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Posts Tagged ‘NBCUniversal’

Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Goes Digital | ABC Leads News Demo | Colbert to Visit Late Show

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NBCUniversal Launches Original-Video Initiative for Digital (LostRemote)
The news networks are growing more digital by the day, and now NBCUniversal is launching an original video initiative that will appear across the company’s various digital and video-on-demand platforms. Deadline Hollywood NBCUniversal’s various digital platforms include its channel websites, Hulu and VOD. Promos for the digital series will appear during various programs on NBCU TV networks. In some cases, development of the digital series will be in collaboration with advertising partners. WSJ NBCUniversal’s announcement Tuesday comes two weeks after it reached a multiyear deal to give Hulu exclusive rights to stream several TV shows. Big media companies are investing more time and money in developing digital and online content as consumers stream more programming through services such as Netflix, Amazon’s Prime service and Hulu, which is owned by Comcast, 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney Co. Mashable The slew of digital-first shows include Tesla And Twain, a comedic series that imagines what would happen if Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla were suddenly transported to modern-day Los Angeles. Other projects coming include Last Single Girl, about an underemployed young woman whose friends are all marrying off, and Saturday Night Line, which follows the superfans who camp in the standby line outside 30 Rock in hopes of catching the TV show. Also coming to NBC.com is the previously announced Heroes Reborn: Digital Series, a prequel to the TV show that ran from 2006 to 2010. Variety The big TV companies have dabbled in this area before. Before the 2008-09 TV season, NBCUniversal launched two Web-based series, Gemini Division and Woke Up Dead. At about the same time, Walt Disney’s ABC formed Stage 9 Digital Media, which launched an online comedy about window washers called Squeegees.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast Pleads Case | DirecTV Restores TWC | Breitbart Loses Whip

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comcast-twc

As Comcast Takes Next Step in TWC Merger, Opposition Groups Band Together (TVNewser)
Comcast took the next step in its $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Tuesday morning by filing a joint Applications and Public Interest Statement with the FCC. In a blog post about the filing, Comcast EVP David Cohen argued that the deal is good for consumers, especially current TWC customers. Those opposed to the deal, understandably, don’t think so. Fifty groups sent a letter to the attorney general and FCC chairman Tuesday asking that the deal be blocked. Capital New York The 650-page document filed with the FCC outlines the reasons Comcast believes the proposed merger with TWC would be in the public interest. Much of the document spelled out in granular detail arguments made by Comcast in its original announcement of the proposed deal, but there are some notable new takes. Comcast now sees itself as a tech company, in competition with Google, Facebook and Netflix just as much as traditional competitors like DirecTV and Verizon. Comcast argues that it doesn’t compete with TWC, as they do not operate in the same areas. Variety Critics have claimed the Comcast-TWC merger, which would create an entity that controls 30 percent of the country’s pay-TV market, is decidedly not in the public interest because it would result in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers. Moreover, the combination “could compromise the open nature of the Internet,” Sen. Al Franken told Justice Department officials last month. CNET Last week, Comcast filed a Hart-Scott-Rodino notification with the U.S. Department of Justice, which will begin the antitrust review of the merger. And on Wednesday, Cohen will testify about the merger before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Now that the official filing has been made in the merger, which was announced in February, the FCC will have a self-imposed deadline of 180 days to review and make its decision. USA Today Facing a growing number of customers flocking to streaming video and content providers demanding more payment for programs, TWC agreed in February to be bought by Comcast for $45 billion. The acquisition would give Comcast access to key media markets that it has coveted, including New York and Los Angeles, and occupy about 40 percent of the Internet service market, or about 32 million customers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Letterman to Retire | Mozilla’s Eich Resigns | Fusion’s TV First

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David Letterman to Leave Late Show (TVNewser)
During the taping of Thursday’s Late Show, David Letterman announced next year will be his last on the show he’s hosted for more than two decades. The news was first reported on Twitter by R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills, a guest on the show, just after 4 p.m. ET. Letterman, who turns 67 next week, signed a contract extension in October. Adweek The duration of the new deal seemed a sure sign that the clock was ticking on Letterman’s late night tenure. Two years prior to signing the extension, the host had agreed to a two-year deal. NYT Letterman said he had informed CBS president Leslie Moonves of his intention to step down from The Late Show at the end of his current contract, which has about 16 months left. A specific end date has not yet been set. Letterman is considered by many to be the most original voice in the late-night format, and Moonves has been steadfast in his assurances in recent years that he would never ask Letterman to retire, saying at one point, “You don’t do that to a television legend.” Mashable Letterman hosted Late Night on NBC from 1982 to 1993 before starting Late Show on CBS in 1993. In 2013, he surpassed Johnny Carson as the longest-running late night talk show host in television history. He has been part of more than 6,000 late-night broadcasts. USA Today It’s unclear how CBS will replace Letterman, and when, precisely. Craig Ferguson, who hosts the Letterman-produced Late Late Show, is not being considered as a replacement, insiders say, even though his contract technically promises it. Moonves is known to have been interested in The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart over the years, but in the past Stewart has said he is not interested in a network talk show. Stewart’s Comedy Central partner Stephen Colbert is seen as a more likely candidate, and is available sooner: His contract with Comedy Central expires in December, though Stewart is free in 2015. Chelsea Handler also announced plans to leave her late-night E! show this year.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Turkey Blocks YouTube | NBC Ends Two Sites | Twitter on The Charts

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Turkish Telecoms Authority Moves Against YouTube After Twitter Ban (Reuters)
The Turkish telecoms authority TIB said on Thursday it had taken an “administrative measure” against YouTube, a week after it blocked access to microblogging site Twitter. NYT / The Lede The Turkish government blocked access to YouTube after an audio recording was uploaded to the platform in which the foreign minister and senior military and intelligence officials could be heard discussing the security situation in Syria. WSJ The leaked recording published anonymously purported to show a conversation in which Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief and a top general appear to discuss scenarios that could lead to a Turkish attack against Jihadist militants in Syria. After the two-part voice file was published, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the TIB requesting that it shutter YouTube. The content represents a “first degree threat to national security,” the ministry said, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency. CNN Turkey’s top media regulating agency announced a similar ban on the broadcast of the conversation to television and radio channels. Turkey’s political elite has been battered by a campaign of wiretap leaks recorded by unknown operatives and distributed daily for more than a month on the Internet. Until Wednesday, all of the wiretaps seemed to be recordings of phone conversations between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his inner circle, government officials and some top corporate executives. Politico The move comes just days before significant local elections. Turkish residents decried the Twitter blockage, which prevented them from using the site in any way. A Turkish court overturned the ban on Wednesday, although it could stay in place until after Sunday’s elections. The Twitter crackdown came after similar information appeared on the site questioning the government’s credibility.

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NBCUniversal Shutting Down DailyCandy

This is not how these content start-up stories are supposed to go.

DailyCandyLogoSix years after Comcast’s media unit acquired recommendations operation DailyCandy from New York’s Pilot Group for a whopping $125 million, the site is being shut down. Also being turned off by NBCUniversal – Television Without Pity. From Kara Swisher‘s Re/code report:

The closing impacts 64 employees at the women-focused DailyCandy and three at TWoP. Apparently, many of those staffers — largely located in New York — might be offered jobs at other NBCU properties, but that is not a certainty.

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NBCUniversal to Rebrand G4 as Esquire Channel

G4, a channel owned by NBCUniversal, is about to get a big makeover. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network struck a deal with Hearst Corporation to rebrand the gaming-cenrtic G4 to Esquire Channel. The new channel, much like its print namesake, will target smart, successful dudes.

Esquire Channel is set to debut in the first half of next year, as some programming (cooking, travel and fashion themed shows) is already being produced.

A quick glance at G4′s lineup explains why this is a good move for NBCUniversal. While we love Knight Rider reruns and four episodes of COPS in a row is basically our ideal Friday night, advertisers and consumers probably don’t agree. By bringing the Esquire brand aboard, the new channel will surely spark interest, and — hopefully for everyone involved — more ad dollars and viewers.

Man Pleads Guilty in Death of NBCUniversal Executive

David Andrew Armstrong pleaded guilty Wednesday in San Fernando Superior Court to involuntary manslaughter after he shot NBCUniversal executive Brian Russell Kaplon (pictured) on St. Patrick’s Day in Porter Ranch.

When Armstrong is sentenced on Nov. 30, he faces probation to 14 years in prison. He was originally charged with murder, where he faced the possibility of 50 years to life behind bars.

According to authorities, Armstrong shot Kaplon in the chest with a AR-15 semiautomatic rifle after the gun discharged while the two men were in the garage. Both men had been drinking and Armstrong’s blood-alcohol level was reportedly 0.15%, nearly double the legal driving limit.

The 32-year-old Kaplon worked in the finance department at NBCUniversal.