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Posts Tagged ‘Viacom’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Horowitz Out at NBC News | Charles Champlin Dies at 88

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Jamie Horowitz Out at NBC News (TVNewser)
Jamie Horowitz, the recently-hired SVP and GM of the Today show, is no longer with NBC News. A source tells us Horowitz and his boss, NBC News president Deborah Turness, were not seeing eye to eye, leading to Horowitz’s departure from the network late Monday. THR / The Live Feed Originally set to join the network in December, Horowitz started taking meetings at Today in September, overseeing the network’s flagship morning show. Variety “He’s a talented producer and executive, but, together, he and I have come to the conclusion that this is not the right fit,” Turness said in a memo to staffers. In the wake of Horowitz’ departure, Turness said, she will continue working closely with Don Nash, the executive producer of Today, and Jen Brown, the vice president and general manager of Today.com. She expects to find a new general manager of Today, she said. Deadline Hollywood In August, NBC agreed to let Bill Wolff, VP primetime programs at MSNBC and executive producer of The Rachel Maddow Show, out of his contract to move to ABC, in order to get that parent company to allow top ESPN programmer Horowitz take the helm at Today. Before joining ESPN, Horowitz worked at NBC Sports; he started his TV career as an NBC Olympics researcher. Turness came to the network from the U.K. in August 2013 to help turn around the news division’s once-dominant but now struggling franchises. NYT Early reports of new turbulence at Today were especially upsetting for NBC News because the show is the news division’s biggest profit center, and NBC has been touting a comeback in the ratings for the show, which has trailed ABC’s Good Morning America since Today lost a seemingly impregnable lead in the morning ratings in 2012. Turness has been portrayed as embattled in some reports, and Horowitz’s name surfaced quickly as a possible successor, despite his short tenure and the fact that he has no network news background.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: DWA, Hasbro Merger Talks End | The Onion Exploring Sale

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DreamWorks Animation, Hasbro End Merger Talks (THR)
Hasbro has called off merger negotiations with DreamWorks Animation, sources say. The deal chatter, which became public on Wednesday, appears to have been derailed in part by the performance of Hasbro’s stock and potentially the high price sought by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. WSJ News last week that the toy maker was in early acquisition talks with the film studio drove the two companies’ stocks in opposite directions. Hasbro investors sent the toy company’s share price down more than 4 percent on Thursday and nearly 2 percent on Friday, when they settled at $54.02 on Nasdaq. Adweek DreamWorks reportedly wanted $30 per share, a relatively steep incline for stock trading at roughly $22. NYT / DealBook Also playing a role was a negative private reaction by the Walt Disney Company, which comprises roughly 30 percent of Hasbro’s business through licenses for Star Wars, Marvel characters, Frozen and the Disney Princesses toy line. Variety Neither side has officially commented on why the talks fell apart, nor the potential of a deal. Hasbro follows recent conversations DWA has had to sell the toon studio. In September, it discussed such a sale with Japanese tech giant SoftBank, that also ended just days later.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon, Hachette End Dispute | CNN Picks Up Three Originals

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Hachette, Amazon Establish New Multi-Year Contract (GalleyCat)
Hachette Book Group and Amazon have established a new multi-year agreement. The two companies have been locked in a dispute since April. THR The companies have reached a new agreement covering eBook and print sales in the U.S. The two were reportedly in a standoff over eBook revenues, with the online retailer reportedly delaying shipments, reducing discounts and preventing people from preordering Hachette titles. Mashable The dispute began when Amazon stopped taking preorders for Hachette titles. Since that time, the two have dialed up the rhetoric, with Hachette authors Malcolm Gladwell and James Patterson criticizing Amazon, while the online retailer charged that Hachette was “stonewalling” about making a deal. WSJ Neither side claimed victory and it may be that both Hachette and Amazon made concessions in the end. Under the new eBook agreement, which will take effect in early 2015, Hachette will set the prices of its consumer titles. The companies said Hachette will get better terms when it “delivers lower prices for readers.” Amazon said on Thursday it has resumed treating Hachette titles as it did before the dispute. NYT The conflict, which played out in increasingly contentious forums as the year progressed, left wounds too deep for true celebration Thursday. Amazon has been cast as a bully in publications across the ideological spectrum, and a large group of authors is calling for it to be investigated on antitrust grounds. Its sales were hit by the dispute, analysts said. Amazon’s supporters publicly questioned the need for Hachette, the fourth largest publisher, to exist in an era when anyone can publish themselves digitally, an accusation Hachette was reluctant to respond to. And even if Amazon got less in the deal than it originally wanted, it still controls nearly half the book trade, an unprecedented level for one retailer. And the dispute showed it is not afraid to use its power to discourage sales.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Leno Set to Launch CNBC Show | NBC Courted Stewart for MTP

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Jay Leno Nears Deal to Launch CNBC Show (THR / The Live Feed)
Jay Leno is lining up his first regular television hosting gig since leaving The Tonight Show in February, and he’s staying in the NBCUniversal family. TVNewser Leno’s new show would air on CNBC in primetime and focus on his longtime love of cars. WSJ / CMO Today A CNBC spokesperson declined to comment. Both NBC and CNBC are units of Comcast Corp. Since he stepped down from The Tonight Show, he has continued to work as a stand-up comic. He is known for his love of automobiles and has a large collection of rare and classic cars. NYT No other details have been released pending completion of the contract, though the executives confirmed the show would not be comedy-based. Leno has been a regular presence on NBC.com with a motor-vehicle-obsessed show called Jay Leno’s Garage. Deadline Hollywood The news comes as the cable business network comes off its lowest-rated quarter of the year in primetime and the lowest-rated quarter in its history in the demo for the business day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CNBC has been looking to broaden its primetime slate with reality TV formats. To date, its most successful such bid has been its reruns of ABC’s Mark Burnett-produced Shark Tank.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Muir, ABC Topple NBC Nightly News | AOL Replaces Harnevo

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World News Tonight With David Muir Gets First Overall Weekly Win in 6 Years (TVNewser)
With the latest Nielsen evening news ratings released Tuesday, ABC’s World News Tonight With David Muir had its first outright win in six years. The ABC evening newscast finished first among the two younger demos, adults 25-54 and adults 18-49, and breaks the five-year total viewer winning streak held by NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams. TVNewser While Muir’s show was up 10 percent in viewers and up 16 percent in the demo compared to the same week last year, Williams’ broadcast was down 3 percent in viewers and down 13 percent in the demo. Deadline Hollywood It was ABC’s ninth consecutive newscast win in the news demo. ABC’s newscast clocked 8.416 million viewers, 2.204 million news demo viewers, and 1.528 million 18-49-year-old viewers for the week. NBC’s newscast logged 8.250 million viewers, 1.937 million news demo viewers and 1.416 million younger viewers. Scott Pelley-anchored CBS Evening News trailed with 6.614 million viewers, including 1.602 million in the news demo and 1.147 million aged 18-49. Variety There’s no telling whether ABC will be able to duplicate the feat in coming weeks. In the recently completed 2013-2014 TV season, Nightly News had its best viewer delivery in eight years and enjoyed a large advantage over both ABC and CBS. And Nightly News typically out-muscles World News among younger viewers, those between 18 and 49. But ABC has been pressing its advantage in the 25-to-54 demo for weeks and has been eating into NBC’s advantage in that category. In May, under Diane Sawyer, World News won the May sweep among viewers between 25 and 54 — the first time the newscast had done so in seven years. NYT In 2012, ABC also ended a long winning streak for NBC in the morning when its Good Morning America toppled the Today show.

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Evolve Media Acquires AfterEllen.com

AfterEllenLogoEvolve Media, owners and operators of Crave Online, have made a major addition to their content publishing business. For an undisclosed sum, the company has acquired pioneering lesbian lifestyle and community site AfterEllen.com from Viacom.

“We’re bringing over the entire staff [except for EIC Karman Kregloe],” Evolve Media president and co-founder Brian Fitzgerald tells FishbowlNY via telephone. “There are two to three full-time employees and, as our publishing business goes these days, an army of perma-lancers.”

“One thing the AfterEllen staff is excited about is that a major piece of the Evolve Media operation is in Los Angeles, and the head editor – Trish Bendix (pictured, below) – is based in LA.” he continues. “We want her to come into the office, not full-time, but to be able to take advantage of the team of people we have that can help to be a resource to grow the audience.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Cuts Staff, NYT Opinion | Jeter Launches ‘Players’ Tribune’

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NYT to Cut 100 Newsroom Jobs, Shutter NYT Opinion (FishbowlNY)
Wednesday was not a good day for many New York Times staffers. The paper cut a whopping 100 people from its newsroom. The last time the Times let go of this many people was in 2009. NYT Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the newspaper’s publisher, and Mark Thompson, its chief executive, said that in addition to the job cuts, NYT Opinion, a new mobile app dedicated to opinion content, was shutting down because it was not attracting enough subscribers. HuffPost The Times said it would seek to eliminate roughly 100 jobs in the newsroom through either buyouts or layoffs. Additional reductions are expected in the editorial and business departments. The cuts have been widely expected for weeks. The paper’s own report on the changes noted that the newsroom will lose around 7.5 percent of its employees. That still leaves it with one of the biggest in the industry. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The Times has already eliminated at least 230 newsroom positions since 2008, even as it continues to staff up on the digital and development side. The new cutbacks should leave the Times with roughly 1,200 newsroom staff. New York Post The cuts appear aimed at getting more senior staffers to exit. Employees covered by the Newspaper Guild will receive three weeks of salary for each year worked, capped at a maximum of two times annual salary, according to Baquet’s memo. In addition, the Times is offering a cash payout of 35 percent of total severance to staffers who have been at the company 20 years or more.

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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: 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: Fox, Time Warner Issue Earnings | Coulson Charged With Perjury

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Fox, Time Warner Deliver Dueling Earnings Reports, Both Positive (NYT)
How dead is the Fox-Time Warner deal? So dead that Rupert Murdoch hopped on his company’s quarterly earnings call on Wednesday to drive home the point that his giant media company, 21st Century Fox, really is walking away. The collapse of the deal, which would have been the biggest media merger in a decade, set the stage for a day of dueling earnings reports and analyst conference calls on Wednesday, as both Fox and Time Warner sought to reassure investors that they were going to be just fine without each other. Capital New York “This is our resolute decision, which is why we formally withdrew our acquisition offer,” Murdoch said, citing Time Warner’s decision not to negotiate, the response from Fox’s board of directors, along with Fox’s stock price, which Murdoch said is “severely undervalued.” Variety Film and cable programming gains powered 21st Century Fox to strong earnings and revenue gains in the fiscal fourth quarter, despite a big decline at the Fox network from the collapse of American Idol. Fox reported revenue of $8.42 billion, a 17 percent gain over the year-ago quarter powered by stronger contributions from the film division. Operating income climbed 17 percent to $1.77 billion. THR During the regular session Wednesday, shares of 21st Century Fox rose 3 percent and another 4 percent after the closing bell. Shares of Time Warner, meantime, were crushed because of the failed merger attempt, falling 13 percent in regular trading Wednesday. HuffPost / AP Time Warner Inc. said Wednesday that its second-quarter net income rose 10 percent on strong results from its HBO and Turner properties. New York-based Time Warner, which owns TV channels like HBO and TBS as well as Warner Bros. studios, said profit increased to $850 million, or 95 cents per share, from $771 million, or 81 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

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