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Posts Tagged ‘NBCU’

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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Morning Media Newsfeed: White House Photo Spat | Spayd Named CJR EIC | NBCU Wants AllThingsD

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White House Press Corps Snaps Over Photo Ban (FishbowlDC)
The White House Correspondents Association has had enough. And so has just about every other media outlet in America. WHCA and more than 40 other news orgs sent a letter Thursday to White House press secretary Jay Carney to protest the banning of photographers from some White House events. The Obama White House has said in the past that photographers would not be allowed to take pictures of “private” events, but has often released photos of those same events taken by White House photographer Pete Souza. In the letter, the media groups accused the White House of trying to replace “photojournalism with visual press releases.” Politico / 44 The atmosphere in the White House briefing room got heated Thursday afternoon as reporters challenged a spokesman over press access to the president. After delivering a letter arguing that officials are “blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government,” members of the White House press corps cut into principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest as he defended the administration’s policies on press access. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media At one point during the briefing, NBC News White House correspondent Chuck Todd told Earnest that if Vladimir Putin issued similar restrictions on the media, the Obama White House “would mock it, [and say] there was no free press.” (Todd later tweeted: “And the press access precedent being set by this (White House) press office will only be followed in a more rigid way by next POTUS. Why we whine.”) National Journal Comparing the White House to the Russian news agency is a hyperbole, of course, but less so with each new administration. Obama’s image-makers are taking advantage of new technologies that democratized the media, subverting independent news organizations that hold the president accountable. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Hours after protesting the White House policy of banning photographers from certain events, the Associated Press Media Editors and the American Society of Newspaper Editors called on members to stop publishing photos and videos provided by the White House Press Office.

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NBCUniversal Gets Renewed Commitment From New York State; Upgrades for 30 Rock

NBC’s partnership with Rockefeller Center dates back to 1933, when the 30 Rock address was first called the RCA Building.

That long history will continue as NBCUniversal announced today a major investment in the infrastructure of its New York operations – committing roughly $190 million to a series of upgrades at the company’s 30 Rock headquarters, as well as at other NBCUniversal locations throughout the city.

 To kick things off, NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Steve Burke joined the co-hosts of Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates Cat Cora and Curtis Stone to knock through a wall, and start construction on the company’s new commissary.

The project, which is expected to wrap-up in the second quarter of 2014, includes the renovation of approximately 1.2 million square feet of space within 30 Rock, and upgrading the technical capabilities of its Manhattan facilities to best-in-class, state-of-the-art technology.  Plus, in keeping with the company’s “Green Is Universal” initiative, all aspects of the renovation will employ sustainable materials and processes.

“We’re delighted to announce that NBCUniversal is upping the ante in its decades-long relationship with New York,” Pat Fili-Krushel, executive vice president of NBCUniversal, says. “In addition to investing $190 million and contributing to making New York a greener city, we’re building on an 85-year history that stretches back to the earliest days of broadcast entertainment.”

Nicholas Lehman Named Head of NBCUniversal Digital Networks

Nicholas Lehman has joined NBCUniversal in a newly created position as president of digital for NBCUniversal’s Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media division, reporting directly to Lauren Zalaznick, chairman of the division. 

Lehman will oversee the pure-play digital businesses in the portfolio, including iVillage, Daily Candy, Swirl and Fandango.

“Nick, with his powerful combination of creative and business expertise in multiplatform media and new product development, is the ideal person to build on our success, at a very exciting time of expansion both in the rapidly growing digital industry, as well as at our company,” said Zalaznick. “We have an unparalleled array of pure-play digital brands with loyal, high quality and large scale audiences. These assets, housed inside a ‘traditional’ media company with innovation at its core, are uniquely well positioned for growth.”

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NBCU Turns To Twitter To Boost Local Appeal With The 20

As their merger with Comcast looms, NBCU continues to concentrate on local initiatives within some of the country’s major markets.  Paidcontent.org’s David Kaplan writes that NBCU local will introduce a Twitter-based TV program called The 20 which will showcase tweets from 20 major influencers in each of NBCU’s ten markets with a local television station.  NBCU aims to appeal to audiences by providing “local celebrity” Twitter users with a broad platform to discuss local issues including culture, politics, sports as well as dining and fashion preferences.

The 20 will debut in January in New York, San Diego, and Washington, D.C. and will launch in NBCU’s seven other markets throughout the year.  Each city’s exclusive list of 20 Twitter stars will change as an individual’s notoriety rises and falls. The program will appear on broadcast, on-air segments and packages, and across additional NBC local media platforms including city-specific web pages.