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Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

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 BuzzFeed The film’s stars, Seth Rogen and James Franco, have withdrawn from all media appearances in the lead-up to the release of the film.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: NBC News Reups Williams | Jana Winter Joins The Intercept

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Brian Williams Signs New Deal With NBC (TVNewser)
NBC’s Brian Williams, who just celebrated 10 years as anchor of NBC Nightly News, has signed a new long-term deal with the network. THR Saying that he has “renewed his commitment” to the network’s news division, NBC News president Deborah Turness said in a staff memo that he will continue to serve as anchor and managing editor of the nightly broadcast “for years to come.” LA Times Though Williams will acknowledge only that it’s a long-term deal, insiders at the network say it will keep him at the helm of NBC Nightly News for at least five more years. He didn’t disclose his financial compensation, but it’s said to be more than $10 million a year. CNNMoney He is presently the longest-serving nightly news anchor, competing every weeknight against David Muir, who just took over ABC’s World News three months ago, and Scott Pelley, who became the anchor of the CBS Evening News three years ago. NYT The news ratings have been more competitive over the last year. This past summer, ABC’s newscast edged ahead of NBC for a number of weeks among the viewers most sought by news advertisers, those from the ages of 25 to 54. Williams continues to win virtually every week among total viewers, averaging more than 9 million a night, the program’s best total in almost a decade. In recent weeks he has also moved ahead again among the 25-54 group.

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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: Winkler Out at Bloomberg | Ebola Fighters Are Time PoTY

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Matt Winkler Steps Down at Bloomberg News (FishbowlNY)
More changes at Bloomberg News, this time involving veteran editor-in-chief Matt Winkler, who is stepping down. Winkler has been editor of Bloomberg News for the past 24 years. Capital New York John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of The Economist, will succeed Winkler, who co-founded the news service with Michael Bloomberg back in 1990. Micklethwait has edited The Economist since 2006. He will leave the company at the end of January. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The Economist is now searching for a replacement for Micklethwait, who joined the mag in 1987, a process that will very likely take several weeks. NYT On Tuesday, Bloomberg News named Winkler an editor-in-chief emeritus. One executive at Bloomberg, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said the change was a year in the making, but had accelerated since Bloomberg’s return to the company in September. Another Bloomberg executive said it was very much a joint decision based on the need for a cultural change in the news division, and that Bloomberg and Winkler remained close. HuffPost As editor-in-chief emeritus, Winkler will work with Bloomberg “on strategic initiatives, conducting high-profile interviews of global newsmakers and bringing his insights and expertise to the most important and market-moving stories.” Micklethwait will oversee editorial “across all Bloomberg platforms, including its news, newsletters, magazines, opinion, television, radio and digital properties,” according to a release. Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith, who is overseeing new consumer-facing sites for the company, like Bloomberg Politics, will continue reporting to Michael Bloomberg.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Sony Probes North Korea Link to Hack | Ex-CBC Host Charged

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Sony Pictures Investigates North Korea Link in Hack (Re/code)
Sony Pictures Entertainment is exploring the possibility that hackers working on behalf of North Korea, perhaps operating out of China, may be behind a devastating attack that brought the studio’s network to a screeching halt last week, sources familiar with the matter said. Mashable The thinking is that the hack may be in response to Sony’s upcoming film, The Interview, which is premised on a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The comedy, which is set to be released on Christmas Day, stars Seth Rogen and James Franco who play entertainment journalists recruited by the CIA to kill Kim after it comes out the two men are planning an interview with the North Korean leader. THR North Korea has been vociferous in its complaints about the film and even called the movie an “act of war” in a letter to the United Nations. This isn’t the first time North Korea has also threatened retaliation for something that it didn’t like or felt was insulting. In July, a Chinese viral video led to Pyongyang demanding the video be taken down and action taken against the makers. And in September, North Korea slammed the makers of the documentary Opposite Number and called on the U.K. to punish those behind that project. NYT One person with knowledge of the situation said a Hollywood executive from a company other than Sony had contacted Homeland Security to suggest that the attack might be related to a piracy investigation involving a movie that was not even made by Sony. But the department was not mobilized as a result of the query. The attack apparently did not use sophisticated techniques that might be expected from a hostile government. Rather, it employed a common form of so-called ransomware, according to a security researcher with knowledge of the breach, who did not have permission to speak publicly about the findings. Variety At least five new movies from Sony Pictures are being devoured on copyright-infringing file-sharing hubs online in the wake of the hack attack. Copies of DVD screeners of four unreleased Sony movies including the upcoming Annie are getting some unwelcome early exposure, but nothing compared with the frenzy enveloping Fury, the war pic still in theaters that bowed in October.

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RIP: Lester Bernstein

NewsweekLogoOur most heartfelt condolences go out this holiday weekend to New York Times investigative reporter Nina Bernstein. She has announced that her father Lester Bernstein has passed away at age 94. Eight days after the death of his wife Mimi, Nina’s mother.

The span of Mr. Bernstein’s esteemed journalism career was writ large, encompassing stints as editor of Newsweek, European correspondent for Time and vice president at NBC, where he helped organize the first televised U.S. Presidential debates. Per today’s Times obituary, here’s how it all began:

Lester Bernstein was born in the Bronx on July 18, 1920 to Isidore and Rebecca Axelrod Bernstein, Yiddish-speaking immigrants from Eastern Europe. He graduated in 1936 from DeWitt Clinton High School and in 1940 from Columbia College, where he was the Times campus correspondent.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Cancels Cosby Project | Today Firings Rumor ‘Wrong — Period’

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Cosby’s New NBC Show Is No Longer in Development (HuffPost)
NBC has confirmed to HuffPost Entertainment that a planned sitcom project with Bill Cosby is no longer in development. The network had no further comment on the matter. THR / The Live Feed NBC handed out a script plus significant penalty for the comedy earlier this year, tapping Rules of Engagement alum Mike Sikowitz and Mike O’Malley (Shameless) to write and produce the comedy. O’Malley was eyed for a co-starring role on the comedy, which NBC Entertainment topper Bob Greenblatt envisioned for a summer or fall 2015 debut. Deadline The Cosby NBC multi-camera comedy project, executive produced by The Cosby Show’s Tom Werner, would’ve had Cosby starring as Jonathan Franklin, a patriarch of a multigenerational family who shares his many years of wit, wisdom and experience to help his daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren navigate their complicated modern lives. In light of the slew of rape accusations, it would’ve probably been hard for viewers to accept Cosby as a lovable family man and for NBC to sell the project to advertisers. The Associated Press / The Big Story A TV Land spokesperson said reruns of The Cosby Show will stop airing immediately for an indefinite time. The Cosby Show also was to have been part of a Thanksgiving sitcom marathon. PRNewser Both NBC and Netflix, who decided that it would be best to postpone the planned launch of its comedy special Bill Cosby 77, which had been planned to go live the day after Thanksgiving, have clearly made their respective decisions with their brands in mind. The allegations show no sign of going away anytime soon. In fact, the talk about them seems to be escalating the more we hear from the alleged victims and others surrounding the issue. FishbowlNY It started this week with a Vice article by Tracie Egan Morrissey, who excerpted passages about Cosby from former supermodel Janice Dickinson’s 2002 autobiography No Lifeguard on Duty. It quickly escalated with Dickinson shockingly filling in the blanks in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight co-host Kevin Frazier. While the additional, shared details were immediately dismissed by Cosby attorney Marty Singer as “a defamatory fabrication,” some earlier legal wrangling with Cosby apparently kept these allegations from surfacing well before 2004 accuser Andrea Constand filed suit. TVNewser CNN’s Don Lemon has issued an on-air apology for remarks he made during Tuesday night’s interview with Cosby accuser Joan Tarshis. Lemon, who is a victim of sexual abuse himself, caused a social media uproar by telling Tarshis, “there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Horowitz Out at NBC News | Charles Champlin Dies at 88

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Jamie Horowitz Out at NBC News (TVNewser)
Jamie Horowitz, the recently-hired SVP and GM of the Today show, is no longer with NBC News. A source tells us Horowitz and his boss, NBC News president Deborah Turness, were not seeing eye to eye, leading to Horowitz’s departure from the network late Monday. THR / The Live Feed Originally set to join the network in December, Horowitz started taking meetings at Today in September, overseeing the network’s flagship morning show. Variety “He’s a talented producer and executive, but, together, he and I have come to the conclusion that this is not the right fit,” Turness said in a memo to staffers. In the wake of Horowitz’ departure, Turness said, she will continue working closely with Don Nash, the executive producer of Today, and Jen Brown, the vice president and general manager of Today.com. She expects to find a new general manager of Today, she said. Deadline Hollywood In August, NBC agreed to let Bill Wolff, VP primetime programs at MSNBC and executive producer of The Rachel Maddow Show, out of his contract to move to ABC, in order to get that parent company to allow top ESPN programmer Horowitz take the helm at Today. Before joining ESPN, Horowitz worked at NBC Sports; he started his TV career as an NBC Olympics researcher. Turness came to the network from the U.K. in August 2013 to help turn around the news division’s once-dominant but now struggling franchises. NYT Early reports of new turbulence at Today were especially upsetting for NBC News because the show is the news division’s biggest profit center, and NBC has been touting a comeback in the ratings for the show, which has trailed ABC’s Good Morning America since Today lost a seemingly impregnable lead in the morning ratings in 2012. Turness has been portrayed as embattled in some reports, and Horowitz’s name surfaced quickly as a possible successor, despite his short tenure and the fact that he has no network news background.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: FNC Wins Election Night | CBS Launches Digital News Service

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Midterm Election TV Ratings: Fox News Tops Broadcast Nets, Beats Cablers Combined (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel was the most-watched network — on broadcast and on cable — during coverage of the midterm elections. Fox News beat CNN and MSNBC in both total viewers and the adults 25-54 demo, combined during primetime hours. Capital New York FNC, CNN and MSNBC were all down compared to the 2010 midterm elections, and CNN and MSNBC were also down compared to the 2006 midterms, which saw President Bush in his sixth year in office see the Democratic party take control in Congress. All told, an average of just over 10 million people watched the three cable news channels Tuesday night, with an average of nearly 13 million watching on broadcast TV. THR / The Live Feed Fox News Channel boasted a whopping average of 6.3 million viewers for all of primetime. Compared to the last four Tuesdays, FNC’s 1.516 million viewers in the core news demo of adults 25-54 was improved by 303 percent. CNN, which has been solidly in second place for the last six months, was up by 480 percent to 812,000. That left MSNBC in third. Coming off of a middling October, the net still surged 315 percent — albeit only netting 481,000 demo viewers. TVNewser In addition to online coverage, each of the Big 3 broadcast networks produced one-hour primetime midterm election specials at 10 p.m. According to Nielsen overnight time period data, CBS was the clear winner at 10 p.m., averaging 5.367 million viewers to NBC’s 4.270 million and ABC’s 3.507 million. AllFacebook On Election Day, 27 million U.S. Facebook users generated 85 million interactions — likes, shares and comments — including those who used the social network’s “I’m a Voter” feature.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Raven to Retire From A&E | NBC Undecided on Virgin Galactic Series

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A&E Networks Chairman Abbe Raven to Retire (THR)
Cable pioneer Abbe Raven is set to retire. Her last day as chairman of A&E Networks will be Feb. 2. The news comes nearly a year after Raven’s protégé, Nancy Dubuc, was elevated to CEO and Raven to chairman. Deadline Hollywood Dubuc took oversight of the day-to-day operations of the company, while Raven remained in charge of A&E Networks’ long-term business and revenue opportunities, including distribution, as well as public policy initiatives and corporate outreach. A year ago, Dubuc also took over distribution. She will remain president and CEO. Variety Raven’s role as chairman will not be filled. Raven is without question one of key architects of A&E Networks’ growth, particularly in the past 15 years. The company, a joint venture of Hearst Corp. and Disney, is home to some of cable’s most prosperous channels, but as a private concern it is shielded from quarterly earnings scrutiny. Under Raven and Dubuc, A&E has rapidly expanded its domestic and international portfolio, which generates an estimated $3.8 billion in annual revenue. TheWrap Prior to her position as president and CEO, Raven held high level executive roles at the company’s properties A&E Network, The Biography Channel and The History Channel. WSJ The handoff also comes at a challenging time. After setting cable-television ratings records last year with hits like Duck Dynasty on A&E and The Bible on History, the company’s two biggest channels have endured sharp declines this year. A&E’s ratings are down 32 percent so far this year in total viewers and 25 percent in its target demographic of 25- to 54-year olds, while History’s ratings are down 15 percent in both total viewers and those 25 to 54.

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