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Posts Tagged ‘Tribune Co.’

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 Bans Twitter | Netflix CEO Blasts ISPs | Carney Not Prompted

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Twitter Goes Dark in Turkey Hours After Country’s PM Threatened to ‘Wipe Out’ Service (TechCrunch)
After Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan promised that he would “wipe out” Twitter after it apparently ignored court orders asking the site to remove certain corruption allegations, the service has gone dark in the country. WSJ The move, confirmed by the telecommunications regulator and the state news agency, sent shock waves across Turkey, which is one of the top 10 users of Twitter worldwide with more than 10 million users. Turkish citizens have increasingly turned to the medium to voice opposition to the government and organize demonstrations as mainstream media have avoided criticism of Erdoğan. Variety At a rally in Bursa, Erdoğan pledged to do away with Twitter completely. “We will eradicate Twitter,” he said. “I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.” Tensions between Erdoğan and Twitter had been building for some time. On Feb. 25, the prime minister claimed a “robot lobby” was targeting government through Twitter. He also threatened on March 6 to shut down both Twitter and Facebook in Turkey “if necessary.” Bloomberg Businessweek Erdoğan said the microblogging service ignored court orders to remove content related to a government corruption scandal. The tweets targeted by the premier are from an anonymous user going by the name of Haramzadeler, a Turkish phrase that means Sons of Thieves. The person or persons have been leaking documents and audio files described as the results of a 15-month prosecutor-led investigation into corruption in Erdoğan’s government. Time Those who tried to access Twitter Thursday were taken to a statement from Turkey’s telecommunications regulator that cites court orders allowing the government to ban Twitter. In 2013 during the Occupy Gezi protests, Erdoğan called all of social media “the worst menace to society.” The Washington Post / Morning Mix After Turkey’s Twitter was apparently disabled, the hashtag #TwitterisblockedinTurkey went supernova, though Twitter is still accessible via the site’s SMS service, which allows Turks to text in a tweet.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Tribune Co Cuts 700 | NYT‘s D.C. Staff Shakeup | AOL Kills Winamp

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Tribune Co. Reorganizes Publishing Unit, Cutting Nearly 700 Jobs (Chicago Tribune)
Tribune Co. announced a restructuring of its publishing business Wednesday to focus on its digital efforts and streamline operations, resulting in nearly 700 job losses across the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and six other daily newspapers. TVSpy The layoffs, which did not affect the company’s television stations, come at the end of an eventful year for Tribune. The company emerged from bankruptcy in January with a plan to shift focus to its television stations, naming television executive Liguori CEO just weeks later. LA Times / Money & Co The reorganization is “not by any means a Hail Mary pass,” the company’s president and CEO, Robert Liguori, said, stressing that the newspapers are profitable. NYT The cuts, which represent about 6 percent of the company’s 11,000 employees, will affect mostly its business side. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “Unfortunately, organizing around functional lines rather than maintain what we’re doing locally, there is going to be some staff reductions,” said Liguori. “We are not going to be reducing any of our frontline reporters. Over time there will be some small reductions on the editorial side, but we want to maintain our best-in-class local journalism.” Poynter / MediaWire In its most recent financial report, Tribune noted it had eliminated 360 positions in 2013 across the company, which also has a broadcasting division. The reductions came “primarily in publishing,” the company said. NY Post “The move anticipates a tough 2014,” said Ken Doctor, an analyst and founder of Newsonomics. “Tribune is battening down the hatches, looking at another, similar high single-digit decline in print ads. Massive cutting is the only way to preserve meager profit.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Traveler Lays Off 17 | NJ Paper Avoids Shutdown | Tribune Co. to Cut $100M


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Traveler Layoffs Reach 17 as Condé Nast Title Adopts A Softer Focus (Capital New York)
Fourteen Condé Nast Traveler employees were laid off Wednesday, bringing the total number of staffers cut under new editor-in-chief Pilar Guzmán to 17, a source familiar with the matter told Capital. NY Post Guzmán is said to have handed walking papers to executive editor Kevin Doyle and senior editors Alison Humes and Dinda Elliott, the daughter of the late famed Newsweek editor Osborne Elliot. Guzmán, raided from Martha Stewart Living, where she was the editor-in-chief, started shaking things up within days of her arrival at Condé. WWD / Memo Pad Since its inception, Traveler’s commitment to serious travel journalism was embodied in the logo coined by founding editor Harry Evans, “Truth in Travel.” The layoffs suggest that credo may too be discarded, or at least, take on a whole new meaning. FishbowlNY Dropping Doyle, Humes and Elliott might help Guzmán shape Traveler to her liking, but anyone who has been following Condé drama lately knows that these moves must’ve been approved by Anna Wintour. Wintour has been overseeing more cuts than a Jo-Ann Fabric scrapbooking class. Bloomberg “This is part of a broader restructuring effort that will shift the focus on more of a lifestyle lens and the growing digital business,” said Sarina Sanandaji, a spokeswoman for the magazine. The magazine is likely to replace some of the positions, she said.

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WPIX Blacked Out ‘Without Warning’ in Cablevision Homes

Cablevision subscribers have lost a key over-the-air station. WPIX/Channel 11 has been dropped temporarily by Cablevision in a dispute over retransmission fees.

The Bethpage-based cable provider said in a statement today that WPIX parent Tribune and its hedge fund owners were ‘‘demanding tens of millions in new fees from WPIX and other stations they own.’’

Cablevision added that the bankrupt Tribune “should stop their anti-consumer demands and work productively to reach an agreement.”

For Tribune’s part, they say negotiations were ongoing and WPIX was pulled “without warning.”

Tribune continued, “Cablevison took this action despite our offer of unconditional extension of the current carriage agreement with no change in terms while negotiations continued.

On its Twitter feed, WPIX was urging Cablevision customers to call (800) 298-3447 to restore the station.

Tribune has also established the Website, KeepPiX11.com. On it, they point out, “To be clear, Cablevision pulled PIX11 off the air in the middle of the night, without notice and while our current agreement was still in place.”

Cablevision is taking to the Internet as well, providing other viewing options for Tribune programming. It notes several prime time shows, including 90210, America’s Next Top Model, and Vampire Diaries are available free at cwtv.com.

In place of WPIX, Cablevision is airing the Style Network on Channel 11.

Tribune Reaches a New Deal with DirecTV

A four-day blackout has come to an end as the Tribune Co. and DirecTV have reached a new deal on retransmission consent fees. For local DirecTV customers, this means the return of KTLA and CW programming.

The previous deal between the two sides expired on March 31 and as a result, 23 Tribune Stations across the country and WGN America were pulled from the satellite provider.

“We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with DirecTV and to return our valuable news, entertainment and sports programming to DirecTV subscribers,” Nils Larsen, Tribune Broadcasting president, said in a statement. “On behalf of Tribune Broadcasting, I want to thank viewers across all of our markets for their support, understanding and patience during the negotiating process—we truly regret the service interruptions of the last several days.”

Who Will Be The OC Register‘s New Daddy?

MediaNews Group and the Tribune Co. are the lead bidders for the Orange County Register, reports “Newsosaur” Alan D. Mutter. Both publishing companies would stand to benefit from the bump in SoCal circulation and consolidation of operating expenses. But do they want the Register‘s brothers and sisters?

A major issue in any potential transaction would be whether the Register is purchased as a free-stranding entity or the buyer also takes ownership of Freedom’s eight television stations and its more than 100 daily and weekly newspapers. In the interests of minimizing taxes on the transaction, Freedom’s management is known to favor a sale of the entire company, as opposed to the piecemeal disposition of individual assets.

Even so, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Freedom will be sold off in bits and pieces and not as a giant entity. Consolidation may be good for operating expenses, but it is lousy for newsrooms.

Lee Abrams Thinks He’s Some Kind Of Wild Rebel

In a video interview with John Loscalzo for My Damn Channel, Lee Abrams demonstrates that he’s still living in a fantasy world where, during his tenure at the Tribune, he was a brilliant innovator fighting against a stodgy, “50′s-rooted” culture.

The 60′s were obviously a very important time for Abrams.

Of course, there’s nothing innovative about bad ideas, incompetence, and sexual harassment. But watching Abrams insist otherwise is kind of entertaining.

See the full interview here.

Anxiously Waiting For Randy Michaels to Get Fired

Late last night, The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune reported that the Tribune Company board may be planning to ask CEO Randy Michaels to resign. That it may happen at a board meeting taking place today. That Michaels’ successor and his golden parachute were already being discussed.

This is all according to inside sources who spoke to the media outlets on condition of anonymity. We are praying that they are reliable sources who are right about everything.

What seems to have motivated the board to consider ousting Michaels was not the prolonged downward spiral of the media properties under his management, but the embarrassing report by the NY Times detailing his inappropriate, sexist behavior, and the resignation of fellow exec Lee Abrams over an embarrassingly sexually explicit memo. From the Chicago Times:

Board members, sources say, began to worry about possible liability issues related to their fiduciary duties and started exploring Michaels’ fitness to run the company.

In other words, they woke up. Now when are they gonna get rid of the guy?

Previously on FBLA:

  • NYT Story on Tribune Company May Have Killed Bankruptcy Negotiations
  • Tribune Exec Suspended For Sluts & Boobs Email
  • Tribune Co. Exec Lee Abrams Resigns
  • Tribune Co. Exec Lee Abrams Resigns

    Ding dong, the witch is dead. Two days after Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams was suspended without pay for sending out a risque email to the entire Tribune staff, Abrams has resigned.

    It may have taken sexually explicit material to get rid of him, but staffers have long been offended by Abrams’ weekly email rants, his terrible ideas, and his general lack of respect for journalism. From the LA Times:

    Championing change at Tribune newspapers and broadcast outlets, Abrams repeatedly accused TV news of clinging to a late-20th century look, sound and feel. He wondered aloud whether readers knew that a newspaper dateline meant the reporter was actually writing from the location where the story occurred.

    Abrams also advocated new and different styles of storytelling and conveying information. In Houston, where the Tribune TV station has virtually no viewers to lose, he was developing an anchorless newscast.

    It’s not known what will happen to Abrams’ Tribune projects and initiatives with his departure.

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