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Morning Media Newsfeed: Hackers Threaten Violence Over Interview | NYT Layoffs Begin

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Sony Hackers Threaten Violence Over The Interview (Re/code)
A new message from the hackers who have infiltrated Sony Pictures Entertainment appeared to threaten violence at or near movie theaters where the studio plans to show The Interview. The group mentioned the film for the first time by name and threatened to take unspecified actions against its premiere, set for Dec. 25, writing, “The world will be full of fear” and “Remember the 11th of September.” WSJ A Department of Homeland Security official said Tuesday afternoon the agency was aware of the threat but added: “at this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States.” Variety “We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment,” the message reads. There have been suspicions that the attack may have been launched by North Korea in retaliation for the Interview’s depiction of an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un. The country has denied involvement but praised the attacks. THR The Sony hackers also made good on their promise to release a so-called Christmas gift by posting an eighth batch of documents to the Internet on Tuesday. The documents appear to be the entire email account of Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman and CEO Michael Lynton. Lynton’s email account contains 12,466 messages, which presumably contains deleted messages, dating from Nov. 12, 2008 to Nov. 21, 2014, three days before the hack was first noticed by the studio. A special screening of the film took place in Los Angeles last week without incident. Deadline Landmark Theatres said Tuesday night that the New York premiere of the film has been canceled. The event was set for Thursday night at the Sunshine Cinema on the Lower East Side. BuzzFeed The film’s stars, Seth Rogen and James Franco, have withdrawn from all media appearances in the lead-up to the release of the film.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Google News Axed in Spain | Sony Execs Apologize for Emails

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Google News to Shut Down in Spain Over ‘Google Tax’ (Mashable)
Google said Thursday it will shut down its Google News service in Spain to prevent publishers’ content from appearing on it — ahead of a new law requiring the Internet search company to pay Spanish news organizations for linked content or snippets of news. NYT / Bits The website, which compiles headlines and summaries of news articles from various sources, will go dark in Spain on Dec. 16. Google plans to shut the site there in protest of the new law. The rules, which come into force in January, do not specify how much Google and others like Yahoo! News would have to pay per article. But they carry a potential one-time $750,000 fine if companies do not comply with the law. WSJ / Digits Google also is removing Spanish publishers from Google News world-wide. Those publications will still show up in general Google searches, but that’s less significant than it appears. That’s because the news “cluster” that appears with many general search results is fed by Google News. So if Spanish publishers are excluded from Google News, they won’t appear in the news cluster of ordinary search results — meaning much less traffic from Google. GigaOM Spain is not the first European country to pass a so-called ancillary copyright law — Germany did so in March 2013 — but Spain’s version is much more heavy-handed. Variety In Germany, the ancillary copyright law, introduced in July after lobbying by VG Media and backed by Axel Springer, obliged Google to pay publishers for news snippet texts on its search engine. After Google News removed the snippets from its search engine, traffic to publishers’ websites fell by 40 percent over two weeks. VG Media was forced to authorize the snippets. Demonstrating Google’s massive market power, Axel Springer CEO Mathias Dopfer dubbed its move to charge for snippets “the most successful failure in our history.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Gawker Shakes Up Leadership | Guardian EIC to Step Down

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Gawker Makes Leadership Changes (FishbowlNY)
Nick Denton has announced some major changes to the leadership structure at Gawker Media. Instead of Denton having all the oversight, a collective of seven managing partners (including Denton) “will consult on major matters such as tech investments and the reassignment of department heads,” according to a memo. NYT The move was in part because of the company’s editorial failures in the last year. Denton said he would stay on as chief executive and remain involved in the company’s future, but that recent failures in management had shown he needed more support. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The move, Denton said, was part of an effort to scale back his day-to-day managerial roles and return to blogging, which he called “the only truly new media in the age of the Web” and “the essential act of journalism in an interactive and conversational age.” The move also suggests that Gawker Media may be gearing up for an acquisition or merger of some sort. Denton said that no such activity was afoot. GigaOM The new management structure will make it easier to respond to the increasing competitive threat from sites like BuzzFeed and Vox, Denton said, since decisions will be made by the committee as a whole rather than everyone having to try and get the founder’s attention at the same time. The new group includes former Deadspin editor Tommy Craggs as head of editorial operations, effectively replacing editor-in-chief Joel Johnson, who announced recently that he had been fired. Capital New York The rest of the managing board includes president Heather Dietrick, chief strategy officer Erin Pettigrew, advertising head Andrew Gorenstein, chief operating officer Scott Kidder and chief technology officer Tom Plunkett, who will continue to work on the product side but shed the title of CTO. The memo also mentions that Gawker’s revenues are up 30 percent year-over-year and the company has hired Paul Sundue to head Studio@Gawker, the company’s in-house native advertising agency.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: 16 Million Watch Ferguson Grand Jury | Orman to Leave CNBC

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16 Million Tune in to Cable News for Ferguson Grand Jury Announcement (TVNewser)
The news surrounding the grand jury’s decision in the Darren Wilson case gave cable news channels a ratings surge Monday. While the decision had been reached by mid-afternoon, news channels had seven hours to consider the result as it was not announced until the 9 p.m. ET hour, when daytime viewership peaked. Capital New York During the 9 p.m. hour, when the decision was revealed, Fox News averaged 7.26 million total viewers, including 2.19 million adults 25 to 54. CNN averaged 6.26 million total viewers, including 3.16 million adults 25-54, and MSNBC averaged 2.20 million total viewers, including 742,000 adults aged 25 to 54. Mediaite The peak for CNN came not at 9 p.m. when the decision was announced, but instead during the second half of the 10 p.m. hour when the network reached 3.558 million demo viewers. With 7.256 million viewers during the 9 p.m. hour, Fox’s The Kelly File was the overall winner for the night. Variety Both The Kelly File and Hannity scored all-time highs in terms of overall viewers and audience in the advertiser-desired demo of 25 to 54. CNN’s Anderson Cooper was able to trump Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in the 25-to-54 demo at 9 p.m. In late-night viewership, CNN lured more viewers overall and in the demo at both 11 p.m. and midnight, according to Nielsen. THR / The Live Feed Many TV networks chimed in, with some broadcast nets interrupting primetime with President Obama’s remarks on the matter and each of the cable news outlets covering it well into the night. Some segments from the center of the embattled town even got too close, with CNN’s Sara Sidner being hit with a rock on air.

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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: Ben Bradlee Dies at 93 | Pew Finds Partisan News Consumption

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Former Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee Dies at 93 (FishbowlDC)
Former editor of The Washington Post Ben Bradlee died Tuesday of natural causes at the age of 93 at his home in Washington. Bradley served as executive editor of The Washington Post from 1968-1991, a time that included the resignation of President Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal. The Washington Post Bradlee’s most important decision, made with publisher Katharine Graham, the Post’s publisher, may have been to print stories based on the Pentagon Papers, a secret Pentagon history of the Vietnam War. The Post’s circulation nearly doubled while Bradlee was in charge of the newsroom — first as managing editor and then as executive editor — as did the size of its newsroom staff. NYT With full backing from Graham, Bradlee led the Post into the first rank of American newspapers, courting controversy and giving it standing as a thorn in the side of Washington officials. When government officials called to complain, Bradlee acted as a buffer between them and his staff. “Just get it right,” he would tell his reporters. Most of the time they did, but there were mistakes, one so big that the paper had to return a Pulitzer Prize. Boston Globe It was Bradlee who guided the Post through its coverage of the Watergate scandal — “the story of our generation,” he later called it, “the story that put us all on the map” — and his unwavering leadership was crucial to the success of the paper’s investigations during the nine months between the break-in at Democratic National Committee headquarters on June 17, 1972, and the sentencing of the Watergate burglars on March 23, 1973, a period during which the Post was far out in front of the rest of the media in covering the scandal and, as a result, dangerously exposed to criticism from the Nixon administration. Reuters Bradlee’s death at his Washington home of natural causes was announced by the Post, which reported late last month that he had begun hospice care after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for several years.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: CBS Launches Web Service | Guardian Accuses Whisper of Tracking

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CBS ‘All Access’ Includes Local Stations in Subscription Service (TVSpy)
CBS Thursday announced the launch of “CBS All Access,” a digital subscription service that allows viewers — with or without a pay TV subscription — access to CBS programs, live TV, and CBS’ owned-and-operated stations. LostRemote The service is available for $5.99 a month. At the time of launch, consumers in 14 cities will have live access to their local CBS stations, allowing them to stream programs as they air. CBS News The service is accessible through CBS.com and on mobile devices through the CBS App for iOS and Android. THR In addition to serving up current-season episodes the day after they air, it will offer previous seasons of several CBS-owned shows as well as a vast library of classic CBS series. The service is planned to be added to connected TVs at a later date. All Access marks a considerable move for a network that has long been selective with regard to its digital dealings, famously staying out of the Hulu pact its broadcast rivals made many years earlier. Capital New York On Wednesday, HBO announced that its HBO Go service would be available to all customers next year. The service, which provides access to HBO’s current programming and shows from the past, is currently only available to HBO subscribers.

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Google Europe De-Activates Handful of New York Times Articles

GoogleLogoIn the summer of 1998, the New York Times introduced something called “Roar of the Crowd.” The goal, the paper explained, was to describe cultural events “through their audiences’ experiences.”

Perhaps someone from the audience quoted in Peter Applebome‘s review of Villa Villa by Argentine ensemble De La Guarda no longer wants to be held to their opinions. The article is one of several recently removed by Google from some of its European search results. From Noam Cohen and Mark Scott‘s NYT report:

Of the five articles that Google informed The Times about, three are intensely personal — two wedding announcements from years ago and a brief paid death notice from 2001…

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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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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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