. THR The network — available on CBSNews.com, the CBS News app and connected TV devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku — will feature 15 hours of live, anchored coverage from 9 a.m. ET to midnight ET every weekday. The segments will be split into 60-minute blocks of live, updated news. CBS News special reports will be simulcast on CBSN during breaking news and content will also be fed in from CBS affiliate stations, CNET, CBSSports.com and Entertainment Tonight. New York Post The owner of CBS broadcast network, radio stations and Showtime missed the cable boom of the past decades but appears to be diving headfirst into a mobile future. Last month it joined with its affiliate partners to launch CBS All Access, a standalone digital platform for current and archived content.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Gregory Joins Yahoo! for Election Coverage | FCC May Revive Aereo

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David Gregory to Join Katie Couric for Election Special on Yahoo! (NYT)
David Gregory, who was replaced as host of NBC’s Meet The Press in August, will appear in a Yahoo! midterm election program with Katie Couric, the company said Tuesday. TVNewser Gregory is not joining the company, but these appearances often can lead to more permanent placements. Matt Bai, who left The New York Times for Yahoo! last year, and Politico’s Mike Allen are also a part of Yahoo!’s coverage. TVNewser Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will lead Bloomberg’s election night coverage, dubbed Election All-Nighter, which begins at 5 p.m. ET with a special edition of With All Due Respect. Primetime coverage starts at 7 p.m. ET, with Halperin and Heileman joined by Al Hunt and analysts Kim Alfano, Bill Burton, Lanhee Chen, Fred Davis, Patti Solis Doyle, Anita Dunn, Michael Feldman and John Sununu. FishbowlDC Coverage will also extend to an “Election Night dashboard” on BloombergPolitics.com, comprising a Bloomberg TV livestream, website coverage and real-time election data. TVNewser CNN will turn to Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper — along with the Empire State Building — to headline the network’s election night coverage, dubbed Election Night in AmericaMediaite As they have done in the past, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will be airing their respective Comedy Central shows live on Election Night next Tuesday so they can react to midterm results as they happen instead of being hopelessly behind the curve with pre-taped comedy.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AMC Buys Stake in BBC America | CNN Announces High Profits

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AMC Networks Buys 49.9 Percent Stake in BBC America (TVNewser)
AMC Networks has agreed to purchase a 49.9 percent stake in BBC America from BBC Worldwide for $200 million. AMC Networks will look for greater distribution for BBC World News in the U.S. B&C BBC Worldwide will retain a 50.1 percent equity stake in the cable channel, while AMC Networks will have operational control of BBCA, including affiliate and advertising sales, though it will still be consistent with BBC’s editorial standards and policies. THR The cable networks company and the commercial arm of U.K. public broadcaster BBC announced the deal Thursday after reports of their talks first emerged over the summer. The channel airs such BBC favorites as Doctor Who, Sherlock, Top Gear and Planet Earth. AMC Networks operates the AMC, Sundance, WE tv and IFC channels, and can now add the so-far independent BBC America when it negotiates carriage fees, giving both partners increased leverage in talks with pay-TV operators. WSJ The deal comes as the biggest pay-TV distributors are consolidating, prompting analyst speculation that content players will also have to seek greater scale. Variety Executives at both companies portrayed the arrangement as one borne out of a desire to gain greater reach for premium content that attracts high-income audiences. The two sides have worked together in the recent past. The two have collaborated on series including Top of The Lake and The Honourable Woman as well as the coming program One Child. AMC Networks and BBC Television have agreed to continue to jointly pursue a number of content investment opportunities on a range of future projects, both through BBC America and other AMC Networks channels. BBC America is to be managed as a standalone asset within AMC’s portfolio.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: ISIS Posts Fourth Cantlie Video | Abramson Talks Risen, Rice

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ISIS Releases Fourth Video of Journalist John Cantlie, ‘Eagerly Awaits’ Ground War (HuffPost)
Islamic State militants have released a new video featuring British freelance journalist John Cantlie — the fourth since Cantlie was taken hostage nearly two years ago. The Guardian Cantlie, who has been held for almost two years, said ISIS was “dug in for the fight” in a seven-minute video that emerged on Sunday. Appearing to offer a scripted argument, he said the western public is being rushed into a war it cannot win, against thousands of armed militants. The Independent Cantlie also appeared in an online article calling for the British government to “open a channel and negotiate” with ISIS. It appeared hours after the British Ministry of Defence confirmed that a “specialist” team of British soldiers would head to northern Iraq to help train Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic militant group. The article was published in the ISIS online magazine Dabiq. WSJ The U.K. government said Monday that it was analyzing the article purportedly by Cantlie in which he says he awaits his turn to be executed by the extremist group unless British and American governments negotiate. The writer who identifies himself as Cantlie criticizes the West for not negotiating with ISIS when others have. “For now, I am still alive, but at some point in the near future, the mujahedeen will surely run out of patience. Just ask our government to talk. That’s all,” the article in question read. New York Daily News The British war photographer was captured in Syria along with James Foley in November 2012. Foley, an American war correspondent, was beheaded in August. The following month ISIS released a video of Cantlie criticizing American and British foreign policy, saying he’d been “abandoned” by his government.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Vice Sells Stake to A&E | Chelsea Clinton Leaves NBC News

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Vice Media Stakes Future on A&E Networks Deal (NYT)
After spending the summer flirting with various suitors, Vice Media said on Friday that it was close to choosing a partner: A&E Networks. TVNewser The investment was announced after Time Warner ended its negotiations with Vice Media. The talks, which had been going on for months, included a plan to spin off Time Warner’s HLN network and refashion it into a Vice channel. The Brooklyn-based media company includes a magazine, book publishing, a massive online presence and gritty, global documentaries which are carried on Time Warner’s HBO. WSJ A&E Networks is nearing an agreement to buy 10 percent of Vice Media for $250 million, in a deal that would value the youth-focused online media company at $2.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Financial Times Last year, Vice sold a 5 percent stake to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for $70 million, which then valued it at $1.4 billion. THR Vice CEO Shane Smith, who co-founded the company 20 years ago, has long wanted to expand into traditional TV. A&E, led by Nancy Dubuc, is a co-venture of Hearst Corp. and Disney/ABC Television Group.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Journalists Under Threat in MO | Broadcasters Aim at Aereo

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Ferguson Police Threaten Journalists (FishbowlNY)
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, have once again clashed with reporters covering the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting. One cop, who was being filmed by local radio journalist Mustafa Hussein, threatened to shoot if Hussein didn’t stop. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was also threatened by an officer who said “Get back! Or next time you’re gonna be the one maced.” Three other journalists – Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko, The Telegraph’s Rob Crilly and The Financial Times’ Neil Munshi — tweeted that they had been briefly arrested and then released. TVNewser Three more reporters were arrested in Ferguson overnight Sunday, with several more reporting being detained or threatened. FishbowlDC Last Wednesday, The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and HuffPost’s Ryan Reilly were arrested inside a McDonald’s and later released. The same night, tear gas was shot at an Al Jazeera America crew in Ferguson. TVNewser As the National Guard arrived in Ferguson, where the overnight curfew has been lifted, the broadcast and cable networks had set plans to continue coverage of the escalating violence there Monday. Brian Williams anchored Nightly News from Ferguson Monday night, and correspondents Ron Allen and Mark Potter reported from Ferguson. ABC News had Steve Osunsami and Alex Perez, CBS News sent Mark Strassmann and Vladimir Duthiers, and MSNBC deployed Hayes and MSNBC.com reporters Trymaine Lee and Amanda Sakuma. CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper were also in Ferguson, as well as Fox News’ Mike Tobin and Shepard Smith. PRNewser In the wake of the violence, the town of Ferguson has hired a PR firm, Common Ground Public Relations, for communications help. According to a rep from Common Ground, the firm is only handling the deluge of media requests that the city has been getting since protests began about a week ago.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Adds McGrath to Board | Gifford Pens Today Musical

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Amazon Adds Former MTV CEO Judy McGrath to Board (Re/code)
As Amazon continues its push into becoming a big creator of online TV shows, it’s adding some serious media expertise to its board. The company said on Friday that it had elected longtime former MTV CEO Judy McGrath to its board of directors, effective Oct. 1. Deadline Hollywood As an incentive to stay, she received rights to 2,520 shares convertible at a rate of 840 a year over three years beginning August 2015. Variety Since June 2013, McGrath has been president of Astronauts Wanted: No Experience Necessary, a digital-content joint venture between McGrath and Sony Music Entertainment. She had run Viacom’s MTV Networks from July 2004 until May 2011, and had been part of the startup team that launched the music cabler in 1981. THR McGrath was also appointed to the Leadership Development And Compensation Committee at Amazon, according to a Friday SEC filing. On Friday, Amazon’s shares were trading at $308 each. Amazon launched a streaming music service called Prime Music earlier this year, and it said a week ago it will be spending $100 million on original content this quarter to beef up its Prime Instant Video Service, which competes with Netflix, Hulu and other streaming video services. Forbes The appointment makes McGrath the third woman out of 10 current directors to sit alongside CEO and chairman Jeff Bezos, joining Patricia Stonesifer, CEO of non-profit Martha’s Table, and Jamie Gorelick, former deputy U.S. Attorney General.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Time Warner Plays Defense | Netflix Hits 50 Million Subscribers

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Time Warner Cancels Shareholders’ Ability to Call Special Board Meeting, Guards Against Fox Acquisition (NYT / DealBook)
Time Warner is playing defense. On Monday, the company amended its corporate bylaws and removed a provision that allowed shareholders to call a special board meeting. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Time Warner said the change was effective immediately. Variety The media company’s board approved a measure to temporarily prevent a fraction of shareholders, some 15 percent, from forcing a vote on 21st Century Fox’s $85 per-share offer, according to public filings. The so-called special meeting provision may be re-instated at the company’s 2015 shareholders meeting. Deadline Hollywood The fear was that Rupert Murdoch — or anyone — could have tried to stampede short-term investors into accepting a deal even if the board concluded that it would not serve their long-term interests. Time Warner shares were down 1.6 percent in post-market trading following disclosure of the change. THR Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has bid about $80 billion to acquire Time Warner, but Time Warner’s board and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes have rejected the proposal. Some analysts predict that 21st Century Fox will eventually offer $100 a share for Time Warner. The conglomerate’s stock has climbed 23 percent in the past week on such speculation, and Monday it closed at $87.36. TVNewser People familiar with the original $80 billion proposal that was rejected said if 21st Century Fox took over Time Warner, it would sell CNN to prevent antitrust issues stemming from Fox News and CNN’s direct competitor relationship.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Microsoft to Cut 18,000 Jobs | Aereo Faces Setback

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Microsoft to Lay Off 18,000 Workers, Largest Cuts in History (SocialTimes)
Over the next year, Microsoft is eliminating 18,000 jobs, or as much as 14 percent of its workforce. CEO Satya Nadella wrote a public email to company employees on Thursday saying “every team across Microsoft must find ways to simplify and move faster, more efficiently.” He said that he would give more details on Tuesday, when Microsoft reports its fiscal 2014 results. Deadline Hollywood The layoffs will hit hardest at the Nokia Devices and Services phone handset business, acquired in April. “We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months,” Nadella said in the email Thursday. Microsoft expects the restructuring to result in as much as $1.6 billion in pre-tax charges over the next four quarters. That will include as much as $800 million for severance and related benefit costs, and up to $800 million in asset-related charges. Variety Microsoft is also getting out of developing original series for its Xbox gaming platform and will close Xbox Entertainment Studios in the coming months. Xbox chief Phil Spencer announced Xbox Entertainment Studios will shutter and that some projects in development and production, including a live-action Halo series, will still be produced. New York Post / Reuters The studio, set up in 2012 under then-CEO Steve Ballmer, said in April it had committed to several projects including Humans, a drama co-produced with U.K. broadcaster Channel 4, and Halo. NYT While Microsoft still makes profits that executives at other companies would be ecstatic to have, it has been beaten on the biggest new trends in tech, including mobile, Internet search and cloud computing. As a result, it is regularly left out of conversations about companies defining the next generation of technology, outflanked and overshadowed by companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

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