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Posts Tagged ‘CBS Sunday Morning’

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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Morning Media Newsfeed: Shareholders OK DirecTV Sale | FAA Allows Drones for Film

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DirecTV Shareholders Approve $48.5 Billion Sale to AT&T (THR)
At a special meeting in New York on Thursday, DirecTV shareholders gave the company the go-ahead to sell its satellite business to AT&T in a deal valued at $48.5 billion. Reuters The deal, currently under review by U.S. and international regulators, was approved by 99 percent of votes cast, the company said in a statement. The votes cast represent 77 percent of shares outstanding. Bloomberg DirecTV CEO Mike White reiterated Thursday that he expects to reach a deal by the end of the year with the NFL over rights to air the Sunday Ticket package — an important milestone as the AT&T transaction is contingent on that contract being extended. WSJ The deal comes as the communications landscape transforms with people relying more on Internet-connected devices for entertainment and media consumption. Earlier this year, Comcast Corp. agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. The companies agreed to the merger after considering a deal for a few years. It is AT&T’s biggest acquisition since its $85 billion deal to buy BellSouth in 2006. The Hill Along with Comcast’s planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable, the AT&T-DirecTV merger is the second major media deal before federal regulators this year. AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV has raised less opposition than the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, though some critics on the left have raised concerns that it represents a growing consolidation of major media companies. The two media companies have said that their merger is a matter of marketplace necessity.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Journalist Freed in Syria | WaPo Editorials Stop Using ‘Redskins’

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Kidnapped U.S. Journalist Freed in Syria (Al Jazeera)
An American journalist kidnapped nearly two years ago has been freed in Syria following Qatari mediation and handed over to UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights. TVNewser Peter Theo Curtis, an author and freelance journalist from Massachusetts, had been held by Jabhat Al-Nusrah, an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. He was captured shortly after crossing into Syria in October 2012. Mashable Curtis writes under the name Theo Padnos, and had published two books, including Undercover Muslim: A Journey Into Yemen. Curtis was originally based in Boston and Vermont, and later worked as a journalist in Yemen, where he became interested in the stories of young Muslim men moving to the U.S. to study Islam. WSJ His family said while it didn’t know the exact terms of their son’s release, they were assured by Qatari officials “that they were mediating for Theo’s release on a humanitarian basis,” without paying ransom. Mediaite Video of Curtis was disseminated in late June, showing the journalist disheveled but otherwise in good health. Curtis’ release comes just days after ISIS posted video showing the execution of captured American journalist James Foley.

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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: Amazon Adds McGrath to Board | Gifford Pens Today Musical

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Amazon Adds Former MTV CEO Judy McGrath to Board (Re/code)
As Amazon continues its push into becoming a big creator of online TV shows, it’s adding some serious media expertise to its board. The company said on Friday that it had elected longtime former MTV CEO Judy McGrath to its board of directors, effective Oct. 1. Deadline Hollywood As an incentive to stay, she received rights to 2,520 shares convertible at a rate of 840 a year over three years beginning August 2015. Variety Since June 2013, McGrath has been president of Astronauts Wanted: No Experience Necessary, a digital-content joint venture between McGrath and Sony Music Entertainment. She had run Viacom’s MTV Networks from July 2004 until May 2011, and had been part of the startup team that launched the music cabler in 1981. THR McGrath was also appointed to the Leadership Development And Compensation Committee at Amazon, according to a Friday SEC filing. On Friday, Amazon’s shares were trading at $308 each. Amazon launched a streaming music service called Prime Music earlier this year, and it said a week ago it will be spending $100 million on original content this quarter to beef up its Prime Instant Video Service, which competes with Netflix, Hulu and other streaming video services. Forbes The appointment makes McGrath the third woman out of 10 current directors to sit alongside CEO and chairman Jeff Bezos, joining Patricia Stonesifer, CEO of non-profit Martha’s Table, and Jamie Gorelick, former deputy U.S. Attorney General.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Coulson Gets 18 Months | SiriusXM Fires Opie & Anthony‘s Cumia

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Andy Coulson Gets 18 Months in Tabloid Phone Hacking (NYT)
Andy Coulson, a former senior editor in Rupert Murdoch’s news empire and a onetime adviser to Prime Minister David Cameron, was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison for his part in the phone hacking scandal that convulsed Britain’s press, police and political elite and inspired calls for tighter regulation of journalists. HuffPost / AP Coulson was convicted June 24 after an eight-month trial triggered by a tabloid-wrongdoing scandal that led Murdoch to shut down the News of The World in 2011. Another former editor, Rebekah Brooks, and four others were acquitted. The Guardian The offense carries a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment, but Coulson received a discount of several months for his previous good character. He could be out in less than nine months because, as a non-violent offender, he is required to serve just half his sentence. THR Three other former News of the World staffers and one private investigator who hacked phones for the paper also pleaded guilty to hacking and also received their sentences Friday. They are former news desk editors Greg Miskiw, James Weatherup and Neville Thurlbeck, as well as Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator who was used for hacking. Miskiw and Thurlbeck were sentenced to six months each, Weatherup got a suspended sentence of four months, and Mulcaire was given a suspended sentence of six months. Variety Coulson faces a retrial along with former royals editor Clive Goodman on separate charges that they made illegal payments to police officers to obtain royal phone directories. Over a period of more than a decade, journalists at the now-shuttered Sunday paper listened in on thousands of voicemails belonging to celebrities, politicians and crime victims.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: WaPo Finds New HQ | Journo Killed in Ukraine | FCC Plan Advances

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Washington Post Publisher Announces Newsroom Move to One Franklin Square (FishbowlDC)
Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth announced in a memo to staff the paper’s relocation to One Franklin Square. HuffPost One Franklin Square is located in downtown Washington, D.C. Weymouth said that the move is set for 2016 and the new location is expected to be “a more efficient and collaborative space.” Poynter / MediaWire The new digs are about three blocks from the news organization’s current location. The Washington Post / Digger The selection of the building followed a real estate hunt that began in February of last year before Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, acquired the newspaper in October. Washington Business Journal / Breaking Ground The Post signed a long-term lease with Hines Interests LP for the space in the West Tower of 1301 K Street NW. The Post has been working on a deal with Hines for some time now.

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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: AP Journalists Shot | Schultz’s Legal Woes | Blade Sues U.S. Gov’t

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AP Photographer Killed, Reporter Wounded in Afghanistan (The Associated Press)
An Afghan police commander opened fire Friday on two Associated Press journalists, killing Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Anja Niedringhaus and wounding veteran correspondent Kathy Gannon — the first known case of a security insider attacking journalists in Afghanistan. FishbowlNY Niedringhaus and Gannon were covering the nation’s election when a policeman opened fire on their vehicle. Niedringhaus was killed instantly and Gannon was shot twice and later underwent surgery. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Niedringhaus and Gannon were traveling in a convoy of election workers delivering ballots from the center of Khost city to the outskirts, in Tani district, protected by the Afghan National Army and Afghan police. As they were sitting in the car waiting for the convoy to move, a unit commander named Naqibullah walked up to the car, yelled “Allahu Akbar” — God is Great — and opened fire on them in the back seat with his AK-47. He then surrendered to the other police and was arrested. BBC News The attack came as Afghanistan intensified security ahead of presidential elections on Saturday, in response to threats of violence by the Taliban. The new president will succeed Hamid Karzai, who has been in power since the 2001 fall of the Taliban but is constitutionally barred from seeking a third consecutive term. The run-up to this historic election had already been the bloodiest, and fears of electoral fraud are pronounced. NYT Niedringhaus, a German citizen who was based in Geneva, first came to Afghanistan after joining the AP in 2002, and she quickly formed a partnership with Gannon. They were among a band of female photographers and correspondents who persevered through many years of conflict in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan. In the process, they helped redefine traditional notions of war reporting. Even as they covered the battlefield, they also focused attention on the human impact of conflicts known for their random, unpredictable violence against civilians.

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Buffalo Reacts to Mo Rocca’s Millard Fillmore Piece

Two weeks ago on Super Bowl Sunday, CBS Sunday Morning‘s Mo Rocca celebrated the 50th anniversary of the chicken wing from the delicacy’s culinary birthplace – Buffalo. This morning, the roving correspondent was back in the area for a Presidents Day weekend look at 13th POTUS Millard Fillmore (1850-55).

There’s no doubt the Fillmore piece is the better of the two. It may also, under the test of its own time and buttressed by the greater gravitas of the subject matter, stand as one of Rocca’s most artfully realized video essays.

On Twitter, Broadway press agent Joe Perrotta and a couple of Fillmore home region-connected folks were quick to voice their concerns about the impact on Buffalo’s PR image of Rocca’s look at the questionable legacy of this largely forgotten Commander-in-Chief:

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