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Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Alibaba’s Jack Ma Eyes Lionsgate Stake | Terry Keenan Dies at 53

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Alibaba Eyeing 37 Percent Stake in Lionsgate (New York Post)
After getting a taste of The Hunger Games, Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma has an appetite for more. The Chinese Internet tycoon is hungering after Mark Rachesky’s 37.4 percent of Lionsgate, the studio behind the blockbuster film franchise. THR Hedge fund manager Rachesky, the chairman of Lionsgate and its biggest shareholder, is looking to unload his influential stake in the mini-studio. Variety A sale of his stake to Alibaba could be announced in November or perhaps sooner. Lionsgate and Alibaba reps declined to comment on the report. Rachesky and reps for Rachesky’s MHR Fund Management did not respond to requests for comment. New York-based MHR manages about $6 billion of capital. Deadline Hollywood Ma will be in Hollywood this week to talk with different studios. He already knows Lionsgate: Alibaba partnered with the studio this summer when it launched its Chinese subscription streaming service, Lionsgate Entertainment World, which features the studio’s movies and TV shows. Adweek China is the No. 2 film market in the world, making the convenience of online subscription content a natural fit for Alibaba’s e-commerce network. However, China is not a straightforward place to do business. Last month, Chinese regulators announced they would cap the amount of foreign TV programs local providers could stream to online subscribers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: CBS Launches Web Service | Guardian Accuses Whisper of Tracking

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CBS ‘All Access’ Includes Local Stations in Subscription Service (TVSpy)
CBS Thursday announced the launch of “CBS All Access,” a digital subscription service that allows viewers — with or without a pay TV subscription — access to CBS programs, live TV, and CBS’ owned-and-operated stations. LostRemote The service is available for $5.99 a month. At the time of launch, consumers in 14 cities will have live access to their local CBS stations, allowing them to stream programs as they air. CBS News The service is accessible through CBS.com and on mobile devices through the CBS App for iOS and Android. THR In addition to serving up current-season episodes the day after they air, it will offer previous seasons of several CBS-owned shows as well as a vast library of classic CBS series. The service is planned to be added to connected TVs at a later date. All Access marks a considerable move for a network that has long been selective with regard to its digital dealings, famously staying out of the Hulu pact its broadcast rivals made many years earlier. Capital New York On Wednesday, HBO announced that its HBO Go service would be available to all customers next year. The service, which provides access to HBO’s current programming and shows from the past, is currently only available to HBO subscribers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: HBO to Launch Streaming Service | CNN Cuts Continue

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HBO to Offer Stand-Alone Streaming Service Beginning in 2015 (LostRemote)
HBO announced plans Wednesday to offer a stand-alone streaming service in 2015. FishbowlNY “We will work with our current partners,” HBO’s CEO Richard Plepler said, in a statement. “And, we will explore models with new partners. All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.” SocialTimes Having a Web-only option will help the channel with online-TV watchers, who cite flexibility as the main reason for watching original series online. Internet users are becoming more accustomed to consuming what they want, when they want it; HBO is finally adapting to this reality. THR Plepler didn’t give too many details about the service, such as pricing and when it would launch, saying he didn’t want to tip off competitors too much. Shortly after Plepler’s announcement, shares of Netflix dropped 4 percent, while shares of Time Warner were about 3 percent higher as investors digested the HBO news as well as some other rosy predictions coming from the Time Warner investor day presentations. Mashable It is important to note that HBO is far from giving up on cable television. Plepler stressed in his statements before the announcement that HBO’s business and relationships with cable partners is important. The channel brought in $4.9 billion in 2013 and has about 114 million subscribers. There has been eager anticipation for HBO to capitalize on its already popular streaming platform by offering it outside of cable subscriptions. HBO Go logins have become something of a social currency, allowing users to access content via accounts of friends and family. Game of Thrones has also grown into the most pirated TV show of all time.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Freedom Shutters LA Register | ISIS Releases Journalist Video

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Layoffs Hit Freedom Communications as It Ceases Publication of LA Register (LA Times)
Layoffs hit the Orange County Register on Tuesday after owner Freedom Communications ceased publication of its Los Angeles daily five months after it debuted. TheWrap A spokesperson for the LA Register said that 29 newsroom positions have been eliminated as a result of the paper’s shutdown. An unspecified number of employees will be transferred to the Orange County Register. WSJ / CMO Today The owner of Freedom Communications Inc., Aaron Kushner, who turned heads last year when he announced he was launching the daily newspaper, admitted Tuesday that the move was a failure. “As strong a newspaper as our team produced, our business model is a virtuous circle,” Kushner said in a statement. “If the support is not at a level that matches our investment, we have to adapt and make adjustments as we’ve done today.” HuffPost / AP Freedom said it will focus on markets in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It owns the Riverside Press-Enterprise, which it bought in November for more than $27 million. NYT The LA Register ceased publication with its Monday issue. Monday evening, Kushner sent a memo to his employees announcing the news. An article about the shutdown ran on the newspaper’s front page.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AJA Countersues Gore | Time Inc. Guild Talks Break Down

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Al Jazeera America Countersuing Al Gore (TVNewser)
It looks like Al Jazeera America isn’t taking the lawsuit levied by former Vice President Al Gore lying down. The company countersued Gore and Joel Hyatt Friday. The Associated Press The parties are fighting over money that is being held in escrow. The former vice president and Hyatt, the founder of Hyatt Legal Services, sued the network last month saying that it was improperly withholding tens of millions of dollars placed in escrow when Al Jazeera bought Current TV for $500 million. THR / Hollywood, Esq. According to Gore and Hyatt, Al Jazeera squandered those favorable distribution rights by making an “ill-advised, one-sided” agreement with Time Warner Cable, which set off “most favored nation” obligations to other distributors. According to Al Jazeera, it’s Gore and Hyatt who shoulder the blame — and responsibility — for what later happened by failing to get TWC on board in the first place. New York Post Friday’s countersuit insists that AJA, as Current TV’s buyer, did not “make phony claims” but had a “contractual right to be indemnified.” “Al Jazeera America rightfully seeks compensation from an escrow fund that was established solely and specifically to protect Al Jazeera against any harm resulting from these inaccurate representations,” the countersuit claimed. In the countersuit, Al Jazeera stated it made five claims on the escrow money, relating mostly to disagreements it had with distributors following the sale. Variety The purchase price was reportedly $500 million, and, although that figure also was redacted from Al Jazeera’s filing, the company noted that Gore is “reported to have made between $70 and $100 million from the sale.” Gore and Hyatt contend that they initially harbored “serious reservations” about selling the network to Al Jazeera, but decided to entertain the idea of such a sale after performing due diligence and consulting with former senior U.S. government officials.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: ISIS Holds Another Journalist | Glasser Named Politico Editor

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ISIS Reportedly Holding Another Journalist Captive (TVNewser)
ISIS released a new video Thursday showing a British journalist as its prisoner. The video, since deleted by YouTube, shows British journalist John Cantlie. HuffPost Cantlie, a former reporter for the Sunday Times, the Sun and the Sunday Telegraph, went missing in Syria in 2012, but was later freed by the Free Syrian Army. Cantlie reportedly then returned to Syria in 2012, along with U.S. journalist James Foley. Foley was beheaded by ISIS in August, a horrific killing that was also recorded and released on video. Reuters In the new roughly three-minute video posted on social media sites, the man identified as Cantlie appears in good health and promises to “convey some facts” in a series of “programs,” suggesting there would be further installments. “Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, ‘He’s only doing this because he’s a prisoner. He’s got a gun at his head and he’s being forced to do this.’ Right?” the man in the video, wearing an orange shirt and closely-cropped hair, says. “Well, it’s true. I am a prisoner. That I cannot deny. But seeing as I’ve been abandoned by my government and my fate now lies in the hands of the Islamic State, I have nothing to lose.” Mashable He delivers a propaganda message to the West, promising to show “the truth” about the jihadists and stop what he calls the “seemingly inevitable sequence of events” that’s taking Western countries to another war in the Middle East. He promises that he will appear in more videos to come. NYT Analysts said that the shift in tone from the previous videos sought to gain maximum exposure and showed how attuned the group is to Western sensibilities in crafting its message. The video, like those before it, seems designed to forestall international military action against the Islamic State. But while the previous videos threatened revenge for attacks, Cantlie’s message seemed crafted to capitalize on reluctance in the West to get involved in a new war. “After two disastrous and hugely unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, why is it that our governments appear so keen to get involved in yet another unwinnable conflict?” he says.

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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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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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