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Morning Media Newsfeed: Aereo Files for Bankruptcy | MSNBC Hires Ex-WH Staffer

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Aereo Files for Bankruptcy (TVSpy)
With a post on the company’s blog Friday morning, Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia announced the company had filed for bankruptcy protection. THR The digital TV service, which broadcast network owners battled in courts for offering access to broadcast TV signals via digital devices, made a voluntary Chapter 11 filing, it said in the statement. “We encountered significant challenges from the incumbent media companies,” said Kanojia in the statement. Mashable Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is typically expensive and allows for the company to restructure its debt. While filing for bankruptcy does not necessarily mean the end of the business, Kanojia struck a tone in a statement on Aereo’s website that insinuated the company was done. Variety New York-based Aereo had raised about $97 million, from investors including IAC chairman Barry Diller, media investor Gordon Crawford, Himalaya Capital Management, Highland Capital Partners and FirstMark Capital. Earlier this month Aereo laid off a majority of its staff, including employees in New York and Boston. The company said a small executive team of about a dozen people would remain. GigaOM Aereo’s bankruptcy petition shows it owes roughly $2 million to a list of creditors that include Internet companies like Level 3 and Google, as well as several law firms. But the most significant creditors on the list are names like ABC and Fox, the TV networks that are continuing to sue Aereo over copyright infringement. Aereo’s filing simply states “unknown” in the amount owed to the “litigation party” TV stations, which also include PBS, Telemundo and NBC.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Fager to Step Down, Return to 60 Minutes | WaPo, Kindle Partner Up

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Jeff Fager Stepping Down as Chairman of CBS News, Returns Full Time to 60 Minutes (TVNewser)
Jeff Fager is leaving his role as chairman of CBS News and turning his “full attention” to 60 Minutes. FishbowlDC Fager served as CBS News’ chairman for four years, and had worked as the executive producer of 60 Minutes for seven years before that. THR / The Live Feed Fager has also extended his current contract as executive producer through 2019. As for a replacement, president David Rhodes now assumes sole leadership of CBS News. Fager assumed the role of chairman at a pivotal time for CBS, on the eve of Katie Couric’s exit from the CBS Evening News. June of 2011 saw current anchor, and longtime 60 Minutes correspondent, Scott Pelley, assume the role of lead anchor for the nightly news telecast. NYT CBS cast the moves as an orderly transition that was set in motion four years ago when Leslie Moonves, the CBS chief executive, asked Fager to take over supervision of the news division while remaining as executive producer of 60 Minutes. In his own memo, Fager said of Rhodes, “I hired him almost four years ago with this moment in mind, and he has exceeded all expectations.” Capital New York Fager’s dual roles as chairman of CBS News and E.P. of 60 Minutes did lead to some controversy. Last year, a flawed report about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya led to an internal investigation and the suspension of Lara Logan, who has since returned to the network.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: CBSN Launches Glitch-Free | Aereo to Downsize, Cut Staff

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CBS Launches Digital News Network CBSN (LostRemote)
After announcing a subscription-based streaming service, CBS launched an all-digital streaming news network, CBSN, on Thursday. So now you can watch live, anchored news whenever you want, for free. TVNewser It didn’t look like launch day at CBSN, and that’s a big achievement. Freed from the burden of launch day hoopla and high expectations, CBS News turned on its brand new live streaming news channel, and did so without a hitch. Capital New York The company is stressing that the move is not meant as a way into the 24-hour cable-news channel fray. “We are not endeavoring to start a cable news channel online,” CBS News president David Rhodes said. “We are trying to create something that is native for connected devices.” Those devices include laptops and PCs, smartphones and tablets, and, yes, Internet-connected TVs. The target audience: younger viewers, some of whom may not subscribe to a pay-TV service. THR The network — available on CBSNews.com, the CBS News app and connected TV devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku — will feature 15 hours of live, anchored coverage from 9 a.m. ET to midnight ET every weekday. The segments will be split into 60-minute blocks of live, updated news. CBS News special reports will be simulcast on CBSN during breaking news and content will also be fed in from CBS affiliate stations, CNET, CBSSports.com and Entertainment Tonight. New York Post The owner of CBS broadcast network, radio stations and Showtime missed the cable boom of the past decades but appears to be diving headfirst into a mobile future. Last month it joined with its affiliate partners to launch CBS All Access, a standalone digital platform for current and archived content.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Condé Nast Moves to 1 WTC | Car Talk’s Tom Magliozzi Dies at 77

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Condé Nast Moves to 1 World Trade Center (FishbowlNY)
The first wave of Condé Nast staffers settled into their new digs at 1 World Trade Center Monday morning. THR Thirteen years after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the resurrected World Trade Center, a 104-story, $3.9 billion skyscraper that dominates the Manhattan skyline, is opening for business, marking an emotional milestone for both New Yorkers and the nation. The publishing giant becomes the first commercial tenant in America’s tallest building. Mashable The building is currently just 60 percent leased. About 170 employees of Condé Nast’s 3,400 workers moved into the skyscraper. The rest of the company, which signed a 25-year lease for 1 million square feet, will move there in 2015. New York Post The sparkling new building is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere. It had originally been slated to open in 2006, but cost overruns and political infighting led to delays. Other new tenants include the General Services Administration and the ad firm Kids Creative. NYT The workers that began Monday are what Condé Nast calls corporate employees, meaning that they do not work for any one of its magazines in particular. Some work in human relations, some in accounting. Glamour? It will come later, as will Vogue, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Condé Nast’s other magazines.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Schneider Leaving ABC News | Gannett Profits Surge

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Jeffrey Schneider Leaving ABC News to Found His Own PR Firm (TVNewser)
Jeffrey Schneider, ABC News SVP and chief spokesman, is leaving the network to start his own PR firm. THR / The Live Feed Known for his aggressive style, Schneider worked closely with three presidents: David Westin, Ben Sherwood (who recently relocated to Burbank to take on Anne Sweeney’s position as president of Disney-ABC Television Group) and current president James Goldston. Capital New York Julie Townsend, the VP of communications, will step in to replace as the top communications executive at ABC News. Schneider’s new firm will be called Schneider Global Strategies, and its first clients will be ABC News and parent company The Disney ABC Television Group. Variety Townsend, who has worked tirelessly for ABC News in any number of matters, has been with the unit as its vice president of communications since 2011. Prior to that, she worked with NBCUniversal in its corporate communications department. Townsend started her career with ABC as a PR coordinator for Nightline and This Week in the ABC News Washington Bureau in 2001. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Long known as a high-intensity figure in the media world, Schneider was suspended for two weeks in June for yelling at a staffer. The departure had been in the works since March, when Sherwood was promoted to president of DATG. Schneider will stay with ABC through Election Day.

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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: ISIS Posts Fourth Cantlie Video | Abramson Talks Risen, Rice

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ISIS Releases Fourth Video of Journalist John Cantlie, ‘Eagerly Awaits’ Ground War (HuffPost)
Islamic State militants have released a new video featuring British freelance journalist John Cantlie — the fourth since Cantlie was taken hostage nearly two years ago. The Guardian Cantlie, who has been held for almost two years, said ISIS was “dug in for the fight” in a seven-minute video that emerged on Sunday. Appearing to offer a scripted argument, he said the western public is being rushed into a war it cannot win, against thousands of armed militants. The Independent Cantlie also appeared in an online article calling for the British government to “open a channel and negotiate” with ISIS. It appeared hours after the British Ministry of Defence confirmed that a “specialist” team of British soldiers would head to northern Iraq to help train Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic militant group. The article was published in the ISIS online magazine Dabiq. WSJ The U.K. government said Monday that it was analyzing the article purportedly by Cantlie in which he says he awaits his turn to be executed by the extremist group unless British and American governments negotiate. The writer who identifies himself as Cantlie criticizes the West for not negotiating with ISIS when others have. “For now, I am still alive, but at some point in the near future, the mujahedeen will surely run out of patience. Just ask our government to talk. That’s all,” the article in question read. New York Daily News The British war photographer was captured in Syria along with James Foley in November 2012. Foley, an American war correspondent, was beheaded in August. The following month ISIS released a video of Cantlie criticizing American and British foreign policy, saying he’d been “abandoned” by his government.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola | Disney Re-Ups Iger

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NBC News Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola (TVNewser)
A 33-year-old American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment. NYT As a precaution, NBC News ordered the production team working with the cameraman, which includes Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the network’s top medical correspondent, to return to the U.S. and enter quarantine for 21 days. Mashable The 33-year-old freelancer tested positive for the deadly disease on Thursday while on assignment in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, NBC News said in an emailed statement. The cameraman, whose identity is being withheld by NBC at the request of his family, was working with a three-person crew working alongside Snyderman. THR On Tuesday, Snyderman’s report from a Liberian hospital aired on NBC’s Nightly News, where the network’s chief medical editor narrated a video dispatch on the disease. In the video, Snyderman can be seen donning protective gear as she reported from an “Ebola Isolation Unit” at the medical area. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The cameraman is the fourth American to have contracted Ebola, and the first known case of an American journalist covering the story to be infected.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Piers Morgan Lands New Gig | News Corp. Buys Realty Business

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Piers Morgan Named Editor-at-Large of MailOnline (TVNewser)
Former CNN host Piers Morgan is joining MailOnline as editor-at-large. Morgan will write several times a week, while pursing new TV ventures in the U.S. He is a former editor of British tabloids the News of The World and the Daily Mirror. THR MailOnline is the online version of the U.K.’s Daily Mail newspaper and claims to be the biggest English-language newspaper website in the world. Morgan announced in September that he’d left CNN, several months after his eponymous talk show was canceled. He added in tweets about his departure that he’d turned down a two-year deal from CNN president Jeff Zucker to host several interview specials. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “As editor-at-large (U.S.) I plan on breaking down the biggest stories that matter to Americans and analyzing them in a way that will generate discussion and create debate,” Morgan, 49, said in a statement. Deadline Hollywood In the U.K., Morgan is known for being named youngest ever editor of the News of The World and youngest national newspaper editor in Britain in half a century, when Rupert Murdoch gave the 28-year-old him the gig in 1994. After two years, he joined the Daily Mirror as editor-in-chief, which he left in 2004 and became a media columnist and host of interview shows on ITV and the BBC. He also appeared as a judge alongside pal Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent. NYT In the U.S., MailOnline reaches more than 35 million unique readers a month, according to comScore, a total that has increased by 30 percent from the year before and continues to grow.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: SoftBank Eyes DWA Purchase | Marvel Settles With Kirby Estate

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DreamWorks Animation in Sale Talks With Japan’s SoftBank (THR)
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation in a deal that would value the company at $3.4 billion, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. NYT SoftBank reportedly offered $32 a share for the boutique studio DreamWorks Animation, a 45 percent premium over the share price. That would value it at $3.4 billion. A DreamWorks Animation spokeswoman, Allison Rawlings, on Saturday night said, “We don’t comment on rumor and speculation.” Re/code / Reuters An acquisition of DreamWorks by SoftBank would make the Hollywood studio that created Shrek part of a the communications and media company that, under founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, has shown a willingness to take big bets on combining seemingly unrelated businesses. Two weeks ago, SoftBank booked a $4.6 billion gain on the share listing of Alibaba Group in New York. SoftBank retains a 32 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce company, making it Alibaba’s biggest shareholder. Deadline Hollywood DreamWorks’ balance sheet had weakened in Q2 with $400 million in debt and $32 million in cash vs. Q2 2011, when it had no debt and $116 million in cash. DreamWorks also disclosed in July that its next two films – The Penguins Of Madagascar and Home – were costing them approximately $10 million more than planned: $135 million not including incentive-based compensation. Variety However, DreamWorks has scored considerably with its fruitful acquisition of AwesomenessTV, a digital network targeting a young online audience — that and its relationship with Netflix likely helped attract the attention of SoftBank. DreamWorks Animation has operated as a publicly traded company since 2004.

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