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Morning Media Newsfeed: Fox News Tops Election Week | Yahoo! Buys BrightRoll

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Fox News Channel No. 1 for Election Week 2014 (TVNewser)
Midterm elections translated to a big victory for Fox News Channel. FNC marked its highest-rated week of 2014 in both total day and primetime (Monday to Friday). Variety Its average around-the-clock viewership of 1.43 million — its highest for any week of 2014 — put it ahead of runners-up ESPN and Nickelodeon, both of which drew 1.28 million. This is the first time since the week of the Boston Marathon bombings that FNC has been No. 1 on cable in total day. Deadline Hollywood In primetime, FNC finished the week in second place among total viewers, behind ESPN. CNN and MSNBC ranked No. 25 and No. 24, respectively, in total day among cable networks, and No. 26 and No. 24, respectively, in primetime. TVNewser The return to Standard Time and the midterm elections combined to give all three network newscasts week-to-week gains. NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams also retook the lead in the adult 25-54 demo, which ABC’s World News Tonight With David Muir had owned for the last 11 weeks. Deadline Hollywood In the demo, Williams’ newscast clocked 2.19 million viewers to Muir’s 2.18 million; CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley drew 1.84 million demo viewers. NBC’s newscast also led among viewers of all ages: 9.45 million to ABC’s 8.76 million and CBS’ 7.25 million.

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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: FBI Backs Agent, Fake AP Story | Reuters Ends Comments

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FBI Chief Backs Agent Who Posed as Reporter (Mashable)
An FBI agent tells an anonymous suspect online that he is a reporter with the Associated Press. He sends a link to a fake news story, and the suspect clicks. The trap is set, and a 15-year-old accused of making bomb threats is captured. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Two weeks ago, The Seattle Times revealed that the FBI had written the fake Associated Press story and used a fake Seattle Times-like Web address in order to catch the suspect in the bomb threat. Kathy Best, the editor of the Times, said the newspaper was “outraged”; the AP and Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wrote letters to attorney general Eric Holder expressing concern. NYT Then, James B. Comey, the director of the FBI, in a letter published Friday in The New York Times, defended the practice and said that an agent had impersonated an AP reporter in the email. The disclosure caused further outrage at the news organization. The Associated Press / The Big Story “That technique was proper and appropriate under Justice Department and FBI guidelines at the time. Today, the use of such an unusual technique would probably require higher-level approvals than in 2007, but it would still be lawful and, in a rare case, appropriate,” Comey wrote. Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the AP, said the FBI’s actions were “unacceptable.” New York Daily News “No actual story was published, and no one except the suspect interacted with the undercover ‘AP’ employee or saw the fake draft story. Only the suspect was fooled, and it led to his arrest and the end of a frightening period for a high school,” Comey added. But the AP said the “unacceptable tactics undermine AP and the vital distinction between the government and the press.”

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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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Morning Media Newsfeed: Alibaba’s Jack Ma Eyes Lionsgate Stake | Terry Keenan Dies at 53

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Alibaba Eyeing 37 Percent Stake in Lionsgate (New York Post)
After getting a taste of The Hunger Games, Alibaba billionaire Jack Ma has an appetite for more. The Chinese Internet tycoon is hungering after Mark Rachesky’s 37.4 percent of Lionsgate, the studio behind the blockbuster film franchise. THR Hedge fund manager Rachesky, the chairman of Lionsgate and its biggest shareholder, is looking to unload his influential stake in the mini-studio. Variety A sale of his stake to Alibaba could be announced in November or perhaps sooner. Lionsgate and Alibaba reps declined to comment on the report. Rachesky and reps for Rachesky’s MHR Fund Management did not respond to requests for comment. New York-based MHR manages about $6 billion of capital. Deadline Hollywood Ma will be in Hollywood this week to talk with different studios. He already knows Lionsgate: Alibaba partnered with the studio this summer when it launched its Chinese subscription streaming service, Lionsgate Entertainment World, which features the studio’s movies and TV shows. Adweek China is the No. 2 film market in the world, making the convenience of online subscription content a natural fit for Alibaba’s e-commerce network. However, China is not a straightforward place to do business. Last month, Chinese regulators announced they would cap the amount of foreign TV programs local providers could stream to online subscribers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Snyderman Back to NBC | World News Skips Midterm Coverage

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Despite Criticism, Dr. Nancy Snyderman Will Return to NBC News (TVNewser)
NBC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman will return to work, but it won’t be until next month. NBC News president Deborah Turness informed the network’s employees of the decision in an internal email Wednesday evening. CNNMoney The timing is noteworthy because Snyderman’s apparent violation of a voluntary quarantine scared some members of her New Jersey community and stoked a major controversy earlier this month. Questions about her credibility have lingered and she has not addressed those questions publicly. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple In the memo, Turness celebrates the recovery of freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo and the impending end of the 21-day quarantine binding on Snyderman and NBC News crew members who reported several weeks ago from Liberia. “While in Liberia Dr. Nancy and her team delivered first class, first-hand reporting from the front lines of this tragic and monumental story,” writes Turness. While with Snyderman and co. in Africa, Mukpo contracted the Ebola virus and was flown to a Nebraska hospital. Deadline Hollywood Tuesday, Mukpo, officially declared Ebola-free by experts at the Nebraska Medical Center bio-containment unit, celebrated by attempting to rescue Snyderman from the career-nuking situation she created when she violated the voluntary quarantine she’d agreed to, on-air, tweeting “Be nice to her plz.” TVNewser Expect to see Mukpo on NBC News. The network is already promoting “exclusive interviews” with him.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Seattle Affiliate Stays With Fox | Snapchat Announces Ads

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KCPQ Will Pay More to Stay With Fox (TVSpy)
Tribune Media has signed an affiliation agreement with 21st Century Fox to keep Seattle’s KCPQ on as a Fox affiliate until July 2018. Deadline Hollywood Last month Fox said that it would withdraw its programming on Jan. 17. It wanted more lucrative terms from — or possibly to buy — the station in the home of the NFL’s 2014 Super Bowl champions. Tribune says that it will “pay additional programming fees to Fox for the primetime and sports content provided by the network” beginning in January. New York Post Tribune said that even with the stepped up fees, the station would deliver pretax profits in excess of last year’s $13 million. The new deal gives Fox a bigger cut of the revenue from Tribune’s carriage agreements with cable companies and other pay-TV providers. Station owners kick back some of their fees to the network. With the soaring cost of sports rights, the networks are leaning harder on their affiliates to recoup some of their programming costs. Variety During the dispute, Fox even went so far as to start the process of acquiring another station on the edges of the Seattle market to ramp up the pressure on Tribune to hand over KCPQ. The Fox O&O group orchestrated a similar station swap with Cox Media in the San Francisco market earlier this year. WSJ Fox, which paid for the broadcast rights to the NFL’s National Football Conference, had set out to own more television stations in markets where there is an NFC team, such as the Seattle Seahawks. Those stations tend to have high ratings, and by owning them outright rather than contracting with affiliate stations owned by other companies, Fox is able to collect more of the fees that pay-TV operators pay these local stations — not to mention local advertising dollars.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: ISIS Posts Fourth Cantlie Video | Abramson Talks Risen, Rice

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ISIS Releases Fourth Video of Journalist John Cantlie, ‘Eagerly Awaits’ Ground War (HuffPost)
Islamic State militants have released a new video featuring British freelance journalist John Cantlie — the fourth since Cantlie was taken hostage nearly two years ago. The Guardian Cantlie, who has been held for almost two years, said ISIS was “dug in for the fight” in a seven-minute video that emerged on Sunday. Appearing to offer a scripted argument, he said the western public is being rushed into a war it cannot win, against thousands of armed militants. The Independent Cantlie also appeared in an online article calling for the British government to “open a channel and negotiate” with ISIS. It appeared hours after the British Ministry of Defence confirmed that a “specialist” team of British soldiers would head to northern Iraq to help train Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic militant group. The article was published in the ISIS online magazine Dabiq. WSJ The U.K. government said Monday that it was analyzing the article purportedly by Cantlie in which he says he awaits his turn to be executed by the extremist group unless British and American governments negotiate. The writer who identifies himself as Cantlie criticizes the West for not negotiating with ISIS when others have. “For now, I am still alive, but at some point in the near future, the mujahedeen will surely run out of patience. Just ask our government to talk. That’s all,” the article in question read. New York Daily News The British war photographer was captured in Syria along with James Foley in November 2012. Foley, an American war correspondent, was beheaded in August. The following month ISIS released a video of Cantlie criticizing American and British foreign policy, saying he’d been “abandoned” by his government.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Piers Morgan Lands New Gig | News Corp. Buys Realty Business

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Piers Morgan Named Editor-at-Large of MailOnline (TVNewser)
Former CNN host Piers Morgan is joining MailOnline as editor-at-large. Morgan will write several times a week, while pursing new TV ventures in the U.S. He is a former editor of British tabloids the News of The World and the Daily Mirror. THR MailOnline is the online version of the U.K.’s Daily Mail newspaper and claims to be the biggest English-language newspaper website in the world. Morgan announced in September that he’d left CNN, several months after his eponymous talk show was canceled. He added in tweets about his departure that he’d turned down a two-year deal from CNN president Jeff Zucker to host several interview specials. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “As editor-at-large (U.S.) I plan on breaking down the biggest stories that matter to Americans and analyzing them in a way that will generate discussion and create debate,” Morgan, 49, said in a statement. Deadline Hollywood In the U.K., Morgan is known for being named youngest ever editor of the News of The World and youngest national newspaper editor in Britain in half a century, when Rupert Murdoch gave the 28-year-old him the gig in 1994. After two years, he joined the Daily Mirror as editor-in-chief, which he left in 2004 and became a media columnist and host of interview shows on ITV and the BBC. He also appeared as a judge alongside pal Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent. NYT In the U.S., MailOnline reaches more than 35 million unique readers a month, according to comScore, a total that has increased by 30 percent from the year before and continues to grow.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Tebow Joins GMA | EU Regulators Approve BSkyB Acquisitions

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Tim Tebow Joins Good Morning America as Contributor (TVNewser)
With football dominating much of the news this week, Good Morning America is adding another former NFL star to its roster. THR / The Live Feed Already ingrained in the Disney-ABC family as an ESPN analyst, Tim Tebow officially makes his debut on the current No. 1 morning talk show as the newest contributor on Sept. 15. HuffPost ABC News said that Tebow will help with the morning show’s “Motivate Me Monday” series, reporting from the studio and towns across the country on inspirational stories. The Sentinel Tebow’s first story will focus on 10-year-old Deven Jackson of Perry County, Pa. Two weeks ago, Jackson played in a midget football game, three years after losing both legs to a rare illness. Tebow spent the day with Jackson and his family at their home. Tebow also spoke to Jackson’s midget football team. The league is trying to raise $10,000 to purchase the proper equipment for Jackson. The Wire Tebow, 27, played college football at the University of Florida from 2007-2009, during which time he became the first underclassman to win the Heisman Trophy. Despite early success in the NFL with Denver Broncos, Tebow struggled in subsequent stints with the New York Jets and New England Patriots.

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