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Posts Tagged ‘Comcast’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Gore Sues Al Jazeera | MTP Pays Tribute to Gregory

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Al Gore Sues Al Jazeera Over $500 Million Current TV Deal (Bloomberg)
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has sued Al Jazeera, claiming the satellite news provider owned by the Qatari royal family owes him and a partner $65 million from a deal to buy his network, Current TV. TVNewser “Our outside counsel is reviewing the complaint,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson said. “We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America. We may have further comment once they’ve fully reviewed everything.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Gore and business partner Joel Hyatt, the co-founders of Current Media, say that Al Jazeera has unlawfully refused to turn over tens of millions of dollars currently located in an escrow account. That money is owed to Current Media shareholders per the terms of the $500-million merger agreement made in January 2013, the plaintiffs say. New York Post Gore, 66, was set to personally pocket an estimated $100 million on the sale of his 20 percent stake in the network, which he helped found in 2004. Mediaite In a statement, Gore’s lawyer said, “Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago. We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.” It should be noted that last year, Gore himself was sued for the sale of Current TV.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NewsHour Names Just EP | Discovery, Sony Make Gains

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PBS NewsHour Names ABC’s Sara Just Executive Producer (FishbowlDC)
PBS NewsHour announced Thursday that 25-plus year ABC News-er Sara Just has been tapped to serve as the program’s executive producer and SVP of NewsHour Productions LLC. Variety Just will oversee the daily operations of the nightly news program, co-anchored by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. Deadline Hollywood Just, who has been ABC News’ deputy Washington Bureau chief since April, will join NewsHour on Sept. 2, succeeding Linda Winslow, who is retiring. Just’s hire comes on the heels of WETA taking over NewsHour from MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, the company named after former anchors Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, on July 1. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Before becoming deputy Washington bureau chief at ABC, Just was senior Washington producer for Good Morning America and had spent 17 years at Ted Koppel’s Nightline. ABC News president James Goldston said in a memo to staff Just was integral to the innovation of their digital political coverage. NYT NewsHour has struggled in recent years to raise enough funds to meet its annual budget of $25 million to $30 million, although WETA officials said at the time of the ownership transfer they were confident they could find the money. With money tight, the program has not been able to do as much field reporting as some critics would like. Just said that she would better understand the program’s budget challenges once she started, but added “I think reporting from the field is essential,” when paired with insightful analysis.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Murray Named Fortune Editor | Gunshots Fired at AJ Bureau

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Alan Murray Named Editor of Fortune (FishbowlNY)
Alan Murray has been named the new editor of Fortune. He will be just the 17th editor of the glossy, which was founded in 1930 by the legendary Henry Luce. TVNewser Murray joins the Time Inc. publication following a short stint as president of the Pew Research Center. Murray was CNBC’s Washington bureau chief from 2002 to 2005, where he co-hosted Capital Report With Alan Murray And Gloria Borger. Borger is now with CNN. FishbowlDC Murray joined Pew as president in November 2012. In addition to WSJ bureau chief, he served as deputy managing editor and executive editor of online for the Wall Street Journal. Capital New York Murray replaces longtime Fortune editor Andy Serwer, who is leaving Time Inc. after 29 years. Serwer spent eight years running Fortune, which is one of the company’s most prominent brands along with Time, Sports Illustrated, People and Entertainment Weekly. HuffPost Murray will remain at Pew until Aug. 1. He said that Jim McMillan, general counsel and corporate secretary at the Pew Charitable Trusts, will then take over as “acting president” while the company searches for a new leader.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: O’Donnell’s Return Official | Emmy Noms Favor CNN, Social TV

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rosie o'donnell the view

Rosie O’Donnell Officially Returning to The View (TVNewser)
Rosie O’Donnell is returning to The View as a co-host in the fall, ABC confirmed via Twitter Thursday. Variety O’Donnell will join moderator Whoopi Goldberg. ABC execs are in the midst of a extensive search for new producers to take the reins of The View as the show prepares to replace panelists Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy, who recently exited the daytime program. THR / The Live Feed O’Donnell, who was a panelist on The View for the 2007-2008 season, left after just one year. O’Donnell had a notably stormy tenure on the show, often fighting with conservative panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who suggested on Fox News on Wednesday that O’Donnell had been plotting her return to the show for “a very, very long time.” HuffPost TMZ reported Tuesday that the former co-host would be returning, claiming that O’Donnell had been in “active talks” with the show. This will be ABC’s first move to put back the pieces after the major overhaul that left Whoopi Goldberg as the show’s only remaining co-host. In June, Shepherd and McCarthy announced that they would be leaving, and ABC implied in a statement that their departures were not voluntary. Barbara Walters, the show’s creator, retired in May and Joy Behar and Hasselbeck both exited the show in 2013. NYT O’Donnell’s name immediately arose as most likely to be the first-named replacement. Her outspoken and often politically oriented commentary helped spark a surge in the show’s ratings. A committed liberal with strong views on numerous topics, she also got into some widely publicized feuds, with Donald Trump and others.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Aereo Plans Survival | Dish Makes Anti-Merger Case to FCC

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Aereo Signals Path to Survival if Classified as Cable System (WSJ)
Aereo Inc., the online video company that was widely expected to go out of business after losing a high-stakes Supreme Court case in June, signaled Wednesday that it sees a path to survival if it is classified in legal terms as a cable system. Mashable Aereo lost its case before the U.S. Supreme Court because a majority of the justices said its resemblance to a cable company meant it had violated copyright laws. Re/code The video streaming company told a U.S. district court in New York Wednesday it now thinks it’s entitled to be licensed as a cable system because of the Supreme Court’s decision. That would allow the company to stay alive although it would have to pay licensing fees in addition to costs to restart its stalled business. Aereo allowed consumers to watch local TV channels over the Internet for a monthly fee of up to $12 until shutting down its service a few weeks ago after the Supreme Court sided with broadcasters. Capital New York The broadcasters responded with their own argument, calling Aereo’s decision “astonishing.” “Whatever Aereo may say about its rationale for raising it now, it is astonishing for Aereo to contend the Supreme Court’s decision automatically transformed Aereo into a ‘cable system’ under Section 111 given its prior statements to this Court and the Supreme Court,” lawyers for the broadcasters wrote. Deadline Hollywood At issue is whether the District Court will lift a stay that allowed Aereo to remain in business while the case made its way to the Supreme Court. Broadcasters want it lifted so they can collect damages from Aereo’s infringement of their copyrights — a two-year period during which they say they “suffered irreparable harm.” Aereo faces additional hurdles even if the District Court agrees with its view. The FCC also might have to agree to define Aereo as a cable operator for it to qualify for the compulsory license — and it would have to be granted by the U.S. Copyright Office.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Google Buys Songza | MSNBC Holds Second Place

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Google in Deal for Songza, A Music Playlist Service (NYT)
In a sign of growing consolidation in the digital music business, Google announced on Tuesday that it had bought Songza, a three-year-old app that competes with Pandora and others in making customized playlists of recommended songs. Re/code The New York Post reported in June that the deal could be worth $15 million. Unlike some acquired startups, Songza won’t be shutting down. Its team will be joining Google in New York and helping with contextual recommendation features for Google Play and possibly YouTube down the line. GigaOM Songza offers custom curated playlists based on categories like genre, mood, decade and activity (“Drinking at A Dive Bar,” “’60s International,” etc.) and offers song suggestions based on the time of day and week. The service is free and songs aren’t interrupted by ads. THR The acquisition comes on the heels of Apple’s deal to purchase Beats Electronics and its streaming music service for $3 billion. Amazon also has jumped into the music streaming market with the launch of the Prime Music service, which comes as part of its $99 annual Prime subscription. The move appears to be part of Google’s plans to compete in this increasingly crowded music-streaming space, which is already dominated by Spotify. Variety Google said it plans to use Songza to make its Play Music service more attractive. The Songza purchase also comes as marketers are spending more on online and mobile radio services in the U.S. Ad sales generated $1.65 billion in the U.S. last year, a gain of 26.3 percent, according to digital research group eMarketer. That’s expected to increase another 23 percent to $2 billion this year.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Dean Baquet Treated for Cancer | Julianna Goldman to CBS

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New York Times Editor Treated for Cancer (NYT)
Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, had a malignant tumor removed from his kidney on Saturday and will spend about a week away from the office while recovering, he said in an email to the newspaper’s staff on Monday morning. FishbowlNY In the memo to Times staffers, Baquet sounded upbeat about the situation. He described the surgery as “minimally invasive” and “completely successful.” “My doctors have given me an excellent prognosis,” added Baquet. New York Post The tumor was discovered by doctors on June 12, Baquet said in the email — and the decision was made that the situation needed “immediate attention.” HuffPost Baquet assured his newsroom that he would be back “as soon as possible.” “I know this comes as we are all trying to move forward in the newsroom,” he wrote. He told the newsroom in his email that he would be keeping “in touch”with the paper’s leaders while he stayed at home to recover. Capital New York The news of Baquet’s illness comes promptly after a period of upheaval at the paper. Baquet, 57, took the top editorial position on the Times masthead only last month, after the surprise dismissal of Jill Abramson. As managing editor, Baquet had been Abramson’s second in command. He has yet to appoint his own.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Casey Kasem Dies at 82 | FCC to Investigate Netflix Dispute

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Casey Kasem, Wholesome Voice of Pop Radio, Dies at 82 (NYT)
Casey Kasem, a disc jockey who never claimed to love rock ’n’ roll but who built a long and lucrative career from it, creating and hosting one of radio’s most popular syndicated pop music shows, American Top 40, died on Sunday in a hospital in Gig Harbor, Wash. He was 82. Mashable Kasem had Parkinson’s disease and dementia. His children took him off life support in a Washington hospice this week. HuffPost Kasem will be remembered as the “the king of countdowns.” He was best known for his work on American Top 40, which he hosted from 1970 to 1988, and again from 1998 until 2004, when he passed the job on to Ryan Seacrest. Kasem was also a talented voice-over artist, most famously voicing Scooby-Doo’s pal, Shaggy. THR Kasem said he wanted to be the “voice of the guy next door,” and his style was to accent the positive, considering each one of the hits a major accomplishment for each act involved. He never focused on the negative, such as a big drop-off for a particular song, and remained family-friendly. His shows also tugged at the heartstrings with such elements as “Long Distance Dedications.” Variety Kemal Amin Kasem was born in Detroit to parents who were Lebanese Druze immigrants. He graduated from Wayne State University. Kasem got his start in radio during the Korean War, working for Armed Forces Radio. Kasem was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1992.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: WH Probes CIA Press Leak | Katz, Lenfest Win Inquirer Bidding | New Abramson/NYT Details

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White House Launches Probe Into CIA Station Chief Disclosure (Politico)
The White House has launched an investigation into how the name of the CIA’s station chief in Afghanistan was released to the press Sunday during President Barack Obama’s surprise visit to U.S. troops there, officials said. TVNewser White House counsel Neil Eggleston will oversee the investigation. FishbowlDC On Sunday as President Obama spoke at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, a pool report sent to upwards of 6,000 journalists included the name of a CIA station chief in the country, as one of many briefing the President during his visit. HuffPost The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson, who wrote the pool report, had received the list from White House officials. Wilson included the list as part of a pool report from Obama’s visit to Afghanistan that was distributed Saturday by the White House press office, which later sent out a revised version not including the station chief’s name. Despite the pool report appearing in thousands of inboxes, all major news outlets have continued to withhold the covert agent’s name at the government’s request. Time The CIA official operates under a cover, though their identity is known to the Afghan government. The release of the name is not only a faux pas in intelligence circles, but could jeopardize the CIA officer’s career and safety.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Díaz-Balart to MSNBC | NPR Cuts Tell Me More | Sulzberger Talks

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José Díaz-Balart Named MSNBC’s 10 A.M. Host (TVNewser)
Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart has been named MSNBC’s 10 a.m. anchor, replacing Chris Jansing, who is leaving MSNBC to become NBC’s senior White House correspondent. HuffPost He will host his MSNBC show from Miami and take over when Jansing departs in June. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Díaz-Balart will continue to co-anchor Telemundo’s Noticiero Telemundo and host Enfoque Con José Díaz-Balart. Ari Melber, a co-host on MSNBC’s afternoon program The Cycle, had been in the running against Díaz-Balart for the 10 a.m. slot, several sources said in recent weeks. The Associated Press MSNBC president Phil Griffin said Tuesday the deal has been in the works for some nine months. Griffin says he’s wanted to snag Díaz-Balart for years but had to find a time slot that wouldn’t conflict with the nightly news on Telemundo, which is also a division of NBC Universal. Díaz-Balart is the brother of U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart and former Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart. His aunt was the first wife of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Variety Díaz-Balart began his career in 1983 and has reported historic events and interviewed major political figures for prestigious news outlets including NBC News and Telemundo. His achievements include being the first journalist to serve as news anchor on two national television networks in Spanish and English on the same day for an entire season.

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