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Posts Tagged ‘Dick Ebersol’

Yahoo Mulls Olympic Broadcast Rights, Layoffs

New Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson is in the midst of implementing massive changes to the Internet giant. He’s brought in a consulting group to help guide him through the effort. You don’t have to watch House of Lies to know what that means: layoffs. AllThingsD reports the carnage could number in the thousands, although no major job cuts have been announced yet. Yahoo Labs head Prabhavar Raghavan, however, recently jumped ship to Google in anticipation of massive cuts, sources are telling AllThingsD.

So where is the money saved from axing research engineers going to go? According to Toronto’s The Globe and Mail, Yahoo may be on the verge of securing Canadian broadcast rights to the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.

Broadcast rights to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia and the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil are up for grabs after the International Olympic Committee rejected two “lowball” bids by a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and BCE Inc. partnership. Their most recent bid was quietly rejected in late February, The Globe and Mail has learned. That has opened the door for Yahoo, which is now weighing using the Canadian broadcast rights as an opportunity to enhance its reputation as a content producer and revitalize its fortunes after losing ground to rivals such as Google Inc.

The Olympics, huh? Is Dick Ebersol consulting for Yahoo these days?

H/T Mediawire

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Dick Ebersol Out at NBCU Sports

NBC Universal chairman Dick Ebersol has resigned his post after Ebersol and his new corporate overlords at Comcast were unable to reach a deal for a new contract. Ebersol had been running the network’s sports programming since 1989–with mixed results. Recently, the network lost about $220 million on its Vancouver Olympics coverage after Ebersol’s bid $2 billion for 2010 and 2012 — an amount most consider to be ludicrously high.

Then there was Ebersol deciding to stick his nose where it didn’t belong in the Leno/Conan late night war–saying of Conan’s initial ascension to the Tonight Show, “we backed the wrong guy.”

Not surprisingly, most media reports seem to be portraying Ebersol’s exit as inevitable.

NBC Sports Cable Group president Mark Lazurus will replace Ebersol.

Conan v. Leno: The End of The Week

Can you believe it: this time last week we were going about our Friday afternoon business, completely unaware that the following week would see the dramatic exit of Conan O’Brien from NBC‘s “Tonight Show.”

After a week of insult-slinging from their respective shows, Jay Leno and O’Brien had seemingly hit an impasse in NBC’s resolution to reinstate Leno to the 11:35 slot and push O’Brien back till 12:05. But today brings some light at the end of the tunnel: The Daily Beast reports that O’Brien will be leaving NBC, (though there are conflicting reports about when he’ll actually be leaving). He’s also going to reportedly receive an undisclosed large lump sum to ease the pain of his departure.

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How the U.S. Media Will Be Covering Beijing ’08

OTR2_0.jpgSo the big question ahead of the start of the Olympic Games this Friday is less who will take home all the medals than how will the Chinese deal with the media should anything “newsworthy” arise (read: protests, etc.). Thus far things are not looking so promising: On top of reports that China continues to censor Internet access, comes this week’s story that Chinese police had beaten and jailed two Japanese reporters for attempting to report on this week’s attack in the Xinjiang region (not to mention the arrest of two Americans and two Brits for unfurling a banner protesting Tibet).

To this end the Observer is reporting that there has been much talk inside the wall of both NBC — the sole American network covering the Games — and the NYT as to how they will deal with breaking news. NBC head Dick Ebersol has made it clear that NBC is there to cover sports first, however “in the major venues, we have our own cameras. So if something develops during the opening ceremony…we also have both news and sports people ready to comment on that.” For the NYT however it’s about “so much more than sports.” One of the biggest challenges, apart from negotiating the endless Chinese bureaucracy that has a tendency to change rules at the last point, will be how to cover the restrictions on coverage:

This is a particular problem for the rights holders. The ethical questions about working with the Chinese are complicated by a philosophical dimension: China is repressive toward journalists, and it is open-handed toward commerce. So which proposition is the truth about freedom in China? And which side are you on?
President Bush, may himself be setting a certain tone for future coverage. The President, who is traveling in the region on his way to Beijing has apparently decided to speak out again Chinese policy during a speech he will be giving tomorrow in South Korea. Let the Games begin, as they say.

Bob Costas: L.A. Sucks

bob_costas_nbc.jpgFishbowlLA correspondent Dan Cox reports from the Television Critics Association tour:

The second Television Critics Association session that followed NBC Entertainment president Ben Silverman‘s coming out party was an assembly of ex-NFL players and broadcasters around NBC’s Sunday Night Football (formerly known as Monday Night Football), including broadcaster Bob Costas, announcer Al Michaels, announcer and former coach John Madden, announcer and former Cincinnati Bengal wide out Cris Collinsworth, former New York Giants star-turned-Today show Tiki Barber and Steelers star Jerome Bettis, NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol as well as a handful of network execs. The subject of football (or lack of it) in L.A. came up after former Hollywood Reporter editor-in-chief Alex Ben Block blurted out: “When are we going to see football in L.A., the second biggest market for a sports team?”

Costas’ throat-clearing reply: “The L.A. market sucks.”

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