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Posts Tagged ‘CBS’

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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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: Baquet Changes NYT Masthead | Comcast Responds to Merger Critics

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Big Changes to NYT Masthead (FishbowlNY)
Dean Baquet, the New York Times’ executive editor, has officially revamped the paper’s masthead. Gone is the “managing editor” title; it’s being replaced by four “deputy executive editors,” who “have already proven they can run stories that take on big institutions, who have covered a world of war and proven they can lead with humanity.” NYT They are Susan Chira, Janet Elder, Matthew Purdy and Ian Fisher. A fifth editor, Tom Bodkin, will be given the title of creative director, a position equal to the four deputy executive editors. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Through these changes Baquet hopes to make the relationship between the Times’ digital and print sides more fluid. “I anticipate people moving on and off the masthead as our needs evolve,” he wrote in a memo to staff Wednesday, “and it is important that these moves not be seen as measures of who is up and who is down, but rather as appointments aimed at keeping our journalism and our entire operation as vibrant as possible.” Capital New York The appointments reflect a push for better coordination and cooperation between departments as the Times works on pushing out its journalism to digital readers more effectively. Other recent appointments along these lines include Arthur Gregg Sulzberger as senior editor for strategy, Alex MacCallum as assistant managing editor for audience development and Sam Dolnick as senior editor for mobile. HuffPost Wednesday’s masthead changes are the biggest since Baquet took the reins, but there have been several other moves internally in recent months. Baquet announced the addition of several deputy-level editors in the newsroom in July.

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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: 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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Morning Media Newsfeed: Sky Deutschland Slows Takeover | Vidra Named CEO of TNR

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Sky Deutschland: BSkyB Takeover Offer Too Low (THR)
BSkyB’s plans to build a European pay-TV empire hit some opposition on Wednesday. The supervisory and executive boards of 21st Century Fox-controlled German pay TV operator Sky Deutschland advised minority investors not to accept a multi-billion dollar takeover offer from BSkyB. NYT / DealBook The move comes after BSkyB, which is 39 percent owned by 21st Century Fox, agreed in July to acquire the 57 percent of Sky Deutschland that is owned by 21st Century Fox, for £2.9 billion, or $4.7 billion. As part of the deal, BSkyB, one of Europe’s largest pay-television providers, also offered to buy the shares of Sky Deutschland’s minority shareholders for €6.75, or $8.75, each, a small premium on the company’s current share price. Reuters But with only a small premium on the table, analysts have doubted that many will sell. Sky Deutschland would thus retain its stock market listing and BSkyB has not indicated any desire to squeeze out minority shareholders above and beyond the offer which it has set out. Management of the German company, advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, on Wednesday argued the offer fell short of its true value. WSJ On issuing its recommendation to minority holders on Wednesday, Sky Deutschland said its chief executive Brian Sullivan, the only executive board member holding shares, wouldn’t participate in the offer, which runs until Oct. 15. Two supervisory board members holding shares also don’t intend to accept the offer, the company said in a statement. Financial Times BSkyB has argued that it can implement its vision for Sky Europe, regardless of how many minorities tender their shares. Buying all minorities’ shares — 43 percent of the company — would cost the U.K. operator £2.1 billion, further increasing its leverage. The company raised £3.25 billion this month to help finance the acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s stakes in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. BSkyB said it welcomed Sky Deutschland’s “supportive comments on the strategic rationale for the transaction.” BSkyB shareholders are due to vote on the European deal on Oct. 6.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Dish, Scripps Make Online TV Deal | Sponsors Back Away from NFL

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Dish Gets Scripps Networks Rights for Online Video Service (THR)
Pay TV company Dish Network and Scripps Networks Interactive on Tuesday announced a multi-year carriage renewal for the latter’s lifestyle cable TV networks. Deadline Hollywood HGTV, Food Network and Great American Country are among the Scripps Networks Interactive channels that will be part of the package that Dish Network is assembling for its planned broadband video service that will target young viewers who want a low-cost alternative to the full pay TV bundle that many consider to be too expensive. Re/code The service is supposed to launch this year. Like pacts Dish has previously made with Disney and A&E, the agreement is part of a larger distribution deal for the satellite TV company. Last week, Sony announced that it had made progress on its own Web TV plans by signing up Viacom. Variety In addition to the over-the-top streaming rights, the pact expands Dish’s distribution of authenticated live and VOD programming on Internet-connected devices and widens distribution of DIY and Cooking Channel to Dish’s America’s Top 200 satellite TV package. The OTT rights under the deal with Scripps Networks let Dish deliver multiple streams per household. “This first-of-its-kind OTT deal for Scripps Networks Interactive enables us to reach even more people through Dish’s innovative services,” said Ken Lowe, Scripps Networks Interactive president and CEO. New York Post Dish chairman Charlie Ergen was on the East Coast last week wooing programmers to the new platform, sources said. Dish is one of the first companies to risk cannibalizing its existing pay-TV product to be a first mover in burgeoning Internet-based TV space.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Digital First Mulls Sale | DirecTV to Launch Online Services

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Digital First Media, Second Biggest U.S. Newspaper Publisher, to Consider Sale (HuffPost / AP)
Newspaper company Digital First Media said Friday that it is exploring strategic options, which could include a sale of the company or parts of it. New York Post Chief executive John Paton said the publisher of the Denver Post, the Los Angeles Daily News, The New Haven Register and 73 other daily and Sunday papers is profitable and generates $1.2 billion of revenue. NYT Digital First has long suffered from the headwinds facing newspapers. One former division, The Journal Register Company, which includes papers like The New Haven Register and The Trentonian, filed for bankruptcy twice in the last five years. In April, the company announced that it was shutting down Project Thunderdome, a centralized newsroom that aimed to provide articles from around the nation and the world to the company’s 75 newsrooms. That closing resulted in layoffs for more than 50 people in the Project Thunderdome newsroom. Denver Post Digital First Media was formed in December 2013 with the merger of Denver-based MediaNews Group and the former Journal Register Co. It is the nation’s second-largest newspaper company, based on circulation, operating in 15 states, with 800 multi-platform news and information products, including 76 daily and Sunday newspapers and 160 weeklies. The company said it serves 75 million customers monthly. Poynter / MediaWire Ken Doctor reported in April that Digital First planned to sell its newspapers at the same time it shuttered Project Thunderdome. The company won’t set a deadline for the sale or report any developments “until the Board has determined whether it will proceed with one or several transaction(s), or otherwise concludes its review,” a news release said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: CNN Hires Carney | Sony, Viacom Reach Cloud-Based TV Deal

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Jay Carney to Join CNN as Political Commentator (FishbowlDC)
Former White House press secretary Jay Carney has joined CNN as a political commentator Washington bureau chief Sam Feist announced Wednesday. His first assignment was on the network’s coverage pertaining to President Barack Obama’s remarks on ISIS. TVNewser “I’m thrilled to be joining CNN at a time when there is so much happening in the nation and the world,” said Carney. “Jay’s unique experience as both a journalist and a White House press secretary make him an invaluable voice for the network as we cover the final two years of the Obama Administration and look ahead to the coming campaigns,” said Feist. THR / The Live Feed Carney, who served as Time magazine’s Washington bureau chief before departing to the White House, resigned from his administration role on May 30. Within days, speculation swirled about which media role he would pursue — a book and a cable news job were both mentioned. On June 18, less than a month after leaving the White House, The Washington Post reported that CNN already had made “a fine offer” to Carney for a network role. Mediaite Carney’s new employer hardly comes as a surprise, as many expected him to join one of the three major cable networks after he stepped down from the podium in June — though his name was also bandied about for a position at Apple or a startup. Politico Carney said when he left the White House in May that he’d maintain a public presence in the media. He also signed with the Washington Speakers Bureau. Carney joins a long line of former White House press secretaries making the jump to cable: Robert Gibbs joined CNBC after leaving the White House, Dana Perino is currently a host on Fox News, and George Stephanopoulos is now an ABC News anchor.

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