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Posts Tagged ‘Al Jazeera’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Colbert to Late Show | CNN Revamps Primetime | ABC News Ups Goldston

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Stephen Colbert to Succeed David Letterman as Host of The Late Show (TVNewser)
It’s official: Stephen Colbert will take over as the host of CBS’ The Late Show when David Letterman retires next year. Specifics of Colbert’s show — including the premiere date, producers and location — will be determined after the timeline is decided for Letterman’s retirement, CBS said. Capital New York The rank and file at The Colbert Report, his Comedy Central show, are operating on the assumption they are invited to follow the comedian to staff The Late Show and stay in New York, someone familiar with Colbert’s transition plan said. Variety When Colbert sits behind the desk of the CBS program, he will do it with a new presentation — not as the right-wing caricature he plays in his current perch on Comedy Central. “He is not going to play that character,” said Nina Tassler, chairman of CBS Entertainment, in an interview. THR / The Live Feed The Colbert Report, which launched in 2005, has earned an Emmy win for outstanding variety series (2013) and three Emmy wins for writing for a variety, music or comedy program (2013, 2010, 2008). Before that, Colbert spent eight years as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart as an on-air personality and writer of news satire. He also has written two books — I Am America (And So Can You!) and America Again: Re-Becoming The Greatness We Never Weren’t — and won a Grammy for spoken word for America Again earlier this year. Mashable Several media outlets quoted network executives saying the deal came together quickly after Letterman’s retirement, including breakneck negotiations with several candidates. Craig Ferguson, whose Late Late Show comes on after Letterman’s, was never seen as a true contender for the slot; it remains to be seen whether he’ll stick around after being passed over. Other names thrown in the mix were Chelsea Handler and Neil Patrick Harris — but even as top contenders, they were dark horses at best. For nearly 18 months, Colbert was always CBS’ guy.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast, TWC Face Senate | Pauley to CBS | CNN’s Digital Video Push

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Senate Panel Expresses Caution on Merger of Cable Giants (NYT)
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed concern on Wednesday that the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would raise the prices consumers pay for cable television and high-speed Internet service while leaving them with fewer choices for video programming. But the senators generally failed to rattle Comcast and Time Warner executives or cause them to diverge from their basic defense of the merger: that it will not affect competition because the two companies do not compete anywhere. Only one senator, Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, said during the three-hour hearing that he wanted the merger blocked. CNNMoney Comcast and Time Warner Cable said that the merger will lead to improvements in services for customers, creating scale and cost savings that will drive new investments. Several Republican senators, most notably Orin Hatch of Utah, seemed to agree. Although the combined company would have a presence in 19 of the top 20 U.S. markets, Comcast executive vice president David Cohen noted that Comcast and Time Warner Cable don’t compete in any of those cities. He argued that customer choices therefore won’t be affected. The Washington Post / The Switch “There’s no doubt that Comcast is a huge, influential company with more than 100 lobbyists” hired to persuade regulators and lawmakers to approve the deal, said Franken. “But I’ve also heard from over 100,000 consumers who oppose the deal.” Cohen said at the hearing that he couldn’t promise to reduce prices on their services. The rise of cable bills at three times the rate of inflation is among the many concerns consumers have about the proposal that would merge the top two cable firms and the biggest and third-biggest broadband providers. Adweek It’s not that the Senators didn’t have “concerns.” The stats that will define the combined company’s unmatched size — 19 of the top 20 markets, 23 of the top 25, and 37 of the top 50 — give lawmakers pause. They even struggled to understand whether or not the combined company would dominate advertising sales. But they stopped short of opposing the merger, calling on the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice “to consider carefully the impact on consumers as they review the pending merger,” said judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy. WSJ / MoneyBeat The hearing came a day after Comcast submitted a 180-page document justifying its purchase of Time Warner Cable. The filing walked through the various parts of the media industry that could be affected by the deal, including online video, television programming and broadband Internet access, as well as local ad sales in the cable market. If the deal wins approval, Comcast would have 30 percent of the nation’s pay-TV subscribers and nearly 40 percent of U.S. broadband subscribers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AJ Journos Denied Bail | CNN Hits Digital High | FCC Limits JSAs

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al jazeera journalists egypt

Al-Jazeera Reporters Plead for Release (The Associated Press / The Big Story)
Three Al-Jazeera journalists on trial in Egypt directly asked the judge on Monday to release them, insisting the terrorism charges against them were preposterous. The judge denied the request for bail by Australian Peter Greste, Canadian-Egyptian Mohammed Fahmy and Baher Mohammed during the fourth hearing in the trial that opened on Feb. 20. TVNewser The judge did not accept their plea, adjourning the case until April 10. Australian Broadcasting Corp. It was Greste’s fourth appearance in court after more than 90 days in prison, and in an unusual move he was allowed to directly approach the judge and tell him why he should be freed. In words translated for the judge, Greste said that he had only been in Egypt for two weeks before his arrest and he had no connection with the Muslim Brotherhood. NYT One of the journalists even recounted drinking alcohol, which is forbidden in Islam. It was the first time the journalists were allowed to speak in court, about a hundred days after being detained. All three worked for Al Jazeera’s English-language news channel, and their case has elicited protests from human rights and free-speech groups. Mansour has said in public letters to the journalists’ families that he hoped they were soon released. And for a brief moment on Monday, the judge appeared sympathetic to the journalists’ arguments. CNN International Fahmy told the court that he and his colleagues worked in public rather than in secrecy, and covered Egypt as they would other countries. He questioned how any journalist could be labeled a terrorist. Their lawyers also took up the issue of Fahmy’s health. Fahmy injured his shoulder before his arrest in December. He has complained about not getting proper medical treatment while in prison and says that because of the lack of treatment, he no longer has full use of his right arm. The trial was adjourned until April 10.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Murdoch Ups Sons | Twitter Ban Overturned | NYT Adds Digital Subs

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Rupert Murdoch Elevates Eldest Son to Be His News Corp. Co-Chairman (The Guardian / Greenslade Blog)
Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son, Lachlan, has been promoted to the role of non-executive co-chairman on the News Corp. board. It means that the two will work alongside each other. Rupert, the executive chairman, described the appointment as “recognition of Lachlan’s entrepreneurial leadership and passion for news, digital media and sport.” TVNewser Lachlan has been named non-executive chairman at both News Corp. and 21st Century Fox. The 42-year-old has been a director of both companies, but effectively left the media empire in 2005 where he had been deputy chief operating officer directly responsible for News Corp.’s U.S. television stations group and publishing assets. After Lachlan left News Corp., Roger Ailes, the co-founder and chairman of Fox News Channel, was named chairman of News Corp.’s (now 21st Century Fox’s) television stations group. FishbowlNY The promotion means that Lachlan is all but guaranteed to take over News Corp. when Rupert steps down. In the past, it was believed that James Murdoch was the heir apparent, but no more. James was promoted as well — to co-chief operating officer at 21st Century Fox. Financial Times James’ elevation comes two years after he was embroiled in the U.K. phone hacking scandal as the former head of News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper business. His new position gives him a more central executive role at one of America’s most global media companies, in contrast to Lachlan’s non-executive position, keeping him in contention in a succession race that has seen numerous twists. James will share his new title with Chase Carey, a trusted adviser and second-in-command to Rupert, to whom he had reported in his previous role as deputy chief operating officer. Reuters Each son has at various times been seen as heir apparent, and it is unclear how well they will work together when Murdoch finally hands over the companies. The Murdoch family controls both Fox and News Corp. through a trust that has a 38 percent ownership stake of Class B shares with voting rights. A source familiar with the companies said that the plan to elevate Lachlan and James had been in the works for a while and that a tussle over control would be unlikely.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Flipboard Buys Zite | BBC3 to Go Online-Only | Egypt Tries AJ Staff

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CNN Sells Zite to Flipboard (CNNMoney)
CNN has sold its news reader app, Zite, to Flipboard, a social magazine application. As part of the deal, Flipboard has also teamed up with CNN to launch custom magazines for CNN shows anchored by Fareed Zakaria, Jake Tapper and John King. The deal could be valued as high as $60 million over time, taking into account future advertising revenue, said a source familiar with the deal. TVNewser The sale occurred less than three years after CNN acquired Zite for $20 million. CNN and Flipboard’s partnership will allow CNN to expand its mobile reach and take advantage of Flipboard’s technology and mobile sales strategy. Re/code Zite itself will shut down, but CNN says most of its 20 employees will go to work for Flipboard. Zite CEO Mark Johnson will not be joining them. Forbes / Jeff Bercovici The deal merges two apps that let users aggregate news stories from all over into a single magazine-like experience. Of the two, Flipboard has been considerably more successful: It’s currently ranked No. 5 among free iPad news apps in Apple’s App Store, while Zite is No. 39. Flipboard will absorb the machine-learning technology that Zite uses to personalize news feeds for its users. Mashable The move also divests CNN of one of its most high-profile acquisitions while putting it in front of Flipboard’s users, which according to Johnson number more than 100 million.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: #FreeAJStaff | AMC’s Earnings Surge | MSNBC Taps Ex-MT Gov.

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Al Jazeera Calls for Global Support of Detained Staff (Al Jazeera America)
Al Jazeera called for a Global Day of Action Thursday to demand the immediate release of four of its journalists who have been locked up in Egypt’s prisons for months. People in more than 30 cities expressed their solidarity and support, with public events taking place in Sydney, Manila, Islamabad, Doha, Amman, Nairobi, Ankara, Berlin, London, Rio, Montreal, Washington and San Francisco. NBC News Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, all journalists from the Qatar-based network, were detained on Dec. 29, 2013, and accused of spreading false news and belonging to a terrorist group. They were scheduled to stand trial on Feb. 21, but the trial was adjourned until March 5. Abdullah Al Shamy was also detained more than six months ago without charge and has been on a hunger strike since Jan. 23. The group had been reporting on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization that took power in the Egypt elections following protests in 2011 but was banned after a violent crackdown. Mashable Al Jazeera staff in newsrooms across the world sent support for the journalists Thursday. The organization encouraged people to include the hashtag #FreeAJStaff in tweets. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media A vigil for the imprisoned journalists was held Thursday afternoon at the Newseum in Washington. Other demonstrations included a plane with a sign flying over Rio de Janeiro with the hashtag. TVNewser Al Jazeera America collected images from demonstrations around the world and posted them to a live blog. Many media outlets around the world have also joined the cause, which has increasingly gained momentum: Last week, an international group of television executives called for the journalists’ release. The protests also gained coverage on other networks: On CBS This Morning Thursday, correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reported from London, where protestors in Trafalgar Square released black balloons into the sky as part of the demonstration.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Murdoch Caught on Tape | Al Jazeera Targeted | Trouble at Patch?


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Rupert Murdoch Caught on Tape: ‘We Will Hit Back’ (Gawker)
ExaroNews, a British investigative website, has just published the full transcript of a secretly recorded meeting between media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the staff of The Sun, a U.K. tabloid owned by News Corp., in which Murdoch admitted that he was aware for decades that journalists from his newspapers had been bribing both police and public officials. CJR / The Audit At long last we now have indisputable evidence that Murdoch knew about the culture of criminality at his newspapers. It’s fair to say Murdoch is going to have some major headaches from this one: “We’re talking about payments for news tips from cops: that’s been going on a hundred years, absolutely. You didn’t instigate it… I remember when I first bought the News of the World, the first day I went to the office… and there was a big wall-safe… And I said, ‘What’s that for?’ And they said, ‘We keep some cash in there.’ And I said, ‘What for?’ They said, ‘Well, sometimes the editor needs some on a Saturday night for powerful friends. And sometimes the chairman is doing badly at the tables, and he helps himself.’” The Guardian / Greenslade Blog The real significance of the tape is that it reveals the true, unexpurgated Murdoch. As I have said often since the hacking scandal first broke, as the man at the top I believe he has been responsible for the journalistic culture at Wapping. This tape appears to prove my point. The Guardian A prominent Labour MP has said US authorities should press corporate corruption charges against Murdoch’s global empire after he admitted in a secretly recorded meeting with staff on The Sun that payments to police were part of “the culture of Fleet Street.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Ms. Magazine Editor Dies | HuffPost Live Goes Cable | AOL Music Axed

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Former Ms. Magazine Editor Mary Thom Dead at 68 (AP / Huffington Post)
Prominent feminist Mary Thom, a writer and former editor of Ms. magazine who also was an avid motorcyclist, crashed while riding on a highway and was killed, her nephew said Saturday. She was 68. NYT Thom joined Ms. magazine in 1972 as an editor, rising to become executive editor in 1990. She was known as a journalistic virtuoso who shaped the writing of many of the feminist movement’s luminaries, including Gloria Steinem.  Ms. “We who are Mary’s friends and family haven’t absorbed her loss yet; it’s too sudden,” said Women’s Media Center co-founders Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda in a statement over the weekend. “Ms. magazine, the Women’s Media Center, the women’s movement and American journalism have suffered an enormous blow. Mary was and will always be our moral compass and steady heart.” FishbowlNY Thom lived for decades in New York City and served as an editor for Ms. for nearly 20 years before leaving the feminist magazine in 1992. The glossy, which began as an insert in New York magazine, became a feminist powerhouse read in the 1970s but struggled to leverage commercial success with its ideological voice. Read more

Al Jazeera Considers Former New York Times Building

Al Jazeera Amercia, the cable channel from Al Jazeera, is rumored to launch this summer. In advance of the debut, the network needs a home. According to The Wall Street Journal, that might be 229 W. 43rd Street, the former New York Times haunt. Al Jazeera is considering the building for its new channel, along with several other locations across Manhattan.

The main attraction to the former New York Times building is that it’s already wired for a digital media venture. The drawback is that there might be too many columns in the building for the studios Al Jazeera wants to construct.

For now, Al Jazeera is renting space in a building on 34th between 8th and 9th.

Current TV Acquired by Al Jazeera, Dropped by Time Warner

Al Jazeera might be critically acclaimed, but the network appears to carry little weight with Time Warner. As news broke last night that Al Jazeera had acquired Current TV and was planning to change it to Al Jazeera America, Time Warner was cutting the cord.

There has been no official word from Time Warner on why, exactly, it decided to drop Current TV right in the middle of programming. That is, nothing beyond “Our agreement with Current will be terminated and we will no longer be carrying the channel.” However, you don’t have to be an expert to surmise that it might be politically motivated.

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