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Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Sony to Release The Interview | Disney, DirecTV Strike Deal

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Sony Backtracks, Will Release The Interview After All (PRNewser)
We all got our wish: The Interview will be available in limited release on Christmas Day. NYT The development gave new life to a film that Sony had pulled from distribution last week, after hackers threatened violence against any theater that played it. Sony also left open the door to video-on-demand availability of the movie, either simultaneously with its debut in theaters, or nearly so. THR Theaters showing The Interview are expected to put added security measures in place. Sony, though, isn’t planning to assist the theaters with added security, leaving it up to theater owners to foot the bill, per normal practice, insiders say. Variety The White House has issued a strong statement of support for Sony Pictures’ decision to release the film on Christmas Day. GalleyCat The PEN American Center sent a letter addressed to the CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Michael Lynton, to protest against Sony’s censorship of the film last week. The organization has posted the full piece on its website. FishbowlDC A petition titled ”We the undersigned support Sony” also emerged in which backers claimed to ”support theatrical engagements of The Interview should Sony, at its sole discretion, decide to release it to theaters.”

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BBC Gets This Week’s Big Martina Navratilova Story

The circumstances of Martina Navratilova‘s public coming out were messy. Despite a hold request from the tennis star, the New York Daily News jumped the gun with a July 30, 1981 article, prompting a follow-up piece in the Dallas Morning News by Skip Bayless and, eventually, Navratilova’s coming out as fully gay rather than, as then, bisexual.

This week, Navratilova’s courageous and trailblazing personal story came full circle right here in New York. On Monday, as reported by D.C.-based BBC anchor Katty Kay and seemingly overshadowed by all that Sony hack business, Navratilova, at age 58, married her partner Julia Lemagova. Our belated congratulations to the radiantly happy couple.

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The Gillian Anderson Truth is Out There

ShutterstockGillianAndersonTCA2014We know how devoted fans of Gillian Anderson and The X Files are. So if any of you noticed something strange about photos of the actress at last month’s London Evening Standard Theater Awards, where she won Best Actress for her turn as Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire, Anderson has the explanation:

“My dress [by British couturier Nicholas Oakwell] was too big and I had to hold it up with my armpits all night. Hence all the pictures of me looking quite grumpy.”

This delightful quote is but one of many to be savored in a write-up by Evening Standard senior feature writer Nick Curtis. Anderson, having sat the night of the awards at a heavyweight table that also featured Benedict Cumberbatch, has since made plans to see The Imitation Game star’s forthcoming Hamlet.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Sony Probes North Korea Link to Hack | Ex-CBC Host Charged

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Sony Pictures Investigates North Korea Link in Hack (Re/code)
Sony Pictures Entertainment is exploring the possibility that hackers working on behalf of North Korea, perhaps operating out of China, may be behind a devastating attack that brought the studio’s network to a screeching halt last week, sources familiar with the matter said. Mashable The thinking is that the hack may be in response to Sony’s upcoming film, The Interview, which is premised on a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The comedy, which is set to be released on Christmas Day, stars Seth Rogen and James Franco who play entertainment journalists recruited by the CIA to kill Kim after it comes out the two men are planning an interview with the North Korean leader. THR North Korea has been vociferous in its complaints about the film and even called the movie an “act of war” in a letter to the United Nations. This isn’t the first time North Korea has also threatened retaliation for something that it didn’t like or felt was insulting. In July, a Chinese viral video led to Pyongyang demanding the video be taken down and action taken against the makers. And in September, North Korea slammed the makers of the documentary Opposite Number and called on the U.K. to punish those behind that project. NYT One person with knowledge of the situation said a Hollywood executive from a company other than Sony had contacted Homeland Security to suggest that the attack might be related to a piracy investigation involving a movie that was not even made by Sony. But the department was not mobilized as a result of the query. The attack apparently did not use sophisticated techniques that might be expected from a hostile government. Rather, it employed a common form of so-called ransomware, according to a security researcher with knowledge of the breach, who did not have permission to speak publicly about the findings. Variety At least five new movies from Sony Pictures are being devoured on copyright-infringing file-sharing hubs online in the wake of the hack attack. Copies of DVD screeners of four unreleased Sony movies including the upcoming Annie are getting some unwelcome early exposure, but nothing compared with the frenzy enveloping Fury, the war pic still in theaters that bowed in October.

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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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