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Posts Tagged ‘CBS News’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast, TWC Face Senate | Pauley to CBS | CNN’s Digital Video Push

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Senate Panel Expresses Caution on Merger of Cable Giants (NYT)
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed concern on Wednesday that the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would raise the prices consumers pay for cable television and high-speed Internet service while leaving them with fewer choices for video programming. But the senators generally failed to rattle Comcast and Time Warner executives or cause them to diverge from their basic defense of the merger: that it will not affect competition because the two companies do not compete anywhere. Only one senator, Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, said during the three-hour hearing that he wanted the merger blocked. CNNMoney Comcast and Time Warner Cable said that the merger will lead to improvements in services for customers, creating scale and cost savings that will drive new investments. Several Republican senators, most notably Orin Hatch of Utah, seemed to agree. Although the combined company would have a presence in 19 of the top 20 U.S. markets, Comcast executive vice president David Cohen noted that Comcast and Time Warner Cable don’t compete in any of those cities. He argued that customer choices therefore won’t be affected. The Washington Post / The Switch “There’s no doubt that Comcast is a huge, influential company with more than 100 lobbyists” hired to persuade regulators and lawmakers to approve the deal, said Franken. “But I’ve also heard from over 100,000 consumers who oppose the deal.” Cohen said at the hearing that he couldn’t promise to reduce prices on their services. The rise of cable bills at three times the rate of inflation is among the many concerns consumers have about the proposal that would merge the top two cable firms and the biggest and third-biggest broadband providers. Adweek It’s not that the Senators didn’t have “concerns.” The stats that will define the combined company’s unmatched size — 19 of the top 20 markets, 23 of the top 25, and 37 of the top 50 — give lawmakers pause. They even struggled to understand whether or not the combined company would dominate advertising sales. But they stopped short of opposing the merger, calling on the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice “to consider carefully the impact on consumers as they review the pending merger,” said judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy. WSJ / MoneyBeat The hearing came a day after Comcast submitted a 180-page document justifying its purchase of Time Warner Cable. The filing walked through the various parts of the media industry that could be affected by the deal, including online video, television programming and broadband Internet access, as well as local ad sales in the cable market. If the deal wins approval, Comcast would have 30 percent of the nation’s pay-TV subscribers and nearly 40 percent of U.S. broadband subscribers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Fox’s 49th Quarter Win | 60 Minutes Owns Up | RIP, @ColbertReport

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2014 Ratings: Fox News No. 1 for 49th Consecutive Quarter (TVNewser)
Fox News finishes its 49th consecutive quarter and 147th consecutive month as the top-rated cable news network, besting the competition in both total day and primetime during the first quarter of 2014. In addition to delivering cable news’ top 14 programs in total viewers and top seven programs in the adults 25-54 demographic, Fox News was the only cable news network to grow compared to the year-ago quarter. Despite a strong March for CNN, MSNBC held on to the second-place spot among the cable news networks in both total day and primetime. HuffPost The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 was one of the biggest stories of the month, and CNN — whose obsessive coverage of the plane has brought it both ratings victories and repeated criticism — reaped the rewards in March. The network beat MSNBC in weekday primetime in the demo at the end of the quarter, averaging 240,000 viewers in the 25-54 category to MSNBC’s 201,000. Those numbers represent a 71 percent increase in the demo compared to March 2013. Variety The numbers come as MSNBC pushed hard during the period to cover the “Bridgegate” scandal surrounding New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and they raise the question of whether CNN will be able to sustain its March momentum when and if the MH 370 story loses the interest of news audiences.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Attkisson Resigns | John Cook to First Look | ESPN Launches Exit 31

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Sharyl Attkisson Resigns From CBS News (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has reached an agreement to resign from CBS News ahead of contract, bringing an end to months of hard-fought negotiations, sources said. Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsized influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Rumors of Attkisson’s stormy relations with her superiors at CBS News have made the rounds for months. In conversations from last year, CBS News sources said that Attkisson was frustrated that more of her reporting on Benghazi and other investigative pieces didn’t make The CBS Evening News with greater frequency. HuffPost The Emmy-winning reporter also made headlines in 2013 after CBS News confirmed that her computers had been hacked. Attkisson had suggested that “there could be some relationship” between the suspicious activity and the government’s probes into the Associated Press and Fox News’ James Rosen. The Department of Justice denied that possibility, and the network also addressed it in a statement in August, saying, “To be clear, the federal government has not been accused in the intrusion of Attkisson’s computer; CBS News is continuing to work to identify the responsible party.” The Washington Times Attkisson began negotiating with CBS News president David Rhodes as early as last April about getting out of her contract. She announced her resignation to her 41,000 Twitter followers Monday with the simple message: “I have resigned from CBS.” TVNewser Attkisson, a Washington-based investigative correspondent, called her time at CBS News “one of life’s great privileges” and said she is “grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Disney Cuts 700 | FCC vs Shared Stations | Tribune Names CEO

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Disney Interactive Lays Off Roughly 700 (THR)
The Walt Disney Company has laid off approximately 700 employees at Disney Interactive, a company spokesperson confirmed. Prior to the layoffs, roughly 2,800 employees worked at the division, representing a cut of approximately 26 percent of its total workforce. Variety Cuts were expected, but not on this scale. They were anticipated to mostly affect Disney’s Playdom group, which produces games for social media platforms. A Disney rep said the layoffs will occur across the board in the business unit. Re/code Last month, Disney Interactive reported its second consecutive quarter of profitability after a long string of losses, credited to the success of Disney’s console game Disney Infinity. However, in tandem with the layoffs, the company will cease in-house console game development beyond supporting Infinity and publishing the as-yet-unreleased game Fantasia: Music Evolved, developed by Harmonix. New Disney games will instead be licensed out and developed by other studios. NYT Disney Interactive makes up a tiny piece of the Disney empire. The entertainment conglomerate as a whole had $1.84 billion in profit and $12.31 billion in revenue in its most recent quarter; Disney Interactive had operating income of $55 million on revenue of $403 million, according to financial filings. Reuters Disney’s games and online division has for years been a persistent money loser and a small but significant drag on a corporate empire that spans movie-making and television to cable network ESPN, theme parks and cruise lines. Last year, Disney Interactive lost $87 million as revenues rose 26 percent from 2012; the division has lost a total in recent years of more than $1 billion.

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Adweek Hires First Social Editor

DavidGrinerTwitterProfilePicWe’ve got several Adweek staffing changes to pass on. First and foremost, longtime contributor David Griner (pictured) is being brought on full-time to be the publication’s first-ever social editor. As such, he will oversee all of Adweek‘s “extensions and activations” starting March 10 and work closely with creative editor Tim Nudd.

There are also a couple of new staff writers in the mix. Kristina Monllos is coming over from Money Management Intelligence, where she was a senior reporter, to cover creative advertising agencies. And Michelle Castillo, formerly with CBSnews.com, will report on digital media and publishing as well as Web video.

Finally, staff writer Christopher Heine has been promoted to the position of digital editor, replacing Mike Shields.

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Sun Sets on False, Widely Disseminated Beijing News Story

JamesNyeTwitterProfilePicNew York-based Quartz reporter Gwynn Guilford shared a brief but salient summary of an inane international news story trail about folks in smog-shrouded Beijing reportedly being forced to make do with a daily, digital sunrise. The erroneous reportage started via Manhattan-based Daily Mail writer James Nye (pictured) and mutated to outlets including Time, cbsnews.com and The Huffington Post. Let’s start with the Time article corrections, posted January 17 and somehow, 9:20 p.m. ET later today:

Correction: The original post did not mention that the large screens in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square broadcast panoramic scenes on a daily basis, regardless of atmospheric conditions, nor did it state that the sunrise was part of a tourism commercial.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Miller Out at CBS News | People‘s Premium Paper | ESPN’s Payout

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John Miller Announces He’s Leaving CBS News (TVNewser)
CBS News correspondent John Miller is leaving the network and joining the NYPD as a new commissioner re-joins the force. ”I never stay anywhere too long,” Miller said on WCBS’ newscast. “John, congratulations. Our loss is the city’s gain,” said anchor Dick Brennan. Capital New York For CBS News, the loss of Miller hits hard, with staffers calling it “devastating,” and “a huge loss.” NYT After a career spent toggling between television and law enforcement, Miller will be rejoining an old friend and boss, William J. Bratton, the incoming police commissioner. Miller’s close relationship with government agencies has troubled some media watchers, who criticized Miller’s recent 60 Minutes special report on the National Security Agency for its seemingly cozy treatment of controversial spying programs. HuffPost Meanwhile, CBS News praised Miller and his career at the network. “John Miller is a remarkable journalist with deep insight into law enforcement,” the network said in a statement on Thursday. CNN David Rhodes, the president of the network news division, said Miller’s decision was “a loss for CBS.” “There’s nobody like him, and I think people around the television industry would agree with that,” Rhodes said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Logan Back at 60 Minutes | Judge Questions NSA | USA Today Expands

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Lara Logan to Return to 60 Minutes (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Lara Logan and Max McClellan, the 60 Minutes journalists who were put on a leave of absence following their now-retracted report on Benghazi, are set to return to the program early next year, Politico has learned. Logan and her producer, who had unfinished projects in the works when they left in November, have started booking camera crews for news packages, network sources said. Their return could come as early as next month. TVNewser CBS News chairman and executive producer of 60 Minutes Jeff Fager held a meeting with show staffers on Dec. 5, according to Politico, where he answered questions about the botched report and indicated he didn’t know how long Logan and her producer would be off-air. 60 Minutes spokesperson Kevin Tedesco tells TVNewser: “Lara Logan’s return has not been scheduled. Beyond that, we do not comment on speculation.” Mediaite This news came on a day when the long-running newsmagazine faces another round of flak for a piece on the NSA widely panned as uncritical. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media CBS’s 60 Minutes has had a terrible year: Logan’s now-retracted Benghazi report was the sort of black mark that will take the newsmagazine years to live down.

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Two Reporters Bound by Fleeting Oswald Memories

MauriceCarrollBookCoverThe first journalist is Maurice C. Caroll. As Capital New York’s Jimmy Vielkind recounts, on November 22, 1963 he was in Dallas for the New York Herald-Tribune:

When Oswald was shot, editors asked Carroll to write a first-person piece recounting his on-the-scene experience. Later, Carroll recalled, they realized they had forgotten to assign another writer to draft a main article. The result was a front-page report with Carroll’s byline that starts as hard news (cleanly written through by colleague Larry Shapiro, Carroll recalled) and then turns to Carroll’s personal observations.

“The prisoner, hands cuffed in front of him, was led into the cavernous garage under the station. Seconds before the shot, I shouted, ‘How about it, Lee?’

Those were very likely the last clear words Oswald heard before being shot, moments later, by Jack Ruby. The other journalist on this sad anniversary date is Pierce Allman. His encounter happened a little earlier.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Vox Buys Curbed | 60 Minutes Apologizes | Onion Ends Print Edition

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Vox Media Buying Curbed.com Network of Sites (NYT)
Vox Media, a company with three strong digital brands, including the technology site The Verge, is adding to its portfolio. The company plans to announce on Monday that it is buying Curbed.com L.L.C., which runs three Web publications that deliver in-depth neighborhood coverage, with attitude, of real estate, dining and retailing. Fortune Fortune has learned that ambitious digital media startup Vox Media will acquire Curbed Network, a saucy trio of urban lifestyle and entertainment blogs, for a mix of cash and stock valued between $20-30 million. Though Curbed has just 5 million monthly unique visitors, the deal will help Vox Media grow its business in new categories, including home, food and style. Business Insider When asked why he’s interested in a local play like Curbed, which is published in 32 cities, Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff replied, “It’s not a local play. These are huge mainstream consumer categories: Food/dining, home/real estate, style/retail are among the most popular cable networks and TV shows, magazines… yet who really owns the categories from a digital media perspective, especially among rich young adults online?”

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