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Posts Tagged ‘IAC’

New York TV Stations Are Suing Startup Backed by IAC

A number of New York television stations are up in arms about Aereo, a startup that in a nutshell, lets consumers access network television on web-enabled devices and internet TV platforms. Does that mean you can catch the game on your phone? Game changer indeed. One that Barry Diller of IAC, which led the startup’s most recent round of funding, saw value in.

The problem: Subscribers to Aereo would have access to all major networks including CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW, and PBS and other local channels and these networks weren’t too happy with this technological solution. They banded together and filed two lawsuits that seek to stop the product’s forthcoming March 14 release in addition to monetary damages, reports the New York Times.

“This case is not about stifling new video distribution technologies,” said the owners of Fox, CW, Univision, and PBS in a statement, “but about stopping a company from violating our copyrights and redistributing our television programming without permission or compensation.”

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Ricky Van Veen on New Production Company: ‘We Know How to Get the Web Excited’

Mediabistro caught up with Notional CEO Ricky Van Veen at the launch party for the company last night at the IAC building. Van Veen — co-founder and former editor-in-chief of CollegeHumor.com — told us Notional “is a television and web production company with the DNA of an Internet company.” The company’s initial block of programming includes content from the Food Network and HGTV.

Notional has a focus on “scalable” content, including game shows. Said Van Veen, “We want to do scripted, we want to do comedy, but the potential for that, in terms of scalability, is a lot less.”

As of now, Notional is focusing on the Web and TV, but Van Veen hinted that the company will look to do more in mobile and other platforms. “We know how to get the web excited, to make it go to the top of Digg,” he said. Notional is also collaborating with former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment Ben Silverman, who will also soon be launching the programming lineup for his own IAC funded production company. “We’ve got some good stuff in the works,” Van Veen said of the collaboration.

Related: More On Ben Silverman’s New Project

Christiane Amanpour|THR, Variety Plan Changes|GalleyCat Correctly Predicts Oprah’s Book Club Selection|WSJ Reveals Pricey Mobile App Pay Structure|Diller Will Use Cash To Reinvest

TVNewser: CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour celebrated the launch of her new show “Amanpour” at Michael’s yesterday, and chatted with Kevin Allocca. Says Kevin: “After the interview, Amanpour remarked, ‘That’s the tiniest lens I’ve every looked into.’”

FishbowlLA/Folio: Nikki Finke reports that The Hollywood Reporter will be going online only next year, while another entertainment trade Variety will be erecting pay walls. But Folio reports that THR owner Nielsen Business Media says it has no plans to shut down the trade pub’s print edition.

GalleyCat: Back in August, GalleyCat senior editor Ron Hogan correctly predicted that Oprah Winfrey‘s next book club selection would be Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan. The Washington Post made it official this afternoon, citing unintentionally leaked info. Winfrey is set to announce her book club choice during her show tomorrow.

Ad Age: The Wall Street Journal has announced plans to start charging for its mobile app available on iPhones and Blackberrys, and the cost is surprisingly high. Readers that don’t subscribe to the WSJ either in print or online will have to pay $2 per week for the app — or $104 a year. Subscribers to either medium will only be charged $1 a year and those who subscribe to both will get mobile access for free.

Bloomberg: IAC CEO Barry Diller says he will use his cash to repurchase stock, not invest in other companies like NBC Universal.

Former MTV Execs Join Online Media Publisher

andi.bmpOnline publisher BuzzMedia announced a major expansion today. The Los Angeles-based company, which publishes Buzznet, Celebuzz, TheSuperficial, Stereogum, WWTDD, Absolute Punk and Just Jared brought on two former MTV Networks execs, expanded its ad sales operations and opened a new office in New York.

Doug Rohrer, former executive vice president of sales at MTV Networks, has been named chief revenue officer of BuzzMedia. He will be joined by Andi Poch (right), formerly VP of ad sales at MTV and MTV.com, who will now work as senior vice president of ad sales for BuzzMedia. Poch and Rohrer are joining BuzzMedia from their digital advisory firm “and,” which serviced clients like IAC and Virgin Mobile.

BuzzMedia has also added three more sales execs to its team across the country: Rose Ferraro in the West; Paul Magyar in the East; and Cheryl Beley for the Midwest. The company also promoted Karina Kogan to executive vice president of sales and marketing and brought on Emily Schwartz as ad solutions director on the ad sales operations side.

Full release and bios of the new staffers after the jump

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More On Ben Silverman’s New Project

Embedded video from CNNMoney.com Video
Yesterday, IAC announced that NBC Universal co-chair Ben Silverman was leaving the network to launch a new venture for Barry Diller‘s media company.

Silverman’s two-year stint at NBCU has been fraught with speculation of his inevitable exit thanks to expensive flops like “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Knight Rider.” But Silverman is also responsible for bringing NBC’s biggest hits, “The Office” and “The Biggest Loser,” which were also produced by Silverman’s former company Reveille, to the network.

Although no one was surprised that Silverman was leaving NBC, his sudden departure and the mysterious new venture have been somewhat of a shock. Last week, he participated in Fortune‘s technology conference and spoke to Poppy Harlow about his network’s plans for “America’s Got Talent” and Jay Leno‘s move to primetime (video above). Silverman would presumably want to see the launch of Leno’s new program, but his two-year contract with NBC expired this summer.

So what will he be doing next at IAC?

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Silverman Leaves NBC For IAC; Gaspin Promoted To Chair

gaspin.pngAfter months of speculation over his possible departure, Ben Silverman is leaving NBC Universal to join Barry Diller‘s IAC, where he will develop a multi-media production company.

Silverman said he will stay at NBC through the launch of the fall season. He will be replaced by Jeff Gaspin (pictured), president and COO of Universal Television Group, who was promoted by NBC today, effective immediately.

The full release after the jump.

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Internet Week Announces 2010 Dates

2010.pngGet your 2010 calendars ready: the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences and the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting today announced the dates for next year’s Internet Week. The event will kick off on June 7, 2010, culminating with the 14th Annual Webby Awards on June 14.

This year’s Internet Week drew 15,000 people to events including mediabistro’s Circus — which featured speakers from The New York Times, BusinessWeek.com and Bravo, just to name a few.

Other companies like YouTube, Yelp, Digg, Time Warner, Digitas, CollegeHumor and Microsoft also participated in panels, exhibits, screenings and networking events that attracted big name media types like IAC‘s Barry Diller, Rupert Murdoch, Martha Stewart and Twitter founders Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone. What will next year bring?

Observer Owner Kushner Laments The State Of The Media In NY Mag

kushner.pngThis week, New York magazine takes an in-depth look at New York Observer owner Jared Kushner and his relationship with his ex-con father, Charlie Kushner. Although the profile sticks mainly to the father and son’s stories, it comes at an interesting time for the salmon-colored broadsheet, which recently lost long-time editor Peter Kaplan and laid off a bulk of its edit staff.

“I think we’re definitely at a bottom for newspapers,” Kushner told New York‘s Gabriel Sherman a couple of weeks after the layoffs on June 5. “Once this Russian winter is over, once the papers fail that should fail, you’ll see a resurgence. I think the Observer two years from now will be a very viable entity.”

What the article does reveal about the Observer is Kushner’s relationship with Kaplan and the editor’s possible reasons for his seemingly sudden departure.

“In truth, Jared and Kaplan’s relationship swerved between grudging respect and conflict,” the article says. “Though they grew up in the same part of New Jersey and both went to Harvard, in other ways they were the oddest of couples. Jared found a lot of the paper incomprehensible and fuddy-duddyish, while Kaplan couldn’t quite get over the fact that Jared was the same age as many of his reporters. Kaplan at first tried to mentor Jared like one of his writers. But that only worked for a while.”

Then Kushner hired Bob Sommer, a former publicist, to work as president of the Observer and pushed a redesign, which included the addition of a real estate section, reflecting the young tycoon’s interest in the industry.

“He also insisted on shorter stories and drove Kaplan to shovel stuff onto the Web, which Kaplan thought was the wrong strategy,” the New York article reports. “‘We had benchmarks,’ Sommer says. ‘And Peter hated it.’”

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National Geographic Blogger Janelle Nanos Travels To The Menu

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Today on the mediabistro.com Morning Media Menu podcast, hosts Jason Boog of GalleyCat and AgencySpy‘s Matt Van Hoven welcomed Janelle Nanos, editor of National Geographic‘s Intelligent Travel blog.

Janelle discussed some of the things she covers on her blog, including her upcoming trip to Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. “The thing about travel right is…it’s still very much doable,” she said. “We’re all still struggling with the economy but now is actually one of the best times to be traveling because it’s cheaper than ever and there are so many deals out there that if you look for them you can really make your money go a lot farther.”

Also discussed: IAC‘s Barry Diller‘s not so positive prediction about Twitter’s business model at Sun Valley and “unconscious plagiarism.”

You can listen to all the past podcasts at BlogTalkRadio.com/mediabistro and call in at 646-929-0321.

Observer Picks Up Majority Stake In Webby Winner Very Short List

vsl.pngToday, IAC and the Observer Media Group officially announced their deal passing majority control of IAC’s email newsletter Very Short List to Jared Kushner-owned Observer. VSL, which last week won a Webby Award for “Best Guides, Ratings and Review Website,” has been renamed The Observer’s Very Short List and will be written and edited by the staff of The New York Observer — who are already overworked thanks to recent staff cuts.

News of the deal broke this weekend, with Gawker reporting that the entire VSL staff had been laid off. A press release distributed today did not touch on any staff cutbacks, but did mention that founders Kurt Andersen and Michael Jackson “will continue to remain involved” in the joint venture that is now The Observer’s Very Short List.

Full release after the jump

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