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Posts Tagged ‘News Corp.’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Sony to Release The Interview | Disney, DirecTV Strike Deal

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Sony Backtracks, Will Release The Interview After All (PRNewser)
We all got our wish: The Interview will be available in limited release on Christmas Day. NYT The development gave new life to a film that Sony had pulled from distribution last week, after hackers threatened violence against any theater that played it. Sony also left open the door to video-on-demand availability of the movie, either simultaneously with its debut in theaters, or nearly so. THR Theaters showing The Interview are expected to put added security measures in place. Sony, though, isn’t planning to assist the theaters with added security, leaving it up to theater owners to foot the bill, per normal practice, insiders say. Variety The White House has issued a strong statement of support for Sony Pictures’ decision to release the film on Christmas Day. GalleyCat The PEN American Center sent a letter addressed to the CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Michael Lynton, to protest against Sony’s censorship of the film last week. The organization has posted the full piece on its website. FishbowlDC A petition titled ”We the undersigned support Sony” also emerged in which backers claimed to ”support theatrical engagements of The Interview should Sony, at its sole discretion, decide to release it to theaters.”

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News Corp, Columbia, NYU Collaborate on Data-Visualization Tools for Journos

Newscorp-MedialabConsider a new partnership among News Corps and two academic institutions an early Christmas present to journalists who enjoy tinkering with data but may not possess lots of technical knowledge.

A working group consisting of the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University and the Integrated Digital Media Program at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, as well as News Corp, promises to build “visual programming tools” designed for journalists who don’t speak hacking languages.

“The idea is to develop a robust tool for the rapid deployment of data-driven storytelling for journalists,” said NYU professor Luke DuBois. “This will be an open source tool that allows journalists to link in a data set, process it using a pipeline of commonly accepted statistical methods, and extract a wide variety of different visualizations that can be easily embedded within a narrative context.” DuBois is overseeing four graduate students who will focus on software development and user experience for this project.

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News Corp Invests in Another Real Estate Business

newscorp-1News Corp is really liking the real estate business lately. According to the AP, News Corp has invested in Elara Technologies, a Singapore-based company that operates PropTiger.com, an Indian real estate site. The deal was $30 million for a 25 percent stake.

As part of the purchase, a News Corp exec will join Elara Technologies’ board.

This is the second real estate company News Corp has moved in on (sorry about the pun) in just over two months. In September, News Corp announced that it had purchased Move Inc., which operates Realtor.com.

Morning Media Newsfeed: FBI Backs Agent, Fake AP Story | Reuters Ends Comments

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FBI Chief Backs Agent Who Posed as Reporter (Mashable)
An FBI agent tells an anonymous suspect online that he is a reporter with the Associated Press. He sends a link to a fake news story, and the suspect clicks. The trap is set, and a 15-year-old accused of making bomb threats is captured. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Two weeks ago, The Seattle Times revealed that the FBI had written the fake Associated Press story and used a fake Seattle Times-like Web address in order to catch the suspect in the bomb threat. Kathy Best, the editor of the Times, said the newspaper was “outraged”; the AP and Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wrote letters to attorney general Eric Holder expressing concern. NYT Then, James B. Comey, the director of the FBI, in a letter published Friday in The New York Times, defended the practice and said that an agent had impersonated an AP reporter in the email. The disclosure caused further outrage at the news organization. The Associated Press / The Big Story “That technique was proper and appropriate under Justice Department and FBI guidelines at the time. Today, the use of such an unusual technique would probably require higher-level approvals than in 2007, but it would still be lawful and, in a rare case, appropriate,” Comey wrote. Kathleen Carroll, executive editor of the AP, said the FBI’s actions were “unacceptable.” New York Daily News “No actual story was published, and no one except the suspect interacted with the undercover ‘AP’ employee or saw the fake draft story. Only the suspect was fooled, and it led to his arrest and the end of a frightening period for a high school,” Comey added. But the AP said the “unacceptable tactics undermine AP and the vital distinction between the government and the press.”

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Book Sales Help News Corp’s Bottom Line

News Corp logo GNews Corp has reported its first quarter earnings, and while the newspaper business continues to struggle, the company did well via support from strong book sales.

Revenue from publishing companies HarperCollins and Harlequin Enterprises increased by 24 percent to $406 million in the first quarter. News Corp also benefitted from a jump in digital real estate revenue, which jumped 24 percent.

Those increases were enough to offset a three percent drop in revenue in News Corp’s news and information unit, which includes Dow Jones.

Overall, News Corp continues to chug along. Total revenues for the company increased by four percent to $2.15 billion.

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: AMC Buys Stake in BBC America | CNN Announces High Profits

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AMC Networks Buys 49.9 Percent Stake in BBC America (TVNewser)
AMC Networks has agreed to purchase a 49.9 percent stake in BBC America from BBC Worldwide for $200 million. AMC Networks will look for greater distribution for BBC World News in the U.S. B&C BBC Worldwide will retain a 50.1 percent equity stake in the cable channel, while AMC Networks will have operational control of BBCA, including affiliate and advertising sales, though it will still be consistent with BBC’s editorial standards and policies. THR The cable networks company and the commercial arm of U.K. public broadcaster BBC announced the deal Thursday after reports of their talks first emerged over the summer. The channel airs such BBC favorites as Doctor Who, Sherlock, Top Gear and Planet Earth. AMC Networks operates the AMC, Sundance, WE tv and IFC channels, and can now add the so-far independent BBC America when it negotiates carriage fees, giving both partners increased leverage in talks with pay-TV operators. WSJ The deal comes as the biggest pay-TV distributors are consolidating, prompting analyst speculation that content players will also have to seek greater scale. Variety Executives at both companies portrayed the arrangement as one borne out of a desire to gain greater reach for premium content that attracts high-income audiences. The two sides have worked together in the recent past. The two have collaborated on series including Top of The Lake and The Honourable Woman as well as the coming program One Child. AMC Networks and BBC Television have agreed to continue to jointly pursue a number of content investment opportunities on a range of future projects, both through BBC America and other AMC Networks channels. BBC America is to be managed as a standalone asset within AMC’s portfolio.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Piers Morgan Lands New Gig | News Corp. Buys Realty Business

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Piers Morgan Named Editor-at-Large of MailOnline (TVNewser)
Former CNN host Piers Morgan is joining MailOnline as editor-at-large. Morgan will write several times a week, while pursing new TV ventures in the U.S. He is a former editor of British tabloids the News of The World and the Daily Mirror. THR MailOnline is the online version of the U.K.’s Daily Mail newspaper and claims to be the biggest English-language newspaper website in the world. Morgan announced in September that he’d left CNN, several months after his eponymous talk show was canceled. He added in tweets about his departure that he’d turned down a two-year deal from CNN president Jeff Zucker to host several interview specials. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “As editor-at-large (U.S.) I plan on breaking down the biggest stories that matter to Americans and analyzing them in a way that will generate discussion and create debate,” Morgan, 49, said in a statement. Deadline Hollywood In the U.K., Morgan is known for being named youngest ever editor of the News of The World and youngest national newspaper editor in Britain in half a century, when Rupert Murdoch gave the 28-year-old him the gig in 1994. After two years, he joined the Daily Mirror as editor-in-chief, which he left in 2004 and became a media columnist and host of interview shows on ITV and the BBC. He also appeared as a judge alongside pal Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent. NYT In the U.S., MailOnline reaches more than 35 million unique readers a month, according to comScore, a total that has increased by 30 percent from the year before and continues to grow.

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News Corp. Buys Online Realty Business

newscorp-1News Corp. has purchased Move, Inc., an online real estate business. Move owns and operates Realtor.com, Move.com and ListHub. Through those sites, the company “displays more than 98 percent of all for-sale properties listed in the US,” according to a release.

“This acquisition will accelerate News Corp’s digital and global expansion and contribute to the transformation of our company, making online real estate a powerful pillar of our portfolio,” said Robert Thomson, News Corp’s CEO, in a statement. “We intend to use our media platforms and compelling content to turbo-charge traffic growth and create the most successful real estate website in the US.”

As part of the deal, News Corp will buy Move’s outstanding shares for $21 a pop, or roughly $950 million.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Shareholders OK DirecTV Sale | FAA Allows Drones for Film

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DirecTV Shareholders Approve $48.5 Billion Sale to AT&T (THR)
At a special meeting in New York on Thursday, DirecTV shareholders gave the company the go-ahead to sell its satellite business to AT&T in a deal valued at $48.5 billion. Reuters The deal, currently under review by U.S. and international regulators, was approved by 99 percent of votes cast, the company said in a statement. The votes cast represent 77 percent of shares outstanding. Bloomberg DirecTV CEO Mike White reiterated Thursday that he expects to reach a deal by the end of the year with the NFL over rights to air the Sunday Ticket package — an important milestone as the AT&T transaction is contingent on that contract being extended. WSJ The deal comes as the communications landscape transforms with people relying more on Internet-connected devices for entertainment and media consumption. Earlier this year, Comcast Corp. agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. The companies agreed to the merger after considering a deal for a few years. It is AT&T’s biggest acquisition since its $85 billion deal to buy BellSouth in 2006. The Hill Along with Comcast’s planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable, the AT&T-DirecTV merger is the second major media deal before federal regulators this year. AT&T’s purchase of DirecTV has raised less opposition than the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, though some critics on the left have raised concerns that it represents a growing consolidation of major media companies. The two media companies have said that their merger is a matter of marketplace necessity.

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