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Posts Tagged ‘aereo’

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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Morning Media Newsfeed: Aereo Plans Survival | Dish Makes Anti-Merger Case to FCC

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Aereo Signals Path to Survival if Classified as Cable System (WSJ)
Aereo Inc., the online video company that was widely expected to go out of business after losing a high-stakes Supreme Court case in June, signaled Wednesday that it sees a path to survival if it is classified in legal terms as a cable system. Mashable Aereo lost its case before the U.S. Supreme Court because a majority of the justices said its resemblance to a cable company meant it had violated copyright laws. Re/code The video streaming company told a U.S. district court in New York Wednesday it now thinks it’s entitled to be licensed as a cable system because of the Supreme Court’s decision. That would allow the company to stay alive although it would have to pay licensing fees in addition to costs to restart its stalled business. Aereo allowed consumers to watch local TV channels over the Internet for a monthly fee of up to $12 until shutting down its service a few weeks ago after the Supreme Court sided with broadcasters. Capital New York The broadcasters responded with their own argument, calling Aereo’s decision “astonishing.” “Whatever Aereo may say about its rationale for raising it now, it is astonishing for Aereo to contend the Supreme Court’s decision automatically transformed Aereo into a ‘cable system’ under Section 111 given its prior statements to this Court and the Supreme Court,” lawyers for the broadcasters wrote. Deadline Hollywood At issue is whether the District Court will lift a stay that allowed Aereo to remain in business while the case made its way to the Supreme Court. Broadcasters want it lifted so they can collect damages from Aereo’s infringement of their copyrights — a two-year period during which they say they “suffered irreparable harm.” Aereo faces additional hurdles even if the District Court agrees with its view. The FCC also might have to agree to define Aereo as a cable operator for it to qualify for the compulsory license — and it would have to be granted by the U.S. Copyright Office.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Google Buys Songza | MSNBC Holds Second Place

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Google in Deal for Songza, A Music Playlist Service (NYT)
In a sign of growing consolidation in the digital music business, Google announced on Tuesday that it had bought Songza, a three-year-old app that competes with Pandora and others in making customized playlists of recommended songs. Re/code The New York Post reported in June that the deal could be worth $15 million. Unlike some acquired startups, Songza won’t be shutting down. Its team will be joining Google in New York and helping with contextual recommendation features for Google Play and possibly YouTube down the line. GigaOM Songza offers custom curated playlists based on categories like genre, mood, decade and activity (“Drinking at A Dive Bar,” “’60s International,” etc.) and offers song suggestions based on the time of day and week. The service is free and songs aren’t interrupted by ads. THR The acquisition comes on the heels of Apple’s deal to purchase Beats Electronics and its streaming music service for $3 billion. Amazon also has jumped into the music streaming market with the launch of the Prime Music service, which comes as part of its $99 annual Prime subscription. The move appears to be part of Google’s plans to compete in this increasingly crowded music-streaming space, which is already dominated by Spotify. Variety Google said it plans to use Songza to make its Play Music service more attractive. The Songza purchase also comes as marketers are spending more on online and mobile radio services in the U.S. Ad sales generated $1.65 billion in the U.S. last year, a gain of 26.3 percent, according to digital research group eMarketer. That’s expected to increase another 23 percent to $2 billion this year.

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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: Sawyer Steps Down | Broadcasters Beat Aereo

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Diane Sawyer Leaving ABC World News, David Muir Takes Over as Anchor And Managing Editor (TVNewser)
ABC’s Diane Sawyer is stepping down from anchoring World News and will focus on primetime specials, big interviews, and enterprise reporting for the network. David Muir, who has been sole anchor of the World News weekend editions since 2011, will take over as anchor and managing editor of the flagship broadcast on Sept. 2. FishbowlDC In his new role, Muir will no longer anchor World News on Saturdays and Sundays but will remain co-anchor of 20/20 with Elizabeth Vargas. In addition to the new roles for Sawyer and Muir, George Stephanopoulos, anchor of Good Morning America and This Week, has been promoted to chief anchor of ABC News. TVNewser Sawyer has been anchor since 2009. She came in following the retirement of Charles Gibson who, in 2006, succeeded the anchor team of Bob Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas. Capital New York Late last year there were reports that Sawyer did not want Stephanopoulos to replace her as World News anchor, even though he was believed to have a clause in his contract assuring him the role should she step down. Stephanopoulos signed a new deal with ABC News earlier this year. Muir has long been rumored to be the favorite inside ABC to follow Sawyer. Deadline Hollywood World News won the May sweep in adults 25-54, the evening broadcast’s first sweeps victory in more than six years. Season to date, World News is up versus the same point last year in both total viewers and adults 25-54, delivering its most-watched season in five years and best news demo number in three years.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: MSNBC Cancels Finney | Colbert Blasts Amazon

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Karen Finney’s Disrupt Cancelled (TVNewser)
Disrupt With Karen Finney won’t be celebrating its one-year birthday this weekend, as the 4 p.m. ET weekend show has been cancelled. FishbowlDC Disrupt debuted June 8, 2013. Finney is the former communications director for the Democratic National Committee and was previously with the NYC Department of Education. Mediaite As of Thursday afternoon, MSNBC’s listed online schedule shows that the 4 p.m. hour will now be filled by documentaries instead of an extension of the network’s news programming. THR / The Live Feed “Our thanks to Karen and her team for their great work. Finney will remain with MSNBC as a contributor,” the network said in a statement. Deadline Hollywood Lousy ratings did in the weekend show, which regularly ranked No. 4 in its time slot among cable networks.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Court Torn Over Aereo | Time Inc. Board Revealed | Comcast Gains Soar

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Supreme Court Justices Express Concern Over Scope of Aereo Ruling (TVNewser)
While hearing oral arguments from attorneys representing the broadcast networks and Aereo Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court justices “appeared unsure” how to rule in the case. Reuters Aereo, backed by media mogul Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, could be forced to shut down if the court rules for the companies challenging the startup. A win for Aereo could spur innovation in the television industry by paving the way to new, cheaper ways for consumers to watch shows. A decision is due by the end of June. Bloomberg Hearing arguments Tuesday in Washington, some justices suggested they viewed Aereo as violating broadcaster copyrights by using thousands of dime-sized antennas to get over-the-air signals without paying fees. “There’s no technological reason for you to have 10,000 dime-sized antennas other than to get around the copyright laws?” Chief Justice John Roberts asked. At the same time, the hour-long hearing didn’t clearly indicate the likely outcome, as justices including Stephen Breyer repeatedly asked whether a ruling favoring the broadcasters would imperil the cloud computing business. Variety Some of the justices on Tuesday suggested that they faced a challenge in defining just what Aereo is, and drawing a line on where privately used consumer technology ends and a publicly performing service begins. The Washington Post Aereo argued that its thousands of antennas are essentially rented to subscribers of its $8-a-month service for users to pull programs from the public airwaves legally and then store in Internet server files to watch at their convenience. In that way, it is just a mediator, the company argued, with consumers in control of how they use the company’s antennas and storage files for pulling and recording programs from the airwaves. Most of the arguments, which lasted more than an hour, were focused on the justice’s queries about the definition of public and private performances in copyright law and how Aereo differs from cable, satellite and other Internet video firms that pay broadcasters retransmission and other license fees.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: GMA Ups Spencer | Everest Special Nixed | Journalists Freed in Syria

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Lara Spencer Named Co-Host of Good Morning America (TVNewser)
Lara Spencer has been promoted to co-host of Good Morning America, joining George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, ABC News president James Goldston announced Friday. FishbowlDC Goldston sent a memo to staff with the announcement, highlighting Spencer’s “style, humor, sunny confidence, wonderful journalism and storytelling” and the two-year anniversary of GMA breaking “Today’s 852-week winning streak.” Mediaite Spencer rejoined ABC News three years ago as the lifestyle anchor on GMA after an extended stint in syndication and on CBS’ Early Show. Variety The move comes as GMA has been in the midst of change, with two members of the on-air staff that helped the show pass NBC’s Today in both total viewers as well as those between 25 and 54, the demo most coveted by advertisers, departed. Spencer is also now a veteran presence on the program, which has two new faces after the departures of meteorologist Sam Champion and news anchor Josh Elliott. ABC recently enlisted Michael Strahan, the former football player who has added new momentum to the company’s syndicated morning Live With Kelly And Michael, to take part in occasional GMA segments. The Associated Press The other current members of the GMA family are Amy Robach and Ginger Zee. Spencer was the show’s national correspondent from 1999 to 2004. Then, for seven years, she was a host of The Insider.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Oscar Ratings Soar | Gould Leaves NBC News | WaPo Branches to NYC

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Oscars Rise to 43 Million Viewers, Most-Watched in 10 Years (THR / The Live Feed)
ABC’s annual airing of the Oscar telecast dominated Sunday night. Final ratings for the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted show have the Academy Awards more than 2.5 million viewers ahead of last year, even in the key demographic. All told, ABC’s coverage of the Academy Awards averaged 43 million viewers and a 12.9 rating among adults 18-49. That’s a 6 percent boost in viewers and a virtual tie with last year’s adults-under-50 score. DeGeneres brought lifts among younger viewers and men — with ratings among adults 18-34 and men both at their highest since 2007. Variety DeGeneres also helped pushed the Oscars to new heights on Twitter on Sunday night: The total U.S. audience on the social platform was nearly one-third the TV draw, with a 75 percent jump in tweets related to the show over last year. About 13.9 million people saw a total of 1.04 billion tweets about the Oscars, according to Nielsen’s SocialGuide. LostRemote The ceremony also led to more than 25.4 million interactions (status updates, comments and likes) by some 11.1 million Facebook users, and the top social moment was the crowning of 12 Years A Slave as best picture. TVNewser ABC’s related programming also received a boost. Oscars Red Carpet Live, hosted by Good Morning America anchors Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer, was up compared to last year for all three half-hour segments of the show. The final half-hour pulled in 27.6 million viewers. Deadline Hollywood Coming on right after the big show for a ninth year in a row, Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Oscars was up 22 percent in total viewers and 20 percent in the key demo over last year, good for its best ever post-Oscars performance. With past Oscar winner Kevin Spacey among his guests, Kimmel was watched by 6.993 million viewers overall, with 2.423 million in the demo.

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