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Posts Tagged ‘CNN’

Another Year, Another Staged China Prime Minister Press Conference

NTYSinosphereLogoEvery March in the Great Hall of the People near Tiananmen Square in Beijing, a live-TV press conference with the Prime Minister of China caps an annual conference known as the National People’s Congress. And as New York Times Beijing bureau reporter Andrew Jacobs notes, every year it’s the same bogus drill:

But unbeknownst to many people in China, all the questions had been vetted in advance, with foreign reporters and Foreign Ministry officials having negotiated over what topics were permissible, and then how the acceptable questions would be phrased.

This year CNN, Reuters, CNBC, The Associated Press and the Financial Times were among the outlets permitted to ask questions. Most of those who covered the event agreed it was a lackluster affair, without even a nugget of bona fide news.

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Richard Quest Recalls Dad’s Spot-On Career Advice

CNN’s coverage of the Malaysian airliner disappearance has once again thrust Richard Quest to the fore. Quest divides his time between New York and London, but for a recent interview with youthful Malaysian writer Kenneth Chaw, the location was Kuala Lumpur, where the CNN vet logged the latest episode of monthly series Business Traveller.

Chaw notes that Quest, ever the consummate broadcast journalist, had a key piece of advice for his interviewer right off the bat. Quest also shared this great memory:

Quest’s illustrious career in journalism got its start in law. “I had to have a career if it all went horribly wrong. My late father told me to get a decent job. He always said, ‘If you’re a journalist, you would have the best dinner party stories and the smallest car parked outside.’ And he was right,” said Quest, who read law in the University of Leeds and was called to the Bar.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Buffett Eyes TV | NYT Hires Fashion Critic | WSJ Editor to Facebook

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Berkshire to Buy TV Station From Graham in $1.1 Billion Swap (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reached a deal to acquire a Miami television station and some of the company’s own shares in a $1.1 billion swap for Graham Holdings Co. stock that Warren Buffett held for more than four decades. Deadline New York Buffett’s stake accounted for about 23 percent of the voting shares in Graham as of the last proxy, out early last year. He will receive the ABC affiliate plus an unspecified amount of cash and shares that Graham owns in Berkshire Hathaway. Variety The pact marks a turning point for Berkshire and the Graham Holdings, the publicly held firm that changed its name from the Washington Post Co. after it sold its flagship newspaper to Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos last year. Berkshire had been an investor in Washington Post Co. since the 1970s, with Buffett having served as a board member of the publishing and TV station conglomerate. Poynter / MediaWire Berkshire Hathaway purchased most of Media General’s newspapers in 2012, and it’s added lots of newspapers since. Reuters reported in February that Berkshire Hathaway was in talks with Graham Holdings “to trade the shares it owns in the education and media company for control of a yet-to-be-formed unit of Graham.” Graham Holdings still owns TV stations in Detroit and Houston. NYT / DealBook Buffett has embarked on a late-in-life run as a media mogul of sorts, assembling a prospering portfolio that includes his hometown newspaper, The Omaha World-Herald. The deal will bring Berkshire its first television station, whose call sign refers to Philip L. Graham, Katharine Graham’s husband and her predecessor as the publisher of the Post. Perhaps most notably, however, the deal sharply curtails Buffett’s business ties to the Graham family. TVSpy “Warren Buffett’s 40-year association with our company has been extremely good for our shareholders. Naturally, the deal that we have put together is one that will be good for both companies,” said Donald E. Graham, chairman and CEO of Graham Holdings.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Newsweek Controversy | Mexico Moves on Telco | NJ President Out

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Controversy Marks Newsweek’s Comeback (The Associated Press)
A mystery man. A splashy reveal. A media frenzy. Newsweek staked its return from the dead Friday on a story it knew would get attention. A cover story claiming it had uncovered “the face behind Bitcoin,” the world’s most popular digital currency. Twenty-four hours after identifying Bitcoin’s creator as a 64-year-old former defense contractor employee living in Los Angeles, the controversy over whether or not Newsweek had outed the right man was so furious that Newsweek reporter Leah McGrath Goodman made the rounds on Bloomberg TV and CBS Morning News to defend her reporting against Dorian Nakamoto’s denials that he is the father of Bitcoin. Mashable For the first few hours after the article was published online Thursday, Newsweek enjoyed the kind of attention that most publications would kill for. The Bitcoin story dominated the conversation on social media; 700,000 readers had viewed it as of 5 p.m. ET on Thursday. It went on to top 1 million views. FishbowlNY Within the first few hours of the story’s release, however, Nakamoto emerged to deny any involvement with the digital currency, prompting a media frenzy. In a two-hour interview with the AP Thursday, Nakamoto denied having any involvement in Bitcoin, and the only reason he had ever heard of it was because a Newsweek reporter contacted his son three weeks ago. Nakamoto also said that during a brief interview at his home, McGrath Goodman misunderstood him (English isn’t Nakamoto’s first language). Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The account that created Bitcoin in 2009 has also suggested that the Newsweek story is inaccurate: “I’m not Dorian Nakamoto,” said the account holder, whose online name is Satoshi Nakamoto, according to USA Today. Newsweek In a statement released Friday, Newsweek defended the story: “Goodman’s research was conducted under the same high editorial and ethical standards that have guided Newsweek for more than 80 years. Newsweek stands strongly behind Goodman and her article”

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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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Morning Media Newsfeed: Flipboard Buys Zite | BBC3 to Go Online-Only | Egypt Tries AJ Staff

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CNN Sells Zite to Flipboard (CNNMoney)
CNN has sold its news reader app, Zite, to Flipboard, a social magazine application. As part of the deal, Flipboard has also teamed up with CNN to launch custom magazines for CNN shows anchored by Fareed Zakaria, Jake Tapper and John King. The deal could be valued as high as $60 million over time, taking into account future advertising revenue, said a source familiar with the deal. TVNewser The sale occurred less than three years after CNN acquired Zite for $20 million. CNN and Flipboard’s partnership will allow CNN to expand its mobile reach and take advantage of Flipboard’s technology and mobile sales strategy. Re/code Zite itself will shut down, but CNN says most of its 20 employees will go to work for Flipboard. Zite CEO Mark Johnson will not be joining them. Forbes / Jeff Bercovici The deal merges two apps that let users aggregate news stories from all over into a single magazine-like experience. Of the two, Flipboard has been considerably more successful: It’s currently ranked No. 5 among free iPad news apps in Apple’s App Store, while Zite is No. 39. Flipboard will absorb the machine-learning technology that Zite uses to personalize news feeds for its users. Mashable The move also divests CNN of one of its most high-profile acquisitions while putting it in front of Flipboard’s users, which according to Johnson number more than 100 million.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast Courts FCC | Kasell to Retire From NPR | CNN’s Primetime Test

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Comcast Points to NBCU Deal to Convince Regulators (Financial Times)
Comcast is trumpeting its compliance with conditions attached to its 2009 acquisition of NBCUniversal as a model for how to convince regulators to approve its $45.2 billion bid for rival cable operator Time Warner Cable. Variety Comcast launched another prong in its strategy, announcing a pledge to continue offering basic broadband for $9.95 per month to low-income families indefinitely. Effectively, the cable giant is spinning the expanded low-cost Internet Essentials program as one of the key benefits of the proposed deal for Time Warner Cable — despite the fact that post-deal, Comcast would control nearly one-third of U.S. broadband market. CNET Comcast started the Internet Essentials program as part of a voluntary commitment it made to the Federal Communications Commission in order to get its merger with NBCUniversal approved. Back then, the company promised to keep the program up and running for three years. Adweek The program provides eligible low-income families with $9.95/month Internet service, an option to purchase a computer for under $150 and multiple options for digital literacy training. In two and a half years, Comcast has signed up 1.2 million low-income Americans or 300,000 families. Internet Essentials dovetails nicely with President Obama’s ConnectED program to increase digital literacy and the FCC’s recent plan to invest an additional $2 billion over the next two years to support broadband in schools and libraries. Bloomberg Comcast executive VP David Cohen will hold meetings at the FCC through Wednesday, said two agency officials knowledgeable about the plans. Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, needs approval from the FCC and antitrust officials at the Justice Department for its proposed purchase of New York-based Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 carrier. The Time Warner deal would create “appropriate scale” that enables Comcast to invest in new services, and would create a new national advertiser to increase competition in that market, Cohen said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Oscar Ratings Soar | Gould Leaves NBC News | WaPo Branches to NYC

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Oscars Rise to 43 Million Viewers, Most-Watched in 10 Years (THR / The Live Feed)
ABC’s annual airing of the Oscar telecast dominated Sunday night. Final ratings for the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted show have the Academy Awards more than 2.5 million viewers ahead of last year, even in the key demographic. All told, ABC’s coverage of the Academy Awards averaged 43 million viewers and a 12.9 rating among adults 18-49. That’s a 6 percent boost in viewers and a virtual tie with last year’s adults-under-50 score. DeGeneres brought lifts among younger viewers and men — with ratings among adults 18-34 and men both at their highest since 2007. Variety DeGeneres also helped pushed the Oscars to new heights on Twitter on Sunday night: The total U.S. audience on the social platform was nearly one-third the TV draw, with a 75 percent jump in tweets related to the show over last year. About 13.9 million people saw a total of 1.04 billion tweets about the Oscars, according to Nielsen’s SocialGuide. LostRemote The ceremony also led to more than 25.4 million interactions (status updates, comments and likes) by some 11.1 million Facebook users, and the top social moment was the crowning of 12 Years A Slave as best picture. TVNewser ABC’s related programming also received a boost. Oscars Red Carpet Live, hosted by Good Morning America anchors Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer, was up compared to last year for all three half-hour segments of the show. The final half-hour pulled in 27.6 million viewers. Deadline Hollywood Coming on right after the big show for a ninth year in a row, Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Oscars was up 22 percent in total viewers and 20 percent in the key demo over last year, good for its best ever post-Oscars performance. With past Oscar winner Kevin Spacey among his guests, Kimmel was watched by 6.993 million viewers overall, with 2.423 million in the demo.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Oscar Selfie Sets Record | Charter Eyes TWC Subs | FCC Dumps Media Study

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Ellen’s Oscar Selfie Breaks Twitter Record (Variety)
Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres herded Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Angelina Jolie, Kevin Spacey and others into the most legendary selfie to ever hit the Internet. The sheer number of A-listers packed into the shot apparently caused Twitter to crash, leaving thousands of users locked out. ABC News During the telecast, DeGeneres vowed to set a new record with a photo of her posing with the gaggle of stars sitting in the audience. She had Cooper take the photo, which she captioned, “If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars” WSJ / Speakeasy The tweet then received more than 921,000 retweets in less than 40 minutes. It went on to get more than a million retweets and counting in less than an hour. The previously most retweeted tweet was one sent by the Twitter account @barackobama when the president won re-election. It simply said, “Four more years.” The Daily Beast The epic selfie needed more than 780,063 retweets to eclipse the iconic victory photo tweeted by Barack Obama in November 2012. It got more than that in just about 35 minutes. AllTwitter By 6 a.m. Monday, the tweet had been retweeted more than 2.3 million times and counting. Indeed, activity around the tweet and the Oscars was so heavy that Twitter experienced a 25-minute slowdown and a full shutdown for some users as the selfie quickly broke the record. Bloomberg Businessweek “We crashed and broke Twitter,” DeGeneres said later from the stage. “We made history.” The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which presents the awards, took credit for the outage. “Sorry, our bad,” the Academy said on its Twitter account. Variety Unexpected demand for ABC’s live stream of the Oscars telecast over the Internet resulted in the video going down for users across the U.S., the network said Sunday. The live video through the Watch ABC app was “down nationwide due to a traffic overload/greater than expected,” a network rep said in an email. As of 10:45 p.m. ET, the feeds were back up, according to the rep, declining to provide additional information.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: #FreeAJStaff | AMC’s Earnings Surge | MSNBC Taps Ex-MT Gov.

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Al Jazeera Calls for Global Support of Detained Staff (Al Jazeera America)
Al Jazeera called for a Global Day of Action Thursday to demand the immediate release of four of its journalists who have been locked up in Egypt’s prisons for months. People in more than 30 cities expressed their solidarity and support, with public events taking place in Sydney, Manila, Islamabad, Doha, Amman, Nairobi, Ankara, Berlin, London, Rio, Montreal, Washington and San Francisco. NBC News Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, all journalists from the Qatar-based network, were detained on Dec. 29, 2013, and accused of spreading false news and belonging to a terrorist group. They were scheduled to stand trial on Feb. 21, but the trial was adjourned until March 5. Abdullah Al Shamy was also detained more than six months ago without charge and has been on a hunger strike since Jan. 23. The group had been reporting on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization that took power in the Egypt elections following protests in 2011 but was banned after a violent crackdown. Mashable Al Jazeera staff in newsrooms across the world sent support for the journalists Thursday. The organization encouraged people to include the hashtag #FreeAJStaff in tweets. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media A vigil for the imprisoned journalists was held Thursday afternoon at the Newseum in Washington. Other demonstrations included a plane with a sign flying over Rio de Janeiro with the hashtag. TVNewser Al Jazeera America collected images from demonstrations around the world and posted them to a live blog. Many media outlets around the world have also joined the cause, which has increasingly gained momentum: Last week, an international group of television executives called for the journalists’ release. The protests also gained coverage on other networks: On CBS This Morning Thursday, correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reported from London, where protestors in Trafalgar Square released black balloons into the sky as part of the demonstration.

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