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Morning Media Newsfeed: Netflix Ups Global Expansion | Turner, CBS Prep for Dish Blackout

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Netflix to Expand to Australia, New Zealand (THR)
Netflix is continuing its march worldwide, unveiling plans on Tuesday to expand to Australia and New Zealand. The streaming service said that it will expand to those countries in March 2015. Variety Pricing for a subscription to Netflix in the countries will be announced “at a later date.” In a press release, Netflix said the Australia and New Zealand collection will include upcoming original series Marco Polo, animated BoJack Horseman and kids titles including DreamWorks Animation’s All Hail King Julien. Movies and TV shows will be available in high definition and in 4K where possible. GigaOM The launch will bring the number of countries Netflix is available in to more than 50 and the announcement is not unexpected: Netflix CFO David Wells said earlier this month that the company plans a “sizeable expansion” for 2015 and Netflix has reportedly been preparing to enter Australia by hiring local agencies for a launch campaign. WSJ He said over the next three to five years, Netflix believes it is possible to generate 50 percent of its revenues from countries outside the U.S., up from about 28 percent now. Assuming that Netflix signs up 10 percent of broadband households outside the U.S., Wells says, it is possible for the company to have about 50 million to 60 million non-U.S. subscribers or even more. The company had 14.4 million international paying customers at the end of the third quarter, compared with 36.3 million U.S. customers. Deadline The initiative positions Netflix for an interesting fight: Only about 30 percent of Australian households subscribe to pay TV, far less than in the U.S. and even less than in the U.K., where about half subscribe. Australia’s leading distributor, Foxtel, expected to see some competition from streaming services and recently halved the price of its basic service.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Horowitz Out at NBC News | Charles Champlin Dies at 88

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Jamie Horowitz Out at NBC News (TVNewser)
Jamie Horowitz, the recently-hired SVP and GM of the Today show, is no longer with NBC News. A source tells us Horowitz and his boss, NBC News president Deborah Turness, were not seeing eye to eye, leading to Horowitz’s departure from the network late Monday. THR / The Live Feed Originally set to join the network in December, Horowitz started taking meetings at Today in September, overseeing the network’s flagship morning show. Variety “He’s a talented producer and executive, but, together, he and I have come to the conclusion that this is not the right fit,” Turness said in a memo to staffers. In the wake of Horowitz’ departure, Turness said, she will continue working closely with Don Nash, the executive producer of Today, and Jen Brown, the vice president and general manager of Today.com. She expects to find a new general manager of Today, she said. Deadline Hollywood In August, NBC agreed to let Bill Wolff, VP primetime programs at MSNBC and executive producer of The Rachel Maddow Show, out of his contract to move to ABC, in order to get that parent company to allow top ESPN programmer Horowitz take the helm at Today. Before joining ESPN, Horowitz worked at NBC Sports; he started his TV career as an NBC Olympics researcher. Turness came to the network from the U.K. in August 2013 to help turn around the news division’s once-dominant but now struggling franchises. NYT Early reports of new turbulence at Today were especially upsetting for NBC News because the show is the news division’s biggest profit center, and NBC has been touting a comeback in the ratings for the show, which has trailed ABC’s Good Morning America since Today lost a seemingly impregnable lead in the morning ratings in 2012. Turness has been portrayed as embattled in some reports, and Horowitz’s name surfaced quickly as a possible successor, despite his short tenure and the fact that he has no network news background.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: CNN Broadcasts to End in Russia | Obama Defends Net Neutrality

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CNN to End Broadcasts on Russian Cable, Satellite TV (USA Today)
CNN will not be seen on channels in Russia beginning next year, Turner Broadcasting said Monday. “Turner International is assessing its distribution options for CNN in Russia in light of recent changes in Russian media legislation,” the company said in a written statement. “We are bringing our existing distribution relationships to an end while we do that.” FishbowlDC The decision comes in the wake of an advertising ban on Russian cable and satellite TV stations. TVNewser The network’s newsgathering in Russia will not be impacted. CNN has been available to Russian viewers since the early 1990s. HuffPost / Reuters Russia launched on Monday a state-of-the-art media organization with hundreds of journalists abroad intended to wean the world off what it called aggressive Western propaganda — dubbing it with echoes of the Cold War, Sputnik. In a hi-tech presentation in a media center once used to host Cold War-era press conferences, one of President Vladimir Putin’s favorite journalists outlined plans meant to repair the damage done to Russia’s image during the crisis in Ukraine. Although Moscow denies reverting to Soviet-style techniques, Russian media executives acknowledge privately they are waging a propaganda war with echoes of the Cold War. The Guardian Meanwhile, Russia Today has been threatened with statutory sanctions by media regulator Ofcom after the Kremlin-backed news channel breached broadcasting regulations on impartiality with its coverage of the Ukraine crisis. Russia Today, or RT, was summoned to a meeting with Ofcom after it was found guilty of breaching the code governing U.K. broadcasters in a ruling published on Monday.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: FNC Wins Election Night | CBS Launches Digital News Service

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Midterm Election TV Ratings: Fox News Tops Broadcast Nets, Beats Cablers Combined (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel was the most-watched network — on broadcast and on cable — during coverage of the midterm elections. Fox News beat CNN and MSNBC in both total viewers and the adults 25-54 demo, combined during primetime hours. Capital New York FNC, CNN and MSNBC were all down compared to the 2010 midterm elections, and CNN and MSNBC were also down compared to the 2006 midterms, which saw President Bush in his sixth year in office see the Democratic party take control in Congress. All told, an average of just over 10 million people watched the three cable news channels Tuesday night, with an average of nearly 13 million watching on broadcast TV. THR / The Live Feed Fox News Channel boasted a whopping average of 6.3 million viewers for all of primetime. Compared to the last four Tuesdays, FNC’s 1.516 million viewers in the core news demo of adults 25-54 was improved by 303 percent. CNN, which has been solidly in second place for the last six months, was up by 480 percent to 812,000. That left MSNBC in third. Coming off of a middling October, the net still surged 315 percent — albeit only netting 481,000 demo viewers. TVNewser In addition to online coverage, each of the Big 3 broadcast networks produced one-hour primetime midterm election specials at 10 p.m. According to Nielsen overnight time period data, CBS was the clear winner at 10 p.m., averaging 5.367 million viewers to NBC’s 4.270 million and ABC’s 3.507 million. AllFacebook On Election Day, 27 million U.S. Facebook users generated 85 million interactions — likes, shares and comments — including those who used the social network’s “I’m a Voter” feature.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: TV News Covers Republican Sweep | Time Inc. Revenue Up

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TV News Covers Republican Congressional Takeover (Mediaite)
During the 11 p.m. ET hour, several networks announced the big news of the night: the Republican Party will be in control of the U.S. Senate starting in January. And with the GOP projected to hold onto the House of Representatives, this will set up a new dynamic of power in Washington: a Republican-dominated Congress versus the Democratic president. TVNewser The coverage produced several interesting moments; take CNN’s call on control of the House of Representatives. CNN’s Anderson Cooper threw to Wolf Blitzer with a promise of a “big projection.” Blitzer said it was, bigger than big, a “major, major projection” in the fight for control of the House. “Which party is coming out ahead? Get ready for that major projection right now.” And CNN rolled the full screen “CNN Projection” graphic, after which Blitzer himself poured ice water all over the preceding 30 seconds of dramatic hype: “Not a major surprise by any means.” TVNewser John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, hosting their first election night for BloombergTV, were discussing the West Virginia Senate race when Halperin said, “Two news organizations, both CNN and Fox News, are predicting that Shelley Moore Capito will be the winner.” A few minutes after that, Bloomberg cited CNN once again, which had called the Ohio governor race for John Kasich. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Fox News broadcast exit polls from the New Hampshire Senate race almost two hours before polls closed in that state, a move that is likely in violation of agreed-upon rules by the media companies that commission the exit polls. TVNewser Earlier Tuesday, Jon Stewart stopped by CNN for an interview with Christiane Amanpour. Stewart told Amanpour he didn’t vote because, having just moved out of New York State, he didn’t know where his polling place is. TVNewser On his live show Tuesday night, he took a moment to apologize, saying it should have been more clear that he was just kidding, and he did, in fact, vote. Mediaite Stephen Colbert decided to show up CNN, Fox News and MSNBC with some over-the-top midterm coverage of his own. Only his involved the dark arts, a giant cauldron and Colbert selling his soul to the devil himself. TVNewser Legendary NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw was making an appearance on MSNBC’s election coverage when suddenly it sounded like a fire alarm might be going off in the studio. Brokaw then surprised Rachel Maddow and pulled out a giant smartphone with the alarm ringing on full blast.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Raven to Retire From A&E | NBC Undecided on Virgin Galactic Series

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A&E Networks Chairman Abbe Raven to Retire (THR)
Cable pioneer Abbe Raven is set to retire. Her last day as chairman of A&E Networks will be Feb. 2. The news comes nearly a year after Raven’s protégé, Nancy Dubuc, was elevated to CEO and Raven to chairman. Deadline Hollywood Dubuc took oversight of the day-to-day operations of the company, while Raven remained in charge of A&E Networks’ long-term business and revenue opportunities, including distribution, as well as public policy initiatives and corporate outreach. A year ago, Dubuc also took over distribution. She will remain president and CEO. Variety Raven’s role as chairman will not be filled. Raven is without question one of key architects of A&E Networks’ growth, particularly in the past 15 years. The company, a joint venture of Hearst Corp. and Disney, is home to some of cable’s most prosperous channels, but as a private concern it is shielded from quarterly earnings scrutiny. Under Raven and Dubuc, A&E has rapidly expanded its domestic and international portfolio, which generates an estimated $3.8 billion in annual revenue. TheWrap Prior to her position as president and CEO, Raven held high level executive roles at the company’s properties A&E Network, The Biography Channel and The History Channel. WSJ The handoff also comes at a challenging time. After setting cable-television ratings records last year with hits like Duck Dynasty on A&E and The Bible on History, the company’s two biggest channels have endured sharp declines this year. A&E’s ratings are down 32 percent so far this year in total viewers and 25 percent in its target demographic of 25- to 54-year olds, while History’s ratings are down 15 percent in both total viewers and those 25 to 54.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Gregory Joins Yahoo! for Election Coverage | FCC May Revive Aereo

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David Gregory to Join Katie Couric for Election Special on Yahoo! (NYT)
David Gregory, who was replaced as host of NBC’s Meet The Press in August, will appear in a Yahoo! midterm election program with Katie Couric, the company said Tuesday. TVNewser Gregory is not joining the company, but these appearances often can lead to more permanent placements. Matt Bai, who left The New York Times for Yahoo! last year, and Politico’s Mike Allen are also a part of Yahoo!’s coverage. TVNewser Mark Halperin and John Heilemann will lead Bloomberg’s election night coverage, dubbed Election All-Nighter, which begins at 5 p.m. ET with a special edition of With All Due Respect. Primetime coverage starts at 7 p.m. ET, with Halperin and Heileman joined by Al Hunt and analysts Kim Alfano, Bill Burton, Lanhee Chen, Fred Davis, Patti Solis Doyle, Anita Dunn, Michael Feldman and John Sununu. FishbowlDC Coverage will also extend to an “Election Night dashboard” on BloombergPolitics.com, comprising a Bloomberg TV livestream, website coverage and real-time election data. TVNewser CNN will turn to Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper — along with the Empire State Building — to headline the network’s election night coverage, dubbed Election Night in AmericaMediaite As they have done in the past, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will be airing their respective Comedy Central shows live on Election Night next Tuesday so they can react to midterm results as they happen instead of being hopelessly behind the curve with pre-taped comedy.

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Facebook is Your New Editor

If you’re on Facebook, you should get to know Greg Marra. Marra is an engineer for the company who works its News Feed, which means he’s part of a team that determines which news articles you see. Which means that Marra is your new editor.

Of course Marra doesn’t see it that way. Or rather, he has been told to tell media outlets that he doesn’t see it that way. “We try to explicitly view ourselves as not editors,” he told The New York Times. “We don’t want to have editorial judgment over the content that’s in your feed. You’ve made your friends, you’ve connected to the pages that you want to connect to and you’re the best decider for the things that you care about.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AMC Buys Stake in BBC America | CNN Announces High Profits

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AMC Networks Buys 49.9 Percent Stake in BBC America (TVNewser)
AMC Networks has agreed to purchase a 49.9 percent stake in BBC America from BBC Worldwide for $200 million. AMC Networks will look for greater distribution for BBC World News in the U.S. B&C BBC Worldwide will retain a 50.1 percent equity stake in the cable channel, while AMC Networks will have operational control of BBCA, including affiliate and advertising sales, though it will still be consistent with BBC’s editorial standards and policies. THR The cable networks company and the commercial arm of U.K. public broadcaster BBC announced the deal Thursday after reports of their talks first emerged over the summer. The channel airs such BBC favorites as Doctor Who, Sherlock, Top Gear and Planet Earth. AMC Networks operates the AMC, Sundance, WE tv and IFC channels, and can now add the so-far independent BBC America when it negotiates carriage fees, giving both partners increased leverage in talks with pay-TV operators. WSJ The deal comes as the biggest pay-TV distributors are consolidating, prompting analyst speculation that content players will also have to seek greater scale. Variety Executives at both companies portrayed the arrangement as one borne out of a desire to gain greater reach for premium content that attracts high-income audiences. The two sides have worked together in the recent past. The two have collaborated on series including Top of The Lake and The Honourable Woman as well as the coming program One Child. AMC Networks and BBC Television have agreed to continue to jointly pursue a number of content investment opportunities on a range of future projects, both through BBC America and other AMC Networks channels. BBC America is to be managed as a standalone asset within AMC’s portfolio.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola | Disney Re-Ups Iger

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NBC News Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola (TVNewser)
A 33-year-old American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment. NYT As a precaution, NBC News ordered the production team working with the cameraman, which includes Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the network’s top medical correspondent, to return to the U.S. and enter quarantine for 21 days. Mashable The 33-year-old freelancer tested positive for the deadly disease on Thursday while on assignment in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, NBC News said in an emailed statement. The cameraman, whose identity is being withheld by NBC at the request of his family, was working with a three-person crew working alongside Snyderman. THR On Tuesday, Snyderman’s report from a Liberian hospital aired on NBC’s Nightly News, where the network’s chief medical editor narrated a video dispatch on the disease. In the video, Snyderman can be seen donning protective gear as she reported from an “Ebola Isolation Unit” at the medical area. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The cameraman is the fourth American to have contracted Ebola, and the first known case of an American journalist covering the story to be infected.

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