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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Zucker’

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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Happy Monday | Perfect Study | Announce and Change

Jeff Zucker GTVNewser: CNN’s Jeff Zucker said the company is “going to have to do what we do with less,” so we imagine staffers’ spirits are sky high.

SocialTimes: A new study found that men on the Internet are pretty much all morons. FishbowlNY editors excluded, of course.

FishbowlDC: New Meet The Press host Chuck Todd understands that he needs to act dumber in order for the show to gain an audience.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Díaz-Balart to MSNBC | NPR Cuts Tell Me More | Sulzberger Talks

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José Díaz-Balart Named MSNBC’s 10 A.M. Host (TVNewser)
Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart has been named MSNBC’s 10 a.m. anchor, replacing Chris Jansing, who is leaving MSNBC to become NBC’s senior White House correspondent. HuffPost He will host his MSNBC show from Miami and take over when Jansing departs in June. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Díaz-Balart will continue to co-anchor Telemundo’s Noticiero Telemundo and host Enfoque Con José Díaz-Balart. Ari Melber, a co-host on MSNBC’s afternoon program The Cycle, had been in the running against Díaz-Balart for the 10 a.m. slot, several sources said in recent weeks. The Associated Press MSNBC president Phil Griffin said Tuesday the deal has been in the works for some nine months. Griffin says he’s wanted to snag Díaz-Balart for years but had to find a time slot that wouldn’t conflict with the nightly news on Telemundo, which is also a division of NBC Universal. Díaz-Balart is the brother of U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart and former Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart. His aunt was the first wife of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Variety Díaz-Balart began his career in 1983 and has reported historic events and interviewed major political figures for prestigious news outlets including NBC News and Telemundo. His achievements include being the first journalist to serve as news anchor on two national television networks in Spanish and English on the same day for an entire season.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Colbert to Late Show | CNN Revamps Primetime | ABC News Ups Goldston

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Stephen Colbert to Succeed David Letterman as Host of The Late Show (TVNewser)
It’s official: Stephen Colbert will take over as the host of CBS’ The Late Show when David Letterman retires next year. Specifics of Colbert’s show — including the premiere date, producers and location — will be determined after the timeline is decided for Letterman’s retirement, CBS said. Capital New York The rank and file at The Colbert Report, his Comedy Central show, are operating on the assumption they are invited to follow the comedian to staff The Late Show and stay in New York, someone familiar with Colbert’s transition plan said. Variety When Colbert sits behind the desk of the CBS program, he will do it with a new presentation — not as the right-wing caricature he plays in his current perch on Comedy Central. “He is not going to play that character,” said Nina Tassler, chairman of CBS Entertainment, in an interview. THR / The Live Feed The Colbert Report, which launched in 2005, has earned an Emmy win for outstanding variety series (2013) and three Emmy wins for writing for a variety, music or comedy program (2013, 2010, 2008). Before that, Colbert spent eight years as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart as an on-air personality and writer of news satire. He also has written two books — I Am America (And So Can You!) and America Again: Re-Becoming The Greatness We Never Weren’t — and won a Grammy for spoken word for America Again earlier this year. Mashable Several media outlets quoted network executives saying the deal came together quickly after Letterman’s retirement, including breakneck negotiations with several candidates. Craig Ferguson, whose Late Late Show comes on after Letterman’s, was never seen as a true contender for the slot; it remains to be seen whether he’ll stick around after being passed over. Other names thrown in the mix were Chelsea Handler and Neil Patrick Harris — but even as top contenders, they were dark horses at best. For nearly 18 months, Colbert was always CBS’ guy.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast Courts FCC | Kasell to Retire From NPR | CNN’s Primetime Test

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Comcast Points to NBCU Deal to Convince Regulators (Financial Times)
Comcast is trumpeting its compliance with conditions attached to its 2009 acquisition of NBCUniversal as a model for how to convince regulators to approve its $45.2 billion bid for rival cable operator Time Warner Cable. Variety Comcast launched another prong in its strategy, announcing a pledge to continue offering basic broadband for $9.95 per month to low-income families indefinitely. Effectively, the cable giant is spinning the expanded low-cost Internet Essentials program as one of the key benefits of the proposed deal for Time Warner Cable — despite the fact that post-deal, Comcast would control nearly one-third of U.S. broadband market. CNET Comcast started the Internet Essentials program as part of a voluntary commitment it made to the Federal Communications Commission in order to get its merger with NBCUniversal approved. Back then, the company promised to keep the program up and running for three years. Adweek The program provides eligible low-income families with $9.95/month Internet service, an option to purchase a computer for under $150 and multiple options for digital literacy training. In two and a half years, Comcast has signed up 1.2 million low-income Americans or 300,000 families. Internet Essentials dovetails nicely with President Obama’s ConnectED program to increase digital literacy and the FCC’s recent plan to invest an additional $2 billion over the next two years to support broadband in schools and libraries. Bloomberg Comcast executive VP David Cohen will hold meetings at the FCC through Wednesday, said two agency officials knowledgeable about the plans. Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, needs approval from the FCC and antitrust officials at the Justice Department for its proposed purchase of New York-based Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 carrier. The Time Warner deal would create “appropriate scale” that enables Comcast to invest in new services, and would create a new national advertiser to increase competition in that market, Cohen said.

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Tweet Well | Right Move | Make it Stop

twitter-bird-blue-on-whiteAllTwitter: Here are some Twitter tips from The New York Times’ social media desk. Tip #45 is “Unless you’re famous, keep your selfie to yourself.”

TVNewser: CNN’s Jeff Zucker boldly proclaims that “2014 will be the year we shakeup prime time.” The first step? Accurate reporting! No, seriously.

AgencySpy: Beards plus advertising equals “beardvertising.” We’re sorry.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Katie Canceled | Roberts Inks ABC Deal | Backlash Against A&E

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Katie Couric’s Talk Show Ending (TVNewser)
Katie Couric‘s syndicated daytime talk show Katie will end after two seasons, Couric and ABC announced Thursday. “While production will continue on Katie through June 2014, we’ve mutually agreed that there will not be a third season of the show,” Couric and Disney-ABC said in a statement. HuffPost The news follows Couric’s decision to leave ABC News early due to her new partnership with Yahoo!, where she will serve as the website’s “global anchor.” New York Daily News The end of Katie came as no surprise. There has been buzz for months that trouble has been brewing behind the scenes, which started when Couric’s close pal and executive producer Jeff Zucker left Katie to run CNN. Show insiders have also depicted a tug-of-war between Couric and producers: She had hoped to turn the show into a more news-driven production, while they have pushed to make the talk show more lighter and more gossip-focused. Ad Age / Media News It recently still ranked among the top 10 daytime syndicated shows, pulling about 2.2 million viewers on average, but ratings fell short of expectations, especially given the high cost of production and Couric’s celebrity. THR The end of Katie opens up time slots at 3 and 4 p.m. on ABC-owned stations and others in key markets. These are already being coveted by other shows; the stations also may opt to expand news into those time slots. Some stations had already chosen other shows for next fall, which is believed to have contributed to the decision to the show. Capital New York With her daytime show ending, Couric will presumably have some flexibility to pursue other TV options. One of the long-rumored options is CNN, which is being led by Zucker. In an interview with Capital earlier this month, Zucker shot down the reports that he had tried to woo Couric to the cable news channel. “We did not have any conversations with Katie about coming to CNN,” Zucker said.

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THR Lands Interview with Pat Kingsley

As the specter of Nikki Finke has been to entertainment journalism, so too once was the aura of Pat Kingsley to celebrity PR. And given Hollywood Reporter executive features editor Stephen Galloway‘s wily ways, we’re not at all surprised that it is he who landed Kingsley’s first official post-retirement interview.

THRPatKingsleyImageGalloway paid a visit to the 81-year-old Kingsley at her Pacific Palisades home the day before Thanksgiving. She remains too classy to spill the beans on former clients and any major contretemps (except for The TODAY Show and Jeff Zucker; what does that say about Zucker?). Rather, the joy of this feature comes largely from the small details about Kingsley’s current life and daily routine:

She gets up around 7:30 or 8 a.m., makes breakfast and does a little exercise. Then she switches on CNN (“I want the news, not opinions”), watches that and sports but relatively little entertainment…

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The Hollywood Reporter Poaches Hilary Lewis From The New York Post

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that Hilary Lewis will join the magazine as its New York staff editor of THR.com. Lewis, who comes to THR from the New York Post, where she has worked as a reporter and online producer since 2009, starts June 10 and reports to THR.com editor Chris Krewson.

“With her tremendous business reporting experience, Hilary will be a major asset to THR’s New York bureau, especially as our East Coast entertainment industry coverage continues to grow,” Krewson said in a statement. “We’re lucky to have her on board.”

“Anyone who’s had an eye on entertainment media knows firsthand what THR has accomplished in recent years,” said Lewis. “Joining the company marks a real milestone for my career. I’m looking forward to big things.”

In her new role, Lewis will be responsible for writing, reporting and editing entertainment stories that touch every sector of the industry. She will also be a presence for THR on the red carpet covering the city’s biggest film premieres and events.

Over the past four years at the Post, Lewis has broken exclusive stories and uncovered financing deals including previously unreported details about how Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z production house Skydance reached its co-financing deal with Paramount.  Her interviews have taken her from leading Hollywood talent like Rob Lowe to major executives Ron Meyer and Jeff Zucker.

Lewis joins THR.com at a time when the site has seen traffic soar to 11 million uniques and launched key editorial initiatives including, most recently, “Indie Icons,” a channel dedicated to independent film coverage.

[Image: THR]

David Carr: ‘We Want CNN to Be Good’

In his latest column, The New York Times’ David Carr takes on the bumbling CNN. Carr explains that Americans want the network to be the news station it claims to be. “We want CNN to be good, to be worthy of its moment,” writes Carr. But then, as we all noticed, it never can seem to do that. Carr goes through a few examples:

The biggest damage to CNN has been self-inflicted — never more so than in June, when in a rush to be first, it came running out of the Supreme Court saying that President Obama’s health care law had been overturned. It was a hugely embarrassing error.

On Wednesday at 1:45 p.m., the correspondent John King reported that a suspect had been arrested. It was a big scoop that turned out to be false.

Mr. King, a native of the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, was deeply sourced with local law enforcement officials, but people covering the story suggested those sources were out of the loop by Wednesday.

Throughout the week, I saw anchors and reporters staring at their phones, hoping a new nugget might arrive to give them something to say.

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