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Posts Tagged ‘Walt Disney Co.’

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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Morning Media Newsfeed: Crowley to Leave CNN | Mass Exodus at TNR, Issue Canned

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Candy Crowley Leaving CNN (TVNewser)
Candy Crowley, a 27-year CNN veteran, is leaving the network. The move was announced in an email from CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker. FishbowlDC Crowley’s career at CNN began in 1987 as a political correspondent, where she covered a handful of successful and unsuccessful presidential campaigns, including those of Pat Buchanan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan and Mitt Romney, among others. In 2012, she became the first woman to moderate a presidential debate. THR Crowley currently serves as CNN’s chief political correspondent and anchor of its Sunday morning show State of The Union With Candy Crowley. Staffing has been relatively stable at CNN over the last year. Though the arrival of Zucker marked several departures, politicos James Carville and Mary Matalin among them, other changes have been gradual. Piers Morgan notably left after sinking ratings for his 9 p.m. telecast earlier in 2014. Capital New York Crowley, Zucker wrote, “has let us know that she has made the decision to move on… As difficult as it is for us to imagine CNN without Candy, we know that she comes to this decision thoughtfully, she has our full support,” the email said. The reason for Crowley’s departure was not made clear. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Zucker did not mention who would replace Crowley on State of The Union. The network will be keeping the show, a spokesperson confirmed.

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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: CBSN Launches Glitch-Free | Aereo to Downsize, Cut Staff

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CBS Launches Digital News Network CBSN (LostRemote)
After announcing a subscription-based streaming service, CBS launched an all-digital streaming news network, CBSN, on Thursday. So now you can watch live, anchored news whenever you want, for free. TVNewser It didn’t look like launch day at CBSN, and that’s a big achievement. Freed from the burden of launch day hoopla and high expectations, CBS News turned on its brand new live streaming news channel, and did so without a hitch. Capital New York The company is stressing that the move is not meant as a way into the 24-hour cable-news channel fray. “We are not endeavoring to start a cable news channel online,” CBS News president David Rhodes said. “We are trying to create something that is native for connected devices.” Those devices include laptops and PCs, smartphones and tablets, and, yes, Internet-connected TVs. The target audience: younger viewers, some of whom may not subscribe to a pay-TV service. THR The network — available on CBSNews.com, the CBS News app and connected TV devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku — will feature 15 hours of live, anchored coverage from 9 a.m. ET to midnight ET every weekday. The segments will be split into 60-minute blocks of live, updated news. CBS News special reports will be simulcast on CBSN during breaking news and content will also be fed in from CBS affiliate stations, CNET, CBSSports.com and Entertainment Tonight. New York Post The owner of CBS broadcast network, radio stations and Showtime missed the cable boom of the past decades but appears to be diving headfirst into a mobile future. Last month it joined with its affiliate partners to launch CBS All Access, a standalone digital platform for current and archived content.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: ISIS Posts Fourth Cantlie Video | Abramson Talks Risen, Rice

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ISIS Releases Fourth Video of Journalist John Cantlie, ‘Eagerly Awaits’ Ground War (HuffPost)
Islamic State militants have released a new video featuring British freelance journalist John Cantlie — the fourth since Cantlie was taken hostage nearly two years ago. The Guardian Cantlie, who has been held for almost two years, said ISIS was “dug in for the fight” in a seven-minute video that emerged on Sunday. Appearing to offer a scripted argument, he said the western public is being rushed into a war it cannot win, against thousands of armed militants. The Independent Cantlie also appeared in an online article calling for the British government to “open a channel and negotiate” with ISIS. It appeared hours after the British Ministry of Defence confirmed that a “specialist” team of British soldiers would head to northern Iraq to help train Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic militant group. The article was published in the ISIS online magazine Dabiq. WSJ The U.K. government said Monday that it was analyzing the article purportedly by Cantlie in which he says he awaits his turn to be executed by the extremist group unless British and American governments negotiate. The writer who identifies himself as Cantlie criticizes the West for not negotiating with ISIS when others have. “For now, I am still alive, but at some point in the near future, the mujahedeen will surely run out of patience. Just ask our government to talk. That’s all,” the article in question read. New York Daily News The British war photographer was captured in Syria along with James Foley in November 2012. Foley, an American war correspondent, was beheaded in August. The following month ISIS released a video of Cantlie criticizing American and British foreign policy, saying he’d been “abandoned” by his government.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Nielsen Reveals Ratings Glitch | NBC Crew Quarantined

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Nielsen’s Ratings Problem Is A Total Glitch (LostRemote)
Nielsen Friday announced internal “ratings irregularities” that date back to March 2, 2014 and were “generally imperceptible until [the company] saw high viewing levels associated with fall season premiere week.” TVNewser The company will now reprocess all of the impacted data going back at least to Aug. 18 — for entertainment, news and syndicated shows. TVNewser The company Saturday released updated data for the week of Sept. 22, which was the first week of 2014-15 TV season. As suspected, the inaccurate data favored ABC programs while hurting ABC’s competitors. The restated numbers are being most closely watched for revisions to the primetime ratings as new fall shows had their premieres. In the tight evening news race, World News Tonight With David Muir, had its numbers revised down, but it didn’t change the outcome. Muir’s newscast still won the week in the demo, and NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams won among total viewers. HuffPost Nielsen, the leading global measurement company and provider of television ratings data, said in a press release Friday that “a technical error” resulted in incorrect data over the course of about seven months. WSJ The difference in what was misattributed was less than 0.05 of a ratings point for about 98 percent to 99 percent of broadcast and syndicated TV shows, Nielsen said. The error didn’t affect overall TV viewership numbers, only how that viewership was credited to particular networks. Cable TV ratings weren’t affected by the glitch, it said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Turner to Cut 10% of Staff | Politico Names Executive Editor

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Turner to Cut 10 Percent of Workforce (TVNewser)
As part of Turner 2020, the cost-cutting and reorganization plan announced earlier this year, the parent company of CNN, HLN, TBS and others has announced it plans to cut 1,475 jobs. CNNMoney Turner Broadcasting, a unit of Time Warner Inc., will cut its total workforce by about 10 percent in the coming weeks through a mix of buyouts, layoffs and other measures, the company said Monday. Capital New York The headcount reduction will include buyouts of staff over the age of 55, layoffs and unfilled open roles. Staff that will be laid off will be informed within the next two weeks. That number also takes into consideration the addition of 150 new jobs in “growth areas” at the company. THR The cuts will come at all levels from across the news, entertainment, kids, young adult and sports networks and businesses as well as corporate functions, in 18 Turner locations around the world. About 300 positions will be eliminated within CNN Worldwide, or about 8.5 percent of the roughly 3,500-strong workforce. WSJ This summer, Time Warner rebuffed a takeover bid from 21st Century Fox Inc. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes is under pressure to show Wall Street the company can deliver growth — and a higher stock price — on its own.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Redbox Ends Streaming Service | Mukpo Returns to U.S.

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Redbox Ending Instant Streaming Service (THR)
Streaming video service Redbox Instant, a joint operation between Verizon Communications and Outerwall’s Redbox, is shutting down. Deadline Hollywood The statement announcing the shutdown read, “Thank you for being a part of Redbox Instant by Verizon. Please be aware that the service will be shut down on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Information on applicable refunds will be emailed to current customers and posted on Oct. 10. In the meantime, you may continue to stream movies and use your Redbox kiosk credits until Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. We apologize for any inconvenience and we thank you for the opportunity to entertain you. Sincerely, The Redbox Instant by Verizon Team.” Variety Outerwall (then called Coinstar) and Verizon formed Redbox Instant by Verizon in February 2012, with Verizon owning 65 percent of the joint venture. The companies debuted the service in March 2013. Under the most recent subscription plan, the $6 monthly service provided access to 6,000 movies across different devices, as well as rentals and purchases of select titles. GigaOM The shutdown comes after the service had disabled new sign-ups for three months due to a credit card fraud issue, which not only prevented Redbox Instant from acquiring new customers, but also resulted in existing customers with expiring or revoked credit cards being booted from the service because they weren’t able to add any new payment information. Redbox Instant’s catalog was also significantly smaller than Netflix’s or even the Amazon Prime Instant streaming video catalog, and the service never really gained traction with consumers, leading the CEO of Outerwall to remark that both his company and Verizon were “not pleased” with the subscriber numbers. In that context, the credit card fraud issue may have just have been the final straw. Re/code But Verizon is not done playing around with video services. Earlier this year the company bought Intel’s never-launched Web TV business, and while it doesn’t look like it’s going to try launching that one itself, it is planning some sort of video service that it plans on delivering via phones and other mobile devices. Recently Verizon announced it had secured programming rights from Viacom, and promised to say more soon. Meanwhile both Sony and Dish Network say they plan on launching their own Web TV services this year; Sony has also announced a Viacom deal, while Dish has signed up Disney/ESPN, A&E and Scripps.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola | Disney Re-Ups Iger

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NBC News Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola (TVNewser)
A 33-year-old American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment. NYT As a precaution, NBC News ordered the production team working with the cameraman, which includes Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the network’s top medical correspondent, to return to the U.S. and enter quarantine for 21 days. Mashable The 33-year-old freelancer tested positive for the deadly disease on Thursday while on assignment in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, NBC News said in an emailed statement. The cameraman, whose identity is being withheld by NBC at the request of his family, was working with a three-person crew working alongside Snyderman. THR On Tuesday, Snyderman’s report from a Liberian hospital aired on NBC’s Nightly News, where the network’s chief medical editor narrated a video dispatch on the disease. In the video, Snyderman can be seen donning protective gear as she reported from an “Ebola Isolation Unit” at the medical area. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The cameraman is the fourth American to have contracted Ebola, and the first known case of an American journalist covering the story to be infected.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: SoftBank Eyes DWA Purchase | Marvel Settles With Kirby Estate

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DreamWorks Animation in Sale Talks With Japan’s SoftBank (THR)
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation in a deal that would value the company at $3.4 billion, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. NYT SoftBank reportedly offered $32 a share for the boutique studio DreamWorks Animation, a 45 percent premium over the share price. That would value it at $3.4 billion. A DreamWorks Animation spokeswoman, Allison Rawlings, on Saturday night said, “We don’t comment on rumor and speculation.” Re/code / Reuters An acquisition of DreamWorks by SoftBank would make the Hollywood studio that created Shrek part of a the communications and media company that, under founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, has shown a willingness to take big bets on combining seemingly unrelated businesses. Two weeks ago, SoftBank booked a $4.6 billion gain on the share listing of Alibaba Group in New York. SoftBank retains a 32 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce company, making it Alibaba’s biggest shareholder. Deadline Hollywood DreamWorks’ balance sheet had weakened in Q2 with $400 million in debt and $32 million in cash vs. Q2 2011, when it had no debt and $116 million in cash. DreamWorks also disclosed in July that its next two films – The Penguins Of Madagascar and Home – were costing them approximately $10 million more than planned: $135 million not including incentive-based compensation. Variety However, DreamWorks has scored considerably with its fruitful acquisition of AwesomenessTV, a digital network targeting a young online audience — that and its relationship with Netflix likely helped attract the attention of SoftBank. DreamWorks Animation has operated as a publicly traded company since 2004.

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