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Morning Media Newsfeed: Kal Penn Joins Fusion for Midterms | SoftBank, DWA Talks Cool

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Kal Penn Named Special Correspondent of Fusion’s Midterm Mayhem (TVNewser)
Actor Kal Penn is joining Fusion as a special correspondent for its midterm election coverage. Fusion’s election coverage plans include a nightly primetime program Midterm Mayhem: The Ultimate Political Smackdown hosted by Fusion’s Nando Vila. FishbowlDC In addition to its television broadcast, the program will be livestreamed. Midterm Mayhem will be hosted by Vila with contributions from anchors Jorge Ramos and Alicia Menendez and Fusion’s Alice Brennan and Romina Puga. Capital New York Fusion is still modestly distributed, with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV among the major distributors that don’t yet carry the channel. The livestream — which will only apply to the month-long midterm election series — is a chance for viewers who don’t get Fusion to sample its programming, with the goal of getting them to lobby their pay-TV provider to carry the channel. The channel held a similar stunt tied to its coverage of the 2014 World Cup from Brazil. THR Penn is known for his roles in the Harold And Kumar trilogy, The Namesake, House and How I Met Your Mother. In 2009, he took a break from acting to work as an associate director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, serving as the Obama administration’s liaison to young Americans. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The show aims to “bring viewers all the essential political news of the day and answer questions of fundamental importance to Fusion’s audience,” the network said in a release. It premieres Sunday, Oct. 5, at 9:30 p.m. and runs until Election Day.

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NewsWhip Compiles Some Impressive Harvard Business Review Stats

Check out the following graph, one of many highlighted in a post today by NewsWhip. From September 1-24, the site sliced, diced and analyzed the social media metrics of seven leading business news sites.

NewsWhipeFacebookSharesPerStory

In terms of overall Facebook engagement, Business Insider is the winner. But as you can see above, when it comes to the social network’s rough equivalent to a per-capita metric, The Harvard Busines Review (HBR) is way ahead.

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Outed by TMZ, New York Doctor Scrubs Her Facebook Page

Facebook is where TMZ grabbed a pair of large photos to run with its Wednesday exclusive identifying a New York ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist as the doctor allegedly responsible for initiating an unauthorized biopsy procedure on Joan Rivers at Yorkville Endoscopy. Today, that same Facebook page is blank.

TMZJoanRiversENTHeadline

The 24/7 drumbeat of online gossip sites and social media has pushed us into a new phase of American jurisprudence – “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” Even though there is still much to be determined and confirmed by investigators, half the world is calling for this individual’s head. People can still comment to the blanked-out Facebook page and one California doctor is espousing the minority view:

Michio Abe: I’m here for you Dr. Gwen Korovin. I’m simply here to stand beside you because there is zero evidence that you did anything to cause Joan Rivers’ death but yet your FB page has been so full of hatred towards doctors in general. We, doctors, do not deserve that kind of treatment. No, not at all.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Ravens Cut Rice Following TMZ Video | Todd Wins on MTP

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Ray Rice Cut by Ravens Following TMZ Video Release (TVNewser)
At 4 a.m. ET Monday morning, TMZ posted a video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his fiancée Janay Palmer — now his wife — in an Atlantic City elevator last February. By 2:30 p.m., Rice had been suspended indefinitely by the NFL and cut by the Ravens. PRNewser The NFL’s SVP of communications Greg Aiello explained things to CNN: “We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.” Mashable The video shows a man believed to be Rice and a woman in a lobby at the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Feb. 15, 2014. The woman is believed to be Palmer, now Janay Rice, whom Rice married in March. After entering an elevator, the two briefly scuffle. The man then hits the woman with his left hand, causing her head to appear to hit the handrail in the elevator. The woman then slumps to the ground and does not move. The man then proceeds to drag her out of the elevator while she still appears to be unconscious. Security arrives after that. Variety ESPN host Keith Olbermann has accused the NFL and commissioner Roger Gooddell, among others, of covering up the Rice domestic violence situation. Rice was given a two-game suspension by the NFL last month over the incident, but on Monday, the league suspended the football player indefinitely as a result of the graphic video. Mediaite TMZ founder Harvey Levin said Monday that none of this would have happened, and Rice would have gotten away with it scot-free, had TMZ not put the video online.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Journalist Sotloff Beheaded by ISIS | WaPo Publisher Out

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American Journalist Steven Sotloff Reportedly Beheaded by ISIS (TVNewser)
Two weeks after James Foley was beheaded by ISIS, American journalist Steven Sotloff has reportedly been executed by the same group. FishbowlDC “This is something that the administration has obviously been watching very carefully since this threat against Mr. Sotloff’s life was originally made a few weeks ago,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest Tuesday afternoon. Earnest went on to say, “I’m not in a position to confirm the authenticity of that video or the reports at this point since I obviously just walked out here. If there is a video that has been released, it is something that will be analyzed very carefully by the U.S. government and our intelligence officials to determine its authenticity.” ABC News In a new video, which appeared online Tuesday, Sotloff addresses the camera, saying, “I’m sure you know exactly who I am by now and why I am appearing.” Later the video then cuts to the militant who says, “I’m back, Obama. I’m back because of your arrogant foreign policy towards the Islamic State [ISIS].” Politico Sotloff, 31, grew up in Florida and was a freelance journalist, having worked for publications like Time magazine and Foreign Policy. He was taken hostage while reporting in Syria last year. WSJ The Islamic State video also showed a man identified as Briton David Cawthorne Haines. He is kneeling and wearing an orange jumpsuit as the militant threatens to kill him next. A U.S. official said there is no reason to believe the video isn’t authentic. USA Today The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that a video appearing to show the beheading of Sotloff is genuine.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: 550 Buyouts, Layoffs at Turner | Amazon Acquires Twitch

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550 Buyouts, Layoffs Imminent at Turner; HLN, CNN Among Cuts (The Wrap)
Some 550 buyouts are to be offered at Time Warner’s Turner network this week, including a large number of those at CNN and HLN, which will lead to layoffs if they are not taken voluntarily, according to an individual with knowledge of the network’s plans. TVNewser CNN chief Jeff Zucker will certainly want to protect CNN’s investment in original series and documentaries; the type of programming he’s gone all in on since taking the reins last year. Which departments and programming are affected by cuts remains to be seen. Variety Word of the staff cuts comes at a time when key Turner nets are at a crossroads. Turner’s entertainment networks are poised for a management overhaul following the departure in April of Steve Koonin as entertainment group chief. Meanwhile, CNN sibling HLN has been rumored to be in for a major makeover, possibly in a partnership deal between Time Warner and Vice Media. B&C The buyouts are part of the Time Warner unit’s efforts to cut costs as part of new CEO John Martin’s Turner 2020 plan aimed at cutting costs and aligning spending with company priorities. Turner officials had no comment, but sources said that the voluntary layoffs will be offered throughout Turner, including its news networks CNN and HLN, as well as its entertainment networks, including TNT and TBS. The company is not aiming at a specific headcount but rather is seeking to hit an expense number that includes personnel and other costs. THR The plan at Turner, which employs about 14,000 people worldwide, involves a formula that will allow workers at least age 55 and with a certain number of years seniority to take a buyout somewhat more generous than the usual two weeks of pay for every one year of service, according to a person familiar with the situation.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Gore Sues Al Jazeera | MTP Pays Tribute to Gregory

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Al Gore Sues Al Jazeera Over $500 Million Current TV Deal (Bloomberg)
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has sued Al Jazeera, claiming the satellite news provider owned by the Qatari royal family owes him and a partner $65 million from a deal to buy his network, Current TV. TVNewser “Our outside counsel is reviewing the complaint,” an Al Jazeera spokesperson said. “We think it relates to a commercial dispute between former shareholders of Current Media and Al Jazeera America. We may have further comment once they’ve fully reviewed everything.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Gore and business partner Joel Hyatt, the co-founders of Current Media, say that Al Jazeera has unlawfully refused to turn over tens of millions of dollars currently located in an escrow account. That money is owed to Current Media shareholders per the terms of the $500-million merger agreement made in January 2013, the plaintiffs say. New York Post Gore, 66, was set to personally pocket an estimated $100 million on the sale of his 20 percent stake in the network, which he helped found in 2004. Mediaite In a statement, Gore’s lawyer said, “Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago. We are asking the court to order Al Jazeera America to stop wrongfully withholding the escrow funds that belong to Current’s former shareholders.” It should be noted that last year, Gore himself was sued for the sale of Current TV.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: AP Journalist Killed in Gaza | Williams 20/20 Special Draws 7.2 Million

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AP Video Journalist, Freelance Translator Killed in Gaza (FishbowlNY)
Simone Camilli and Ali Shehda Abu Afash — an Associated Press video journalist and a freelance translator, respectively — were killed in Gaza Wednesday while covering the conflict there. TVNewser Camilli, an Italian national, and Abu Afash, his Palestinian translator, were killed after ordnance left over from fighting in Gaza exploded. Following the news, AP president Gary Pruitt sent a note to the AP’s global staff about the dangers of their work. Associated Press / The Big Story Police said three police engineers also were killed. Four people, including AP photographer Hatem Moussa, were badly injured. Moussa told a colleague that they were filming the scene when an initial explosion went off. He said he was hit by shrapnel and began to run when there was a second blast, which knocked him out. He woke up in a hospital and later underwent surgery. NYT Camilli, 35, a video journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon, who started as an intern at The AP in 2005, was the first international journalist killed in the latest Gaza conflict. Abu Afash, 36, helped train local journalists through the Doha Center for Media Freedom and worked regularly with visiting foreign correspondents. BBC News The incident happened in the town of Beit Lahiya, in the north of the Gaza Strip. It came hours before a three-day ceasefire agreed between Israel and the Palestinians was due to expire. Some 2,000 people have died since the fighting in Gaza began on July 8. Those killed include more than 1,900 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to the UN.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Major Changes Hit Condé Nast | MTP May Oust Gregory

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Major Executive Changes at Condé Nast (FishbowlNY)
Big changes have just hit Condé Nast. Editorial director Tom Wallace and COO and CFO John Bellando are both leaving the company, while David Geithner — a former veteran of Time Inc. — is joining as CFO. Capital New York Wallace, who had previously served as editor-in-chief of Condé Nast Traveler, had been editorial director since 2005, helping to craft a consistent brand across the company’s many glossies and its many special editions. WWD / Memo Pad Several other major management changes were revealed, including the expansion of responsibilities of Robert A. Sauerberg Jr., president of Condé Nast. According to a memo, Sauerberg “will assume a leading role in all revenue generation activities, including taking direct responsibility for the Condé Nast Media Group, as well as brand revenue growth.” This will expand his areas of responsibility beyond the management of digital, technology, consumer marketing, business development, corporate administration and Condé Nast Entertainment. THR Bellando joined the company’s executive ranks in 1999. Geithner had spent more than two decades at Time Inc. prior to the appointment at Condé Nast. Most recently, Geithner served as the EVP and president of Time Inc.’s Entertainment Group, and exited the company earlier this year as part of the reorganization prior to the spinoff of the publisher from Time Warner. Time Inc. chairman and CEO Joe Ripp announced Geithner’s departure in a memo on Feb. 4, singling out his contributions to People, Entertainment Weekly and InStyle. WSJ The changes come as Condé Nast, a unit of Advance Publications Inc., is pushing to capture more digital related advertising dollars. Earlier this month, Condé Nast launched a new online video hub called The Scene, intended to serve as a home for all its video channels, including original programming such as The Single Life and Strictly Ballet.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Time Warner Plays Defense | Netflix Hits 50 Million Subscribers

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Time Warner Cancels Shareholders’ Ability to Call Special Board Meeting, Guards Against Fox Acquisition (NYT / DealBook)
Time Warner is playing defense. On Monday, the company amended its corporate bylaws and removed a provision that allowed shareholders to call a special board meeting. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Time Warner said the change was effective immediately. Variety The media company’s board approved a measure to temporarily prevent a fraction of shareholders, some 15 percent, from forcing a vote on 21st Century Fox’s $85 per-share offer, according to public filings. The so-called special meeting provision may be re-instated at the company’s 2015 shareholders meeting. Deadline Hollywood The fear was that Rupert Murdoch — or anyone — could have tried to stampede short-term investors into accepting a deal even if the board concluded that it would not serve their long-term interests. Time Warner shares were down 1.6 percent in post-market trading following disclosure of the change. THR Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has bid about $80 billion to acquire Time Warner, but Time Warner’s board and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes have rejected the proposal. Some analysts predict that 21st Century Fox will eventually offer $100 a share for Time Warner. The conglomerate’s stock has climbed 23 percent in the past week on such speculation, and Monday it closed at $87.36. TVNewser People familiar with the original $80 billion proposal that was rejected said if 21st Century Fox took over Time Warner, it would sell CNN to prevent antitrust issues stemming from Fox News and CNN’s direct competitor relationship.

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