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Posts Tagged ‘Comcast’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Jansing Promoted | CBS Crew Detained | News Corp. Buys Harlequin

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Chris Jansing Named Senior White House Correspondent for NBC News (TVNewser)
Changes are coming to NBC’s Washington bureau. NBC News president Deborah Turness has named Chris Jansing as the new senior white house correspondent and Peter Alexander as national correspondent. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Jansing, who will report primarily for NBC Nightly News, will relocate from New York to Washington and will stop hosting her MSNBC show Jansing & Co. The network said her replacement will be announced in the coming weeks. Variety Both Jansing and Alexander will work as part of a unit that also comprises Chuck Todd, the NBC News political director and chief White House correspondent, and Kristen Welker, who will continue to report for NBC Nightly News and Today. HuffPost It will be the latest of a string of changes at that network, which has recently reshuffled its daytime lineup and added Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid to its roster. Deadline Hollywood Jansing joined NBC News in June 1998, and has also anchored Jansing & Co. on MSNBC since October 2010. She anchored MSNBC’s coverage of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 as the events unfolded, extensively covered several presidential campaigns for both NBC News and MSNBC and hosted a series of reports called Battleground America.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Oprah Eyes Clippers | Viacom to Buy Channel 5 | Time Warner Profits Soar

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Oprah Considering Los Angeles Clippers Bid (ESPN)
Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen and Larry Ellison will join together in a bid to buy the Los Angeles Clippers if the NBA’s board of governors votes to force Donald Sterling to sell the team, Geffen said Wednesday. FishbowlNY Others interested in buying the Clippers include Diddy (he even created his own hashtag #DiddyBuyTheClippers) and Floyd Mayweather. THR The OWN Network founder would pair with music mogul Geffen and Oracle co-founder Ellison in an investor role. On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver pledged to force the sale of the Clippers after audio recordings of racist remarks made by owner Donald Sterling surfaced on TMZ days earlier. Sterling, who has owned the Clippers franchise since 1981, faces a ban from attending all NBA games as well as making any business decisions for the team. LA Times / Sports Now Winfrey, in reference to Sterling’s comments, told TMZ on Tuesday that “the plantation days are over.” She also denied having interest in purchasing the team on her own. However, Winfrey’s spokesperson, Nicole Nichols, issued a statement Wednesday confirming that she’s in talks about becoming an investor. Reuters The advisory finance committee of the NBA’s governing board scheduled a meeting for Thursday to review the next steps for forcing a sale of the Clippers, as urged on Tuesday by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, a league spokeswoman said. Sterling, who bought the Clippers in 1981 for $13 million when the team was based in San Diego, has not indicated whether he would relinquish ownership without a fight. Experts have estimated that the franchise, which moved to Los Angeles in 1984, could now be worth as much as $800 million.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Separatists in Ukraine Seize TV HQ | CNN Raises Ethical Questions | Gregory Slams Report

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Separatists Seize Control of TV HQ in East Ukraine City (Reuters)
Pro-Russian separatists on Sunday seized control of the offices of regional state television in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk and said they would take it off air and broadcast a Kremlin-backed Russian channel instead. Sky News Four men wearing masks and armed with truncheons were standing at the entrance to the building in Donetsk, while more separatists could be seen inside wearing camouflage fatigues. The regional governor’s office and the city hall in Donetsk have already been seized by separatists. NBC News About 15 police officers were standing a short distance away but were not trying to resist the separatists. A crowd of around 400 people surrounded the building and shouted “Russia!” and “Referendum!,” a reference to a vote the separatists want to hold on seceding from Ukraine. The protesters later drifted away, but the separatist guards on the doors remained. One of the masked men at the entrance, who asked why the building had been seized, said: “They show lies; they try to influence the people and they broadcast misinformation.” The Guardian The station’s shaken director, Oleg Dzholos, emerged soon afterward to say that the separatists had brought with them a technician who was turning off Kiev television and replacing it with Rossiya 24. The Russian state channel calls Ukraine’s pro-western leaders “fascists” and frequently runs montages of them with footage of the Nazis. “We hope to continue broadcasting,” Dzholos said. His staff of 250 would be back at work on Monday morning, he said. WSJ Sunday’s incident marked an escalation in the struggle between pro-Russian protesters who want to turn Ukraine’s industrial heartland into a sovereign republic and Kiev’s interim government, which has tried, without success, to defeat a separatist rebellion that threatens the unity of the country. Ukraine accuses Russia of stirring up the separatist unrest by broadcasting strident anti-Kiev views on Russian television channels and by sending covert operatives to help organize the insurgency, particularly in Slovyansk, a city north of Donetsk that has been taken over by heavily armed gunmen. Moscow denies any role.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Pulitzers Announced | Google Buys Drone Maker | Relativity Eyes Maker Studios

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2014 Pulitzer Prizes Announced (FishbowlNY)
The Pulitzer Prizes celebrate the best of the best, and Monday we learned the latest recipients of journalism’s highest honor. TVNewser The Washington Post and the U.S. edition of The Guardian have won the award. They will share the Public Service award for their series of stories on NSA surveillance, as revealed by Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor who gave the top-secret information to the news organizations. The Pulitzer committee said the journalism was “marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.” Politico Snowden immediately declared the decision “a vindication.” The reporting on the former government contractor’s leaks was led by journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewan McAskill at The Guardian, Barton Gellman at the Post, and Laura Poitras, who worked with both newspapers. NYT The Boston Globe won the breaking news prize for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and wounded at least 260. The Post won a second award, for explanatory journalism. Eli Saslow, 31, a staff writer, won for a series of articles on American families that rely on the federal food stamp program. GalleyCat Author Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her book The Goldfinch. The novel about an orphan also won Amazon’s Best Books of the Month “Spotlight Pick” in October 2013 and was shortlisted for 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award.

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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: Comcast Pleads Case | DirecTV Restores TWC | Breitbart Loses Whip

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As Comcast Takes Next Step in TWC Merger, Opposition Groups Band Together (TVNewser)
Comcast took the next step in its $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Tuesday morning by filing a joint Applications and Public Interest Statement with the FCC. In a blog post about the filing, Comcast EVP David Cohen argued that the deal is good for consumers, especially current TWC customers. Those opposed to the deal, understandably, don’t think so. Fifty groups sent a letter to the attorney general and FCC chairman Tuesday asking that the deal be blocked. Capital New York The 650-page document filed with the FCC outlines the reasons Comcast believes the proposed merger with TWC would be in the public interest. Much of the document spelled out in granular detail arguments made by Comcast in its original announcement of the proposed deal, but there are some notable new takes. Comcast now sees itself as a tech company, in competition with Google, Facebook and Netflix just as much as traditional competitors like DirecTV and Verizon. Comcast argues that it doesn’t compete with TWC, as they do not operate in the same areas. Variety Critics have claimed the Comcast-TWC merger, which would create an entity that controls 30 percent of the country’s pay-TV market, is decidedly not in the public interest because it would result in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers. Moreover, the combination “could compromise the open nature of the Internet,” Sen. Al Franken told Justice Department officials last month. CNET Last week, Comcast filed a Hart-Scott-Rodino notification with the U.S. Department of Justice, which will begin the antitrust review of the merger. And on Wednesday, Cohen will testify about the merger before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Now that the official filing has been made in the merger, which was announced in February, the FCC will have a self-imposed deadline of 180 days to review and make its decision. USA Today Facing a growing number of customers flocking to streaming video and content providers demanding more payment for programs, TWC agreed in February to be bought by Comcast for $45 billion. The acquisition would give Comcast access to key media markets that it has coveted, including New York and Los Angeles, and occupy about 40 percent of the Internet service market, or about 32 million customers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Elliott Exits GMA | Piers Morgan Bows Out | NYT Mag Names New Editor

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Josh Elliott Exiting ABC’s Good Morning America for NBC Sports (TheWrap)
After months of speculation over Josh Elliott’s future at ABC News’ Good Morning America, contract talks broke down over the weekend and he will leave his anchor spot for a gig with NBC Sports. Amy Robach will be promoted to news anchor, effective immediately. TVNewser Elliott’s jump to NBC and return to sports comes at the end of intense contract negotiations with ABC News. Elliott will work on most high-profile NBC Sports programs including Sunday Night Football, NBC Olympics and Triple Crown horse racing. NBC is expected to reveal more later this week. Deadline Hollywood Elliott, who had been making about $1.2 million salary at GMA, turned down an offer to stay with the show for $4-$5 million. After his fellow anchor Lara Spencer nailed down a lucrative multiyear contract Thursday, Elliott raised his ask to $10 million a year. Per the terms of Elliott’s exit, he cannot appear on NBC’s Today show for six months. NYT Elliott is the second member of the GMA team to be recruited away from the show by NBCUniversal. Sam Champion, who had been the weather anchor for GMA, was hired by the Weather Channel to start up a new morning show on that cable channel, which is owned by NBCUniversal. ABC did make a strong effort to retain Elliott, offering him about $5 million a year, according to one executive with knowledge of the negotiations. Variety Robach, Elliott’s replacement, began her career as a general assignment reporter in South Carolina and moved on to become a morning anchor in Washington, D.C. She spent five years at NBC where she was an anchor at MSNBC and co-host of Weekend Today. Co-anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos remain as the leads of the show.

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NBCUniversal Shutting Down DailyCandy

This is not how these content start-up stories are supposed to go.

DailyCandyLogoSix years after Comcast’s media unit acquired recommendations operation DailyCandy from New York’s Pilot Group for a whopping $125 million, the site is being shut down. Also being turned off by NBCUniversal – Television Without Pity. From Kara Swisher‘s Re/code report:

The closing impacts 64 employees at the women-focused DailyCandy and three at TWoP. Apparently, many of those staffers — largely located in New York — might be offered jobs at other NBCU properties, but that is not a certainty.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Sweeney’s Successor | Weiner to Pen Column at BI | Bartiromo Given FNC Show

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Disney Names Ben Sherwood as Anne Sweeney’s Successor (THR)
ABC News president Ben Sherwood has been named Anne Sweeney’s successor as co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group. He’ll officially take over the role on Feb. 1, 2015. TVNewser Sherwood will begin the transition immediately and take on the role of co-president of Disney/ABC while also overseeing ABC News until his successor is named. Variety Sherwood was a front-runner for the job ever since Sweeney shocked industry on March 11 when she announced she was resigning as of January 2015 to pursue a career as a television director. Sherwood steered the rise of Good Morning America and brokered deals like ABC News’ partnership with Yahoo!. He will also serve as co-chairman of Disney Media Networks alongside ESPN’s John Skipper. NYT Among Sherwood’s first decisions — with oversight from Disney chairman Bob Iger and Sweeney — will be the choice of his own successor in the news division. “We have a deep bench of leaders at ABC News,” he said. The standout candidate for that job is James Goldston, the senior vice president of ABC News who has been instrumental first in the revival of the late-night program Nightline and then in the rise of GMAWSJ Sherwood was named president of ABC News in December 2010. He is responsible for all aspects of ABC News’ broadcasts. In addition, Sherwood oversees ABC News Radio, ABCnews.com, satellite service NewsOne and ABC News Now. ABC News reaches a combined audience of well over 270 million people a month on television, on radio and online, and is enjoying significant audience growth driven by a creative renaissance and innovative deal-making. In addition, during Sherwood’s tenure, the news division has won the most prestigious honors in the industry.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Turkey Bans Twitter | Netflix CEO Blasts ISPs | Carney Not Prompted

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Twitter Goes Dark in Turkey Hours After Country’s PM Threatened to ‘Wipe Out’ Service (TechCrunch)
After Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan promised that he would “wipe out” Twitter after it apparently ignored court orders asking the site to remove certain corruption allegations, the service has gone dark in the country. WSJ The move, confirmed by the telecommunications regulator and the state news agency, sent shock waves across Turkey, which is one of the top 10 users of Twitter worldwide with more than 10 million users. Turkish citizens have increasingly turned to the medium to voice opposition to the government and organize demonstrations as mainstream media have avoided criticism of Erdoğan. Variety At a rally in Bursa, Erdoğan pledged to do away with Twitter completely. “We will eradicate Twitter,” he said. “I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.” Tensions between Erdoğan and Twitter had been building for some time. On Feb. 25, the prime minister claimed a “robot lobby” was targeting government through Twitter. He also threatened on March 6 to shut down both Twitter and Facebook in Turkey “if necessary.” Bloomberg Businessweek Erdoğan said the microblogging service ignored court orders to remove content related to a government corruption scandal. The tweets targeted by the premier are from an anonymous user going by the name of Haramzadeler, a Turkish phrase that means Sons of Thieves. The person or persons have been leaking documents and audio files described as the results of a 15-month prosecutor-led investigation into corruption in Erdoğan’s government. Time Those who tried to access Twitter Thursday were taken to a statement from Turkey’s telecommunications regulator that cites court orders allowing the government to ban Twitter. In 2013 during the Occupy Gezi protests, Erdoğan called all of social media “the worst menace to society.” The Washington Post / Morning Mix After Turkey’s Twitter was apparently disabled, the hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey went supernova, though Twitter is still accessible via the site’s SMS service, which allows Turks to text in a tweet.

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