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Posts Tagged ‘Today’

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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Morning Media Newsfeed: Baquet Changes NYT Masthead | Comcast Responds to Merger Critics

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Big Changes to NYT Masthead (FishbowlNY)
Dean Baquet, the New York Times’ executive editor, has officially revamped the paper’s masthead. Gone is the “managing editor” title; it’s being replaced by four “deputy executive editors,” who “have already proven they can run stories that take on big institutions, who have covered a world of war and proven they can lead with humanity.” NYT They are Susan Chira, Janet Elder, Matthew Purdy and Ian Fisher. A fifth editor, Tom Bodkin, will be given the title of creative director, a position equal to the four deputy executive editors. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Through these changes Baquet hopes to make the relationship between the Times’ digital and print sides more fluid. “I anticipate people moving on and off the masthead as our needs evolve,” he wrote in a memo to staff Wednesday, “and it is important that these moves not be seen as measures of who is up and who is down, but rather as appointments aimed at keeping our journalism and our entire operation as vibrant as possible.” Capital New York The appointments reflect a push for better coordination and cooperation between departments as the Times works on pushing out its journalism to digital readers more effectively. Other recent appointments along these lines include Arthur Gregg Sulzberger as senior editor for strategy, Alex MacCallum as assistant managing editor for audience development and Sam Dolnick as senior editor for mobile. HuffPost Wednesday’s masthead changes are the biggest since Baquet took the reins, but there have been several other moves internally in recent months. Baquet announced the addition of several deputy-level editors in the newsroom in July.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: ABC Debuts New View | CNN Ordered to Rehire Union Staff

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The View Premieres With New Co-Hosts, Queen Barbara Walters (TVNewser)
A revamped The View premiered Monday morning with its original co-executive producer sitting in a Queen’s throne getting doused with affection. “Thank you my pals,” Barbara Walters said as co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell, Nicolle Wallace and Rosie Perez looked toward her throne. LostRemote On social media, fans were not really feeling the new View. The biggest complaints were about the new format. Many complained about the new hosts, although Perez was an all-around favorite. THR / The Live Feed Goldberg kicked off the premiere of its 18th season by introducing it as “the newer View,” filmed in an ABC Broadcast Center studio space and featuring a tweaked logo. “We’re gonna try a lot of new stuff — some of it will work and some of it won’t, but the thing that will never change is its great conversations with great women.” Mediaite O’Donnell caught the audience up with what’s been going on in her personal life since then. They then gave the floor over to Perez and Wallace to introduce themselves. Perez talked about a Broadway show she’s working on and her philanthropic efforts, while Wallace got to share her background in politics and the Bush administration. When Wallace mentioned she was a Republican, O’Donnell piped up, “I really like her, I swear to God!” Variety The audience is more prominent and appears more frequently during the program. A new producer, Bill Wolff, who once oversaw MSNBC’s flagship Rachel Maddow, will now run proceedings.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Digital First Mulls Sale | DirecTV to Launch Online Services

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Digital First Media, Second Biggest U.S. Newspaper Publisher, to Consider Sale (HuffPost / AP)
Newspaper company Digital First Media said Friday that it is exploring strategic options, which could include a sale of the company or parts of it. New York Post Chief executive John Paton said the publisher of the Denver Post, the Los Angeles Daily News, The New Haven Register and 73 other daily and Sunday papers is profitable and generates $1.2 billion of revenue. NYT Digital First has long suffered from the headwinds facing newspapers. One former division, The Journal Register Company, which includes papers like The New Haven Register and The Trentonian, filed for bankruptcy twice in the last five years. In April, the company announced that it was shutting down Project Thunderdome, a centralized newsroom that aimed to provide articles from around the nation and the world to the company’s 75 newsrooms. That closing resulted in layoffs for more than 50 people in the Project Thunderdome newsroom. Denver Post Digital First Media was formed in December 2013 with the merger of Denver-based MediaNews Group and the former Journal Register Co. It is the nation’s second-largest newspaper company, based on circulation, operating in 15 states, with 800 multi-platform news and information products, including 76 daily and Sunday newspapers and 160 weeklies. The company said it serves 75 million customers monthly. Poynter / MediaWire Ken Doctor reported in April that Digital First planned to sell its newspapers at the same time it shuttered Project Thunderdome. The company won’t set a deadline for the sale or report any developments “until the Board has determined whether it will proceed with one or several transaction(s), or otherwise concludes its review,” a news release said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: CNN Hires Carney | Sony, Viacom Reach Cloud-Based TV Deal

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Jay Carney to Join CNN as Political Commentator (FishbowlDC)
Former White House press secretary Jay Carney has joined CNN as a political commentator Washington bureau chief Sam Feist announced Wednesday. His first assignment was on the network’s coverage pertaining to President Barack Obama’s remarks on ISIS. TVNewser “I’m thrilled to be joining CNN at a time when there is so much happening in the nation and the world,” said Carney. “Jay’s unique experience as both a journalist and a White House press secretary make him an invaluable voice for the network as we cover the final two years of the Obama Administration and look ahead to the coming campaigns,” said Feist. THR / The Live Feed Carney, who served as Time magazine’s Washington bureau chief before departing to the White House, resigned from his administration role on May 30. Within days, speculation swirled about which media role he would pursue — a book and a cable news job were both mentioned. On June 18, less than a month after leaving the White House, The Washington Post reported that CNN already had made “a fine offer” to Carney for a network role. Mediaite Carney’s new employer hardly comes as a surprise, as many expected him to join one of the three major cable networks after he stepped down from the podium in June — though his name was also bandied about for a position at Apple or a startup. Politico Carney said when he left the White House in May that he’d maintain a public presence in the media. He also signed with the Washington Speakers Bureau. Carney joins a long line of former White House press secretaries making the jump to cable: Robert Gibbs joined CNBC after leaving the White House, Dana Perino is currently a host on Fox News, and George Stephanopoulos is now an ABC News anchor.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Todd Makes MTP Debut | Scarborough Joins NBC News

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Chuck Todd’s First Meet The Press: ‘This Program Will Continue to Evolve’ (TVNewser)
Chuck Todd opened his first Meet The Press, surrounded by the press. At a new desk, with Todd at its center, NBC’s political director introduced those around him: MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Nia-Malika Henderson of The Washington Post, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and waiting in the wings, BuzzFeed’s John Stanton and Amy Walter, formerly of ABC News, now with the Cook Political Report. FishbowlDC For his first Sunday as moderator, Todd talked exclusively with President Barack Obama on topics ranging from ISIS to U.S. relations with Russia and Ukraine and the 2014 midterm elections. The interview took place at the White House over the weekend and aired during Sunday’s 10:30 a.m. broadcast of MTP. Deadline Hollywood Things got testy — and Todd showed a tendency to interrupt — when Obama defended his decision to delay executive action on immigration, saying the summer’s surge of unaccompanied children at the Mexican border changed the politics of the issue. He rejected Todd’s notion the postponement is a political tactic intended to help embattled Democrats in the months before midterm elections, saying that the delay will help make new immigration policies “sustainable” when they are announced later this year. HuffPost There were other small tweaks in the show; Todd threaded his big interview with President Obama throughout the show instead of front-loading it at the beginning, turning to the panel after each portion was over. Todd’s real test will be in the weeks and months ahead. Todd has vowed to cut down on the Beltway bloviators and said he won’t book politicians unless they actually have a stake in the issue at hand. And, of course, he has to pull Meet The Press out of its ratings sinkhole. Politico In selecting Todd as moderator, the NBC News brass is gambling on the belief that a Sunday morning public affairs show can still set the national agenda, as it did under the late Tim Russert. The payoff, they hope, is that Todd can once again make Meet The Press a dominant force in American politics and — though they’d never admit it publicly — effectively erase the nightmare that was David Gregory’s final year as moderator.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Vice Sells Stake to A&E | Chelsea Clinton Leaves NBC News

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Vice Media Stakes Future on A&E Networks Deal (NYT)
After spending the summer flirting with various suitors, Vice Media said on Friday that it was close to choosing a partner: A&E Networks. TVNewser The investment was announced after Time Warner ended its negotiations with Vice Media. The talks, which had been going on for months, included a plan to spin off Time Warner’s HLN network and refashion it into a Vice channel. The Brooklyn-based media company includes a magazine, book publishing, a massive online presence and gritty, global documentaries which are carried on Time Warner’s HBO. WSJ A&E Networks is nearing an agreement to buy 10 percent of Vice Media for $250 million, in a deal that would value the youth-focused online media company at $2.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Financial Times Last year, Vice sold a 5 percent stake to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for $70 million, which then valued it at $1.4 billion. THR Vice CEO Shane Smith, who co-founded the company 20 years ago, has long wanted to expand into traditional TV. A&E, led by Nancy Dubuc, is a co-venture of Hearst Corp. and Disney/ABC Television Group.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Emmys Post Strong Ratings | Pew Reports on ‘Spiral of Silence’

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NBC’s Emmys Drop From Last Year But Dominate on New Night (LA Times / Company Town)
Held on a Monday for the first time since 1976, the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards won the night in viewers, according to Nielsen ratings. Down in total viewership from last year, the three-hour ceremony drew in 15.6 million viewers. Deadline Hollywood It was behind only last year’s 17.8 million, which had benefited from a Sunday scheduling, a September airdate and a high-rated NFL lead-in. On the other hand, that CBS Emmycast had to compete against a highly rated NBC Sunday Night Football game (Chicago/Pittsburgh), which averaged 20.5 million viewers and a 7.7 rating in the demo. AllFacebook Roughly 6.2 million Facebook users weighed in on the Emmy Awards Monday night, leading to 10.9 million interactions on the social network, according to Facebook data analyst Betsy Williams. Lost Remote For the past week, the social conversation has centered on the VMAs and Emmys, which aired on back-to-back nights. But which awards show captured the attention (and engagement) of Facebook users? Sunday night’s VMAs saw 13 million people with more than 30 million interactions; 6.2 million people had 10.9 million interactions related to the Emmy Awards Monday night. GalleyCat Grammy Award winner Weird Al Yankovic requested that author George R.R. Martin “type as fast as you can.” Yankovic reasoned that “we need more script.” Yankovic performed a medley of TV theme music at the Emmy Awards. As he was singing the Game of Thrones portion, comedian Andy Samberg (donning a costume of character Joffrey Baratheon) handed Martin a typewriter.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Halts Disney Titles | Brady’s Death Ruled A Homicide

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Amazon Halts Some Disney Movie Preorders (WSJ)
Amazon.com Inc. has halted preorders for some DVDs and Blu-ray discs from media giant Walt Disney Co., including popular titles such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in an apparent contract dispute. CNET However, preorders of digital versions on Amazon Instant Video are still available. The situation is reminiscent of an apparent dispute between Amazon and Warner Home Video in which preorders of discs for The Lego Movie, Transcendence, and 300: Rise of an Empire vanished from the site earlier this summer. Amazon hasn’t publicly commented on that situation, but it’s thought that the move is intended to apply pressure on Warner to gain greater margin on each sale. Time Amazon has been engaged in an increasingly acrimonious dispute with Hachette over eBook pricing, with Amazon restricting the sale of Hachette books until the two parties arrive at terms. More than 900 authors, including Malcolm Gladwell and Stephen King, have signed an open letter criticizing Amazon’s policies. Amazon hasn’t yet publicly commented on the apparent dispute with Disney. Variety Disney, on its U.S. homevideo site, is directing customers to Walmart and Best Buy for pre-orders of Maleficent and other upcoming releases. Muppets Most Wanted also is available for pre-order from Target. Deadline Hollywood Discussions will be continuing between Amazon and Disney throughout the week to try to resolve the pricing issue.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Bloomberg Cancels Hunt | CNN Politics Makes Cuts

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Bloomberg Media Makes Cuts in Three Cities, Cancels Political Capital (TVNewser)
Bloomberg Media made cuts in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York City Thursday. FishbowlDC Bloomberg announced several layoffs in its D.C. bureau, relocating a few TV production positions to New York, where its daily politics show with Mark Halperin and John Heilemann — slated to launch in October — will be produced. Amid news of the layoffs, Bloomberg spokeswoman Amanda Cowie shared the following statement: ”Our TV operation — in the U.S. and around the world — is growing in size. We are changing how, and where, the TV operation is run.” NYT Some political and finance reporters were dismissed and the company will move some European television production jobs to London. It will also close its small television bureau in Los Angeles and focus its resources on San Francisco. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Bloomberg Media has decided to cancel its weekly political talk show, Political Capital With Al Hunt. Hunt will continue to write his weekly column for Bloomberg View, the site’s opinion vertical. Several print staff will also be laid off. Staffers will have the option to apply for other jobs at the company. TheWrap “We will continue to expand our Washington coverage. We’re launching a new politics platform — including for the first time a daily political show — expanding initiatives like First Word DC, investing in financial crimes reporting and the changes are a part of the overall new structure being put into place,” Cowie said.

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