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Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

Morning Media Newsfeed: García Márquez Dead at 87 | Whoopi Gets New Gig | Wallace Re-Signs

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Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel Laureate, Dies at 87 (GalleyCat)
Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez passed away Thursday. He was 87 years old. Time The Nobel Prize-winning author was hospitalized for nine days in late March for an infection in his lungs and urinary tract. He had been recovering in his home in Mexico City since April 8. NYT His death was confirmed by Cristóbal Pera, his former editor at Random House. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal. His books were translated into dozens of languages. He was among a select roster of canonical writers — Dickens, Tolstoy and Hemingway among them — who were embraced both by critics and a mass audience. The Guardian Journalists gathered outside García Márquez’s house in Mexico City in the hope that one of the family members who was reportedly at his side would emerge. Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto expressed sadness at the death of “one of the greatest writers of our time,” in the name of Mexico, the novelist’s adopted home. Chilean writer Luis Sepúlveda was quoted by the Mexican newspaper Reforma as saying that he was “the most important writer in Spanish of the 20th century.” WSJ Born in the sleepy town of Aracataca, Colombia, García Márquez was best known for his 1967 masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude. In a career spanning more than 60 years, García Márquez wrote some of the Spanish language’s most revered books, many of which became best sellers in the U.S. They included Autumn of The Patriarch, Chronicle of A Death Foretold, Love in The Time of Cholera and The General in His Labyrinth. García Márquez was also an accomplished journalist, whose lyrical, deeply reported stories first caught the eye of readers in Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, in the early 1950s. He later became renowned not only his profiles of presidents and despots but for the real-life close ties he cultivated with leaders ranging from Fidel Castro to Bill Clinton to François Mitterrand.

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NYT Parenting Columnist Tackles Marijuana Dilemma

RonLieberPicThe headline – “What to Do When Your Child Wants Marijuana Stocks” – at first almost seems like a gag. But on this 4/20-minus-three Thursday, New York Times parenting columnist Ron Lieber (pictured) is entirely serious:

Few mothers and fathers prepare themselves for a circumstance I’ve encountered twice in just the last month: What to do about a child who wants to buy stock in marijuana companies? Should the fact that we probably don’t want our children consuming the stuff mean that they shouldn’t try to make money off of it either?

Lieber offers three general directives for parents seeking to guide their progeny’s stock market picks. The reader comments to this one are definitely going to be worth watching; here’s some early reaction from mom Joanne:

I’d absolutely give my daughter supportive advice to invest in marijuana companies as I believe that it is time for the pox to be over regarding marijuana AND it is an enormous new business opportunity that will change the economics of our country. On the other hand, it’s most pharmaceutical companies that I would advise her against investing her money.

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Salon Revisits the Time an NYT Reporter Was ‘Swung on the Flippity-Flop’

RickyMarinPicIn hindsight, one of the few consolations is the fact that social media had not yet reared its Hydra-heads when the New York Times was fooled by a Seattle woman’s faux grunge glossary. Can you imagine the hashtags that would have sprung from the 1992 article being exposed the following year as having been victimized by a hoax?

If you’re too young to remember “grunge speak” or if the details have become a little hazy, click on over to author and musician Tom Maxwell‘s fun piece on Salon, hitched to the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain‘s death. (Shockingly, the Web archived version of the November 21, 1992 NYT piece still features the erroneous sidebar and some wrong-employer attribution for the hoaxer.) From Maxwell’s article:

Thomas Frank (now a Salon contributor) revealed the hoax in The Baffler’s winter-spring 1993 issue and explained that: “[Gag lexicon author Megan] Jasper was surprised by the various journalists’ ’weird idea that Seattle was this incredibly isolated thing,’ with a noticeably distinct rock culture. The result of this credulity was that, as Ms. Jasper puts it, ‘I could tell [the interviewer] anything. I could tell him people walked on their hands to shows.’”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast, TWC Face Senate | Pauley to CBS | CNN’s Digital Video Push

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Senate Panel Expresses Caution on Merger of Cable Giants (NYT)
Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed concern on Wednesday that the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would raise the prices consumers pay for cable television and high-speed Internet service while leaving them with fewer choices for video programming. But the senators generally failed to rattle Comcast and Time Warner executives or cause them to diverge from their basic defense of the merger: that it will not affect competition because the two companies do not compete anywhere. Only one senator, Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, said during the three-hour hearing that he wanted the merger blocked. CNNMoney Comcast and Time Warner Cable said that the merger will lead to improvements in services for customers, creating scale and cost savings that will drive new investments. Several Republican senators, most notably Orin Hatch of Utah, seemed to agree. Although the combined company would have a presence in 19 of the top 20 U.S. markets, Comcast executive vice president David Cohen noted that Comcast and Time Warner Cable don’t compete in any of those cities. He argued that customer choices therefore won’t be affected. The Washington Post / The Switch “There’s no doubt that Comcast is a huge, influential company with more than 100 lobbyists” hired to persuade regulators and lawmakers to approve the deal, said Franken. “But I’ve also heard from over 100,000 consumers who oppose the deal.” Cohen said at the hearing that he couldn’t promise to reduce prices on their services. The rise of cable bills at three times the rate of inflation is among the many concerns consumers have about the proposal that would merge the top two cable firms and the biggest and third-biggest broadband providers. Adweek It’s not that the Senators didn’t have “concerns.” The stats that will define the combined company’s unmatched size — 19 of the top 20 markets, 23 of the top 25, and 37 of the top 50 — give lawmakers pause. They even struggled to understand whether or not the combined company would dominate advertising sales. But they stopped short of opposing the merger, calling on the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice “to consider carefully the impact on consumers as they review the pending merger,” said judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy. WSJ / MoneyBeat The hearing came a day after Comcast submitted a 180-page document justifying its purchase of Time Warner Cable. The filing walked through the various parts of the media industry that could be affected by the deal, including online video, television programming and broadband Internet access, as well as local ad sales in the cable market. If the deal wins approval, Comcast would have 30 percent of the nation’s pay-TV subscribers and nearly 40 percent of U.S. broadband subscribers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Unveils Fire TV | Strahan to Join GMA | Peabody Award Winners

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Amazon Announces Set-Top Box ‘Fire TV’ (LostRemote)
Amazon continues its quest to become more than an e-commerce powerhouse, announcing Wednesday a set-top box that allows HDTV viewers to connect to Amazon’s video offerings. Mashable The set-top device, called Amazon Fire TV, will be sold for $99. It is a small flat box with a remote control. The hardware aims to take on the Apple TV, Roku and even the Xbox One. The Internet-connected set-top box, which uses voice search when you speak into the remote and also serves as a gaming console, was announced during a launch event in New York City on Wednesday with Amazon VP Peter Larsen playing master of ceremonies, not CEO and founder Jeff Bezos. WSJ The new Fire TV is an ambitious move by Amazon to break into the living room. Amazon offers a streaming-video service to its Prime subscribers, but until now has been largely dependent on other hardware manufacturers to deliver that content to televisions. Sales of streaming media devices such as Roku are expected to grow 24 percent this year, according to market researcher Strategy Analytics. Apple currently leads the market, followed by Roku and Google, the firm said. NYT Fire TV will show a range of content from other providers, including Hulu, Netflix and ESPN. With a separate $40 controller, it can be used to play games, including a version of the extremely popular Minecraft. Among the improvements and enhancements promoted for Fire TV: a voice search function that allows users to utter a name like “George Clooney” or a genre like “horror” and see results instantly pop up, and a prediction feature that knows what you want and queues it up. THR The small black box began shipping Wednesday, Larsen told a crowd of reporters. It has a premium price point in line with Apple TV. Roku, meanwhile, costs as low as $50 and Chromecast retails for $35.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Elliott Exits GMA | Piers Morgan Bows Out | NYT Mag Names New Editor

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Josh Elliott Exiting ABC’s Good Morning America for NBC Sports (TheWrap)
After months of speculation over Josh Elliott’s future at ABC News’ Good Morning America, contract talks broke down over the weekend and he will leave his anchor spot for a gig with NBC Sports. Amy Robach will be promoted to news anchor, effective immediately. TVNewser Elliott’s jump to NBC and return to sports comes at the end of intense contract negotiations with ABC News. Elliott will work on most high-profile NBC Sports programs including Sunday Night Football, NBC Olympics and Triple Crown horse racing. NBC is expected to reveal more later this week. Deadline Hollywood Elliott, who had been making about $1.2 million salary at GMA, turned down an offer to stay with the show for $4-$5 million. After his fellow anchor Lara Spencer nailed down a lucrative multiyear contract Thursday, Elliott raised his ask to $10 million a year. Per the terms of Elliott’s exit, he cannot appear on NBC’s Today show for six months. NYT Elliott is the second member of the GMA team to be recruited away from the show by NBCUniversal. Sam Champion, who had been the weather anchor for GMA, was hired by the Weather Channel to start up a new morning show on that cable channel, which is owned by NBCUniversal. ABC did make a strong effort to retain Elliott, offering him about $5 million a year, according to one executive with knowledge of the negotiations. Variety Robach, Elliott’s replacement, began her career as a general assignment reporter in South Carolina and moved on to become a morning anchor in Washington, D.C. She spent five years at NBC where she was an anchor at MSNBC and co-host of Weekend Today. Co-anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos remain as the leads of the show.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Murdoch Ups Sons | Twitter Ban Overturned | NYT Adds Digital Subs

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Rupert Murdoch Elevates Eldest Son to Be His News Corp. Co-Chairman (The Guardian / Greenslade Blog)
Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son, Lachlan, has been promoted to the role of non-executive co-chairman on the News Corp. board. It means that the two will work alongside each other. Rupert, the executive chairman, described the appointment as “recognition of Lachlan’s entrepreneurial leadership and passion for news, digital media and sport.” TVNewser Lachlan has been named non-executive chairman at both News Corp. and 21st Century Fox. The 42-year-old has been a director of both companies, but effectively left the media empire in 2005 where he had been deputy chief operating officer directly responsible for News Corp.’s U.S. television stations group and publishing assets. After Lachlan left News Corp., Roger Ailes, the co-founder and chairman of Fox News Channel, was named chairman of News Corp.’s (now 21st Century Fox’s) television stations group. FishbowlNY The promotion means that Lachlan is all but guaranteed to take over News Corp. when Rupert steps down. In the past, it was believed that James Murdoch was the heir apparent, but no more. James was promoted as well — to co-chief operating officer at 21st Century Fox. Financial Times James’ elevation comes two years after he was embroiled in the U.K. phone hacking scandal as the former head of News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper business. His new position gives him a more central executive role at one of America’s most global media companies, in contrast to Lachlan’s non-executive position, keeping him in contention in a succession race that has seen numerous twists. James will share his new title with Chase Carey, a trusted adviser and second-in-command to Rupert, to whom he had reported in his previous role as deputy chief operating officer. Reuters Each son has at various times been seen as heir apparent, and it is unclear how well they will work together when Murdoch finally hands over the companies. The Murdoch family controls both Fox and News Corp. through a trust that has a 38 percent ownership stake of Class B shares with voting rights. A source familiar with the companies said that the plan to elevate Lachlan and James had been in the works for a while and that a tussle over control would be unlikely.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Facebook Buys Oculus | Atlantic Makes Changes | Amazon Credits eBooks

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Facebook Bets $2 Billion on Virtual Reality (Financial Times)
Facebook is making a $2 billion bet that virtual reality headsets will be the next big social platform after computers and smartphones, with the sudden acquisition of Oculus VR. The deal marks an unexpected move by the world’s largest social network into the hardware business, at a time when arch-rival Google is investing in robots, its own Google Glass headset and other long-term ventures. Facebook believes that virtual reality’s applications could extend beyond gaming into entertainment and education. AllFacebook The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter, and it is comprised of $400 million in cash, 23.1 million shares of Facebook class-A common stock (worth $1.6 billion based on the average closing price of $69.35 for the 20 trading days leading up to March 21) and $300 million in potential cash and stock based on reaching certain unspecified milestones. Facebook said in its announcement that more than 75,000 orders have been placed for Oculus Rift development kits, adding that it plans to help Oculus expand into verticals including communications and media. Adweek The Irvine, Calif.-based company’s Rift headset covers the eyes of users and plants them in a virtual reality world in which they can play games, watch movies and interact in new ways. GigaOM Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that he sees Oculus as an opportunity to move beyond the console and toward ubiquitous computing. He doesn’t expect Facebook to make money off of selling Oculus hardware; instead, it might become a ubiquitous world for communication that might contain advertising. “Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home,” Zuckerberg explained. Bloomberg The deal follows a spate of acquisitions that Facebook has used to build up its mobile business. Last month, the company agreed to purchase messaging application WhatsApp for $19 billion. In 2012, Facebook bought mobile photo-sharing program Instagram for about $700 million. Facebook had $11.4 billion in cash and investments at the end of 2013.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Viacom, Google Settle | KOMO Helicopter Crash | CNN Ratings Surge

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Viacom, Google Resolve Copyright Lawsuit (MarketWatch)
Google and Viacom jointly announced Tuesday the resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The Associated Press New York-based Viacom filed the $1 billion suit in 2007, claiming that YouTube was aware that thousands of videos on its site were stolen from its TV networks such as Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon. Mashable Viacom later released conversations with Google executives that it claimed showed disregard for copyrights. Google countered that Viacom was uploading its content to YouTube. The case dragged on for years. In 2010, Google’s CFO said the company had spent $100 million on the case. GigaOM The case has been seen as a landmark test of copyright law’s so-called “safe harbor” rules, which can protect website owners from copyright infringement committed by their users. Google won a series of major victories in the case, including last April when a court threw out the case for a second time on the grounds that Google did not have “red flag” knowledge of the infringing shows. The judge had initially dismissed the case in 2010 but an appeals court partially reinstated it, leading to the second dismissal in April. Viacom filed an appeal once again last year, but the sides have now laid the matter to rest, citing a desire for collaboration. LostRemote Before the settlement, Google and Viacom made strides on dealing with piracy. The two companies have inserted filters that flag unauthorized Viacom content and allows the company to take it down from YouTube. SocialTimes Regarding the resolution of this lengthy litigation between them, the two companies made the following statement: “Google and Viacom [Tuesday] jointly announced the resolution of the Viacom vs. YouTube copyright litigation. This settlement reflects the growing collaborative dialogue between our two companies on important opportunities, and we look forward to working more closely together.”

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NYT ‘Invisible Child’ Series Wins Scripps Howard Award

With photographs by Ruth Fremson and text by Andrea Elliott, the five-part New York Times December 2013 series about the city’s youngest homeless residents, as seen through the eyes of Dasani, shocked and moved readers. This week, it has earned Elliott some prestigious recognition.

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From the Scripps Howard Awards announcement:

Andrea Elliott of the New York Times receives $10,000 and the Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Storytelling for “Invisible Child,” a chronicle of a year in the life of one of the city’s 22,000 homeless children.

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