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Posts Tagged ‘Associated Press’

Morning Media Newsfeed: AT&T Advances DirecTV Talks | AP Expands | BuzzFeed President Out

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AT&T Said to Be in Talks to Buy DirecTV for About $50 Billion (Bloomberg)
AT&T Inc. is in advanced talks to acquire DirecTV, the largest U.S. satellite-TV provider, for about $100 per share, according to people familiar with the matter. WSJ A takeover of DirecTV could put a value of nearly $50 billion on the satellite-television provider. The two sides are discussing a deal that would involve a mix of cash and AT&T stock, the people said. Dallas-based AT&T would likely pay a premium to DirecTV’s share price Monday, one of the people said. An agreement could be reached in two weeks if not sooner, according to the people. GigaOM AT&T’s plan is to turn the satellite company into an AT&T unit, and keep management on board to run that unit, with plans for DirecTV’s chief executive Mike White to retire in 2016. The acquisition report, which neither company is commenting on, comes after three months after Comcast announced that it was going to acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal. Variety Analysts have speculated that AT&T could migrate its 5.7 million U-verse TV subscribers to DirecTV’s satellite-delivered service, freeing up bandwidth in its terrestrial data networks. With 26 million pay-TV subscribers, AT&T also would gain leverage in programming negotiations on part with a merged Comcast-TWC. Reuters DirecTV shares rose 6 percent to $92.50 in extended trading on Monday.

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Major Moves at AP, Money Magazine and Business Insider

Look out, Washington D.C. power players. The Associated Press has beefed up the side of its operation designed to uncover intentional and unintentional transgressions.

horwitz_greene_2014

From today’s announcement:

Joining the Washington investigative team are Jeff Horwitz (pictured above, left) and Ronnie Greene (above, right).

Horwitz is currently on a Knight-Bagehot fellowship at Columbia University. As a reporter for American Banker between 2009 and 2013, he wrote about banks’ legal woes and the fallout from the housing crisis.

Greene has been a senior reporter at The Center for Public Integrity and previously was a longtime reporter and editor at the Miami Herald. He recently served as project editor for a Center series describing how the coal industry beat back miners’ claims for black lung benefits, which won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

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Media Having Fun with The Naked Cowboy

The first sentence of the Associated Press item reads: ‘It’s a natural fit.’

Mimmi Montgomery, for the New York Observer, filed her report about the marketing moves of a Midtown icon under the category-tag Keeping It Tight and a headline that begins: “Fruit of the Loon…

And, per the screen grab below, the New York Post wisely avoided any attempt to wink-reference its iconic “Headless…Topless…” headline with its crowning of an AP-based item.

NYPostNakedCowboy

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AP Makes Changes to Board

APlogoThe Associated Press has added three new members to its board of directors. Bill Hoffman, president of Cox Media; Isaac Lee, president of Univision Communications; and Rob King, senior VP of Sportscenter and News for ESPN are all new to the agency’s board.

Jon Rust, vice chair of the AP’s board, was also re-elected. It is his last year on the board.

The AP board now has 21 directors.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Oprah Eyes Clippers | Viacom to Buy Channel 5 | Time Warner Profits Soar

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Oprah Considering Los Angeles Clippers Bid (ESPN)
Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen and Larry Ellison will join together in a bid to buy the Los Angeles Clippers if the NBA’s board of governors votes to force Donald Sterling to sell the team, Geffen said Wednesday. FishbowlNY Others interested in buying the Clippers include Diddy (he even created his own hashtag #DiddyBuyTheClippers) and Floyd Mayweather. THR The OWN Network founder would pair with music mogul Geffen and Oracle co-founder Ellison in an investor role. On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver pledged to force the sale of the Clippers after audio recordings of racist remarks made by owner Donald Sterling surfaced on TMZ days earlier. Sterling, who has owned the Clippers franchise since 1981, faces a ban from attending all NBA games as well as making any business decisions for the team. LA Times / Sports Now Winfrey, in reference to Sterling’s comments, told TMZ on Tuesday that “the plantation days are over.” She also denied having interest in purchasing the team on her own. However, Winfrey’s spokesperson, Nicole Nichols, issued a statement Wednesday confirming that she’s in talks about becoming an investor. Reuters The advisory finance committee of the NBA’s governing board scheduled a meeting for Thursday to review the next steps for forcing a sale of the Clippers, as urged on Tuesday by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, a league spokeswoman said. Sterling, who bought the Clippers in 1981 for $13 million when the team was based in San Diego, has not indicated whether he would relinquish ownership without a fight. Experts have estimated that the franchise, which moved to Los Angeles in 1984, could now be worth as much as $800 million.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Second TV HQ Seized | Twitter Stock Tanks | Filmmaker Strikes Deal With the AP

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Pro-Russian Separatists Seize TV HQ In Eastern Ukraine (Reuters)
Pro-Russian separatists took control of the regional prosecutor’s office and television center in the eastern city of Luhansk on Tuesday, having earlier seized the government headquarters, a Reuters photographer said. BBC News Activists went into the regional television station, but decided not to take it over after they were allowed to make a live broadcast. Following the takeovers, President Oleksandr Turchynov demanded the dismissal of the police chiefs in Luhansk and the other eastern city of Donetsk. Business Insider Pro-Russian separatists have now seized government buildings in at least 10 cities throughout the eastern part of the country. Pro-Russian activists have also shot the mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. All the while, journalists throughout eastern Ukraine routinely face intimidation amid the threat of kidnapping and assault. The Guardian About 3,000 activists — some in masks and military fatigues — stormed the regional government HQ and other key buildings. A pro-Russian militia had occupied the security service office in Luhansk, a town of 465,000, just 20 miles from the Russian border. In recent days, Kiev’s tentative grip on local law enforcement in the east appears to have slipped completely. In Luhansk, riot police stood passively in a courtyard. “The regional leadership does not control its police force,” Stanislav Rechynsky, an aide to the interior minister in Kiev said. “The local police did nothing.” WSJ The latest moves in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region came despite a new wave of sanctions on Russia by the U.S. and European Union aimed at forcing the Kremlin to rein in the activists, who have echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin in denouncing Ukraine’s two-month-old government as illegal. The attacks on Luhansk’s regional police headquarters, administration building, prosecutor’s office and television broadcasting facilities mark the biggest advance for the pro-Russia rebels since early April, when militants took control of the regional building of Ukraine’s state-security service, the SBU.

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AP Names David Scott Political Editor

David ScottDavid Scott has been named political editor for the Associated Press. Scott most recently oversaw the AP’s Central Region, which includes 14 states. He had served in that role since 2009.

Scott has been with the AP since 1999, when he joined as a reporter. From 2005 to 2009 Scott served as news editor in North Carolina.

“The political editor job is a critical one for AP — directing our national political coverage, advising states on political reporting and working with colleagues on our race-calling, accountability, vote count and polling operations,” said the AP’s Washington bureau chief, Sally Buzbee, in a statement. “It requires superb news skills, keen interest in both politics and policy, and strong competitive instincts. We are thrilled David is taking it on.”

Scott will be based in Washington and report to Buzbee.

[Image: AP/Charles Rex Arbogast]

Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast Pleads Case | DirecTV Restores TWC | Breitbart Loses Whip

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comcast-twc

As Comcast Takes Next Step in TWC Merger, Opposition Groups Band Together (TVNewser)
Comcast took the next step in its $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Tuesday morning by filing a joint Applications and Public Interest Statement with the FCC. In a blog post about the filing, Comcast EVP David Cohen argued that the deal is good for consumers, especially current TWC customers. Those opposed to the deal, understandably, don’t think so. Fifty groups sent a letter to the attorney general and FCC chairman Tuesday asking that the deal be blocked. Capital New York The 650-page document filed with the FCC outlines the reasons Comcast believes the proposed merger with TWC would be in the public interest. Much of the document spelled out in granular detail arguments made by Comcast in its original announcement of the proposed deal, but there are some notable new takes. Comcast now sees itself as a tech company, in competition with Google, Facebook and Netflix just as much as traditional competitors like DirecTV and Verizon. Comcast argues that it doesn’t compete with TWC, as they do not operate in the same areas. Variety Critics have claimed the Comcast-TWC merger, which would create an entity that controls 30 percent of the country’s pay-TV market, is decidedly not in the public interest because it would result in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers. Moreover, the combination “could compromise the open nature of the Internet,” Sen. Al Franken told Justice Department officials last month. CNET Last week, Comcast filed a Hart-Scott-Rodino notification with the U.S. Department of Justice, which will begin the antitrust review of the merger. And on Wednesday, Cohen will testify about the merger before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Now that the official filing has been made in the merger, which was announced in February, the FCC will have a self-imposed deadline of 180 days to review and make its decision. USA Today Facing a growing number of customers flocking to streaming video and content providers demanding more payment for programs, TWC agreed in February to be bought by Comcast for $45 billion. The acquisition would give Comcast access to key media markets that it has coveted, including New York and Los Angeles, and occupy about 40 percent of the Internet service market, or about 32 million customers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AP Journalists Shot | Schultz’s Legal Woes | Blade Sues U.S. Gov’t

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AP Photographer Killed, Reporter Wounded in Afghanistan (The Associated Press)
An Afghan police commander opened fire Friday on two Associated Press journalists, killing Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Anja Niedringhaus and wounding veteran correspondent Kathy Gannon — the first known case of a security insider attacking journalists in Afghanistan. FishbowlNY Niedringhaus and Gannon were covering the nation’s election when a policeman opened fire on their vehicle. Niedringhaus was killed instantly and Gannon was shot twice and later underwent surgery. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Niedringhaus and Gannon were traveling in a convoy of election workers delivering ballots from the center of Khost city to the outskirts, in Tani district, protected by the Afghan National Army and Afghan police. As they were sitting in the car waiting for the convoy to move, a unit commander named Naqibullah walked up to the car, yelled “Allahu Akbar” — God is Great — and opened fire on them in the back seat with his AK-47. He then surrendered to the other police and was arrested. BBC News The attack came as Afghanistan intensified security ahead of presidential elections on Saturday, in response to threats of violence by the Taliban. The new president will succeed Hamid Karzai, who has been in power since the 2001 fall of the Taliban but is constitutionally barred from seeking a third consecutive term. The run-up to this historic election had already been the bloodiest, and fears of electoral fraud are pronounced. NYT Niedringhaus, a German citizen who was based in Geneva, first came to Afghanistan after joining the AP in 2002, and she quickly formed a partnership with Gannon. They were among a band of female photographers and correspondents who persevered through many years of conflict in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan. In the process, they helped redefine traditional notions of war reporting. Even as they covered the battlefield, they also focused attention on the human impact of conflicts known for their random, unpredictable violence against civilians.

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AP Photographer Killed, Reporter Wounded in Afghanistan

APLogoAn attack in Eastern Afghanistan on Associated Press journalists left one dead and one wounded, but in stable in condition. Anja Niedringhaus, a photographer for the Associated Press, and Kathy Gannon, most recently an Afghanistan correspondent, were covering the nation’s election when a policeman opened fire on their vehicle. Niedringhaus was killed instantly and Gannon was shot twice and later underwent surgery.

According to the AP, the pair were part of a convoy delivering ballots to areas outside Khost city. When the convoy stopped in what was described as a “heavily guarded district,” a unit commander who was part of the security team protecting the convoy, walked up to the vehicle carrying Niedringhaus and Gannon and fired at the backseat. He then surrendered to the other police.

“Anja and Kathy together have spent years in Afghanistan covering the conflict and the people there,” said the AP’s executive editor, Kathleen Carroll, in a statement. ”Anja was a vibrant, dynamic journalist well-loved for her insightful photographs, her warm heart and joy for life. We are heartbroken at her loss.”

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