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Posts Tagged ‘Katie Couric’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Sky Deutschland Slows Takeover | Vidra Named CEO of TNR

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Sky Deutschland: BSkyB Takeover Offer Too Low (THR)
BSkyB’s plans to build a European pay-TV empire hit some opposition on Wednesday. The supervisory and executive boards of 21st Century Fox-controlled German pay TV operator Sky Deutschland advised minority investors not to accept a multi-billion dollar takeover offer from BSkyB. NYT / DealBook The move comes after BSkyB, which is 39 percent owned by 21st Century Fox, agreed in July to acquire the 57 percent of Sky Deutschland that is owned by 21st Century Fox, for £2.9 billion, or $4.7 billion. As part of the deal, BSkyB, one of Europe’s largest pay-television providers, also offered to buy the shares of Sky Deutschland’s minority shareholders for €6.75, or $8.75, each, a small premium on the company’s current share price. Reuters But with only a small premium on the table, analysts have doubted that many will sell. Sky Deutschland would thus retain its stock market listing and BSkyB has not indicated any desire to squeeze out minority shareholders above and beyond the offer which it has set out. Management of the German company, advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, on Wednesday argued the offer fell short of its true value. WSJ On issuing its recommendation to minority holders on Wednesday, Sky Deutschland said its chief executive Brian Sullivan, the only executive board member holding shares, wouldn’t participate in the offer, which runs until Oct. 15. Two supervisory board members holding shares also don’t intend to accept the offer, the company said in a statement. Financial Times BSkyB has argued that it can implement its vision for Sky Europe, regardless of how many minorities tender their shares. Buying all minorities’ shares — 43 percent of the company — would cost the U.K. operator £2.1 billion, further increasing its leverage. The company raised £3.25 billion this month to help finance the acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s stakes in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. BSkyB said it welcomed Sky Deutschland’s “supportive comments on the strategic rationale for the transaction.” BSkyB shareholders are due to vote on the European deal on Oct. 6.

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Exclusive: The Dish on That Book About Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour

LunchAtMichaelsSchool is back in session for the cool kids and they showed up in droves at their favorite cafeteria at 55th and Fifth. Come on, it’s just like high school — but with better clothes. In attendance: NBCUniversal’s Ron Meyer and Steve Burke, Joe Kernen, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Tom Brokaw, Donny Deutsch and Showtime’s Matt Blank among the media mob scene. It seemed more than a bit ironic that Michael’s looked like an old boys club since I was joined today by Sheila Weller for an exclusive first interview about her new book, The News Sorority (Penguin Press), which chronicles the rise of Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric and Christiane Amanpour in television news. While the book’s press release paints the book as a thoughtful, “astute” guide to the behind-the-scenes goings on in television broadcast news and a paean to the accomplishments of these three incredibly ambitious women amid the “impenetrable newsroom boys club,” early reports have instead latched on to the more juicy tales of rivalry and the occasional missteps among the women. Shocking, I know. “It pains me that the news aggregators focused on the catfights,” Sheila told me. “It showed me the knives are out for women who succeed.”

Sheila Weller and Diane Clehane

Sheila Weller and Diane Clehane

What Sheila is referring to is the headline-grabbing items in the New York Daily News and The Daily Beast. The Daily News ran an item on the book for Father’s Day with the headline “Hate-y Katie” and an unflattering picture of her, which, said Sheila, didn’t exactly thrill her rep, Matthew Hiltzik. “I told him I didn’t plant any of it,” she told me. Lloyd Grove PM’d Sheila on Facebook asking: “What’s this book being passed around the networks like a crack pipe?” and then wrote a lengthy piece about the book for The Daily Beast, which recounted some of the more gossipy exchanges involving the women. “Once a book is sent to a media organization, you can’t control what happens with it,” said Sheila. “I was stunned by the Father’s Day item.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Sawyer Signs Off World News | Freed Journalist Arrives in U.S.

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Diane Sawyer Signs Off World News: ‘I’ll See You Right Back Here on ABC News, Very Soon’ (TVNewser)
In what may be the most subdued evening news transition since John Chancellor handed off NBC Nightly News to Tom Brokaw and Roger Mudd in 1982, Diane Sawyer signed off World News Wednesday night. ABC hadn’t announced when Sawyer’s final show would air. That news came in a tweet from Sawyer Wednesday afternoon. New York Post Sawyer signed off from World News on Wednesday after nearly five years — with gratitude and thanks for her viewers and staff. Sawyer took a few minutes at the end of the program to speak of the “deep privilege it has been to sit in the anchor chair” once occupied by the late Peter Jennings, and assured viewers that the broadcast was in “strong and steady hands” under new anchor David Muir. Deadline Hollywood ABC News noted Wednesday morning that she took the newscast to back-to-back sweep wins in the news demo — in May and July — for the first time in seven years. The show ranked No. 1 in the news demo for her final full week. Mediaite Sawyer will be moving on to running an ABC News team that will produce news specials and conduct high-profile interviews. She promised that the show would not change after she leaves, and as for her own future, “I am not slowing down, but gearing up in a new way.” Sawyer concluded, “With gratitude for these years, I thank you, and I’ll see you right back here on ABC News very soon.” Mashable Sawyer announced her departure from the news program and Muir’s new role back in June. Muir was set to take over the job on Sept. 2 and will continue co-hosting 20/20 on top of his new duties.

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8th Grade Superstars | Exiting ET | Abramson’s M.O.

GalleyCat: No matter what you were doing at the halfway point of middle school, it can’t hold a Zippo lighter to the achievements of the three youngsters who make up Brooklyn heavy metal group Unlocking the Truth. We’re talking Coachella, a Sony Music deal and now, a Penguin Books memoir.

TVNewser: Rob Marciano‘s decision to trade Entertainment Tonight for GMA‘s weekend weather leaves the door wide open for some lucky journalist. The search for a replacement is all about chemistry with Nancy O’Dell, but wouldn’t it be great if ET producers opted at this stage for a little co-host diversity?

PRNewser: There was a lot of Jill Abramson news fit to print this week. In her conversation with Katie Couric, the fired New York Times executive editor acknowledged that she “pushed hard” with reporters and editors to “get the story behind the story.”

The Jill Abramson Redemption Tour is Officially Underway

Jill Abramson, the New York Times executive editor who was abruptly fired months ago — has officially begun her redemption tour. Not that she needs to be redeemed — if anything, we’d say she came out looking much better than the Times did after all the dust settled.

However, in her first interview (nice get, Cosmopolitan) since being cut by the paper of record, Abramson explained why, exactly, she’s speaking out. It’s for the kids, dammit.

“Is it hard to say I was fired? No. I’ve said it about 20 times, and it’s not,” Abramson told Cosmo. “I was in fact insistent that that be publicly clear because I was not ashamed of that. And I don’t think young women — it’s hard, I know — they should not feel stigmatized if they are fired.”

Abramson added that she didn’t regret admitting that she cried after Politico published a piece bashing her management style, because young women need to understand that it’s okay to be, well, to be yourself.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Vargas Detained, Released | Abramson Books Two Interviews

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Jose Antonio Vargas Released From Federal Custody in Texas (TVNewser)
Jose Antonio Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was the focus of the recent CNN documentary Documented, was released from the custody of U.S. Border Patrol agents Tuesday evening. FishbowlDC Vargas was detained in McAllen, Texas Tuesday, days after speculating that he may be stuck in the border town. On Friday, Vargas wrote an essay for Politico, where he described his visit to a children’s shelter for Central American refugees. FishbowlNY Vargas was leaving the town to go to a screening of his film in Los Angeles when he was arrested. He was brought to a border patrol station for questioning. Supporters and members of the media gathered across the street, and were warned that if they approached the station any closer, they would also be arrested. HuffPost Vargas flew to the border last week to interview and film undocumented immigrants who have fled their home countries in Central America due to escalating violence. A TSA agent at the McAllen-Miller Airport initially cleared Vargas’ Philippines-issued passport when he attempted to board a flight Tuesday morning. He was placed into custody soon after, however, when he couldn’t produce a U.S. visa at the request of a border patrol agent. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Vargas, who won a Pulitzer as part of a Washington Post team in 2008, has become an outspoken advocate for undocumented immigrants after “coming out” as undocumented in a New York Times story in 2011.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Al Jazeera Journos Sentenced | Post-Dispatch Defends Decision

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Jailed Al Jazeera Journalists Convicted in Egypt (CNN)
Three Al Jazeera English journalists were convicted Monday of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood in a ruling that immediately outraged journalists and activists around the world. The Guardian Former BBC correspondent Peter Greste, from Australia, ex-CNN journalist Mohamed Fahmy and local producer Baher Mohammed were jailed for seven, seven and 10 years, respectively. Four students and activists indicted in the case were sentenced to seven years. NYT Prosecutors accused the three journalists of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast false reports of civil strife in order to bring down Egypt’s military-backed government. But the prosecutors have not publicly disclosed any evidence that the journalists either conspired with the Brotherhood or broadcast false news. HuffPost / AP “I swear they will pay for this,” Fahmy, who was Al Jazeera English’s acting Cairo bureau chief, shouted angrily from the defendants’ cage after the sentences were announced in the Cairo court Monday. Greste, a correspondent, raised his fists in the air. “They just ruined a family,” said Fahmy’s brother Adel, who was attending the session. He said they would appeal the verdict but added that he had little faith in the system. “Everything is corrupt,” he said. Al Jazeera Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said the verdicts defied “logic, sense and any semblance of justice,” adding, “[Monday] three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue to be kept behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. ‘Guilty’ of covering stories with great skill and integrity. ‘Guilty’ of defending people’s right to know what is going on in their world.” The Washington Post The verdict was delivered in a brief session at a courtroom in the Tora prison complex, where the detainees have been imprisoned for nearly six months.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Abramson Gets New Gig | Twitter COO Resigns

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Jill Abramson to Teach at Harvard (FishbowlNY)
Jill Abramson, the former executive editor of The New York Times who was unceremoniously fired last month, has a new gig — teacher. Abramson is joining Harvard University’s English department this coming fall to teach undergraduate courses on narrative nonfiction. NYT Abramson, the first woman to hold the top editing post at the Times, was abruptly dismissed last month by the newspaper’s publisher, Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. Her firing stunned the Times newsroom and the media world in general. Sulzberger said she was dismissed because of her management style, while other published accounts said she was paid less than her predecessor, Bill Keller, an allegation that Sulzberger denied. Capital New York Abramson, a Harvard alum, will hold the title of visiting lecturer at the university for the 2014-2015 school year. THR “Narrative non-fiction journalism is more important than ever,” Abramson said in a statement. “Its traditions and how it is changing in the digital transition are fascinating areas of study.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media During a May commencement address at Wake Forest, her first and only public appearance since her termination, Abramson said she did not know what her next career move would be after the Times. Abramson has previously taught journalism seminars at Yale and Princeton.

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Sigourney Weaver, Howell Raines and Barbara Walters Enjoying Semi-Retirement

LunchAtMichaelsThere are Wednesdays at Michael’s and then there are Wednesday’s at Michael’s. Today was one of those days. I could hardly keep up with the steady stream of famous faces that sailed past my table and made for some of the best people watching at 55th and Fifth in a long time. First came early arrival Montel Williamswho kept himself busy with ear buds and his phone. Next came Joy Behar (who I didn’t notice until she took off her sunglasses) and two pals who were waiting for another person to join them. A little birdie told me the mystery guest was going to be none other than Barbara Walters, so I kept an eye on the door for what seemed like forever in hopes of grabbing a quick chat with her before she made it to her table. Minutes before Barbara arrived Sigourney Weaver showed up looking absolutely ageless in Prada (and from what I could tell, next to no makeup). The Oscar nominated actress (we loved her best as Ripley!) and The New York Botanical Garden’s biggest cheerleader was clearly concerned she’d kept her guest waiting because she’d gotten stuck in traffic so she dashed by before I could utter a word to her. Drats. When Barbara, who was impeccably dressed in black and white, finally arrived, Michael’s chivalrous GM Steve Millington was waiting by the door to take her by the arm and personally escort her to her table. Let me tell you, a real hush fell over the room when the world’s most famous semi-retiree made her way into the dining room. Throughout lunch, plenty of well-wishers, both famous and “civilians,” stopped by her table to pay their respects.

Dr. Phillip Romero and Diane Clehane

Dr. Phillip Romero and Diane Clehane

After making my rounds in the dining room and having made sure Barbara, Joy and their friend had finished their lunch, I made my way over to their table. When I told Barbara that her final appearance on The View, where she was joined by what seemed like every female broadcaster who has followed in her trail-blazing footsteps, including all her View cohosts as well as Jane Pauley, Katie Couric, Deborah Norville, Connie Chung, Joan Lunden and Oprah Winfrey (who managed to score the center square in the iconic photo of the seismic sorority) was one of daytime television’s most memorable moments, she took my hand and squeezed it. “I’m so glad,” she said. “It was really something.” Even more moving, I told her, was her two-hour special that aired last Friday night, where her long-time producing partner Bill Geddie interviewed her about her amazing life and ground-breaking career. What was it like to be the subject rather than the interviewer? “Bill was terrific,” she told me. “We didn’t want to have it be ‘then she did this and then she did that’ so we did it that way. I’m glad everyone seemed to like it.” I had so many questions I wanted to ask, but didn’t want to overstay my tenuous welcome (it’s a bit of a delicate dance sometimes) so I left the trio to order dessert. No word on what Barbara has planned for the summer but in her column in The New York Post this week, Cindy Adams wrote that she and Barbara planned to travel abroad together this summer. I’d say Ms. Walters has more than earned some time off after her long good-bye.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Couric Back to NBC? | Logan’s CBS Return Unsure | #AmazonCart Launches

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Katie Couric in Talks to Co-Host Today (New York Post)
Katie Couric is in preliminary talks to head back to NBC’s Today – at least on a temporary basis. Couric is a contender to sit in and co-host the No. 2 morning show while Savannah Guthrie is on maternity leave, sources say. TVNewser “With the Today show in a good place, we are blessed with great talent and many options to temporarily fill Savannah’s chair while she’s on leave, but there’s no plan yet,” an NBC spokeswoman said. In March, Couric recounted the last time she filled in on the Today show for a pregnant co-anchor. It was early 1991 when Deborah Norville, who’d been co-host of Today for 14 months, gave birth. Couric would go on to be named co-anchor, where she’d remain for 15 years. Mediaite Couric’s career has touched each of the three big networks (NBC, CBS and ABC), and now she is the global news anchor for Yahoo! News. Couric guest co-hosted Good Morning America back in 2012 on the same day Sarah Palin guest-hosted on Today. Mashable A deal to bring Couric back might be difficult, as she currently works for Yahoo!, which has a deal with ABC to share news content. Couric is one of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s biggest signings, inking the anchor to a $6 million per year deal. Getting Couric even for a short stint would be big for Today, as putting the old band back together could help the show to reclaim its past lead over rival GMA. Former co-anchors Couric and Matt Lauer haven’t been behind the desk together since Couric left Today in 2006. TheWrap The beloved former Today host would be contractually free to rejoin the show in the fall, should early speculation pan out the way that many fans probably hope it will. Former Today co-host Meredith Vieira has also been named in media reports as one of those potential seat-fillers.

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