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Posts Tagged ‘The Wall Street Journal’

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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Food & Wine Adds Two, WSJ Names Economics Reporter

Food & Wine has two new staffers and The Wall Street Journal has a new economics reporter. Details are below.

  • Sarah DiGregorio and Yaran Noti have both joined the Food & Wine team. DiGregorio has been named senior editor in the magazine’s food department and Noti is the title’s new features editor. DiGregorio comes to Food & Wine from Parade, where she served as food editor. Noti most recently worked at Food Network Magazine.
  • The Wall Street Journal has named Matt Stiles an economics reporter. Stiles most recently worked for NPR as a data editor. Stiles had been with NPR since 2011.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Walters’ Retirement Set | Vox.com Goes Live | Megaupload Sued

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barbara walters

Barbara Walters’ Final Scheduled Television Appearance Announced (ABC News)
Almost a year after she announced her plan to depart daily television, Barbara Walters is preparing to say farewell. Her last day co-hosting The View, a program that she created, will be May 16, and ABC will air a two-hour special highlighting her life and career that night, from 9-11 p.m. ET. TVNewser Walters will continue to executive produce The View and will contribute to ABC News as the news warrants. THR / The Live Feed The ABC News headquarters in New York City will also be named in her honor, as the Barbara Walters Building, during a dedication ceremony this spring. Walters acknowledged that she’s sad to leave but that “it feels right for me,” repeating what she’s previously said about wanting to leave before people complained about her being on television too long. Reuters Walters, 84, has suffered from health problems recently, including a concussion after she fainted and hit her head last year and a bout of chickenpox. In 2010, she had open heart surgery. Since announcing her retirement, she hosted 20 Years of The 10 Most Fascinating People, the final show of her yearly special program about intriguing personalities. During her long career, Walters was known for her interviews on U.S. television with world leaders including Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein of Iraq and every U.S. president since Richard Nixon. She also interviewed celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise. Mediaite Walters joined ABC in 1976, when she famously became the first female anchor ever on an evening news program. She later became a co-host of 20/20 and launched The View in 1997.

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WSJ Expands Politics Team

The Wall Street Journal has expanded its politics team. Details are below.

  • Reid Epstein joins the Journal as lead Washington Wire blogger. Epstein comes to the paper from Politico. Previously he worked for Newsday and The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
  • Autumn Brewington has been tapped as a politics editor, focusing on analysis and expert contributions. Brewington most recently served as The Washington Post’s op-ed page editor.
  • Natalie Wardel has been named social media editor of the Journal’s Washington team. Wardel most recently served as social media director for KSL 5 in Utah.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Sweeney’s Successor | Weiner to Pen Column at BI | Bartiromo Given FNC Show

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Disney Names Ben Sherwood as Anne Sweeney’s Successor (THR)
ABC News president Ben Sherwood has been named Anne Sweeney’s successor as co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group. He’ll officially take over the role on Feb. 1, 2015. TVNewser Sherwood will begin the transition immediately and take on the role of co-president of Disney/ABC while also overseeing ABC News until his successor is named. Variety Sherwood was a front-runner for the job ever since Sweeney shocked industry on March 11 when she announced she was resigning as of January 2015 to pursue a career as a television director. Sherwood steered the rise of Good Morning America and brokered deals like ABC News’ partnership with Yahoo!. He will also serve as co-chairman of Disney Media Networks alongside ESPN’s John Skipper. NYT Among Sherwood’s first decisions — with oversight from Disney chairman Bob Iger and Sweeney — will be the choice of his own successor in the news division. “We have a deep bench of leaders at ABC News,” he said. The standout candidate for that job is James Goldston, the senior vice president of ABC News who has been instrumental first in the revival of the late-night program Nightline and then in the rise of GMAWSJ Sherwood was named president of ABC News in December 2010. He is responsible for all aspects of ABC News’ broadcasts. In addition, Sherwood oversees ABC News Radio, ABCnews.com, satellite service NewsOne and ABC News Now. ABC News reaches a combined audience of well over 270 million people a month on television, on radio and online, and is enjoying significant audience growth driven by a creative renaissance and innovative deal-making. In addition, during Sherwood’s tenure, the news division has won the most prestigious honors in the industry.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Prime Price Hike | McCarthy to Wonkblog | Drone Covers Harlem

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Amazon Prime Gets Price Bump to $99 A Year (VentureBeat)
Nine years after it launched, Amazon Prime is getting an inevitable price increase. Amazon announced Thursday that Prime will now cost $99 per year in the U.S., a slight bump from the previous $79 a year price. WSJ The Seattle retailer said the 25 percent increase was needed to offset rising delivery and content-acquisition costs. The $99 price takes effect for new members on March 20. Existing Prime members will pay the higher rate when they renew. CNNMoney In February, Amazon said it was considering raising the price to $119 a year. Prime members get two-day shipping on a large number of Amazon items at no extra cost, plus the ability to borrow Kindle books and stream movies and television shows. The company also said that it has increased the benefits of the program, now offering free shipping on 19 million items, up from only 1 million nine years ago. It also introduced its video streaming service in 2011 and recently launched Amazon-produced shows. THR The $99 price point may open the door for a tiered pricing system that would allow people to subscribe to Amazon Instant Video or Kindle’s lending library separately. Amazon does not disclose the number of Prime members, but research from Cowen and Co. estimates that there are about 23 million members in the United States, representing a 37 percent increase year-over-year in January. The research also indicates that 95 percent of Prime members visit Amazon monthly and 85 percent make a purchase.

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WSJ Launches Native Advertising

wsjSponsored content, native advertising, ads that are annoyingly similar to editorial content — whatever you want to call them, they’re coming to The Wall Street Journal. Welcome to the party.

The paper has announced that WSJ Custom Studios will create the ads labeled as “Sponsor Generated Content,” and they’ll be embedded among other editorial content. The first native ads, from Brocade, will debut tomorrow. Each ad will be created by staffers hired specifically for WSJ Custom Studios. No Journal staffer will be involved in the ads.

The move isn’t surprising. More media companies are participating in native advertising every day. The New York Times said it was getting into the game last December. The problem with the sponsored ads is that some people view them as deceptive; that they’re designed to intentionally confuse the reader. Gerard Baker, editor of the Journal, doesn’t think that will be an issue.

“Our readers trust us, and the WSJ Custom Studios team has created clear and thorough labeling guidelines around the advertiser’s content in order to protect that trust,” he explained, in a statement. “I am confident that our readers will appreciate what is sponsor-generated content and what is content from our global news staff.”

WSJ Adds Two from National Journal

WSJ-twitter-logoA couple early morning Revolving Door moves to note: Amy Harder and Beth Reinhard, both of National Journal, are leaving to join The Wall Street Journal. Details are below.

  • Amy Harder had been with National Journal since 2008, when she joined as a staff reporter. She has been serving as an energy and environment reporter since 2009. Harder joins the Journal March 3.
  • Beth Reinhard had been with the National Journal since 2010, most recently serving as a political correspondent. She covered the 2012 presidential race for the magazine. Prior to joining the National Journal, Reinhard was lead political writer at The Miami Herald, where she worked for 11 years. Reinhard will be covering national politics for the Journal.

WSJ Names New Digital Design Lead

Dow Jones has named Himesh Patel to lead the digital design The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s. Patel comes to the company from London’s Telegraph Media Group, where he served as creative director.

“Readers’ experiences of our journalism on digital platforms needs to radically improve,” said Edward Roussel, head of consumer products at Dow Jones, in a statement. “This is where Himesh’s skills and leadership will be invaluable.”

Patel’s appointment is effective immediately.

Farhad Manjoo Leaves WSJ for NY Times

Farhad Manjoo GFarhad Manjoo is leaving The Wall Street Journal after only four months. He is headed to The New York Times to cover personal technology.

Manjoo will take over the “State of The Art” column, previously written by David Pogue. Pogue left the Times for Yahoo last October.

Manjoo joined the Journal in September after covering tech for Slate for five years.

“In his new role at the Times, Farhad will push ‘State of the Art’ beyond traditional reviews to examine the tech industry more broadly and the role technology plays across the board — what he calls ‘tech’s intrusion into society,’” wrote Dean Murphy, the Times’ business editor, in a note to staffers.

See below for the full note from Murphy and the Times’ technology editor, Suzanne Spector.

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