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Posts Tagged ‘Discovery Channel’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Shareholders OK DirecTV Sale | FAA Allows Drones for Film

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DirecTV Shareholders Approve $48.5 Billion Sale to AT&T (THR)
At a special meeting in New York on Thursday, DirecTV shareholders gave the company the go-ahead to sell its satellite business to AT&T in a deal valued at $48.5 billion. Reuters The deal, currently under review by U.S. and international regulators, was approved by 99 percent of votes cast, the company said in a statement. The votes cast represent 77 percent of shares outstanding. Bloomberg DirecTV CEO Mike White reiterated Thursday that he expects to reach a deal by the end of the year with the NFL over rights to air the Sunday Ticket package — an important milestone as the AT&T transaction is contingent on that contract being extended. WSJ The deal comes as the communications landscape transforms with people relying more on Internet-connected devices for entertainment and media consumption. Earlier this year, Comcast Corp. agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. The companies agreed to the merger after considering a deal for a few years. It is AT&T’s biggest acquisition since its $85 billion deal to buy BellSouth in 2006. The Hill Along with Comcast’s planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable, the AT&T-DirecTV merger is the second major media deal before federal regulators this year. AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV has raised less opposition than the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, though some critics on the left have raised concerns that it represents a growing consolidation of major media companies. The two media companies have said that their merger is a matter of marketplace necessity.

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Mediabistro Course

Personal Essay Writing: Master Class

Personal Essay Writing: Master ClassStarting October 21, work with the senior editor at Marie Claire magazine to polish and publish your essay! Whitney Joiner will help you to develop your voice, narrative, and identity, draft your pitch, and decide where to market your essay. Register now!

Morning Media Newsfeed: Court Torn Over Aereo | Time Inc. Board Revealed | Comcast Gains Soar

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Supreme Court Justices Express Concern Over Scope of Aereo Ruling (TVNewser)
While hearing oral arguments from attorneys representing the broadcast networks and Aereo Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court justices “appeared unsure” how to rule in the case. Reuters Aereo, backed by media mogul Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, could be forced to shut down if the court rules for the companies challenging the startup. A win for Aereo could spur innovation in the television industry by paving the way to new, cheaper ways for consumers to watch shows. A decision is due by the end of June. Bloomberg Hearing arguments Tuesday in Washington, some justices suggested they viewed Aereo as violating broadcaster copyrights by using thousands of dime-sized antennas to get over-the-air signals without paying fees. “There’s no technological reason for you to have 10,000 dime-sized antennas other than to get around the copyright laws?” Chief Justice John Roberts asked. At the same time, the hour-long hearing didn’t clearly indicate the likely outcome, as justices including Stephen Breyer repeatedly asked whether a ruling favoring the broadcasters would imperil the cloud computing business. Variety Some of the justices on Tuesday suggested that they faced a challenge in defining just what Aereo is, and drawing a line on where privately used consumer technology ends and a publicly performing service begins. The Washington Post Aereo argued that its thousands of antennas are essentially rented to subscribers of its $8-a-month service for users to pull programs from the public airwaves legally and then store in Internet server files to watch at their convenience. In that way, it is just a mediator, the company argued, with consumers in control of how they use the company’s antennas and storage files for pulling and recording programs from the airwaves. Most of the arguments, which lasted more than an hour, were focused on the justice’s queries about the definition of public and private performances in copyright law and how Aereo differs from cable, satellite and other Internet video firms that pay broadcasters retransmission and other license fees.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: GMA Ups Spencer | Everest Special Nixed | Journalists Freed in Syria

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Lara Spencer Named Co-Host of Good Morning America (TVNewser)
Lara Spencer has been promoted to co-host of Good Morning America, joining George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, ABC News president James Goldston announced Friday. FishbowlDC Goldston sent a memo to staff with the announcement, highlighting Spencer’s “style, humor, sunny confidence, wonderful journalism and storytelling” and the two-year anniversary of GMA breaking “Today’s 852-week winning streak.” Mediaite Spencer rejoined ABC News three years ago as the lifestyle anchor on GMA after an extended stint in syndication and on CBS’ Early Show. Variety The move comes as GMA has been in the midst of change, with two members of the on-air staff that helped the show pass NBC’s Today in both total viewers as well as those between 25 and 54, the demo most coveted by advertisers, departed. Spencer is also now a veteran presence on the program, which has two new faces after the departures of meteorologist Sam Champion and news anchor Josh Elliott. ABC recently enlisted Michael Strahan, the former football player who has added new momentum to the company’s syndicated morning Live With Kelly And Michael, to take part in occasional GMA segments. The Associated Press The other current members of the GMA family are Amy Robach and Ginger Zee. Spencer was the show’s national correspondent from 1999 to 2004. Then, for seven years, she was a host of The Insider.

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Mythbusters’ Kari Byron on the Morning Media Menu

kari100.jpgToday’s guest on the mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu was Kari Byron, one of the co-hosts on the Discovery Channel show, Mythbusters.

Byron discussed her new show on The Science Channel, Head Rush, explaining how they would reach a generation of teenagers surrounded by distractions. She also talked about President Barack Obama‘s visit to the set and the possibility of more Mythbusters‘ books.

Press play to listen. The show was hosted by GalleyCat editor Jason Boog and TVNewser co-editor Alex Weprin. Music by Kevin MacLeod.

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Infomercial Pitchman Billy Mays Dies

The celebrities — and quasi-celebrities — have been dropping like flies this week. So yesterday, when news of Oxiclean hawker Billy Mays‘ death interrupted the marathon of Michael Jackson video retrospectives we have been watching for days, we numbly raised a remote control in honor of the fallen salesman.

Mays, whose wife found him dead Sunday morning, had just appeared on “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien” last week to promote his reality show “Pitchmen,” which debuted on the Discovery Channel a couple months ago.

Mays was 50, just like MJ. He was also on board a US Airways flight that made an emergency landing in Tampa on Saturday after its front tires blew out. Just freaky coincidences or proof that the apocalypse is upon us?

Trade Round-Up: Sept. 25, 2007

bear.jpegDiscovery Channel Back Into ‘Wild’
Bear Grylls is back on the air! THR reports on the comeback of his unscripted show Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel, which put the series back on the tube on Monday, re-edited of course.

The network added a disclaimer, THR says, to four episodes from the first season which featured not-so-natural actions by Grylls while “living in the wild.” Those acts included checking into a motel and assistance while building rafts or bridges. Read the full report here.

Gordon Finds 4-year Home at ABC
Producer Mark Gordon, known for his big-screen work on Saving Private Ryan and The Day After Tomorrow, continues his winning streak on the small-screen by signing a deal with ABC Studios. The man behind Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Army Wives and Reaper, will be ABC-based for another four years, reports THR.

Disney Jumps on Jonas Bros. Bandwagon
Speaking of the small-screen, the Disney Channel has set its sights on crowning another set of tween royalty by inking the Jonas Brothers, reports THR. The trio, Kevin, Joe and Nick, will star in the spy comedy series J.O.N.A.S. and the telefilm Camp Rock.

- CHRIS GARDNER

New Sites: It’s HerHollywood. We Just Live In It

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Felica Devers, a longtime Hollywoodphile-turned-segment-producer, has launched HerHollywood.com.

The new site is aimed at women “working and desiring to work in the film and television fields,” and Devers hopes it morphs into an online community of industry women with Hollywood news and a vibrant job board.

Devers told FBLA the site is a natural extension of her love for all things Hollywood.

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In The Trades

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With the exit of a number of top executives, Discovery Channel might end the trifecta of sharks, motorcycles and tattoos that have been the network’s mainstays in recent years. David Zaslav, the recently appointed CEO of Discovery Communications, announced that Jane Root will oversee the Science Channel and Discovery Channel and Marjorie Kaplan will run Animal Planet Media and Discovery Kids Media.

South by Southwest announced the film line up for Austin-based festival. Docs showing include Doubletime, an exploration of the culture of competitive jump-roping and the anti-consumerism film What Would Jesus Buy?, produced by Morgan Spurlock. Scott Frank’s bank-robbery thriller The Lookout will open the event; Miramax is releasing the movie later in the month.

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Wal-Mart launches a movie-down load service, with the full blessing of the studios. This film probably won’t be available.

MGM jumps into the direct-to-video pool, with Jason Weiss overseeing the new division. Weiss has experience with bad movies, having been at MTV Films where he worked on The Dirt, The Suffering, and so on.