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Posts Tagged ‘Cablevision’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Halts Disney Titles | Brady’s Death Ruled A Homicide

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Amazon Halts Some Disney Movie Preorders (WSJ)
Amazon.com Inc. has halted preorders for some DVDs and Blu-ray discs from media giant Walt Disney Co., including popular titles such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in an apparent contract dispute. CNET However, preorders of digital versions on Amazon Instant Video are still available. The situation is reminiscent of an apparent dispute between Amazon and Warner Home Video in which preorders of discs for The Lego Movie, Transcendence, and 300: Rise of an Empire vanished from the site earlier this summer. Amazon hasn’t publicly commented on that situation, but it’s thought that the move is intended to apply pressure on Warner to gain greater margin on each sale. Time Amazon has been engaged in an increasingly acrimonious dispute with Hachette over eBook pricing, with Amazon restricting the sale of Hachette books until the two parties arrive at terms. More than 900 authors, including Malcolm Gladwell and Stephen King, have signed an open letter criticizing Amazon’s policies. Amazon hasn’t yet publicly commented on the apparent dispute with Disney. Variety Disney, on its U.S. homevideo site, is directing customers to Walmart and Best Buy for pre-orders of Maleficent and other upcoming releases. Muppets Most Wanted also is available for pre-order from Target. Deadline Hollywood Discussions will be continuing between Amazon and Disney throughout the week to try to resolve the pricing issue.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Murdoch Withdraws Time Warner Bid | New Leaker Emerges

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After Pushback, Murdoch Abandons Fox’s Pursuit of Time Warner (NYT / DealBook)
At 4:07 p.m. Tuesday, the chief executive of Time Warner Inc., Jeffrey L. Bewkes, received an unexpected email. “On behalf of our board and senior management team, I am writing to inform you that we are withdrawing our offer to acquire Time Warner, effective immediately. Sincerely, Rupert Murdoch.” A hand-delivered letter bearing the same message arrived soon after. TVNewser In short, Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox withdrew its bid for Time Warner, CNN’s parent company. FishbowlNY Early last month, word leaked that Murdoch’s bid of $80 billion was rejected, which raised speculation that he’d try everything in his power to make it happen. Instead, the opposite has occurred. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Subsequent reports speculated that Murdoch, dogged in his pursuit of an acquisition, would consider upping the offer by as much as $13.5 billion. Had such a deal gone through, it would have merged the country’s top-two cable providers, giving Murdoch control of several top-rated cable networks, including TNT, Fox News, TBS and Cartoon Network. WSJ Fox cited both Time Warner’s unwillingness to “engage with us” and a sharp drop in Fox’s stock price which made a deal “unattractive to Fox shareholders.” Fox’s stock had fallen about 11 percent since news broke last month that it had made a takeover offer for Time Warner, valued at $85 a share.

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Cablevision Shutters Newsday Westchester, Staffers Cut

Cablevision has cut the cord to Newsday Westchester, the digital only news site that covered stories in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange and Dutchess counties.

Lohud.com reports (story first covered by The Wrap) that at about 3:30 pm, the site went down, and slowly, staffers began to send out messages of lay offs via Twitter. Ryan Chatelain, Newsday Westchester’s digital news manager, wrote, “We got some bad news today. I’m incredibly proud of the work we did at Newsday Westchester. Enjoyed every moment (except today’s meeting).”

Cablevision’s official statement is below.

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Cablevision is Okay with Newsday Losing Millions [Update]

Cablevision, Newsday’s parent company, is apparently cool with the paper losing millions. According to The New York Post, Cablevision’s latest earnings report showed that its “other businesses” group — which includes Newsday, MSG Varsity and News 12 — posted a combined loss of $100 million.

An analyst told the Post that Newsday is likely responsible for about $35 million of those annual losses. However, Cablevision’s execs greet those numbers with a shrug.

During the earnings call, Gregg Seibert, vice chairman and CFO of Cablevision, expressed support for the struggling paper. ”Newsday is a core asset for us,” he said. “It fits in with our cable operations and our focus on providing the best in local news coverage to our customers in conjunction with Newsday.”

Update (12:00 pm):
Keith Kelly, who wrote the Post’s report, just pointed out that I misread his piece. “$100 million for the Other Group and $35 million for Newsday itself were for the first quarter only,” Kelly explained via email. “One analyst we quoted said he thought the ANNUAL loss for Newsday by itself was $100 million last year — and growing.”

Cablevision Lays Off Dozens in MSG Varsity Restructuring

Bethpage, New York-based Cablevision has laid off dozens of employees in a major restructuring for MSG Varsity.

A source spoke to FishbowlNY under the condition of anonymity as the severance package hasn’t been yet been received.

“Somebody’s got to say this is wrong. To have a conference call [with] only three sentences and click, and you turn in your badges,” the source described the company’s notification to exiting staffers.

The source says the layoffs took place two weeks ago. Cablevision at the time said in a statement that “it is combining MSG Varsity with Optimum Local, the company’s local programming unit. This will result in an expansion of MSG Varsity’s programming line-up to include local public affairs, educational, and Optimum branded shows to complement its powerful line-up of tri-state high school programming, which is available exclusively to Optimum customers.”

The source, though, intimates that the sale of Cablevision will take place in the summer. Three years ago, Cablevision spun off is subsidiary, Madison Square Garden LP to The Madison Square Garden Company led by company chairman James Dolan.

“[He] will announce a new enterprise where the new owners of Cablevision will continue to run News 12 with Pat Dolan in charge,” the source says. “Public access will be eliminated. MSG Network will continue.”

“Yes, there were some positions eliminated as a result of the merging of MSG Varsity and Optimum Local,” a Cablevision spokesperson says. “As for the rest of these allegations, they are anonymous and inaccurate.”

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Next Stop for Veteran Anchor Jim Watkins: FiOS 1

When last we left Jim Watkins, he was getting some anchor shifts at News 12 Westchester. Now, he’s popped up on RNN’s FiOS1, seen on Long Island and New Jersey.

No word on when he debuted, but video clips on the station’s Web site show Watkins as of last Friday. One clip indicates a breakout for the veteran anchor, a 6 1/2-minute segment about making Oscar party themed drinks with a mixologist.

Watkins has weathered the professional storm after his bitter conclusion to 13 popular years at WPIX. He was terminated in 2011. You’ll recall the longstanding PIX anchor team of Watkins and Kaity Tong was reshuffled in 2010 when Jodi Applegate was hired.

Tong is a PIX survivor, still anchoring weekends.

Watkins could be positioning himself for another run in New York, specificially at WCBS sister site WLNY, run by former WPIX GM  Betty Ellen Barlamino.

Breaking: Cablevision and Tribune Strike a Deal, WPIX Returns to Air

Cablevision has reached an agreement to resume carrying Tribune stations. That means WPIX/Channel 11 gets its full audience back. PIX lost approximately 3 million Cablevision customers when the issue involving retransmission fees broke down August 16th.

“We are pleased to have reached agreement with Tribune to return its stations to Cablevision, particularly its FOX affiliate in Connecticut, the only source of Fox programming for about 50,000 of our customers.  We sincerely appreciate the patience of our customers as we worked to reach an agreement that is consistent with our focus on minimizing the impact of rising programming costs on cable rates,” Bethpage, New York-based Cablevision said in a statement tonight.

“We thank our viewers for their loyalty and continued support and we’re looking forward to bringing them the top quality local and national programming they expect, including award-winning news, political coverage, traffic, weather, and live sports, including NFL Football and the World Series,” a WPIX spokesperson said.

John Houseman Named WPIX Interim News Director

It’s official. Bill Carey‘s tenure is over as news director at Tribune flagship WPIX. Carey had a three-year “term” running the station’s news department. We’re told Carey cleared out his office during the weekend and is headed to an Internet startup.

FishbowlNY has obtained a terse email that WPIX VP/GM Eric Meyrowitz sent to staffers this morning.

While we conduct our search for Bill Carey’s replacement, John Houseman will be interim News Director. During this time, please see John or me with any questions.

There has been speculation that Tribune honchos, based in Chicago, will ultimately take over the station.

WPIX and Carey were dealt a bad hand in recent months. The fight to grab all-important ratings from WNYW/Channel 5 suffered a setback, thanks in no small part to the Cablevision/Tribune retransmission fees issue. WPIX has been non-existent on the Bethpage, N.Y.-owned cable company since mid-August. Approximately 3 million Channel 11 viewers have been in the dark.

Report: WPIX Sees a Huge Dropoff During Cablevision Shutdown

It’s hardly a surprise to think the stalemate with Cablevision, now more than six weeks old, would cause a loss of viewers for WPIX. How could it not? The station has been blacked out to approximately 3 million Cablevision homes since the retransmission fight started August 17.

One Web site says that translates into a major drop in ratings. MediaPost writes that in a five-week period from August 20 to September 23, Tribune’s flagship saw a 42 percent decline in the 10 p.m. newscast from a year earlier.  The numbers also reveal that viewers left, and not of their known accord, in the pivotal, adult 25 to 54 demographic. PIX saw a whopping 33 percent drop to .6.

A recent Thursday night Giants game on the NFL Network, and over the air on Channel 11, would have appeared to give WPIX the upper hand. But, Cablevision made the NFL Network available to its customers. Adding insult to injury, as we previously reported, the game was shown on Channel 11.

MediaPost says WPIX is losing a lot more than viewers. It is missing out of the seasonal political ad revenue. It points out that WPIX has not received a dollar in political spending this season as listed on the FCC’s Web site.

Most Popular FishbowlNY Stories for the Week

Here’s a look at what FishbowlNY stories made the most buzz this week.

  1. Here is Why It’s Difficult to Defend Tina Brown and Newsweek, September 17
  2. USA Today Says Its Logo is ‘Cool,‘ September 14
  3. The New USA Today is Here, September 14
  4. Quartz to Launch Sept. 24, September 19
  5. Cover Battle: GQ or Complex, September 22
  6. Cablevision Customers Not Blacked Out From Giants Thursday Nighter, September 19

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