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Posts Tagged ‘Discovery Communications’

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: Netflix to Up Prices | NBC Evaluates Gregory | Slate Plus Launches

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Netflix Plans Price Raise as Streaming Subscribers Grow (Reuters)
Video streaming service Netflix Inc. said it intends to raise its subscription price for new customers by $1 or $2 a month to help the company buy more movies and TV shows and improve service for its 48 million global subscribers. WSJ Netflix said the price increase for the $7.99 a month service, the first since 2011, would help pay for its continued investment in original programs, including series such as House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black. Netflix has committed to spend billions of dollars in programming in the past few years as it has grown to become the biggest stand-alone subscription programming service in the U.S., passing some long-standing traditional TV outlets like HBO in terms of subscribers. Mashable Current subscribers would stay at the $7.99 price for a “generous time period,” the company wrote in a statement to investors. “Our current view is to do a one or two dollar increase, depending on the country, later this quarter for new members only,” the company wrote. The news came as Netflix announced that it added 4 million new members in the first quarter of 2014, as the company beat revenue and profit expectations. Variety In after-hours trading Monday, Netflix’s stock climbed as much as 7 percent to $372.05 per share, after closing up 0.8 percent for the day at $348.49. Netflix also said that in the second quarter of 2014, it will launch the first pay-TV integration of its service in the U.S. That’s after lining up deals with European providers including the U.K.’s Virgin Media to provide access to the unlimited streaming-video service through operator-supplied boxes. Deadline New York The company generated $53.1 million in net income in the first quarter of 2014, up from $2.7 million in the same period in 2013, on revenues of $1.27 billion, up 24 percent.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: ABC News, CPI Spar | FNC to Debut Daytime Ensemble | Discovery Drops U.K. Bid

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ABC News Asking Center for Public Integrity to Share Pulitzer Prize (TVNewser)
ABC News is calling on the Center for Public Integrity to share its Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism, awarded to CPI’s Chris Hamby, taking issue with CPI’s Pulitzer submission that depicts ABC News as a minor partner in a year-long coal-mining industry investigation instead of equal partners. HuffPost Network president Ben Sherwood sent a four-page letter to CPI’s executive director Bill Buzenberg affirming that ABC News was CPI’s partner in the investigation. He argued that reporters Brian Ross and Matthew Mosk made “significant contributions” without which CPI would not have won the Pulitzer. He added that while the prizes are only awarded to print organizations, he hoped the Pulitzer committee would recognize Ross and Mosk. Mediaite In the letter, Sherwood said Buzenberg “omitted the names of ABC News reporters and sought to parse and diminish their contributions, even though their bylines appropriately appear on four of the eight articles submitted by the Center to the committee.” Poynter In response, Buzenberg provided a point-by-point rebuttal saying CPI reporter Chris Hamby was the engine behind the story for months before ABC entered the investigation and in long stretches when ABC was working on other things. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media CPI and ABC News have shared recognition for the black lung benefits story in the past. In March, the Harvard Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting was awarded to Chris Hamby, Ronnie Greene, Jim Morris and Chris Zubak-Skees of CPI and Matthew Mosk, Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz of ABC News. Next month, the White House Correspondents’ Association will honor “The Center for Public Integrity, in partnership with ABC News.” On Wednesday, they received an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Television news organizations are excluded from the Pulitzer Prizes, which honor newspaper and digital reporting.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Unveils Fire TV | Strahan to Join GMA | Peabody Award Winners

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Amazon Announces Set-Top Box ‘Fire TV’ (LostRemote)
Amazon continues its quest to become more than an e-commerce powerhouse, announcing Wednesday a set-top box that allows HDTV viewers to connect to Amazon’s video offerings. Mashable The set-top device, called Amazon Fire TV, will be sold for $99. It is a small flat box with a remote control. The hardware aims to take on the Apple TV, Roku and even the Xbox One. The Internet-connected set-top box, which uses voice search when you speak into the remote and also serves as a gaming console, was announced during a launch event in New York City on Wednesday with Amazon VP Peter Larsen playing master of ceremonies, not CEO and founder Jeff Bezos. WSJ The new Fire TV is an ambitious move by Amazon to break into the living room. Amazon offers a streaming-video service to its Prime subscribers, but until now has been largely dependent on other hardware manufacturers to deliver that content to televisions. Sales of streaming media devices such as Roku are expected to grow 24 percent this year, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. Apple currently leads the market, followed by Roku and Google, the firm said. NYT Fire TV will show a range of content from other providers, including Hulu, Netflix and ESPN. With a separate $40 controller, it can be used to play games, including a version of the extremely popular Minecraft. Among the improvements and enhancements promoted for Fire TV: a voice search function that allows users to utter a name like “George Clooney” or a genre like “horror” and see results instantly pop up, and a prediction feature that knows what you want and queues it up. THR The small black box began shipping Wednesday, Larsen told a crowd of reporters. It has a premium price point in line with Apple TV. Roku, meanwhile, costs as low as $50 and Chromecast retails for $35.

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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: #FreeAJStaff | AMC’s Earnings Surge | MSNBC Taps Ex-MT Gov.

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Al Jazeera Calls for Global Support of Detained Staff (Al Jazeera America)
Al Jazeera called for a Global Day of Action Thursday to demand the immediate release of four of its journalists who have been locked up in Egypt’s prisons for months. People in more than 30 cities expressed their solidarity and support, with public events taking place in Sydney, Manila, Islamabad, Doha, Amman, Nairobi, Ankara, Berlin, London, Rio, Montreal, Washington and San Francisco. NBC News Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, all journalists from the Qatar-based network, were detained on Dec. 29, 2013, and accused of spreading false news and belonging to a terrorist group. They were scheduled to stand trial on Feb. 21, but the trial was adjourned until March 5. Abdullah Al Shamy was also detained more than six months ago without charge and has been on a hunger strike since Jan. 23. The group had been reporting on the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist organization that took power in the Egypt elections following protests in 2011 but was banned after a violent crackdown. Mashable Al Jazeera staff in newsrooms across the world sent support for the journalists Thursday. The organization encouraged people to include the hashtag #FreeAJStaff in tweets. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media A vigil for the imprisoned journalists was held Thursday afternoon at the Newseum in Washington. Other demonstrations included a plane with a sign flying over Rio de Janeiro with the hashtag. TVNewser Al Jazeera America collected images from demonstrations around the world and posted them to a live blog. Many media outlets around the world have also joined the cause, which has increasingly gained momentum: Last week, an international group of television executives called for the journalists’ release. The protests also gained coverage on other networks: On CBS This Morning Thursday, correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reported from London, where protestors in Trafalgar Square released black balloons into the sky as part of the demonstration.

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Vanity Fair and Vogue Get TV Deals

Vanity Fair and Vogue are getting into the TV business. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Condé Nast titles have inked deals with Discovery Communications to launch two shows: Vanity Fair Confidential and Fashion Fund.

The crime and mystery show Confidential, based on a series of VF articles, will air on Investigation Discovery channel, and Fashion Fund, based on a design contest sponsored by Vogue, will air on Ovation channel.

Magazine articles serving as the source for TV shows and movies is nothing new, but what is worth noting here is that these two deals are seemingly more friendly to Condé Nast, not writers. Older Condé contracts gave writers royalties if their pieces hit the big screen, but newer contracts do not give out as much. Unsurprisingly, magazine editors and writers aren’t happy with that, which makes sense, since without their ideas the shows wouldn’t exist.

Dawn Ostroff, head of Condé Nast Entertainment — the division of the publishing house that handles TV and movie deals — told the Journal that writers still get “a fair market value” for their work. Let’s hope that’s true.

Barbara Walters, Joe Kernen and One Republican’s Response to the Debate

1003_mockup.gifAfter last week’s head-spinning scene where real-life democrats took campaign advice from fictional politicians (Chris Noth, you’ve got my vote), I thought I’d pretty much covered the landscape of presidential politics among the Wednesday Michael’s crowd. Nothing doing. Before I could settle in for my lunch with PR maven Leslie Stevens and cosmetics entrepreneur Patti Pao, CNBC’s Joe Kernen called me over to meet Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin who was on the air with Joe earlier today deconstructing last night’s debates (We suggest a whip and a chair for the moderator of next week’s match-up) and is scheduled to appear on Sean Hannity‘s broadcast on Fox this evening.

The guys told me they were looking for “equal time,” since last week’s column was all about the democratic point of view. I’m always happy to chat with Joe whose fabulously smart 12-year-old daughter, Blake Kernen is one of my favorite young writers.  Not surprisingly, Senator Johnson told me he thought Mitt Romney won the debate hands down. “He shattered the caricature (the Obama campaign) has been pushing. It’s hard to paint that picture when (Romney) came out so strong and showed such a command of the issues. He  offered the specifics that Obama did not. Last night did nothing to stop the momentum (Romney) has been gathering.” He also called out the president for being “purposely misleading” on Libya.  While the senator admitted the president was “a little more energetic” he concluded, “He’s got nothing.”

Senator Johnson, who predicts it’s going to be a ”close election,” says Vice President Joe Biden‘s “rude” performance during his debate with Representative Paul Ryan had a lingering negative effect on the president’s favorable ratings and pointed to CNN’s recent poll which showed most viewers gave last night’s segment on the economy to Romney as an indication that the republican challenger is winning on the issue voters care most about. “In both debates, Romney showed that he can work with the other side. Americans have to ask themselves, ‘Do we want four more years of gridlock and a president who doesn’t know how to lead?”

Leslie Stevens, David Patrick Columbia, Patti Pao and Diane Clehane

Things lightened up considerably when I joined Leslie and Patti at our table to talk about the launch of Patti’s new skincare line Restorsea, which debuted at Bergdorf Goodman on Monday. Smart, savvy and absolutely passionate about skincare, Patti has built an impressive track record in the beauty business with stints at Avon and Elizabeth Arden. The Harvard Business School graduate introduced glycolic acid to the beauty industry and made Avon’s Anew the industry standard that is today.

She has continued to search out the latest innovations for the luxury market in her own consulting firm Pao Principle which she launched in 2005. Utilizing her deep ties to China, Patti created a survey asking 353 billionaires in the country (yes, you read that right) questions relating to handbags and fine jewelry. Doing so created a much sought after database when the survey findings made The New York Times, Women’s Wear Daily, Forbes and Fortune. That stroke of marketing genius branded her LVMH’s luxury expert, and she picked up three clients in Norway which turned out to be a fateful turn of events.

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Oprah, Pushed Out of Broadcast TV by Discovery Execs, Tells Fortune She ‘Wasn’t Pleased’

Oprah Winfrey, who started the historic 25th and final season of her eponymous show, begins the next phase of the career on January 1, 2011.

With Discovery Communications at the helm, Winfrey goes from her own show to own network—OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

The channel is taking over for Discovery Health.

Winfrey tells Fortune magazine that the courting by Discovery wasn’t easy. She recalls CEO David Zaslav saying ‘I need more of you’ in order to make the deal happen.

Not only was Zaslav demanding more hours from Winfrey on OWN, but he insisted she walk away from broadcast TV entirely.

‘…If you’re going to be in, you need to be all in.’ Zaslav told Winfrey.

“I wasn’t pleased.” Winfrey tells Fortune. “I wasn’t pleased at all.”

Behind-the-scenes details of the show the media mogul Winfrey, 56, eventually agreed to double her on-air presence on OWN to 70 hours annually.

Part of her workload includes hosting Oprah’s Next Chapter, a globetrotting interview show. “So that’s my all-in commitment,” Winfrey says.

New Year, New Technology: 3D TV

3d glasses.jpgCould 3D TV be the hot new thing for the New Year?

Hot on the heels of news of ESPN‘s announcement of plans to launch a 3D sports channel in June, Discovery Communications, Sony and IMAX announced a joint venture that would produce the first 24/7 3D television network in 2011.

Discovery, which owns the Discovery Channel and TLC, will provide the network services for the venture, which will offer programming including “natural history, space, exploration, adventure, engineering, science and technology, motion pictures and children’s programming,” the companies said. Both Sony’s CEO Sir Howard Stringer and Discovery’s CEO David Zaslav called the project “groundbreaking.”

It looks like 3D channels are shaping up to become the TV revolution that HD has been for the past few years. More networks are likely to follow. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for Food Network 3D.

Press release after the jump

ESPN to launch 3D network in JuneUSA Today

Related: Former Fox Entertainment Prez Liguori Named COO At Discovery

(Photo via flickr)

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