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Posts Tagged ‘Comcast’

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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Morning Media Newsfeed: AP Changes Style | Frum to The Atlantic | Phone Hacker Pressured

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AP Decides That Crimea Can No Longer Be Called Part of Ukraine (HuffPost)
The Associated Press announced Wednesday that it is changing the dateline on all of its stories from Crimea now that the region is being controlled by Russia and not Ukraine. The wire service said that it would no longer identify stories written there as coming from “Ukraine.” Rather, they will carry the dateline “Crimea.” The Hill / Global Affairs “Previously, we wrote ‘SEVASTOPOL, Ukraine (AP).’ But Ukraine no longer controls Crimea, and AP datelines should reflect the facts on the ground,” the news wire wrote in a guidance. Effective this week, the AP said it will now name a city and then Crimea. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Because of a quirk of geography — the fact that Crimea doesn’t share a land border with Russia — the AP says it won’t use a “SEVASTOPOL, Russia” dateline, which would inevitably spur a heated political debate. The Guardian The AP has waded into controversy before on its quest to avoid controversy. A year ago, the AP banned “illegal immigrant” and “illegal” to describe a person, explaining that “‘illegal’ should describe only an action,” especially as the editors decided it was important not to label people, “instead of behavior.” Slate / The Slatest The latest decision also begs the question, what would the AP do if there were a shared border or if Russia were to grab more land in Ukraine, thereby connecting the regions?

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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 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: Netflix, Comcast Deal | Morgan to Be Canceled | Baldwin’s NY Mag Essay

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Netflix to Pay Comcast for Smoother Streaming (WSJ)
Netflix Inc. has agreed to pay Comcast Corp. to ensure Netflix movies and television shows stream smoothly to Comcast customers, a landmark pact that could set a precedent for Netflix’s dealings with other broadband providers, people familiar with the matter said. In exchange for payment, Netflix will get direct access to Comcast’s broadband network. Gizmodo The announcement comes after months of dispute between Netflix and broadband providers about who should pay for increasing bandwidth loads. NYT The deal is a milestone in the history of the Internet, where content providers like Netflix generally have not had to pay for access to the customers of a broadband provider. But the growing power of broadband companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T has given those companies increased leverage over sites whose traffic gobbles up chunks of a network’s capacity. Netflix is one of those sites, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all Internet traffic at peak hours. CNNMoney Comcast is the No. 1 cable company in the U.S., with about 23 million subscribers. This announcement comes just 10 days after Comcast entered into an agreement to buy Time Warner Cable. The Washington Post The Netflix deal is controversial because it shows Comcast’s sway over the media and technology industries. With its bid for Time Warner Cable, Comcast would have more than 30 million U.S. Internet subscribers in every major U.S. market, making it powerful in any negotiations for the carriage of programs and apps to cable television and Internet users, analysts say.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Roker Slams NYC Mayor | Charter’s Next Moves | Maxim Nearly Defrauded

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Al Roker Rants About Mayor de Blasio, School Snow Policy (FishbowlNY)
Al Roker went on a Twitter rant Thursday morning, blasting mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s department of education for allowing schools to be open — and then ultimately closing early. Roker wrote that “It’s going to take some kid or kids getting hurt before this goofball policy gets changed.” When schools announced they were closing, he said “And how about all the parents and caregivers who have to scramble to get their kids home? Is there no one there with any common sense?” Politico Roker was especially critical of the mayor’s decision to keep schools open, complaining about his daughter’s school going to an early release day. “I knew this am @NYCMayorsOffice @NYCSchools would close schools. Talk about a bad prediction. Long range DiBlasio forecast: 1 term,” Roker tweeted. NYT Told that Roker was bluntly predicting a one-term mayoralty, de Blasio ventured some humor. “I respect Al Roker a lot,” the mayor said. “It’s a different thing to run a city than to give the weather on TV.” NY Post Roker conceded he doesn’t have the skills to be mayor of New York City, but took one more shot at City Hall. “Mr. Mayor, I could never run NYC, but I know when it’s time to keep kids home from school,” Roker tweeted.

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